It’s Texas Sheet Cake, Y’all!

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Well howdy!

After reading the book That’s Not Hay in My Hair this month, I’ve been so inspired by the great state of Texas. Coincidently, I’ve also been missing one of my sisters who lives in Texas, so reading that particular book gave me a feeling of visiting her homestead, so to speak.

Over the years that she and her family have lived in Texas, I have detected the faintest of Texan accents emerging from my sister, and I love it! I love hearing her sweet voice exclaim, “Hey!”, “Howdy!” or “y’all!” as if she were a Texas native. It makes me smile!

So, hey howdy! I’m in the mood for baking up a Texas Sheet Cake for y’all  — which fits very nicely into our patriotic desserts leading up to the 4th of July! Barbecue, Texas Sheet Cake, sparklers and fireworks — sounds like a great 4th to me!

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Texas Sheet Cake

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

for the cake:

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 cup water

4 Tablespoons cocoa powder

***

1 3/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1/2 cup raw cane sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

***

1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup milk with 1 teaspoon lemon juice)

2 eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla

***

-preheat oven to 350 degrees

-In medium-sized saucepan, bring butter, coconut oil, water and cocoa to a boil; remove from heat.

-In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda and sugars. Add the butter/cocoa mixture and stir with a wooden spoon.

-Add in beaten eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.

-Pour into a greased 13″ x 18″ sheet cake pan (or jelly roll pan).

-Bake for 13-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

for the frosting:

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

4 Tablespoons pure maple syrup

2 Tablespoons milk (or vanilla almond milk)

1 cup pecans, crushed

extra crushed pecans for garnishing

-With a stand mixer or hand mixer, combine butter, powdered sugar and vanilla until well blended. Add maple syrup and milk — mix until light and fluffy. Gently stir in pecans by hand.

-Immediately spread frosting over the warm cake — the frosting will melt and spread easily. Allow to cool, and top with additional crushed pecans, if desired.

This cake is incredibly moist and flavorful — the chocolate/pecan frosting gives it an extra measure of deliciousness with a subtle hint of maple.

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Enjoy and Happy 4th!

White Chocolate Chip-Cranberry Cookies

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Continuing my patriotic theme for 4th of July celebrations, I decided on a white chocolate-cranberry cookie because one of America’s favorite desserts would have to be a delicious cookie paired with a cold glass of milk, am I right?

These cookies are soft with a slightly crispy edge — the sweetness of the white chocolate compliments the dried cranberries so very well.

We have our white and red ingredients, so my recommendation is to serve these goodies with fresh summer fruit — preferably in the blue and red colors to complete the theme. 😉

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White Chocolate Chip-Cranberry Cookies

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

2/3 cup raw cane sugar

1/3 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup vanilla (or plain) almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

3/4-1 cup dried cranberries

***

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-With a stand mixer, hand mixer or by hand, beat together the butter, coconut oil and sugars.

-Add the vanilla and almond milk, mix well.

-Gradually blend in the flour, baking soda and salt until well combined, but not overmixed.

-Gently fold in the white chocolate chips and cranberries.

***

Scoop into rounded tablespoons (a cookie scoop works great!) and bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are a soft golden brown.

-Cool for 2-5 minutes before transferring to a plate.

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Enjoy on the 4th as well as any day of the year!

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip-Almond Butter Muffins

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We recently found out that our youngest has multiple food allergies to wheat, bananas, egg whites, tomatoes and peanuts. Today I baked my first batch of coconut flour muffins for her to sample, and I have to say, I was pretty impressed with how coconut flour works!

I have always wanted to try baking with various flours. I’ve done a few recipes with almond flour and really enjoy its nice nutty texture. Today I decided to give coconut flour a try.

First, I did some reading up on coconut flour which was extremely helpful! Coconut flour is ultra absorbent, so you don’t need near the amount as regular flour. (no wonder they sell coconut flour in smaller bags!) 😉 In addition, coconut flour requires an increase in bonding agents such as eggs or milk.

This was really a trial run to see if I could produce moist muffins with a delicious flavor. As I couldn’t use peanut butter, I opted for almond butter which my daughter has been enjoying. The girls and I were quite pleased with the results, so without further ado, I give you Chocolate Chip-Almond Butter Muffins made with coconut flour, coconut sugar and coconut oil to boot! 😉

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Chocolate Chip-Almond Butter Muffins

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

4 whole eggs

1/2 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 coconut sugar

1/4 cup raw honey

1/2 cup almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup vanilla almond milk

3/4 cup coconut flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

3/4 cup chocolate chips

additional chocolate chips and shaved coconut

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

-With a stand mixer, hand mixer or by hand, beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add coconut oil, sugar, honey, almond butter, vanilla and almond milk and mix until well blended.

-Gently add in coconut flour, baking soda and salt until well incorporated.

-Another great tip I read was to let your batter sit 4-5 minutes so that the coconut flour will have time to absorb the liquid. The mixture will end up looking somewhat like pumpkin puree.

-Gently fold in chocolate chips.

-Spoon into cupcake liners approximately 3/4 full. Sprinkle additional chocolate chips and coconut flakes on top and bake for 15-16 minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.

-Allow to cool 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Raspberry-Honey Cupcakes

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Can you believe we’re in the last few weeks of spring — then headed into the glorious, sun-filled days of summer?

As many of you already know, we are a homeschooling family, and in these last few weeks, it is getting harder to stay focused on our studies. I find my daughters, as well as myself, gazing dreamily out the windows. The weather is warmer, the days are growing longer, and let’s face it, it’s a wonderful time of year to be outdoors! We’re in the home(school)-stretch and should be finished up by early next week!

I felt it was only fitting to celebrate a  wonderful homeschool year, two lovely daughters who fill every day with sunshine and a hip-hip-hooray to summertime! I was inspired to make these cupcakes by my girls — a touch of honey topped with a dazzling raspberry pink! Andno artificial colors are needed for the frosting!

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Honey Cupcakes

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

3 large eggs

2 Tablespoons vanilla

3 Tablespoons raw honey

1 cup raw cane sugar

***

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1 cup vanilla almond milk

***

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

***

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

-With a stand mixer or hand mixer, blend butter and coconut oil well. Add eggs, vanilla, honey and sugar and mix on medium for 2-3 minutes allowing mixture to become light and fluffy.

-Add dry ingredients alternately with vanilla almond milk and yogurt. Mix until well incorporated, but do not overmix.

-Fill cupcake liners approximately 2/3 full, and bake for 17-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out of cupcakes clean.

***

Raspberry-Honey Frosting

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup palm fruit oil

1 Tablespoon vanilla

***

2/3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen

1/2 cup raw honey

***

3 2/3 cups powdered sugar

***

-With a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat oils and vanilla until smooth and creamy.

-In a saucepan, heat raspberries and honey on low until berries have softened.

-Gently pour the raspberry-honey mixture through a colander — push with a spoon to extract all of the raspberry juice and incorporate into the oil and vanilla mixture.

-Gently begin added the sifted powdered sugar about one cup at a time — mixing well after each addition.

-After frosting cooled cupcakes, garnish with additional raspberries and/or coconut flakes, if desired.

-Makes approximately 2 dozen cupcakes

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I think these cupcakes are especially wonderful when enjoyed outside in the sunshine!

Enjoy!

Mother’s Day Lemon Meringue Pie

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Mother’s Day is one of my favorite days — celebrating our wonderful mothers as well as the joys of motherhood.

God has blessed me with a wonderful mom whom I cherish, and since Lemon Meringue Pie is one of her favorite desserts, I would like to dedicate this post to her in honor of Mother’s Day. 

In addition, God gave me the great blessing of two precious daughters, so this post is dedicated to them as well. They are my treasures.

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Pie Crust

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

1 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 Tablespoons palm oil

6 Tablespoons coconut oil, cold

5-6 Tablespoons ice water

-Preheat oven to 475 degrees

-In a food processor, gently combine all ingredients on pulse until dough forms medium-sized pebbles. Do not over-mix. Alternatively, a pastry cutter can be used to blend ingredients.

-Wrap dough in plastic wrap or place in a small glass bowl, and refrigerate 10-15 minutes until chilled.

-Gently press pie dough into a 9 inch pie dish and return to refrigerator for 20-25 minutes.

-Prick dough with a fork, and bake in a preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until softly golden.

Lemon Pie Filling

*Slightly adapted from the Joy of Cooking Cookbook

-In a medium-sized saucepan, blend together:

1 1/4 cups raw cane sugar

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Blend  in well:

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

Whisk in:

4 egg yolks

3 Tablespoons coconut oil

-Stir over medium heat with a wooden spoon until mixture begins to simmer. Cook for one minute — mixture will thicken. Pour into prepared pie crust.

Meringue

-With a stand mixer or hand mixer, whisk until soft peaks form:

4 large egg whites

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

-Slowly blend in:

2 Tablespoons raw cane sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

-Spread meringue over hot pie filling, ensuring edges of crust are sealed.

-Bake at 325 degrees for 15 minutes.

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Wishing you a beautiful and joyous Mother’s Day!

Coconut Cake With Blackberry-Honey Syrup

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It is safe to say that I have caught the spring bug, and I love it! Sun-filled afternoons, soft rains and … wait for it … I was even able to open a few windows this week to let in the fresh air!

I tend to brush off the “official” day of spring because it is feeling so much like spring already! I am eagerly awaiting the first blossoms, buds and honey bees, and I suddenly have a great desire to clean everything in the house using all-natural, lemon-scented cleaning products!

This enthusiasm has carried over into the kitchen — culminating in a recipe I came up with for coconut cake with blackberry-honey syrup. I pictured this cake in the midst of a sunny spring picnic or family gathering. I could almost hear the robins tweeting in the background, and I am so excited to share it with you! I only wish we could gather to enjoy it together!

Coconut Cake

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

3/4 cup raw cane sugar

3/4 cup coconut sugar

4 large egg whites

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups vanilla almond milk

1/2 cup coconut flakes

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-Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

-In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, combine butter, coconut oil and sugars. Add egg whites and vanilla and mix on medium for 3-4 minutes or until light and fluffy.

-Gradually add dry ingredients, alternating with the almond milk, until batter is smooth.

Pour into a buttered/floured 13×9 cake pan and bake for approximately 27-29 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean in the center.

-While cake is cooling, prepare frosting and blackberry-honey syrup.

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Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

3 Tablespoons butter, softened

3 Tablespoons palm fruit shortening, softened

2 1/2-3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup vanilla almond milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

-In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, combine butter and shortening until creamy. Add vanilla. Alternate powdered sugar with almond milk until creamy.

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Blackberry-Honey Syrup

4 cups blackberries, frozen

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 Tablespoon cornstarch

3/4 cup raw honey

-In a medium-size saucepan, combine all ingredients on low-medium heat and stir. As blackberries begin to soften, increase heat to medium and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1-2 minutes or until syrup begins to thicken. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

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-When cake has cooled, frost and sprinkle with the flaked coconut.

-Before serving, drizzle individual servings with the blackberry-honey syrup and sprinkle with additional coconut flakes.

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I hope you will enjoy! Here’s to a lovely spring!

A Chocolate Dream Cupcake Recipe

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This cupcake couldn’t have come at a better time!

Last week we had the “official” celebration of National Chocolate Cake Day, although I must say, I can easily celebrate chocolate cake throughout the year!

Then while participating in the Three-Day Quote Challenge, there was this lovely gem that I’m particularly fond of …

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To make it even better, our family actually celebrates numerous birthdays in February … and then, of course, there’s Valentine’s Day!

This cupcake/cake recipe is perfect for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day … any day! It’s moist, light and rich in chocolate flavor. And then there’s the frosting — so creamy, so chocolatey and, quite literally, the icing (frosting) on the cake!

For Cupcakes or Cake

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

Adapted from Ghirardelli’s Chocolate Recipes

2 cups flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder (dark chocolate is preferable)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup coconut oil, softened

3/4 cup raw cane sugar

3/4 cup coconut sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 eggs

1 cup vanilla almond milk

1/3 cup chocolate almond milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

-In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter, coconut oil and sugars until light and fluffy.

-Add vanilla and eggs and mix until well blended.

-Alternate flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder with the almond milks on low speed until batter is well-blended and smooth. Do not over-mix.

-Fill cupcake liners/cases approximately 2/3 full and bake for 17-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out of center clean.

*For cake, spread into a greased 13×9 cake pan and bake for 26-27 minutes or until toothpick inserted into center areas comes out clean.

For the Chocolate Frosting

3 Tablespoons butter, softened

3 Tablespoons palm fruit oil, softened

2 2/3 cups powdered sugar

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup vanilla or chocolate almond milk

1 Tablespoon vanilla

-In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream butter and palm fruit oil on medium speed.

-Alternate powdered sugar/cocoa powder with almond milk/vanilla until frosting is smooth and creamy.

-Frost when cupcakes/cake has cooled.

Truly a chocolate dream!

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Honey Pecan – Chocolate Chip Muffins

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I love the flavor of candied pecans as well as the combination of chocolate with pecans, so I’ve tried to incorporate all three flavors into this new muffin recipe. These are great for a snack, light dessert or sweet breakfast. I hope you’ll give them a try and let me know how you like them!

Honey Pecan – Chocolate Chip Muffins

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

1 cup pecans, finely chopped or pulsed in a food processor

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon coconut sugar

2 cups flour

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup vanilla almond milk

2/3 cup raw honey

6 Tablespoons coconut oil, softened

1 Tablespoon vanilla

3/4 cup chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit

-In a food processor, pulse together the pecans, cinnamon and coconut sugar. You can also finely chop the pecans and mix together in a small bowl.

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-In a stand mixer, with a hand mixer or by hand, gently whisk together the eggs, vanilla almond milk, honey, coconut oil and vanilla until combined.

-Gently blend in the flour, baking powder and salt until incorporated into the wet ingredients.

-Gently fold in the pecan, cinnamon, coconut sugar and chocolate chips by hand.

-Fill muffin liners or cases approximately 2/3 full, and bake for 13-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

-Garnish with chopped pecans and shaved chocolate, if desired.

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Cream Eclairs

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One of my most treasured dessert cookbooks is the Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook. It was a gift from my Mom many years ago (she knows how I love chocolate!), and what makes it extra special to me is the photo of the young boy on the front. He reminds me a lot of how my Dad looked as a child. (My Dad even had a little sister like in the photo.)

I’ve been craving some sort of French dessert, and while perusing this cookbook, I came across a recipe for Chocolate Cream Eclairs. I had never made this recipe before, and it turned out quite delicious! I think I’ll enjoy experimenting with this recipe in the near future — possibly trying out a darker chocolate for the filling, although the original is wonderful as is!

The recipe is in three steps — chocolate cream filling, éclair dough and finally the glaze, but it all comes together very easily!

Chocolate Cream Eclairs

Recipe adapted from the Hershey’s 1934 Cookbook

*I prefer to use all organic ingredients

Chocolate Cream Filling

5 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 cup raw cane sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups milk

3 egg yolks, slightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

7 ounces milk chocolate (in pieces or chips)

-In medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar and salt.

-Whisk in milk and egg yolks until well blended

-Stir constantly over medium heat until mixture boils, then boil for one minute.

-Remove from heat — add chocolate and vanilla. Stir until chocolate melts.

-Pour into large bowl, cover with waxed paper on surface. Set aside to cool.

Next step …

Éclair Dough

1/2 cup butter

1 cup water

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup flour

4 eggs

-Grease cookie sheet and preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

-In medium saucepan, stir water, butter and salt over medium heat to a rolling boil. (Make sure butter has melted.)

-Add flour, and stir vigorously over low heat until mixture forms a ball. (It will resemble a ball of mashed potatoes.) Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.

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-At this point, I transferred the dough to a stand mixer, but the bowl will also work fine.

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-Add one egg at a time, mixing well for one minute (or until smooth) between each egg addition.

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-On greased cookie sheet, shape 1/4 cups of dough that are approximately 4 inches long, 1 inch wide and 3 inches apart from each other.

-Bake 35-40 minutes or until they become puffy and golden brown.

-Cool on a wire rack while preparing chocolate glaze.

Chocolate Glaze

4 ounces milk chocolate, in pieces or chips

2-4 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons coconut oil

-Using a double boiler, stir all ingredients over hot, but not boiling water, and stir until smooth.

The Eclairs!

-Cut each éclair horizontally, and remove any soft dough from inside.

-Fill with 1/4 cup of chocolate cream, cover with top.

-Spoon warm glaze over the top, and dust with cocoa powder, if desired.

-Refrigerate until serving, and refrigerate any leftovers. What leftovers?

Enjoy!

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