Monday, January 2, 2012

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

I have been celebrating the holidays with my family and friends, and completely neglecting my blog!!!  Soorrrry.

But now I'm back and seriously thinking of doing a blog project.  Baking my way through a cookbook I received as a wedding gift (seven years ago) and have never, not once, made anything from.

The Book, The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert

The project is to bake my way through the book.  I can't promise I won't skip around, since Chapter 3 is Summer Fruit Desserts and it's merely the beginning of winter here in Upstate New York.  There are six chapters and 7 recipes per chapter.  If I do one a week that gives me 42 weeks to finish the book.  I never said this was a super ambitious project.

Meanwhile here's a cake I did for the holidays.  Simple.  Yet quite tasty.  Pumpkin spice cake coated in rich cream cheese frosting.  Decorated with holly and a Christmas type ribbon.

Pumpkin Spice Cake
From: Best-Ever Cookies (Cake is named Vermont Spice cake)

1 1/2 c granulated sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter, softened
3 eggs
1 1/2 c solid packed pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 c evaporated milk
1/4 c water
3 c all-purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cloves

BEAT sugar and butter in large mixer bowl until creamy.  Add eggs, beat for 2 minutes.  Add pumpkin and vanilla; mix well.  Beat in evaporated milk and water.
COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in bowl.  Beat into pumpkin mixture.
SPREAD batter evenly into 2 greased and floured 9-inch round cake pans.  Bake in preheated 325 degree F oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  Cool in pans on wire racks for 15 minutes.  Invert onto wire racks to cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
From:  My Life from Scratch(really good auto-biography with recipes, by Sandra Bullock's sister!)

1 lb. confectioner's sugar
2 (8oz.) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
some milk

In large bowl of electric mixer, beat all ingredients with wire whisk attachment until smooth and creamy, adding milk one teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is achieved.

Happy New Year!  Check back soon to see what's baking.

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