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December 8, 2010

Peanut Butter-Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Butterfinger Ganache Glaze

Here's the scene: I'm at work on Sunday afternoon, and one of my co-workers says to me, "So, what're you going to bring to the potluck at R's tomorrow?"

Um. . .What?

R is my boss. The potluck in question was the monthly Adult Services meeting that, somehow, I had completely missed the boat on. I'd heard that there was going to be a meeting at some point, and that it may involve food, but I managed to miss out on the hows and whens of the entire situation. I'm just really glad the guy asked me about it. . .otherwise, I would have shown up for work at 5, instead of noon, and wondered why I wasn't on the schedule.

I decided to make this bundt cake, a part of The Food Librarian's month of bundt cakes. (I Like Big Bundts) This recipe is from her site. I've linked it, but I'll also post it here.

The ganache, I kind of made up. The original recipe, I got from an unrelated recipe over at Tasty Kitchen, and I'll include that link, too, (here) but bear in mind that the recipe that's there is NOT how I got the glaze I ended up using. I added probably an extra half cup of chocolate chips to get it to where I felt it was thick enough.

Since I was in such a hurry making this (are you shocked?), I didn't have time to take pictures. So there's just the one. I know you're sad. But I'll do better next time!

Peanut Butter-Sour Cream Bundt Cake with Butterfinger Ganache Glaze
From The Food Librarian
Adapted from: Cake Keeper Cakes by Lauren Chattman (page 130)

1 c sour cream
3 large eggs
2 t vanilla
2 1/4 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c (1 stick) butter, softened
1 c smooth peanut butter
1 1/2 c light brown sugar

1. Preheat over to 350. Prep a 12-cup Bundt pan.
2. Whisk sour cream, eggs, and vanilla in measuring cup.
3. Whisk together flour, baking powder & soda, and salt in a bowl.
4. Using the paddle attachment, cream butter, peanut butter and brown sugar until fluffy (3-4 minutes). Scape down the sides.
5. With mixer on low, alternate 1/3 dry ingredients with the 1/2 sour cream mix;
beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Scape down the sides of the bowl. Turn mixer onto medium-high and beat for 1 minute.
6. Put into Bundt. Bake for 40-45 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes then invert onto cookie sheet until completely cool.

Butterfinger Ganache Glaze
From Tasty Kitchen

1 Tablespoon Butter
1/3 cup Whole Milk
1/3 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 Butterfinger candy bar

Place the butter and whole milk in a small saucepan and place over medium-high heat, whisking constantly to melt butter and prevent the milk from burning. As soon as the milk reaches a boil, remove from heat and add chocolate chips, whisking until chocolate melts and the ganache is smooth and glossy. Let cool slightly. The chopped Butterfinger bar is sprinkled over the glaze/ganache.

Let cake set for at least 30 minutes before serving.
December 7, 2010

Cranberry-Blueberry Pie

I have a confession to make.

I've baked a lot of things in my life. I've baked cookies, cupcakes, cakes, pies, souffles. . .you name it, I've probably baked it.


I'd never made a double crust pie. Under that umbrella, I'd never made a lattice pie.

Until now.

I also have to share kind of a funny story about said pie crust, and then I'll get on with the recipe.

I have a really bad tendency to star cooking/baking something RIGHT before I need to leave to be somewhere. Like. . .if I need 1 hour, 45 minutes to make something from beginning to end, I'll start it 2 hours before I leave for work. Not sure why I do this, but it's caused some minor meltdowns in my day.

The story behind this particular crust is, I learned how to do a lattice top here. They mention in the video that there's the proper way to do it, and then there's the easy way. If you look at the picture I have of the pie up there, you'll see I started with the proper way, and then devolved into the easy way. This is due to 1) I was in a big freaking hurry. 2) I was working with this crust with the pie sitting on top of the (hot) oven, so the strips kept falling apart and 3) I didn't allow the filling to cool before starting on the crust (due to the aforementioned big freaking hurry) so that added to the disintegration. There's also a bit of crispy crust, but I'll get to that later. No worries, though. The pie itself was awesome.

The ingredients:

You'll need sugar, corn starch, vanilla, blueberries, cranberries, water, and 2 pie crusts.

Take the blurry berries. . .

Throw 'em in a pot with some of the cornstarch, the sugar, the vanilla, the water, and the lemon juice.

Cook over medium-high heat, until the cranberries pop. Add the rest of the cornstarch and stir. Let cool.

Put one of the pie crusts in a pie pan.

Prepare the strips for the lattice.

Dump your (cooled!) mixture in the crust. (The one in the pie pan, not the one you've cut into strips.)
Do the lattice thing, flute your edges, etc.

Here's where I made a bit of an error. I DID put foil strips around the edges of the pie so they didn't burn. When you do this, you're supposed to either put the foil strips on 15 minutes before the pie is finished or put them on when you put the pie in the oven and take them off 15 minutes before the pie is supposed to be finished. I did the second one, BUT, I did the "I'm in a hurry and am not taking my time" thing, so I didn't put them on properly. They were kind of hanging off, but I was all, "I'm in a HURRY! It'll be FINE!"

FYI: You can also buy pie edge protectors for fairly cheap. I just haven't done this yet.

Because of this, the edges were a bit crispy, but nothing that couldn't be fixed.

This pie is really good. It's super tart, so if you want to cut it down, you can put in fewer cranberries and more blueberries. The longer this sits, the better it gets. My fiance called this the "best berry pie he's ever had" and that is a direct quote. Excellent.


Cranberry Blueberry Pie
Makes 1 pie

2 cups sugar
1/4 cup plus 1/2 teaspoon corn starch, separated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces blueberries
One 12-oz. bag cranberries
1/3 cup water
One package of 2 pie crusts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

Combine sugar, 1/4 cup cornstarch, vanilla, blueberries and cranberries, and water in a large saucepan. Stirring constantly, cook the mixture over medium-high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat to low-medium and add 1/2 teaspoon corn starch. Simmer the mixture until the cranberries have popped and the mixture has thickened. Remove mixture from heat and cool for at least 15 minutes.

Place one crust in 9-inch pie pan.

Once the mixture has cooled, pour it into the pie crust. Cut the other crust into 1/2 inch strips. Arrange the strips over the filling. Seal the edges.

Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the crust is a golden brown color.

It helps to place strips of foil on the crust edges for the first 15 minutes of baking or until there are 15 minutes left in the baking time to prevent the edges from burning.

Cool 3 hours before serving.
December 3, 2010

French Fridays With Dorie: Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts

Welcome to She Likes to Bake! This blog is a project that's been in the making for a while now, and I've finally gotten it up and running with the help of my fiance, D. (He's to thank for my super-cute banner at the top of the page!)

Even though I'm all into both cooking and baking, this site will be a means for me to talk about All Things Baking. I'll include recipes (when I can. . .more on that later), how-to, and step-by-steps.

For my first entry here, unfortunately, I can't include the recipe. I'm a part of this online food community known as French Fridays with Dorie. We're cooking our way through Dorie Greenspan's "Around My French Table" (we should be finished in about 6 years!) and we blog about our experiences. One of the rules, though, is to not post the actual recipes, as to encourage people to go out and buy the book. (The book is awesome, by the way. I've got it from the library currently, but I will be buying it as soon as I have the means.)

This week's recipe involved putting things into the oven, so I'm going to count it as baking. I made Sweet and Spicy Cocktail Nuts, and they turned out wonderfully, although more like a peanut brittle type thing than nuts you'd put in a bowl.

Here are the ingredients:

Sugar, salt, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, egg white, and nuts. I went out and bought some peanuts to use and I also used some spare walnuts that were in the freezer.

Mix together your dry ingredients:

Then, mix together the egg whites and the nuts.

Then, add the spice mix into the fray.

And then mix everything together.

Now, here I have a confession to make: I didn't follow the directions exactly. Normally, when I do something out of this cookbook that doesn't make sense to me, I still follow the directions. But in this case, when I was instructed to pull each individual nut out of the bowl, one by one, and shake off excess egg yolk/spice mixture, I balked. Who has time for that? Not Sarah.

As such, I just kind of dumped it onto the baking sheet in one fell swoop.

Into the oven they went for 35 minutes. They smelled wonderful.

When I pulled them out, they looked like this:

They've got kind of a peanut brittle-like tendancy to them due, I'm sure, to the Not Seperating Thing.

They were amazing. It's just sweet enough, and there's enough of a bite to make you pay attention, but to not be uncomfortable about it.

I'm thinking that when I'm finally to the point where I can sell things through either a storefront or online, this recipe will definitely be an option.

Thanks for tuning in! Next up will be my cranberry-blueberry pie (with recipe!).