Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mile High Strawberry Pie

What a great Spring Dessert!! This is like an angel food cake of pies, on the chiffon end. You can also use raspberries, instead of the starwberries. Although this calls for a regular pie crust, I also like to make it in a graham cracker crust. Both work well. this recipe comes from "The Fannie Farmer Baking Book" which I have had for many,many years but a wonderful cookbook!

  • Basic dough for 9 inch crust(See my dough recipe) or a 9 inch graham cracker crust

  • 5 Egg Whites from large eggs

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • One 10 ounce package frozen strawberries, thawed(Can substitute 1 10 ounce pkg. of frozen raspberries)

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream, chilled and whipped

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped

  • A strawberry or 2 for garnish

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a 9 inch pie pan with crust. Prick all over with a fork, then press a piece of heavy duty foil snugly into the pie shell. Bake for 6 minutes, remove the foil, and bake for about 10 minutes more, until light brown, dry and crisp. Put the egg whites in a large bowl(preferably metal) and beat until soft peaks form(heads kind of droop when you pull beaters up). Add the sugar gradually, and continue beating, until the whites stand in firm peaks. Beat in the strawberries and their juice, and continue beating until the mixture is thick,fluffy and stands in soft peaks that droop slightly when the beater is lifted. Fold in the whipped cream and pile into the prepared pie shell. Chill for several hours before serving. Top with additional whipped cream in center and garnish with a strawberry or two. Yummy!!

Angel Biscuits

This is a fabulous yeast biscuit that comes from the October 1998 issue of "Cooking Light". It was submitted by Linda Turner from Springfield, Missouri where I hail from originally. Many of my recipes will come from this area of the country, where there are lots of good cooks! One of my grandmothers came from a large farm family and the women were all wonderful cooks!!
  • 1 package dry yeast(about 2 14 teaspoons)
  • 1/2 cup warm water)100-110 degrees)
  • 5 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached, King Arthur or Pillsbury)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (See homemade recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable shortening
  • 2 cups low fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted

Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup warm water in a small bowl, and let it stand for 5 minutes. Lightly spoon flour into measuring cup, level with a knife. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients(thru salt), in a large bowl. Cut in shortening with a pastry or Granny fork until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add yeast mixture and buttermilk to flour mixture, stir until just moist. Cover and chill 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450 degrees(I prefer 425 degrees). Turn dough out on lightly floured surface and knead 5 times. Roll dough out to 1/2 inch thickness and cut biscuits out with a 2 1/2 inch cutter. ALWAYS CUT STRAIGHT DOWN AND DO NOT TWIST CUTTER, AS THIS WILL SEAL THE EDGES AND THE BISCUIT WILL NOT RISE PROPERLY. Place biscuits on cooking sheet coated with cooking spray. Brush the tops of biscuits with melted butter. Bake at 450 degrees for 12 minutes or until golden brown. Makes 2 dozen biscuits.

Cream Biscuits

This biscuit recipe comes from "Bon Appetit" Magazine and is very rich and good. It uses both cream and half and half. these biscuit can be made up to 4 hours ahead and then rewarmed on cookie sheet, in a 375 degree oven for 5 minutes.
  • 4 1/2 cups unbleached flour(I prefer King Arthur or Pillsbury)
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder (see recipe for homemade at bottom)
  • 1 Tablespoon coarse Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cups(1 1/2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup Half and half

Preheat oven to 450 degrees(I prefer 425 degrees in my oven). Combine flour,baking powder and salt in a large bowl and stir to mix. Add butter cubes and rub in with fingertips until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add cream and half and half and stir with fork just untilmixture is moistened and begins to clump together.Turn dough out on floured surface and knead gently, just until dough holds together about 6-8 kneads. Roll into a circle 1/2 inch thick and cut with 2 1/2 inch cutter, dipped in flour. ALWAYS CUT STRAIGHT DOWN AND DO NOT TWIST CUTEER AS THIS SEALS THE EDGES OF THE BISCUIT, AND IT WILL NOT RISE PROPERLY. Place biscuits on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 14 minutes. If baking both sheets at once, trade racks half way thru so biscuits don't get too done on top or bottom. Biscuits should be light golden brown. this recipe can be down in a food processor but be very careful not over process!!! Use a light hand on the button!! Makes about 2 dozen (Can cut recipe in half)

HOMEMADE BAKING POWDER Why homemade?! Because it does not contain the chemicals and preservatives that go into commercial baking powder!! - Sift 1/4 cup cream of tartar and 2 Tablespoons baking soda, 3 times into a small bowl. Store airtight at room temperature. Lasts about a month . Homemade baking powder may clump after being stored, so just resift as needed. Use in the same proportions as commercial

Good with Anything Baking Powder Biscuits

One of my very dear friends gave me a little book 20 years ago called "Biscuits and Scones", by Elizabeth Alston. I have used this recipe ever since. If you just want good old "down-home" biscuits, these are it. I'm going to put a recipe for biscuits made with yeast that are also wonderful and biscuits made with cream that you can add sugar too and use for shortcakes also.

  • 2 cups all purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder(See recipe for homemade)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening

  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 450 degrees (I prefer 425 degrees). Put flour,baking powder and salt into a large bowl and stir to mix. Add shortening and cut in with a Granny fork or pastry fork, until mixture looks like fine granules. Add buttermilk and baking soda and stir with a fork until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured pastry cloth and knead 10 times. Roll dough out into a circle about 1/2 inch thick. Using a 2 1/2 inch cutter, cut out biscuits and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. ALWAYS CUT STRAIGHT DOWN WITH CUTTER AND DO NOT TWIST. YOU WILL SEAL THE EDGES OF THE BISCUIT AND IT WILL NOT RISE PROPERLY Press scraps together, roll out and cut again. Bake about 14 minutes until medium golden brown. Serve with butter and honey or strawberry prerserves. Makes about 1 dozen.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Classic Yellow Cake

This is the recipe I promised to go with the 2 different chocolate icing recipes, I have listed. It is my youngest daughter's favorite birthday cake, Yellow cake with yummy chocolate icing. Hooray for birthday candles!!
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour(not self rising)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter flavor shortening
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate butter cream or chocolate ganache type frostings, listed with chocolate cakes-

Grease and flour 2 8 inch cake pans. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the flour,baking powder, and salt. Blend with wire whisk. Have a sifter on a sheet of wax paper and pour dry ingredients into sifter and sift onto wax paper. Put shortening and sugar into a large bowl and cream together, scraping down sides of the bowl, as you go. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each one. Stir the milk and vanilla together in a one cup measure and add alternately with the dry mixture(the one you sifted). Beat well after each addition and be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula, as you work. Pour and spread half(about 2 cups) the batter into one cake pan, scrape the remaininbg batter into the other cake pan. Place the pans at least one inch apart on the center rack of your preheated oven. Bake 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center, comes out clean. Remove the pans from oven and place on cooling rack. Cool 5-10 minutes and then remove from pans, inverting on racks so top side is up. Cool completely before frosting. Ice with chocolate icing(see chocolate cake recipe)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Devil's Food cake 1

This cake recipe was given to me by my Great Aunt Em. It is the very best ever!! She made all of we great nieces a family cookbook when we got married and it has been a wonderful source for the many years I have had it. the frosting I use is a good old butter cream frosting, my favorite. this frosting is terrific on a nice yellow cake, too. If you want even more intense chocolate flavor, then you can use the chocolate ganache type frosting under my Devil's Food Cake II.

  • 2 Scant cups sugar

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1/2 cup butter flavored shortening

  • 2 cups cake flour (not self rising)

  • 1 cup cold water

  • 1 teaspoon soda

  • 1 tablespoon hot water

  • 3 Egg Whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease AND flour 2 9 inch cake pans. In a large bowl, sift together the sugar and unsweetened cocoa, 3 times. Add the shortening and cream together. Alternately add the cake flour and cup of cold water. Mix until smooth. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda in the hot water and add to cake mixture. In another medium bowl, beat the 3 egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold the egg white into the other cake mixutre until completely incorporated. Pour into prepared cake pans and bake for 25-30 minutes, check with toothpick for doneness. Cool on wire cooling rack for 20 minutes and invert out of pans onto racks, turning so the top is up. Cool completely and ice. Place one cake layer, top down on cake plate and spread with one cup of frosting. Add other layer, top up and ice top and sides. Enjoy!!!

CHOCOLATE BUTTER CREAM FROSTING ( or plain butter cream without chocolate)

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened

  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1 pound confectioner's sugar

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup CREAM (be sure to use cream or half and half as that is what gives it, it's rich taste!)

  • 6 Tablespoons unsweetened powdered cocoa or 2 ounces unsweetened cocoa, melted

Cream butter in large mixing bowl. Mix in the powdered or melted unsweetened chocolate. Add vanilla extract, salt, sugar and cream. Beat until smooth and of spreading consistency. If you want to make butter cream icing and not with chocolate, just eliminate it, and you can add a few drops of food coloring if you want color in it.

Devil's Food Cake II

This is another really good chocolate cake that uses sour cream. The icing is wonderfully rich, very much a ganache type, and great on any chocolate cake. I got this recipe from Mary Engelbreit's "Queen of the Kitchen" cookbook. this recipe works well at high altitude, without adjustments. I live at 6500 feet and it has always done well.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 1/4 cups unbleached flour( I use King Arthur's or Pillsbury)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup shortening (Can use butter flavor but don't have to)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon REAL vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease AND flour 2 9-inch round cake pans. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa and boiling water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt. In a large bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, and vanilla with an electric mixer until "sandy" textured. Add the egss, one at a time, beating well after each addition. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture alternately with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour. Add the cocoa mixture and blend well. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Place the pans on wire racks and let cool for 20 minutes. Invert the layers onto the racks, then turn them right side up and let them cool completely. Place one cake layer on a serving plate and spread with about 1 cup of the frosting. Top with the remaining cake layer and spread the remaing frosting over the top and sides of the cake. This cake is also good with a white seven minute type frosting.


  • 6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped (you can also use chocolate chips!!)
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 large Egg yolks
  • 3/4 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup(2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces at room temperature

In a double boiler, set over simmering water, melt the chocolate with the water, whisking until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl. In the cleaned double boiler set over simmering water, mix the egg yolks and the sugar and heat, whisking constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes, until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is pale and thick. Stir into the melted chocolate, then add the vanilla. With an electric mixer, beat the frosting on high speed for 3 minutes or until cooled to room temperature. Beat in the butter, one piece at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.