Friday, January 21, 2011

Oh, oh.....I want s'more!

Greetings from Florida! It is time for my monthly Cake Slice Bakers reveal! I made this simple cake before I left for my conference. This month's cake is a graham cracker, chocolate chip snacking cake with a marshmallow frosting. I was very excited to try this cake because I heart s'mores!

While the cake was baking, I made the frosting and SHWEET SHMELLOW its good!!! I'd even go as far as saying that it saves the mediocre cake.

Over all, this is a good (not great) cake. It didn't have as strong of a s'more taste as I would have liked, but it was moist and chocolaty. I highly recommend eating it warm, whether that means eating it when it comes out of the oven or sticking it in the microwave for a few seconds. The frosting is definitely worth making again.

Here is the recipe...

January’s Cake: Graham Cracker Chocolate Chip Snacking Cake

(Recipe from Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman)

For the Cake
8 whole graham crackers, finely ground (about 1 cup) *
¼ cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 tbsp (¾ stick) butter, softened
¼ cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the Frosting
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup confectioners sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup marshmallow fluff *

Method – Cake
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease an 8inch square baking pan and dust it with flour, knocking out any extra. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl and cream with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. With the mixer on low speed, add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and then beat until smooth.
With the mixer on low speed, add a third of the flour mixture, then half of the milk, stirring until combined. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk, ending with the flour. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Invert it onto a wire rack, and then turn it right side up to cool completely.

Method – Frosting
Place the butter in a medium mixing bowl and beat until creamy. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Stir in the vanilla and the marshmallow fluff and beat until smooth. Use immediately or cover the bowl with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Cut the cake into squares and serve each one with a dollop of frosting on top. (Bring the frosting back to room temperature first if it has been stored in the fridge). Store any uneaten cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Meatball Chili (with a little spice)

1 can (14.5 oz) stewed tomatoes
1 large onion
1 medium green pepper
3 cups Chili Cheese Fritos
1 tbsp vegetable oil
5 garlic cloves, pressed, divided
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp chili powder, divided
1 tbsp cumin, divided
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (16 oz) red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups water
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
1 lb lean ground beef
Shredded cheese (optional)

Cooking Directions
Preheat oven to 450 degrees
Chop tomatoes and set aside.
Finely chop onion.
Dice bell pepper.
Place chips in plastic bag and crush using a rolling pin.

Place oil, onion, and bellow pepper in a pot.
Cook over medium heat for 7 - 8 minutes.
Add two of the pressed garlic cloves, 1 tbsp chili powder, and 2 tsp cumin.
Cook and stir for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, beans, water, and half of the crushed chips to the pot.
Bring to a gentle simmer.
Reduce heat to low and cook for 18 - 22 minutes or until chili is thickened. Stir often.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine egg, milk, and salt in bowl. Add remaining chips, garlic, chili powder, and cumin.
Mix well.
Add beef and mix until just incorporated.
Scoop beef mixture and roll into meatball.
Bake 8 - 9 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

Gently stir meatballs into chili.
Cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes or until meatballs are tender.

Serve with cheddar cheese if you'd like.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sweet Crockpot Meatballs (from Dessert Diva)

It's January! Do you know what that means for the Dinnertime Divas? It's our annual balls themed Supper Club. Here is the recipe for my contribution this month.

This is one of the easiest and most delicious appetizers or dinners around. I came across this combination for the sauce by accident. My mom always makes her meatballs with BBQ sauce and grape jelly. Unfortunately, I didn't have any grape jelly one time so I substituted cherry preserves instead. The result was an even sweeter sauce that we liked even more than the original. I've never made it with grape jelly since!

1 - 1 lb. bag of frozen meatballs
1 jar of your favorite BBQ sauce
1/3 jar cherry preserves

I usually don't even measure out any of the ingredients so add or subtract according to your own taste.

Place the frozen meatballs in a slow cooker. Add the BBQ sauce and cherry preserves. Give it a stir. Cook on low for about 4-5 hours or until meatballs are heated through.

I hope you enjoy this as much as we do. It is definitely a go-to meal when I need something in a pinch, since I usually have all the ingredients on hand.