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Entries in bake off (25)

Thursday
Oct102013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Strawberry Cream Cheese Cream Puffs Recipe

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cream Puffs Recipe

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

These sweet treats are a sure-fire recipe for success. They have so much going for them:

  • Strawberries and cream are a match made in heaven, not to mention the fashionable style of a cartoon icon.
  • Cream Puffs are delicious and delicate.
  • And when it comes to baked goods, cream cheese makes just about any flavor richer, creamier, tangier, and tastier. 

See? I've bullet-pointed the reasons why these scientifically rule, so it's now fact.

These Strawberry cream cheese cream puffs were dreamed up by Dawn Logterman of Verona, Wisconsin, who says "Who doesn't love strawberries and cream? Here's a tasty way to serve up the combo."

Simple but sweet, and they come together in just 30 minutes of active time. Score!

Here's the recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Cream Puffs Recipe

Prep Time: 30 Min Total Time: 1 Hr 30 Min Makes: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Strawberry Preserves
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1tablespoon powdered sugar

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Line large cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In 2-quart saucepan, heat 1 cup water, the butter and 1/4 teaspoon salt to boiling over medium-high heat. With wooden spoon, stir in flour. Reduce heat to low; beat vigorously about 1 minute or until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Beat in 1 egg at a time, beating vigorously after each addition until mixture is smooth and glossy. Drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 3 inches apart on cookie sheet, forming 12 mounds.
  3. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until puffed and golden brown. Remove from pan to cooling rack; prick side of each puff with tip of sharp knife to release steam. Cool completely, about 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese and preserves with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Fold in whipped topping until combined; refrigerate.
  5. Just before serving, cut each puff in half horizontally. Spoon about 1/3 cup cream cheese mixture into bottom half of each puff. Place tops over filling. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve immediately. Store in refrigerator.

 

Tuesday
Aug202013

The Bake-Off is Coming: Hot Pink Raspberry and Cream Cake Recipe

Hot Pink Raspberry Cake - Bake-Off

CakeSpy Note: OMG! The 46th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off is coming! Since I so deeply loved attending the 45th Bake-Off, I thought I would get you excited early by sharing some of the finalists' recipes. Narrowed down from zillions of entries, I'll profile some of the 100 finalists--but of course, based on the subject matter of this site, I will focus on sweets! You can follow them by clicking the bakeoff tag below the post to see which ones have been posted so far. Enjoy! 

Darn-tooting you love this cake. It's the perfect color: pink! Since we eat with our eyes first, why not treat yourself to something as sweet, both literally and figuratively, as this Hot Pink Raspberry and Cream Cake? This Bake-Off finalist recipe comes from Dawn Onuffer of Crestview, Florida. The tartness of the raspberries is a wonderful complement to all of those luscious, creamy layers. Enjoy!

Hot Pink Raspberry and Cream Cake

Active time: 30 mins

Total time: 1 hour, 40 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® Self-Rising Flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Pillsbury® Funfetti® Hot Pink Vanilla Flavored Frosting
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line bottoms of 2 (8-inch) round cake pans with parchment paper; spray paper with nonstick spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat flour, eggs, frosting, 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1/3 cup water with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally, until blended. Pour and spread batter evenly in pans.
  3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Carefully invert cake layers from pans onto cooling racks; remove parchment paper. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  4. To make filling, in medium bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Beat in whipped topping on low speed until blended.
  5. To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer top side down on serving plate. Spread half of filling to edge; top with 1 cup of the raspberries; pressing berries into filling. Sprinkle with half of the pink decorator sugar. Place remaining cake layer, rounded side up on raspberries; press gently. Spread remaining filling on cake. Top with remaining raspberries and pink decorator sugar. Store in refrigerator.
Monday
Jul292013

Secret Lives Book Tour, Part Three: Albuquerque, Jersey Shore, Philadelphia, and Seattle Again

What a long, but awesome road, it's been! My third and final leg of book tour supporting The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America's Favorite Desserts has come to a close, and if you have a few minutes (of course you do, you're on the internet! It's leisuretime here!) I'd love to tell you about my adventures.

(P.S. If you want to read about the first two parts of my book tour, here's part one, and here's part two!)

First was an event in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Don't you just love saying the word "Albuquerque"? I had an event at a bookstore called Bookworks, where my NAME WAS FEATURED ON A BIG MARQUEE. This was a great life moment, but even better was the fact that almost the entire audience was composed of people who work in the film industry in New Mexico. It made for a wonderful and varied crowd!

Next up was a trip to the Jersey Shore. Now, a trip to this part of the world is always dear to me because it's where I grew up, but it was especially wonderful this time because I had a book event close to my hometown. It was at a wonderful little bookstore called Booktowne in Manasquan, New Jersey, and I was delighted to see a nice-sized crowd of people who came, including some former high school classmates who happened to be in town and read about the event!

I also served some Smith Island Cake, which is never a bad thing. Did I mention they sold out of books? That made me feel like a Jersey Shore Superstar. 

Next up, on the same day, was a book event at a bookstore called Towne Book Center in Collegeville, PA (yes, I had an event at Booktowne then at Towne Book Center, one after the other). This was a super fun event because it was a dessert potluck, where everyone brought something sweet and we all got to taste it--then, everyone told us the story behind theirs. I tasted some really good stuff, AND got a really exciting Congo Bar recipe from one of the entrants that I can't wait to try out.

But one of the biggest highlights? Brett and Christina, both contestants from last year's Pillsbury Bake-Off, were in attendance! So we had a mini Bake-Off reunion. How cool is that? Christina won last year (winning recipe here!), so she's got a million reasons not to be at the contest this year. But I was so excited to hear that Brett (here's his entry from last year) will be a finalist again this year, with another delicious-sounding dessert called Heavenly Hazelnut Torte with Mascarpone Cream

That was a great event!

But that wasn't all to the Pennsylvania leg of tour. I also taught a baking class in Philadelphia, at a fine establishment called COOK. I wore a hot pink dress and had a great time teaching people how to make Smith Island Cake, Lemon Meringue Pie, and Alice B Toklas Truffles (Toke-less ones, you know). 

Then, I had about a week to rest and hang out at my house. I spent that time wisely, making milk fudge and learning how to make overnight French toast. I also made homemade croutons for the first time, which is ridiculously rewarding. Yumsies.

Then, I hopped a flight back to Seattle for a few more book events.

Hellooooo, Seattle! I was picked up by my sweet friend Nicole (bloggy persona: So Suzette) who is also the person I went to eat with at Wandering Goose Cafe the next morning. I got something called "Big Trouble" which consisted of a warm biscuit with honey, banana, and lots of peanut butter. It was. So. Good. Just looking at it should tell you that this is a biscuit that means business.

The same day, I did a baking demo at the Tom Douglas Summer Camp. This was probably the best demo I had ever done. Now, the fact that they gave me a glass of wine before my demo made me (in my opinion) even funnier than usual, and the crew was GREAT. We talked a lot about Nanaimo bars, which was one of the demo items. Smith Island Cake and Toklas Truffles, too. 

The next day, I had off, so I hung around Seattle and went to Crumble & Flake with my friends Laurie, Iris, and Matthew (they also happen to be a family). Actually, Matthew was on his way to do some book touring of his own, for his new e-book, Pretty Good Number One: An American Family Eats Tokyo . It is about his family's eating adventures in Tokyo. You probably need it. Don't you love the cover? Well, don't judge it by the cover! Cos the writing is even better. 

Our pastries were also awesome. I got the kouign amann.

Kouign amann

I also picked up some macarons to bring to the great staff at my publisher, Sasquatch Books. They liked me pretty well that day, I'd say.

I was then summoned back by the Tom Douglas people--apparently, this night was their closing party, and Tom himself needed a karaoke partner. I was happy to make a repeat performance! Here we are together, to prove it really happened.

The song we sung, by the way? "People who need people". Yep. 

There was still more awesome to come in Seattle, though. The next day I had a sweet signing at Mrs. Cook's in the University Village, and got to meet a bunch of cool people there. And I brought brownies from the book...

Whew! After that, I was pretty tired, but there was still more to do! I had a booth at the Urban Craft Uprising on both Saturday and Sunday, where I sold books, cards, and products. I left with fistfuls of money and good memories, and got to see my buddies Kristen of Schmancy and Rosalie of Ugly Baby and Kari Chapin, genius writer of many books.

And guess who else came to say hi? PEABODY! Of Culinary Concoctions by Peabody! My baking hero! She always makes me smile.

It was a great fair!

I got a tasty dessert with my friends Nicole and Ramon after the fair one of the nights...delicious Cupcake Royale ice cream! 

Craft fair, LA

Monday morning after the fair, I hopped a plane and flew out of Seattle. Then, I headed for Los Angeles! There, I was a vendor at the Renegade Craft Fair, where I also sold my books. 

Cornflake oatmeal cookie, sprinkles, LA

There, I saw many LA buddies and (hooray!) got to visit the Sprinkles cupcake ATM. The line was really long though, so I got ice cream instead. Their ice cream is good--the cookies they use for ice cream sandwiches are awesome.

Pie Hole, LA

I also went, on reader Zita's suggestion, to The Pie Hole, where I got their version of a Pop-tart. This thing was good, even though it cost as much as a box of pop-tarts! 

Vici Victuals cookies

I also had the good fortune of sharing a craft fair booth with Vici Victual, a cookie baking business that is seriously awesome. The cookies may look like normal cookies, but the taste is extraordinary. Soft, but firmer on the edges (not quite crisp. I like soft so this was good for me). Beautifully balanced flavor. Seek them out in LA--they're at craft fairs and the like. 

Thank you to everyone who bought my book, came to my book tour events, and generally made my life sweeter.

And in case you missed out...buy the book here! The Secret Lives of Baked Goods: Sweet Stories & Recipes for America's Favorite Desserts! And don't forget to buy my first book too, Cakespy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life!

Friday
Mar302012

The Inimitable Experience of Attending the Pillsbury Bake-Off

You guys...not to show off, BUT...I got to go to the Pillsbury Bake-Off this year in Orlando.

What's the Pillsbury Bake-Off, you ask?

Well. It's a baking contest run by Pillsbury, celebrating home cooks, which has been run since 1949. Cooks can't be professionals, and must employ Pillsbury products in the finished products. When it first started, the prized was $50,000--nothing to sneeze at.

Today, it's even bigger: One. Million. Dollars. 

Along with my friend Rachel (you may know her as Coconut & Lime), I was invited to attend this awesome-fest in its home at the Peabody Hotel of Orlando. 

And now,  I will tell you about the experience of going to the Bake-off (you can also view a video of the experience as put out by Pillsbury, here).

First, a week before,  I received a packet in the mail. It included a program, a booklet with all of the recipes of the finalists, and general info.

On Saturday, March 23, I took a flight to Orlando. When I arrived, there was a fellow holding a sign that said "J. Oleson". I said "Hey, that's my name!" and he told me to get into his car. Sadly, he offered me no candy. But he did give me a ride to the hotel. And when I arrived, I stopped and got some ice cream before checking in. I also learned of a regional specialty: coconut patties!

Ice cream

Coconut patties

When I got to the hotel, I ran into Brigitte Nguyen (oh, you know, I met her while I was on book tour for my amazing book, CakeSpy Presents Sweet Treats for a Sugar-Filled Life) who complimented my Hello Kitty jeans and told me she was a judge. A JUDGE! Serious business.

I ate this.

I was there with a group of other "press" people, including magazine and newspaper writers, news people, writers for grocery store publications, and a sprinkling of bloggy types.

That night, we had a really great dinner at a place called Luma on Park. We ate a bunch of delicious savory stuff to warm up for the real highlight, rosemary panna cotta with strawberry sorbet and black pepper sable cookies for dessert. They paired it very nicely with a dessert wine called "Sweet Bliss", which made me smile thinking of my dessert wine tasting with Jameson Fink.

Sweet!

The next day, Sunday, we were delivered breakfast in bed. It included yogurt, topped with an edible wafer with the bake-off logo. Also: I don't want to alarm you, but at the Peabody Hotel, which has a storied past with ducks, they mold their butter to look like little ducks.

BUTTER DUCKS!

After cooing at the ducks for like 2 hours, I attended something called the Food News Seminar. This was an action-packed day of learning. The first part of the day I learned that family meals matter (I already knew this, because it's the best way to warm up an appetite for dessert), that flavor trends include healthy substitutes, international flavors.

I took very good notes, especially on the size of the silverware we used to sample the flavor trend tastes.

Adorable!

I take good notes.

Then we had lunch, which included more butter ducks (!) and some panna cotta. There was other stuff too, but I think you know what I care about.

(hint: butter ducks)

Photo: Julie DeilyJeff, a newspaper writer in Tampa, really loved the butter ducks. Like, he ate an entire one loved them. Related: I like Jeff.

After lunch, we got to meet several of the higher ups at various Martha Stewart publications. They talked about Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. You know, internet stuff.

After that, we got treated to a delicious pitch for the new line of ranges by GE. They were smart, because instead of just telling us about them, they demonstrated them with a famous chef who then fed us, then they gave us his book. Now that's a smart way to make me like a stove. I want one--if you'd like, please buy me one. I'll totally owe you.

Panna cotta

After that, we had a short break then met for more food--at a restaurant owned by Emeril Lagasse. Guess who was there too--Martha Stewart! That is kind of like having dinner with the Queen, made by the King. 

Now, since you couldn't be there, I'll show you a picture of what it was like when I met Martha Stewart. So glad someone caught this on camera, but it kind of made me regret eating all those butter ducks the day before.

But back the dinner! There was not one dessert, but three. Coconut Creme Brulee, Kahlua Chocolate Cake, and Fresh Apple Strudel. The whipped cream had little candied apple peel bits in it. Thank you, Martha, Emeril, and Pillsbury!

But you know what...after we got back, we discovered that they had another treat I hadn't yet seen at the hotel: duck cookies. They were butter cookies topped with preserves, then piped with more butter cookie dough, then dipped in chocolate. Score!

Bake off

After this, we all waddled off to bed (not unlike a butter duck would). 

Photo: Julie DeilyThe following day--Monday--was the Bake-Off! OMG! We got to see 100 bakers at work, simultaneously creating their delicious treats. 

I got to meet all of the contestants whose recipes I'd been covering on this very site. They were all incredibly sweet. A few even recognized me! One, Joanne, even had a unicorn story for me. I like her.

A few of them hugged me, and then one guy even elbow-bumped me. I felt so cool. His name is Brett, and here were some of his thoughts on the contest and his entry:

Then, I saw the most beautiful sight I've ever seen (and I have seen butter ducks, people!): THE PILLSBURY DOUGHBOY. 

We absolutely had a moment. A beautiful moment. It's pictured at the top of this post.

After that, we got to taste some yummy stuff. At first, when we arrived on the floor, there had been these signs up:

...but then, miraculously, they changed to this:

Please sample

Bake off

After they were done baking, the entries were all lined up on a delectable table (it was protected by a velvet rope).

Bake off

And then, we had a dinner and dance party at the hotel. The Pillsbury Doughboy was in attendance.

Bake off

I also observed that they had a fancy opera cake at the Peabody, with chocolate ducks(!) on top, painted with edible silver paint. Fancy!

The next morning--Tuesday--we got to attend a live recording of the Martha Stewart Show. How cool is this: they actually built a set in the Peabody Hotel (home of the butter duck) just for the show. It was pretty good-looking.

And then Martha announced the winners! 

and guess who the grand prize went to...

it was something sweet...

PUMPKIN RAVIOLI WITH SALTED CARAMEL WHIPPED CREAM!

Oh, what a tasty treat these were. Made by one of the cutest contestants, everyone was very happy to see this deserving dish win the million dollar prize, and I personally felt glad that it went to a dessert. 

Pumpkin ravioli

After that, we got to attend a little press conference and talk about how awesome the entries were, and to learn more about the winners.

I'm very happy to know that the winner's children will have a nice college nest egg now.

But I'm even happier that I have a million dollar recipe in my repertoire!

oh, and I made sure to get more ice cream before I left. You know, to detox after all those butter ducks (butter ducks!).

More ice cream

When I got home, my pug, Porkchop, was quite pleased to see me.IMAG0178

Thanks so much to Pillsbury for having me as a guest--it was truly a once in a lifetime experience. Til the next Bake-Off, stay sweet!

Monday
Mar262012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Strawberries and Cream Butter Cake

Strawberries and cream cake

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

Strawberries and cream, re-imagined gooey butter cake style!

That's the story behind this delicious Bake-Off entry, which starts with store-bought sugar cookie dough. "Sugar cookie dough is the start of an easy-to-make, yummy cream cake with strawberries. Really!" says Laurie Benda of Madison, WI.

Strawberries and Cream Butter Cake

16 servings
  • 1roll Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted or Salted Butter, softened
  • 3/4cup granulated sugar
  • 3 ggs
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/4 cups Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Unbleached Flour
  • 1 can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/3 cup Smucker’s® Strawberry Preserves
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1lb fresh strawberries, sliced (2 1/2 cups)

Procedure

  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Spray 13x9-inch pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Break up cookie dough in pan; press to cover bottom of pan.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla until well blended. On low speed, alternately beat in about 1/3 of the flour and 1/2 of the condensed milk, ending with flour addition, until blended. Pour batter over dough in pan, spreading gently to cover.
  3. Drop teaspoonfuls preserves onto batter; with knife, swirl preserves into batter.
  4. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until edges are golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool until slightly warm, about 1 hour.
  5. In small bowl, beat whipping cream, powdered sugar and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form.
  6. Serve warm cake with whipped cream and strawberries. Store covered.
Monday
Mar262012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Triple The Chocolate Bread Pudding

Triple the chocolate bread pudding

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

Triple the Chocolate Bread Pudding? I take issue with this dish.

I think it should instead be called "Triple the AWESOME Bread Pudding". Why? Well, because it 1) contains cinnamon rolls. 2) contains a ton of chocolate. 3) is baked into bread pudding. What? Delicious!

As the recipe creator, Kristin Walker, of Kennett Square, PA, says: "This is not your grandmother's bread pudding. Pillsbury cinnamon rolls are soaked, topped, and baked in chocolate and finally served with a special whipped cream. Oh my!".

Triple the Chocolate Bread Pudding

12 Servings

  • 1can Pillsbury® Grands!® refrigerated cinnamon rolls with icing
  • 1can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/2cup Hershey's® semi-sweet chocolate baking chips
  • 1/4cup Hershey’s® baking cocoa
  • 1/2cup milk
  • 2teaspoons instant coffee granules or crystals
  • 2teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3LAND O LAKES® Eggs
  • 2LAND O LAKES® Egg Yolks
  • 3/4cup Hershey's® Special Dark® syrup
  • 1cup heavy whipping cream
  1. Heat oven to 325°F. Generously spray 8-inch round cake pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. Place rolls evenly in pan; reserve icing.
  2. Bake 29 to 32 minutes or until golden brown. Remove rolls to cooling rack. Cool 20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, cook condensed milk, chocolate chips and cocoa, stirring constantly, until smooth. Remove from heat. Beat in milk, coffee granules and vanilla with wire whisk. Add eggs and yolks; beat with wire whisk until well blended.
  4. Generously spray 13x9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. With serrated knife, cut cinnamon rolls into 1-inch pieces; arrange pieces evenly in bottom of baking dish. Pour chocolate-coffee mixture over pieces; turn pieces to coat evenly. Let stand 15 minutes. Drizzle chocolate syrup over top of pudding.
  5. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center of pudding comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, in large bowl, beat whipping cream with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Add reserved icing; beat 15 seconds or until well blended. Serve whipped topping with warm bread pudding. Store covered in refrigerator.
Monday
Mar262012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Caramelized Peach Upside-Down Coffee Cake

Caramelized peach upside down cake

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

Pineapple upside-down cake? So five minutes ago. All the cool kids are eating peach upside down cake, all the better if it's caramelized.

This sweet treat was dreamed up by Brenda Watts of Gaffney, SC, who says "Bake up a new sweet peachy coffee cake delight using Pillsbury sugar cookie dough." If she bakes it, I will come!

 Caramelized Peach Upside Down Cake

8 servings

  • 1 roll Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup LAND O LAKES® Unsalted or Salted Butter
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick® Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced peeled peaches or frozen sliced peaches, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 LAND O LAKES® Eggs
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 2/3 cup Smucker's® Peach Preserves
  • 3 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/3 cup Fisher® Chef's Naturals® Chopped Pecans

 

  1. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. Meanwhile, heat oven to 350°F. Line 10-inch springform pan with foil. Lightly spray bottom and side of foil-lined pan with Crisco® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray. In 12-inch skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar and cinnamon until blended. Add sliced peaches; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until peaches are tender, stirring occasionally. Spoon and spread peach mixture over bottom of pan.
  2. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add baking powder and eggs. Beat with electric mixer on medium speed about 1 minute or until well blended. On low speed, beat in half-and-half an additional minute or until cookie dough mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour mixture evenly over peaches in pan.
  3. Bake 35 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 2 minutes. Place heatproof serving plate upside down over pan; turn plate and pan over. Remove pan. Carefully remove foil. Cool 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, stir peach preserves and orange juice together until blended. Microwave peach mixture on High 30 to 60 seconds or until warm.
  5. To serve, drizzle coffee cake with peach mixture and sprinkle with pecans.
Monday
Mar262012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Orange Cream-Macadamia Torte

Orange Cream-Macadamia Torte

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

You know what's awesome? Fusion.

And the awesomest kind of fusion? That of delicious desserts. For instance: Orange Cream-Macadamia Torte. It's like creamsicle meets pie, with a fancy nutty filling. 

And it's the reason why I am kind of in love with the inventor of this recipe, Brett Youmans of Reading, PA, who says, "Create a citrus twist for a crowd-sized dessert. Start with an easy sugar cookie crust and add a creamy filling."

OK, Brett. Here's how.

Orange Cream-Macadamia Torte

Serves 16

Torte
  • 1 roll Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/4 cups flaked coconut, toasted*
  • 1 1/4cups Fisher® Chef's Naturals® Chopped Macadamia Nuts, toasted**
  • 3 tablespoons grated orange peel
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 can (14 oz) Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
Icing
  • 1 cup Hershey's® premier white baking chips
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable Shortening
Garnish, if desired
  • 1 large orange, cut into 16 thin slices
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. In large bowl, break up cookie dough. Add 1/4 of the cream cheese and vanilla; beat with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add 1 cup of the coconut, 3/4 cup of the nuts, 1 tablespoon of the orange peel and 1 tablespoon of the lemon peel; beat until well blended. Spread evenly in bottom and up side of ungreased 10-inch nonstick tart pan with removable bottom.
  2. Bake 18 to 23 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, in 2-quart heavy saucepan, add condensed milk, orange juice, butter, remaining cream cheese, orange peel and lemon peel. Cook over low heat, 20 to 25 minutes, stirring constantly with wire whisk, until mixture is bubbly and thickened. Remove from heat; spread over cooled crust. Refrigerate until cooled, about 1 hour.
  4. In small microwavable bowl, combine icing ingredients, microwave on High 30 to 40 seconds, stirring every 10 seconds, until smooth. Drizzle over cooled torte to cover. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut and 1/2 cup nuts, lightly pressing into icing. To serve, cut into 16 wedges; top each with orange slice. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.
Sunday
Mar252012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Peanut Butter Boston Cream Cake

Peanut butter boston cream cake

 

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

Talk about a tasty prospect: Boston's classic dessert gets a peanut buttery upgrade. And is titled "cake" instead of "pie"...and then uses cookie dough. Confusing, but delicious!

This sweet treat was created by Mary Beth Mandola of Houston, TX, who says "Turn Pillsbury peanut butter cookie dough into a yummy cake. Really!".

Peanut Butter Boston Cream Cake

 12 servings

  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup peanut Butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 roll Pillsbury® refrigerated peanut butter cookie dough
  • 1/4 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup Hershey's® milk chocolate baking chips
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Fisher® Lightly Salted, Dry Roasted Peanuts
  1. To make filling, in medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup whipping cream and powdered sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add 1/2 teaspoon of the vanilla and peanut butter; beat on low speed just until blended, being careful not to overmix. Refrigerate.
  2. Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with Crisco® No-Stick Butter Spray. In large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed, about 5 minutes or until thick and lemon colored. Break up cookie dough into eggs; beat on low speed until creamy. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla; beat on low speed until blended.
  3. In small bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add flour mixture gradually to egg mixture, beating with electric mixer on medium speed, until blended. Add sour cream; beat on low speed until mixed. Divide batter evenly between pans.
  4. Bake 18 to 28 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes. Carefully invert cake layers from pans onto cooling racks. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, to make ganache, in small microwavable bowl, microwave remaining 1/4 cup whipping cream and chocolate chips on High 30 to 60 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth. Set aside.
  6. To assemble cake, place 1 cake layer, bottom side up, on serving plate. Spread peanut butter filling on top to within 1/2 inch of edge. Top with remaining cake layer, rounded side up. Spread ganache over cake, covering top and allowing ganache to run down side of cake. Sprinkle peanuts around top edge of cake. Refrigerate 1 hour. Store covered in refrigerator.

 

Sunday
Mar252012

Pillsbury Bake-Off Countdown: Lemon Crumb Tart

Lemon crumb tart

CakeSpy Note: I am beyond ecstatic to announce that I have been invited as a media guest to the 45th Annual Pillsbury Bake-Off in Orlando, Florida! The event will take place in late March; til then, I am going to feature several of the sweets finalists here in anticipation of the big day!

Dessert for twelve? Check. This lemon crumb dessert is not only easy to make, but a lovely marriage of all things carbohydratey: crumb, crust--met with a deliciously tart lemon filling.

"Dessert for 12? Four ingredients and 15 minutes is all you need to make this dessert...wow!" says the inventor, Jackie Termont Ruther of Glen, Virginia.

Lemon Crumb Tart

12 servings

  • 1 roll Pillsbury® refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 cup Pillsbury BEST® All Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup Hershey’s® premier white baking chips
  • 1 jar (10 oz) lemon curd
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Let cookie dough stand at room temperature 10 minutes to soften. In large bowl, knead cookie dough and flour with hands until well blended. Stir in white chips. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture in 10- or 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.
  2. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until edges just begin to brown. Cool 5 minutes. In small microwavable bowl, microwave lemon curd on High 20 to 30 seconds or until softened; stir until smooth and of spreading consistency. Spread to within 1 inch of crust edge. Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture evenly over top of tart.
  3. Bake an additional 20 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour. To serve, cut into 12 wedges. Store covered.
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