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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Red Velvet Cake/Cupcakes

I made the cupcakes for a co-worker's birthday and the cake for my in-law's trip to Chicago in August.  I can't get enough of this cake and neither can my friends.  It's a hands down winner for birthdays and special occasions.  I also adapted the recipes I found on Epicurios

Red Velvet Cupcakes Epicurious | February 2008
by Allysa Torey
More From Magnolia: Recipes From The World-Famous Bakery and Magnolia's Home Kitchen
This is one of our most popular cakes at the bakery. Half of the customers love it because they haven't eaten it since their grandmother made it when they were kids, and the other half because they think the red color is really neat. But everyone thinks it's delicious.


3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons red food coloring
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda


Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour three 9- by 2-inch round cake pans, then line the bottoms with waxed paper.
To make the cake: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.
In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the layers cool in the pans for 1 hour. Remove from the pans and cool completely on a wire rack.
When the cake has cooled, spread the frosting between the layers, then ice the top and sides of the cake with Creamy Vanilla Frosting .

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I actually use a cream cheese-coconut frosting found on this link.  I think it's much nicer. 

2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut (about 6 ounces), divided

Beat cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla in medium bowl until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar; fold in 1 cup flaked coconut. Spread frosting on cupcakes, leaving 1/2-inch plain border; sprinkle with remaining 1 cup coconut.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

Anne's Lemon Bars

My sister-in-law, Anne makes the best lemon bars, which I've adopted as my own by adding lemon rind to the short bread and batter.   They were originally made famous as a staple treat at our Prayer Group that met regularly on Wednesday nights. ( I miss you guys!) These are also the bars my boss Ro pays me $20 for, that way when he doesn't feel like sharing with the rest of the office he wont feel guilty. 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A few of my favorite things

Grilled Tuna steaks with Baked Sweet Potatoes dressed with cilantro butter and lime. Sectioned Grapefruit and steamed artichokes.