Sunday, April 7, 2013

1 Recipe, 2 Cakes

My daughter wanted to make her friend a "basketball" birthday cake last Saturday.  It just so happened that a good friend of mine was also having a birthday.  We made a double batch of our favorite  boxed cake batter, and a big bowl of cream cheese frosting and came up with these two cakes for our two good friends!
This is just a simple chocolate cake baked in a 9" round pan.  We frosted the top with white cream cheese frosting, drizzled red and blue dyed frosting around the edges, and finished it off with some red and blue sprinkles on top. 
This cake was baked in a 13x9 pan.  We simply trimmed a half circle to create the neckline and carved a little cake off both sides to create the jersey look.  It turned out so cute and was delicious too!

Jam Thumbprints

I pulled this recipe from the obscurity of my recipe box last week.  I love the nuts that roast on the edges as the cookie bakes. 
1 stick real butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 large eggs, separated
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1/2 cup jam (I use apricot & raspberry)

Cream butter until fluffy.  Add sugar and mix again.  Separate eggs, set aside the whites.  Beat the yolks in with the creamed mixture and add the vanilla.  Finally, mix in the flour until the dough comes together in a ball.  Place chopped nuts in a bowl and the egg whites in another bowl.  Roll the cookie dough in to small 1 inch balls.  Roll each ball in the beaten egg whites and then in the nuts.  Place on cookie sheet and make a small indentation on the top of each cookie with your thumb.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes.  Cool cookies then place a teaspoon of jam in the indentation of each cookie. 

Lemon Meltaway Cookies

These cookies have legitimate lemon flavor from the fresh zest and they melt-in-your-mouth!  The lightly sweet cookie, topped with creamy sweet frosting is the perfect combination. 
 1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. cornstarch
1/3 c. powdered sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 c. butter, softened
2 T. fresh lemon juice
2 T. grated lemon zest
Whisk together the flour, cornstarch, powdered sugar, and salt.  In a different bowl cream the butter, add the lemon juice and zest and mix well.  Add the dry ingredients and mix well.  Divide the dough in half and form each in to a log.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.  When ready to bake, slice the log in 1/4 inch slices and place on cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.  Cool and frost. 
Lemon Frosting:  Mix 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 c. butter and 2 teaspoons lemon juice until light and fluffy.  Frost each cookie with a dollop of frosting. 

BLT Turkey (or Chicken) Salad Sandwiches

My family loves BLT's and also chicken salad. I threw this recipe together using leftover roasted turkey from Sunday dinner (leftover rotisserie chicken works great too).  The results were delicious and the sandwich is a new favorite.
The buns pictured are actually hot dog/brat buns from the bakery section at WalMart. They are super soft and slightly smaller than a big hoagie bun.
Chop leftover turkey in chunks and crumble in pre-cooked bacon (desired amount).

 Stir in mayonnaise - one tablespoon at a time- until chicken is coated.  Stir in chopped tomatoes.  Season with Lawry's Seasoning Salt to taste. 

Spread chicken mixture on bun.  Top with shredded cheddar cheese and shredded lettuce.

*** You can mix the cheese and lettuce in with the turkey/mayo mixture.  However, it doesn't keep well in the fridge overnight (the lettuce gets soggy).  Mix it in only if you are planning to eat it up that day.

Tea Party Sandwiches

When I was a little girl I loved going to baby and bridal showers where sandwiches like this were served. In my peanut-butter-and-jelly-on-white-bread life, sandwiches like this seemed dainty and fancy, two things my young-self longed to be. My girls and I had fun making different combinations of these triple-deckers today.  We made extra and dropped them off to some family friends who called later to say how dainty and fancy they felt eating them for dinner.
 Use any combination of breads, meats, veggies, and spreads
 Cut the crust off of each side to expose layers and create perfect slices.
Wrap and refrigerate prior to slicing to allow flavors and textures to meld.

Cucumber & Ham Sandwich

6 slices wheat bread
6 slices white bread
1 container chive and onion (or vegetable) cream cheese
1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
1 pkg. thinly sliced ham
6 slices provolone or Swiss cheese

Spread softened cream cheese on one side of a slice of wheat bread.  Layer on cucumber slices.  Top with a piece of white bread that has been spread with cream cheese on top and bottom of slice. Layer on some ham and a slice of cheese.  Top with another piece of wheat bread (spread a thin layer of cream cheese on the bottom of the slice so that everything will stick together).  Carefully cut crusts off all four sides.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to slice.  Repeat process alternating white and wheat breads.  Makes 4 sandwiches that can each be cut in 3-4 slices.

Other Layering Options
Peanut butter, Nutella & apricot preserves
Sliced Turkey, tomato, avocado, provolone cheese, savory flavored cream cheese
Rotisserie chicken, tomato, sliced olives, green leaf lettuce, pesto
Tuna salad, toasted pecans or walnuts, shredded cheddar cheese, flavored mayo