Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake

Chocolate Caramel Toffee Cake, Chocolate Cake with Toffee, Chocolate Buttercream, Ruffle Cake, High Altitude Chocolate Cake, Chocolate Toffee CakeYears ago, I made a cake for my husband's birthday - chocolate cake, soaked in bourbon, frosted with chocolate buttercream and toffee sprinkled between the layers.  It's probably his favorite cake that I've ever made.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Best High Altitude Chocolate Chip Cookies

What can I say about chocolate chip cookies that hasn't already been said?

I expressed this to my husband once, and then, hoping for an interesting story about him as a cute little boy eating cookies and milk, said Tell me a chocolate chip cookie memory.

He shrugged his shoulders and looked at me as if to respond, how am I supposed to remember something about a cookie I've eaten hundreds of times in my life?

So maybe they are the most common, and possibly the most favorite cookie there is, and maybe all the chocolate chip cookies we've eaten in our lives sort of fade into each other in our cookie memories.  Yes, I think there's a special place in our minds just for cookie memories.

After all, have you ever eaten one so amazing that it stands out in your mind above all others?  We've all eaten way too many unexceptional cookies.  But truly great cookies - those happen rarely.  Happen is the wrong word, though, because a great cookie doesn't just happen.  It's the consummation of of butter, sugar, flour, eggs and chocolate, brought into perfect harmony.  And maybe I'm alone in this preference, but I'd far rather eat a chocolate chip cookie that's cooled off and set up after several hours than one that's warm and gooey just minutes out of the oven.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Vanilla Bean Butter Cake

Vanilla Bean Butter Cake, Vanilla Bean Cake, High Altitude Vanilla Cake, Vanilla Cake Recipe, Vanilla Cake with Butter, High Altitude Cake Recipes, White and Gold Cake
In working through this year's goal of updating and adding to my index of classic cake recipes, I revisited the most popular and beloved recipe on my blog, Vanilla Cake.  There is just something about a simple vanilla cake that everyone loves.  It's quick and easy to mix up, always tender and moist with both oil and buttermilk in the batter, and it can be customized with any flavor of buttercream or filling that you like.  Personally, my favorite cake on my site is my snowy White Velvet Cake, which takes a bit more time to mix up, though, and requires a stand mixer to beat the butter and sugar for 10-12 minutes.  But if you're looking for an easy, great-tasting vanilla cake that you can whisk up by hand, this is the cake for you.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Chocolate Ganache Tart, Chocolate Tart, Ganache Tart, Strawberry Hearts, Valentine's Dessert, Chocolate PieA chocolate ganache tart is a classic dessert that's the perfect end to a special meal.  With a cookie crust and a rich, decadent filling made of nothing more than chocolate, cream and butter, it's best served in small slices.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Cherry Vanilla Rosette Cake

Cherry Vanilla Cake, Cherry Cake, Rosette Cake, Pink Rosette Cake, Pink Rose Cake, Cake Decorating, Perfect Buttercream, Cake PhotographyIt's been too long since I decorated a cake all over with buttercream rosettes, and I thought that this Cherry Vanilla Cake with the loveliest shade of pale pink cherry buttercream would be just the cake to highlight this beautiful (and actually very easy-to-do) decorating technique.

Starting with the most popular post on my blog, my classic Vanilla Cake recipe, I paired the cake with cherry buttercream, flavored and colored with sweet cherry preserves.  Aren't the flecks of cherries in the buttercream so pretty?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Sparkling Chocolate and Peppermint Cake for Valentine's Day

Chocolate Peppermint Cake, Cake with Sparkling Sugar, Valentines Cake, Cake with Flowers, Wedding CakeOur Valentine's Day cake this year is pure romance.  The cake inside is dark chocolate, filled with chocolate buttercream, chopped chocolate, and extra cake crumbs soaked in chocolate syrup.  Outside, a demure coat of pink peppermint buttercream is covered in a shower of sparkling sugar that's infused with peppermint and vanilla bean.  The sparkling sugar is so beautiful that the cake doesn't really need any other decoration, but I placed a few roses on top for a little extra flair.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Valentines Sugar Cookie Bars

Sugar Cookie Bars, Soft Sugar Cookie Bars, Valentines Sugar Cookies, High Altitude Sugar Cookie Bars
 I just love looking at all the elaborately decorated sugar cookies this time of year.  The skill and practice that is required for such beautiful royal icing art amazes me.

For those of us who are barely beginners at all that (or just don't have enough time this year for something fancy), but still want to bake a pretty and delicious cookie for Valentines Day, I have this recipe for sweet and simple sugar cookie bars.  This is a fantastic bar cookie that's so soft and moist, and can be customized any way you like with mix-ins such as candy, chocolate chips, nuts, toffee, sprinkles...

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Lemon Cake with Raspberry Buttercream and a White Chocolate Rose

Raspberry Lemon Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Cakes, High Altitude Lemon Cake, Valentines Cake, Pink Polkadot Cake, White Chocolate Rose, White Chocolate Flowers, Buttercream Cake with FlowersSince Valentine's Day is just around the corner, it's the perfect excuse to make lots of pretty cakes.  This one has the loveliest shade of pink buttercream, naturally tinted and flavored with raspberry jam whipped into the frosting, and inside are three layers of soft lemon cake.  This cake seems to say, I'm in the mood for a little romance and I can't wait for spring.  I can't think of a better cake for February.

Friday, January 31, 2020

Strawberry Orange Heart Cake for Valentine's Day

Strawberry Orange Cake, Orange Cake, Strawberry Cake, Valentines Cake, Heart Cake, Pink Heart Cake, Valentines Desserts, High Altitude Baking, High Altitude Cake RecipesStrawberries and oranges are so delicious together, so for a Valentine's Day cake this year, I paired them in this beautiful cake shaped like a heart.  Did you know that you can make a pretty heart-shaped cake without a special heart-shaped pan?  Read on to find out how.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Buttermilk Muffins

Chocolate Almond Muffins, Chocolate Muffins, Buttermilk Muffins, High Altitude Muffin Recipes, Brunch IdeasI've made quite a few muffins over the years.  In fact, muffins (made from a box mix) were one of the first things I ever learned how to bake on my own when I was in middle school, and I've loved them for breakfast ever since.

A few months ago, I had an excess of buttermilk on hand, so I experimented with some buttermilk muffin recipes and just loved the results.  The buttermilk adds a lovely flavor to the muffins and makes them wonderfully soft and tender.  I have three new recipes for you in today's post.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Ginger Streusel Lemon Cake

Ginger Streusel Lemon Cake, Ginger Lemon Cake, Gingerbread Streusel Cake, High Altitude Cake Recipes, Cake Decorating Ideas, American Buttercream, Buttercream Cake, Lemon Cake, High Altitude Lemon CakeWhen I was a kid, I remember my mom making this gingerbread sheet cake; sometimes it was dark and spicy, and other times she made a lighter, less spicy version with a crumb topping that we called "Pennsylvania gingerbread cake".  Either way, it was great, but the best part was the sweetly tart lemon sauce she'd pour on the side, which was just instant lemon pudding served warm.  Together, they made something magical.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars

Blueberry Oatmeal Bars, Blueberry Breakfast Bars, Blueberry Crumb Bars, Blueberry Pie BarsBlueberry oatmeal bars are a simple treat to make that look and taste so nostalgic.  When I remember going to church potlucks and other gatherings as a kid, my mom was sure to bring a big pan of oatmeal bars, filled with blueberry or cherry pie filling.  There was hardly a crumb left by the end of the day.

What's nice about these bars is that the dough serves as both the bottom crust and the crumble topping, making them so easy to mix up in a hurry.  The fruit filling thickens to a jam-like consistency while baking, and the layers of crust, blueberry filling and crumbly topping are so tempting.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Strawberry Rhubarb Cupcakes

Strawberry Rhubarb Cupcakes, Valentines Cupcakes, Strawberry Cupcakes, High Altitude Strawberry CupcakesIt may seem a bit early for a strawberry rhubarb recipe, but if you're lucky enough to be able to find frozen rhubarb in your grocery store, then these cupcakes can be made any time of year.  And although it's January, spring will be here before we know it.  We have a rhubarb plant in our back yard, and I love watching for it to start peeking through the dirt when the weather turns warmer, but thankfully, since I freeze rhubarb each summer, I don't have to wait until spring.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Red Velvet Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Buttercream

Red Velvet Cake, Cream Cheese Buttercream, Vanilla Bean Buttercream, High Altitude Red Velvet Cake, High Altitude Cake RecipesRed velvet cake is one of those cakes that I didn't start eating until I was an adult.  Even though I grew up in the South, and red velvet cake tends to be a favorite down there, I don't remember my mom making it much, if ever.  And when I did finally taste it, it was not an instant love affair.  I wasn't sure what to think of the flavor, which struck me as rather bland, or the color, although I couldn't argue that the cream cheese frosting was delicious.  It took a few years and some recipe experimentation to learn that that first red velvet cake I tasted was not a very good one, but that when done right, red velvet cake is simply wonderful.