Sunday, April 26, 2009

Vanilla Wafer Cake

Are you ready for a super-easy recipe that yields super-yummy results?
Here it is:
(Cue angelic choir music)

Vanilla Wafer Cake
2 c. sugar
2 sticks butter
1 tsp vanilla flavoring
6 eggs
1/2 c. milk
12 oz. vanilla wafers (crushed)
1 c. crushed pecans
1 1 c. coconut
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream sugar and butter. Add vanilla flavoring. Add eggs one at a time and blend well.

Mix in milk, vanilla wafers, pecans, and coconut. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan before removing. Then cool on a wire rack until ready to serve--if you can wait that long.

I topped mine with sifted powdered sugar for looks. Not because it looked cool, but to hide the fact that it stuck to the pan like candy on a fat girl. Grease, really GREASE the pan with your butter or Crisco or whatever. Do not take the Pam shortcut route like I did.
Make sure you pour the vanilla wafers in a ziploc to crush 'em, if you roll lazy like I do. Don't leave them in the original bag unless you have a hungry chihuahua to clean up the crumb-y mess you make. I'm just sayin'. It is pretty therapeutic to crumble the cookies, for what it's worth.

You can add a frosting or glaze if it makes you happy, but it's super-sweet and tasty without it, too. This cake was so moist that I was able to put the stuck-to-the-pan pieces back in and they actually stayed in place when it was cut. Yea me!


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grits Pie Recipe

I know, I know. It sounds 22 different kinds of wrong--even to a through-and-through Southerner like myself. The crazy thing is, it's REALLY GOOD!

My friend, Amanda made this last night as one of her desserts at our ladies group's Progressive Dinner. She modified it a little from Paula Deen's recipe, and it was really tasty. It reminded me of an egg custard pie. It was not at all gritty in texture, like I had expected.

Try it, you'll like it!

Grits Pie:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking grits
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9-inch) frozen pie shell, thawed
  • Whipped cream in a can and strawberries, optional


Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small saucepan, bring the water and salt to a boil. Add the grits and cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, so that you don't get lumps. Add the butter and cook for 1 additional minute. Set aside and cool slightly.

In a small bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla. Slowly stir into the cooled grits. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until set. Serve warm or cold. Top with whipped cream and strawberries if desired.

I'd bet you could probably make this into a breakfast quiche if you added crumbled sausage or bacon, black pepper, and cheese and left out the vanilla flavoring, sugar, and optional toppings.

Let me know if you try it!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sourdough Bread

I became OBSESSED with sourdough bread after a visit to San Francisco last fall. I would weigh 900 lbs if I lived anywhere near Boudin Bakery. Their chocolate chip raisin sourdough bread is to die for.This recipe is one of my favorites. I am not much of a bread-maker typically, but this one is pretty hard to mess up, so I'm all about it. The hardest part is waiting for the starter to do its thing those first few days. But just WAIT until you smell your house after baking this. Oh man, is it great! (They should make a candle that smells like this.)

Here is my version of San Fran Sourdough:

Ingredients for Starter

1 TBSP fresh active dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm water (105-115 degrees, no more)

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 TBSP sugar

In a non-metal bowl (think rubbermaid or tupperware), dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water. Stir in the flour and sugar. Loosely cover the bowl and let the mixture stand at room temperature for 2-3 days. When ready, the mixture will be bubbly, frothy, and have a sour yeasty smell. If bubbles don’t form after 24 hours, start again, as your water may have been too hot or your yeast not fresh and active. Makes about 1.5 cups of starter.

Maintaining starter:

Once you have successfully prepared your starter, store it loosely covered in the refrigerator in a non-metal container. Most recipes call for 1 cup of starter, so you can replenish what you’ve used by adding ½ cup of flour and ½ cup warm water to the remaining starter. Return it to the refrigerator. Should you need more starter in a hurry, add the flour and water, then let it ferment on the counter for 12-24 hours.

Bread Ingredients

1 cup sourdough starter

1 ½ cups warm water

1 ½ tsp salt

½ cup sugar

½ cup oil

6 cups all-purpose or bread flour

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Grease the dough lightly once you’ve formed it into a ball.

Cover with a towel and let it rise overnight. ( "Night, night, doughboy.")

The next day, uncover the bread. "Good morning!"

Knead the dough for 10 minutes. Divide it in half and place in two greased 4 x 8 bread pans or form into a ball on a greased cookie sheet. (Or pizza pan, in my case. Whatever's clean, you dig?)

Allow the dough to double in size. Admittedly, I let this rise all day. Mostly 'cause I forgot about it. (Luke is saying "Can I eat it yet?")

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until browned. Cool on wire rack.

You can also do this as loaves in pans. They bake up beautifully and slice well. These round shapes are called boules and they are great for making soup bowls, dip bowls, or just for cutting off a chunk when you want some.

Let me know if you try it!

Just the facts, please...

Recently I wrote a devotional in my other blog--Socks Are NOT The Enemy--that explained a little about bread-making. I have had a lot of requests for my Sourdough Bread recipe, so I decided that maybe, just maybe, people would like a recipe blog.

I plan to share some of my favorite recipes and link up to some other great ones that I have discovered through the wonderful world of blogging.

Feel free to post links to my blog if you see something you like!

Oh, and comments are mandatory. I'm just sayin'.