Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Take 5" Poke Cake

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey
"Take 5" Poke Cake

What is your all-time favorite Halloween candy? Take 5 candy bars are my absolute favorite candy! Where I live they aren't really available in many stores throughout the year, but the one time of year that I find them everywhere is during Halloween! I always buy several bags, and mostly are for me to stash for myself rather than to give out, haha.

Last year, I posted "Take 5" Brownies for you to enjoy and this year I'm giving you another incredible recipe: "Take 5" Poke Cake that was originally created by Hayley from the Domestic Rebel.

This recipe is incredibly easy as it uses a boxed cake mix and bottled caramel sauce. The original recipe calls for store bought whipped cream, but I decided to make my own whipped cream because I think it adds something a little extra to an already special treat. But if you just want to use the store bought, just substitute an 8 oz. container!

So when you see those bags of "Take 5" at the grocery store this Halloween, make sure you buy two bags-- one to enjoy for yourself (especially if you haven't tried these devilish little treats before!) and another to make this cake. And maybe a third bag for trick-or-treaters! If you like sweet and salty, chocolately and peanut-buttery desserts, then this cake definitely won't dissapoint!

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake | Tortillas and Honey

"Take 5" Poke Cake
Adapted from The Domestic Rebel

1 (18.25 oz.) box chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 c. creamy peanut butter
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
3/4 c. powdered sugar
About 10 miniature "Take 5" candy bars, roughly chopped
Caramel sundae sauce, for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare cake mix according to instructions on back of box, then pour batter into a greased 13 x 9 inch baking pan. Bake according to package directions, then cool completely.

In a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk with the peanut butter until smooth. (If the mixture seems too thick, you can microwave the mixture in a microwave safe bowl in 10-second increments until smooth and slightly runny.)

Poke shallow holes throughout the cooled cake, then pour the peanut butter/milk mixture on top, filling in all the holes.

In another medium sized bowl, whip the heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form. Fold in the powdered sugar (careful not to overmix).

Spread the whipped cream on top of the cake in an even layer. Refrigerate the cake for at least 4 hours, but recommended overnight.

Once the cake has set, sprinkle the top of the cake with the chopped Take 5 candy bits, then drizzle with the caramel sauce over the top.

Makes about 24 servings

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Lavender Spritz Cookies

Lavender Spritz Cookies | Tortillas and Honey
Lavender Spritz Cookies

I know that it's been awhile since my last post, but I have a very special post for you today! As September wraps up, this entire month has been Childhood Cancer Awareness month and OXO is doing their annual Cookies for Kids' Cancer program.

As part of this campaign, bloggers received some special products to create posts to help spread the word about this campaign. In addition, for every blog post for this campaign, OXO will donate $100 to Cookies for Kids' Cancer! Lastly, you can look for products with the sticker below and for every one of these stickered products sold, OXO will donate 25 cents to Cookies for Kids' cancer. This is an easy way to help out an important cause that affects so many people.

As part of my contribution to the numerous and delicious blog posts, I am presenting you with my Lavender Spritz Cookies! OXO sent me some great cookie making goodies, along with their wonderful cookie press. I have an old cookie press that was my mom's but don't use it because it's hard on my hands because they get tired and swell up after using it. OXO's cookie press, you just hold down the lever so it's much easier for people to use!

This is one of my favorite cookies. They are so easy to make and everyone loves them. The lavender is subtle and not overpowering. When I first tried lavender in food, I was afraid that it would be too floral and perfume-y, but found that lavender is a great ingredient to make something unique. We have an abundance of lavender here in the Southwest and I love the beautiful pops of color that it gives to our neighborhoods. If you don't have lavender plans where you are, you can try some of your herbal stores or Whole Foods who may also sell dried lavender.

If you don't have a cookie press, you can easily form the dough into a log, then refrigerate for a couple hours and slice. Or you can roll the dough out and cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. If you do decide to use the cookie press, try to grind the lavender buds as well as possible so that the chunks don't get stuck in the cookie press, leaving you funny shaped cookies!

When you're looking for something unique and refreshing, please give these cookies a try!

Lavender Spritz Cookies
A Tortillas and Honey original recipe

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. lavender buds, ground
1 c. butter
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. lemon extract

Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and ground lavender buds. Blend in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a measuring cup, add the egg. If it does not measure to 1/4 cup, add in enough water to measure 1/4 cup.

Add the egg, vanilla, and lemon extract into the crumb mixture and mix until a dough forms.

Form the dough into a log, wrap the dough in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge for two hours. When ready, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the dough from the plastic wrap, insert into the cookie press, and line baking sheets with the cookies, leaving a couple inches apart between cookies. Bake 9-11 minutes, until slightly golden around the edges.

Makes around 5 dozen cookies

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey
Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping

I've been slowly working on trying to get this post done for over a week now and I just couldn't seem to get this post completed-- until today when the lovely Zainab at the Blahnik Baker mentioned on her Facebook page that it's National Cheesecake Day! So I buckled down and am getting those post to you all on National Cheesecake Day! I know it's been yet another two months since my last post, but I sure hope that this beautiful and scrumptious makes up for my absence.

I really don't have any excuse as to why I haven't gotten more posts to you all because I'm on break from graduate school for the summer. I do think between work and school that I've been burnt out and I have been enjoying my free time entirely too much (Netflix, books, vacations to MD/VA/DC and camping and the lake and other fun activities and festivities)! It's going to be very hard to go back to school in a couple weeks.

My parents have three fruit trees: apricot, cherry, and plum. I never really cared for apricots growing up, but my mom made the best apricot jam in the world (and still does!) which helped to foster my liking of apricots as an adult. This year, my parents' apricot tree produced hundreds of apricots and I've brought home three or four huge bowls of apricots! So I googled and searched on Pinterest for as many apricot (dessert) recipes that I could find and this recipe was the one that caught my eye the most-- an Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping!

The crumble or crumb on the cheesecake isn't an actual crumb or crumble, but a sweet pastry crust that has been grated so that when it bakes it's golden, light, and buttery on the top! I also love that the cheesecake has a nice layer of apricots, which you just line on top of the filling as you're assembling the cheesecake. The whole process of assembling the cheesecake looks beautiful, which really adds to the experience of making this cheesecake. You feel like you're creating a piece of art the whole time that you're putting it together, which made it really fun.

Making this cheesecake does takes time, but seeing it come together and with a tasty end product makes it all worth it!

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping | Tortillas and Honey

Apricot Cheesecake with Crumb Topping
Adapted from Vinkalinka

For the crust:
2 1/2 c. flour
1 c. unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. baking powder

For the filling:
12 apricots, halved and deseeded
16 oz. cream cheese
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
2 Tbs. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the Crust: 

In the food processor combine flour, cold butter, sugar and baking powder, pulse until the mixture resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the egg to the mixture, then pulse until just combined and the dough forms into a ball.

Take the dough out of the food processor, it will be soft. Pinch off 1/3 of the pastry, wrap it in a plastic wrap and put in the freezer. Wrap the rest in the plastic wrap as well and put this portion in the fridge for 30 minutes.

When the pastry is finished chilling take it out of the fridge and roll it out to fit an 9″ springform pan lining the bottom and the sides all the way to the top. Chill the pan in the fridge

For the Filling: 

Cut your apricots in half and pit them. Set aside. (If you didn't do this as part of your prep already)

Combine cream cheese, eggs, sugar, flour, and vanilla in a large bowl using a hand mixer until smooth.

To assemble and bake Cheesecake:

Preheat oven to 350.

Take the lined springform pan of the fridge and fill it with the cheesecake filling and line the top with the apricots, halved side down.

Grate the the frozen part of the pastry with a vegetable grater and sprinkle it on top of the filling and apricots. (I have a Salad Shooter, which gets this one in like a minute!)

Bake for 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is almost fully set and the crumb topping is a golden color.

Cool cheesecake  for an hour until cool to the touch and then chill it in the refrigerator for at least 2 more hours or overnight to ensure the cheese filling in cooled completely.


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