Tag Archives: Butter

Sweet Potato Biscuits from Around the Southern Table

Originally being from the midwest, I didn’t get my first taste of Southern food until I was in my mid-twenties. And I’ve been a fan of it ever since! There’s something about Southern cooking that is so comforting and inviting. And because I love the charm of Southern food, I was excited to review the Southern Living cookbook, Around the Southern Table by Rebecca Lang, who is a ninth-generation Southerner!

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Chocolate Chip Chess Bars

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I don’t make many recipes that use cake mix as an ingredient because I usually prefer making things from scratch. But I came across some different recipes for Chess Bars on the internet that use cake mix and I decided to make an exception! This 5-star recipe from SouthernFood (About.com) sounded good, and I happened to have a box of cake mix on hand, so I decided to try it out. I made some minor changes to the recipe and added mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to come up with these Chocolate Chip Chess Bars! They turned out really yummy!

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They’re so rich and gooey, you’d think they have sweetened condensed milk in them, but they don’t. The richness and gooeyness come from the cream cheese, sugar, and butter. Needless to say, these are not very healthy! 🙂 But they are super-good, so the next time your sweet tooth is craving something, these bars will definitely hit the spot!

CHOCOLATE CHIP CHESS BARS adapted from SouthernFood/About.com

Makes a 9×13″ pan

  • 1 package yellow cake mix (I used Pillsbury® Moist Supreme Cake Mix, 18.25 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 3 eggs (use 1 egg for the bottom layer, and the other 2 eggs for the filling)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (1-pound) box powdered sugar (4 cups)
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (if you just have regular-size chocolate chips, you could chop them into smaller bits–you can also substitute milk chocolate or white chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan.

In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, melted butter, and one egg, mixing well. Press this mixture, which will feel like a soft dough, evenly into the bottom of your 9×13″ pan.

In another bowl, mix the softened cream cheese and the remaining two eggs together, blending well. Add the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Fold in the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, stirring to distribute evenly. Pour this mixture over the “dough” mixture and bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes, or until top is lightly browned (my baking time was 45 minutes).

Cool for about 20 minutes (or even longer) before cutting into squares. You can cut them while warm if you want to eat them right away, but they’re gooier and harder to cut when warm. They do taste great warm, though, so who cares if the cutting gets a little messy? 🙂

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Do you use cake mixes a lot in your baking? What is your favorite dessert to make with cake mix?

Over The Top German Chocolate Brownies

over the top german choc brownies @ nancyc

When I was on vacation almost a month ago, I went to a bakery that had lots of delicious-looking cakes, cookies, pies, homemade breads, and more. It was really hard to decide what to buy. I bought a few things, but decided not to buy the German Chocolate Brownies–I would have had to buy a whole pan and if I did that, I’m sure I would have eaten them all! So I just made a note to myself to try making my own German Chocolate Brownies when I got home.

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Arkansas Green Beans

Arkansas Green Beans @ NancyC

I made these yummy green beans the other day. Not sure why they’re called ARKANSAS Green Beans…maybe someone from Arkansas originally came up with the recipe. But wherever the recipe originated from, they sure are good! My friend Jane told me about these green beans, which she found at AllRecipes.com. My version is slightly different…I added more bacon. And instead of laying slightly-cooked bacon strips over the green beans, I cooked my bacon strips a little longer and divided them into large pieces so there would be more bacon in every bite! Be careful not to cook the bacon until it’s real crispy because then it will be too dry after baking in the oven.

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Frosty Vanilla Cupcakes

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Who doesn’t love cupcakes? Especially if they’re frosted with rich, swirly buttercream…now that’s pretty hard to resist! If you’ve heard of the famous Magnolia Bakery in New York City, well, this is the recipe for their most popular cupcake. They call it the Vanilla Vanilla–a yummy vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream (pink is their most popular-selling frosting color). I found the recipe at FoodNetwork.com. If you’re a cupcake-lover you will want to try this! Or, according to the Food Network site, if you’d rather make a cake, you can divide the batter between two 9″ round cake pans and bake for 30 to 40 minutes. Even though I haven’t tried making the cake version, I would recommend checking the cake at 30 minutes, because when I made the cupcakes, they were done at the lower baking time. They would have been too dry had I let them bake any longer.

These cupcakes look really festive, wintry, and Christmasy with the white buttercream and pearly sprinkles I used. You could also tint the frosting green or red if you wanted it to be more colorful for Christmas. The white frosting would work great for New Year’s Eve or Day, too. These cupcakes would also be fun with silver or gold sprinkles. I also thought the white frosting with white pearl sprinkles would be nice for a wedding shower or wedding…so you see, these delicious cupcakes are really versatile!

There is a chance you might need to make extra frosting, depending on how heavily you frost these cupcakes…just wanted to point that out. I frosted some heavy and some not-so-heavy because not everyone likes lots of frosting on their cupcakes (being a frosting-lover, I do find that hard to believe 🙂 ). So, I had enough frosting for my cupcakes. But had I frosted all of them heavily, I think I would have needed to make more frosting.

Enough talk about the cupcakes…here’s the recipe!

MAGNOLIA’S VANILLA CUPCAKE  very slightly adapted from FoodNetwork.com

Makes 24 cupcakes

CUPCAKES

  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 12-cup muffin tins with cupcake liners.

In small bowl, combine the flours. Set aside.

In large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients in 3 parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over-beat. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended. Carefully spoon the batter into cupcake liners, filling them about 3/4 full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean (Note: mine were done at 20 minutes, so be sure to check your cupcakes then to avoid over-baking!).

Cool the cupcakes in tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM

(A note from the bakery: “The vanilla buttercream we use at the bakery is technically not a buttercream but actually an old-fashioned confectioners’ sugar and butter frosting. Be sure to beat the icing for the amount of time called for in the recipe to achieve the desired creamy texture.”)

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 6 to 8 cups confectioners’ sugar (I used 8 cups because I wanted a thicker frosting)
  • 1/2 cup milk (I substituted half and half for the milk)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl. Add 4 cups of the sugar and then the milk (or half and half) and vanilla. On the medium speed of an electric mixer, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition (about 2 minutes), until the icing is thick enough to be of good spreading consistency. You may not need to add all of the sugar. If desired, add a few drops of food coloring and mix thoroughly (use and store the icing at room temperature because icing will set if chilled). Icing can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. NOTE: if you like to frost your cupcakes with lots of frosting, you may want to double the frosting recipe so you have enough!

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The recipe makes 2 dozen cupcakes or one 9″ layer cake. Enjoy trying this out!

Linked to Sweets for a Saturday, Sweet Indulgences Sunday, Foodie Friday.