Sunday, January 14, 2018

Winter Wonderland Cake

Pin It Winter Wonderland Cake

Winter Wonderland Cake
I took Cook's Illustrated White Layer Cake recipe (link below) and turned it into a Coconut Layer Cake by replacing the Whole Milk to canned Coconut Milk, and used Coconut Extract in place of Almond Extract. The Coconut Frosting is adapted from, The Complete America's Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook 2001-2010 (pgs. 498-99). This cake is light and moist and has a tender crumb. The coconut taste is divine and the dessicated coconut all over the cake makes it a coconut lovers dream cake. To give the cake a Winter Wonderland look, I made White Trees using ice cream cones and covered them with frosting, and then rolled them in Wilton White Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles and Wilton White Sugar Pearls Sprinkles. I read about this DIY on The Cake Blog (link below) and wanted to try it. If you love coconut as much as I do, you gotta make this recipe! See recipe and directions below.

First slice goes to the baker, me! ;)

2 1/4 cups King Arthur Cake Flour, plus more for the cake pans

1 cup Coconut Milk, canned, room temperature

6 Large Egg Whites, room temperature

2 teaspoons Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1 3/4 cups Granulated Sugar

4 teaspoons Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into 12 pieces

Winter Wonderland Cake

Winter Wonderland Cake

Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease 2 9-inch round cake pans, line with parchment paper and grease and sprinkle with cake flour.

Tap on counter and remove excess cake flour.

Whisk coconut milk, egg whites, coconut and vanilla extracts together in a medium sized bowl.

In a mixer with paddle attachment, mix cake flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined, about 1 minute.

Increase speed to medium, beat butter into the flour mixture, a couple of pieces at a time, about 1 minute.

Continue to beat the mixture until it resembles moist crumbs, about 1 minute.

Beat in all but 1/2 cup of the coconut milk mixture, then increase speed to medium and beat until smooth, light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes.

Reduce mixer speed to low and slowly add remaining coconut milk mixture until batter is combined, about 1 minute.

Close-up of my slice

Winter Wonderland Cake beauty!
Add batter into the prepared pans, smooth tops with spatula, and lightly tap the pans against the countertop two to four times to settle the batter.

Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 23 to 25 minutes. My cake was done in 25 minutes.

Ovens vary so check the cake at 23 minutes or earlier and adjust baking time accordingly.

Cool cakes in pans for 10 minutes. Run a small knife around the edge of the cakes, then flip them carefully onto a wire rack.

Peel off the parchment paper, flip the cakes right side up, and cool completely.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge overnight or wait at least 2 hours if frosting the same day.

If you chill the cake overnight as I did, it will be easier to frost and not be as crumbly and the flavors develop more as well.

Pretty White Trees made from ice cream cones

Cake is frosted and ready to cover with the dessicated coconut

Coconut Frosting
2 tablespoons Heavy Cream

1 teaspoon Coconut Extract

1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

1/2 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) Unsalted Butter, softened and cut into pieces

1/4 cup Coconut Milk, canned

3 cups Confectioners/Powdered Sugar

Shredded or Dessicated Coconut (however much you wish over frosting and in between the cake layers). I used dessicated coconut.

I used King Arthur brand Cake Flour

Iberia Coconut Milk

In a small bowl, stir the cream, coconut and vanilla extracts, and salt together.

In a mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter and coconut milk on medium-high speed until smooth, about 30-45 seconds.

Reduce mixer speed to medium-low and gradually beat in confectioners/powdered sugar, then continue to beat until smooth, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the cream mixture. Increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

Winter Trees

3 Ice Cream Cones

Coconut Frosting

Wilton White Sparkling Sugar Sprinkles and Wilton White Sugar Pearls Sprinkles.

Ice Cream Cones will become White Winter Trees

Hold 1 cone inside your index finger and with a small spatula frost cone rotating it with your finger.

Roll each frosted cone in a large bowl with sprinkles. Cover completely.

Carefully place on a cutting board, baking sheet, or flat surface to set until you frost cake.

Dessicated Coconut I purchased for this recipe

Frost Cake
Line edges of cake platter or cake turntable with strips of parchment paper to keep platter edges clean as you frost cake.

I use a cake turntable.

If you wish, you may slice off the tops of the cake layers with a serrated knife before frosting.

I never do since my cakes bake pretty evenly on top.

Pic of dessicated coconut
Place one of the cake layers on the platter/cake turntable top side down. Spread desired frosting over the cake, right to the edges.

Place other cake layer top side down and press lightly to adhere.

Frost the cake with remaining frosting. Cover the entire cake with coconut flakes/dessicated coconut (I used dessicated coconut).

Top the cake carefully placing each winter white tree and then add extra coconut flakes/dessicated coconut around the trees to make it look snowy.

If desired add more coconut on your cake platter all along the bottom of the cake.

For the Cook's Illustrated White Layer Cake recipe, visit Epicurious:

For the DIY Sparkling Christmas Trees Tutorial, visit The Cake Blog:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Winter Wonderland Cookies

Pin It Winter Wonderland Cookies

Winter Wonderland Cookies

Winter Wonderland Cookies
On January 4, the college where I work was closed as well as all schools in NYC due to a snowstorm dubbed 'Bomb Cyclone' and what a spectacular storm it was. I enjoyed watching it from my window observing the high winds and the slanted movement of the snow coming down. We got a foot of snow in my area. I was happy to be home that day relaxing in my pajamas. I really love snow days and hope we get more of them. We have had a good amount of snow in general, and we will probably get much more before Winter is over. We have many months to go and I like winter so no complaints from me.

Winter Wonderland Cookies

See the white morsels and sprinkles inside the cookie

I saw Blizzard Cookies on Sugar Spun Run (link below) and had to make these cookies. My hubby refers to these cookies as Snowpocalypse Cookies but they can also be called Frozen Cookies. I recently bought some Betty Crocker Snowflake Mix Sprinkles and wanted to use them for this recipe. I also added some Wilton Colored Nonpareils in various shades of blue, Wilton White Pearlized Jimmies, and pressed a few Wilton Snowflakes into the cookies after they baked. I increased the amount of sprinkles from 1/4 to 1/2 cup but followed the rest of the recipe as is. This cookie is fabulous! There is cream cheese in the batter and it is soft and tender, and the sprinkles give it a nice crunch. These cookies taste amazing and have a great vanilla flavor, and the white morsels give it a balanced sweetness. I recommend you try this cookie recipe real soon. I plan to use it again and just change the chips and colors of the sprinkles depending on the theme or holiday I am baking for.

Yield: 3 Dozen Medium Size Cookies

Winter Wonderland Cookies

Such pretty and yummy cookies

3 1/2 cups King Arthur All-Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Cornstarch

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Salt

1 cup Granulated Sugar

1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar, lightly packed

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

4 oz Cream Cheese, softened

1 Large Egg

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1/2 cup Colored Sprinkles + more Snowflake Sprinkles for the tops of the cookies

1 1/2 cups Nestle Toll House Premier White Morsels

These 2 cookies went in my belly!

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and cream cheese in mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Add sugars and mix until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Half way scrape sides of bowl.

Add egg and beat until incorporated.

Add vanilla extract and mix until incorporated.

Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5 seconds.

Mixer off and folding in white morsels

Adding Snowflake Mix Sprinkles

Adding more sprinkles: Wilton White Pearlized Jimmies
With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Using a spatula fold in white morsels.

With a spatula fold in sprinkles.

Form dough into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1/2 hour since it is sticky.

Chilling the dough a little will help the dough release from the ice cream scoop easier.

I waited a few minutes when the cookies came out the oven and pressed a few Wilton Snowflakes into each cookie

Winter Wonderland Cookies on wire tracks to cool
Using a tablespoon or cookie scoop, form and place dough balls on baking sheets spacing 2 inches apart.

Flatten cookies with palm of your hand or with the bottom of a glass.

Bake for 8-12 minutes. Cookies will look slightly underdone, but will continue to cook on baking sheet. My cookies were done in 12 minutes.

In the cookie jar for us to enjoy all week and packaged the rest to give to my coworkers
Oven temperatures vary so start checking the cookies at the 8 minutes mark and increase time accordingly.

Wait 5 minutes and then press a few snowflake sprinkles into each cookie if desired.

Transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

For the Blizzard Cookies recipe, visit Sugar Spun Run:

To read about the January 2018 North American Blizzard visit:


-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, January 1, 2018

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Pin It Chocolate Peppermint Cookies

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Happy New Year! I love Ghirardelli Chocolate and saw this recipe on the back of the Peppermint Chunks I bought at Target for Christmas baking. The recipe is easy to do and the results are perfection. The cookie is gooey and fudgy and has an amazing peppermint taste that you get in each bite. These Chocolate Peppermint Cookies are rich in chocolate flavor and a decadent treat. See recipe below.

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Look at all the peppermint chunks

1 cup Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips

1 cup All Purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Salt

6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, softened

1 cup Dark Brown Sugar

2 Large Eggs

1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract

1 bag (10 oz.) Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies - sooooo good!

Heat oven to 350°F.

Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Melt 1 cup Bittersweet Chocolate in microwave in 30 second intervals until melted; set aside to cool.

Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Chocolate Peppermint Cookies
Using a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed, cream butter and sugar; about 1-2 minutes.

Beat in eggs one at a time.

Add cooled melted chocolate and combine.

Add vanilla extract and mix just until combined.

Turn off mixer.

Ghirardelli ingredients used in this recipe

Fold in peppermint chunks.

Use a small or medium size cookie scoop and place two inches apart on the cookie sheets. 

Bake 9-10 minutes.

Ghirardelli Peppermint Chunks
Do not over bake. Cookies should be soft and fudgy.

Wait 10 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.


-Sophia/Two Frys