A’Tempting’ Tuesday: I’m fessing up

I am putting on my big girl Tiara and fessing up.  I’ve lied.  Sort of.  In an earlier post I believe I said I rarely, if ever use cake mixes.  I don’t to make cakes.  However, cookies are a different story.  One of my favorite cookie bar recipes starts with a yellow cake mix.

As I said last week, my son and I are settling into a new routine and I haven’t tried many new recipes in the last couple of weeks.  We’ve been knee-deep in baseball practice and I’ve been just a little lazy.  Quite honestly, my son’s picky, 11-year-old taste buds are quite happy with frozen chicken nuggets or a quick homemade pizza.  So today, for lack of anything new or earth shattering to share, I thought I’d post one of my oldies but goodies.

This recipe for Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies came from one of my favorite cookbooks — The Cake Mix Doctor.  Since I am already married and so is “The Cake Boss,” I think I want to be the author of this book, Anne Byrn, when I grow up.   Why didn’t I come up with this??  I have had this book in my collection for years and can’t remember if I got it as a gift or received it as a review copy years ago.  Either way, I’ve had it a long time so I looked it up to see if it is still available.  It is, along with several other versions of this book by the same author.  I may have to invest in The Cake Mix Doctor Returns or one of the other publications.  There’s a gluten-free Cake Doctor and even a Dinner Doctor, among several others.  I want them all.   As a bonus, she even has a website (linked above) full of recipes and wonderful tidbits.  I don’t know why I never thought to look it up before.

Here’s a link to The Cake Mix Doctor on Amazon.com.

This recipe for Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies  can be made with either butterscotch chips or chocolate chips.  Of course, I have always chosen the latter.  Come on y’all. If chocolate is one of your choices, is there another option?

The recipe combines a cake mix, cashews, brown sugar and butterscotch or chocolate chips to make a wonderful bar cookie that is neither too gooey or crumbly.  It’s just right.  Again, this recipe came straight out of  The Cake Mix Doctor cookbook.  I cannot claim it as my own.  And, to my friends who often request this cookie, you now know my secret!  I have probably misled you, but I was so enjoying basking in  the “glory” and praise I received when I made these.  But now, we’ll move on.

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Butterscotch Cashew Scotchies

1 package (18.25 oz) plain yellow cake mix
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) melted butter
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup chopped lightly salted cashews
1 cup butterscotch chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Set aside an ungreased 13×9″ baking pan.
Place the cake mix, brown sugar, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape the sides of  the bowl with a rubber spatula. Blend again on low speed for 1 minute. Transfer the batter to the pan, smoothing it out so that it reaches all sides. Sprinkle the cashew pieces and butterscotch or chocolate chips over the batter.
Bake the cake until it is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 27 to 29 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes.
Cut the cake into 24 bars. Remove the bars from the pan with a metal spatula, and serve.

Cook’s Talk

  • This is a personal  preference, but I always very lightly spray my baking dish with baking spray.
  • Again, I used chocolate chips.  And, to be honest, occasionally I probably throw in a little more than a cup, or sometimes a little less.  It depends on what I have on hand.
  • This batter is very thick.  I find it’s easier to spread with the back of a metal spoon lightly coated with baking spray.
  • I lightly “pat” the cashews and chocolate chips into the batter.
  • My oven is crazy, so I start checking the cookies at about 25 minutes, so I don’t dry them out.
  • The recipe says to cut into 24 bars.  It would drive my OCD side crazy trying to measure and get them all the exact same size, so I hold my breath and just cut.  I couldn’t tell you how many cookies I wind up with.  I like to cut them a little on the smaller side.

I hope you enjoy. If you have another of Anne Bryn’s cookbooks, do share.  Now that I’ve discovered there are so many more, it might help me decide which one to purchase next.  (I am a cookbook junkie.)

Until next time….

A’Tempting’ Tuesday: King Cake Cupcakes, Homemade Crescent Rolls and a Change in My Journey

Well hello y’all.  I’ve been really lax lately in my posts.  My plan is not going as I had hoped, but oh well.  What do you do? .. let’s just roll with it.

It’s Fat Tuesday, so Laissez les bons temps rouler!

The dynamic at our home has changed slightly. My hubby has a new job three hours away, which means during the week we live separately.  My son and I are getting used to a new schedule with one less parent during the week, which makes my Cooking, Crafting and Chaos journey a little more challenging as I look for ways to tackle all the projects I’d like to.  But you know what? Bring it!  I’m determined.  I need my creative time.

Today’s recipe should really have posted last week.  We were recently invited to a Mardi Gras themed party.  I needed a dish to take.  I was looking for something quick and easy to prepare as we had several things going on.   I ran across a recipe for King Cake Cupcakes that fit bill.  First, I love, love, love to make anything in cupcake liners.  These were super easy and they certainly fit the theme.

I found them in a blog, Crave. Indulge. Satisfy., which was certainly fitting.

I won’t reprint the recipe as it’s not mine and believe it or not, I made no changes to it, other than omitting the raisins and adding a little vanilla to the glaze. They were a hit at the party.

You can find the recipe here.  It’s basically crescent roll dough filled with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon and pecans.  You wrap them up and bake them in cupcake liners, then top them with a yummy, sugary glaze.  I topped them with purple, green and gold sprinkles, placed them on a purple tray and accented with Mardi Gras beads.  Shhhhhh! don’t tell anyone how easy it was.  It looked like I had really worked hard.

Of course, I can’t leave well enough alone.  As I was making these and pondering the cost of buying six, yes six, cans of crescent rolls (at roughly $2.10 a can) I decided I needed to try my hand at making homemade crescent rolls.  This led to another baking adventure.  Wearing my tiara and armed with my KitchenAid, I think I can do anything.  Turns out I can!   They really weren’t that difficult.

I researched a few recipes.  Based on what I had in my kitchen, I took several recipes and came up with one that worked for me.  This was my final recipe. I haven’t actually figured out the final cost, but I know it was less expensive than the cans.

**As I finalized this post, of course something went wrong.  I’ve lost some photos on my SD card.  Included was some of the photos for this blog.  I was able to recover most of them, but not the photo of my King Cake Cupcakes.  Even my tiara didn’t save me from this failure. Like I said, BRING IT!! I do however have a photo of my crescent roll dough creation, below.

Homemade Crescent Rolls

2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
1/2 cup warm milk
1 T sugar (I used Splenda)
2 cups flour (you can use cake flour, but I never have it)
1/2 tsp salt
4 T butter, room temperature

In the bowl of a stand mixer  combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes, until foamy. Add in bread flour and salt and mix well with a dough hook. Cut the softened butter into three or flour pieces and drop them into the dough blending them in.

Mix for about 2 minutes. Cover the bowl and let rise for 45 minutes in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Turn risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Press it out into a circle with your hands, then use a rolling pin to roll it out into an even, 10-inch circle.

Use a pizza cutter or a sharp knife to divide the circle into 12 triangles.

Starting with the outside edge of one of the triangles, roll the edge towards the center (just like you do with the canned rolls). Once rolled, curve the roll slightly into a crescent shape and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with all rolls. Cover rolls with a clean dish towel and let rise for 20 minutes.

Melt additional 1 T butter in a small bowl. Brush tops of rolls with butter.

Bake for 14-18 minutes, until golden brown. Allow to cool on a wire rack for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Cook’s Talk: I stopped after the first 45 minutes of rising and just rolled out the dough to make a taco “loaf.”  I just filled it with taco meat and cheese.  I didn’t start out to make that, but  that is what I had in the kitchen on this night. I plan to complete the process to actually make rolls soon.

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It tasted much better than it looks in this photo.

Crescent rolls have really always been a go-to for a quick, easy meal or  party snack. They are great when my kitchen is low on groceries or we are in a big hurry. And, as a bonus, I can wrap anything in crescent roll dough or a tortilla and get my picky 11-year-old to eat it.   The dough turned out beautifully and both hubby and child loved it.  The moral of the story, I see many possibilities.  And, as this was so easy, I don’t think I’ll be buying any more canned rolls.

Coming soon, I think I’ll share some more of my favorite “crescent” recipes and even the cost of making them homemade.

Until next time…