Archive of ‘Desserts’ category

Mom’s Easy Chocolate Cake

When I was growing up, occasionally my Mom would sneak back into the kitchen after dinner (while we were watching TV or doing homework) and whip up a delicious chocolate cake from scratch for our family of 5 as a surprise.  We LOVED it! Today I want to share with you an old family favorite recipe for Mom’s Easy Chocolate Cake!Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Within a few minutes of the cake going into the oven, the smell coming out of our little kitchen would alert us to the surprise treat ahead for us! What a great memory!  We didn’t have a lot of money or a fancy home growing up, but my Mom sure could cook and make wonderful meals with items from our pantry.  I am grateful for the inspiration I have received from her, to this very day!

The cake is very simple to make… so is the easy frosting!  Instead of waiting for the cake to “cool down” after it was finished baking, Mom would poke holes in the cake when it came out of the oven, and pour/spread the creamy chocolate frosting all over the cake.  The frosting would drip down into the holes in the cake, so we had small tunnels of chocolate throughout our slices when we would eat it!  Oh boy… this is a GREAT tasting chocolate cake.  Here’s how to make it!

Cream together sugar, vegetable shortening and eggs, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat well for 2-3 minutes.

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add dry, sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients, along with 1 cup of buttermilk.  Once blended, slowly pour in 3/4 cup of boiling water, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Blend on low until batter is fully mixed together.  Pour batter into a greased and floured 9×13 baking pan, and distribute batter evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean..

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

While cake is baking, make up the frosting. Melt butter in saucepan on low heat.  Add cocoa powder and mix well with a spoon.  Add salt, vanilla, and milk; mix well.  Add powdered sugar. Mix until frosting is not too thick, but “pourable”. Add additional milk to thin… add additional powdered sugar to thicken, as needed.

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When cake is done, remove from oven.  Let cake rest for 2-3 minutes, then poke holes all over surface of cake every couple inches (I use a chopstick!).  Pour chocolate frosting over surface of cake, and spread to cover.

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
When finished, it should look like this.  The frosting will be fairly “fluid” since the cake is still hot, so continue to spread frosting over the holes as they “re-appear” (as the frosting oozes down into the cake, the holes on top surface will open up again).

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Let the frosting firm up and the cake cool down!  Once cake is at room temperature, you can slice and serve it up!  It’s as simple as that! (By the way… in this picture the frosting looks darker than in previous photo. Don’t know what’s up with that… it IS the very same cake!).

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I have such vivid memories of this classic treat from my childhood… must be where I got my love of cake, right?  Ha Ha!  Hope you will give this easy, simple and delicious recipe a try!  The cake and frosting taste fantastic!  Thanks, Mom!

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Recipe Source: My Mom

Mom's Easy Chocolate Cake
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Make this delicious chocolate cake and frosting from scratch in no time at all!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 9x13 cake
Ingredients
For Cake:
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup vegetable shortening
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
For Chocolate Frosting:
  • ¾ cube butter
  • 4 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 ounces powdered sugar (about ¾ of a one pound box)
  • ¼ to ½ cup milk (enough to make frosting pourable, but not too thin)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan.
To Prepare Cake:
  1. Cream together sugar, vegetable shortening and eggs, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer. Beat well for 2-3 minutes.
  2. In a separate large bowl, sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add dry, sifted ingredients to the wet ingredients, along with 1 cup of buttermilk, and mix well on LOW speed.
  3. Once blended, slowly pour in ¾ cup of boiling water, and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Blend on low until batter is fully mixed together. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9x13 baking pan, and distribute batter evenly.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean.
To Make Frosting:
  1. While cake is baking, make frosting. Melt butter in saucepan on low heat. Add cocoa powder and mix well with a spoon. Add salt, vanilla, and milk; mix well. Add powdered sugar. Mix until frosting is not too thick, but "pourable". Add additional milk to thin... add additional powdered sugar to thicken, as needed.
  2. When cake is done, remove from oven. Let rest for 2-3 minutes, then poke holes over surface of cake every couple inches (I use a chopstick!). Pour frosting over surface of cake, and spread to cover. Let cake cool to room temperature, then slice and serve!

 

 

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Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza

Wouldn’t it be fun to receive an absolutely delicious Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza for a birthday surprise? I think it’s even more fun to GIVE one as a birthday surprise!Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I made the giant cookie pictured above as a birthday gift for a friend, placed it inside a pizza box, and hand delivered it right to their front doorstep (no tipping of the delivery driver necessary)!  It was fun honoring them in a unique way on their special day.

The cookie itself is very easy to make, and is baked on a traditional 12 inch pizza pan. Once baked and cooled, the pizza is then drizzled decoratively with semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate for the finishing touch. It really couldn’t be simpler, and once it is delivered in a pizza box, becomes a unique treat for a special friend or family member.  The cookie can be sliced into pie shaped wedges with a pizza cutter. Just remember… if your friend decides to eat the WHOLE cookie themself, they’re going to need a HUGE glass of milk!

Hope you try this recipe. It’s a fun and creative way to make a dessert cookie that actually serves between 10 and 12 people!  Make it a special occasion to remember!

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2016/06/27/chocolate-chip-cookie-pizza/

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Pizza
 
Prep time
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Total time
 
Make a delicious, pizza sized chocolate chip cookie for a special gift for that special someone!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10-14 servings
Ingredients
For Cookie Dough
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup butter, room temp (1½ cubes)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed (light or dark brown sugar is okay)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For Decorative Drizzle:
  • ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable shortening, divided (1 for semi-sweet, 1 for white chocolate)
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
Directions
To Make Cookie:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a pizza pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt together. Set bowl aside.
  3. Cream butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium speed until well combined (about 2 minutes). Add egg; beat for 1 minute on high. Add vanilla extract, and beat well to combine.
  4. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Slowly mix on low until they are fully combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  5. Place the dough onto prepared pizza pan. Use a rubber spatula or your clean fingers to spread and flatten out the thick dough until the dough just about reaches the edges of pan.
  6. Bake cookie for 22-25 minutes. When done, the cookie should be lightly browned on top. If you want crispy edges on the cookie, let it bake a couple minutes longer. When done, remove pan to a wire rack and let cookie cool (still on the pan).
To Make Decorative Drizzle:
  1. Place semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips in two separate bowls. Add 1 teaspoon vegetable shortening to each bowl. Microwave each on high for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. If necessary, heat additional 15 seconds, then stir, until smooth. Do not over cook as the chocolate can burn. Drizzle the chocolate over the cooled cookie in a decorative pattern. Let chocolate firm up on pizza before wrapping as a gift or slicing. For packaging, place cookie on parchment paper (cut to fit) and place cookie "pizza" inside a clean pizza box.
Notes
Dough can be prepared ahead of time. Prepare dough as directed. Wrap dough in plastic wrap then cover with foil. May be stored 3 days in fridge or up to 3 months in freezer. If freezing, thaw dough in fridge before placing/spreading onto pizza pan.

 

 

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Butterscotch Chip Cookies

I recently experimented with a cookie recipe I found on Pinterest many months ago. These Butterscotch Chip Cookies were wonderful, especially with the addition of butterscotch chips to the recipe, which added even more flavor to these chewy, crispy, fabulous tasting treats!Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
These delicious cookies were so EASY to make, and they truly have a wonderful butterscotch flavor!  The recipe makes about 4½ dozen small cookies, but (as you will be able to see from my photos) I made them slightly larger than original recipe instructed, so my net yield was 28 cookies. Whether you choose to prepare large or small cookies, here’s how to make them:

Begin by browning the butter. To do this, place 1½ cubes of butter in a skillet. Melt butter using medium heat, until the butter melts, begins to bubble, froths up, then slightly browns (don’t let butter get too brown… just barely!). Once done, remove skillet from heat.

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add browned butter and brown sugar to a large mixer bowl. Beat these together on medium speed. Once mixed, let mixture sit for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally to let the mixture cool down a bit before adding other ingredients (don’t want mixture hot when you add eggs or they could begin to scramble… you really DON’T want that to happen, do you?).

Once mixture has cooled down a bit, add salt, eggs, and vanilla extract.  Mix well.

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

After this, STIR in the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Once mixed, add butterscotch chips and stir well to combine. Set aside.

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate small bowl, mix together brown sugar and granulated sugar, for topping.  Use a 1 Tablespoon sized scoop to scoop dough from bowl and roll dough between your clean hands to form a ball. (*Note: This is where I used a slightly larger scoop to make cookies larger. Process is still the same, though). Once dough is a ball, place it in brown sugar/granulated sugar topping. Roll dough around to cover completely with sugar topping.

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place topping covered balls of dough onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Keep the dough balls about 2 inches apart, as they spread a bit while baking. Bake cookies in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, remove baking sheet from oven. Let cookies rest for about a minute on baking sheet, then carefully remove cookies (with a spatula) to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Once cookies have cooled, they are good to go!  Enjoy the slight crunch on the outside!  I think they’re at their best once they have completely cooled (I know it’s hard to wait, but trust me on this!).  Once cooled, pile some on a plate, pour yourself a big old glass of milk… and dig in! They’re delicious!

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I hope you enjoy these wonderful cookies! My husband was unexpectedly rushed to the ER and hospitalized earlier this week, and making these cookies ( a couple for us to try, and the rest for friends) helped take my mind off of everything that happened. He is doing okay now, and we are very grateful to God for his recovery and the additional medical care he is receiving.

Have a blessed day. Be kind.

Butterscotch Chip Cookies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: http://www.shugarysweets.com/2011/09/butterscotch-cookies

Butterscotch Chip Cookies
 
Prep time
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Easy to make and delicious to eat, these crispy chewy cookies feature browned butter and butterscotch chips for a GREAT flavor!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 4½ dozen
Ingredients
For cookie dough:
  • 1½ cubes butter (12 Tablespoons)
  • 1¾ cups brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
For topping:
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
Directions
  1. Place 1½ cubes of butter in a skillet. Melt butter on medium heat, until butter melts, begins to bubble, froths up, then slightly browns. Once done, remove skillet from heat.
  2. Add browned butter and brown sugar to large mixer bowl. Beat together on medium speed. Once mixed, let mixture sit for a couple minutes, stirring occasionally to let mixture cool down slightly, before adding other ingredients.
  3. Once cooled down a bit, add salt, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix well.
  4. STIR in flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Once mixed, add butterscotch chips; stir well to combine. Set aside.
  5. In a separate small bowl, mix brown sugar and granulated sugar for topping. Use a 1 Tablespoon sized scoop to scoop dough from bowl and roll dough between your clean hands to form a ball. (*Note: This is where I used a slightly larger scoop to make cookies larger. Process is still the same, though). Once dough is a ball, place it in brown sugar/granulated sugar topping. Roll dough around to cover completely with sugar topping.
  6. Place dough balls onto parchment paper lined baking sheets. Keep dough balls about 2 inches apart, as they spread a bit while baking. Bake cookies in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove baking sheet from oven; let cookies cool for a minute, then remove cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

 

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies are a fun little snack during the holidays… or anytime, for that matter. Perfect for snacking OR giving to friends as a food gift… they are sure to make someone smile!Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I love these decadent little snacks… with a crunch and the taste of chocolate and peanut butter, they are perfect for serving at a party, or sitting in front of the TV watching a football game!  Best part… they are so easy to make! Here’s how:

Measure out the Chex cereal into a LARGE bowl. I used corn and rice for this recipe.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Melt chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter in a microwavable bowl on High for 1 minute. Remove and stir until creamy smooth. If necessary, microwave an additional 15 seconds, then stir until smooth. Do NOT overcook or chocolate will burn. Mine was smooth after first minute of cooking and stirring well.  Once totally smooth, add the vanilla extract. Stir.  Pour the chocolate mixture over the cereal. Stir well, to fully coat all the cereal.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Once all cereal has been coated with chocolate, place HALF the mixture into a separate clean LARGE bowl.  Add HALF the powdered sugar, and stir to fully coat.  When done, remove cereal to wax paper. Repeat process with other half of cereal and powdered sugar.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spread coated cereal out on wax paper and let cool completely.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Store Muddy Buddies in an airtight covered container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.  Try to stay out of them, cause they are ADDICTING!  It’s also fun to divide the mix up into fancy covered containers or jars and give this simple gift to friends over the holidays.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

If you’re looking for another recipe using Chex cereal I hope you will check out my Chex Mix Munchies!  They are another great snack, made in the microwave!

Have a wonderful day! I sincerely hope you can find time during this busy time of year to quietly reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. You are deeply loved by the One who created you, and sent His only Son to earth that first Christmas to draw us all back to Him.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From: The cookbook titled : “Betty Crocker Christmas Cookbook”, Page 278, Wiley Publishing, Inc., Copyright 2010, General Mills.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Muddy Buddies
 
Prep time
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You and your family will love these powdered sugar dusted chocolate and peanut butter crispy snacks!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Snack
Serves: 9 cups
Ingredients
  • 9 cups Chex cereal (any variety- I used half corn and half rice)
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
Directions
  1. Place the cereal into a large bowl. Set the bowl aside.
  2. Place the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter into a microwaveable bowl. Cook this uncovered on the HIGH setting for 1 minute. Remove from microwave, and stir well. It is ready when all ingredients become smooth. If necessary, place back in microwave for15 additional seconds, then stir again until mixture is smooth.
  3. Stir vanilla extract into melted chocolate peanut butter mixture. Pour this mixture over the cereal. Stir well, until all is coated with chocolate. Once coated, pour HALF the cereal into a separate large clean bowl. Add HALF the powdered sugar. Stir well, until completely coated.
  4. Remove powdered sugar coated cereal to wax paper. Repeat process with other half of cereal and powdered sugar. Spread finished cereal on wax paper, until cool. This is the method I used.
  5. (Note: If desired, you can place all the cereal and powdered sugar in a 2 gallon plastic storage bag, and shake until covered).
  6. Store muddy buddies in a sealed, airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks

 

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Gingerbread Bundt Cakes With Cinnamon Icing

A few years ago I enjoyed making this recipe for miniature Gingerbread Cakes With Cinnamon Icing to give to our neighbors and friends. Using miniature bundt pans (preferably a 12 cup pan), I was able to make two dozen of these delicious food gifts to give away!Gingerbread Bundt Cakes With Cinnamon Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
The recipe is simple to prepare, and as written, makes approximately 24 cute, mini bundt cakes.  Each individual sized gingerbread-flavored cake was covered with a delicious creamy Cinnamon icing (or glaze), drizzled with chocolate (to “fancy” them up), then garnished with a whole pecan and a mint sprig from my garden. When I made these, I doubled the amount of cinnamon icing, kept it fairly thick and covered more of the top of each cake.

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes With Cinnamon Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

I decided to leave the cinnamon icing off of several of the finished cakes, and chose, instead,  to cover the tops with whipped cream and a light dusting of cinnamon. They were delicious served this way, as well.

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes With Cinnamon Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

It was fun to wrap up each individual cake (the ones with the cinnamon icing) and decorate them with pretty Fall leaves and ribbon. They were a nice gift to be able to share (from my kitchen) with our friends and neighbors.  The cake itself tastes wonderful… packed with gingerbread flavor!  Sure hope you will consider making these little edible gifts for those you love!  They would be perfect for the holidays!

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes With Cinnamon Icing / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Adapted From:  http://thesepeasarehollow.blogspot.com/2010/10/gingerbread-bundts.html

Gingerbread Bundt Cakes With Cinnamon Icing
 
Prep time
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Miniature gingerbread bundt cakes with cinnamon icing is a perfect gift to give to friends and family during the holidays!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24 mini cakes
Ingredients
For Gingerbread Cakes:
  • 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ salt
  • ½ teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 cube unsalted butter (melted, then brought to room temp.)
  • ¾ cup dark molasses
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg (large)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup milk
For Cinnamon Glaze:
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 6-8 Tablespoons milk (depends on how thick or thin you want icing!)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • (OPTIONAL) Melted chocolate for drizzle, whole pecans and/or mint sprigs for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour the miniature bundt pan cups.
  2. Place flour, baking soda, salt, allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cocoa powder, cinnamon and ginger in a medium sized bowl. Whisk together until combined.
  3. Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, combine molasses, granulated sugar and melted (but at room temperature) butter until blended well. Add the egg to this mixture, and continue beating until ingredients are completely combined.
  4. Slowly pour in the buttermilk, followed by the milk, beating slowly as you add, until ingredients are combined. Add the dry ingredients from the medium bowl (flour, spices, etc.) in small increments to the wet ingredients in mixing bowl, beating well after each addition. Be sure to scrape down the sides of bowl as you go. Stop mixing when ingredients have all been added and are just incorporated into batter.
  5. Pour or spoon batter into each prepared bundt pan cup, filling each to ¾ of the way full. Smooth the top of the batter. Bake at 350 degrees, with the pan on the middle rack of oven, for approx. 30 minutes, OR until a toothpick that is inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove pan to a wire rack. Let cakes cool for 15-20 minutes, then remove cakes from pan to wire rack.
  6. To prepare icing: Place the powdered sugar, cinnamon and milk in medium sized bowl. Mix well with a fork until smooth. Too thin? Add powdered sugar. Too thick? Add milk. Pour or spread icing over tops of each cooled cake. Let icing firm up before serving.
  7. If desired, drizzle melted chocolate over each cake. Garnish with a whole pecan or walnut, then add a sprig of mint for a festive garnish. Let chocolate firm up before serving or wrapping. Enjoy!

 

 

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How To Make Ahead and Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings

I am grateful I was shown how to make ahead and pre-freeze pie fillings. Have you ever done this before? If you haven’t… it’s a real time saver, especially if you have lots of fruit pies to prepare!How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
This tip works on just about all fruit pies… simply prepare the pie filling according to your recipe’s instructions. Here is a photo of peach pie filling, for example.

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Cover a standard sized pie dish with several layers of plastic wrap, making sure to let the edges extend about 4-5 inches over the rim of the pie plate on all sides.

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour the pie filling into the prepared pie dish, and evenly distribute ingredients.  Bring in all the sides of the plastic wrap, to completely cover the pie filling.

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Now wrap the pie filling (pie dish included) in aluminum foil. Cover completely.  Place pie plate into freezer, and let the filling completely freeze (overnight is best!).

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Remove pie plate after filling is solidly frozen. Re-cover pie filling with aluminum foil, label, and freeze until ready to bake pie.

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks! How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When ready to bake pie, remove aluminum foil and plastic wrap from pie filling. Place frozen pie filling, unthawed, into an unbaked pie crust (using same pie plate the filling was frozen in).  If using a double crust, place additional pie dough on top of frozen filling, and crimp edges to form crust. Make small slits on top of pie to let steam release.  Pie can go into the oven frozen.

Bake at temperature given for the recipe you are using, but remember you will need to bake pie longer (on average 25-35 minutes longer), because the pie filling is frozen. To make sure pie is fully baked, look for slow bubbling juices to come to the top of the crust without bursting. That is a good sign the inside is fully cooked through.  If crust begins to brown too much, simply add aluminum foil strips over the crimped crust edges.

When done, remove and let pie cool slightly before serving.  That’s it! This is a convenient way to get pies ready ahead of time, to save you precious minutes (especially around the holidays) when there are a bazillion other things to do.

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Hope you will give this handy tip a try! It really can be a real time-saver!  Blessings…

How To Make Ahead And Pre-Freeze Pie Fillings / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

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Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Our family recently gobbled up some of the most wonderful gingerbread with cream cheese icing I’ve ever made! It’s a knockoff recipe called Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe), because it tastes as good (or better) than the kind available at our local “famous” coffee spot.Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)
The gingerbread loaf is flavor-filled with lots of aromatic spices associated with Fall… cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger, and is a very moist cake… definitely NOT dry! Perfect for a late afternoon snack, or a quick breakfast with a great cup of coffee or tea! My family thought it was absolutely fantastic (and it did not last long around our home, at all).

Here’s how you make it:  First preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a 9×5 inch bread loaf pan by spraying it with non-stick spray. If you want you can line the loaf pan with parchment paper (I did this), leaving some of the paper well extended over the rim of the pan, so that you can easily lift the entire loaf out of the pan once cooled. Set pan aside.

Cream the room temperature butter and granulated sugar until it is fully combined. Add the vanilla and a room temperature egg. Beat the ingredients well until fully incorporated.

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Add apple butter to the batter and mix well, to combine. I was fortunate to have some home canned Apple Butter available in our pantry, but you can substitute applesauce for the apple butter, if desired. (The blogger I got the recipe from used a 15 ounce can pears, drained them and pureed them… another substitute).

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Sift all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the batter, mixing well to combine.

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Once batter is fully mixed together, evenly spread the batter out in your prepared loaf pan. Place in preheated oven and bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55 minutes (or until you insert a toothpick into the top/middle part of the loaf and it comes out clean. I checked mine at about 50 minutes to make sure I didn’t overbake it… that is my recommendation for you, as well.  When gingerbread is done, remove pan to a wire rack to cool. Once cool, lift loaf out of the pan using the extended edges of the parchment paper.

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

While gingerbread is baking, beat together 8 ounces of room temperature cream cheese (trust me, it will blend much smoother if it’s at room temp), powdered sugar and vanilla, until icing is smooth and creamy, with no lumps. A bit too thick? Add a drop or two of water. Too thin? A bit more powdered sugar.

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Once the gingerbread has completely cooled, frost the top (and let it slightly run over the edges) of the gingerbread. You will end up with a LOT of frosting, which makes for a thick, creamy and amazing topping for the gingerbread, but for goodness sake… if you don’t want that much (but it’s soooo good!), just cut the icing quantities in half. Lightly dust the icing with ground nutmeg.

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Once the icing has had a chance to slightly firm up, slice yourself a piece, take a big old bite… and ENJOY! It tastes TERRIFIC (and a whole loaf with 8 slices can be made for a fraction of the cost of buying 8 pieces of this loaf at that “you-know-where” coffee spot!

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Sure hope you will try this recipe. I’m going to make it again around Christmas time… can’t wait!  Have a wonderful day!

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)

Recipe Source: http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/copycat-starbucks-gingerbread/

Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)
 
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A delicious copycat recipe of "that famous coffee place's" much loved Gingerbread loaf.
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Starbucks Gingerbread (Copycat Recipe)
Serves: 8 slices
Ingredients
For The Gingerbread Loaf:
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 cup apple butter (can substitute applesauce or pear purée)
  • 1½ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
For Cream Cheese Icing:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ - 3 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
Directions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare a 9x5 inch bread loaf pan (Spray with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper with paper extending well past the rim of loaf pan for ease in lifting loaf out of pan once cool).
  2. Beat the butter and granulated sugar until completely mixed. Add vanilla and egg; beat well until batter is smooth and light. Add apple butter (or applesauce/pear puree). Blend well.
  3. In separate bowl, sift together the all purpose flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, a little at a time, mixing as you add. Once batter is fully mixed, evenly distribute it into the prepared loaf pan.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 55 minutes. Check it at 50 minutes by inserting a toothpick into the top/middle of the loaf. If the toothpick comes out clean, the gingerbread is done. Once done, remove pan to a wire rack to cool completely before lifting the loaf from the pan.
  5. Prepare the icing while gingerbread is baking by using electric mixer and blending room temperature cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla into a creamy, no lumps, thick icing.
  6. Once gingerbread has completely cooled, spread icing completely over the top (and let some run off the sides). Dust the icing with a small amount of ground nutmeg. Let icing firm up just a bit, then cut a piece, serve, and enjoy!
Notes
Note on Pear Purée: The original author of the recipe says she substituted a 15 ounce can of pears for the apple butter. She drained, then processed pears in food processor or blender until smooth.

 

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Poppyseed Cake

Want a fabulous tasting cake recipe that only has a few ingredients, takes 5 minutes to throw together, and can be served as dessert OR coffeecake? Well if you do, then this Poppyseed Cake is perfect for you!Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I found the recipe for this cake in my Mom’s trusty recipe box over 35 years ago and wrote it out on a little 3×5 index card. It looked easy to prepare (it was), and turned out fantastic the very first time I made it, so I’ve been making it ever since! It is totally EASY, EASY, EASY, and tastes amazing, due to the subtle flavor imparted into a simple boxed yellow cake mix by a couple additional ingredients like poppyseeds and cooking sherry!

The recipe literally can be in the oven in about 5 minutes! Here’s how you make this:  Combine cake mix, oil, cooking sherry, eggs and poppyseeds in a large bowl. Mix well for 4-5 minutes.

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Pour batter into a very well-greased bundt pan. Make sure batter is evenly distributed.  Bake cake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When cake is done, remove pan to a wire rack to completely cool cake.  Once cake has cooled completely, place a large plate on top of the bundt pan, and holding both bundt pan and plate securely, flip the cake upside down, inverting the cake onto the plate.  If you greased the pan really well, it should come right out onto the plate.  Once onto plate, carefully turn the cake over again so it is right side up on a serving platter.

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Decorating the cake with an icing drizzle is completely optional (cake tastes great all by itself), but icing adds a nice fancy touch, and a little sweetness.  In a small bowl, mix together the icing ingredients until you have an icing that can be decoratively drizzled over the surface of the cake. Let icing firm up completely, once you’ve drizzled it onto cake.

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Slice and serve! If serving as a dessert, a simple scoop of ice cream is a perfect accompaniment.  If serving as a breakfast or snack coffeecake, it tastes great with a good cup of coffee or tea!

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The flavor is wonderful, and the cake is not dry!  Sure hope you will consider making this Poppyseed Cake (hint, hint… it’s also a wonderful addition to any brunch table, too!)

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Thanks for taking time out of your day to give this recipe a “look”. I’m sure glad I found it in my Mom’s old recipe box so long ago.  I don’t have a clue who the original author was, but I am thankful for the recipe, as I’ve made this cake many, many times over the past 35 years! Have a wonderful day. 

Poppyseed Cake / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source:  My Mom (years and years ago)

Poppyseed Cake
 
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This delicious cake only takes 5 minutes prep, using a boxed yellow cake mix!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert or Coffeecake
Serves: 12 servings
Ingredients
For cake:
  • 1 box yellow cake mix (get the kind that says "with pudding")
  • ¾ cup cooking sherry
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup poppyseeds
For Icing:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • a few sprinkles water at a time (until icing becomes a "drizzling" consistency)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a bundt pan very well. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix cake ingredients for 5 minutes (boxed yellow cake mix, cooking sherry, oil, eggs and poppyseeds). Pour batter evenly into greased/floured cake pan. Bake cake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove pan to wire rack to cool.
  3. While cake is cooling, mix up icing ingredients in small bowl. Add sprinkles of water until icing is thick enough to drizzle over top of finished cake. (Too thick... add couple drops water. Too thin... add more powdered sugar).
  4. Once cake has completely cooled, invert a plate over top of bundt pan, and holding both plate and bundt pan securely, flip the cake over. Once cake is on plate, carefully turn it over once more on serving platter so the right side is facing up. Decoratively drizzle the icing over top of cake. Let icing firm up, then serve and enjoy this tasty cake for dessert (with a scoop of ice cream) or as a coffeecake for breakfast!
Notes
The baking time indicated is designed for a bundt pan. If using a standard sized cake pan, your cooking time will need to be adjusted slightly.

 

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Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp

I love fresh juicy peaches in the Summer… right off the tree, and ready to eat just the way they are (with juice running down your arms), OR to be transformed into other delicious dishes… like this Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp, for example!Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
I pick peaches every summer at a local U-Pick farm about 15 minutes from our home. Once I get home with my 25-30 pounds of fresh peaches, the race against the clock begins!!! I have a few days to do LOTS of things with these beauties… I can peaches, make peach jam,  peach pies, peach ice cream, and Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp! It often seems like a PEACH FACTORY in our kitchen! It’s a wonder I don’t turn into a peach!

Old Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
Here’s how I make Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp! It’s EASY and DELICIOUS! Please note that I made individual sized servings, but the recipe works just as well if you make it in a large baking dish, too!

First, peel and thinly slice fresh peaches. Try hard not to eat them all… this is important!

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Light coat the bottom of baking dish (or dishes) with non-stick spray. Evenly divide the fresh sliced peaches between serving dishes (if making individual sized).

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients, then cut in COLD butter, using a pastry blender, until mixture is about the size of peas.

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Spoon the crumb topping over each dish to cover (or over the entire surface if using a single baking dish).

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Place the dish(es) into 375 degree preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes. Crumb topping will be browned and edges will be bubbly (from all those delicious peach juices). TIP: I find it helpful to place a large sheet of aluminum foil on the rack below the dishes before cooking, to catch any juices that try to escape (less mess if juice bubbles out and over the edge of individual dishes).

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, remove dish(es) to a wire rack and let cool slightly before serving.

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

See that gorgeous peach goodness on the bottom of the dish? Oh yum.

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

All that’s left to do to make these ABSOLUTELY PERFECT is to top them with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream, serve while warm, and enjoy!

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
If you enjoy peach recipes, perhaps you would be interested in my recipes for Peach Shortbread Tart, Peach Pie, Peach Turnovers, or Homemade Peach Ice Cream!

Hope you will consider making this delicious old-fashioned dessert while peaches are in season! You just can’t beat the classic flavor! Grab a spoon, put on some stretchy pants, plop down on the couch,  and enjoy this treat. You can start your diet tomorrow… ha ha!

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Adapted From:  “The New Pillsbury Family Cookbook”, Published 1973 by The Pillsbury Company, page 131.

Old-Fashioned Peach Crisp
 
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Is there anything better than a streusel topped, juicy fruit crisp using fresh seasonal fruit? This peach crisp is no exception!
As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 6 cups fresh, peeled and sliced peaches
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup + 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour (unsifted)
  • ½ cup rolled oats (old fashioned, NOT instant)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup COLD butter
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray the bottom of individual baking dishes or a 9 inch square or 10x6 baking dish with non-stick spray.
  2. Sprinkle peach slices with lemon juice. Stir to combine. Place peaches onto bottom of baking dish (if using individual dishes, divide evenly).
  3. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, rolled oats and cinnamon. Cut the COLD butter into chunks and add to dry ingredients. Cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender until butter is size of peas. (Can also mix dry ingredients with cold butter and pulse in a food processor).
  4. Sprinkle crumb topping over sliced peaches, to cover.
  5. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for approximately 35-40 minutes, until topping is browned and juices are bubbly around edges.
  6. Remove from oven to wire rack; let cool slightly, serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and enjoy!

 

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Blackberry Pie Bars

It’s THAT time of the summer when fresh berries are making their annual appearance all around the Pacific Northwest. The other day I picked 4 quarts of fresh blackberries that were growing wild in our neighborhood, and made these fantastic tasting Blackberry Pie Bars!Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
It’s so nice to pick wild blackberries (for FREE), and then use them to create a special “something” that my husband and I can enjoy AND I can give to others. This recipe makes 24 bars, so I kept a few for us, then gave away 2 big plates of them to our sons and another friend. The Blackberry Pie Bars are delicious; they do taste like you’re eating a piece of pie!

Here’s how easy they are to make:

Place flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest into a food processor. Pulse these together a couple times to mix. *Don’t have a food processor? No problem… just use a hand held pastry blender.

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Add egg, butter, and vanilla extract to the mixture. Pulse again until the mixture is crumbly (and the butter is in small pieces).

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Put half of the crumbly dough into a prepared 13×9 inch pan. (either sprayed with non-stick spray, OR in a 13×9 pan that is covered with parchment paper with paper hanging over the edges-this is what I do, and it makes lifting the entire pan of bars out very easy, once cooled!)  Pack down the crumbs with your hands, until it forms a solid crust.

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Add the fresh blackberries, and stir gently until the berries are coated.

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Evenly spoon out the blackberry mixture over the crust.

Blackbery Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Sprinkle the remaining half of the crumb mixture over the top of the berries, to cover.  Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes, or until the crumb topping is lightly browned.

Blackbery Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

When done, remove pan from oven. Let bars col completely in pan. Once cool, if using the parchment paper method, carefully lift out the entire pan of bars, and pull paper away from the sides of the dessert. (If not using parchment paper, let cool completely, then cut).

Blackbery Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

The best way I have found to make even cuts is by using my pizza cutter! I make 4 cuts lengthwise, then make 6 cuts the other direction, for a total of 24 bars.

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Here… I saved one for YOU! Go ahead… you KNOW you want a bite, right?  You’re welcome! Sure hope you enjoy every bite of it!

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Have a great day!  Think of ways you could bring joy or encouragement into someone’s life today… and be intentional about considering just how much you and I have to be grateful for.

Blackberry Pie Bars / The Grateful Girl Cooks!

Recipe Source: http://www.thenovicechefblog.com/2013/07/blackberry-pie-bars/

Blackberry Pie Bars
 
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As Prepared By:
Recipe type: Bar Cookies
Serves: 24 bars
Ingredients
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon (divided)
  • 1 cup (2 cubes) cold butter (cut into 1 inch slices)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 cups fresh blackberries
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
Directions
  1. Before beginning, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper and spray the bottom. Make sure to leave parchment paper extended over the edges, so you can lift out the entire pan of bars once cooled. (If not using parchment paper, simply spray baking pan with non-stick spray).
  2. Place flour, 1 CUP of the sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest into a food processor. Pulse a couple times to mix. Add egg, butter, and vanilla extract. Pulse the mixture until dough gets crumbly (and butter is size of small peas).
  3. Put HALF of the dough mixture into the baking pan. Pat down with fingers to form a solid crust. Set aside the rest of the mixture to use for the crumb topping.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, combine the rest of the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Add the blackberries, and stir gently to fully coat berries. Spoon the blackberries over the crust in the pan. Sprinkle the remaining crumb mixture over the top of the berries.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes (or until the topping is golden brown). Remove to a wire rack. COOL COMPLETELY before lifting the bar cookies out of the pan (using the parchment paper).
  6. Cut into serving sizes. (It is easy to cut into bars if you use a pizza cutter!) Enjoy!
Notes
I cut the bars lengthwise into 4 sections, then cut 6 pieces in each section, for a total of 24 bars (each about 2 inches)

 

 

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