Saturday, December 20, 2008

Popcorn Balls

3/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup margarine
2 teaspoons cold water
2 5/8 cups confectioners' sugar
1 cup marshmallows
5 quarts plain popped popcorn

1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the corn syrup, margarine, cold water, confectioners' sugar and marshmallows. Heat and stir until the mixture comes to a boil. Carefully combine the hot mixture with the popcorn, coating each kernel.
2. Grease hands with vegetable shortening and quickly shape the coated popcorn into balls before it cools. Wrap with cellophane or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Best Darn Chocolate Cake with Ganache Frosting

Back in the early days of our marriage when I wanted to impress my hubby with my mad cooking skilz (which were nonexistent by the way), I made everything from scratch. Then one time we were invited to dinner by another college couple. The hubby raved about her cake and said I HAD to get the recipe! It turned out to be a box mix. The cheap store brand box mix. Alrighty then.

So I used boxed mixes for many years. Then Ann Byrn came out with The Cake Doctor and revolutionized my life. Now I know Donna's whole blog is about life not being from a box. But this is BEYOND a box and so very, very good. And there are just times in life when you want something special but you don't have all afternoon to make it.

Or you want to bake a birthday cake for Jesus on Christmas day but you don't want to spend half the day in the kitchen. You'd rather be hangin' with the family. That's when you can use this recipe guilt-free :-)


1 pkg. plain devil's food or dark chocolate fudge cake mix
1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding mix
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1-1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350° Lightly mist a 9"x12" pan with vegetable oil spray, then dust with flour. Shake out excess flour. Set aside.

In large bowl combine cake mix, pudding mix, eggs, sour cream, warm water and oil and blend with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase speed to medium for another 2-3 minutes. Batter should be thick. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes (until toothpick in center comes out clean). Allow cake to cool completely.
* * * * * * * * * *

I'm a fan of the simple, so some years our cake would get just a dusting of powdered sugar to make it look a little prettier. Other years the chocolate urge would overwhelm me and I would make a little chocolate ganache and pour over the cooled cake. Either way, it makes a great birthday cake for Jesus!


9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 cup heavy cream
Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Coca-Cola Marshmallow Cake

I've actually been thinking about this cake for weeks so you have no idea how happy it makes me to have the almost-impossible-to-find marshmallows at Walmart!

This is a popular cake in the south but I'm not sure it's well known anywhere else. But it should be! Because Coca-Cola marshmallow cake is a national treasure, people. Which you will learn for yourself if you take the time to make this decadent dessert. This particular recipe is from a favorite little cookbook called Miss Mary's Down-Home Cooking.

2 eggs
1-1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup buttermilk (or place 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar in measuring cup and fill to 1/2 cup mark with milk, stir)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup Coca-Cola, measured without foam
1-1/2 cups miniature marshmallows

1/4 cup butter
1-1/2 tablespoons Coca-Cola
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

First make the cake. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Gradually beat in the sugar. When done the mixture should be thick and pale yellow. Beat in the oil, buttermilk (or sour milk) and vanilla.

In another bowl stir together the flour and baking soda. Beat this into the liquid ingredients alternately with the cola. Stir in the marshmallows.

Turn batter into greased and floured 9"x13" baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes until tootghpick inserted in center comes out clean. Transfer to a rack to cool.

When the cake is completely cool, make the icing: Heat the butter and cola in a saucepan until butter has melted. Remove from heat and stir in sugar and vanilla. Beat well. If too stiff, thin with a few drops of cola. Stir in the nuts. Spread the icing over the cake in the pan. Let icing set at least 10 minutes before cutting the cake.