Monday, January 15, 2018

MILE HIGH COCONUT CAKE

It has really been hard for me to get back into the "swing" of things since we got back from Tennessee the first of November. At first we were involved in remodeling the hall bathroom. That kept me from decorating for Christmas (too much dust everywhere). We celebrated Christmas with our younger son and his family and friends at their house before Christmas (instead of at our house) and then went to CO to have Christmas with our older son and his family the day after Christmas. I just couldn't get excited decorating for a week. Besides we had plenty of Christmas while in Tennessee with Dollywood and then the Biltmore Mansion in North Carolina so it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be not decorating. 

While in CO, my cousin who is like a sister to me, notified me that her daddy had died. While it was a blessing since he had suffered with Alzheimer for about four years, it is still a difficult time for everyone. So when we left CO, instead of coming back to KC, we headed southeast to southeast Arkansas and northeast Louisiana for his services. 

Since we have been back in MO, I have been bothered by something. I don't really know what to call it. It is like allergies but I don't usually have problems with allergies in the winter. I have tried two different allergy medications. They both sorta worked for the first two days, but then the next two days it was like I wasn't taking anything. My only cough is from the post nasal drip.  

The days since we got back that were warmer, unfortunately I didn't feel like doing much and now it is so cold and snowy. I am tired of staying inside. At least Saturday I had a good reason to go out and it felt so good.

When we were choosing dates to hostess for this year's Tasty Bunch, I chose January for one of our dates because I felt we would be here for sure then. My husband has decided he wants to escape this cold for part of winter (we are nowhere near "snowbirds" as some of our friends are) and I figured that would be in February. Saturday was our gathering.

I spent much of the day doing last minute house cleaning, BUT also making the dessert I would serve. I couldn't get inspired as to what to make so my husband decided to convince me to make a coconut cake. I had to spend a little time trying to find a recipe I had discovered weeks ago and then a little more time looking for another one when I found it and wasn't totally happy with it. As it turned out I sorta took two different recipes and came up with this coconut cake. I had to call it Mile High Coconut Cake because it was so tall. I couldn't even fit my glass cake cover over it after I was done.

I managed to get "rid" of half of it with the six of us in attendance. Unfortunately the boys next door do not like coconut.(My depression isn't being helped by the news that the boys next door are moving out by the end of the month. The people who own the house are getting a divorce and are either wanting to sell the house or maybe one of them will be moving in. Either way we are not happy about this at all!) Hopefully I can get inspired to take a piece over to Friend Fran. (She has been dealing with bronchitis for over a week.) Don't get me wrong. It is super delicious. I just don't need to eat all that sugar. It has a little more than I am used to using in desserts. I did cut down on the sugar by reducing the amount in the cake and used unsweetened coconut in the cake, but didn't in the frosting and then used sweetened coconut on top.


MILE HIGH COCONUT CAKE

1       cup butter, softened
1-3/4 cup sugar
5       eggs
2-1/2 cups flour
1       teaspoon baking powder
1       teaspoon baking soda
1/4    teaspoon salt
1       cup buttermilk
1       cup grated coconut (I used unsweetened coconut)
1/2    teaspoon butter extract
1/2    teaspoon coconut flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 8 - inch round cake pans.

Cream butter;
gradually add sugar,
beat well at medium speed of an electric mixer. (Make sure you scrape the sides of the bowl often.)
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.


Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt using a whisk. Add to creamed mixture alternately with the buttermilk,
beginning and ending with the flour mixture.
Mix after each addition.
Stir in coconut and flavorings.


Pour batter evenly between the three pans making sure the batter is level in the pans.

Bake for about 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center.

Let cool in pans for 10 minutes on a wire rack.
Remove from pans and finish cooling on wire rack.







Frost cake with frosting and sprinkle coconut on top and sides. (I did not put coconut between layers since there was coconut in the cake.)


FROSTING

4         egg whites (save the yolks for something else)
1-1/2   cups sugar
4         tablespoons cold water
1/2      teaspoon cream of tartar
1/2      teaspoon coconut flavoring

Combine the egg whites, sugar, cold water, cream of tartar (and coconut flavoring) in the top of a double boiler.

Heat a little water in the bottom pot to just simmering.
Place the top boiler on top and beat with an electric mixer on low speed 3 to 4 minutes, or until fluffy. (I stopped after 3 minutes.

Increase speed to medium high speed and beat for 6 or 7 minutes, or until very thick meringue forms. (I stopped after 6 minutes.)

Remove from heat and add flavoring (if you already haven't done so as I did) and beat for about 3 more minutes, or until peaks hold their shape.

Layer and
cover the cake with the frosting.


Sprinkle the coconut on top of the cake and then lightly press the coconut against the sides.


Allow the cake to set after it is frosted for at least 2 hours  before serving. 



Friday, January 12, 2018

SAUSAGE PANCAKES w/ APPLE SAUCE

I saw this recipe for Sausage Pancakes in the morning (before I had breakfast) and thought they sounded so good. The problem though was I didn't have any bulk sausage. Not to let that get in my way of making them (and enjoying them), I told my husband we were having "breakfast for supper" that night. (We do that often.)

So later in the day, I went to the grocery store and bought some bulk sausage. They only had mild so that is what I bought. I do think hot sausage would have given them more taste, but they were good anyway. Especially since we were able to enjoy them several days. We just placed one in the toaster and that heated it up. Since I ran out of the Apple Sauce, I just spread some of my homemade peach jam on it, and that was perfect.



SAUSAGE PANCAKES

1/2       lb. pork sausage meat
1-1/2    cups flour
2          teaspoons baking powder
1/2       teaspoon salt
1          tablespoon sugar
1          egg, beaten
1-1/4    cups milk
3          tablespoons sausage drippings (or oil)


Brown sausage well and
drain on a paper towel. Set aside.


Sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.


Add sausage meat and
mix lightly.


Beat egg in another bowl.
Add milk and drippings/oil. (I didn't have any drippings after cooking the sausage so I just added oil.)


Pour egg/milk mixture into the flour/sausage mixture and
stir only until the flour is moistened.


Bake on a hot griddle or skillet. (I used an ice cream scoop to dip out the batter.)


I cooked them 3 minutes on the first side (bubbles appear on pancake),
flipped them and cooked another 2 minutes.









I made 10 pancakes.

Serve with Apple Syrup.



Apple Syrup

1       cup diced apples
1/4    cup maple-flavored syrup
1/2    cup water
1/4    teaspoon cinnamon
1       tablespoon lemon juice


Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and
heat to boiling.
Reduce heat and simmer until apples are transparent, about 10 minutes, stirring.
Makes 1 cup syrup.










Virginia A. Godwin, Rochester, Mich - The Readers of Women's Circle

Thursday, January 11, 2018

APPLE SLAB PIE

Friend Julie (and hubby Jerry) treated the Tasty Bunch to this delicious Apple Slab Pie last month when we met for our November gathering. (Yes, it was our November gathering. I apologize for not sharing this sooner. It definitely deserved better treatment on my part.)

It does make a large "pie" (10 x 15 - inch pan), so plan to serve it when you are a entertaining a large group. They will be impressed and ask for the recipe, for sure.



APPLE SLAB PIE

Crust:

2         boxes refrigerated pie crust (4 pie crusts)

Filling:

10       cups peeled and chopped apples
2/3      cup sugar
1/4      cup flour
1         teaspoon vanilla extract
1-1/2   teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4      teaspoon ground cloves
1/4      teaspoon ground nutmeg

Glaze:

3/4      cup powdered sugar, sifted
2         tablespoon pure maple syrup
enough milk or heavy cream to thin (a couple teaspoons)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Remove pie crusts from pouches. On a lightly floured surface, unroll two of the crusts and stack them. Roll them with a rolling pin to a 12 x 17 - inch rectangle.

Fit crust into an ungreased 10 x 15 x 1 - inch jelly roll pan, pressing the crust into the corners. Fold the edges of the crust even with the edges of the pan. 

Mix all of the ingredients for the filling together in a large bowl.

Spread the filling evenly on top of the crust in the pan.

Roll out the other two pie crusts as you did the first two and carefully place over the pie filling in the pan.

Seal the edges together around the rim. Cut slits in the top crust and brush with a thin coating of egg wash. Sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.

Bake for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Remove from oven and cool completely on wire rack.

Before serving, whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the pie.


Cut into squares to serve.

 Can serve alone....















or with a scoop of ice cream...









Store any leftovers covered in the refrigerator.