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🐝 Bee Sting Cake 🐝

Slightly sweet German yeast cake (Bienenstich Kuchen) is baked with a crunchy honey-almond topping then sliced horizontally and filled with homemade vanilla custard. Watch out for bees!! 🐝

CAKE:
2 large eggs, room temperature*
3/4 cup whole milk, room temperature*
1 (1/4 oz) packet Rapid Rise instant yeast
1/3 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
Scant 3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (1/4 c) unsalted butter, room temperature*

HONEY-ALMOND CRUNCH TOPPING:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream

Dash of salt
1 1/2 cups sliced almonds
VANILLA CUSTARD FILLING:
3 large egg yolks
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour (or cornstarch)
Dash of salt
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract*To speed the “room temperature” process, I warmed the whole eggs in a bowl of slightly warm water for about 10 minutes. I microwaved the milk just until tepid (should not feel warm). I cut the butter into pats then microwaved for a few seconds just to soften – do not melt it.)

For the cake:
In a medium mixing bowl, lightly whisk the eggs; then whisk in the milk. Add the remaining Cake ingredients and stir for 3-4 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a draft-free area for 1 hour. (It won’t fully double in size.)(Before I started making the cake, I preheated the oven to 150° and as soon as that temperature was reached, I turned the oven off.)

About 15 minutes before the hour of rising is up, butter a 9-inch springform or round cake pan.

After the hour of rising, stir the batter downward a few times to deflate it slightly, then pour it into the buttered pan and spread out evenly. Cover again with plastic wrap (it shouldn’t touch the top of batter) and set aside for another 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the honey-almond topping:
In a small to medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter; remove from heat temporarily and whisk in the sugar, honey, cream and salt. Bring up to a simmer then let it boil for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in the almonds. It will begin to thicken immediately. Set aside to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Once the batter has finished its second rise, use a fork or small spoon to scoop out small amounts of the almond topping and distribute it over the top of the cake.

Bake cake on a foil-lined tray (In case it may bubble out. You don’t have to do this if a springform pan is used.) for 20 – 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes on a wire cooling rack. After 10 minutes, carefully run a knife along the outside of the cake to loosen the sides. If you’re using a springform pan, carefully remove the rim and cool on the wire rack. Otherwise, invert the cake onto the cooling rack. Flip it back over onto another rack to finish cooling, replacing any almonds that may have fallen off.

For the vanilla custard:
In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks; then whisk in the milk until well blended. Pour mixture into a small to medium saucepan; whisk in the sugar, flour, and salt.
Heat on medium/medium-high heat until mixture boils and thickens, whisking constantly, 3-4 minutes.
Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla.

Cool custard completely before using on cake. (To speed the process, I whisked it for 1-2 minutes then placed a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard (keeps a film from forming) and set aside for about 10 minutes, then transferred it to the refrigerator until cake was cool. It can also be cooled by setting the pot over a bowl of ice water while continually whisking it.)

Finally, assemble the cake:
Once both the cake and custard are completely cool, place the cake on a serving platter (or leave on bottom of springform pan) and slice it horizontally into two layers with a long serrated knife.

Spread vanilla custard over bottom half to the edges.
Place top half on top of the custard.

To serve, cut in wedges with a sharp knife, using a gentle sawing motion to cut through the topping. Watch out for bees!! 🐝

Refrigerate any leftovers.

MY NOTE:
For neater servings, while the top layer is off, I think the surface could be scored into serving size wedges then carefully placed on top of the custard. That way, to serve, you’re only having to cut through the bottom layer. I also found out the hard way that white Karo corn syrup substitutes well for honey!

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New Potatoes in White Sauce

New Potatoes in White Sauce

 

We ate a ton of this growing up!! Still enjoying it on occasion. It’s especially good with fried pork chops and Southern (unsweetened) cornbread.
  

  
  
  
3 pounds red new potatoes, peeled or scraped, then cut into 1 to 1 1/2″ chunks (can leave whole if small)

1 teaspoon salt
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt and black pepper, to taste
5 1/2 Tablespoons (1/3 c) margarine or salted butter
1 cup cooked frozen sweet peas, optional

Cover potatoes with water then add 1 tsp. salt and bring to a boil over medium/medium-high heat; cook until just tender. (Do not overcook or they will fall apart in the sauce.) Drain some of the water off, if needed, so that the potatoes are about half covered.

Stir 1 1/4 cups of the milk into the potatoes and bring back up to a boil.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup milk and the flour until completely smooth. Once potatoes are boiling again, pouring in a thin stream while stirring rapidly, add the flour mixture to the potatoes and cook until thickened on medium/medium-low heat, stirring frequently. If sauce is not thick as preferred, it can be adjusted by whisking together a little more milk and flour and stirring it into the potatoes and sauce.

When thickened, season with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Add butter and cover the pot until it melts. Stir in cooked sweet peas, if using.

Serve hot with cornbread!

Crock Pot Pecan Pie 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crock Pot Pecan Pie

You’ll go nuts over this holiday classic. It’s everything it’s crocked up to be! Same taste and texture as oven baked, even the crust gets brown and crispy!


1 refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
3 tablespoons salted butter, melted and slightly cooled
3 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
Pinch salt
2/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups coarsely broken pecans (or a combination of broken and halves)
Whipped cream or Vanilla ice cream, for serving

 

Spray the inside of a crock pot with cooking spray.
(Optional: I cut two pieces of heavy duty foil about 4-5″ wide and long enough to reach up the sides of the crock pot for handles for removing the pie when done. Or omit and serve the pie directly from the crock pot.)

Place pie crust in crock pot and mold it to fit the shape of the crock pit, extending crust about 1 1/2″ up the sides. (This is easier to do if your crock pot is round. Mine is oval so I trimmed off a little crust on the long sides.)

In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs; whisk in remaining ingredients together, except for the pecans. Stir in pecans. Carefully, pour filling into pie crust.

Cover crock pot and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, checking after 2 hours since all crock pots cook differently.

Southern Banana Pudding

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southern Banana Pudding   (aka Nanner Puddin’)

A classic Southern dessert that has stood the test of time and is still a favorite today. Layers of pudding, sliced bananas, and vanilla wafers. When I was growing up, the pudding would have been made from scratch and meringue was the common topping but I have used a shortcut version here that is equally as delicious!

NOTES:
I used prepared instant pudding mix, boxed Nilla vanilla wafers, sliced bananas, and topped with Cool Whip and crushed vanilla wafers.  Best served the day it’s prepared to prevent bananas from turning brown.

Candy Coated Nuts

Candy Coated Nuts

I make a batch of these almost every year for Christmas. Walnuts (or pecans) are coated with a brown sugar candy that tastes very similar to pralines.
  

  

  

 

 

 

 

3 cups walnuts or pecans, halves and large pieces
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Place nuts in a large mixing bowl. Lightly butter a large baking sheet. Set both aside.

Butter the sides of a heavy 1 – 1 1/2 qt. saucepan. Add the sugar, dark brown sugar, light brown sugar, salt, and sour cream, stirring to combine.

Cook mixture over medium-high heat until it reaches soft ball stage, 238-240° on a candy thermometer, stirring frequently. (This should take about 10 minutes.) Reduce heat a bit, if needed.

Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Using a spoon, stir mixture just until it starts to thicken, 2-3 minutes.

Working fast, pour the mixture over the nuts and stir quickly to evenly coat the nuts. (It will start to harden up fast.)

Immediately, dump the mixture out onto the prepared baking sheet and use two forks (or your fingers) to separate the nuts.

Cool completely. Store in airtight container.

 

Baked Spaghetti

Baked Spaghetti

A family favorite that never gets old. Hearty, meaty, cheeeezy comfort food. All you need is some hot, crusty French bread!

  

  


1 pound lean ground beef (I used 93/7)
1 small onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 (24 oz) can Hunt’s Traditional Pasta Sauce (or your favorite)
1 (14.5 oz) can Hunt’s Petite Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dry Italian Seasoning
Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
10-12 ounces spaghetti (I used thin spaghetti)
1 (8 oz) block Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese, freshly shredded by hand (Monterey Jack was gooood)
Grated Parmesan cheese for serving, optional

 

In a large, deep skillet (or pot that has a cover) over medium-high heat, cook the ground beef just until no longer pink, stirring and breaking into small pieces with a spoon as it cooks. Drain off any excess fat. Add the onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. (The onion will finish cooking in the sauce).

Stir in the pasta sauce, undrained tomatoes, and water. Cover skillet and bring to a boil; then reduce heat to medium/medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the Italian seasoning, crushed red peppers, and sugar and continue to simmer for another 5-10 minutes with the lid tilted. At this point, the sauce should be reduced and somewhat thickened. This is important or your finished casserole will be soupy. If sauce is not thickened enough, remove cover and continue to simmer for a while longer.

About ten minutes before the sauce is finished, break the spaghetti into thirds (if desired) and cook until al dente according to the package directions. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Drain well in a colander but do NOT rinse it.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Remove the sauce from the heat. Spoon a little of it in the bottom of a 13×9 baking dish, just enough to coat bottom. Add the pasta to the remaining sauce, tossing to coat. (I didn’t use quite all of it, just eyeball it to your liking.) Lightly spoon the mixture into the casserole dish (do not pack it down). Sprinkle top with the shredded cheese.

Cover dish with a piece of lightly greased (or sprayed with cooking oil) aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until bubbly around edges and cheese is melted. Uncover, and broil on high for 3-4 minutes, if desired.

Serve hot using a large spoon to pull servings apart (Please don’t cut it into those awful looking squares!!). Sprinkle top with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired. Serve with hot, toasty garlic French bread.

Southern Italian Cream Cake

Southern Italian Cream Cake

This will soon be your most favorite cake!!   Moist, decadent homemade cake chocked full of toasted pecans and coconut and topped with cream cheese frosting.

   

 


1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening (I used Crisco)
2 cups sugar
5 large eggs, yolks separated from whites
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup flaked coconut
3/4 cup chopped and toasted* pecans

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting:

3/4 cup chopped and toasted* pecans
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, slightly softened
1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (16 oz) box confectioners powdered sugar

 

Grease and flour (3) 9-inch round cake pans. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl and using a hand mixer, beat the butter and shortening at medium speed until fluffy; gradually add the sugar and beat well.

Add egg yolks, one at a time, beating until well blended after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Whisk together the flour and baking soda in another bowl; on low speed of mixer, beat it into to the butter mixture alternately with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Fold in coconut and toasted pecans.

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In a clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites on high speed of mixer until stiff peaks form; fold gently into the batter.

Pour batter into prepared cake pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until center tests done with a wooden toothpick.

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Use a thin-bladed knife to loosen the sides of cakes then cakes remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Pecan Cream Cheese Frosting:

Beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla at medium speed with mixer until creamy. Add about a third of the confectioners sugar at a time, beating at low speed until fully incorporated. Beat at high speed until smooth; stir in toasted pecans -OR- reserve them to decorate the top of the cake.

Spread frosting between each layer, on top and sides of cake.

Store covered in the refrigerator.

NOTES:
*I toasted the chopped pecans in a small skillet on the stovetop, stirring constantly, just until fragrant. Do not brown them.

I was running short on pecans, so I omitted them from the frosting and decorated the top with what I had.