Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Homemade Soft Pretzels

baked pretzels 1
Have you ever tried making pretzels?  I always thought they were too much work and not worth the bother.  I couldn’t have been more wrong.  I tried making my first batch a few months ago and we loved them so much (and ate them so quickly) that I made a second batch that same week.

Think you’re not a fan of pretzels?  That’s what I thought too, but my only frame of reference were those pretzels you can find at any mall.  These are (like most things homemade) significantly better. 

I used this recipe from Alton Brown.  I recommend weighing the flour and not just scooping it out of the bin.  Also, when he says to divide the dough into 8 equal pieces I did 12. 

pretzels finished

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Orange Pound Cake

orange pound cake
I have another cake recipe for you this week.  This is another Cooking Light recipe (from January 2012).  It is meant to be a Grapefruit Pound Cake but since I had a whole bowl of lovely oranges and absolutely no grapefruit, I decided to make this into an Orange Pound Cake.  Check out my adroitness.

I followed the recipe as written but swapping 2 T grated orange rind for the grapefruit rind and 1/2 cup fresh orange juice for the grapefruit juice.  The cake is lovely (can you spot the pretty little bits of orange peel?) and delicious.   This makes a delicious, summery dessert and would be terrific with a few fresh strawberry slices.

orange pound cake 2

Monday, July 2, 2012

Texas Sheet Cake

texas sheet cake 1

I’ve had my share of Texas Sheet Cakes.  There really are recipes everywhere for this sort of thing.  Most families have their favorite recipes.  I had one.  That recipe called for plenty of butter (both in the cake and in the frosting) and way too much sugar for anyone’s good.  A few months ago I found this recipe and tried it.  Really good.  Really.  Very.  Good.  Less sugar and less butter-great!.  The cake was still really sweet – almost too sweet.  I left out the nuts (kids don’t like ‘em) and we found that we didn’t use all of the frosting.  Instead we set the extra aside and used it as an ice cream topping.  Next time I’ll cut the sugar down and omit the cinnamon.