Mamas Schokoladenkuchen

A dear friend from AR sent us this cake recipe, ‘Mama’ being her dear mother-in-law.

‘Mama’ was a German lady, and her chocolate cake recipe is still a family favorite.

Mamas Schokoladenkuchen

Ingredients

  • 2 sticks butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup kefir or buttermilk
  • powdered sugar to dust, if desired

Directions

Melt the butter in a sauce pan, then add water and cocoa powder.  Stir until smooth and set aside.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, cardamom and salt.  Add the liquid mixture from the saucepan, the eggs, and the plain kefir or buttermilk.

Blend well; the batter will look glossy.

Preheat oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×13″ cake pan.  If using a different cake pan, baking time will have to be adjusted.

Pour batter into the cake pan and bake for 25 – 30 minutes; the cake is done if an inserted wooden tooth pick or skewer comes out clean.

Let cool, then dust with powdered sugar.

 

 

Gummies

It’s quick and easy to make your own gummies!

If you wish to make gummies yourself, all you need is jello, gelatin, water and a little time.

Gummies

Ingredients

  • 1 box jello (3 oz), flavor of your choice
  • 3 envelopes of gelatin
  • 1/4 cup water

Directions

Mix the dry ingredients together in a saucepan.  Add water and stir until it resembles a dough.  Warm over medium heat until melted, then pour into molds or in a pie pan.  Refrigerate or freeze (takes about 10 minutes in the freezer), then unmold or cut into pieces with a knife or sharp cookie cutters, and serve.

Enjoy, and chew well!

Lemony Cupcakes

Easy to make and just up our alley in terms of taste!

For this recipe you need two standard 12-cup muffin tins.

Lemony Cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cup flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tsp poppy seeds (we omitted them)
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 sugar
  • 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
    Glaze
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbl lemon juice
  • sprinkles of your choice

Directions

Mix all the dry ingredients together.  In a different bowl, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon together.  Add eggs one at a time and beat in.  Then add half of the flour mixture and mix it in.  Now add the milk and then the remaining flour mixture.  Mix until it is all blended well.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF.  Line two standard 12-cup muffin tins with paper.  Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each three-fourth full.

Bake for about 18 to 20 minutes until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean.  Take out the pans and set them on a wire rack.  Let cool for a few moments, then take the muffins out of the tins and let them cool completely on the rack.

Now for the glaze:  Whisk together lemon juice and powdered sugar until the glaze has the right consistency, adjusting the amount of sugar as you go.  You don’t want it too thin so it doesn’t run off the cupcakes.  Sprinkle with sprinkles or other decoration right away, if desired, then let the glaze dry and harden for about 20 minutes.  And there’s that.  Enjoy!

IMG_3184

Applesauce Bread

This cake-like bread tastes wonderful with butter!

The same recipe works for Banana Bread: Simply substitute the applesauce for banana (you will need two medium sized ones), and omit the cinnamon from the dry ingredients.

Applesauce Bread

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of apple sauce or mashed banana
  • 1/3 cup  milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts, if desired.  If omitting, add 1/4 cup more flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon (omit if making banana bread)

 

Directions

Heat oven to 350ºF.  Grease BOTTOM ONLY of a 9×5″ or 8×4″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl, beat butter until fluffy.  Beat in eggs; add applesauce (or banana), milk and vanilla.  Blend.

In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, nuts if using, salt, baking soda, cinnamon) and mix well.

Add dry ingredient mixture to wet ingredient mixture and stir until just mixed.

Pour into greased pan and bake for 50 – 60 min.  The bread is done if an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely.

For storage, wrap tightly and keep in the fridge.

IMG_3005 - Edited
The texture and look of all breads is determined by the flour you use. For this bread as for most everything we bake, I used freshly ground wheat flour. If you use all purpose flour, your applesauce bread will look a lot lighter than ours.

Corn Crumbles

Recipes in children’s novels: Always worth a try!

This recipe comes from one of the books we picked up for the girls at a library sale.  The girls love the book AND the cookies!

Corn Crumbles

Ingredients

  • 8 Tbl (or one stick) soft butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (fine or coarse, it doesn’t matter)
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt

 

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest.
  2. Add beaten egg, beat well.
  3. Add cornmeal and salt.  Then add flour, as much as is needed to make the dough dry enough to roll it out.
  4. Preheat oven to 350º F.
  5. Roll dough out, about 1/4 inch thick.  Cut out shapes and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes until the crumbles are golden brown.
  7. Let cool on a rack.

IMG_2878 - Edited

These are rather crunchy and very good for dipping.  Enjoy!

Cinnamuffins

Quick and easy and done in a blink.

If you like molasses, these muffins are just right for you.

Cinnamuffins

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Directions

Mix the three wet ingredients.  Sift together the dry ingredients, making sure there are no soda clumps.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF and grease a 12-cup muffin tin.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until blended.  Fill into the muffin tin and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until an inserted wooden toothpick comes out clean.

These are rather soft muffins, so have a care when you take them out of the tin or they will look somewhat squished.  But truth be told, they taste great one way or another.

Variations:  Add half a cup of raisins into the dry ingredients before mixing it all together, or substitute a can of drained mandarin oranges for the applesauce.

IMG_2707 - Edited

This is a slightly modified version of the Cinnamuffin recipe from The New Laurel’s Kitchen by Laurel Robertson, Carol Flinders and Brian Ruppenthal, published in 1986.

Scrumptious Scottish Scones

Eat them while they are still warm!

These scones are much like (sweet) biscuits, and hence will do well for a delicious breakfast, especially if you make them with raisins.  They will also do well as a dessert if you substitute the raisins for chocolate chips.  But the dough is less firm than normal biscuit dough, so don’t expect to roll it out.  Just padding it flat will do just fine.

Scrumptious Scottish Scones

Ingredients

Dough

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cold butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins OR chocolate chips
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk

Topping

  • 1 tsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • pinch of rolled oats

 

Directions

  • Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, oats, baking powder, salt and spices).
  • Cut in the cold butter and pinch until the lumps of butter are about pea size.  Then mix in the raisins or chocolate chips.
  • Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
  • Whisk egg and milk together and stir into the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined:  Don’t over-mix or your scones with be dense and heavy.
  • Turn the (rather soggy) dough onto a floured surface and pat until it is a 1/4 inch thick.  Now add topping:  Spread milk over the top of the dough with a pastry spoon, then sprinkle on the sugar and the pinch of oats for decoration.
  • Cut scones out with a biscuit cutter and place on an ungreased baking sheet, slightly apart.
  • Bake until the cones turn golden, about 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Enjoy while they are still warm.

IMG_2084

Maple Custard

Here’s a quick and easy dessert that serves 4 to 6.

Custard is a wonderful dessert, warm or chilled.  Try this simple recipe:

Maple Custard

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups milk
  • dash of salt

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Mix all ingredients.  Pour into individual molds such as ramekins.  Set molds into a pan of hot water and bake uncovered for about 40 minutes, or until the blade of a table knife comes out clean.

** Note: Don’t put too much water in the pan or the custard will not set.  Just enough for the pan not to fall dry will do just fine. **

Gingerbread Village

Knusper, knusper, knaeuschen, wer knuspert an meinem Haeuschen?

It’s not to late to make a gingerbread house for Christmas!  This year, we made a village of little houses rather than one larger house.  It was fun to make!  Here’s what you need:

Gingerbread Village

Ingredients

  • 1 box of Graham crackers
  • 1 bag of powdered sugar
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • small candy of you choice, such as ernies or skittles, sourpatch kids, mini candy canes, chocolate-covered pretzels, candied fruit slices, candy corn, mini marshmallows, reeses pieces, chocolate rocks and the like
  • some coconut flakes

IMG_1577 - Edited (1)

Directions

  • Cover a board, piece of plywood or spare baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Mix lemon juice and powdered sugar into a thick paste that serves as edible glue.
  • Break graham crackers in half.  From three halves, make a triangular hut with one half as the bottom, gluing the gable together and the roof onto the bottom graham cracker.
  • When you have made all the houses you want, arrange them on the board like you wish and decorate them and the space between them with your candy.  The thicker the glue, the less things will slide.
  • When you have decorated to your heart’s content, drizzle more runny glue over the houses for icicles (good to use up leftover lemon juice) or sprinkle with coconut flakes or powdered sugar for a snowy effect.

IMG_1584 - Edited (1)

Traditionally, gingerbread houses (or Knusperhaeuschen, as the Germans call them) belong under the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning.  It’s not a bad idea to cover it when it is not used as decoration or being raided to keep it from getting overly dusty before it is all eaten.

IMG_1593 - Edited (1)

Make sure to polish it off during the 12 days of Christmas!

IMG_1596 - Edited.jpg

Kitchen Sink Cookies

If you cannot decide whether to make chocolate chip cookies, or oatmeal cookies, or almond cookies or coconut cookies, make these. No decision necessary.

Everything but the kitchen sink – these cookies got it!  They are basically gussied up chocolate chip cookies.

Kitchen Sink Cookies

* makes between 40 and 60 cookies *

Ingredients

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 bag of chocolate chips (12 oz)

Directions

Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast in the oven at 350ºF until lightly golden brown.  This will take about 8 minutes; stir twice during this time.  Can also be done in a dry skillet on the stove top.  Let cool.

In a bowl, mix flower, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In another. large bowl, beat together butter and the two kinds of sugar.  Add the eggs one at a time, the the vanilla, mixing well in between.  Add the flour mixture, mix until blended.  Add oats and coconut, mix until blended.  Add toasted almonds and chocolate chips and mix until blended.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto a baking sheet, leaving about 1 inch of room in between.  If you want crispier cookies, flatten the heaps.

Bake for about 10 minutes, a minute longer to make them crispier.

Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for a little, like you would with ordinary chocolate chip cookies, then move them unto a cooling rack.  Let cool completely.  These cookies are actually better when they are cold, and even better the next day.

IMG_1361.JPG

%d bloggers like this: