Saturday, November 12, 2016

Festive and Easy Cakes

As much as I hate to admit it, it IS time to think about Thanksgiving and Christmas. And with those shopping thoughts come eating thoughts. And with eating thoughts, come cooking thoughts. And with cooking thoughts, come "How can I make something different without spending a lot of time in the kitchen and at the same time, keep the budget in check?"

Well, the first thing that came to mind were cookies, to be honest. Sugar cookies and Snickerdoodles have graced New England tables for centuries but I really didn't want to go that route. So how about some recipes that encompasses cookies and cakes? PERFECT!!!!!!


Nutella Cookie Crunch Cake

I am hesitant about using the name Nutella because it IS a brand, but one taste of that deliciously creamy spread and I was hooked. It wasn't long before I made one of the best coffee cake-like desserts using this hazelnut spread. This recipe is a sugar cookie dough with an additional egg. You will adore the crispy topping, as will the super easy preparation.

Nonstick cooking spray
1 stick(1/2-cup) butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon each baking powder and soda
1/2 cup hazelnut chocolate spread, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon melted butter

Grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until very smooth with an electric mixer. Add eggs and vanilla, continuing to beat until smooth once again.

In another bowl, blend the flour with the baking powder and baking soda. Add to butter mixture and beat until well mixed. It will be thick. Transfer dough to prepared cake pan.

Microwave nutella for about 30 seconds, removing to stir until creamy and thinned out. If more time is needed for it to completely melt, heat in 15 second increments. Heavily drizzle over the top, running a butter knife into the batter, creating a somewhat marbling effect and slightly combining the nutella with batter.

Meanwhile for the topping, mix sugar, cinnamon and butter with a fork until evenly colored and blended. Sprinkle over the top of the cake and bake 24 minutes. The center will feel very doughy and undone, but that is the effect we want.

Remove from oven to cool before serving. Add additional melted nutella over the top if desired.


Doodle Pop Cake

Anyone remember the children's show Doodle Bops? My children love it! So this cake is now a standard in my home not only in title but because the flavor is reminiscent of a Snickerdoodle cookie as well, of which every child loves. A softly scented cake that can just be grabbed by a child's hands and eaten.....of course you may want to follow them with a vacuum.

Butter-flavored, nonstick cooking spray
1 stick(1/2-cup) butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin
1 egg
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon


Grease a 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. With an electric mixer, beat butter with brown sugar until blended well. Add pumpkin, egg and vanilla, continuing to beat until thoroughly mixed.

In a separate bowl, blend flour, spices and baking soda. Slowly add to batter, beating well.

Pour into prepared pan and bake 26-28 minutes, or until it springs back when touched in the center. Remove from oven and set aside while in pan.

Spray the top of the cake lightly with cooking spray while hot. In a small bowl, blend sugar and cinnamon for the topping and evenly sprinkle over the cake. Let cake cool to serve.


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