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Birthday Cake Balls

So Thing 2 has a big birthday tomorrow…little man will be 2!  So instead of a traditional birthday cake, I figured something handheld will help spread the mess as much as possible.  Yeah, I’m a glutton for punishment…I am giving a 2 year old birthday cake covered in chocolate, to go style.   These things are awesome, you may never make regular cake again.  And they are addictive, be warned.

What you need:

  • 1 box cake mix, any kind you like…I chose red velvet for these
  • 1 container cream cheese frosting…again, you can mix and match
  • White chocolate chips, or almond bark
What you do:

Make cake according to package directions, and cool completely.  Once cooled, cut off crusty edges of cake, and crumble well into a bowl.  Add frosting to cake and and mix in completely…I used my hands..yes its messy, but effective.   Roll into quarter size balls and put on a parchment or wax paper lined cookie sheet…you should have about 40 balls when done.   Cool in fridge for a few hours, or pop them in the freezer until very cold, but not frozen.  In the mean time, melt chips or bark in microwave safe bowl, or over a double boiler.  Once the balls are chilled, coat them in the chocolate.  The chocolate with cool quickly, so you may have to reheat chocolate once or twice. From there, you can decorate how you like!
P.S. If you melt chocolate in microwave, be sure to only do it 30 seconds at a time, mixing between each cycle.
P.P.S If you add a little shortening to melted chocolate…it will be easier to coat cake balls.
P.P.P.S  I think I may make Funfetti cake balls for the actual party, because I am sure you were wondering.

A little bit country

I am only saying this because I love you.  If you haven’t tried buttermilk pie, you must do so.  It’s life changing…ok, well not life changing in the long run, but it will change your life on the day you eat it.  Its southern goodness at its best.  I stood watching the clock when the pie was in the oven drooling, like one of Pavlov’s dogs (god, my high school science teachers would be so proud of me for that one).  You can eat it plain, or top it with a fruit sauce like I did, either way, just eat it.

Buttermilk Pie with easy Raspberry sauce ( so easy, you’ll feel like your cheating, but really, you kind of are because it’s just raspberry preserves warmed up)

What you need:

For the crust:

  • 2 sticks COLD unsalted butter cut into cut into cubes (if you only have salted butter, omit salt in recipe)
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
For the pie:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup raspberry preserves
What you do:

For the crust:
Sift together flour, sugar and salt (if using) together.  Add cold butter cubes and with your hands, or the back of a fork, work butter into flour mixture until its broken down well into the flour…should be the consistency of sand almost.  Mix in buttermilk, until just mixed…DO NOT OVER WORK!  It will be mealy,that’s ok.  Do your best to form dough into a disc, cover with plastic wrap and pop in the fridge for at least 1 hour.  When its ready, roll dough out, to about a 1/4 thickness and put into a 9 inch pie pan, you will have extra dough…deal with it!
For the custard:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  In a bowl beat eggs lightly, add sugar and flour and mix well.  Add in melted butter, vanilla and buttermilk, and beat until smooth.  Pour custard into prepared pie pan, and bake for anywhere from 45 min, to an hour and 15 min…all depends on the mood of your oven.  Start to check it at like 35 min to be sure.  Center will be slightly wobbly, but will set as it cools.
For the sauce:
No brainer here…put the preserves in a sauce pan and heat until just warm and runny…pour over individual pie slices and eat!

Printable version here!!

Giving Thanks…(for cheesecake, cranberries and shortcuts!)

Without a doubt, I love to cook, obviously.  But every now and then, I want to make something that is yummy, simple and tastes like I spent all day prepping and baking. 
Also, without a doubt, I LOVE cheesecake.  I can make about 100 versions, all based on whats available to add on top, or inside the cake.  This cheesecake, well, really its a cheesecake pie, is festive (the cranberries remind me of holly berries), simple (a few ingredients, a food processor/blender and voila), and delicious.

What you need:

  • 2 16 oz. packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1 bag fresh cranberries (split in half)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 frozen deep dish pie crust thawed (or 2 regular pie crusts)

What you do:

Preheat oven to 375.
Simply chuck the first 5 ingredients into your food processor or blender with half the cranberries and let it rip, until the cranberries are smooth and its all combined. 
Add the eggs, and whirl again until the we well combined.  Pour mixture into pie crust(s) and top with remaining cranberries.  Cook for 45 min ( I would start checking around the 30-35 min mark) or until the center is set but has a slight jiggle. 

See, I told you it was easy.