Category Archives: Baking

Con Amor~ Pink Butter Cookies filled with Dulce de Leche

I am always saying how baking is not my favorite thing, but I find myself wanting to do it more and more. It’s not the same as cooking a savory dish, where some nights you can just throw a few ingredients together and create a meal. Baking is not something you rush through. For this cookie I used my “Mexican Polvorones” recipe, and with a few adjustments a Valentine’s cookie was born. And I am never without a can or two of dulce de leche for when the mood strikes! Feliz Dia Del Amor y Amistad… Happy Valentine’s Day!

Pink Butter Cookies with Dulce de Leche

Yields 12 to 14 sandwiched cookies
Ingredients:

1 cup of butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
2¼ cups of all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar in the raw or turbinado sugar, set aside
Red food coloring
1½ cups dulce de leche

Con Amor Cookies

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350º F. In a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugar, baking soda, apple pie spice and salt. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour. If dough is crumbly, gently knead the dough with your hands.

2. Add a couple of drops of red food coloring and work into dough with your hands until desired color of pink. Divide the dough in half.

3. On a flat, floured surface, roll out half of dough to about 1/3 inch thickness. Using a small heart shaped cookie cutter cut out as many hearts as you can. Make sure you use enough flour and that you don’t roll the dough out too thin. Will make it easier for cutting out cookies. Transfer the cut outs to a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar. Repeat with second dough ball.

4. Bake in preheated oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool completely. Fill a pastry bag with 1½ cups of dulce de leche and pipe about 1½ tablespoons of dulce de leche onto flat (back) side of the cookies. Stack the other cookie on top to make a sandwich. Makes about 12 to 14 sandwiched cookies.

Note: If you do not have a pastry bag, use a plastic storage bag and just cup the tip with scissors to pipe onto cookie. You could make larger cookies and simply dust them with powdered sugar. The cookie cutter I used for the sandwiched cookies is about 1½ to 2 inches across.

Let Them Eat Cake~ Just Add Chocolate

I did not intend for this cake recipe to be eggless, It came about out of lack of time. It was New Years morning, which also happens to be my husband Richard’s birthday and we were in the midst of a bad snow storm. So, there was no chance of heading to the market and for cases like this, this is when Pinterest comes in handy! I just search for cakes made with no eggs and it’s as easy as that. Well, the plus part was that I had the other ingredients I needed for the cake and of course I had to add my touch to it.

As I browsed through my pantry, I see a can of light coconut milk, semi sweet chocolate chips and a can of dulce de leche. Chocolate sauce! At first I thought, hhmm it might be too runny, but as it cooled it thickened up. And then once chilled overnight it was the perfectly thick sauce or ganache  for my cake.  I know ganache is typically prepared with cream,  but the coconut milk worked beautifully! Richard’s all time favorite cake is vanilla cake with chocolate frosting and shredded coconut…mission accomplished! This recipe reminds of a chocolate dessert one would enjoy on Valentines Day as well, hint…hint…..

I also included the recipe for a version of  my Mom’s  butter cake with chocolate frosting just like she used to prepare for us on our birthday when we were children. With a little added La Piña twist, this is how I remember it 

Cherry Coconut Cake with Chocolate Coconut  Dulce de Leche Ganache
Ingredients

Chocolate Coconut Dulce de Leche Sauce
13 ounce can of light coconut milk
12 ounce bag of semi sweet chocolate chips
1 can “La Lechera” dulce de leche
* Prepare the frosting at least 8 hours in advance so it has time to chill and thicken.

For Cake
1 3/4 cups, plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 tablespoons sugar
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup cold milk
1/2 cup cherry preserves
1 cup flaked coconut, plus 1/2 cup reserved to garnish cake
2- 8 inch round cake pans (greased and floured)
Cherry Coconut Cake
Directions

1. Heat a saucepan to medium heat. Add coconut milk, 8 ounces of chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of dulce de leche caramel. Whisk now and then until it just starts to bubble and is all smooth. Remove from heat and let cool overnight. The sauce will thicken up nicely to frost the cake.

2 .Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift the dry ingredients together, set aside.

3. With a hand mixer, whip the butter and sugar, but do not over whip. Gradually mix in the condensed milk and vanilla.

4. Now you want to alternately, add the dry ingredients to the wet in stages, including the milk. So it will be add 1/4 flour mixture to condensed milk mixture and mix. Then add a little milk and mix, just until blended. Continue this, ending with the flour. Do not over mix. Fold in the 1 cup coconut and 1/3 cup of cherry preserves.

5. Butter and flour 2 eight inch cake pans and divide the batter into the pans. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until knife comes out clean from the center. Remove from oven and let cool.

6. Once cakes have cooled, add bottom layer of cake to serving platter. Add chocolate sauce and flaked coconut. Add second layer of cake, add more chocolate sauce, flaked and remaining chocolate chips. Yields up to 8 to 10 servings.

Eggless Cherry Coconut Cake

 

Old Fashioned Butter Cake, Mendez Style

Old Fashioned Butter Cake, Mendez Style

 

Ingredients

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 8 inch x 2 inch baking pans and set aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

3. Add butter, milk, and vanilla. With a hand mixer, beat for 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of bowl.

4. Add eggs and beat for 2 more minutes.

5. Pour batter into prepared pans, dividing equally between two pans. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven.

6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then turn cakes out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Old Fashioned Butter Cake, Mendez Style

For Frosting
1 stick butter
2/3 cup Hershey’s cocoa
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk(plus a few additional drops if needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons instant espresso
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup strawberry preserves, set aside

1. Melt the butter, stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating on medium speed to spreading consistency. Mix the espresso with 2 tablespoons of water until dissolved. Mix in the espresso, vanilla and cinnamon to the frosting.

2. To finish cake, add the first cake to the serving plate. Spread the preserves over the top evenly. Layer the second cake on top and spread the chocolate frosting evenly over entire cake. If you would like, you could take a solid dark chocolate bar and using a vegetable peeler, shave some chocolate over top of cake for garnish. Yields up to 10 servings.

Old Fashioned Butter Cake, Mendez Style