Category Archives: Dessert

Fruit Pizza – Top Chef Lab

You are Top Chef

You are Top Chef

Today was an amazing lab.  It was as if every group was competing for Top Chef.  First block you could hear a pin drop as they were hovered over their fruit precisely cutting  to make an intricate design.  Most all of the groups worked to their full potential . You can see this when viewing  the photos.  FANTASTIC!!!

 I think this recipe or one close to it  is posted everywhere.  In class yesterday we were trying  to find ideas for putting the pizza together and there were hundreds of them.  Some good and some very bad.  I am still trying to wrap my brain around the “Kitty Litter Cake”!  To each his own.

Here are the instructions for putting the work of art together.

Crust –  Slice 1 roll of Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough into 1/4 in. slices.  Use all the dough.  Place into a well greased pizza pan.  DO NOT mash to cover the pan.  As the dough rises in the oven it will cover the pan.  Bake at 350- 375 degrees for 15 – 20 min. or until golden brown.  It will be puffy when you take it out.  Don’t worry it will flatten quickly. Cool completely.  ( We put ours in the freezer to chill)

Frosting –  Mix 8 oz. of softened cream cheese with 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

Frost the cookie dough leaving about 1/2 of cookie around the edge.

Place your favorite fruits of the top .  Refer to the photos.  Some fruits make a better choice than others.  A good combination is strawberries, blueberries, kiwi and peaches.  Be careful to choose colors that will pop on the frosting.

Slice and enjoy.    

Here is the Second Place winner.  Congratulations to you both.  Great job!!

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

Beautiful Work!

Beautiful Work!

70 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Cooking, cream cheese, Dessert, easy, fruits, healthy, quick, sugar cookies

Fruit Pizza Coming Up! Please Vote Here for the BEST!

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Here's what we are cooking in our lab.

 

I need your help.  The pizza at the top is the one I made.  OK, my students have trumped mine.  That is a good thing, though. 

Please view the photos that follow and pick the best Fruit Pizza. 

 Write your choice in the comment section along with why it is your choice.  

Please only 1 vote per person. 

The winner will be have their photo at the top of the post.  The top two will get extra credit on our test next week on NUTRIENTS, which is pretty hard.

Have a great weekend,

The Teacher Cooks

26 Comments

Filed under Bar Cookies, Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, easy, healthy, quick, Recipes

Park Avenue Bars

Park Avenue Bars  - Wonderful!If you are watching your weight DO NOT make these bars!!   They are so good you cannot stop yourself. 

This recipe is from my friend Debbie.   She is a great cook and is always bringing something good to school.  I e-mailed her and said, ” I want that recipe for whatever  you brought to school last Christmas.  I cannot remember what’s  in it .  I just remember  that it was delicious.”  That gave her alot to go on.  We are  lucky to get this with that kind of information. In spite of my memory Debbie came through for me.   

All right so I am baking these bars with very limited time.  It is 10:00 and I have to take them to my tennis match by 2:00.  Everything that could go wrong does.   I pulled out the cake mix and the use by date had expired by 2 weeks.  Just for me I would have used it, but with my luck no telling what would have happened!! Now a  trip to the grocery.  Thanks goodness I pulled out everything else that I would need including the pan.  Oh, wait there is  NO PAN.   Forgot I had thrown it away.  Just for your information don’t make lasagna in an aluminum pan because after so many years the tomato sauce will eat holes in it.  So GI Joe is off to the store to buy a pan and a cake mix.   He does not shop.  He knows nothing about baking pans.   After 15 minutes on the phone we settle for the heavy duty Wilton pan.   Just remember that when you are baking in a dark pan to turn the oven down 25 degrees.  I didn’t!!  Almost burned!  I did make it to my match on time with the bars and they were enjoyed.

 Thanks to Debbie for the recipe .  Here it is for you to enjoy, too.

 

1 stick of melted butter

1 stick of melted butter

Butter Recipe Cake Mix

Butter Recipe Cake Mix

1 egg

1 egg

1 cup chopped Pecans

1 cup chopped Pecans

Mix with wooden spoon

Mix with wooden spoon

Place in a 9 x 13 in. pan

Place in a 9 x 13 in. pan

Spread in the pan

Spread in the pan

1 box powdered sugar, 2 eggs, 8 oz cream cheese

1 box powdered sugar, 2 eggs, 8 oz cream cheese

Mix with mixer

Mix with mixer

Pour on top of cake mixture

Pour on top of cake mixture

When using a dark pan like this one make sure that you lower your oven temperature by 25 degrees.  I failed to do this and they were very nearly burned!!!

Park Avenue Bars - Wonderful !

Park Avenue Bars - Wonderful !

Here is the recipe.  Enjoy!

Park Avenue Bars

  • 1 Duncan Hines Butter Yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick butter melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 1 box  powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 9 x 13 in. baking dish.  Mix by hand the cake mix, 1 egg, melted butter and chopped pecans.  Press down into bottom of greased baking dish.  Set aside.  Mix well in mixer powdered sugar, 2 eggs, and cream cheese.  Pour on top of crust .  Bake about 40 min. (until the top is golden brown).  Cool before cutting.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

26 Comments

Filed under Bar Cookies, Cake, Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

Cream Puffs

Cream puff with vanilla pudding fillingTeaching high school  takes a lot of planning, but there are times that I do things on the spur of the moment that really add alot to the class.  This is one of them. Today the students took a test and we started a new unit.  I thought we needed something a little more interesting.  This demo only took about 15 minutes of class time.  While they were cooking the students took their test.

I have been making cream puffs since college.  As a freshman I worked  for the Family and Consumer Science Department Head.  I thought I would be typing,  grading essays that kind of thing, but that was not always the case.  Thank goodness I loved to cook.  She was in charge of every event that involved food.  Not sit down meals, but everything else. 

I left there knowing how to make every kind of cookie, sandwich, cheese straw, punch,  and candy recipe.  I loved it!  It was so much fun and I  learned a lot. 

Here is one of the recipes that I made. 

Cream puffs are very easy to make and will impress all your guests. You can fill them with pudding.  I recommend you make it from scratch.  It is much better than the instant that I used today, because of lack of time. Sweetened whipped cream would be an excellent choice, too. Let’s don’t leave out ICE CREAM.  You could use that as a filling, too.

Since  I am not a dessert person  filling  them with chicken or a seafood salad would be a hit.  Or you could go all out and double the recipe and make one savory and one sweet.  Whatever way you choose everyone is going to be impressed with your cooking skills.    

My students now want to make these in class, but we don’t have time.  We have to move on to  more healthy choices.  FRUITS and VEGETABLES

Here is the basic recipe that is found in every cookbook.  Use your imagination and enjoy cooking!

Cream Puffs

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup margarine or butter
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs

Heat oven to 400 – 425 degrees.  In a medium saucepan, heat water and margarine to boiling. Take off heat add flour and salt all at once.  Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of pan in a smooth compact ball.  Let mixture cool slightly.  Stirring will help to cool the mixture quicker.  Be careful not to add your eggs too soon or you will have scrambled eggs.  Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.

Spoon onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.   Make 6 very large cream puffs or use a tablespoon and make 20 snack size. ( In the picture are snack size).

You can pipe these from a pastry tube using a large fluted tip.

Bake small cream puffs for about 30 minutes.  Bake large ones for about 40 minutes.

Doneness is important.  They will collapse if they are underbaked.  ( That question was on our test today) To fill them slice the top third and remove the uncooked dough if there is any.  Now you will be able to fill the Cream Puff.  When you finish just replace the top.

They should be filled as close to serving time as possible to preserve their crispness.

Unfilled they can be frozen for 3 months.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks

28 Comments

Filed under Brunch, Cooking, Cream Puffs, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

Cookies – Wedding, Lady Fingers, Nutty Fingers

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These nutty fingers hold a lot of memories for me.  The first road trip that I ever took with GI Joe to Dallas, Texas  I made these little sweet things to eat on the way.  That was the start of a real romance!   Almost every vacation, tennis tournament or TDY it was a given for me to make them.These little morsels of butter, flour and nuts just melt in your mouth and I am not exaggerating at all.  So  easy to make you can do it blindfolded and with one hand tied behind you. So get in the kitchen right now and put these little babies together.  Here’s  how you do it.

 

Nutty Fingers

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 5 Tablespoons of  powdered sugar
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 – 1 cup chopped pecans

Mix all the ingredients together.  Shape into small balls or fingers.  Place on a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.  Roll in powdered sugar.  After cooled roll in sugar again.

I can tell you these are not going to last very long on the cooling rack.  I cannot control myself and end up popping them in my mouth as I roll them in the sugar.  They are so good!!!

I took these to serve at my tennis match in these cute little foil papers, but the picture is blurry so I will not embarass myself.  Just use your imagination and think about how cute they were in those little foil papers.

Happy Cooking,

The Teacher Cooks  

Here are the pictures to guide you along:

 

Soften butter and plain flour in a mixing bowl

Soften butter and plain flour in a mixing bowl

  

Add 5 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

Add 5 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

                                                                                                                     

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans

Add 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped pecans

 

Mix together with wooded spoon

Mix together with wooded spoon

Shape and ready to bake

Shape and ready to bake

Out of the oven

Out of the oven

Roll in powdered sugar -  TWICE

Roll in powdered sugar - TWICE

Cool on cooling rack

Cool on cooling rack

 

 

64 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, easy, quick, Recipes

CINNAMON ROLLS —Rolling in tomorrow

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Filed under Biscuits, Cinnamon Rolls, Cooking, Dessert, easy, quick

Oatmeal Cookies

 

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I have been baking as long as my mother would let me in the kitchen.  Which was always.  She was great about cooking as long as I would clean the kitchen.  But, I only could bake.  No main dishes or vegetables or anything like that.  Why?  I guess it was because baking to an extent is very cheap.  Flour, sugar, eggs, milk and butter that’s about all you need.  We were on a very tight budget.  Sooo I have been baking for a long time. And you know I don’t even care for sweets that much.  I just love to bake.  Here is another recipe back in the day of the first few years of teaching.  It is from Quaker Oats website.  It no longer appears on the box.

First a few tips about baking cookies:

  • Make sure that you use butter which I prefer or margarine for baking.  Do not use whipped or low-fat margarine.
  • Ingredients should be at room temperature.
  • Butter should be soft, but not too soft or the cookies will flatten as they bake
  • Use parchment paper on your cookie sheets. This saves time in washing cookie sheets.
  • Find a good cookie sheet.  Expensive is not always the best.  A shiny cookie sheet is better than dull.
  • Do not use your cookie sheet for any other food for example to make cheese toast .
  • Be careful about the cooking time.  You should know your oven.  Does it cook quicker or slower than the recipe recommends?
  • Just 1 minute more cooking time for cookies is a lot.  Remember these are small little things!

    Measure all ingredients separately

    Measure all ingredients separately

Softened Butter and Sugars
Softened Butter and Sugars
Cream butter and sugar

Cream butter and sugar

Add egg and vanilla

Add egg and vanilla

Add dry ingredients except oats

Add dry ingredients except oats

Mix well

Mix well

Stir in oats

Stir in oats

Place on baking sheet with parchment paper

Place on baking sheet with parchment paper

Quaker’s Best Oatmeal Cookies

  • 11/4 cups butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 11/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 cups Quakers Oats old fashioned

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat together margarine and sugars until creamy.  Add egg and vanilla: beat well.  Add combined flour, baking soda, salt and spices: mix well. Stir in oats: mix well.  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.  Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie or 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie.  Cool 1 minute on cookie sheet: remove to wire rack.  Cool completely.  Store in a tightly covered container.

Makes about  4 1/2 dozen

ENJOY!

The Teacher Cooks

61 Comments

Filed under Cookies, Cooking, Dessert, Oatmeal, Recipes

The Best Ever Chocolate Sheet Cake

A Chocolate Lovers Dream!!

A Chocolate Lovers Dream!!

The last two days here have been bad!!  I am praying for all the families that have lost loved ones in this horrible rain. We have been very blessed, but I can tell you first hand what it is like to have your house flooded.  It is just stuff, though.  Anyway…….. We need something to make us all feel better so let’s talk chocolate.  This is my GO TO dessert for company, ALTA, potluck, parties and brunch.  You get the picture. It works for most any event.  I promise you all your friends and family will love it!!!

I first became acquainted with this special cake when I was a new teacher in Wilkinson County. Marjoe Baisden gave me her version.  Since then I have tweaked it a bit.  So here it is for you to just put your face into it if you want to.  That is what GI Joe wants to do every time that I make it.  He likes it hot with vanilla ice cream, but I have seen him eat right out of the pan with a spoon.

Yummy Chocolate Sheet Cake

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups self rising flour
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients.  In saucepan melt butter, cocoa and water on low heat.  Add to dry ingredients. Mix. (DO NOT use a mixer)   Slightly beat eggs, buttermilk and vanilla.  Add to mixture.  Mix. Pour into a 15 x 10 x 1 in. jelly roll pan that has been greased and floured. Bake about 20 min. at 400 degrees.

Frosting

  • 1 stick butter
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa
  • 5 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 box powdered sugar
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Melt butter, cocoa, and milk.  Do this on low heat.  If heated at too high a temperature the butter will clarify making your icing  separate.  Add to sugar and nuts.  Mix.  Frost cake while hot.  Place icing by the  tablespoon all over the cake then smooth out the frosting.  This will keep  from tearing the cake as you frost it.   Here are pictures to guide you along.  Enjoy!

Flour and sugar in a mixing bowl

Flour and sugar in a mixing bowl

Melting butter, water and cocoa

Melting butter, water and cocoa

Greased and floured jelly roll pan

Greased and floured jelly roll pan

Melted butter, cocoa and water

Melted butter, cocoa and water

Whisking eggs, buttermilk and vanilla

Whisking eggs, buttermilk and vanilla

Mixing dry and wet ingredients

Mixing dry and wet ingredients

Ready to bake

Ready to bake

Frosting - melting butter and cocoa

Frosting - melting butter and cocoa

Powdered sugar, chocolate and nuts for frosting

Powdered sugar, chocolate and nuts for frosting

Chocolate Icing

Chocolate Icing

Cooked cake

Cooked cake

Ready to dig into!!!

Ready to dig into!!!

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Filed under Cake, Chocolate, Cooking, Dessert, Recipes, Sheet Cake