Thursday, April 28, 2011

Pimento Cheese Straws

2 containers Augusta's Pimento Cheese

3/4 cup Butter

2 cups flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 375. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cream together pimento cheese and butter with a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. To the creamed mixture add baking powder and slowly add flour until all ingredients are blended together. Place dough into a pastry bag with a star tip. Pipe two inches of dough. Repeat until out of dough.

Bake 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Toasted Coconut Cake with Coconut Filling & Coconut Buttercream

Recipe slightly adapted from Bobby Flay

Toasted Coconut:
  • 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Simple Syrup:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Coconut Custard:

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons coconut rum (recommended: Malibu)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Coconut Filling:

  • 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above), cold
  • 1 cup cup very cold heavy cream

Coconut Buttercream:

  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup coconut custard (recipe above) (cold)
  • Pinch fine sea salt


  • 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 6 large egg whites
  • 1 vanilla bean,split and seeds scraped
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, slightly cold
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

For the toasted coconut:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Spread the coconut evenly onto a baking sheet and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring once, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and let the coconut sit in the oven until very dry and crunchy, about 15 minutes longer.

For the simple syrup:

Bring water and sugar to a boil. Stir in the coconut, remove from the heat and let sit for at least 30 minutes and up to 4 hours. Strain the liquid into a clean saucepan, bring to a boil and let cook until the mixture is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Let cool.

For the custard:

Combine the milks and vanilla bean and seeds in a medium nonreactive saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Whisk together the yolks, sugar and cornstarch in a large bowl. Slowly whisk the warm milk into the egg mixture then return the mixture to the pot over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly, until thickened. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and whisk in the rum and vanilla extract. Let cool to room temperature then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 2 hours.

For the filling:

Combine the custard and cream in a bowl and whip until soft peaks form.

For the buttercream:

Beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add the coconut custard and salt and beat until combined and smooth.

For the cake:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray two 9 inch round cake pans with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk together the milk, egg whites, vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract in a medium bowl.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. With mixer running at low speed, add the butter, one piece at a time and continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs. Add all but 1/2 cup of milk mixture to crumbs and beat at medium speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 1 1/2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1/2 cup of the milk mixture, increase speed to medium and beat 30 seconds more. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 20 seconds longer. Divide the batter evenly between the cakes pan and smooth the tops using a rubber spatula.

Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few crumbs attached, 22 to 24 minutes. Cool in the pan on baking rack for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the side of the pan and invert cakes onto the baking rack, removing parchment paper, and let cool completely, about 45 minutes.

To Assemble:

Using a long serrated knife, slice each cake horizontally into 2 layers. Reserve 1 of the flat bottom layers for the top of the cake. Place another layer on a cardboard round cut side up and brush with some of the coconut simple syrup. Spoon 1/3 of the coconut filling onto the cake and using a small offset metal spatula, spread it into an even layer, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge of the cake. Sprinkle toasted coconut on top of filling. Repeat with 2 more layers. Brush the cut side of the reserved cake layer with the remaining syrup. Place the layer cut side down on top of the cake.

Frost the sides and top of the cake with the buttercream. Pat the remaining toasted coconut onto the sides of the cake and sprinkle the remaining coconut on the top of the cake.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bird Nests for Easter

1 bag butterscotch chips

1 cup peanut butter

3-4 cups mini marshmallows

1 can chow mien noodles

jelly beans

Combine butterscotch chips and peanut butter in a microwavable bowl. Heat for 1 minute. Stir smooth. Fold in marshmallows and chow mien noodles.

Line a pan with wax paper. Using an ice cream scoop evenly divide mixture. Then use the back of a spoon to shape your nest. Place in the jelly beans as eggs.

Let dry.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Harvest Oatmeal

Not a pretty pic, but very tasty!
1/2 zucchini, shredded
1/2 cup baby carrots, shredded
1/2 apple, shredded
1/2 cup Multi Grain Hot Cereal
1 cup Water
1 tbsp Ideal Brown Sugar Substitute
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tbsp chopped pecans

Combine everything but the pecans in a sauce pan. Heat over medium high heat until most of the liquid is absorbed stirring occasionally. Top with chopped pecans.

Makes 1 serving = 4 points plus

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Fabulous French Toast

Recipe adapted from Penzey's Summer Catalog
2 loaves Rhodes frozen bread dough, baked according to pkg directions & sliced 1-1/2 inches thick
2 cups Egg Beaters
1 cup fat free Half & Half
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp allspice
dash ground cloves
1 tbsp vanilla

Heat a large griddle. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Combine eggs, milk, spices, and vanilla in a shallow dish. Soak both sides of the bread in the mixture. Cook each side 2-4 minutes until golden brown. Repeat with remaining bread.

Top with desired toppings.