Sunday, August 16, 2009

Chocolate Sour Cream Frosting

I made these cupcakes for our church potluck today. I thought they looked so classic and festive. These guys are masquerading as your average chocolate cupcake with chocolate frosting. But the cake is actually made with 2 cups of shredded zucchini (What?! We have a lot of zucchini to use up! :) The addition of zucchini made it really moist.
And the frosting was not made with butter, but sour cream! I know, odd right?! It was a little tart, but I actually thought it paired quite well with the rich chocolate cake. Although next time I think I will add a smidge more sweetner to offset a little more of the sour factor. The consistency of the frosting was really nice and thick and easy to spread.

Sour Cream Chocolate Frosting (from smittenkitchen.com)

15 oz. semi sweet chocolate
2 1/4 c. sour cream, room temperature
1/4 - 1/2 c. corn syrup

*Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or in the microwave. Set aside and let cool to lukewarm.
*Combine the sour cream and 1/4 c. corn syrup in a large bowl.
*Slowly pour the cooled chocolate into the sour cream mixture while stirring vigorously.
*Add more corn syrup 1 T. at a time until you reach desired sweetness.
*Chill in the fridge until it is spreading consistency (should take no more than 30 min.)

Tortilla Pinwheels

Our church was going to have service this morning at the park followed by a picnic potluck, but...it rained! So we moved indoors. But thinking we were going to be outside, I didnt want to hassle with trying to keep a dish warm, so I opted for some gussied up tortilla pinwheels- so stress free (seriously, you dont understand how I stress about what to bring to potlucks!)
These pinwheels have a cream cheese spread that came from a great friend of mine from college. It has ranch flavor and veggies in it. Usually we just make them with just the cream cheese mixture rolled up in a tortilla, its SO DELICIOUS! I thought it really tasted great with all the other fillings and made the pinwheel more hardy.

Tortilla Pinwheels (cream cheese spread adapted from Greta)

Tortillas (I used spinach, but any would work), at least burrito size, unless you can find bigger ones (about 8 burrito size ones)
2 pkgs 8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing
1/2 c. finely chopped green pepper
1/2 c. finely chopped carrot
3 green onions
about 1 lbs of turkey slices
cheddar cheese slices
red leaf lettuce
sliced tomato

*Combine the cream cheese, dressing packet, green pepper, carrots and onion.
*Lay out the tortillas on your counter and spread them with the cream cheese mixture (you can go lighter if you plan on making them with all the fillings but spread it a little thicker if you dont plan on adding any other fillings)
*Place a layer of turkey over each tortilla then top with some cheese over the tortilla
*Place a line of tomatos down the middle of the tortilla and top with a line of lettuce
*Roll up tightly starting from a tomato free end
*Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hrs or overnight
*Slice in 1 inch pieces (reserving the ends for snacking :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Empanadas

It was happy hour Friday at our house this afternoon. What a great way to usher in the weekend. Besides, I needed a good excuse to try out these empanadas. I think we may have to make happy hour a regular occurance around here, it gives me a chance to try out all sorts of delicious appetizers I normally never have a reason to make.
Empanadas are a Latin American food that is often consumed as a street food. It is basically a filled pastry pocket. Each country in Latin America seems to have their own version of filling. My version is completely NOT authentic! I just threw in a bunch of random things I had available in the kitchen. I did use the crust that is common in Argentina- it uses milk instead of water. I was going to try the filling too, but I didnt feel like cooking meat. It is seasoned hamburger with a slice of hard boiled egg and a green olive.
I filled mine with pinto beans, corn, tomato, and a few other things:

All wrapped up, crimped and ready to go:
Dont forget the egg wash if you want a nice golden brown color:
Mmmm...
Ok, ok maybe the filling was a little dry, but I love crust, which turned out great, so it really didnt bother me. The hubster is not a crust guy, so they were too dry for him. We combatted the dryness by dipping it in a salsa and sour cream mixture. Yummy! Next time I will work on making the filling more moist for our own personal taste, but actually the authentic Latin American ones all seem on the dry side also, so ...
Empanadas (dough from http://www.laylita.com)
3 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 c. butter
3/4 to 1 c. milk
*Combine flour and salt in your mixer
*Mix in butter until butter is about pea size
*Add egg yolk and slowly add milk until mixture begins to hold together
*Divide dough into two and press into discs. Wrap them and chill for about 30 min.
*Roll out dough thinly and cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or bowl (depending on what size you want)
*Put a scoop of filling (recipe below) in the middle of each circle of dough
*Rub egg white around the whole edge of the disc to act as a glue. Fold the disc over to make a semi-circle and press edges together. Crimp by pressing with a fork.
*Brush each empanada with egg yolk.
*Place in the fridge for about 30 min. or until you are ready to bake (can be in fridge overnight)
*Bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 min.
Filling (I measured nothing, just eyeballed, do what looks good to you):
Mix together the following:
1 can of pinto beans
half can of corn
chopped tomato
chopped green onion
two mushrooms, chopped
chili powder
oregano
paprika
(cumin would be a good spice to include, but I am out!, also, I wanted to use black beans, but out of those too! Time to go shopping!)
Like I said, I would make the filling juicier next time. Im thinking taco meat with a little cheese and sourcream and a black olive. Really, the possiblities are endless, use your imagination!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Zucchini Chip Snack Cake

We have two zucchini plants in our garden this year, so we arent hugely overrun with zucchini, but we surely have plenty. One of my favorite things to make with all our zucchini is this cake. Its mildly chocolately and very moist. Yum!
It makes a nice big 9x13 and freezes very well, but the recipe can be halved very easily and made in a 9x9 also. I have never made it without the chocolate chips, but I imagine it would be delicious that way also. I have a couple of hugely over grown zucchini's (I used only half of one for these 2 cups in this recipe!!) I plan on testing out whether this would make a good bread without the chocolate chips and maybe even without the cocoa.

Zucchini Chip Snack Cake (from the R.C. cookbook, submitted by Norma Dole)

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c veg. oil
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 c. buttermilk or 1/2 c. milk with 2 tsp. vinegar
2 c. shredded zucchini
roughly 2 c. chocolate chips

*Combine dry ingredients and set aside.
*In your mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
*Beat in the oil, eggs and vanilla.
*Add the dry ingredients to the mixer bowl alternately with the buttermilk, just until combined.
*Stir in the zucchini.
*Pour into a greased 9x13
*Top with chocolate chips
*Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 min.