Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sour Cream Coconut Cake

The last time I had made this cake was for WD's birthday a couple of years ago. I've really been craving it lately so Father's Day was the perfect excuse to make it again. This cake needs to be prepared a couple of days in advance. That way, the sour cream has time to mellow out and not taste so 'sour creamy'. Which means, if you have a 4 year old like I do, you get to hear "I want cake! I want cake!" for 2 days straight.

Sour Cream Coconut Cake

1 box white cake mix (plus ingredients on back of box)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 (16 oz) container sour cream
1 (8 oz) container extra creamy cool whip
3 cups coconut, divided use

Bake cake according to package instructions using 2 (9 inch) cake pans; cool.
In a bowl, mix by hand powdered sugar, vanilla, sour cream and cool whip. Save a small amount of coconut for sprinkling on top of cake. Stir remaining coconut into icing. Spread between cake layers. Sprinkle reserved coconut on top. Cover and place in refrigerator overnight.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Hillary Clinton's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Remember 1992? End of the Road by Boys II Men was #1 on the radio, Aladdin was the top grossing movie of the year, Jay Leno replaced Johnny Carson as host of the Tonight Show, and a little show called The Real World made its debut. It was also the year I moved away to college and had pancakes for dinner every night. But let's not dwell on that.

1992 was also the year that Hillary Clinton (in)famously said, "I've done the best I can to lead my life. I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas." Well, the Republicans jumped on that quote like me on a pancake and accused her of belittling stay-at-home-moms. So in order to make amends, Hillary agreed to a chocolate chip cookie bake off between her and Barbara Bush. And, unlike her bid for the democratic presidential nomination, Hillary won. Here's her winning recipe:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup shortening
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 cups rolled oats
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheets lightly with cooking spray.
Combine flour, salt and baking soda and set aside.
Beat together shortening, sugars and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer until creamy.
Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy.
Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and then chocolate chips.
Drop batter by rounded teaspoonfuls onto baking sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or till golden. Cool cookies on sheets for 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

VERDICT: We loved them! Although they were thin, they were very chewy and ooey and gooey. I left out the oats because I didn't have any on hand. The next time I make these I probably won't add any either. Very yummy and dare I say, better than the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies I posted a few weeks ago!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Triple-Crust Peach Cobbler

When this recipe from Betty Crocker popped up on my igoogle homepage, I had to try it. After all, what is the best part of a pie or cobbler? The crust--that's what! Below are the directions just as Betty has them but I will tell you right now that I cheated and used pre-made pie crusts. And I'll do it again, dadgummit.

3 packages (11 ounces each) Betty Crocker® pie crust mix
1 cup cold water
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 cans (29 ounces each) sliced peaches in syrup, undrained

1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Stir 1 package pie crust mix and 1/3 cup of the cold water until mixture forms a ball. Flatten ball; roll into rectangle, 11x8 inches. Cut into 4 strips, 11x2 inches each. Place strips on ungreased cookie sheet; bake 18 minutes. Set aside.

2. Stir 1 package pie crust mix and 1/3 cup of the cold water until mixture forms a ball. Flatten ball; roll to fit bottom and sides of ungreased rectangular baking dish, 13x9x2 inches. Place in dish; set aside.

3. Stir together sugar, butter, nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla, lemon extract and peaches in large bowl. Pour half of mixture in baking dish. Arrange the 4 pastry strips on top. Pour remaining half of peach mixture on top.

4. Stir 1 package pie crust mix and remaining 1/3 cup cold water until mixture forms a ball. Flatten ball; roll to fit on top of mixture in baking dish. Cut several holes or slits in crust. Place crust on top of mixture in baking dish; seal to edges of dish.

5. Bake about 1 hour or until crust is golden brown. Store covered in refrigerator.

It turned out great except next time I'm definitely going to drain the peaches. There was way too much liquid in the finished product. I'd say this was a keeper. Behold, the crust: