Fluffy Friends

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Frozen Dinners.....what is your favorite?



 
Happy May!!!!!!
 
I am so excited that Spring has finally raised it's head, it's officially been Spring for a few weeks now, but it sure hasn't felt much like it.
 
Today's post isn't about cookies, cakes, etc., it's about one of my favorite quick dinners. And by quick, I mean, open the box, make a couple slits in the plastic and uncover the dessert! Some days you just don't feel like cooking, or, if you live alone like I do, it's just not worth it some nights to make a full fledged dinner for yourself. So in steps, Hungry Man or in my case hungry woman? Rrroooarr! If you are hungry, this is the frozen dinner for you. Now they have several varieties, but this by far is my favorite one. So chime in, what is your favorite, I'm lazy, don't have time, or any imagination to cook today, go to frozen meal? Let me know and maybe I will get brave and try something else!
 
 


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Gluten free anyone?




Gluten Free Apple Cake, it's better than you think!
 
 
Wow, it's been a long time since I've had a chance to blog. So long in fact that I had to try 8 different email/password combinations! It's terrible when you can't remember that important information isn't it?
 
 
No, I haven't been diagnosed with Celiacs disease or anything, but I've decided to change a few minor eating habits that I have. Don't get me wrong, I love all the processed food and I LOVE bread, cakes, cookies, you name it. If it tastes really good and fattening, I probably like it! However, for a long time now I've been thinking and sometimes talking out loud about how I need to change how I eat and how I need to start weeding out processed food from my daily life. Right now I can't imagine giving it up my entire life, or at least not completely, but it needs to happen a lot less often than it does currently. My love of McDonald's is well known to those that know me and I plan on trying to not go there very often. Believe it or not, the burgers are completely gluten free if you leave off the bun.
 
 
I bought some almond flour, coconut flour and some Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose flour months ago and tried my hand at winging some cookies and cake, but can you say DISASTER and a huge waste of money? They sucked big time. So now I have learned that right now, in the beginning stages that I cannot just wing baking the way that I do now with regular wheat flour. 1) because it's super expensive 2) because there are many before me that have already spent a lot of money perfecting recipes, so I will be a follower for once.
 
So that being said, I was nosing around the Internet the other day and ran across a website called gluten-free Goddess recipes. I must say she had a large wealth of information there that was awesome. I wanted to start out with something fairly simple where I already had most of the ingredients. So that is where this recipe originated from. I did change a couple things but the essence of the recipe is the same.
 
Since I had never made this before I decided to only do half a recipe just in case it turned out terrible and inedible. :) Then since I didn't have all of the different flours on hand, I substituted the Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose flour in place of all of the other ones. I had read somewhere that you could use the new Bisquick Gluten Free in place of wheat flour, measure for measure, so I thought this other flour would be the same and let me tell you, it turned out great!
 
 
Sour Cream Apple Cake
 
5 Medium Apples, room temperature, peeled, cored and sliced.
Toss with a small amount of lemon juice
 
3 large-organic free-range eggs
1 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
2 t.vanilla
3T extra light olive oil
1/4 cup sour cream
 
2 cups almond flour
1/4 rice or sorghum flour
1/2 cup potato starch or tapioca starch
1-1/2 t baking powder
1t baking soda
1t apple pie spice
1t ground cinnamon
1/2 t fine sea salt
1/2 c pecan or walnut halves
 
I mixed the eggs, sugars, vanilla, olive oil and sour cream together at medium speed in mixing bowl. Then added all the dry ingredients. Once everything is combined, stir in apples and nuts. Spray a spring form pan with gluten free spray and cover the bottom with parchment/wax paper.  Bake at 350 in a pre-heated oven for about 50 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes then remove outer ring. Turn upside down on cake plate and remove the bottom.
 
Cake serves 8-10 people. Slice and wrap individually, then freeze. Serve cake at room temperature or warm.
 
This recipe is for the full cake. However, even half the recipe made a nice sized cake, about 1 1/2 inch thick. It would be even more awesome if you made a little cream cheese frosting on it. lol  Not diet food by any stretch of the imagination, but if you are trying to live without gluten and just have to have something sweet, this will fit the bill. I couldn't even tell it was gluten free!
 
I did take some to my mom and she had no idea it was gluten free until I told her and she really liked it. I've talked enough that she is going to try and cut way back on gluten, then try going gluten free for at least 3 weeks to see how she feels.
 
No worries though! I'm not giving up my baking by any means. Just trying to clean up my life a little bit and maybe lose some weight in the process.
 
I hope if you try this cake you will agree that it's pretty tasty :)
 
 
Tammy
Fluffybutt Cookies
 
 
 
 


Saturday, October 27, 2012

German Chocolate Cake

Sorry everyone I have been a very bad baker recently and have avoided my blog posts for quite awhile. It's not like I haven't baked anything, quite the opposite, I've been super busy so yeah, that will be my excuse, I've been to busy to think of witty and useful things to tell you all. I guess I need to determine what I really want my blog to be about, it seems like recipe sharing is really popular if you stick with easy things to make, or how too video's are popular as well, but personally, I have no desire to put my voice to a how too demonstration :) So, I think I will just go mainly with recipes that I've made so everyone can try them or just look at them. Some of these will be items I sell and I will post the recipes because it's some that are readily available to anyone, so it's not like I'm giving away company secrets, right?

First up:

German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Pecan Frosting


What you need for the cake:

4 oz. or 1 Baker's German Chocolate bar
1/2 water
4 eggs, separated
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup buttermilk

Heat over to 350 degrees. Spray 2-9 inch cake pans and line with wax paper.

Combine chocolate bar and water in micro safe bowl and cook for 1 min., stir, and put back in for 30 more seconds. If mixture is smooth when stirred, it's ready. Set aside.

Separate eggs. Put egg white is a mixing bowl and beat on high until stiff peaks hold. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Next, in your mixer bowl, beat your butter and sugar until fluffy. Add in vanilla.  Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Next adding alternate flour and buttermilk to you batter. Once everything is combined, slowly fold in your egg whites until incorporated.

Divide batter evenly among both pans and bake 30 min. or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and immediately run a knife around the edges to loosen (be sure you do this, or it will stick). Let cool for 15 minutes, then remove from pans and cool completely.

Coconut Pecan Frosting

1 can evaporated milk (12 oz.)
4 egg yolks
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter
7  ounce package coconut
1 1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Combine milk, yolks, sugar and butter in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 12 min.or until mixture is thickened. Stir constantly as it will scorch easily. Once mixture is thickened, remove from heat and stir in vanilla, add coconut and nuts. Mix well and let cool completely.

I like this frosting so much that I want it all over and in the middle of the cake. I'm not a big fan of just putting it between the layers and on top. I put a nice thick layer in the middle of the cakes and piped a damn of chocolate fudge frosting to hold it all in. Then I covered it completely in the yummy coconut frosting and then piped a little bit of decoration around the bottom and then on the top of the cake.

This is a very moist and yummy cake if you like coconut, nuts and chocolate. It's a fairly costly cake to make so be warned. The chocolate bar alone is $3. But then again, nothing is inexpensive anymore. Happy Baking!

Tammy
Fluffybutt Cookies Etc.









Monday, September 3, 2012

Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake!!!



 
Wow, can you believe it is September and today is the last official holiday of summer? In a way it makes me sad as I never look forward to winter. I love warm weather and have actually really enjoyed the one we have had. Of course this summer has been very unusual in Missouri because normally our summers are extremely hot and humid, but this year, due to almost no rain for months and months, the humidity has been somewhere from 0-35%. I can imagine this is the type of hot, dry heat that those living in the desert areas enjoy. Another bonus to this weather, at least for me, is very few sinus or migraine headaches!
 
So back to baking now....................I mean really, if it contains fruit, nuts and dairy, that means cheesecake is a health food, right? Aww, come on, if enough people agree then that makes it a law, right? So I hear by declare that cheesecake is one of the best all around health foods known to man :D
 
 
 
Caramel Apple-Brownie Cheesecake
 
3/4 cup chopped pecans
2 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 large eggs, divided
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups peeled and diced Granny Smith apples
Caramel Apple Topping (recipe follows)
Caramel Sauce (recipe follows)
 
1) Preheat over to 350 degrees. Bake pecans in a single layer in a shallow pan 8-10 min or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring halfway through. Reduce oven temp. to 325 degrees. Sprinkle pecans over bottom of a greased and shiny 9-in.springform pan.
2) Beat cream cheese, granulated sugar, and vanilla at medium speed with a heavy-duty stand mixer until blended and smooth. I have found this to be the absolute most important part of making cheesecakes, make sure that cream cheese and sugar is as smooth as can be! Add 3 eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
3) Whisk together brown sugar, melted butter, and remaining egg in a large bowl until blended.
4) Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients; add to brown sugar mixture and stir until blended. Stir in apples. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Carefully spoon cream cheese mixture over batter.
5) Bake at 325 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan) Cool completely on a wire rack, about 2 hours. Transfer to your serving plate.
6) While cake is cooling, prepare Caramel Apple Topping and Caramel Sauce. Reserve 1 cup caramel sauce for another use. Spoon topping over cheesecake: drizzle with 1/2 cup Caramel Sauce.
* Recipe was taken from the September 2012 issue of Southern Living.
Step 1) Toast pecan pieces, this step can be skipped if you don't care if your pecans are toasted or not.
 
Step 2) Cream cheese mixture, try not to eat all this right out of the bowl, yummy!
Step 3) Apple Brownie mixture, mixture will be super thick
 
 
Caramel Apple Topping
 
Melt 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp.fresh lemon juice, and cook, stirring constantly with a long-handled wooden spoon 5-6 minutes or until mixture turns a light golden brown. Add 5 Large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges. Cook, stirring often, 15-18 minutes more or until after apples are tender and caramelized. Remove from heat; cool 20 minutes. Be sure not to overcook or you will sacrifice appearance. Not saying I had to do this step again.....well okay, I did as I'm not good at following directions but I kept the first batch to spread underneath the pretty ones. I actually skimped on the apples to begin with so this worked out okay in the end. My Granny Smith's were on the smallish side and I only used 2.5 apples in the pic above. I had bought 3 Jonathan's so I peeled and sliced these for the "pretty" apples on top :)
  


Caramel Sauce
 
Bring 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, 1/4 cup whipping cream, and 1/4 cup honey to a boil in a med.saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring constantly; boil, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes before serving. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 1 week. To reheat, microwave at high 10 to 15 seconds or just until warm; stir until smooth. 

Then because I am me..........I love cinnamon strusel topping so I made the executive decision to add that on top of the apples and caramel. What's a few more calories? After all, this is health food right?

 
Feel like a slice????  Here you go!

Till next time, happy baking!

Tammy
Fluffybutt Cookie Emporium ;)

P.S   A friend and I just taste tested this little baby. It is good, BUT, we decided that it really shouldn't be called a cheesecake but a dessert. I think if I made it again, and I probably will, I think I would either double the cheesecake mixture or cut the brownie portion in half. It really just depends on what you want the end result to be. But it is really good, just not what I think of when I think cheesecake :)


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fluffybutt Cookie Emporium: Buttercream Glaze anyone?

Fluffybutt Cookie Emporium: Buttercream Glaze anyone?: Okay, I hate to admit it, but I made this by mistake. Now I'm sure this has been done before....no WAIT, I know someone has made it. However...

Buttercream Glaze anyone?

Okay, I hate to admit it, but I made this by mistake. Now I'm sure this has been done before....no WAIT, I know someone has made it. However always being a chubby girl I've never been known for being the lead runner in anything! So how was this a mistake? Well let me try to explain how my happy accident happened.

I was getting all my glaze colored and bagged in order to get my bake sale cookies decorated. I was just planning on doing simple circles in one color and then placing a violet colored chocolate flower on them. Simple right? You betcha. So I have this bag of "glaze" in the fridge that was a medium purple so instead of wasting it, I just added in some white glaze and white coloring in order to get it to a very light lavender. Once I had it to a color that was okay, I put it in my piping bag and got to work. As soon as I laid down my outline on the circles, I thought hey, this is odd, but that's about as far as that thought process went and I just kept thinking I really like the way this is working. Made me wonder if it was similar to royal icing but how could it be? It was my glaze that I've been using for almost 2 years. You'd think that a "normal" person would be like, wait a minute! This is wrong, what is up with my glaze, it isn't like usual. But oh no, not me, I just kept plugging away. I think I was just working so hard to get everything done that I didn't even let my mind think too long on it. After all, I had to cut and bake almost 4 dozen cookies and get them decorated by last night, so I was pretty much on auto pilot.

So how did my happy accident happen you say? Well, I had forgotten that I had stuck some purple buttercream in the fridge from a week ago! That is what I used and mixed it with glaze. Oh my. But like I said, it was a happy thing in the end. So much so, that I'm going to try it again in a more controlled environment. My job this weekend is to bake a few cookies and just try mixing buttercream and glaze together and see how long it takes to dry! I know I like the way it performs, but drying time is going to be the test.



So if you or someone you know or follow in cyber space uses a buttercream glaze send me a link so I can go check it out. I'd go do it myself, but I'm pooped for the night after making a couple dozen football and jersey's. So goodnight my friends and until next time.....dream of cookies, cupcakes, pies and cakes and the day they will be calorie free but taste the same :)

Tammy

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Zebra Cake....it's for everyone!

Hello! I've been out of the blog sphere for quite awhile. To be honest, I actually forgot about having one, but now that I've remembered.....I'm back and back with a zebra cake.



Looks complicated right? Like how do you get those stripes in there, you must have to have a magic wand that you wave right? Wrong! The zebra stripes are actually very easy.

This cake is a mix of peanut butter and chocolate, so I had to make two separate cake batters. The only difficult part of this cake is to make sure your batters are equal in thickness, which sometimes is tricky when making two different cake flavors from scratch. So if you are kind of leery of this, then by all means use a cake mix. Normally I don't like cake mixes, but in cases like this, it makes your life easier. You could also just use one flavor and make different colors of stripes. Your imagination is the only limit.

Spray 2-9 inch round cake pans and line with parchment or wax paper. I use wax paper because it works just as well and is cheaper. Just as a extra insurance policy against anything sticking, I usually give a quick squirt of spray on the top of the paper.

Take a ice cream dipper and plop one flavor of your cake in the middle of your pans, wait a minute then take a dip of the next flavor and put that into the middle of the first one. Wait another minute for it to spread a bit then keep repeating the process. I speeded up the process by banging the pans on the counter to expedite the spreading because I don't have a lot of patience. I'm sure the lady downstairs wondered what in the world I was building up here.....I'm building a cake dang it!!!!  Everybody knows you have to make a little noise to create greatness. lol  Well maybe not greatness, but it is cool looking, isn't it? I don't know how many different stripes I did, I didn't count, I just kept going until the pan was half full of batter. It took around 45 minutes for the cakes to bake. When they came out of the pans, this is what they looked like....



They looked almost like a cinnamon rolls didn't they? Mmmmmmm, cinnamon rolls....

Since these didn't dome a whole bunch, I chose to just level off the bottom one. Also, in order to preserve the striped look as best I could, I put a thin layer of chocolate frosting between the layers which allowed me more frosting for the outside. I had planned on my chocolate frosting being a dark brown but as I was almost out of cocoa, I just rocked the light chocolate. If this was one I was making for sale, it would be a darker chocolate for sure as the color combo of dark chocolate and the peanut butter ganache would pop a lot better.  Anyway, after it was all frosted I popped it into the fridge to firm up the frosting for about 5 minutes while I made the ganache. Once the peanut butter ganache had cooled a bit I poured it over the top and allowed it to drip over the edges, then I took the remainder of the frosting and piped some swirls around the base and a few on the top. Once that was finished, I took a King Size package of Reece's Peanut Butter Cups and chopped them up and scattered them over the top.

So there you have it, easy right? You get a lot of wow for little effort.



Now it's your turn! Let your imagination run wild and come up with something that is totally you!

Tammy
Fluffybutt Cookies