Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Butter and Sugar Hug for Monet- My Mama's Cold Oven Pound Cake

     My Mama has been making this pound cake for as long as I remember, and whenever I make it, it reminds me of home and my family and just wraps me up in a great big butter and sugar hug. I'm re-posting this recipe today for Monet, the sweet and insightful writer of anecdotes and apple cores, who needs some hugs right now. She and her family have been beset by tragedies recently, and Lizzy and Kate came up with the idea of making her a book of comfort food recipes- foods to soothe the soul. I know that food can't solve all of the problems in the world, but it sometimes makes them easier to bear. Here's a hug today Monet, from my mama and me.

My Mama's Cold Oven Pound Cake

     My Mama makes the BEST pound cake in the world. Tender crumb on the inside, with a slightly chewy crust...yummmm. Not too sweet, it's as good all by itself with a cold glass of milk as it is dressed up with strawberries and whipped cream. And toasted with a little bit of vanilla ice cream on top? There's nothing better, I'm sure. Mama's cake always has a fine crumb and lovely light texture-never heavy. And it always tastes better when she makes it- it's a buttery slice of home!

Mama's Cold Oven Pound Cake (printable recipe)

1 cup butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
scant 3 cups sugar
3 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 eggs from happy hens
1 tsp. vanilla (2 if you don't use the butter and nut)
1 tsp. butter and nut flavoring (optional)

Cream together butter, shortening, and sugar.
My mama always used a hand mixer for this and her cake always turns out better than mine!
Beat in half of the cake flour, half of the milk, and the salt until combined.
Beat in eggs, one at a time. (Beat each one in until it disappears into the batter- don't over-beat.)
Beat in the rest of the cake flour, milk, and flavorings.

Pour batter into a greased and floured tube pan. Put in a cold oven and set temperature to 325 degrees. Bake for 1 hour. Increase temperature to 350 degrees and bake for 30 minutes longer or until cake is done. (cake tester comes out clean)

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rocky Road Fudge Bars

     Two weeks of school left (not that I'm counting,) and end of year preparations have left our teaching staff stressing over assessments, data collection and school improvement plans for next year. The kids, on the other hand, are already making plans for their upcoming weeks of freedom and have visions of bare feet, water parks and lazy summer days dancing in their heads. When patience gets thinner and teacher survival mode kicks in, chocolate can be a girl's best friend.

     Luckily I found these Rocky Road Bars on The Sweet Details (formerly Eating in Winnipeg) just in time to make a T.G.I.F. treat for the teacher's lounge. They turned out gooey and decadent, with walnut studded layers of chocolate, cream cheese and marshmallows. Just what the doctor ordered. Every time I passed by them I found myself cutting off just a little sliver of chocolaty deliciousness to help get me through the day.

     The chocolate chips and walnuts gave these luscious bars just the right toothsome bite, while the marshmallows and creamy fudge frosting made them gooey and delicious. I hope you try these- they're  perfect for calming frazzled nerves and putting a smile on your face. I guarantee. :)

     If you're looking for more delicious treats, check out Amanda's new blog, The Sweet Details. You'll find many more recipes there to tempt your taste buds!

Rocky Road Fudge Bars
1/2 cup (one stick) butter or margarine
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts.)
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, (I used Neufchatel.) softened- Reserve 2 oz. for frosting
1/4 cup (half stick) butter or margarine, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1/4 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts.)
1 (6 oz.) pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1/4 cup (one half stick) butter or margarine
1/4 cup milk
1 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
Reserved (2 oz.) cream cheese
3 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla

  • Heat oven to 350F. Grease and flour 13x9 inch pan. (I used non-stick foil.) In a large saucepan, melt 1 stick of butter and one oz. chocolate over very low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in one level cup flour and remaining base ingredients. Mix well and spread in prepared pan.
  • In small bowl combine 6 oz. softened cream cheese, 1/4 cup softened butter, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons flour, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and one egg; beat one minute at medium speed until smooth and fluffy. Stir in 1/4 cup nuts. Spread over chocolate mixture. Sprinkle evenly with chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 350F for 25-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (I baked mine 30 minutes.) Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with marshmallows. Return to oven and bake an additional two minutes.
  • While marshmallow layer is baking, in large saucepan combine 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup milk, 1 oz. chopped unsweetened chocolate, and reserved 2 oz. cream cheese. Cook over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; stir in confectioner's sugar and vanilla until smooth. Immediately pour hot frosting over puffed marshmallows and lightly swirl with knife to marble. Refrigerate one hour or until firm. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.

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