Feb 26, 2014

Old Fashioned Lemon Cupcakes


I found an old Calumet Baking Powder cookbook from 1931. Leafing through it, I ran across a "Palermo Lemon Cake". Wondering what, exactly, the "Palermo" referred to, I read through the recipe. No explanation. I did some research and found a bit of interesting history:

When the cookbook was published in 1931, the United States was getting its citrus fruits, especially lemons, from Palermo (Sicily) Italy. Palermo lemons were considered to be the very best lemons you could buy, and had been imported by the U.S. since 1883. I found that California was producing citrus by that time, but the amount and quality had not yet affected the import market. Florida's entire citrus industry had been wiped out by a killer freeze during the winter of 1894-1895; they would not replant until 1953. So lemons from Palermo were preferred, and if you had lemons from Palermo, you said so!



This recipe makes a smooth textured, small-crumb cake with a mild, old-fashioned flavor. It balances nicely with the sweet, brightly flavored filling and lemony frosting.



I am sharing this recipe exactly as written in The Calumet Baking Book, published in 1931:

Palermo Lemon Cake  Printable Recipe

2 cups sifted Swans Down Cake Flour
2 teaspoons Calumet Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons butter or other shortening
1 cup sugar
1 egg, unbeaten
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind (I used 2 rounded teaspoons)
3/4 cup milk

Sift flour once, measure, add baking powder and salt, and sift together three times. Cream butter thoroughly, add sugar gradually, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add egg and lemon rind and beat well. Add flour, alternately with milk, a small amount at a time. Beat after each addition until smooth. Bake in two greased 9-inch layer pans in  moderate oven (375 degrees) 25 minutes. Put layers together with Lemon Filling and frost with Palermo Lemon Frosting (this was a 7-Minute cooked frosting that I did not make).

Lemon Filling

1 cup sugar

2 and 1/2 tablespoons flour
grated rind 2 lemons (I used 3 teaspoons)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon butter

Combine sugar and flour. Add lemon rind, lemon juice, and egg. Cook until thick, stirring constantly. Add butter. Enough for two 9-inch layers.

Cooks' notes: This recipe makes 1 (9 inch) layer cake or 16 cupcakes. For cupcakes, spoon batter into muffin tins lined with baking cups. Fill a scant 2/3 full. Bake until just starting to turn golden, about 10 minutes. Do not overbake. When cupcakes are cool, remove a small core of cake, fill with lemon filling, then frost as desired. I used a ricotta cream cheese frosting, adding 2 teaspoons lemon zest.


 



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Feb 25, 2014

Treasure Box Tuesday 8

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Feb 19, 2014

Spinach Alfredo Crockpot Lasagna



This lasagna is one of the best I've had. 
It's easy to put together, and my family loved the spinach-alfredo combination.

Feb 13, 2014

Rich Chocolate Layer Cake


This is a chocolate lover's dream cake: dark, rich, and tender. The frosting is thick and dense, almost a ganache. Smaller slices of this indulgent cake are perfectly satisfying.

Rich Chocolate Layer Cake Print Recipe


Ingredients

1 and 3/4 cups all purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cocoa
2 tablespoons very dark cocoa, such as King Arthur Flour's black cocoa
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk (shake well before measuring) 
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs (room temperature)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour two 8" X 2" round cake pans.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk lightly to combine and sift into the bowl of an electric mixer. 
3. In a medium bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl.
4. With mixer still on low, add the coffee slowly, and mix just until combined. Batter will be thin. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for about 35-39 minutes, or until a cake tester near the center comes out clean. Do not overbake.
5. Cool in pans on wire rack for 30 minutes, then turn the cakes out onto wire rack until completely cooled.



When the cakes are cool, prepare the frosting. It sets fairly quickly, so you don't want to make it ahead of time.


1/2 cup unsalted butter,softened

1 (16 oz.) box powdered sugar (confectioners sugar)
1/2 cup cocoa
2 tablespoons very dark cocoa, such a King Arthur Flour's black cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons milk or evaporated milk

Place butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix on low until smooth. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, cocoas, and salt and whisk to combine. With mixer still on low, combine sugar mixture with butter until well combined. Slowly pour in the milk and continue to mix until completely combined. On medium, beat the frosting until smooth and spreading consistency, about 2 minutes. This is spread thinly and smoothly on the sides, with a little thicker layer in the middle and on top.




Rich Chocolate Layer Cake may have been taken to some of these great parties.



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Feb 11, 2014

Treasure Box Tuesday 6


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Feb 6, 2014

Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies



These cookies deliver two types of chocolate with a delicious cherry essence. You'll love the rich, brownie-type texture, and the bits of pure chocolate and sweet cherries in every bite.

Bonus: they'll look festive on your Christmas cookie tray!


Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies Print Recipe
Makes 24 cookies

1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg at room temperature, slightly whisked
2 tablespoons maraschino cherry juice (reserved from jar of cherries)
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup mini chocolate chips
1 (10 oz.) jar maraschino cherries, drained (reserve 2 tablespoons juice) and chopped (leave some of the pieces a little larger to place on top before baking, if desired)

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, egg, and cherry juice. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium, cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.
3. On low, add in egg and juice mixture until well blended.
4. On low, gradually stir in dry ingredients until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
5. By hand, fold in chocolate chips and cherries, reserving a few cherries for the tops, if desired.
6. Cover and refrigerate dough for 1 hour.
7. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
8. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly. Dough is very thick. Press a few larger pieces of cherries on top of cookies, if desired.
9. Bake until cookies are set but still soft, about 10 minutes. Do not over bake. 
10. Let cookie sheets cool on racks for 10 minutes, then remove cookies onto rack to cool completely. Store in a air tight container. 

Cook's notes: I didn't want to wait for the dough to refrigerate, so I started scooping a few cookies while the rest of the dough went into the fridge. When the dough is not cold, it's very sticky. I just sprayed my cookie scoop lightly with cooking spray and kept going. I will say that the refrigerated dough was much easier to work with- a little harder to scoop, but not sticky. The cookies taste the same (great!) either way.



Recipe adapted from MomOnTimeOut.com; Double Chocolate Cherry Cookies may have been taken to some of these great parties!


You may also enjoy:
Winter Energy Cookies:


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Feb 4, 2014

Treasure Box Tuesday #5

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Feb 2, 2014

Let's Get Social Sunday for February

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We are so glad to have you join us for this month's Let's Get Social Sunday!

We get started on the first Sunday of every month, and party until the last day of that month at midnight. So you'll have all month to make new friends and gain more followers!