Shoney’s Strawberry Pie a Perfect Valentine’s Dessert

I miss our Shoney’s Big Boy. I don’t know where they went…but I miss them. What I really mean is: I miss Shoney’s Strawberry Pie.  I think anyone who has ever had one will agree…it’s hard to beat. 

Even tho we no longer have a Shoney’s Big Boy in our town, I do have the recipe for their delicious Strawberry pie. Thankfully. 

Read More….

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Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream

About 5 years ago, I stumbled upon a Sea Salt Caramel gelato. I fell in love. My daughter’s birthday that year sent me on a search for a salted caramel ice cream recipe I could make for her celebration.

                          devils food cake jennifer

I found one, tried it and it was very similar to my favorite gelato.  A few tweaks later, along with the addition of pecans, made it next to perfection.

Our favorite home Churned Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream was born.

This recipe is one to add to your Bucket List of Ice Cream recipes to try…..

You do have a homemade ice cream bucket list, don’t you? 🙂

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream ad

To begin with, if I’m churning ice-cream,  I want to make a whole gallon. I mean, this is work, so I want to make sure I have plenty from the get-go.  I have a 4 quart churn, which BTW I picked up at our local Goodwill Store for a fraction of the retail price…and it was new in the box, never even opened!

4 quarts equals one gallon, incase you’ve forgotten.

The first thing you want to do is measure out all ingredients so everything is ready to go, when needed.

Ready?

Pour 2 cups of milk in a large stainless steel bowl ( I use my Kitchen-Aid large mixing bowl.) Place the bowl of milk in another bowl of icewater. Allow the milk to chill while you make the caramel custard.

Begin by browning the sugar in a HEAVY pan. You must stay with it and watch it, stirring constantly because sugar will burn and you don’t want burnt icecream….who knew that was even possible?

   Salted Caramel Ice cream sugar      salted caramel ice cream sugar cooking

As the sugar heats over med-low heat, it will begin to melt and it may seem to be lumping up but it will melt down and begin to brown and you will have a nice caramel color.

    Also…make sure there are no children in the kitchen. This stuff is Hot!

Cook, stirring constantly, until the sugar is browned. When you begin to see smoke, ever so slightly, IMMEDIATELY  REMOVE  pan from heat and add sea salt (don’t use regular table salt) (mine was coarse sea salt and it was fine) and butter, stirring until melted.  Gradually whisk in cream, stirring constantly. Stir in the other 2 cups of milk. (Not the milk on ice)
salted caramel ice cream browning

salted caramel ice cream browned

salted caramel icecream cooking

salted caramel ice cream milk

Whisk egg yolks.

Very gradually/slowly stir in a small amount, (about a cup) of the caramel mixture into the egg yolks, stirring to incorporate mixture and temper the eggs.

Add the tempered egg mixture back  into the pan with the caramel and cook slowly until the custard reaches 160-170*F  (71-77* C)

salted Caramel Ice Cream eggs        salted caramel ice cream ice cream cool

Pour cooked custard through a sieve and into the bowl of cold milk.

( To be safe, I placed the bowl of cold milk in the sink (lower position) and poured the HOT custard into the bowl, rather than lifting the hot custard above the counter top to pour………………

actually, I placed it in the sink and had my husband do the pouring )

Next, stir in vanilla, Eagle Brand Milk and chopped pecans.  Refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours.

salted caramel ice cream custard

When ready to churn, pour custard into 4 qt. churn canister and add additional cream (or half n half) to the fill line. Churn according to instruction.

Once the ice cream has finished churning,  allow ice-cream to ‘ripen.’  To do this: remove dasher from churn and replace lid. Add additional rock salt and ice around canister in churn and cover with dishtowels. Allow to sit (ripen) for at 20-30 minutes. This allows the ice-cream to harden properly.

salted caramel pecan ad

This recipe is so perfect that leftovers can be frozen and the ice cream remains soft enough to easily dip. I save my store bought gelato containers…they came in handy to freeze my very own leftover~  Salted Caramel Pecan Ice Cream!

salted caramel leftovers

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream ad

It’s what’s for dessert!

Salted Caramel Pecan Ice-cream

Ingredients

  • **4 Quart Ice Cream Churn**
  • 4 cups whole milk, divided
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 stick salted butter (8 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons SEA salt
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 10 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted salted pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions

  1. Place 2 cups of milk in a stainless steel bowl (I used my large Kitchen Aid Mixing bowl)
  2. Place bowl of milk into a larger bowl or pan of ice.
  3. Cover ice with water.
  4. Set aside while making Caramel Custard.
  5. Place 3 cups of white granulated sugar in a heavy pan.
  6. Over medium low heat, using a heat resistant spoon, stir sugar as it heats and melts. Watch it and stir constantly as sugar burns easily!
  7. Once it BARELY begins to smoke and has turned a nice medium brown REMOVE from heat IMMEDIATELY
  8. Add Butter and salt, stir to melt
  9. Gradually whisk in cream and then add 2 cups of milk (Not the milk that's over ice)
  10. Whisk eggs yolks in a small bowl
  11. Slowly whisk about 1/2 cup of the caramel mixture to temper the yolks
  12. Add tempered yolks back into the caramel mixture
  13. Continue to cook over med heat until the custard reaches 160*-170* F or 71-77* C
  14. Strain the custard into the chilled milk.
  15. *** for safety, I place the chilled milk in it's bowl in the sink and pour HOT custard into bowl from there, rather than lifting it above the counter and into the bowl***
  16. Add Sweetened Condensed Milk to mixture
  17. Finally, Stir in Pecans and vanilla
  18. Allow to chill in refrigerator overnight or at least 8 hours.
  19. Pour mixture into churn and add cream or half N half to the fill line.
  20. Churn according to directions.
  21. Allow ice-cream to ripen for 20-30 minutes for best results
  22. Freezes beautifully, if you want to make ahead.
  23. Garnish with additional chopped, toasted pecans.
  24. Enjoy!
http://joytomyheart.com/salted-caramel-pecan-ice-cream/

How to Create Your Own Favorite Pound Cake Recipe

Have you ever wanted to break away from a recipe and make it your own?  Me, too.  And while I don’t claim to be a great baker, I have baked enough to know that recipes are often very similar and changes can be made without messing up the recipe. Something as simple as changing the flavoring in a cake can make a huge difference.

Do you remember a couple months ago I posted a recipe for a Cream Cheese Pound Cake? It is absolutely the BEST pound cake recipe ever.   If you haven’t tried it,  please take my word and do. In fact, it was so good I decided to experiment and you won’t believe the variations I have used to make this same cake.

And the great thing is: You can do it,  too!

Cream cheese pound cake3

To begin with I decided I wanted  to add coconut to my Cream Cheese Pound Cake. I added 1 cup sweetened coconut plus some coconut flavoring. It was wonderful. (Sorry. no pic)

Next,  I made the Cream Cheese Pound Cake  and iced with chocolate icing.  It was divine. I used HALF the recipe for my chocolate icing from my Chocolate Layer Cake. I don’t normally ice my pound cakes but this was nice.

Coconut marbled cake

 

I couldn’t resist making a cake chocolate ~ Cream Cheese Chocolate Pound Cake:  The cream cheese lends a cheesecake like flavor to the chocolate….Served with vanilla bean ice-cream…Perfect.

cream cheese chocolate pound cake4

cream cheese chocolate pound cake3

I always loved making a Marbled Cake with my Mama when I was a little girl….so, why not?  Marbled Pound Cake. You know, cause sometimes you want chocolate and sometimes you don’t….. ….Perfection.

marbled cake

 

Simply divide the batter  into 2/3 and 1/3 and add cocoa to the 1/3 portion. Spoon into greased and floured pan and swirl. Bake as usual.

marbled cream cheese pound cake

This was all working out so well that I decided to combine the two…. chocolate, coconut and the cream cheese pound cake…. “Almond Joy Pound Cake”….was born.   I added coconut flavoring to the batter and to the chocolate icing, topped with almonds and sprinkled with coconut. wow….

Almond Joy Pound Cake

I would say the Almond Joy is my favorite…but I really like a plain cream cheese pound cake with coffee, too….

The cream cheese becomes richer and more flavorful each day. This cake rises beautifully and stays moist until the very last slice.

 

Here is the scoop: Want to create your favorite Pound Cake Recipe?

Start with my Cream Cheese Pound Cake recipe:

Chocolate Pound Cake: Remove 1/3 cup flour and add 1/3 cup cocoa powder use vanilla flavoring

Coconut Cream Cheese Pound Cake: Add 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut and 2 tsp coconut flavoring in place of vanilla extract. For variation top with a Vanilla or Lemon Glaze

Almond Joy Pound Cake: Make Coconut Pound Cake above and ice with 1/2 recipe of chocolate icing that is flavored with 1 tsp coconut flavoring.  (Keep in mind that this icing will not take as long to cook since it’s only halftone recipe…. maybe 4 minutes.) Top with sliced toasted almonds and sweetened coconut.

Marbled Pound Cake: Remove 2/3 of batter to a separate bowl. To the remaining 1/3 batter add 2-3 TBLS cocoa powder and mix until combine. Spoon half the plain batter into well greased and floured pan. Spoon chocolate batter on top and remaining plain batter onto of that. Swirl with a kitchen knife in an “S” pattern. Bake as usual.

Or what about a Lemon Glazed Pound Cake?  Add Lemon Zest to batter and Lemon flavoring. Top with a Lemon Glaze found on my whipping cream pound cake recipe.

The sky is the limit. Don’t be afraid…experiment.  Just stick to the original recipe and switch it up a bit. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Happy Cooking!

 

 

Blackberry Mousse

Easy Blackberry Mousse

Summertime and the blackberries are ripe…..well, I actually bought mine at the store. These days, you can find them year round in the freezer section, so you can make this anytime you feel like it. And I do.

I have this thing about blackberries. Maybe because I remember picking them in the Summer growing up. Or maybe it’s the blackberry cobbler my grandmother always made for our family reunions. Or all the jams I made with them when my babies were little. Whatever, I love anything blackberry. If you haven’t tried my ‘signature’ Blackberry Tea…please do! It’s the perfect Summertime drink.

This weekend we celebrated a couple of birthdays at my house and yes, we had birthday cakes…but, I decided to make Blackberry Mousse, too.

blackberry mousse 2

Not only is it a pretty little dish to set before your guests…it’s a delightful little dessert. And perfect for a Summertime Dinner Party.

The fun thing about this recipe is that any berry will work. You may use blueberries, strawberries raspberries or any combination there of. I used Blackberries…..because I’m partial to Blackberries….but I already said that.

This recipe can be made ahead, even the day before.  Just wait to add whipped cream on top and berries right before serving.

This is such a pretty dessert to serve to company.  I found the parfait glasses at GoodWill…. I’ll bet you can, too. You may need to make a couple of trips, like I did,  but you will eventually find enough for a party. 😉

blackberry mousse

Here’s the recipe ….happy cooking!

Blackberry Mousse

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 8oz blocks of cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 packet of unflavored gelatin powder
  • 3 TBLS warm water
  • GARNISH:
  • 1/2 cup fresh blackberries
  • 2 TBLS blackberry jam/jelly
  • whipped cream
  • mint leaves

Instructions

  1. Place blackberries in a saucepan with 1/4 cup of water. Heat over medium heat until berries hot. Press hot berries through a mesh strainer, mashing the berries with the back of a spoon to extract juice,
  2. Mix gelatin with 3 TBLS warm water until dissolved.
  3. Beat whipping cream until stiff peaks are formed; Set aside.
  4. Cream sugar, vanilla, salt, gelatin and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  5. Fold whipped cream, cream cheese mixture and berries together until well blended.
  6. Divide into 8 parfait glasses, cover and refrigerate until time to serve.
  7. Toss with 1/2 cup fresh blackberries with warmed jelly to glaze.
  8. Just before serving add additional whipped cream, glazed berries and a mint leaf to each serving.
http://joytomyheart.com/blackberry-mousse/

 

 

Cream Cheese Pound Cake

Cream cheese pound cake3

Don’t you love a good pound cake? I had cream cheese on my counter along with fresh butter at room temperature and they just seemed to be calling my name. I usually make sour cream pound cake and it’s my favorite,  but this cream cheese takes the cake. Oh, wait, it is cake…. 😉 [Read more…]

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

sourdough cinnamon rolls2

I won’t waste your time explaining how delicious and easy these are to make. And I won’t tell you that this is one more wonderful way to use the extra sourdough starter that we usually have to toss at a feedings. [Read more…]

Blueberry Mousse Cheesecake

blueberry mousse cheesecake ad

Hope your Mother’s Day was great! Mine has been wonderful. All my children and grandchildren were here plus my parents. What a blessing to have 4 generations here for Mother’s Day Dinner….on the back porch. Plus we had a big reveal. I’m not quite sure how many knew and how many didn’t but my baby is having another baby. That much we all knew. [Read more…]

Sourdough Chocolate Sheath Cake

sourdough chocolate sheath cake

Who knew? I took my mama’s Chocolate Sheath Cake recipe and switched the buttermilk up with sourdough starter and voilà  ~ it worked. Which leads me to believe just about any recipe that uses buttermilk can be interchanged with sourdough starter. Maybe not all recipes…but cakes and breads, etc.  (So far I’ve had wonderful success with my buttermilk biscuits and pancakes!)  And taste-wise, I couldn’t tell any difference. Sourdough Chocolate Sheath Cake is awesome!!!  This is great news for those of us who struggle over throwing away extra starter at every feeding! [Read more…]

Chocolate Buttercream Roses

chocolate buttercream roses

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I have become obsessed with making these roses.  Perhaps you saw my Raspberry Rose Meringue Cookies last week…Maybe I was meant to be a baker? I doubt it. Baking is not my forte..but I do LOVE making these roses….

Regardless, I’m just here to say….if you’re looking for a stunning Valentine’s dessert for the chocolate lover in your life…Chocolate Buttercream Rose Cake is it!  Who doesn’t associate roses with Valentine’s Day? And Chocolate? What more perfect dessert than this? And it’s mighty impressive, too, might I add!

I made this chocolate buttercream rose cake for my chocolate loving granddaughter’s 14th birthday a few weeks ago and thought what a perfect Valentine’s Cake for the chocolate lover.

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That’s Joe, along with everyone else (you can’t see), singing Happy Birthday to her! I love her happy face….and it’s mostly because she asked for chocolate buttercream and I delivered,  in a most spectacular way! At least that’s what I like to tell myself…

…ok, maybe it’s because Joe is so adorable…I’ll agree with that.

chocolate buttercream birthday cake

Anyway, she was happy and I was thrilled with how easy and perfect these roses turned out!

PLEASE don’t say you can’t. My mama used to say to me ‘Can’t never could”…and it stuck because I see very few things that I want to do, that I can’t do, once I make my mind up.

So remember this…if you want to do something, you have the ability inside to do whatever it is….yes, you do! Think of the NIKE ad…and JUST DO IT!

If you need a chocolate layer recipe you will love this one.  Now all you need is this wonderful chocolate buttercream roses recipe and you’re in business. Oh what? You still don’t think you can make the chocolate buttercream roses??? O, ye of little faith! Take a deep breath…..

First of all,  brush off any loose crumbs from the cake…then thinly frost it.   You must put a thin layer of frosting on the cake and between the layers. Not too thick. You just want a ‘crumb-coat’ that will make all the crumbs stay put when you decorate the cake.  Allow to dry a few minutes, then you may begin your roses.

(If you look closely you can see areas on my cake that don’t have roses on them and you can see the ‘crumb-coat’ is the same chocolate icing as the roses. If I hadn’t done that, you would see cake…oh me, that will never do. Of course, I could go back and fill in those places with a stroke of frosting or two…but since it all matched, I left it…)

To make a rose, make sure the icing is stiff enough to hold shape.  Use the largest star tip you have.  If you have not had much practice with a pastry bag, practice on a cookie sheet or wax paper first.

You want to squeeze and move at the same time to get the feel for how fast to move and how hard to squeeze. Kinda like patting your head and rubbing  your tummy at the same time…only easier…

chocolate buttercream roses2

Start with the bottom row of roses.  Begin your swirl in the center of each rose and with a continuous action squeeze and move in a spiral/circle, at the same time. Do one whole row first. You will notice from the photo that the second row of roses starts between the bottom row of roses and so forth.

If you make a mistake, buttercream is very forgiving. Simply scrap it off and start over. If you mess up the whole cake, scrap it off and start again… 😉 just be careful not to scrap cake crumbs! But I have confidence…you won’t!

Chocolate Butter Cream Frosting

Chocolate Buttercream Roses

Ingredients

  • 2 cups unsalted butter...yes, 4 sticks, softened...not melted
  • 2 pounds powdered sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 TBLS Vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Instructions

  1. You will need this whole recipe to cover a cake in roses.
  2. Place softened butter and vanilla in mixing bowl and beat on medium high for 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
  3. Turn off the mixer and add cocoa and 1 cup powdered sugar to mixture. Slowly turn on mixer to incorporate sugar. Continue to add one cup powdered sugar at a time until all is incorporated. You want it stiff.
  4. Chocolate will look light but it will darken.
  5. Frost a thin 'crumb' layer all over and between layers of cake.
  6. Fill pastry bag with frosting using largest star tip you have.
  7. Then begin with the bottom row.
  8. Start in the middle of the rose and make a large dot them in a continuous motion swirl all around the 'rose' until it is the size you'd like.
  9. I made each rose as tall as one layer of cake.
  10. Try to keep them all somewhat uniform in size.
  11. Try to end each rose at the same place on the rose.
  12. Go all the way around making your first row of roses.
  13. On the second row, place your next row of roses, between the roses you just made.
  14. Do the same for the third row.
  15. For the top, begin on the outer edge and make a row all the way around the top, then move toward the middle making rows until you are in the center.
  16. You may go back and fill in with a little 'swish' if there are any bare places on the cake.
  17. It is very forgiving...if you make a mistake, scrap it off and start over. 🙂 It's just icing....
  18. Practice makes perfect.
  19. Enjoy!
  20. Adapted from www.iambaker.net
http://joytomyheart.com/chocolate-buttercream-roses/

 

See, it was not hard at all….. Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day! LOVE

Inspiration from Amanda at www.iambaker.net …Now, she’s a real baker~!!!

Chocolate Buttercream Roses would also be great on party cupcakes!… Just sayin’

chocolate rose cupcakes

Enjoy!

Brown Sugar Chews

Brown Sugar Chews1

Positively the best bar cookie known to mankind. Buttery, brown sugary, chewy, buttery…oh, I said that already, …still..…..BUTTERY!  Is it any wonder they are such a favorite? The simplicity of ingredients make this a staple in many a Southern home. My mother  always had Brown Sugar Chews in her famous Tupperware container. All the grandchildren knew where to find them!

When I’m out of dessert, this is a perfect sweet to whip up.  And the great thing is that you can switch it up by adding a variety of  extras. These had macadamia nuts, and white chocolate bar, coarsely chopped. I prefer pecans…but my husband likes macadamia. So this week, it was macadamia. Coconut is also a great addition. It’s all according to how you feel and what you’re in the mood for and what you have available. But honestly, pecans are all you need.

I brown sugar chews ingredients

Ingredients are simple. Brown Sugar, Self Rising Flour, 2 eggs, vanilla, BUTTER, 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans. That’s it.

How hard can this be? Line a 9×13 baking pan with foil. Butter it or Pam it….Preheat oven 350* Bake 20-30 minutes.

brown sugar chewspan

And then you can fall in love with the most satisfying sweetness you can imagine.

Brown Sugar Chews3

What are you waiting for?  In about 45 minutes you can have a house full of happy campers.

Brown Sugar Chews stacked

Enjoy! 

Brown Sugar Chews

Ingredients

  • 1 box of light Brown Sugar minus 1/2 cup of sugar or 2 cups Brown Sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter or 12 TBLS or 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans or macadamia....may add white chocolate chips, too. Total amount of nuts and or chips should equal about 1 1/2 cups total. If I only have one cup of nuts, I use that. 🙂

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven 350*
  2. Melt butter. Remove pan from heat and stir in brown sugar until dissolved. Add eggs, flour vanilla and nuts. Mix until blended.
  3. Spread in a 9x13 buttered pan. I like to line my pan with foil or parchment and then butter or Pam it.
  4. Bake 20-30 minutes until a nice brown crust has formed on top and a tooth pick comes out with only a few crumbs and not wet.
  5. ALlow to cool a few minutes in pan. Remove by lifting the foil out and placing on a cutting board. Cut into squares. These are perfect for a party to cut into tiny squares or larger squares for the cookie jar. Store in an airtight container, or cookie jar. Freezes nicely between wax paper. Seal tightly.
  6. Enjoy!
http://joytomyheart.com/brown-sugar-chews/