Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

How does this sound – Hot, gooey, fudgy cake ready in 90 seconds?! Not only is it really delicious cake, it can also be assembled to give as a special gift for the chocolate lover in your life!  Can you think of anyone who would appreciate a hot little cake that is ready except for three little ingredients?  Mix it up, pop it into the microwave, and in 90 seconds the cake is ready to eat!

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I found this recipe for Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cake in the recent edition of Southern Living Magazine.  I whipped up four of these for my neighbors this week and they were super easy and cute as well!  Each mug makes a really generous portion – so you could even share, but hey, it’s Christmas, right?  You might want to enjoy the whole mug yourself!

Here are the ingredients:

Mexican Hot Chocolate Mug Cake

Ingredients

DRY MIX

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons mini marshmallow

 

How to Make It

Step 1

For each cake, combine all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, kosher salt, unsweetened cocoa, chopped toasted pecans, bittersweet chocolate chips, baking powder, and cinnamon in a small food-safe gift bag. Place mini marshmallows in a separate bag. Place both bags inside a 12-oz. microwavable mug.

Step 2

To prepare each cake, stir whole milk, canola oil, and vanilla extract into the dry ingredients in mug. Microwave on HIGH until cake rises and is cooked through, 60 to 90 seconds. Remove from microwave; sprinkle marshmallows on top. Microwave on HIGH 5 more seconds. Serve immediately.

Here’s how I wrapped mine up to give away:

 

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You might not be able to have everyone you love over for chocolate cake, but with this simple recipe, you might be able to give them all a cake of their own!

You can watch a video of the process here:

Happy baking/Gift-giving!

Denise Signature 150 px

First Runner-Up Peanut Pie

Peanut Pie 1a

If you love peanuts, I mean,  if you adore them, then you will love the new recipe I tried from Southern Living’s November issue!  I mentioned last week that I was scouring recipes for a pie fellowship we were having at church.  I finally settled on the Georgia Peanut Pie with Peanut Butter filling and Brown Sugar Whipped Cream.  That’s a mouthful, but just wait until you taste the pie!  It’s a rich, peanut pie that will leave you smacking your lips and glad that you ate only a little slice!  It is quite rich, but hey, isn’t that what dessert is for?

This recipe is easy when it’s done in a couple days.  Do the crust.  Go have lunch with friends, wash up the Thanksgiving linens, take a walk, then come back the next day and make the filling.  Later in the day make the whipped cream.  It’s easy when taken step by step.  Here are some pics of the process for the crust:

peanut crust
Click on picture to enlarge.  To make the scalloped edge, I used the tip of a spoon!

 

Georgia Peanut Pie with Peanut Butter Crust

PEANUT BUTTER CRUST

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cocktail peanuts or dry-roasted salted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cold shortening, cubed
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons ice water

PEANUT BUTTER FILLING

  • 1 1/4 cups packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk or half-and-half
  • 1/3 cup sorghum syrup, pure cane syrup, or dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups cocktail peanuts or dry-roasted salted peanuts

BROWN SUGAR WHIPPED CREAM

  • 1 cup cold whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Peanut Butter Crust: Combine flour, peanuts, brown sugar, and salt in bowl of a food processor; process until peanuts are ground and mixture is combined. Add butter, peanut butter, and shortening, and pulse until mixture resembles small peas, 10 to 12 times. Sprinkle 4 tablespoons ice water over top of mixture. Pulse 4 times. Add up to 2 more tablespoons of water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing after each addition until dough just begins to clump together. Remove dough from processor; shape and flatten into a disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap, and chill 2 hours or up to 2 days.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 375°F. Place chilled dough disk on a lightly floured piece of parchment paper. Sprinkle dough with flour. Top with another piece of parchment paper. Roll dough into a 13-inch circle. Remove and discard top sheet of parchment. Starting at 1 edge of dough, wrap dough around rolling pin, separating dough from bottom sheet of parchment as you roll. Discard bottom sheet of parchment. Place rolling pin wrapped with dough over a 9-inch (1 1/2-inch-deep) glass pie plate. Unroll dough, and gently press it into pie plate. Trim dough, leaving 1/2-inch overhang; fold edges under, and crimp.

Step 3

Prepare Peanut Butter Filling: Stir together brown sugar, flour, and kosher salt in a large bowl. Stir in melted butter. Whisk eggs well in a medium bowl; whisk in milk, sorghum, and vanilla. Add peanut butter; whisk until blended. Spoon filling into prepared piecrust. Sprinkle peanuts over top, and place pie on a rimmed baking sheet.

Step 4

Bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350°F, and bake until puffed and golden brown and until center is set, 45 to 55 minutes, shielding edges with aluminum foil to prevent over-browning, if necessary. Transfer pie to a wire rack, and cool completely, about 2 hours.
Step 5
Prepare the Brown Sugar Whipped Cream: Using chilled beaters and a large chilled bowl, beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on high speed until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat until well combined. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Peanut Pie 1
I wish I had taken a picture of the sliced pie. The inside is creamy and smooth!! It’s a perfect balance with the crunchy peanuts on top!

This is a great pie!  As a matter of fact, it landed the First Runner-Up award at our pie contest at church!  A yummy Apple Crumb pie came in first and deserved it!!

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Make this for the peanut lover in your life!!

Did you make any new recipes over Thanksgiving that were “Award-winning” with your family?  They’re the ones who count!!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Best-Ever German Chocolate Cupcakes

Last week I shared with you about the Fall Bridal shower I had the joy of hosting.  However, I left you hanging about the most important component of the day – DESSERT! I had asked the bride-to-be what her favorite cake was and learned that she loves German Chocolate.  I set out looking for what looked like the best Cupcake recipe.

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I found it via Pinterest – it is Ina Garten’s recipe – always a winner in my book!  These were the most moist little cakes – even before the decadent icing was added!  The buttermilk and sour cream do the trick!  Even if you don’t love German chocolate icing, you need this chocolate cake recipe!  But if you’re a German Cake lover, too, I bet you’ll love them as much as we did!!

 

The recipe says it Makes 14 cupcakes – I got more like 21!

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
2 extra-large eggs at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
2 tablespoons freshly brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with 14 paper liners.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and both sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.

3. Divide the batter between the cupcake pans (I use one rounded 2 1/4-inch ice cream scoop per cupcake). Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.

GERMAN CHOCOLATE FROSTING
For 14 cupcakes

Ingredients:

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 extra-large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure almond extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted
1 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the milk, sugar, egg yolks, almond extract, vanilla extract, and salt with a wooden spoon. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens a little and coats the back of the spoon. Don’t allow it to boil! If the mixture gets lumpy, turn off the heat and beat it vigorously with a whisk. **My personal note on this would be to cook it a little longer than five minutes, or at least be sure you can refrigerate it overnight so it has time to get nice and thick!  My icing did drip a little, but it was spreadable the next morning and delicious!

2. Off the heat, add the coconut, almonds, and pecans and allow to cool about 1 hour. Frost the cupcakes with a dinner knife or metal spatula

Whatever your need for cake is in the near future, these little chocolate cupcakes will make your guests smile!  I plan on making these again this week for a whole different celebration and a new icing!  I’ll share in an upcoming post!

Happy baking!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

Five Friday Favorites

We had our first really cold day of fall this week!  It came just in time for Trunk or Treat at church, making it a fun fall activity!  I made these costumes up for my husband and me.  I thought since he’s my other half, it was perfect!!

Dale and me

Life has been so enriched with these precious little boys in our lives.  They are growing and changing so much!  They’re imitating…

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and learning and rolling and growing…and stealing our hearts!

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Fall also means Pumpkin Roll!  Here was the first one of the year!

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To be a part of a group of praying friends is a HUGE blessing in my life.  These ladies are my prayer group.  We have cried, rejoiced, laughed, and prayed so much in the last couple of years.  Wow.  We are rich, indeed!  We got to celebrate a birthday of one of these precious gals this week.  What a joy to rejoice that she is God’s gift to us as a sister in Christ, a friend, and prayer partner!

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What fun activities have been a part of your week?

Do you have a group of women you pray with?  I’d so encourage you to ask God to give you at least two or three!

Refresh your life this weekend in God’s house!

Denise Signature 150 px

Easy Stromboli

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If you don’t own a Gooseberry Cookbook, I’m telling you, you’re missing some great recipes!  I have one that’s for entertaining that is full of promises of happy things!  There’s not a recipe in there that’s not been really good!!  I recently pulled it out looking for a quick and inexpensive lunch-type food I could serve for after church Sunday night.  I came across this recipe for Easy Stromboli and was sure I’d found a winner…I was right!

This is appropriately named Easy, becuase it was a cinch to make.  Frozen bread dough also makes the prep fast and inexpensive.  I bought a package of 5 loaves for a little over $4 at Kroger.  I also made it and baked it before we went to church.  Then when we got home, I just warmed it in the microwave.  It was a quick light meal to use to entertain friends!

Here’s a picture of the easy steps:

 

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Easy Stromboli

1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
2 eggs, separated
2 T. oil
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. dried parsley
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. pepper
4-oz. pkg. sliced pepperoni – I used Turkey Pepperoni
8-oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 T. grated Parmesan cheese

Roll out bread dough into a 12×15-inch rectangle; set aside. Combine egg yolks, oil, oregano, parsley, garlic powder and pepper together; spread over dough. Arrange pepperoni and mozzarella cheese on top; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roll up; place seam-side down on a baking sheet. Brush with egg whites; bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

I served it with some pizza sauce alongside for dipping.  Yum!

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Have you ever had Stromboli?  I’m not sure I’d had it before I made this, but it will definitely be on repeat from now on!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise

 

 

Roll Call of Fall Favorite Foods

I’m not sure what it is about fall and winter that bring a variety of foods to our mind, but aren’t we all thinking about comforting casseroles, warm soups, and pumpkin everything?  I thought I’d gather together some of my favorites in those categories and highlight them all in one post for you today!  My recipe index here on my blog could be overwhelming, so maybe this list of a few favorites will help your October to be delicious!

meat loaf meal
I’m not a mac and cheese fan, but this recipe is fabulous!!!  I’d eat it every day if I could!

Casseroles
Mexican Chicken Casserole
Countryside Chicken Bake
The Best Ever Mac and Cheese
Taco Casserole
Baked Pasta with Sausage, Tomatoes and Cheese

Breads
Nutty Orange Coffee Cake – Perfect for breakfast or brunch!
French Breakfast Puffs – Breakfast or brunch
Butter Dips – Delicious with supper!
Low-Fat Baking Powder Biscuits – Any time you need a biscuit – breakfast or supper!

Soups
Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder
Sausage Corn Chowder
Butternut Squash Soup – I made this again last week.  It’s heavenly!
Taco Soup
Baked Potato Soup

Oh, this cake!!!!  Love it.

Pumpkin
Pumpkin Muffins – Great addition to breakfast or a fall supper!
Pumpkin Roll Step by step instructions in my post!  You can make this!
Pumpkin Crunch Cake – Fast and incredible!
Pumpkin Bread – Make small loaves to share.
Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter – Oh my goodness, these are fantastic!!

Pumpkin Scones with Berry Butter Recipe
Picture credit:  Taste of Home

 

If you’ll be hosting any fall event, having guests over, or cooking supper for your own family and want to try something new and delicious, here’s a great list to pull from!  These are some of my favorite fall foods that are tried and true!

If you need suggestions for other categories – salad, easy bread, breakfast, etc.) just leave a comment.  I’ll be happy to help you!

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px

 

Sour Dough Bread

sour dough breadOver 30 years ago I received a mason jar containing the sticky substance called, Sour Dough Bread Starter.  I have kept that dough going all these years, making untold number loaves of bread, English Muffins, and  Cinnamon Rolls!  If you’ve ever had sour dough, you know what a delicious flavor the “sour” starter gives the bread.  I don’t know the science behind it, I only know it’s good and I want it the rest of my life!

Sour dough is also a very easy dough to put together.  Beginning a starter can be a little tricky, so if you know someone who has a starter already, ask for a cup of theirs to be sure it will be active and cause your bread to rise!

But if you want to try your hand a beginning a starter here’s what you need:

To start: Place in a mason type jar:
1 cup warm water
3/4 Cup sugar
3 tbl. instant potato flakes

Stir and let set on counter all day. It should be in a place that is a little warm.  Place lid on jar and cover lightly (don’t fasten all the way down). Let set 3-4 days.

The starter will have a fermented fragrance.  It will also have little bubbles on top and kind of “sizzle.”

To make bread with that starter:

Add the same ingredients again to starter. Let set all day on counter.
The Next day you can make bread:
Ingredients
6 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp. yeast
1 tbl. salt
1/3 C sugar
Mix, then add:
1 C of the starter (place remaining cup back in the fridge)
1 1/2 C very warm water (110 degrees)
1/2 C oil

Mix, then turn out on floured board and knead lightly. Place dough back in oiled bowl. Cover and set in warm place ’til dough is doubled in size.

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Punch down dough. Divide in half. Place in two greased loaf pans. Let rise ’til about an inch higher than bread pan.

Sour Dough rising 1

Bake at 375 degrees about 25 min.  Allow to cool before slicing (if you can resist!).

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As I mentioned, you can make all kinds of other breads from this starter. My favorite way to eat this bread is toasted – either for breakfast or as a grilled sandwich.  It’s fantastic!!

I hope you’ll give this a try.  Maybe in 30 years you’ll still be making up hot loaves from the starter your received in 2017!

Who else has used sour dough starter?  Who loves sour dough?  

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px