Spring Blossoms

Friday, February 29, 2008

Black Walnut Cake


1 cup chopped black or English walnuts
3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

FROSTING:
1-3/4 cups sugar
4 egg whites
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
In a bowl, toss walnuts with 1/4 cup flour; set aside. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla; mix well.
Combine the baking powder, salt and remaining flour; add to the creamed mixture alternately with milk. Stir in the reserved nut mixture.
Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. tube pan. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
In a heavy saucepan, combine sugar, egg whites, water and cream of tartar. With a portable mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute. Continue beating on low speed over low heat until frosting reaches 160°, about 9 minutes.
Pour into a large mixing bowl; add vanilla. Beat on high speed until frosting forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes. Frost the cake. Yield: 12-16 servings.

Apricot Cranberry Cake


3 cups biscuit/baking mix
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) plain yogurt
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 teaspoons almond extract
2 cups chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup chopped almonds

GLAZE:

1 cup confectioners' sugar
4 teaspoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS
In a bowl, combine the biscuit mix and sugar. In another bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, orange juice, oil and almond extract. Stir into biscuit mixture just until combined. Fold in the cranberries, apricots and almonds.
Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing to wire rack to cool completely. In a bowl, combine the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle over cooled cake. Yield: 12-16 servings
From Quick Cooking

14-Karat Cake


1-1/3 cups sugar

2 eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup golden raisins
6 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons flaked coconut, toasted

In a mixing bowl, combine the first five ingredients until smooth. Combine the flours, baking soda, salt and spices; add to the egg mixture and mix well. Stir in carrots and raisins. Pour into a 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
For frosting, in a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Beat in sugar. Frost the cake. Sprinkle with walnuts and coconut. Refrigerate. Yield: 18 servings
From Light & Tasty

Cranberry Nut Bread


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon grated orange peel
1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS
In a bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Beat egg, orange juice and peel; stir into dry ingredients just until blended. Add the cranberries and walnuts.
Spoon batter into a greased and floured 8-in. x 4-in. x 2-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 65-70 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: 1 loaf.
From Taste of Home

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