Tuesday, January 12, 2016

German Chocolate Cake

I baked a German Chocolate cake yesterday and posted a picture on social media and had some requests for the recipe so I thought I would share it here! I had a piece last night and this cake is amazing!! Plus I got to use my new Jadeite Cake Stand that I got for Christmas!

This recipe comes from The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook. I've had this book for a few years and I love it! I love just sitting down and looking at all the beautiful pictures of vintage kitchen tools and their beautiful farm! I recently learned that German Chocolate Cake does not originate from the country Germany but rather a man by the name of Samuel German who formulated the bittersweet blend of chocolate that they use! 

Here's The Recipe!

Ingredients for the Cake:
Cooking Spray
3 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
12 tbsp (11/2 sticks) of unsalted butter at room temp
4 oz Germans Sweet Chocolate Melted (I used double boiler)
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plus 2 tbsp Buttermilk

To make the cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 2 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottoms with parchment or waxed paper. Coat the paper with cooking spray. 

In a bowl, with an electric mixer, beat egg whites on medium speed until foamy. Gradually, about 1 tablespoon at a time, add 3/4 cup of the sugar, beating until stiff, glossy peaks form. 

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a bowl, with electric mixer. Beat together the butter and remaining 3/4 cup of sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks 1 at a time, until well combined. Add in the chocolate and vanilla. Alternately add the flour mixture and the buttermilk beginning and ending with the flour mixture. 

Stir about half the egg whites into the chocolate batter, then gradually fold in the remaining whites. Divide the batter between the 2 pans. Tap against counter to get rid of air bubbles. Bake in oven for 35-45 min, or until the cake starts to separate from the edges of the pans. Let them cool in the pan for 10 min,  then invert onto the rack to cool completely. Pull of the paper. 

3/4 cup cream coconut (NOT COCONUT CREAM OR COCONUT MILK)
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
9 tablespoons butter
2 cups shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans. 

In a large, heavy-bottom sauce pan, whisk together the cream of coconut, cream, sugar, egg yolks, and butter. Cook over medium heat, whisk constantly, for 10-12 minutes, or until thickened and the color of caramel. Remove from the heat and stir in shredded coconut and pecans and let cool to room temp. 

Frost the first layer add the 2nd cake then top with remaining frosting. 

Friday, January 8, 2016

Cooking With Honey

One of the perks of being a beekeeper is having fresh honey from your hives. If I don't end up selling it all or giving it away as gifts I am always finding new recipes to try that include honey. So I thought I would share 3 of my favorite go to honey recipes! But first I want to talk a little bit about the process it takes to make and harvest the honey.

A hive of honey bees begins collecting nectar in the spring time. Some of the first flowers to bloom include many trees, dandelions, and white clover. Spring, summer, and early fall are the peak flow season in which the honey bees work to store up honey they need for winter. It takes around 2,000,000 flowers to produce 1 pound of honey. This is why bee keepers are advocating for pollinator plots and the preservation of fields that produce flowers because it takes a lot of flowers to produce honey. One colony can produce around 100 pounds of honey but only 1 bee can will produce 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime. This is why we are constantly monitoring our hives during the summer to insure they have adequate numbers to produce a good crop. Around August or September we begin to collect the honey and start the process of harvesting it. We will leave a substantial amount of honey for the bees so that they will survive the winter and only take the excess for our personal use.

Dad and I checking frames and pulling supers 

After we collect the frames of honey off the hives we uncap (remove wax sealing honey into the cells) the frames and then put them into an extractor. An extractor is basically a washing machine type of contraption that you place the frames in and spin with either a motor or a hand crank until all the honey  is pulled out of the cells. It then collects at the bottom of the extractor. Next we use a screen to strain the honey and remove the wax, wings, and legs as we say! We don't heat the honey or micro filter it like some big name companies do which takes out all the pollen and healthy properties out of the honey. Then we bottle it and sell it or use it in cooking. So now to the good part the recipes!!

Peanut Butter Honey Bars

This recipe is very simple and has only 3 ingredients. I shared this with my Great Aunt and she makes them all the time now for her family!

1 cup peanut butter 
1/2 cup Pure Honey
2 1/2 -3 cups oatmeal (I add it gradually not wanting to make it to dry)

Heat up the peanut butter and honey in sauce pan just until it softens and is easy to mix. Then add oatmeal. Line a 9x9 baking dish with foil and spray with cooking spray. Pour peanut butter honey mixture into pan. Refrigerate. Cut into squares or form into balls. Keep in refrigerator so that they maintain a solid state. 

Honey Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

These cookies are great because they use only honey as the source of sweetener. I entered them in a cooking contest and have won prizes with them! 

1 cup Honey
1/2 cup veg. Shortening
1/2 cup butter (softening)
2 eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
2 Cups flour
1 cup quick oats
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans 

Cream honey, shortening, and butter until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Add vanilla and beat. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well. Add dry ingredients to honey mixture; mix. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans. Drop by big tablespoon not greased baking sheet. Bake 12-16 min at 350 degrees. Let stand 1 minute, then remove to wire rack to cool. 

Honey Snack Mix

This stuff is amazing!! It's sweet and savory and probably one of my favorite snacks now. Plus you can change up the ingredients to make it to your liking. I will give the recipe I received so you know the amounts of stuff to use then you can change it how you like. No matter what I use I keep the measurements the same. 

3 Tablespoons Sesame oil (I used vegetable oil because that's what I had on hand) 
3 Tablespoons Honey 
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Garlic salt
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
Whisk the above ingredients together in a small bowl 

4 cups Chex cereal
6 cups mini pretzels
1 cup soy nuts
1 cup dry roasted peanuts
Toss together in a large bowl

Pour sauce over cereal mixture. Toss it gently to coat cereal. Scatter on foil lined jelly roll pan. Bake at 205 degrees for 25 minutes stirring frequently. Turn oven Off and let the pan stay in the oven 1 hour to continue crimping. When cool store in zip lock bag or box. 

Stuff I used in mine: 
5 cups Chex cereal
5 cups oyster crackers
1 cup peanuts
1 cup cheese it's 

If you are looking for more recipes using honey check out www.honey.com

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Christmas in the Country 2015 Reveal

This year was my third year participating in the Christmas in the Country. Like the previous years I enjoyed getting to shop for and receiving a gift from other bloggers! It has been a great way to connect with bloggers across the country. I have to give a big shout out and thank you to Laurie from Country LINKed, Jamie from This Uncharted Rhoade, Lara from My Other More Exciting Self, and Kirby from 15009 Farm House for their work on making this possible for us!

This year my package came from Alica who blogs at Happily Married to the Cows. She is from Pennsylvania!

When I opened my package I found a letter telling me about herself and her family and the special meaning behind each item.

She spent the time to find stuff that not only I would like but that were personal to her and her area or that had a tie to her family and friends!

Inside there was: 

Coffee: This coffee was roasted by a friend of her family. It is delicious! I'm enjoying a cup as I write this post! 

Chocolate Goat: Yes I said a Chocolate Goat!!!! She knew that I showed goats and who doesn't love chocolate!! It is so cute and I hate to eat him. This was made by her cousins family candy business.

Stroopies: These are thin cinnamon waffle cookies that have caramel in the middle and dipped in chocolate. Can you say YUM!!! They are delicious!! They go great with a hot cup of coffee. They were made by another cousin's business. 

Greeting Cards: Theses cards were made by her daughter. She took the photos that are on the front of each card. I love to write letters to people so these are perfect.

Post Cards: She included 4 post cards that represent her state. 2 include recipes one for Whoopie pies and shoo-fly pie and the other 2 show Lancaster county and Amish Country. 

Potholder and Dish Cloth: The pot holder was made from quilt squares from her mom and the pot holder was handmade by Alica!! 

I was very happy with all of my gifts and the opportunity to make a new friend from Pennsylvania!! If you haven't already go check her blog out and give her a follow!

This year I sent my package to Texas! I sent mine to Kristin who blogs at Rice Roundup definitely go check out her blog as well.