Homemade Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

 
Lately Blue Bell has been on sale and we’ve been stocking up because there’s nothing better for dessert than ice cream during the summer days in Texas.  I’ve dabbled in making ice creams (like the wonderful Peach Ice Cream and Peach and Honey Sorbet), but this Milk Chocolate Ice Cream has to be the best of the lot and will be booting Blue Bell out of the freezer!
Homemade Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
I watched Alton Brown’s ice cream episode (Churn Baby Churn II – he’s a hoot) and he had such good tips that I had to see if they were for real.  I’d been searching for that creamy, creamy ice cream – almost gelato in texture.  He said to make sure and cool the ice cream mixture completely and then refrigerate it for 6 to 8 hours before even making the ice cream. I had the time and decided to try it and to make it chocolate.
Homemade Milk Chocolate Ice Cream2
I revised his recipe somewhat mainly because I didn’t want to use 9 (!) egg yolks.  I also substituted part of the half-and-half with 2% milk because I only had 2 cups of half-and-half.  Nothing like changing a recipe and then expecting it to come out right, huh?

I patiently waited overnight for the custard mixture to cool (the cooler the mixture, the smaller the ice crystals and the smoother the ice cream).  Then I churned the ice cream for about 25 minutes in my trusty electric ice cream maker, after which the ice cream went into the freezer for about 4 hours.  It was supposed to be more than 4 hours, but by that time I couldn’t wait.  The result, even with the changes, was phenomenal.  I’ve never had such creamy homemade ice cream in my life!  (Sorry Mom.)  It was smooth and chocolaty and I could have eaten the whole batch if I hadn’t needed photos.

Thanks to Alton Brown’s tips, I’ve learned the art of ice cream making.  I’ll be trying a vanilla ice cream next and then want to add bananas to the chocolate ice cream to make a Chocolate-Covered Banana ice cream.  I’ll miss Blue Bell, but not as much if we have this wonderful Milk Chocolate Ice Cream in the freezer!


Homemade Milk Chocolate Ice Cream
*****Perfect Ice Cream.  Just try to stop eating it.

1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 C. Half-and-Half
1 C. milk (I used 2%)
1 C. heavy cream
6 large egg yolks
1 C. sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Place the cocoa powder and 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine.  Add the remaining half-and-half, the milk, and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.

In a mixing bowl with the whisk attachment (or by hand) whisk the egg yolks for about a minute.  Add the salt and then gradually add the sugar.  Whisk until combined.  Temper the hot cream into the eggs by slowly drizzling 1/2 cup at a time (with mixer on low) until most of the cream mixture has been added.  Pour in the remaining cream and then return the mixture to the saucepan.  Turn heat to low.

Continue to cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens slightly and reaches 175 degrees.  Pour the mixture into a container and leave at room temperature for about 30 minutes.  Stir in the vanilla extract.  Cover the mixture tightly and put in the refrigerator for 6-8 hours, or even better overnight.  After refrigeration, pour into an ice cream maker and process for 25-30 minutes until thick.  Pour into a container, tightly lidded, and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.

Tips and Stuff
You can use more or less cocoa powder according to your tastes.
When tempering the hot cream mixture into the eggs, pour the half cups down the inside of the mixing bowl – it’ll cool a little on the way down to the eggs.
Be sure and stir frequently when the mixture is back on the burner or it will stick to the bottom of the pan and make clumps.  If it does, you can strain the mixture before cooling it down.
You will love this ice cream!

Peach Cobbler Cookies

 
We’re coming to the bottom of our summer peach box and I wanted to make something different with the remaining peaches.  Bret’s still looking for the Double-Crusted Peach Pie that we make every year, but that’ll have to wait for now.

I tried making peach muffins, but they didn’t come out very well, so I started developing a soft peach cookie.  These almost have a muffin texture, but they’re definitely a cookie.  Besides dealing with the oven full blast while it’s 102 degrees outside, I was very pleased with the end result. They’re slightly spicy from the cinnamon and nutmeg and then you get a chunk of fresh peach and the crunch of a pecan.  It really does taste like peach cobbler to me!
Peach Cobbler Cookies2
I was worried the peaches might be too juicy and make the dough loose, but after draining them a little it came out perfectly.  A little visit to the refrigerator to firm up the batter and it worked like a champ.  Here’s that wonderful pre-baked mixture – you can see the fresh peaches and sprinkles of cinnamon.  And yes, I tasted the batter and didn’t die of salmonella.
Peach Cobbler Cookies
I really loved these cookies.  I made half with pecans and half without because Bret doesn’t prefer them, but I think they’re better with the pecans.  It’s up to you, though; either way, they’re really good!


Peach Cobbler Cookies
****I loved these – they’re delicious! Makes about 3 dozen.

1 C. butter
3/4 C. sugar (plus 1/2 tsp. for peach mixture)
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon (plus 1/4 tsp. for peach mixture)
1/8 tsp. salt
1 C. chopped peaches (3-4 peaches)
1/2 C. chopped pecans (optional, but recommended)

Put the chopped peaches, 1/2 tsp. sugar and 1/4 tsp. cinnamon in a small bowl and stir until combined.  Set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add the egg and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

In another bowl, stir flour, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt until combined.  Add the flour mixture into the butter/egg mixture, a little at a time.  After blended, stir in the peaches  and pecans.

Chill dough for about 1 hour and then stir to combine again. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Drop dough by scant tablespoons onto parchment covered cookie sheet.  Flatten the cookies slightly with your fingertips, then bake for 14-15 minutes, turning the pans once half way through baking.

Transfer to a rack to cool, then enjoy!

Tips and Stuff
If your peaches are really juicy, drain them a little before adding to the batter.
Dough will be slightly sticky, but will firm up some after chilled.

Fruit and Yogurt Pops

 
Since Bret doesn’t eat strawberries (or berries in general – poor fella’), I always seem to have strawberries that need to be frozen or will go bad.  I have bags of those frozen strawberries (and some bananas and peaches) and usually blend them up for a breakfast smoothie.  I decided this time to make something different – Fruit and Yogurt Pops!
Fruit and Yogurt Pops
You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to find popsicle molds that weren’t tricky to put together.  I just wanted one you stuff the mixture into and freeze.  They come in metal and plastic, with sticks and without sticks, and some are just plain complicated.  Finally I found these online and really liked them because it’s a small set with just four pops – just the right size for our freezer.

I essentially made a smoothie and spooned it into the molds, then popped them in the freezer overnight for maximum freeze.  They came out perfectly.  I can’t believe I’ve been paying five to six bucks for fruit pops from the grocery store!
Fruit and Yogurt Pops2
These pops were creamy, fruity and refreshing.  (The smoothie mixture before they were frozen was also great…) I’ll be making these often this summer with our leftover frozen fruits.  You can mix and match the fruits and yogurt flavors and still come out with delicious pops!


Fruit and Yogurt Pops
****Refreshing, yummy and fairly healthy summer treats! This made 4 pops, but you could double if needed.

1 C. frozen strawberries
1/2 banana
1 container blueberry Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. evaporated milk or milk
1-2 tbsp. heavy or whipping cream

Dump all of the ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth. Adjust the milk/cream to a spoonable consistency and spoon into the molds. Freeze for at least 4 hours – but better overnight.

Tips and Tricks
Use whatever fruit or flavored yogurt you have or like.  Even vanilla Greek yogurt would work.
The banana I used wasn’t frozen.
If you don’t have cream, just use all evaporated milk or regular milk.  Cream does make it smoother, though.
Take a taste before you put them in the molds – add a little Truvia or sugar if the fruit and yogurt don’t make them sweet enough.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies

 
We were needing a really good dessert the other day.  You know, a rich one that goes well with a tall, cold glass of milk.  Since it’s been so hot lately, we’ve been stocking up on ice cream to cool us down, but we were wanting something different.  These Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies are a Taste of Home recipe, changed slightly for the ingredients I had on hand.
chocolate peanut butter brownies2
Bret loves Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so I thought he’d enjoy these dense brownies with a creamy, fluffy peanut butter frosting.  He did enjoy them, I’m glad to report!   I thought I was going to have to wrestle him to save a square for the photo.

I used parchment paper to bake them so they could be pulled out and easily frosted (and drizzled with chocolate).  It worked out great and was convenient to cut into pretty squares without the knife bumping into the sides of the pan.
Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
Be sure and let these chill before cutting and serving.  When chilled, the brownie texture is perfect paired with the thick, creamy peanut butter frosting.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies
****These would be good for a potluck, but are excellent for an everyday dessert, too! That frosting is luscious. Makes about 20 brownies.

Brownies:
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1/2 C. (1 stick) butter, cubed
2 eggs
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. all-purpose flour

Frosting:
1 1/2 C. confectioner’s sugar
1/2 C. creamy peanut butter
1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter, softened
2 to 3 Tbsp. cream or milk

Glaze:
1 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
cream or milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  In a small saucepan, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring occasionally.  In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar together until light and pale colored.  Add the flour and blend for 5 seconds, then pour in the melted chocolate.  Stir by hand until the chocolate is blended in.  Line 9″ square baking pan with parchment paper (or grease pan for easy release) and pour in the batter.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the brownies test done with a toothpick (don’t over bake).  Remove pan to rack and let cool completely (at least 30 minutes).

For the frosting, beat the confectioner’s sugar, peanut butter and softened butter in a bowl.  Stir in cream or milk until mixture reaches desired spreading consistency.  If you used parchment paper, remove brownies from the pan, put the used parchment paper under the rack and set the brownies directly on the rack.  Frost the brownies evenly.  Prepare the glaze ingredients by melting the chips and adding the milk (stir well) – you’ll want it fairly thin to drizzle. Drizzle the chocolate over the brownies, cover loosely and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cutting. Refrigerate leftovers.

Tips and Stuff
Stir in the melted chocolate after the flour is added so the egg mixture won’t scramble from the heat.
Only stir it until just blended so that the brownies don’t turn out tough.
You can use chunky peanut butter if that’s what you have.
Be sure and put waxed paper or the used parchment paper under the rack to catch the drizzled chocolate.  Trust me – you don’t want to have to clean melted chocolate off your countertops.
Definitely keep these refrigerated.

Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut Caramel Icing

 
My sister, Glenda, is a wonderful cook.  She’s one of those naturally talented cooks who can throw ingredients together, say “oh, that old thing?” and end up with a masterpiece in home cooking.  I, on the other hand, am cooking-challenged and have to labor and work diligently to make something special.  That’s why when I saw this recipe from Glenda in the family cookbook, I knew it was going to be good.  Fruit Cocktail Cake?  I don’t think I would’ve made it had it just popped up in Pinterest!
Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut Caramel Icing
The cake turned out really good, with a light spongy texture, and every once in awhile a bite of fruit would come through.  I think next time I would chop up a cup or so of pineapple and throw it in. That would take it to the next level.

The star of the cake, though, is that icing!  It’s so simple to make, but comes out so rich and caramel-y, and is perfect for the not-so-sweet cake.  It was hard not to lick up the remains from the icing pan.  Wonderful stuff.  As you can see, the cake didn’t take long to disappear.  I made the cake on Monday afternoon and this is the pan on Tuesday morning…
Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut Caramel Icing2
If you don’t prefer coconut (aka Bret), you can leave it out and you’d still have an outstanding icing.


Fruit Cocktail Cake with Coconut Caramel Icing
**** From Glenda. Spongy soft barely sweet cake with a phenomenal coconut caramel icing.

Cake:
2 eggs
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 (15-16 oz) can fruit cocktail (not drained)
2 C. flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp. salt

Icing:
1 C. sugar
1/2 C. butter
1/2 C. evaporated milk or cream
1 (3 1/2 oz.) can flaked coconut (about 1 1/4 C. loosely packed)

Preheat oven to 350 for at least 10 minutes. Beat eggs and sugar till lemon colored. Stir in the fruit cocktail, flour, soda, and salt and mix well. Spoon batter into a greased 9×13″ pan and bake for 35-40 minutes. Prepare the icing five minutes before the cake is done by combining the sugar, butter and milk in a medium pan. Bring it to a boil over medium heat and boil about 4 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the coconut and mix well. Pour it evenly over the hot cake and let cool on a rack.

Tips and Stuff
Remember not to drain the fruit cocktail – it needs that liquid in the batter.
I used evaporated milk.
Start checking the cake at 30 minutes by the clean-toothpick method. Mine was done between 30-35 minutes. It will be fairly brown on top.
Although not called for in the recipe, after the cake was baked I poked small holes so the icing would go down into the cake a bit.

Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze (A Daring Kitchen Challenge)

 
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a Daring Kitchen Challenge, but this one was right up my alley.  I love bread and am fairly competent (by no means an expert) at baking, and I know it will get eaten, so onward with the challenge.  Tandy from Lavender and Lime came up with this twist bread challenge for May and it was a fun learning experience.
Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze3
I chose to make a Cinnamon Twist Bread and decided it needed a butter glaze on it – good decision.  The dough could be used for regular cinnamon rolls as well, but this time instead of slicing into rolls I sliced the dough through lengthwise, twisted it so that the cinnamon, sugar, butter mixture nicely showed with the twists, and formed it into a wreath shape.  Here’s a prebaked photo:
Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze
It was a little messy, but I had my handy disposable gloves so I could really get the twist going without too much cinnamon butter mixture permanently shoved up my fingernails. The result was a lovely cinnamon twist wreath that was great right out of the oven or warmed up later for breakfast with coffee.
Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze2
I do need a little practice with my twisting.  The ends that were pressed together got a little mushed, but it didn’t matter – it was still delicious and fairly attractive.  This would be a nice addition to a brunch or breakfast buffet or just something special for yourself!


Cinnamon Twist Bread with Butter Glaze
**** Wonderful cinnamon roll-like flavors with a luscious butter glaze.

Dough:
3/4 C. warm milk
1 envelope active dry yeast
1 tbsp. sugar
1 egg yolk
1/8 C. melted butter
2 1/4 C. flour
pinch of salt

Filling:
1/4 C. softened butter
5 tbsp. sugar
3 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:
1/4 C. melted butter
1/2 powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla
1-2 tbsp. evaporated milk for thinning

Warm the milk to lukewarm and mix in the yeast and sugar.  Let sit for a few minutes while the yeast bubbles and foams up.

Put the egg yolk, melted butter, flour and salt into a mixer bowl and mix on low with a dough hook until just blended.  Add the yeast mixture and knead the dough on medium for about 5 minutes or until a small piece stretched will “window pane.”  Roll into a smooth ball and place in a large, lightly oiled bowl.  Loosely cover and let sit for about an hour or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Dust the work surface lightly with flour and roll out the dough to approximately 16″ long by 9 or 10″ wide.  Combine the very-softened butter with the sugar and cinnamon and spread it over the dough, spreading to about 1/2″ from the edges.  Carefully roll up the dough lengthwise.  Cut the dough in half lengthwise and twist the two sides together, making sure the cinnamon mixture shows on the outside of the twists. Shape into a circle and lightly press the ends together.

Cover a cookie or baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden brown.  Turn out onto a rack with a sheet of wax paper under it.  Combine the glaze ingredients, thinning to your liking, and brush the glaze onto the warm bread. If you have any leftover bread, store at room temperature loosely wrapped in aluminum foil.

Tips and Stuff
To warm the milk, pour into a glass measuring cup and microwave for about 15 seconds until warm (not hot) to the touch.  You don’t want to kill the poor little yeast by putting it in overly hot water.  Also check the date on your yeast and don’t use old yeast.
You can knead it by hand for 8 to 10 minutes if you prefer.  I find that the mixer with the dough hook works just fine.
If you’d rather leave the butter glaze off, just combine a 1/2 cup of powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons or so of evaporated milk and drizzle over the bread.

Savory Crockpot Short Ribs

 
It’s been a beautiful Spring here in North Texas so far.  Kind of rainy, a little flooding, but the grass and trees are bright green and flowers are blooming!  It reminds me that Summer is around the corner and out comes the crockpot; ready for action.
IMG_5147
What better dish to throw in the crockpot but short ribs?  Actually, I’ve made regular ribs (in the oven) many times, but never have tried making short ribs.  All those braised short rib recipe photos look awesome and I guess I’ve been hesitant to make them because you usually have to toss them in flour, braise them in a dutch oven along with wine and other good stuff, and let them cook on the stove top for hours to get that tender texture.  I came up with an easier way to do it with outstanding results.
IMG_5141
You can adjust the time if your ribs are thawed out, but it was easier just to throw them in frozen.  My crockpot is from the 70’s – let’s call it ‘vintage’ to be nice.  I’m dying to get one of those big new pots that has a handle and clip-on top.  It would be nice to put a tenderloin in it without standing it on end or cutting it up.  I shouldn’t complain, though, because my old crockpot still cooks killer dishes.
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Savory Crockpot Short Ribs
****I loved these.  The sauce is wonderful and the rib meat just falls off the bones.  Serves 3-4 people.

2 lb. short ribs
1 C. beef broth
1 pkg. dry Lipton Onion Soup mix
1/3 C. Chili Sauce
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

In a small bowl, stir together the beef broth, soup mix, chili mix, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.  Place the ribs in the crockpot and pour the sauce over the top.  Place the lid on and cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  Ribs are done when meat starts falling off the bones.

Tips and Stuff

I always use a crockpot liner for easier cleanup. You can find them over by the aluminum foil and plastic bags at the grocery store.
Serve these over whipped mashed potatoes and add a little of that sauce over the top.
I put frozen ribs in and they thawed quickly and cooked great.

Honey Beer Bread

 
I’ve been on a bread baking kick lately.  It’s just so easy to throw together and it does all the work for you!  This Honey Beer Bread recipe has been floating around the cloud for years and everyone has their version of it, but I finally saw a photo of it so appealing that I had to make it.  (This delectable photo is mine, but the other one was good, too…)
Honey Beer Bread (2)
I kept thinking it needed some oil or butter in the actual dough, but the butter that’s melted and poured on the bottom and top of the dough ends up making a buttery-golden crust.  The texture of the bread is wonderfully soft with a little bit of a chew.
Honey Beer Bread (3)
I borrowed one of Bret’s lite beers for the beer portion and it gave the bread an unexpected yeasty “real bread” flavor without tasting like beer.  I brushed a little more butter on top after it was baked and sprinkled a bit of sea salt, but that’s not necessary.  Good, but not necessary.  This was delicious right out of the oven, but best after it was completely set, then warmed up with a bit of butter.  It tasted like I had really worked hard at baking bread!  I think you’ll enjoy this.
Honey Beer Bread (1)


Honey Beer Bread
**** Really enjoyed this and will make it often. Buttery bread with a wonderful texture.

3 C. flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. honey
1, 12 oz. can light beer
1/4 C. butter, melted

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x5x3″ loaf pan and set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking power and salt in a medium bowl. Stir the beer and honey together in a small bowl until combined, then pour it into the dry ingredients, stirring until just mixed. The dough will be fairly sticky.

Pour half of the melted butter into the bottom of the loaf pan. Spoon the batter evenly into the pan and then pour the rest of the butter on top of the butter, making sure to cover it evenly.

Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack and cool completely before slicing.

Tips and Stuff
I’ve been asked if you can substitute something for the beer and I really think not. It gives the bread a good texture and yeasty flavor.
A dark beer would be OK, too.  It would be more earthy and beer-tasting I think.
I thought about adding 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder and some chives. That would make a great flavored bread with this recipe.
Some of the recipes recommended warming the honey 5-10 seconds in the microwave before stirring into the beer so it will blend better.

Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

 
Wow – where has the time gone!  I missed posting in March and nearly missed April!  It’s been a busy time, but I’ve also not found any recipes that turned out good enough to share….till now.  If you can’t tell, I was craving a little something chocolate.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting2
This indeed made the most chocolaty dessert I think I’ve ever had.  The chocolate cake turned out like a brownie cake, except not as dense as a brownie.  The chocolate chips in the cake added a little crunch and, yes, a little more but different chocolate.  The best part, though?  That chocolate buttercream frosting!  It’s silky, rich and just the right consistency for this cake.  I must admit I taste tested a couple of spoons full before frosting the cake.  Never can be too careful, you know.
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
This cake definitely needs to be served with a tall glass of cold milk or a cup of hot coffee, and served in smaller than normal slices.  You’ll get your chocolate fix with this cake.  And, oh, that frosting!


Chocolate Chip Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
***1/2 Outstanding frosting on top of a dense, rich chocolate chip cake.  A chocolate-lover’s dream!

Cake:
3/4 C. (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 tbsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
3 eggs
1 1/2 C. flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 C. chocolate chips

Frosting:
1/2 C. butter (1 stick), softened to room temperature
2 C. powdered sugar
1/2 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tsp. heavy cream or half-and-half
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Spray and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan.

In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sour cream, then add sugar, blending well.  Add the cream and mix.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.

In a medium bowl, stir the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder together until mixed.   Lower the speed of the mixer and add one cup of flour mixture at a time to the butter mixture, blending for a few seconds between each addition.  After all flour is added, mix for 30 seconds.  Put 1 tsp. of flour in a bowl and add the chocolate chips, tossing to coat (this will keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cake).  Then fold the chocolate chips into the batter and stir to distribute the chips evenly.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 325 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes, checking with a toothpick at 60 minutes.  The toothpick should come out fairly clean, but may have a little chocolate on it from the chocolate chips.  Don’t over bake!

Cool the cake in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.  Don’t frost until completely cool, because the frosting is butter-based and will melt.  If you need to frost it more quickly, after turning out the cake, put in the refrigerator till the bottom is cool to the touch.

To make the frosting:  Cream the softened butter and powdered sugar together for a few minutes.  Add in the cocoa powder and blend well (will be thick).  Add 1 tablespoon of cream at a time until your desired consistency is reached (mine was 3 tbsp.).  Frost completely cooled cake and sprinkle remaining chocolate chips across the top.  Refrigerate the leftover cake.

Tips and Stuff
Be sure and test the cake at 60 minutes.  I overcooked mine a bit and the bottom and sides were a little tough.
You can either put a giant thick layer of frosting just on top of the cake or frost the entire cake.  It makes a ton of frosting, so it’s up to you.

Glazed Meyer Lemon Cake

 
Citrus fruits are in season right now and we’ve sure been enjoying the sweet oranges, tangy lemons, and Texas Ruby Red grapefruit.  For years I’ve wanted to try making something with Meyer Lemons, so I adapted a lemon pound cake recipe to use these sweeter, less acidic lemons.
Meyer Lemon Cake
Meyer Lemons are a cross between regular lemons and mandarin oranges and didn’t really come to the U.S. (originally from China) until the 20th century.  In the last few decades, chefs have discovered them and started featuring them in recipes.  The skins are smoother and the fruit is a little rounder than regular lemons, having a deeper yellow, almost orange skin.  I really liked the result when I used them for this wonderful lemony cake.
Meyer Lemon Cake 2
This recipe calls for zesting and juicing the lemons and while doing that I noticed a deep, almost oregano-like aroma.  It was incredible.  I’m going to look around for more recipes – maybe an ice cream this summer – that use these lemons.  If you prefer the sharp, acidic flavor of regular lemons (which I love also!), go ahead and use those in this cake.

I went a little overboard with the size of the holes poked on the top of the baked cake, but I really liked the way the lemony glaze soaked down into them.  It was even better when it sat covered at room temperature overnight.  If you like lemon, this is the cake for you!


Glazed Meyer Lemon Cake
*** 1/2. Adapted from Sprinkle Some Sugar.  I really liked this moist, dense, and lemony cake.  Don’t be stingy with the glaze!

Cake:
1/2 C. butter, softened to room temperature
1 C. sugar
2 eggs
3 1/2 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
2 1/2 tbsp. Meyer lemon zest
1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 C. buttermilk

Glaze:
1 1/2 C. confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp. Meyer lemon juice
Water to thin

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9×5″ loaf pan with cooking spray and line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, lemon juice and zest until combined.  Alternate adding the flour mixture and buttermilk and mix well after each addition.  Do not over mix after combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean (will have a few crumbs on it).  The sides of the cake do brown quite a bit (see first photo), so don’t worry about that.

Allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack which has wax paper underneath it to catch the glaze.  Poke holes all over the top of the cake with a toothpick, making sure the holes reach the bottom of the cake.  Pour and smooth half of the glaze over the cake, making sure to encourage the glaze to go into the holes.  Let this sit for a few minutes, then pour the remaining glaze over the cake.  Allow to dry and set for about 30 minutes before serving.

Tips and Stuff

I used a total of four lemons for the juicing and zest.
When zesting remember the skin of Meyer lemons is thinner than normal lemons, so don’t zest too deeply to the pith or it will be bitter.
If you want a taller cake you can use an 8×5″ pan, but make sure and bake it 5-10 minutes longer.
I used a the end of a small wooden spoon when poking holes in the cake.  It made great holes for the glaze to get it, but left mighty big holes in it!  Still, I would do it the same next time because it made the cake so moist.