Rebekah Lyn's Kitchen

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Orange Cake for Easter April 21, 2014

Filed under: Baking,Recipes — itsrebekahlyn @ 9:30 AM
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I was in the grocery store this weekend, forgetting how crazy the stores are the day before a holiday. I’m a precision shopper. I know what I want and 98% of the time I know exactly where it is so I can get in and out quickly. Unfortunately, most of the other shoppers I encountered on Saturday had no idea what they wanted and they clogged the aisles as they read labels or studied the shelves. I waited patiently behind one woman whose cart was parked on one side of the aisle while she stood in the middle of the aisle reading the label on a bottle of maple syrup. Then two other women came flying past, nearly running over the label reader and narrowly missing a large stock cart.

 

Every aisle was like a lane of traffic during rush hour, carts parked or crawling at turtle-like speeds. All of the chaos made me forget the only two ingredients, buttermilk and orange extract, I actually needed to make the mini Bundt cakes I had planned to make for Easter. Fortunately, I was able to stop at a less crowded store and pick up the buttermilk and I managed to make fresh squeezed orange juice work for the orange extract. Knowing the stores would be closed on Sunday in honor of Easter was the only thing that made all of the congestion bearable. I’m happy to support businesses that recognize the importance of honoring such an important day.

 

With my family all out of state, I was grateful to be invited over to a friends’ house for dinner to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. My small contribution to the meal was dessert, Orange Mini Bundt Cakes from the May/June issue of Tea Time.

 

 

Orange Mini Bundt Cakes

Makes 10-18 cakes

Depending on the size of your pans

 

1½ cps plus 3 tablespoons sifted cake flour

Orange Mini Bundt Cakes with Confectioners' Sugar

Orange Mini Bundt Cakes with Confectioners’ Sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

½ cup salted butter, softened

1 ¼ cups sugar

¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar

3 large eggs

2 teaspoons fresh orange zest

1 teaspoon orange extract

½ cup whole buttermilk

Garnish: Confectioners’ sugar

 

*Preheat oven to 325 degrees

*Spray 2 (12 well) mini Bundt cake pans with nonstick baking spray with flour

(I used two 6 well pans and the batter filled 10)

*In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda, whisking well. Set aside.

*In a large bowl, combine butter and sugars. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add orange zest and orange extract, beating to combine.

*Add flour mixture to butter mixture in thirds, alternately with buttermilk, beating at low speed until incorporated. Divide batter evenly among wells of prepared pans. Tap pans on countertop to level batter and reduce air bubbles.

*Bake unit cakes are golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the centers comes out clean, approximately 20 minutes. Let cakes cool in pans for 5 minutes. Transfer to wire cooling racks, and let cool completely.

*Before service, garnish cakes with a dusting of confectioners’ sugar.

 

6 well mini Bundt pan

6 well mini Bundt pan

Make-ahead tip: Cakes can be made a week in advance and frozen in an airtight container. Let thaw completely before garnishing and serving.

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Tart the New Year Off Right January 5, 2014

Three of my perfect lemons

Three of my perfect lemons

I’m in heaven with my ripe lemons. This evening my mom asked what we could have for dessert. All of the Christmas cake and pie was gone, there was no more ice cream, and the cookie jar is nearly empty. I told her not to worry, I have lemons and a new recipe to give a whirl. To the backyard I went, plucking three giant beauties.

I zested and juiced only one of these beasts, yielding 1/2 cup of juice and at least as much zest. I whisked together the few ingredients and filled my tartlet pans, in 15 minutes we would have dessert to feed my hard-working man. You too can have these lovely tarts in no time flat, just grab a few things: (more…)

 

Saturday Tea March 11, 2013

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Over the weekend I had the immense pleasure of appearing at another Afternoon Tea with the Author event. This time I was delighted to have my friend and fellow author, DiVoran Lites join me. We had a great time of fellowship with a group of Christian women and then shared about our adventures in writing and publishing.

Even though I was one of the guests of honor, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to do some baking. I saw a recipe in my Tea Time magazine last year for mini Boston Cream, Key Lime, or Strawberry trifles, but haven’t had an opportunity to make them. With spring right around the corner, well, technically already here in Florida, I thought the Key Lime trifles would be a good fit. I pulled out the various serving glasses I have collected and got down to business. It was a joy to make the custard and whipped cream from scratch. I used to think cooking from scratch was a lot of work, but I’ve come to appreciate it. I feel a real connection with the foods I’ve made from the ground up, quite literally when using produce from my garden.

It was tricky getting the custard and whipped cream into the miniature glasses, so I thought I would try using a pastry bag. This was only my second attempt at using a pastry bag but it definitely got easier as I went along. By the time I completed 8 of the 16 servings I was feeling pretty confident and was able to pick up the speed. I think they turned out nicely and enjoyed the ohhs and ahhs when they were served to our guests.

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Mini trifles weren’t enough for me though. I wanted something crisp as well and turned to a Lemon-Lavender Shortbread recipe I found on one of my favorite food blogs, Chelsea Bakes. You can find that recipe here.

I loved getting to meet some new friends and reconnecting with others I haven’t seen in years. I have to extend my sincere thanks to our hostess, Pam. She provided a beautiful and warm setting for us to share our experiences and may have even convinced one of the guests to host her own tea. I also have to thank the talented Ginger Morrison for the amazing cake she made.

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Cooking up Memories December 10, 2012

Filed under: Baking,Family,Tea — itsrebekahlyn @ 11:55 AM
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What is it about fall and winter that make us want to bake? Why do Thanksgiving and Christmas seem to revolve around sweet treats? Maybe its because the weather is turning cooler and it isn’t so dreadful to have the oven running for hours on end. Of course, in Florida, it is still in the 80s and we have to run the air to battle the heat of the kitchen, but it is worth it for the joy of holiday baking.

Image from Amazon.com

Image from Amazon.com

I have many fond memories of Christmas baking with my mom. We would spend an entire day making M&M cookies, Peanut Butter Blossoms, Chocolate Chip, and Lemon cookies. I loved mixing them up, rolling them in colored sugar, licking the bowl clean, but I also loved packaging them up to give to friends and family. These days, between work, writing, and marketing I don’t have much free time, but I decided to make time over the weekend to do Christmas baking.

I subscribe to Tea Time Magazine and the November/December issue is full of wonderful new recipes. I started with the Double Chocolate-Cranberry cookies and Dark Chocolate-Pistachio Toffee. Both of these were incredibly simple and made me nostalgic for those childhood recipes. I found one for M&M cookies, and used mint M&Ms for a more contemporary flair.

Double Chocolate-Cranberry Cookies

On Wednesday, I am going to tackle Vanilla-Sour Cream Tea Bread and Cherry-Hazelnut Scones (if I can find hazelnuts). If these turn out well, I can see them turning up in a future book. If I can find the lemon cookie recipe, I think I will make some of those as well. All of these treats will make a nice gift bag for my friends and coworkers. What are your favorite Christmas treats?

Double Chocolate-Cranberry Cookies

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup salted butter, softened

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup dark chocolate morsels

1/3 cup white chocolate morsels

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans (I used pistachios)

Preheat oven to 375

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt, whisking well. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine butter and sugars. Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating at low speed until combined. Add flour mixture at low speed until incorporated. Add both dark and white chocolate morsels, cranberries, and pecans, stirring to combine.

Using a levered 1-teaspoon scoop, drop batter 2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets.

Bake until golden brown, approximately 7 minutes.

Dark Chocolate-Pistachio Toffee

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons salted butter, divided

3/4 cup finely chopped, roasted and salted pistachios, divided

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels

Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat. Spread 1 tablespoon butter in a 9-inch diameter circle on baking mat. Sprinkle 1/2 cup pistachios over butter circle in an even layer.

Coat the inner top 2 inches of a large microwave-safe bowl with 1 tablespoon butter. Place remaining 1/2 cup butter in bowl. Add sugar and water. Do not stir.

Microwave on high until mixture turns very light brown, 6 to 8 minutes.

Immediately pour hot mixture over pistachios, covering nuts in an even layer. (Spread quickly as sugar mixture sets quickly.)

Immediately sprinkle chocolate morsels over sugar mixture in an even layer. Let sit for 1 minute to melt, then spread evenly, using an offset spatula.

Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup pistachios over melted chocolate.

Refrigerate for 30 minutes, or until candy is firm.

When firm, cut into pieces, using a long sharp knife and pressing down.

 

 
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