Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Roca Blondies

We are lucky enough to live only about 2 hours from the Almond Roca factory and their factory outlet store in Fife! I am lucky enough that a friend just happened to mention the store on FB a few weeks ago. I am super lucky enough that we got to go to my BIL’s wedding in Tacoma a couple of weeks ago and make a stop at the store on the way. I am extraordinarily lucky that my sweet hubby let me spend way more money than I should have on Roca candy!!! :o)

One of the treats I brought home was a bag of broken up Almond Roca pieces for cooking.

The first thing I tried was making blondies with some of them stirred in… Jackpot!!!

If you are lucky enough to get your hands on some smashed up Almond Roca, give these a whirl…

Roca blondies - The Backyard Farmwife

1/2 cup butter

1 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 cup flour

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup Almond Roca pieces

Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 9” square baking pan.

Melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, egg, vanilla and almond extract. Mix in flour and salt. Fold in Almond Roca pieces.

Spread into prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes or until set and golden brown.

Cool on wire rack.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Gluten Free Cranberry Orange Scones

I have been making GF things for my friends for a long time. But before now, I have always made flour-free foods. This time I decided to try my hand at truly GF baking.

I wasn’t sure how it was supposed to taste, so I sent it off to my GF tester (aka – my son’s fiancĂ©e). She and her sister gave it a “thumbs up”, so here it is…

First I settled on a GF “Bisquick” alternative. I used the one here at glutenfreerecipebox.com.

Then I just used that as a base for making scones.

I’ve made scones often enough that I knew what they needed, so I just improvised from there. A little of this, a little of that, butter, cream, cranberries, orange, and of course, powdered sugar glaze, and I had a batch of scones that looked good enough to fool anyone. ;o) Just kidding! But they did look gorgeous!

GF cranberry orange scone - The Backyard FarmwifeNow no one needs to feel left out of your next traditional English tea party…

2 cups GF baking mix

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup heavy cream

zest and juice of 1 small orange

1/2 cup dried cranberries

powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 400.

Mix baking mix and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Cut in butter until crumbly. Stir in orange zest and cranberries. Mix in cream, until dough is very well mixed. (I use my hand for this step). Knead about 5 times in bowl.

Pat into a circle about 1” thick. Place on a greased or parchment-papered baking sheet. Cut into 8 wedges, separating them a bit but leaving in a circle.

Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown and pick comes out clean.

Let cool on wire rack for about 30 minutes.

Whisk together powdered sugar and orange juice until smooth to make a glaze that is just thin enough to drizzle over the scones.

Let cool until glaze sets.

Store in airtight container.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cranberry Orange Cake w/ Butter Rum Sauce

I made this cake for friends who came over for supper on New Year’s Day and we ate THE WHOLE THING! I admit that it was pretty darn tasty though. In fact, it was so tasty that I made another one yesterday. We ate a few pieces and then I put the rest in the freezer to see how it fares.

The cake is good but what really makes it is the warm creamy butter rum sauce! Don’t make the cake without it. It’s really an easy sauce to make and you will not be sorry!

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 can evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

grated zest of 1 small orange

Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Add eggs,zest, vanilla and milk and mix well.

4 cups flour

2 teaspoons salt

2 Tablespoons baking powder

Add dry ingredients and mix well.

4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

Carefully fold in cranberries.

Spoon batter (it is quite thick) into a bundt pan that has been well coated with baking spray and then coated with white sugar.

Bake at 350 for 40-50 minutes or until pick inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Let sit in pan on a rack for 15 minutes before removing.

cranberry orange cake  with butter rum sauce - The Backyard Farmwife

Let cool on wire rack at least 15 more minutes before serving.

cranberry orange cake  with butter rum sauce - The Backyard Farmwife

Just before serving, make the butter rum sauce.

1/4 cup butter (real butter only)

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla (or rum extract if desired and omitting rum)

2-3 Tablespoons of spiced rum (optional, I guess… LOL)

Melt butter in small saucepan on medium heat. Add sugar and cream. Whisk until sugar melts and the sauce is hot but DO NOT LET IT BOIL. Remove from heat and whisk in extract and rum.

Serve the cake warm or at room temperature with the hot butter rum sauce on top of each slice of cake. Do not pour the sauce over the entire cake. You can save the sauce in the fridge for 1 day and warm it in the microwave for about 30 seconds to serve again. But I would not keep the sauce longer than 24 hours.

cranberry orange cake  with butter rum sauce - The Backyard Farmwife