Red Velvet Waffles

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I guess I should talk about the magic that is Red Velvet Cake for a minute. If you’re from the south like I  am you have had just about every variation of it. Actually Red Velvet Cake is just one of those classics, so you really don’t even have to be a southerner to have grown up with it. Everyone’s mother, grandmother, great-aunt, first cousin Judy has a red velvet cake recipe. Some people swear by nuts, some people don’t. Some people are heavy on the cocoa, some just add a pinch. Then there’s the butter vs. oil debate and lets not even get into the color (It should be bright red, No it should be dark). It can go on and on, but the point is you have had every version at some point. Fair to say some good and some not so good. It’s just one of those cakes that people get really persnickety about. This is why we will save that debacle for another day and just stick with these amazing waffles for now….

Does anybody else feel slightly guilty eating cake for breakfast? I know I’m a grown lady (which is debatable sometimes) but I still feel a twinge of guilt. Don’t get me wrong im not gonna stop …lol… at this point I have just accepted it. I’m not talking about coffee cake or little dainty glazed tea cakes these are acceptable, im talking about waking up in the morning and remembering you have a delicious and sinful frosted hunk of goodness sitting in your kitchen. This is a judge free zone and because it is I can tell you that yes I have sat at my dining room table with a big hunk of cake and a cup of coffee on a Saturday morning.

So to assuage some of my guilt I decided to just turn one of my favorite cakes into a breakfast food…well…..it’s in the breakfast food family anyway. There are always loopholes people. So yes I made Red Velvet waffles. Red velvet cake meet Waffles…..Waffles meet Red velvet cake. I think you two will be very happy together.

The first time I made these waffle it was really just a whim. My mom was staying over and I knew I was going to make us breakfast in the morning and I was just in the mood to switch it up. So a quick glance in my cabinets and fridge and a look at the shiny new waffle maker my mom had gotten me for my birthday (and also a quick internet search) and Red Velvet Waffle it was. I even whipped up some cream cheese frosting to dollop on the top. I knew it was a winner when I got the thumbs up from mom, especially since red velvet cake is her favorite. So it seems only fitting to share this recipe around Mothers Day.

Red Velvet Waffle

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup cake flour

½ cup cornstarch

2 ½ tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

4 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 ¾ cup buttermilk

1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled

2 teaspoons vanilla

½ teaspoon white vinegar

3 teaspoons red food coloring

 

  1. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cake flour, cornstarch, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside
  2. Preheat waffle iron
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs, butter, vanilla, white vinegar and food coloring.
  4. Pour the buttermilk mixture into the flour mixture and stir gently until combined.
  5. Cook waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Waffles are generally done when they stop steaming or if your waffle iron is similar to mine it has a little light that lets you know when the waffles are done (Gotta love technology!)
  6. You can whip up a batch of cream cheese frosting if you want or just drown them in some good ol Maple syrup. However you decide to eat them Enjoy!
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Pirate Ships and Revelations

The title of this post was almost “Avast ye A pirate ship” that’s pirate for Holy Crap its a Pirate Ship
I’m one of those people who sits in complete rapture watching those food competition shows. I love them. Cupcake wars, Hell’s kitchen, those cake challenges, Master chef….the list goes on. Do I want to be on one of those shows…nahh… not really. I’m happy just to sit on my couch in my fuzzy socks and some snacks and experience a full range of emotions and suspense as the contestants run, sweat, cry, curse and laugh. So in some weird way I guess I live vicariously through them, but without all the pressure and yelling.

Occasionally I do get the urge to challenge myself, after all it’s how you grow. And since I’m not planning on doing anything extreme like skydiving or running with the bulls in Spain I tend to keep my challenges in the kitchen (for now anyway). So when my Bff ( a.k.a sister from another mister) told be her and the family were coming to town to celebrate my god-daughter 3rd birthday with her family here, I knew I wanted to help in some kind of way.

After much consideration from a very awesome two going on three-year old the theme was decided to be Jake and The Neverland Pirates. And the cake…..yep…you probably guessed it….. A PIRATE SHIP. The initial request was if I knew anybody that could make this happen and while I sat back to contemplate if I in fact did a thought popped in my head. That thought was “Why don’t I do it?”.

I have never taken on a project like this but I was excited about it and once I decided I was going to do it I couldn’t stop thinking about it. The good part was that I had plenty of advance notice so I was able to research like a mad woman. In true obsessive Virgo fashion I took to the internet and read countless tutorials and watched countless YouTube videos.

So full disclosure time: I had and still have never seen an episode of Jake and The Neverland Pirates. I guess that not to bad considering I don’t have any kids, but I googled the crap out of pictures of the ship and the characters so I feel like have seen the show many many times. Full disclosure number two: I suck at sketching and drawing. So although I had a vision in my mind of how I wanted it to look I really couldn’t transfer it to paper. So I guess in a way I sort of Free Styled it.

After all the research, planning and gathering of supplies it was finally time to dive in. A big help was this really cool cake pan. I really didn’t want to take a chance at carving the shape so this pan was my saving grace. It gave me the shape and structure I needed. Then it was just a matter of covering it and getting the details right. If you follow me on Instagram I’m pretty sure you got sick of me posting just about every step, but I just couldn’t help myself. Every step fascinated and amazed me. The more details I was adding the more it began to come to life.

It was hard, it was tedious and time-consuming but I was more than happy with the finished product. The Birthday Girl was happy and the family and partygoers loved it. It was a challenge that I’m happy to have taken on. I’m extremely proud of myself and I’m thinking this was a good life lesson about taking on more challenges and conquering them.
I guess all this seems pretty deep to just be talking about a cake shaped like a Pirate ship, but I’m sure many food bloggers will tell you that some of our best personal revelations come in the kitchen.

(All these pictures were taken with my phone, so they are not super pristine)

This is what the cake looks like when comes out the pan....isnt this cool

This is what the cake looks like when comes out the pan….isnt this cool (lol ignore the random object in the background)

 

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i attached each fondant plank one at a time an took a little fondant cutter to go over it for the lines in the wood

i attached each fondant plank one at a time an took a little fondant cutter to go over it for the lines in the wood

i mixed a little brown foo coloring with some vodka and painted the entire thing

i mixed a little brown food coloring with some vodka and painted the entire thing

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i used a ruler, computer paper and some markers to make the sail. I paid a couple of books to get them laminated. I wasnt sure which one i was gonna use so i just had both laminated

i used a ruler, computer paper and some markers to make the sail. I paid a couple of bucks to get them laminated. I wasnt sure which one i was gonna use so i just had both laminated

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Ahoy !!!!

Ahoy !!!!

 

This was the table...Cute right!  Look at all that Booty!

This was the table…Cute right! Look at all that Booty!

 

Chocolate Orange Spiced Brownies

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I rarely use the word “Sexy” to describe food, especially the things I make. Mostly because I’m totally immature and it would make me giggle because I feel ridiculous saying it. But if I’m going to make an exception of course it’s going to be chocolate related. I love chocolate. I really really love chocolate. In the short time my baby blog has been around I have mentioned this a bunch so im guessing you get the picture. So when the holidays come (Valentines day, Easter, etc) I am a complete mess. CHOCOLATE, CHOCOLATE EVERYWHERE!! Help me please!

Just today i went strolling through the store and my eyes were assaulted with bright-colored packages of sweets on display for poor schmucks like me. Because I am but a mere mortal I will undoubtedly give into the power of the chocolate and pretty packaging. So in the spirit Chocoholics venting I’m posting but of course a chocolatey, fudgy brownie recipe (with a little something extra going on). They are completely decadent and rich with a hint of orange and spice. I am completely in love with them.

I have been toying with the idea for these brownies for ages now. It started with my love of Terry Chocolate Oranges. I’m not sure if anybody remembers those, but it was a huge hunk of chocolate shaped like an orange and in this pretty aluminum wrapping. When you opened them you got to whack them really hard on the table and the pieces would fall away in the shape of orange slices. I wonder if the even still sell them. Hmmmm…… I haven’t seen these those things in forever.

So I’m calling all my fellow chocolate lovers to unite and take a walk on the dark side, or in this case the dark and spicy side. Are you ready to add a little spice to your life ( INSERT SPICE GIRLS PUN HERE) or at least to your chocolate?
These brownies are completely killer! It’s not just a brownie dare i say it is an experience. And don’t panic at the addition of the cayenne pepper it seems odd but it totally helps to make the brownie.

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Spiced Orange Chocolate Brownies

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon espresso powder
2 eggs, rm temperature
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 large Orange

*Orange Chocolate Ganache (Optional)

*Use the recipe for the orange chocolate ganache filling and just leave out the spices

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil or just spray it really well. In a small bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, cayenne and salt. Set aside.
2. Place the chocolate and butter in a medium heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler). Stir until the mixture is completely melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly. Pour the chocolate mixture into a larger bowl and whisk in espresso powder and sugars until smooth. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, then whisk in the vanilla and orange zest.
3. Whisk in the flour mixture until smooth and pour into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
While the Brownies are cooling , make the *Orange Chocolate Ganache. Pour over the top of the brownies and allow the ganache to set ( you can place them in the fridge if you like). Cut them into whatever size or shape your little heart desires and inhale…..uhhh….i mean enjoy them.

Sweet Potato Cobbler

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Did you know February was National Sweet Potato month? I had no idea! Do you not know how deep my love for sweet potatoes goes…hmmm…. Come to think of it you probably don’t. I eat them baked and plain, I eat them in pie, I eat them in soup, I eat them here and there, I will eat them anywhere. Well now I have a whole month to convert….uhh….I mean share my love of them with you. Every Thursday in February I will be posting recipe with sweet potatoes.

So how about we do a little inappropriate food daydreaming right now. Close your eyes and picture a bubbling hot cobbler coming from the oven. Now picture yourself grabbing a huge bowl and scooping the piping hot goodness into it, but wait you’re not done. Go to the freezer and get that tub of vanilla ice cream and place a big ole scoop on top. Oh yeah, that ought to get your inner Homer Simpson going, I know it did mine. Excuse me while I take a minute to wipe my keyboard off a little. *clears throat* there we go…. All better now.
Sooo now that you have that image going on, go ahead and make the cobbler full of sweet, cinnamony sweet potatoes, and commence with more drooling. Im really giddy about this recipe. I just love it so much. This insane cold weather makes for some weekends snuggled warm in your house and to me this is like a major comfort dessert.

I know for most people when you hear “Cobbler”, especially if you are born and raised in the south like I am, your mind automatically goes to peach cobbler. Aint nothing wrong with that but even if you are a die-hard peach cobbler fan and trust me I know some , I bet I can convert you or at the very least get you to expand your horizons because you have not truly lived until you’ve tried this sweet potato cobbler.
*Im thinking this might be really good with a homemade cinnamon ice cream on top. Maybe ill try that next time.

2 large sweet potatoes
½ cup sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 egg
¼ cup melted butter, cooled
1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup self-rising flour
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash the sweet potatoes and place on a pan. Bake the sweet potatoes for 1 hour or until they are soft enough to pierce with a fork. Allow them to cool completely.
2. Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and place them in the bowl of an electric mixer or a large bowl using a hand mixer. Add the sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, egg, and vanilla. Mix together on low speed until smooth. Pour the mixture into a sprayed ore buttered deep 8 x8 baking dish. (If you don’t have a deep enough dish you can use a 9×13 inch baking dish).
3. In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, sugar, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla and whisk until smooth. Pour the mixture on top of the sweet potato mixture.
4. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Hearts

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So it seems that time of year is slowly creeping up on us. You know the one. It involves staring at a sea of pink and red in just about every store you enter. Everything is heart shaped and/or covered in chocolate. (FYI: I’m totally all for the covered in chocolate part).  And you can’t walk two feet without tripping over roses, balloons and stuffed animals holding hearts with cutesy messages on them like “I love you Bear-y much”.

Yes good people it is Valentine’s Day and if you’re single like me it can kind of be the pits, but I’ve decided there’s no point in being bitter about it. Valentine’s Day is one those holidays that if you let it can make you feel kind of lonely if you’re not part of a twosome. That’s not what I’m going for this year. I’m going to embrace it and I’m going to celebrate it and I’m going to bake cookies.

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Ill probably take them to work and pass them out. Just because I don’t have a valentine doesn’t mean I can’t spread some love. That’s the outlook I’m trying to go with this year. Focus on the Positive and not the Negative. And who’s to say me being single is a negative thing right now. With all the changes I have going on in my life recently my focus is being pulled in so many directions it really wouldn’t be fair to take on a relationship right now.

So maybe this year I’m not celebrating being part of a couple or having one specific valentine, I still can celebrate the people in my life that I love and they can all be my Valentine. That includes you guys!

And to show you just how much I love you I’m going to share these amazing, buttery shortbread cookies. And because I’m in a festive mood, let’s make them pink and heart shaped. And to show how much I really love you, let’s dip them in chocolate! Your welcome!!

Chocolate dipped shortbread hearts

1 ½  cup all purpose flour

½ cup cornstarch

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter rm temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

2-3 drops pink food coloring (optional)

1 – 12 oz. bag Ghirardelli dark chocolate melting wafers

Sprinkles for decorating

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder and salt. Whisk together to combine and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand mixer cream the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Add the drops of pink food coloring.
  3. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. Chill the shortbread dough for 30 minutes. ( this is just to make handling dough easier if dough is manageable you can skip this step)
  5.  Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and Roll out  about ½ inch thick and cut out heart shapes.
  6. Place the cookies on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator and let the cookies chill for 30 minutes.
  7. Once the cookies have chilled, bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are set. Place cookies on a wire rack and let cool completely before dipping.

For dipping:

  1. .  To melt, place the Chocolate in top pan of a double boiler or in bowl placed over simmering water. Stir constantly until smooth and melted.
  2. Dip each cooled cookie in the dark chocolate candy coating making sure only to coat half of the cookie. Remove it from the chocolate lifting up, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Place the dipped cookie on a parchment paper lined sheet pan. Drop a few of your festive sprinkles on top of the chocolate.  Let the chocolate set for about 15 minutes or if you want faster result you can pop them in the fridge until the chocolate is set. Repeat this process with the rest of cookies.

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Biscoff Cake Truffles

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So the Biscoff love affair continues with these cake truffles, or “cruffles. I’m not really sure if people are still calling them that.
I originally wanted to post these around Christmas time as part of the Christmas baking “mania”, because I had fully intended to box them up pretty and give them out as gifts. Sadly I did not get to do half as much baking this year as I wanted to, so I guess that just means next year I have to go completely overboard. (Consider this a warning to my friends and family)
I still think these would make a really sweet gift (yes pun intended) for someone, especially a biscoff lover, or just make a batch of em and stuff your face. If I haven’t said it already this is a judge free zone people. I fully intend to stuff my face with a few while binge watching Community DVDs and having inappropriate thoughts about Donald Glover. (Sorry, was that TMI)…. It doesn’t have to be any special reasons just make em because they’re yummy and you want to.
I chose to use white cake mix. It just seemed like it was much easier especially since the cake is going to be crumbled up anyway, but you can definitely use your favorite scratch cake recipe if you have one. It doesn’t even have to be white cake either.
Just as a side note I want to thank those of you who have been supporting the blog. It means more to me than you’ll ever know…..and in 2014 I’m committed to working harder to make it even better. The start of this year brings in a couple of major changes for me and I’m trying to adjust. I just started a new job, a new furry friend, and working towards finding a new place. And I have some cool new things I want to do with the blog. I’m feeling like im in a bit of a chaotic state right now, but im slowly getting it together.

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Biscoff Cake Truffles
For the cake:
1 box white mix ( I used Duncan hines)
3 egg white
1 cup water
¼ cup vegetable oil
For the Biscoff frosting:
½ cup Biscoff Spread
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk

1 cup Biscoff cookie crumbs

1-12 oz bag Ghiradelli White Chocolate Melting wafers
½ cup Biscoff cookie crumbs for topping truffles

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 inch baking pan and set aside.
2. In large mixing bowl blend cake mix, water, egg whites and oil at low speed for 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium and blend for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove cake from oven and set aside to cool completely.
3. While cake is cooling. Mix together the frosting.
4. For the frosting: Beat the softened butter, and biscoff spread together until smooth. Add the vanilla. With the mixer on low add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth. Add the milk and blend until smooth.
5. In a large bowl crumble the cooled cake and work with your hands until its in small pieces
6. Scrape ¾ of the frosting and ½ cup Biscoff cookie crumbs into the bowl and stir with rubber spatula or large wooden spoon until well combined. The mixture should hold together if you squeeze a ball of it between your fingers. If mixture seems too dry you can add more of the frosting.
7. Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop out small balls of cake and roll between your palms until smooth round is formed. Place the formed cake truffles on a parchment paper or wax paper lined baking sheet. Once all the truffles are shaped place them in the refrigerator to chill until firm.
8. While the cake truffles are chilling you can melt the white chocolate candy coating. To melt the candy coating place the candy coating in top pan of a double boiler or in bowl placed over simmering water. Stir constantly until smooth and melted.
9. Using a fork dip the cake truffles in the melted white chocolate candy coating. Remove it from the chocolate lifting up, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Drag the bottom across the lip of the bowl. Place the dipped cake truffle back on the parchment lined paper. Sprinkle the top with Biscoff cookie crumbs. Repeat this process with the rest of the truffles.
10. Refrigerate until set. About 20 minutes.

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HAPPY (VERY, VERY) BELATED NEW YEAR!!!!

Hey Guys! It a New year! Arent you excited? Although I didn’t make any resolutions, (I kinda gave up on those a long time ago), I did decide to make some changes for the better. Or at least try my best to.

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How did you guys celebrate bringing  the new year. Did you stay snuggled in with that special someone counting down, did you go to a massive party and kiss a random stranger at midnight ( no one’s judging), However you spent it im hoping you enjoyed it.

This is probably the first new year in a long time that I was actually out and about. Yes I am an old lady trapped in a young person’s body.  My mom and i usually throw some snacks together and dance the night away to whatever party is happening on the TV. Yeah….she’s a partyer from waay back so she ususally out parties me.

But this year I was invited to hang out with some girlfriends at this amazing event called The Global Winter Wonderland. I Had a blast!! Even though it was outside and it was freezing cold it was totally worth it.

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It was a huge celebration of lights with these gorgeous and enormous displays of some the worlds most famous landmarks. I know my words probably aren’t doing it any justice so of course im posting these pictures I took.

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There was a huge tent filled with vendors selling food from many different countries and of course my favorite Fair food. If you dangle funnel cake in front of me I will pretty much follow you anywhere.

I started the new year off being courageous….i hate roller coasters with the burning passion of a thousand suns.(hmmm that may be a bit dramatic) but somehow I was coaxed into getting on not one but TWO! Including one whose sole purpose was to spin and spin and spin and spin…okay I just got dizzy and nauseous all over again.

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But to sum it all up, Gorgeous view, Good company, Funnel cake, and a show of bravery…..not a bad way to celebrate bringing in the new year!

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