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Posts Tagged ‘cookies’

CokeCake

During the last few weeks of my brief relocation to Atlanta, I craved Coca-Cola cake. Not because I saw it on a menu or because somebody mentioned it, but because you can’t travel an entire block in Atlanta without seeing some sort of reminder that it’s the home of Coke, and my mind heads off in unpredictable directions when it gets a prompt.

Atlanta, the home of Coke, leads to Coca-Cola cake. Why not?

I remember eating Coca-Cola cake on a pretty regular basis when I was a kid. It’s pretty easy to throw together, and since you bake it in and serve it from the same pan, the presentation is simple, too.

I’ve had a copy of Classic Cooking with Coca-Cola for years, apparently always meaning to make this cake, but I got very confused when I tried to look up the recipe. I found three recipes for chocolate cakes containing Coke, but none of them called for the 13-by-9-inch pan that I specifically remembered. Online, Southern Living linked to a recipe that called for a good bit more sugar than the one in my book (not that I’m trying to make a low-sugar cake, because LOL low-sugar cake, but I didn’t want a chocolate cake in which the sugar overwhelmed the chocolate). Finally, I flipped through my copy of The Mississippi Cookbook, figuring that the Southern classic would surely hold the recipe I was looking for. I found that the sugar-cocoa ratio in its version was even more unappealing than the one in the online recipe.

Other than the sugar discrepancy, the online recipe’s ingredient list was nearly identical to one of the recipes in Classic Cooking with Coca-Cola, AND the online recipe gave me instructions for baking in a 13-by-9-inch pan instead of a sheet pan, so I figured my baking time would be about the same. And it was.

As I remembered, the cake was at its best the day after I made it. As the icing sits overnight, it hardens into a fudgy topping — not quote a hard coating, but not a soft frosting, either.

Admittedly, this cake was not the ambrosial concoction I remember from my childhood, but it was quite delicious. I think cake, like sandwiches and salads, is simply one of those treats that always taste better when somebody makes them for you.

One regular can of Coke is enough to make the batter and the icing, provided you don’t drink the leftover soda while the cake is baking. I’m not judging, either way. And seeing as I have NEVER purchased a carton of buttermilk, I always have to use the standard substitution: 1 tbsp. white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk. I also understand you can use yogurt or buttermilk powder.

Start making the icing a couple of minutes after the cake comes out of the oven. You’ll want to pour it on top of the cake after the cake has cooled off for about 10 minutes. Also, the original recipe indicated that the pecans in the icing were optional, and pecans are SO not optional for this cake. In fact, I might try to work some pecans into the batter AND the icing next time.

Coca-Cola Cake

  • 2 cups plain unsifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

Grease and flour a 13-by-9-inch pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Sift the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl. (Note: I didn’t sift anything because I kind of hate to sift. I had to mash down a few flour pellets in the batter with my stirring spatula, but that was the only consequence.)

In a saucepan, bring the butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola to a boil. Pour this mixture over the flour and sugar and stir until the batter is mixed thoroughly. Stir in the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda, vanilla and marshmallows; mix well.

The batter will be extremely thin, and the marshmallows will float to the top. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, and move the floating marshmallows around until they’re spread out reasonably evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. (Note: None of the recipes I consulted tell you how to tell that this cake is done, which was a little scary because the batter is so weirdly thin. The toothpick test worked, though. After 35 minutes, the toothpick came out with a few moist crumbs on it.)

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire rack, then pour the icing on top. It should spread itself out pretty evenly over the cake. Let the iced cake sit for at least an hour to let the icing firm up a little before you cut it, or risk scraping icing run-off out of the bottom of the pan with a spoon (which, really, is not such a terrible thing).

Coca-Cola Icing

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 tbsp. cocoa
  • 6 or 7 tbsp. Coca-Cola
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

In a saucepan, heat the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa until everything is melted and mixed together. Pour over the powdered sugar and mix well. (Note: I broke out the mixer for this.)

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I finally found the highest use for Biscoff Spread, often called “Europe’s alternative to peanut butter” (I thought that was Nutella).

Biscoff Spread, which consists of Biscoff cookies smashed up with oil and a few other ingredients, is enjoyed on everything from apple slices to crackers to, well, spoons. I had been reading about it for a while, but when my sister-in-law sent a jar my way earlier this year, I found myself ill-prepared to experiment with it. I spread it on a couple of Ritz crackers and a few slices of banana, but I was underwhelmed — cinnamon-filled and smooth, it was tasty, but it didn’t “wow” me.

This past Saturday, however, after spending two hours making cat food (Haggerty weekends are OFF THE HOOK, y’all), I found myself looking for a snack. The most ridiculous thought crossed my mind: What if I put some of that cookie spread on a chocolate sandwich cookie? (And yes, I totally mean Oreos, only what I had was Publix-brand chocolate sandwich cookies, which are pretty much just as good and every few months you can get them for a penny on Wednesday with a $10 purchase and a coupon from the Huntsville Times.)

And just like that, I knew that I not only had come up with a ridiculous snack pairing, but that I was also totally going to try it.

Sorry. The most delicious pairing for Biscoff Spread is not a delicate, low-calorie rice cake, or a good-for-you chunk of fruit, or even a low-fat cracker. No. The item onto which you should spread this high-fat, high-sugar concoction? A cookie.

That’s right: Put some cookie spread on a cookie. Double the cookie-ness of your snack. Risk tearing a cookie-shaped hole in the snack-time continuum.

Just try it.

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Two years ago, I completed a successful search for a recipe that tasted like the fabulous Gingeroos that I bought at a Las Vegas Trader Joe’s but couldn’t find in Nashville.

The husband and I spent Christmas in Vegas this year, and when I spotted the bags of Gingeroos on the shelf at TJ’s, I knew it was the perfect time for a taste test since we had just polished off the last of this year’s Triple Ginger Cookies a couple of days earlier.

The verdict? My cookies are actually BETTER than Gingeroos. Either I originally gave these cookies more props than they deserved, or the recipe has changed over the last three years. They were lighter than I remembered, more like a basic gingerbread than the spicy cookies I’ve been making. The big chunks of candied ginger that I recalled simply weren’t there.

Don’t get me wrong: Gingeroos are still one of my favorite store-bought cookies (granted, this is not a long list). They served as a delicious impromptu hotel snack and got us through the last 30 minutes of a long flight home.

The revelation that they’re not the best cookies in the world, however, has made me realize that I not only can make foods that are just as good as store-bought, I can make them BETTER.

End-of-the-year ego boost? I’ll take it.

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I participated in a virtual cookie swap earlier this week hosted by Kat over at She Cooks, He Eats. I can tell you from experience that this swap was a lot less stressful than a real-life cookie swap.  Kat only wanted links, photos and recipes, whereas the real-life cookie swap hostess actually made us bring cookies.

Kat offers delicious-looking recipes for everything from versatile shortbread cookies to peppermint brownies, all submitted by a variety of bloggers. Recipes from Entirely Adequate include my favorite treat, spicy Triple Ginger Cookies, and the troublesome-to-make but scrumptious Glittering Lemon Sandwich Cookies.

Head over to the swap and check out all the recipes if you’re looking for a new holiday baking project.

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The downfall of my attempt to make Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Cookies? Frozen blueberries.

And when I say downfall, I don’t mean that they were inedible. On the contrary, they were delicious, with a cake-like consistency that made them very much like tiny, round blueberry muffins.

The recipe didn’t specify whether to use fresh or frozen blueberries, but I’m pretty sure fresh blueberries would have held up better. I added the blueberries while they were still frozen, so they held up well during the mixing process. No matter how careful I was when I rolled the dough into balls, however, I inevitably broke a blueberry, resulting in a slippery, slimy ball of dough.

Next time, I think I’ll leave the blueberries out of the dough entirely, and then mash a couple of frozen blueberries into each ball of dough before baking. Mushy problem solved.

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Even after making jam, I had at least a quart of strawberries left yesterday. Enter Facebook, where one of my friends had recently posted a recipe for White Chocolate and Strawberry Cookies. They were reported to be pink and delicious, and while I’m no great fan of pink food, I am quite fond of all things delicious.

The dough turned out a bit thinner than most cookie dough I’ve worked with — I think it’s difficult to add strawberries to some foods without watering them down. Thus, the cookies spread out a bit during baking more than I would have liked, but they were still delicious.

They have more of a cake-like texture than your average cookie, and the white chocolate chips almost make them cloyingly sweet, but not quite. I’m tempted to make them without the chips, but I don’t think the strawberry flavor will shine on its own.

I used the shorter baking temperature for softer cookies.

White Chocolate Chip and Strawberry Cookies

1 1/2 cups strawberries, cleaned
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups white chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Clean, trim, and slice berries.
  3. Crush strawberries with a potato masher. (You should end up with 3/4 cup of crushed strawberries.) Leave some larger chunks if desired; set berries aside.
  4. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars.
  5. Beat in one egg at a time.
  6. In a separate bowl whisk flour, salt and baking powder.
  7. Add dry mixture to creamed mixture, about 1/2 a cup at a time.
  8. When well mixed, slowly add berries, about 1/4 cup at a time, while mixing at the same time, ensuring berries are spread well throughout.
  9. Add the white chocolate chips and stir to combine evenly throughout batter.
  10. Drop batter in tablespoons about 1-inch apart on a greased baking sheet.
  11. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 12 minutes for soft cookies, or up to a maximum of about 14-15 minutes for crunchier cookies, watching the edges to ensure they are lightly browned.
  12. Cool on wire racks.

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Scenes from a marriage

Having a husband who happily eats your ill-conceived failure cookies and tells you that they almost taste like tea cakes: highly recommended.

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