New recipes

Vanilla and Almond Frostings

Vanilla and Almond Frostings

Makes about 7 1/2 cups Servings

Ingredients

Base Frosting

  • 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 10 1/2 cups (2 1/2 to 2 3/4 pounds) powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Vanilla Frosting

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Almond Frosting

  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 drops yellow food coloring
  • Unsprayed (nontoxic) mini roses

Recipe Preparation

For Base Frosting:

  • Using electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, then cream and vanilla. Divide between 2 bowls.

For Vanilla Frosting:

  • Mix 1 teaspoon vanilla into 1 bowl of base frosting.

For Almond Frosting:

  • Mix almond extract into second bowl of base frosting. Mix in yellow food coloring, 1 drop at a time, until desired shade is reached.

Recipe by Sarah Tenaglia, Selma Brown MorrowReviews Section

Healthy Vanilla Almond Biscotti

Simple and delicious almond biscotti made with vanilla protein powder for extra protein and no added sugar! Win!

Biscotti is one of those things that look way more complicated to make than it actually is. A biscotti is just a cookie after all.

Some people like to dip their biscotti in coffee. I like to dip mine in milk.

I used a vanilla protein powder in place of sugar and thus created a healthy biscotti cookie. I used PEScience Select Protein (vegan proteins available). Get 30% OFF all PEScience products by using code PBCHOCO.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup margarine, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup margarine
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup heavy cream, or as needed
  • 1 pinch salt
  • ¾ cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line 12 cupcake cups with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.

In a mixing bowl, thoroughly cream together the sugar and 1/2 cup of margarine until very well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly combined, and stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Gradually beat in the flour mixture, alternating with the milk, in several additions. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake cups, filling them about 2/3 full.

Bake the cupcakes in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

To make caramel, Place the brown sugar, 1/2 cup margarine, corn syrup, and vanilla into a large saucepan over medium heat, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer until thickened, 3 to 4 minutes remove from heat and allow to cool to warm (not hot) temperature. Add the cream, a little at a time, until the caramel has the consistency of honey. Mix in the pinch of salt, and allow to cool to room temperature.

Beat the salted butter with confectioners' sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture is fluffy slowly add and beat in the caramel, a tablespoon at a time, beating until the frosting is smooth.


Almond Sables

Ingredients

1/2 cup ( 3.5 ounces ) granulated sugar

2/3 cup ( 3.33 ounces ) whole almonds

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened

2 teaspoons Rain’s Choice pure Vanilla Extract

2 cups ( 9 ounces ) unbleached all-purpose flour

1/3 cup ( 2.33 ounces ) Rain’s Choice Vanilla Sugar (optional)

Instructions

Pulse the sugar and salt in a food processor until the sugar is fine and powdery. Add the almonds and pulse until they are finely ground. Add the butter in large chunks, along with the vanilla and almond extracts. Pulse until the butter is smooth. Add the flour and pulse until a soft dough begins to form around the blade. Transfer the dough to a large bowl and knead it briefly to make sure it is mixed evenly.

Form a log about 12 inches long and 1-3/4 inches in diameter. Wrap the log in wax paper or foil. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and preferably overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Position a rack in the center of the oven.

Spread the coarse sugar on a sheet of wax paper or a flat dish. Roll the dough log in the sugar, pressing so that the sugar adheres. Cut the log into slices 1/4-inch thick and place them at least 1 inch apart on the ungreased or lined cookie sheets. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the edges are golden brown, rotating the pan from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. For lined pans, set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. For unlined pans, let the cookies set on the pan for a minute or two before transferring them to a rack with a metal spatula. Cool the cookies completely before storing. May be kept in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

Notes

Whole almonds with skins work perfectly. They taste as good or better than store-bought blanched almond meal, and it’s simple to pulverize them as the cookies are made in the processor anyway. You may substitute any nut for the almonds. If you have a small food processor or use a blender such as a Vitamix, grind the sugar, almonds and butter together, then transfer to a large bowl and finish the cookies with a hand- or bowl-mixer.


How to Make The Best Buttercream Frosting

First step is to measure the powdered sugar. I use my food scale. (If you don’t have a food scale the equivalent would be 4 cups.) You can sift the powdered sugar if it is really lumpy. I do not always do this. Instead I will mix the powdered sugar on low for 30 seconds to break up any large lumps.

Add 1 cup (2 sticks) of softened butter. I only ever use real butter, but you can use whatever you have on hand. Although I think margarine changes the taste, your buttercream frosting made with margarine will still better than canned frosting.

Add 2-3 teaspoons of vanilla. My family loves vanilla so I am a little heavy handed with it. I’ll start with 2 teaspoons and then add more at the end.

Mix the butter and the vanilla on low.

Add the powdered sugar to the mixer. Start your mixer (or beaters) on the lowest setting. I usually put a clean dishtowel around my mixer to keep the sugar from flying out. Keep on low until the butter and sugar are incorporated and then kick your mixer up to medium high.

Once fully incorporated at the milk and continue mixing.

ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS taste your frosting. My husband is the best frosting taster. He will always tell me if the consistency is wrong, if it needs more vanilla or more milk. If you are adding food coloring now is the time to do it. Make sure the food coloring gets fully incorporated. (Most of the time I do this part by hand.)

How much frosting will you need? That always depends on how thick or thin you apply the frosting or how much decorating you do but here are a couple of guidelines. Our recipe should make enough Best Buttercream Frosting to cover a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake or a two-layer 8″ cake. If you are making cupcakes, you should be able to frost 24 cupcakes if you apply the frosting with a knife. If you swirl on the frosting with a pastry bag like we have done here, you should be able to frost 15-18 cupcakes depending on the size of the swirl.

The Best Buttercream Frosting is truly THE BEST! We promise you will get compliments on whatever you put this frosting on.


What&rsquos the difference between frosting and icing?

Frosting is made with butter and confectioner&rsquos sugar, whereas icing is more of a glaze and doesn&rsquot have butter. Icing is thinner, sweeter and glossier. Icing could be made with heavy cream, but it could also be made with milk water or juice.

Frosting is thick and most often made with butter, cream cheese or a combination of both, along with heavy cream, and that&rsquos exactly how this buttercream is made.

I tend to add a touch of cream cheese to my frostings, but I don&rsquot want them to taste like cream cheese unless they are a bonafide cream cheese frosting like this low-carb cream cheese frosting.


American-Style Vanilla Biscotti

Here it is, a biscotti recipe everyone can enjoy — unlike classic Italian biscotti, which are quite hard, these are light and crunchy. Biscotti bake twice rather than once, and thus take a bit longer start-to-finish than normal drop cookies. But the dough is put together exactly like drop cookie dough. And if your kitchen skills include shaping a meatloaf and slicing a loaf of bread, you've got what it takes to make delicious, gorgeous biscotti.

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter, salted or unsalted
  • 2/3 cup (131g) sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract, optional
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (241g) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour , for sprinkling on top, optional

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease (or line with parchment) one large (about 18" x 13") baking sheet.

In a medium-sized bowl, beat the butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, almond extract, and baking powder until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Beat in the eggs the batter may look slightly curdled. At low speed of your mixer, add the flour, stirring until smooth the dough will be sticky.

Plop the dough onto the prepared baking sheet. Divide it in half, and shape it into two 9 1/2" x 2" logs, about 3/4" tall. Straighten the logs, and smooth their tops and sides a wet spatula or wet bowl scraper works well here. Sprinkle with coarse white sparkling sugar, if desired, pressing it in gently.

Perfect your technique

Vanilla biscotti, hot cocoa, and a day of rest

Bake the dough for 25 minutes. Remove it from the oven.

Using a spray bottle filled with room-temperature water, lightly but thoroughly spritz the logs, making sure to cover the sides as well as the top. Softening the crust just this little bit will make slicing the biscotti much easier. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.

Wait 5 minutes, then use a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife to cut the log crosswise into 1/2" to 3/4" slices. Or cut the biscotti on the diagonal, for fewer, longer biscotti. As you're slicing, be sure to cut straight up and down, perpendicular to the pan if you cut unevenly, biscotti may be thicker at the top than the bottom, and they'll topple over during their second bake.

Set the biscotti on edge on the prepared baking sheet. Return the biscotti to the oven, and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes, until they feel very dry and are beginning to turn golden. They'll still feel a tiny bit moist in the very center, if you break off a piece but they'll continue to dry out as they cool.

Remove the biscotti from the oven, and transfer them to a rack to cool. Store airtight at room temperature they'll stay good for weeks.


White Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling and Buttercream Frosting

White Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling and Buttercream Frosting. Soft, white almond cake layers with a delicious raspberry filling, finished with raspberry and vanilla buttercream frostings. The perfect cake for any occasion!

April 2018 Original Blog Post

There is a bakery not far from where I live that has some of my favorite desserts in the world. They all have a very specific taste to them that I cannot place, but adore none the less. I have been at multiple events where I tasted the cake and immediately knew it had been purchased at that bakery. They have a one cupcake called ‘death by chocolate’, that I literally dreamed about when I pregnant with my son. Not literally in the way it’s used when people don’t actually mean literally, but literally in the way that means literally.

I once craved that chocolate cupcake so badly that I drove to the store three times within a one week period hoping to get it. However, they don’t stock all of their goods everyday, so I missed out on it every freaking single time. I persevered though, and on my forth trip, finally got it. I sat in the parking lot and enjoyed every last bite of it. And although that cupcake is delicious, it cannot compare to their almond cake with raspberry filling. I haven’t been able to justify purchasing that cake on a regular basis, but I can justify coming up with a semi-replicate I can make for friends, so that is what I have done. I have taken bits and pieces of various recipes from the internet, and combined them to make heaven.

November 2018

I wrote the initial post for this cake in my first few days of starting this blog. The photo was one I had taken on my phone, never intending for it to be published anywhere. For a cake this good though, the photo needed to be updated to one that matched it’s amazing taste. I have been thinking a lot about it recently, but have had other cakes I wanted to try and tweak, and have let the white almond cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting recipe fall by the wayside.

Holiday Cake

Last week though, that changed. My husband, kids and I went to South Carolina to visit my family for Thanksgiving. I asked what we could contribute to Thanksgiving dinner, and it was suggested that I bring some desserts. That worked out beautifully for me.

Although most people think of Thanksgiving as a pie holiday, I’m not a big pie fan, and think more cake should be incorporated into Thanksgiving. So, I ended up making Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing, Homemade Apple Pie (I love this pie though, so I’m totally fine with it staying for Thanksgiving), and this white almond cake with raspberry filling and buttercream frosting.

White Almond Cake with Raspberry Filling and Buttercream Frosting

This cake starts with a box mix, but it’s tweaked to give it a little something special. Then it’s filled my favorite raspberry filling and finished with both vanilla and raspberry buttercream frostings. It’s addictively delicious. It’s perfect for Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays or anywhere else you want a delicious but easy to make cake!


I&rsquom going to show you exactly how-to make perfect Petit Fours.

Why are Petit Fours such a pain to make? Well, it&rsquos not the cake. Technique-wise, the almond cake is a straight-forward creamed cake.

The batter does include almond paste, which makes it a little more expensive than regular cake. But making the cake itself is pretty simple. Well, until you spread the batter in the pan.

Because Petit Fours are all about being perfect little cakes, every step of the process requires careful execution.

You&rsquove got to be careful to spread the batter evenly in the pan. If you do this, when you layer and cut the cake you&rsquoll have consistently sized, level cakes instead of some thick, some thin and some lopsided cakes.

But the biggest pain about making Petit Fours is icing the little buggers. After icing hundreds of Petit Fours I have perfected a process for glazing Petit Fours with as little mess and fuss as is possible.

How to Ice Petite Fours:

  • Traditionally, fondant is the icing of choice for these fancy cakes. You can learn about true Fondant Icing in the Easy Fondant Icing post.
  • While true fondant creates a beautiful sheen when used as an icing, it is complicated and tedious to make. I&rsquove decided that using a simple powdered sugar icing is an acceptable compromise. You&rsquoll find a recipe for the icing at the end of the post.
  • The key to getting a nice coating on the Petit fours is to have waaaaaay more icing than you need.
  • You must completely flood every cake, corner to corner and edge to edge, to have no gaps in the icing. This means you will have lots of overflow as you ice the cakes.
  • You can set the rack of petit fours over a clean sheet pan to catch the drips, but I have found that setting the rack over a really big bowl works better. It much easier to scoop the icing back into the pouring container from a bowl than from a flat sheet pan.
  • If your bowl isn&rsquot large enough for all the cakes to sit over the opening at the same time, simply move the rack up and back so the cakes which you are covering are over the bowl as your pour the icing. You can see me move the rack around in the video.
  • Once you&rsquove got the cakes covered leave them to dry completely on the rack.
  • Use a small spatula to lift the cakes, one by one, and transfer them onto a serving platter. I like to put them into little paper cups which makes them easier to pick up.

Finally, Petit Fours should have a dainty decoration on top. As you can see, I piped Royal Icing rose buds on the Petit Fours for this post. This is a pretty way to decorate for a bridal shower. You can match the colors to the wedding colors.

Another nice way to finish Petit Fours is with a few scattered dragees or fancy sprinkles. For the holidays I like to make tiny holly leaves and berries out of marzipan or rolled fondant to put on top.

You can tint the icing as well. A pale blue, pink or yellow icing is a nice touch for a baby shower. I find that subtle colors look best for these fancy cakes. Just add a drop of color as you mix the boiling water into the sugar.

Watch the recipe video to see how to make Classic Almond Petit Fours:

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I&rsquod really appreciate a 5-star review.


Almond Bonbons

HEAT oven to 375°F. Combine cookie mix, butter, egg and water in medium bowl. Stir until soft dough forms. Shape dough into 3/4-inch balls. Cut almond paste into 1/4-inch slices. Cut each slice in half. Roll into ball. Flatten out dough ball into 1 1/4-inch circle. Wrap around almond paste ball pinching dough to seal. Place 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.

BAKE 7 to 9 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire rack to cool completely.

PLACE green and red frostings in separate small bowls. Stir 1/8 teaspoon almond extract into each frosting. Place each color frosting into corner of resealable plastic bag. Cut very small corner off bag. Drizzle over top of cookies. Sprinkle with candy bits from frosting.

HANNUKUH BONBONS: Prepare cookies as directed. Add almond extract to 1 cup Pillsbury® Creamy Supreme® Vanilla Flavored Frosting. Drizzle over cookies. Sprinkle with blue decorator sugar and decorator sprinkles of your choice.

Serving Size (1 of 48 bonbons), Calories 100 (Calories from Fat 35), Total Fat 4g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat g), Cholesterol 5mg, Sodium 70mg, Total Carbohydrate 15g (Dietary Fiber g, Sugars 10g), Protein 1g, Potassium mg, thiamine mg, Riboflavin mg, niacin mg, Folate mg, Vitamin B6 mg, Vitamin B12 mcg, Vitamin A mg, Vitamin C mg, Vitamin D mg, Calcium mg, Iron mg.

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

* Ensure all recipe ingredients are gluten free by referencing the ingredient labels, as products may vary. If uncertain, contact the ingredient manufacturer.