A Piece of Cake December 2013
A Word from Anne
The holidays will be festive but a little cramped as our family moved into a small duplex while renovating the old stone home built by my grandfather in 1928. It was where my father was raised, where he helped grow tomatoes and corn, pick black raspberries, milk cows, and collect eggs from the hens to go into his mother’s famed chess pies. It is a wonderful journey back in time to slowly bring that house into this century, and I will share more on the house later as I uncover lost flower gardens and sort through my grandmother’s recipes. But for now, this holiday season is upon us and we need to keep things simple.
So what to bake when you are keeping it simple? Your favorite recipes, for sure. Which means I will bake a coconut cake for my husband’s December birthday, pull out the candy thermometer to make my mother’s Christmas toffee, bake crescent cookies and roll them while still warm in powdered sugar, and make Ambrosia and Red Velvet Cake for Christmas Eve. I have found comfort in repeating the recipes my family loves. The repetition turns into tradition, and tradition brings comfort when life gets busy. As it always does! With yet another fund-raising bake sale at school tomorrow, I am dressing up box brownies with a drizzle of melted white chocolate and crushed peppermint candy. Don’t tell anyone!
Here’s hoping your month of December is happy and healthy and that you repeat favorite recipes and try a few new ones, too.
A Steal of a Deal Dec. 8 on QVC
I’m back In the Kitchen with David on QVC this Sunday, Dec. 8, between noon and 5 pm ET. It’s been too long! David Venable has the craziest facial expressions and big personality, and I will be sharing my favorite recipes from both books with him (and you!). These two books have never been packaged together in one sell, and this is quite a value for a Cake Mix Doctor collector or someone who is new to the kitchen and needs cake and dinner how-to help. (Price does not include shipping cost, however).
Can’t watch? My item #F11376 will go live at midnight 12/8 on www.qvc.com, and you can order while supplies last.
Watch for my Lethal Chocolate Peppermint Cake, Kathy’s Cinnamon Breakfast Cake, Red Velvet Cake, Susan’s Lemon Cake, Grandma’s Coconut Icebox Cake, and the Darn Good Chocolate Cake from the Cake Mix Doctor. And from the Dinner Doctor, we will share Triple-Decker Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake, as well as Susan’s Chicken Potpie, Slow Cooker Mac and Cheese (David’s favorite), an easy Spinach and Artichoke Dip, little Cinnamon Rolls, Cherry Tomato and Basil Tart, and Tuscan Chicken and White Bean Ragout.
Searching for ebook stocking stuffers?
Homemade Holiday 101, here are so many e-books for cooking & crafting. Check out the Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free, Cake Mix Doctor Returns and What Can I Bring? at this holiday reduced price.
Most Asked Question of 2013
Q. How can I adapt the smaller cake mixes to your recipes?
A. Add 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour to the smaller mixes (15 to 16 ounces) and proceed with my Cake Mix Doctor recipes.
Anne’s Cake Mix
My cake mixes contain no artificial ingredients. You can find them in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and South Carolina Publix stores as well as all Harris-Teeter supermarkets. Look for my mixes in Shaw’s Markets in the Boston area, and in the Central Markets throughout Texas.
Here is a favorite holiday recipe that turns a cake mix into chocolate cookies (shown in photo above):
And for more recipes to bake this month, such as Gooey Butter Cake, Red Velvet Cake, and Pumpkin Cake, here you go.
If you cannot locate my cake mixes in your area, you can always order online. A December Special Offer: A free Gooey Butter Cake recipe card with each online order!
Hot Tips from Readers
Chris Baiz saves time by freezing leftover frosting. Amen, Chris! “The last time I made chocolate cupcakes, I tried using the leftover cream cheese frosting, and did they ever taste great, sort of like a chocolate-dipped strawberry.” To freezer leftover buttercream or cream cheese frostings, place them in plastic containers and freeze up to two months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter in a couple of hours.
And Carol Williams bakes my gluten-free Snickerdoodle Cookies from the Cake Mix Doctor Bakes Gluten-Free and uses them like a graham cracker. “My family goes camping a lot and we love cooking on the campfire. I have been missing s’mores. I found that if I bake the snickerdoodle cookies until they are crisp they make a great graham cracker substitute…They actually taste like cinnamon graham crackers.”
Next Issue: February. Chocolate. And a sneak peek at my new cookbook!