Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lemon Pound Cake

Happy Easter!! This year, I decided I'd bring pound cake for shortcake rather than angel food cake. Mostly due to my absolutely irrational fear of egg whites. I didn't want to go through that again. So, pound cake it is! It holds up a bit better anyways to the mounds of strawberries I generally pile on (I like a little pound cake with my strawberries and whipped cream!). I also had some cute little mini-bundt pans that I wanted to try. Which kind of failed, since one fell apart while baking.. but still turned out pretty awesome!

Exhibit A: 

Finished product (my camera makes it look darker than it is, it really is only golden brown!):


1 cup butter, softened (2 sticks)
1/2 cup shortening (room temp)
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp butter flavoring
3 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt (if using unsalted butter)
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup milk
zest and juice of one large lemon


Preheat oven to 350º. 

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together. Add eggs, one at a time, and extracts with last egg. Mix well after each addition. Add 1 cup flour and the baking powder (and salt, if using), mix. Add half and half, followed by another cup of flour, then milk, then remaining 1 cup flour. Add lemon zest and juice, mix until everything is well combined. Pour into a greased and floured bundt pan or two loaf pans. (I used five of these, though there is only four in a package. If you're going to use these, I would recommend reinforcing the sides if you can, and definitely put them on a baking sheet while they're in the oven.) Bake for 40-45 minutes for mini bundt pans, or 50-55 for the larger pans, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and cakes are golden brown on top. Let cool for at least 15-20 minutes before slicing. You WILL wind up with a mess otherwise. 

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Healthier Cranberry Orange Muffins

For co-workers and friends, I generally will make them something of their choice for their birthdays. A co-worker has been trying to eat better recently, and requested muffins. Preferably with citrus of some sort in them, and as healthy as I could get. While I didn't go the whole 9 yards on the health bit (could also probably have added some flax seed or oats or something, and used fresh orange juice instead of pre-made), they're still quite a bit healthier than the store-bought version that is loaded with sugar and useless carbs!  I would also imagine that you could use other better oils than vegetable, such as coconut oil, but I'm not sure how it would affect the texture or flavor. Also, I apologize that I don't have a picture for this one just yet. I will have to make another batch soon to get pictures. They turned out GORGEOUS though. Perfectly domed and fluffy, but still definitely a muffin. 

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil 
1-2 tsp orange zest
1/3 cup Splenda
1 egg
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 - 1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used low-sugar Craisins)

Preheat oven to 375º. Combine dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add in remaining ingredients except cranberries, mix until just combined. Fold in cranberries. Divide batter equally between 6 greased or lined muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.