Tag Archives: Baking

To Die For…..Cinnamon Roll Cake

The past few days I have been under the weather again. I hate the topic of my not feeling well…..ovarian cysts. You would think at 40 years old the female fairies would give me a pass, but I guess not. I’ve been plagued with PCOS and other issues most of my life (since adolescence). For the most part, I understand why “the curse” has been used to name that wretched “time of the month” thing. I won’t go into details, but let’s just say that I feel like a bloated whale….with not much energy. Sweat pants are becoming my friend…..and I’m about sick of feeling like crap! Anyway….I’ve met with my doctors and they have a plan….let’s just hope what they are planning will work for me. I hate to think of having this problem every month….ugh!

Today, I finally started to feel better. Better in fact, that I felt like baking (you know I’m not feeling well if I’m not much use in the kitchen). A few days ago I stumbled upon a Cinnamon Roll Cake recipe that I really wanted to try. I even happened to have all of the ingredients on hand (surprise!) so I decided to give it a whirl this afternoon. Holy heck!!! This is one of the easiest and yummiest cakes I have ever made. I’d almost call it a coffee cake, yet it isn’t. You will have to take my word on how awesome it is…..or hurry to your kitchen and make it for yourself. It is seriously so easy….Stone even did the stirring for the topping. 🙂 Here is the recipe for you all to use….no idea where it came from as I can’t find the original post. I just know that it is mind blowing….and maybe button blowing as well if you eat too much. LOL

Cinnamon Roll Cake

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/4 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 4 tsp.  Baking Powder
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1/2 cup Butter, melted
  • – TOPPING
  • 1 cup Butter,  softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1 Tbsp. Cinnamon
  • – GLAZE
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 5 Tbsp. Milk
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 glass baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. In an electric or stand mixer add the flour, salt, sugar, baking powder, milk, eggs, and vanilla. Once combined well , slowly stir in the melted butter. Pour into the prepared 9×13 baking pan.
  3. For topping, In a large bowl mix the 2 sticks of butter, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon together until well combined and creamy. Drop evenly over the batter by the tablespoonfuls and use a knife to marble/swirl through the cake.
  4. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or when a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean.
  5. FOR GLAZE: In a medium bowl, mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together with a whisk. Drizzle evenly over the warm cake. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I got so carried away making this (and I’m a bit out of practice since it’s a busy time of year and I haven’t blogged as much as I did this past winter) that I forgot to take step by step pictures. I did take a few so here there are:

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Putting the topping on the batter.

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After I drug a knife through it and all around.

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Fresh out of the oven!

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Just poured the glaze on the warm cake.

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My little frosting eater!

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How was it? TO DIE FOR!!!! You HAVE to try this cake….so easy and so crazy good that it should be illegal! 🙂 Enjoy! ~Cheyenne

Black Tie Calf Fry and Sugar Cookies (Part. 2)

Imagine my surprise when we actually made it in to the Black Tie Calf Fry in Chadron last night in the middle of a winter storm warning! I was supposed to be ready to go by 4:30. Shane drove up at 4:45 and I was just as he had left me…..no makeup….hair not done…..and in my sweats! He was quite surprised…..mostly because he knows how frustrated I’ve been lately at Mother Nature always ruining our plans. We discussed going for a few minutes and we decided….what the heck! My brother and his two boys were here from Montana so Stone had no intention of going with us. We stopped to drop him off at my parents’ house on our way and visited a bit. Then….off we went. We rarely go anywhere without Stone so this was definitely one for the books!

The Black Tie Calf Fry was a lot of fun! Maybe I should back up a step or two…..perhaps you are unsure what a “Black Tie Calf Fry” is exactly?! Well, let me enlighten you! Overall, it’s the annual fundraiser for the Chadron State College Rodeo team. The “Black Tie” part signifies dressing up for the event…..the “Calf Fry” portion signifies calf fries……or calf testicles, if you will. Yep…..it’s really just another way to say “Rocky Mountain Oysters”.  These are usually collected at branding time when the male bull calves are castrated, which turns them into steers. A lot of people seem to enjoy calf fries…..I’m not one of them. They are too chewy for me. I actually don’t mind eating one or two fresh ones as they cook on the branding stove (my great uncle Walt taught me how to eat these when I was quite young). As far as eating them on a plate at a fancy outing…..nope! So, that explains the Black Tie Calf Fry.

Every year at this event there is one or two featured speakers. I was pleased to see Paul Tierney last night. His daughter, Amy, is on the CSC rodeo team. He was also one of the featured speakers at this year’s event. I had a good visit with him and got to know him a little better. He knows my parents as he used to rodeo back in the day when they did. I love meeting people that are a positive influence. We were talking about other people that fit this bill….Walt Woodard and Tee Woolman. I was telling Paul all about the Walt Woodard Team Roping clinic that Shane and I are putting on in Chadron in May. Paul told me about a recent article about Tee Woolman….I’m going to have to look it up. In fact, he was so in tune with getting the article into my hands he called me at home this morning to tell me where to find it. What a guy!! Here we are last night:

PT & Me

We enjoyed this year’s Black Tie Calf Fry…..it was in a new location and was really nice! I even scored a painting for an unbelievable price by Lori Harrington. Unfortunately, Lori passed away several years ago. I never met her, but my folks knew her pretty well. I was thrilled to get this painting…..it will be great in my spare bedroom once I get it redone. Here is my new painting:

Painting

Well, today it’s still snowing……my folks, my brother, and Shane are working heifers today. It’s 9 degrees at 1 pm…..BRRRR!!!! The cows look pretty chilly down on the creek today…..

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Our horses aren’t thrilled either, but they were intrigued when the heifer gathering began this morning!

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I’m the camp cook for everyone today…..I actually love this role….especially when it’s cold outside! There’s a roast in the oven so dinner is on its way. I decided this morning would be a great time to finish my Sugar Cookies, so here goes…….

Yesterday, I made the dough and let it sit in the fridge to firm up overnight. Here is the recipe once again as posted on Allrecipes.com.

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

  • 1 ½ cups of butter, softened
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Okay, here’s how I make these……I bake them at 350 degrees as my oven tends to get a bit hot and I also use parchment paper. If you’ve never used parchment paper…..do yourself a favor and go buy some….you won’t regret it! There is nothing worse than burned cookies…..I had to learn how to bake with this oven, but over time I feel like I’ve come out victorious. 🙂

Here is what I started out with today:

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Get some dough out of the bowl and work it into a ball. The dough is usually quite stiff so it takes some hand working to get it pliable.

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Put some flour on your roller and go to work. The dough needs to be left at about 1/4″ thick maybe even more if you like thicker cookies (which we do). Roll out the dough…..then put your cookie cutters to work.

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Use a spatula to get them to your cookie sheet. Add more dough from the bowl to what you have left and repeat the process.

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The fun thing about this kind of sugar cookies is all the possibilities there are……like cookie bouquets or cookies on a stick!

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Fun, huh?! Now, put them in the oven….and keep on making cookies! I bake these at 350 degrees for around 10+ minutes. I am constantly checking on them. There is nothing worse than burned cookies….or even those that got too dark. Today, exactly 14 minutes was perfect!

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The cookies should almost look undone when they come out. They will be puffy. They should have much color on the top at all…if they do, you’ve gone too far! Here is how a corner should look:

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It took me a many times of making these cookies to get my timing down just right. Something inside me wanted them to be “golden”…..I learned after several times that “golden” isn’t pretty on these cookies! This is how the backs should look:

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And the tops:

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The cookies on a stick are perfect!

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Now, it’s time to cool the cookies. I do this as I continue to make cookies…..this process takes several hours (including frosting the cookies) so you need to plan to effectively make these. Towards the end of making the cookies, I start on the icing. This is the fun part!

Sugar Cookie Icing

  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tsp. Light Corn Syrup
  • 2 tsp. Milk
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. flavoring
  • Food Coloring

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners’ sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.

Here’s what I did today:

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I used Rum Flavoring today (mostly because I was out of Strawberry….)

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I love using gel food coloring. It’s so vivid and easy to work with.

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I actually made 3 batches of the icing…..one in each color:  white, dark pink, and red. It was the perfect amount for the total amount of cookies that I ended up with.

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Decorating these cookies is really fun…..I had a blast with these!

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I even made some for our friends/neighbors with their brand on them!

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And of course, I had to made one for my little sweetheart with his name and brand on it!

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Here’s one for my big sweetheart, Shane, with our horse brand on it!

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Here’s what I ended up with…..after a couple of hours work!

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Here’s a little funny……what do you do with the last piece of dough? You know….the one that is too small to cut another cookie from, but too big to just discard? Shape it into a pancake and bake it with the last batch!

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This cookie has always been my “taster cookie”…..I don’t feel guilty eating the ugliest cookie out of the batch! 🙂 *Just a little oddity about me and my baking secrets….haha!*

I hope you all try these cookies. They are quite a bit of work, but honestly…..they are worth it!! I’ve never tasted sugar cookies that are this good…..and they are festive and fun to make based on what holiday you are celebrating.

Well, I’m off to finish lunch over at my folks’ house. I just got a radio call to come and rescue the kids from the corrals…..they are hungry and cold. Here’s Stone and “Bob” (my parents’ dog):

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Stone is giving Bob an uneasy look as Bob just swiped some of Stone’s pop-tart. Glad I left those cookies at home….they wouldn’t last long over here with this bunch! Enjoy your Sunday! ~Cheyenne

My Dad, the Cowboy/Rancher…..and Easy Pineapple Cake

The first cowboy I ever loved was my dad. He was and still is a huge part of my life. There really isn’t much my dad can’t do….if he puts his mind to it. He is a successful rancher, accomplished cowboy, an amazing artist (when he takes time to sit down and draw), and a good role model for young and old alike. My dad and I are a lot alike….which is probably why we have had many stand-offs. Even though he was tough on me when I was young, I know he did it for my own good. I’d say he and my mom did a good job raising me. I wasn’t an “easy” child…..from the stories they tell….I can gather that much information. But, through it all, I have always admired and looked up to my dad. When I was younger, describing my dad was simple. I would tell whoever didn’t know him to imagine that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne had a kid….that was my dad….throw in some Native blood and characteristics and the image was complete. It’s funny to think back on that, but it’s still true today. Here is a glimpse of my dad:

Dad Dad on BJ Dad & Stone on BJ

I think my dad is a super grandpa to my son. He takes more time to show Stone things than I remember him doing so when my brother and I were young. I think that’s a grandparent thing. He and my mom have been married almost 42 years….that’s no small feat these days! Here they are a few years back:

Mom and Dad

One thing else about my dad, he has a funny sense of humor. Things can sometimes get pretty serious….even depressing when times get tough out here on the ranch. My dad is always ready with a smile and some funny story or comforting tale. This is an example of his humor:

Dad in the Wheat

His wheat was about waist high….he wished it was as high as his shoulders! 🙂

Yesterday was his birthday. It was truly just another day on the ranch around here. Chores were done, calves/horses were fed, water was opened, etc. No big hoorah planned…..just us and my folks for Sunday dinner. Mom planned to make my dad’s favorites:  ham with a pineapple glaze, roasted potatoes, corn salad, and rolls. Dessert was up to me. I decided to stay with the pineapple theme and try a new cake. I got on Allrecipes.com to search for a cake…..here’s the one I found and decided to go with:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Easy-Pineapple-Cake/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=easy%20pineapple%20cake&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page

“Easy Pineapple Cake”…..the title does not disappoint! Just follow the directions to a tee and that’s what you get…..an easy, yummy cake!  Here is the recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour, 2 cups white sugar, 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 (20 ounce) can crushed pineapple with juice, 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, 1/2 cup butter, 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and baking soda. Make a well in the center and add the eggs, vanilla and crushed pineapple, with liquid from can. Mix well to blend.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.
  4. To make the frosting: in a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, confectioners sugar and 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Beat until creamy. Spread on warm cake.

I did just as the recipe said…I formed a “well” in the center and added the eggs and vanilla. image (20) I then added the crushed pineapple and the juice. image (21) I stirred it up really well and poured it into my Pampered Chef Cake Pan. image (22) I baked it on less heat and for a bit less time. My gas oven tends to burn things so I have to be careful. I baked the cake at 325 degrees for 40 minutes. The outcome…..my cake came out dark…..really dark…and I was scared! image (23) (It wasn’t quite as dark as this picture portrays….darn lighting). But, since I didn’t have ingredients for another cake, I went ahead with the cream cheese frosting and frosted the cake. image (24) In all honesty, I think the cake should be cool before the frosting goes on because it tends to thin and run a bit, but that is my only thought of change for this cake….that and check it earlier next time when baking.

How did it taste? Well…..it was amazing!! It wasn’t burned….like I was afraid of. It was really moist. The little pieces of pineapple in the cake were yummy….and the frosting…..get me another piece!! I forget that most fruit cakes tend to be dark (my mom reminded me of that). We all liked it and dad gave it a thumbs up….I know that because we only came home with 3 small pieces…he kept the rest of the leftovers. I inherited my sweet tooth from my dad…..thanks, dad….grumble, grumble…. 🙂

I learn every time I make something…..what to do….what not to do…..recipes to keep….recipes to never make again…..what works for me as a cook and what works for my family’s taste buds. I enjoy every journey I take in the kitchen…..until it’s time to do the dishes! (Have you figured out yet that I hate doing dishes? I don’t have a dishwasher due to our horrible water so it’s all me…..not my favorite task….but once it’s done I’m happy again. I’m pretty easy to please….really!)

Hope you try this one…..it’s a keeper! Enjoy! ~Cheyenne