Friday, October 6, 2017

The Cake That Changed Everything: German Chocolate Cake

The very first time I ever decided 
to enter a baking competition... 
I decided to bake a single
 cake from scratch.

No practice cakes... 
No taste-testing...
I simply baked a cake,
and entered it in our fair.  

Seems simple enough...

It was a local county fair, a well-attended and 
well-loved fair, right in the heart of the Midwest.

I could say... end of story...
but...actually,
this where the whole story really begins.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Blue Ribbon 100: The Pecan Pie Recipe


I have a new special day to 
add to my collection
of favorite days...

It happened just the other weekend.

I love when that happens...
you just never know when 
a beautiful, 

'makes you smile
just to think about it'

kind of a day 
is coming your way... 

and aren't we so happy these days find us...?

and then, 
they leave a piece of themselves
behind...like a souvenir of happiness...
 —a sweet lasting memory.
Photo Credit: Hannah @Muddyoakenhouse via Instagram.  Thank you.


Some days just stay with me...
memories linger,
The wonderfulness and warmth of the day
is never too far out of reach.

Even though, those days are often the busiest...
as in, crazy busy  –hustling from one place to another...
working hard and trying to do waaaay
too many things at one time...

For me, so many of those really special days,
 —the ones that really stay with me, they often
revolve around big celebrations, and
holidays...

My newest favorite day was this...

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Cinnamon Swirl Yeast Coffee Cake: w/ Honey Caramel Salted Pecan Frosting

So... It's acorn season here at my house...

Is it the same at your house??

If you have an oak tree in your yard
 you might know what I mean...

We have a few oak trees here in our yard
and year to year they drop a variety of different 
things from their branches...

sometimes...
 it's fuzzy brown "confetti"
...sometimes, tiny, itty-bitty acorns... 
other years bigger green acorns... 
and always, every autumn the oak trees drop so many leaves...
—plenty of shiny brown leaves fall from above.
Our oak leaves seem to fall last... usually late
November... it's the gift that keeps on giving.

Well, this is an acorn year, 
and if you have an oak tree like we do...
You know it's also the season of...

shoes.

Yes, shoes are a must...
—an absolute must.
no summer-time bare feet dare
 to make a quick run through the grass
to check the mail box... 

I can't step onto the front porch without the
 fear of stepping on one of those acorns...
or worse, stepping on handfuls of those pesky nuts...

I found out yesterday exactly what season it is
-- the new acorn season introduced itself to me
 when I ran out to dress up the light post.

I made a quick retreat into the house to
grab my shoes... a mistake I  do not plan to repeat.

I decided to transition the
 house for fall over the
 Labor Day weekend... 
I hesitated, because some of the planters looked good...
while others...were not so good... but in the end I thought I would
 be happier later in the month when I am short on time,
 to not have to keep planting and replanting pots.


I always think I have plenty of time for this
 and that, but anymore, after Labor Day...
things really start to pile up...
fun things, beautiful days and lots of great autumn outings...
but, I lose track of the time 
and before I know it's almost Halloween...
and then things really get moving...
I'm sure you must feel it too...
the days are short and the seasons 
are somehow coming faster than ever.

I sometimes try to hold off on mums... 
( it feels early to me this year)...
I can always replenish if they bloom early.  
A round two of mums never dampened any one's fall spirits.
 Besides...in a few weeks, pumpkins will be piled at
 my entryway door... plenty of fall color!!

Speaking of fall... and good things...

I posted the winners of the 2017 Country living Fair tickets. 
 They are:
 Lisa B.
Phyllis P. 
Lori L.
Congratulations!!  

You all received information regarding 
your tickets in an email this morning.  

For the rest of you...my sweet friends that still may 
want to go, get over to Jo Ann's and pick up discounted
 tickets at all OHIO Jo Ann Stores.  If you are not 
in OHIO, you can 
purchase pre-sale tickets at:
 https://www.stellashows.com/event/country-living-fair-ohio/

 TIP: If at all possible...it's better to buy
 early and not have to 
wait in a ticket line.

clf917h-612x612

Here's a WIN for everyone...
A very requested brand NEW recipe... 
just for you.  
This was my 98th blue ribbon win and a
 bonus Best of Show for the yeast category.

This... Cinnamon Swirled Yeast Coffee Cake 
with a Salted Caramel Pecan Frosting.

It's perfect for a brunch, 
company, or just because it's
 fall and nothing tastes better
 with a cup of coffee than this treat.

If you're not super comfortable working 
with yeast... don't worry... I'm new to it too... 
and you can totally make this.

First, a couple of things about this recipe...

There is butter in this recipe...surprise!!
...it's probably why it tastes so amazing.
Don't be scared by the amount of butter...after all
you won't be eating the whole
 coffee cake yourself...right??

The recipe follows after this handy dandy photo tutorial...

Sometimes photos are 
helpful describing steps in a recipe.
For those of you who just want the words...a words only recipe follows.


Photo Tutorial:
Cinnamon Swirl Yeast Coffee Cake with 
a Honey Caramel Salted Pecan Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray an 8 inch cake pan with non-stick vegetable spray
Set aside.

Warm 1 cup of buttermilk- less than 120 degrees.

IMPORTANT**
 (If you warm the buttermilk in the
microwave, be sure it is not warmer
 than 120 degrees... if it's too hot...
the yeast will die...and this recipe will not work.
Remember 120 degrees is just a touch warmer 
than body-temperature at 98.6 degrees.
  If you are not sure what 120 degrees
 feels like, use a thermometer.

Add one packet or 1/4 ounce of instant yeast
to the warmed buttermilk.
1/4 ounce = 2 1/4 teaspoons
Add 3 Tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Let yeast buttermilk/sugar mixture sit for 3-5 minutes.

In a stand mixer:
I used my whisk attachment, only because I could not
locate my regular paddle attachment... it worked fine.
I don't typically use the dough hook... 
just my preference... 
I think any attachment can get 
the job done for this particular recipe.

Add 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Add buttermilk mixture to flour and mix
on low until dough forms.

While the mixer is on low,
add 5 Tablespoons of softened butter to the
dough, (adding 1 tablespoon at a time).

Once combined, let dough rest in a greased bowl, 
covered for 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Be sure the dough is resting in a warm, draft free location.

After dough has risen,
Turn the dough out onto a floured piece of parchment paper.

Roll the dough using a floured rolling pin.  
If dough is sticky, add flour, a little at
 a time until dough is workable.

Roll into a large 1/2 inch thick rectangle
(About a 9 x 12 rectangle)

Make the filling:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
(1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans-optional)

Spread 4-5 Tablespoons of softened butter over the dough
Sprinkle the butter with the sugar/spice filling.

Cut the dough into four 
3-4 inch strips length wise.

Fold each strip in half. Sugar/cinnamon sides touching.

Start in the center of the cake pan. 
Create a circular shape....much like a singular cinnamon roll.
Place the folded side down, leaving the cut (open side) side facing up.

Follow the center roll by adding additional
 folded strips of dough, (placing folded side on bottom of the pan) 
creating a larger circle.

Repeat until the pan is filled with dough.

(Yes, this could be made in a square pan, although the corners
 the would remain empty)

Cover and let dough rise 30-45 minutes

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven
 for 30-35 minutes or until the coffee cake is golden brown
and set in the center.

Let cool 5 minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Let coffee cake cool.

For the Frosting:
In a medium saucepan on medium heat
melt:
3 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of honey
pinch of salt
 once sugar and butter have melted and are bubbly, add
1/4 cup of heavy cream. 
 Let mixture return to a boil and then turn off heat.
Let mixture cool down slightly.

When mixture is warm,  add 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar, whisk until smooth...you may add additional tablespoons of confectioner's sugar to reach desired frosting consistency.
add 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans-if desired.

Drizzle warm frosting over coffee cake.
Sprinkle finished cake with  2 Tablespoons of chopped toasted pecans and 
 1/4 tsp coarse salt.


RECIPE:
Cinnamon Swirl Yeast Coffee Cake with 
a Honey Caramel Salted Pecan Frosting


Ingredients:
1 Cup buttermilk
2 1/4 tsp instant yeast - (I used Platinum Red Star brand in a packet)
3 TBS Sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted softened butter

Filling:
4-5 Tablespoons softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
(1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans-optional)

Frosting:
3 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons honey
pinch of salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup toasted chopped pecans- optional
**
2 Tablespoons chopped toasted pecans for decoration
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt-for decoration

Directions: 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Toast pecans if using, (3/4 cup plus two tablespoons total) cool, chop and set aside.
Spray an 8 inch cake pan with non-stick vegetable spray, set aside.

Warm 1 cup of buttermilk

IMPORTANT**
 (If you warm the buttermilk in the
microwave, be sure it is not warmer
 than 120 degrees... if it's too hot...
the yeast will die...and the recipe will not work.
Remember 120 degrees is just a touch warmer 
than body-temperature at 98.6 degrees.
 If you are not sure what 120 degrees
 feels like, use a thermometer.

Add one packet or 1/4 ounce of instant yeast
to the warmed buttermilk.
1/4 ounce = 2 1/4 teaspoons
Add 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar.

Let yeast/buttermilk/sugar mixture sit for 3-5 minutes.

In a stand mixer:

Add 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt

Add the buttermilk mixture to flour and mix
on low until dough forms.

While the mixer is on low,
add 5 Tablespoons of softened butter to the
dough, (adding 1 tablespoon at a time until combined).

Once combined, let dough rest in a greased bowl, covered for 40 minutes to 1 hour.
Be sure the dough is resting in a warm, draft free location.

After dough has risen,
Turn the dough out onto a floured piece of parchment paper.

Roll the dough using a floured rolling pin.  
If dough is sticky, add flour, a little at a time until dough is workable.

Roll into a large 1/2 inch thick rectangle
About (9x12)

Make the filling:
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
(1/2 cup toasted chopped pecans-optional)

Spread 4 Tablespoons of softened butter over the dough
Sprinkle the butter with the sugar/spice filling. (sprinkle nuts if using)

Cut the dough into four 
3-4 inch strips length wise.

Fold each strip in half. Sugar/cinnamon sides touching.

Start in the center of the cake pan. 
Create a circular shape....much like a singular cinnamon roll.
Place the folded side down, leaving the cut (open side) side facing up.

Follow the center roll by adding additional
folded strips of dough, (placing folded side on bottom of the pan) 
creating a larger circle.

Repeat until the pan is filled with dough.

(Yes, this could be made in a square pan, although the corners
 the would remain empty)

Cover and let dough rise 30-45 minutes

Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven
for 30-35 minutes or until the coffee cake is golden brown
and set in the center.

Let cool 5 minutes, before turning out onto a cooling rack.
Let coffee cake cool.

For the Frosting:
In a medium saucepan on medium heat melt:
3 Tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 Tablespoons of honey
pinch of salt
Once sugar and butter have melted and are bubbly, add
1/4 cup of heavy cream. 
Let mixture return to a boil and then turn off heat.
Let mixture cool down slightly.

When mixture is warm, add 1/4 cup of confectioner's sugar, whisk until smooth...you may add additional tablespoons of confectioner's sugar to reach desired frosting consistency.
add 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans-if desired.

Drizzle warm frosting over coffee cake.
Sprinkle finished cake with  2 Tablespoons of chopped toasted pecans and 
 1/4 tsp coarse salt

Enjoy!!





























Friday, September 1, 2017

Fox 19 Visit: Apple Dumplings, Banana Bread and Free Country Living Fair Tickets!!

Hello friends!!

It's almost that time of year... fall....

and maybe even better...

It's time for the Ohio Country Living Fair!!


Have you ever been??

It is

A-mazing!!

This year:
September 15-17
at the Ohio Village in Columbus, Ohio

One of my very favorite fall days... it's really the best
shopping, the best food and best craft demos and the best day-out with friends....
It's really the best!!

What could make this great event even greater???
a
GIVEAWAY!!!

I have three (3) sets of 3-day Early Bird passes to give away.

I know you want to go... if you are into baking, crafting, shopping and eating!!

Sign up below and on 9/5/2017 and three lucky winners will be randomly chosen.

Each winner receives two (2) 3-day, Early Bird Passes

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR WINNERS:
LISA B.
PHYLLIS P.
LORI L.
An email has been sent to you!!  Check your inbox.





I'll be presenting on Friday and Saturday at the Ohio Country Living Fair...
Stop by if you are there!!

If you want to purchase discounted  tickets for the September  15-17
Country Living Fair

You can do so by stopping by any JoAnns store.

For more details about this year's CL Fair
or to purchase tickets directly

Today on Fox19
We made apple dumplings and banana bread.

How lucky am I that I get to go spend time with this great team
...absolutely a great time...every time.



How lucky are you that all the recipes are right here...??
If you need the recipes to either... they are below.

First Place: APPLE DUMPLINGS- A DOUBLE TOPPED, CRUMB AND TRADITIONAL CRUST DUMPLING

Karri Perry| Blue Ribbon Kitchen | BlueRibbonKitchen.blogspot.com

Pie Dough
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter flavored Crisco-chilled
1 cup unsalted butter-chilled
1/4 cup ice water + 1/4 cup vodka

Cut butter and Crisco into the flour/sugar/salt mixture with a pastry blender. Once butter and Crisco is flaked into tiny pieces and the mixture is uniform, begin slowly adding the liquid.

Add just enough ice cold water/vodka mixed 50/50- to bring dough together.

Wrap dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill dough for at least 1 hour before using.


Egg wash
1 egg – beaten
1 Tablespoon water

Crumb Topping
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter - softened
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp cinnamon
 1/2 tsp nutmeg
Combine using a fork, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Honey Caramel Sauce
In a saucepan over medium heat:
1 stick of butter
1 cup of packed brown sugar
1/3 cup of honey
½ cup heavy cream
(¼ cup of warm water to thin if needed)
Melt butter; add sugar, honey and cream.  Heat until bubbly and all sugar is dissolved.  Turn off heat.  Let honey caramel sauce rest on stove top until needed.  Thin with the water if the sauce is too thick to pour easily.

Apples
4-5 small to medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored

Filling for apples
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cardamom
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbs. butter divided for the 5 apples
Mix spices and sugar together in a small bowl.

DIRECTIONS:
Prepare pie dough, let chill for at least 1 hour or overnight before rolling out.
Combine sugar and spices for filling apples, set aside.  
Make crumb topping, set aside. 
Make honey caramel sauce, set aside. 
Peel and core apples.  Cover apples in lemon water and set aside. 
Roll out dough into a rectangle ¼ inch thick. Cut into fourths.  Place a prepared apple in center of dough square.  
Place a slice of butter (approx. 1 tsp) inside apple.  Fill apple center with 1-2 Tbs. of the cinnamon sugar filling mixture.  Top each apple with a handful of crumb topping gently molding it on top of the apple.  
Fold dough up and around apple, covering the crumb topping and pinching sides to seal at the edges.  Repeat for each apple. Place dough covered apples into a buttered baking dish.  
Roll out chilled reserved dough. Use decorative cutters to make leaf shapes for top of apples if desired.  Use egg wash to attach cut-out shapes to apples, lightly brush apples with egg wash.  
Chill prepared apples for 10 minutes in the freezer. 
Pour honey-caramel sauce around apples.  
Bake on middle rack, in preheated 375-degree oven for 50-60 minutes, or until filling is bubbly and crust is golden brown.  Lightly cover apples with foil after 20 minutes or half way through baking if crust is becoming too brown. Allow to cool. 



Banana Bread Recipe
Prize -Winning Banana Bread
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen Blog
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup granulated sugar
3 very ripe bananas mashed well  (about: 1 3/4 cup)
6 tablespoons melted butter, slightly cooled
1 TBS vegetable oil
2 large eggs lightly beaten
¼ cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts OPTIONAL

Combine flours, baking soda, salt and set aside.  Combine sugar, bananas, eggs, butter, oil, sour cream and vanilla extract.  Add flour mixture to banana mixture, combine well-but do not over mix, fold in nuts if using.  Pour into a 9-inch loaf pan, sprayed well with vegetable oil spray.  Bake at 350 degrees, until golden brown (50-55 minutes), or until a tester comes out clean.  Let loaf cool in pan for 5 minutes; turn out onto a cooling rack.