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May 31, 2014

Culinary Conversation: Pin your taste hopes on these recipes

(Continued)

NEW CASTLE —

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13-inch baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray; set aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate for the brownies. Microwave on high for 60 seconds. Continue to microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring after each, until both the chocolate and butter are melted.

Whisk sugars into chocolate mixture. Whisk in vanilla and eggs until well combined. Stir in flour until it’s just incorporated.

Pour brownie batter into prepared pan and spread it out evenly with an offset spatula. Sprinkle with the chocolate chips. Set aside while preparing the peanut butter cheesecake.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter until fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in egg, sugar, salt and vanilla on high for 2 minutes. Mix in peanut butter on high for 2 minutes. Pour cream cheese layer over brownie layer, spreading it evenly and smoothly until it covers the whole pan.

Bake for 38 to 42 minutes or until the top is golden and the center is set but still a little loose, as it will cook more as it cools.

Allow to cool for at least on hour and then cover and refrigerate for at least three hours or overnight. Cut into squares.

Pineapple Zucchini Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini (2 small)
  • 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in juice, drained (reserve juice to add to batter or frosting if needed)
  • Frosting:
  • 2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons pineapple juice, if needed

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13-inch pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir by hand to combine.

In a second bowl, combine oil, eggs and vanilla. Add the egg mixture, zucchini and pineapple to the flour mixture and beat on low until well blended. The batter will be stiff and dry, but it will moisten as you mix it. Spoon batter into the pan and bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes until the cake is pulling away from the sides of the pan or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with moist crumbs. Cool completely before frosting.

For frosting, combine butter and cream cheese in a mixing bowl. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla just until smooth. Add a splash of pineapple juice if necessary. Spread over the cooled cake.

(*Not all recipes have been tested.)

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