The Queen’s Kitchen


Best Chocolate Cake January 2, 2015

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 1:34 pm

This is a recipe from Ina Garten. You need this recipe in your life. The cake is super sticky, so be sure to use parchment in your pan, or better yet make it in a 9×13 pan and just frost the top of it instead of doing a layer cake. The hot coffee is a must. I don’t drink coffee, so just have a stash of Folger’s singles on hand. You could also go to a drive through fast food place and get a cheap cup of coffee.

Butter, for greasing the pans
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups good cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk, shaken
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch x 2-inch round cake pans. Line with parchment paper, then butter and flour the pans.

Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and mix on low speed until combined. In another bowl, combine the buttermilk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer still on low, add the coffee and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 30 minutes, then turn them out onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

Place 1 layer, flat side up, on a flat plate or cake pedestal. With a knife or offset spatula, spread the top with frosting. Place the second layer on top, rounded side up, and spread the frosting evenly on the top and sides of the cake.

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Christmas Cut-Outs December 18, 2012

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 4:20 pm

I hate sugar cookie cut-outs. There. I said it. They are a holiday staple. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Yet I hate them. They don’t taste good and they are a major pain to make!

At least I’ve gotten better about making them. Instead of trying to do it all in one day, I make the dough one day, do the cutting out and baking one day and we decorate another day. That helps immensly. So does having a Kitchen Aid stand mixer!

Here’s a recipe I just found and I actually like it. They are not the soft sugar cookies that I dream of (make these drop sugar cookies if you want awesome cookies), but they are much nicer than most. They are actually a short bread–they totally melt in your mouth. Plus, with no leavening they don’t puff up. Even your most delicate designs will still be recognizable.

Sugar Cookies:
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (or any other flavoring)
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and blend well. Add extract and blend. Mix flour and salt and gradually add. Cover dough with plastic wrap and chill dough for about 2 hours. Working with about 1/3 of the batch at a time, briefly knead the chilled dough and roll about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes. Bake cut out cookies on parchment lined cookie sheets at 375 for 6-8 minutes.


Seven Minute Frosting February 14, 2011

Filed under: Dessert,Uncategorized — Carrie @ 9:27 pm

I thought this was the only kind of frosting people used on homemade cakes until I went out in the big, wide world and discovered people use butter cream. I’m not a butter cream fan.

My grandma always made this, so I was really happy to find a recipe that tastes just like hers. Easy-peasy, but very time consuming.

* 1 cup sugar
* 1/3 cup water
* 2 egg whites, room temperature
* 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil for 3-4 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 242 degrees F (firm-ball stage).

Meanwhile, beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a mixing bowl until foamy.

Slowly pour in hot sugar mixture; continue to beat on high for 7 minutes or until stiff peaks form. Add vanilla. Continue beating until frosting reaches desired consistency, about 2 minutes.


Best Sugar Cookies Ever! December 20, 2007

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 3:28 pm

These are a soft drop sugar cookie. I don’t even like sugar cookies, but these rock my world.

Soft Sugar Cookies


2/3 cup shortening

2/3 cup butter

1 1/2 cups white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon almond extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (one time I made them with only 3 ¼ cup flour and liked that batch better)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration (I don’t do this step)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Stir in the eggs, almond and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until dough comes together. Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in sugar. Place them on an unprepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. (I prefer to use a cookie dough scoop).

Bake cookies 8-10minutes in the preheated oven, until bottom is light brown. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

Alternate: Over low heat, melt together a bag of chocolate chips and a can of sweetened condensed milk. Stir in 2 t. of vanilla. Scoop cookie dough onto tray and make a depression in each cookie. Put a drop of this chocolate fudge mixture in each depression before baking. I call these Fudge Drop Cookies.


Belgian Christmas Cookies December 12, 2006

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 2:38 pm


2/3 cup butter
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup finely chopped blanched almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons red decorator sugar
2 teaspoons green decorator sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Cream butter with extract; add brown sugar gradually, creaming until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.

Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together; add in thirds to creamed mixture, mixing until blended after each addition.

Turn into a greased (or parchment lined) cookie sheet and spread evenly to edges (I can never seem to make it go all the way to the edge).

Sprinkle a mixture of almonds and cinnamon over batter, then sprinkle with a mixture of red and green sugars.

Bake for 10 – 12 minutes. Cut into bars while still warm.


Chewy Chocolate Cherry Chip Cookies

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 2:36 pm

Just take out the cherry flavoring and you have a super yummy chocolate cookie base for any kind of chipped cookies.

1 1/4 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cherry flavoring or cherry juice (optional)
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 packages Andes cherry jubilee candies, chopped to chip size

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla ad cherry flavoring. Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the cherry candies. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 8 to 9 minutes in the preheated oven. Cookies will be soft. Cool slightly on cookie sheet (important step or they will fall apart!); remove from sheet onto wire rack to cool completely.


Swedish Birthday Cake, Carrie Style May 8, 2006

Filed under: Dessert,Swedish — Carrie @ 6:31 pm

You ask, I deliver. Several people wanted the recipe to the Swedish cake and it is now time for me to come clean and admit that I cheated quite a bit and made a Carrie version of a Swedish classic.

Here’s what I do:

Buy a box of yellow cake mix. Stir it up according to directions, then bake it in three 9” round pans. It only takes about 12-15 minutes for them to get done, so watch carefully.

While the cake is baking, I make the francipankram. I have no idea what that translates into. Basically it is pudding with almonds in it:

2 eggs
1 deciliter sugar (use the metric side of your measuring cup and go to 100 ml)
4 T. flour
4 deciliters milk (400 ml)
2 T. butter
� cup finely chopped almonds
1 tsp vanilla or almond (this is my addition so it’s not so bland)

Mix the egg, sugar and flour in a bowl. Boil the milk in a medium saucepan. Slowly whip about half the boiled milk into the egg mixture, then pour the egg/milk mixture back into the saucepan (be careful not to cook the eggs!). Heat the mixture up, while stirring constantly. It will get thick. Don’t let it boil!

Once it is thickened, add the butter, almonds and flavoring. Let it sit for a while to thicken even more.

Then I make the fruit gel. This is totally my own idea because I think it is really dry without something. It is better when you use raspberries.

In a blender, throw in 1/3 cup berries, 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar. Puree. Pour into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix 1 T. cornstarch and 1 T. cold water. Add that to the fruit mixture while stirring. Boil until it thickens up into a gel. (Amounts are approximant. You can use fresh or frozen berries. I think frozen work better). You can also add some food coloring to make it redder.

Ok, so now you have cake, pudding and gel.

Put down one layer of the cake, and then spread the pudding over the top.

Put down the second layer of cake, then spread a very thin layer of pudding, add sliced berries (or whole raspberries), then pour the berry gel over the top. Add the third layer of cake and decorate the top with a berry or something.

Serve with whipped cream. Again, I have taken the Swedish version of plain whipped cream and made it tastier. Just take a carton of whipping cream, a tablespoon of sugar and a teaspoon of almond extract and whip it up. Yum!


Buttermilk Coffee Cake November 18, 2005

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 1:01 am

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter or margarine
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon (or a little more)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg (or a little more)
2 beaten eggs
1 1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Grease bottom and sides of a 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
Preheat oven to 350.

Combine flour, brown sugar and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (I just use my fingers and rub it in because Alton Brown says I can).

Set aside 1/2 cup of the mixture.

Put the rest of the dry ingredients into the remaining mixture and mix it up good.

Combine eggs and buttermilk, then add it all at once to the flour mixture.

Combine the nuts and reserved dry mix, sprinkle over batter.

Cook for about 35 minutes. SERVE WARM!

Chocolate Chip Variation
Prepare the batter as directed. Add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/4 cup butter to the struesal mixture that you set aside. Add in 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts. Pour half the batter in the bottom of the pan, cover with the filling, pour the other half of the batter on top. It will take longer to bake, about 45 min I think.


Pumpkin Cookies December 20, 2004

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 10:40 pm

Ready for some yummilicious cookies? I took the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookie Classics book (which seems to mainly be several variations of sugar cookies, changed up by the cookie cutter that you’re supposed to use).

1 cup shortening (I like butter flavor)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (I didn’t have this so just threw in a lot of cinnamon, some ginger and some nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1 cup canned pumpkin (a small can had 1 3/4 cups)
2 cups all purpose flour
nuts (this wasn’t in the recipe, but I always have to add nuts)

Cream the sugars into the shortening. Add the spices, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin and egg. Beat it really good.

Beat in the flour a little at a time.

Drop dough by rounded spoonfuls 2 inches apart on an un-greased cookie sheet. Bake in a 375F oven for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a rack.

Just a word of warning–these cookies do not spread out. They stay all puffed up, so if you want them to look neat you might want to take care when you are dropping them. They will retain whatever shape you give them.

Also, they have a recipe for a brown sugar glaze to frost them with. I was going to do it, but after tasting the cookies I decided they were sweet enough without the glaze. Here is the recipe in case you are interested.

Brown Sugar Glaze
In a small saucepan combine 1/2 cup packed brown sugar, 3 T. butter and 1 T. milk. Heat and stir until butter melts. Remove from heat, stir in 1 cup powdered sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla.


Pudding Cookies January 31, 2004

Filed under: Dessert — Carrie @ 6:38 am

1 cup butter flavored shortening
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
1 large packet dry pudding mix (I like chocolate, you can use any kind to make different flavors)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cup flour
1 package chips (I like to cut up white chocolate bars and use those when I do chocolate pudding. The White chips from Nestle aren’t actually chocolate and don’t taste that great)
Nuts if you like ‘em

Cream shortening. Add in sugars and pudding mix and beat together. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth and fluffy. Add baking soda and flour a little at a time until it’s all beaten in. Stir in chips and nuts.

Bake at 375C for 8-10 minutes. Store in an airtight container to keep them really soft.

For those of you in Sweden:

Forget the white sugar and use all brun farin with a couple of tablespoons sirup. Use the cheapest margarine. Add a teaspoon of baking powder and an extra egg. Use two packets of the ekstrom’s chocolate pudding.