Yellow Crazy Cake with Strawberries

(No eggs or milk needed, this is a nice, easy little half-sized cake for a small household.)

1 ½ cups + 3 T all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan or glass baking dish.

Mix together all dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix together the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. Immediately pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix until relatively smooth. It’s okay if there are a few small lumps. Work quickly and pour into baking dish.

Bake for 35-37 minutes or until top springs back when pressed lightly with fingertip.

Top with your favorite frosting or serve with berries and whipped cream.

You can double this recipe for a 9×13-inch pan.

 

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Chocolate Truffle Dessert Cups

Extra special and extra chocolate-y.

½ c. cocoa
¼ cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks, beaten
1 ½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Finishing:
Whipped cream
Shortbread cookies (your favorite)
Walnut halves (optional)

Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar, salt and vanilla. Then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over med-high heat (or use a double boiler).

Cook pudding until thickened. Towards the end, your pudding will look lumpy and uneven, but if you alternate whisking and stirring vigorously, it will smooth to silky perfection. Cool for 10 minutes, and spoon into fancy tea cups with matching saucers.

Chill well. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, a walnut half and two shortbread cookies. In each cup, place one cookie angled upright in the dessert and one on each saucer.

This tastes like the creamy center filling of your favorite chocolate truffles.  Serves 8.

 

 

 

 

 

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Pie

This chocolate pie is head and shoulders above any you’ll make with a box pudding.

½ c. cocoa
¼ cup cornstarch
3 egg yolks, lightly beaten
1 ½ c. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Make a home-made pie crust and pre-bake in a 9” pie plate. In a hurry? Use store-bought pie crust and bake. A pre-baked graham crust is also an option, but this is supposed to be old-fashioned, right?

Mix cocoa, cornstarch, beaten egg yolks; sugar, salt and vanilla. Then add milk gradually, while stirring in a pot over med-high heat (or use a double boiler).

Cook pudding until thickened. Towards the end, your pudding will look lumpy and uneven, but if you alternate whisking and stirring vigorously, it will smooth to silky perfection. Cool for a few minutes, and pour into the pre-baked pie shell.

Chill well. Before serving, mound with homemade whipped cream. This tastes like a creamy chocolate truffle filling in a pie shell!

For a fuller 9-inch pie, make 25% more filling as follows:

½ c. + 2 T cocoa
¼ c. + 1 T cornstarch
4 egg yolks
1 ¾ + 2 T sugar
¼ lightly rounded tsp salt
2 ½ cups milk
1 ¼ tsp. vanilla

 

 

Double-Crust Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

2 Cups brown sugar
1 ½ cups rolled oats
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup butter
2 T cinnamon
1 T ground ginger
1 T nutmeg
8 cups fresh rhubarb cut into 1” pieces
2 cups sliced, fresh strawberries
2 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup corn starch
3 T minute tapioca
2 cups water
2 T vanilla
Pinch of salt

Melt butter and combine with brown sugar, then oats and flour. Add cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Mix well. Press half the crumb mixture into the bottom of a glass 9×13” pan. Cover the bottom crust with rhubarb, then strawberries. Set aside.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 F. Then, in a saucepan, combine granulated sugar, corn starch, and tapioca. Mix this first, then add water. Cook over medium heat until sauce becomes clear and thick. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt and remove from heat to cool 10 minutes.

Pour sauce over strawberries and rhubarb. Top with remaining crumble mixture. Bake 1 hour. Let cool and serve with vanilla ice cream.

Tip: Crisps and crumbles never stay crunchy past the first day, so if you love the crunch, take the half of this mixture meant for the topping, spread it on foil and bake it separately until golden and crispy. Sprinkle it on individual servings when you dish it up.

Amish Sugar Cookies

blonde cookie
A delicate, crispy shortbread-like cookie.

1 c. granulated sugar
1 c. powdered sugar
1 c. butter
3/4 c. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
4 ½ cups flour
1 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. baking soda

Cream together the sugars and butter. Then add oil, eggs, vanilla and mix again. Add flour, cream of tartar, and baking soda. Mix until combined.

Using a teaspoon, drop dough on cookie sheet 2 inches apart. Pour additional sugar (plain or colored) in a small bowl. Dip the moistened bottom of a glass in sugar and gently press each dropped cookie to flatten. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees F. or until edges begin to turn golden.

HALF RECIPE:
½ c. granulated sugar and ½ c. powdered sugar
½ c. butter
1/3 c. oil, 1 egg, and ½ tsp. vanilla
2 ¼ c. flour, ½ tsp cream of tartar, and ½ tsp. baking soda

Grandma’s Banana Nut Bread

banana bread on a plate
Easy, moist, and just like Grandma used to make.

Simple, easy, fast, and fun; cannot be improved upon.

1 cup ripe smashed banana
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
12 cup water
12 cup vegetable oil
1 12 cups brown sugar
34 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 34 cups flour
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Adjust oven rack to middle position and Pre-heat to 350°F. Grease 1 large loaf pan.

Mix wet ingredients-do not over mix. Add dry ingredients to combine-do not over mix.

Bake large loaf 60-70 minutes. Until firm and golden brown. Let stand for a few minutes before removing from pans. Cool completely. Freezes well.

Carrot-Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

carrot cake slice on a plate
Carrot-Pineapple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

1 c. crushed pineapple, drained
2 c. carrots, shredded
4 eggs
1 c. cane sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. canola oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¾ c. walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 13-inch pan. For a more festive presentation, use a well-greased, large tube pan with wax paper or parchment in the bottom. Another option: two 9-inch round pans ( also lined with parchment). Stack and frost to make a 2-layer cake.

This recipe makes 6 cups batter. In our house, with only 2 people, we freeze 3 cups batter (up to 2 months) and bake only 1, 9-inch round cake at a time. The same goes for the frosting: we use half, and refrigerate the rest until we thaw batter and bake the 2nd cake.

To make the cake, drain a can of crushed pineapple, keeping 1 cup for this cake. (Reserve the juice and any remaining pineapple for another use.)

In a mixing bowl, beat the pineapple, carrots, eggs, sugars and oil. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually beat the flour mixture into the wet mixture. Mix in walnuts, and bake for 30-35 minutes. Done when toothpick comes out clean. Cool before frosting.

FROSTING:
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup butter, room temperature
2 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Drizzle of milk or water

To make the frosting, cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla. Mix in confectioner’s sugar gradually. Use drizzle of milk or water only if needed for consistency. Makes about 2 ¾ cups frosting.