COOK OF THE WEEK - RACHEL HILL
Corrections from last week’s Cook of the Week. Rachel Hill has a son, Jordan and a daughter, Kaysen, NOT two daughters. Sorry Jordan! Also, Scott’s daughter is Lisa Satern married to Wade Satern.
“Life is . . . as sweet as a cupcake!” That could be the motto for Aunt Rachie’s Sweet Treats. Aunt Rachie’s Sweet Treats was started in 2011, with the love of baking by Rachel Hill and lots of encouragement from her husband Scott.
You will often find Rachel in her kitchen, baking for family and friends in addition to her orders. Rachel is the wife of Scott Hill, mom to Jordan (11), a sixth grader this fall at the Humboldt Middle School and to Kaysen (7), a second grader this fall at Taft Elementary School. She is also the head cook at Mease Elementary School in Dakota City.
She has given us a few hints and also recipes for a few of her “sweet treats.”
1. If you do not want your sugar cookies to spread after you cut them out, omit the baking soda from the recipe and add in the same amount of baking powder. It will help the cookies keep their shape.
2. To make a boxed cake mix taste like homemade add an extra egg, 1/2 cup of milk, 1 cup of sour cream, 1 cup of oil and always add a teaspoon of vanilla.
3. To jazz up your plain sugar cookies or chocolate chip cookies, add in a large box of Jell-O! This makes a great twist on an old favorite.
4. Packaged muffin mixes are so handy! Replace the water with buttermilk and add a sprinkle of sugar on the tops before baking.
Quick Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
1 pound (4 sticks) softened
1 bag powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream
Beat the butter and vanilla until smooth. Add half the bag of powdered sugar, the heavy cream and then add the rest of the powdered sugar. Be sure to scrape the sides down. This makes a great frosting for cakes and cupcakes.
Almond Meltaway Cookies
This is one of Rachel’s grandma’s recipes. Her grandpa came from Norway a long time ago and brought this recipe to America. This recipe has been altered through the years to become a favorite.
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. almond extract
Icing for Almond Meltaway
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Cream the butter, egg, almond extract and sugar together until light and fluffy. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt together and slowly add to the butter mixture.
Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball and put on sheet pan that has been lined with parchment paper. Press each cookie down slightly with the bottom of the glass. Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. DO NOT LET THEM BROWN.
Leave cookies on sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. After cooled, place a small amount of icing on the top and let set up before storing.
Cannoli Poke Cake
Tastes like Italian Cannoli.
1 box vanilla cake mix (mix as
directed on box)
14 ounce can sweetened
1-1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1-1/2 cups cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Bake cake according to box directions. Allow the cake to cool completely. Poke holes with the handle of a wooden spoon all over the top of the cake. Reserve 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk and pour the rest over the cake.
Place cake in the refrigerator and let chill for 1-1/2 hours. Beat the ricotta, cream cheese and vanilla in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add powdered sugar and cinnamon and mix until combined. Add in the rest of the sweetened condensed milk and spread evenly over the top of the chilled cake. Top with mini chocolate chips and cover.
Allow cake to chill in refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours before slicing.
1-1/2 cups butter, softened
8 ounce package cream cheese,
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla
Cream butter and cream cheese until creamy. Slowly add the sugar. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well to combine after each egg. Add the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well to combine. Add the salt followed by the vanilla. Pour mixture into a well-greased and floured 10 inch Bundt pan.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 40 minutes. Test with a toothpick inserted into the center to check for doneness. Allow to cool in pan for 20 minutes.
Holland Cream Filling
The white cream in doughnuts, similar to that in Twinkies and Hostess Cupcakes.
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon clear vanilla
4 cups powdered sugar
Over medium heat, combine the sugar and water and cook stirring continually until the sugar dissolves and comes to a complete boil. Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Beat in oil, Crisco and vanilla with electric mixer until well combined. Beat in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time. If mix gets too thick, add water, a teaspoon at a time.
The Best Brownies
These are very thick and very rich. They don’t even need to be frosted.
1 pound butter (4 sticks)
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 pound (1-1/2 bags) semi-sweet
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2-1/4 cups sugar
1 cup flour (yes, only 1 cup –
this is not a typo!)
Butter and flour a 12x18 inch baking sheet. Melt the butter, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler. Allow to cool. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate in. Add flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into the baking sheet and smooth with a spatula.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
If you are reading this, then you probably enjoy new recipes. If you would like to share some of your recipes with the community YOU could be Cook of the Week. Please contact me, Sally Cuthbertson, if you would like to be in this column some week. I can be reached by phone at 515-373-6346 or email me at email@example.com.
I will be happy to email or send you my short questionnaire and set up a time to come and visit you at your convenience. I’m always looking for NEW Cook’s of the Week. Also, if you are new in town, this is a good way to introduce yourself to the Humboldt community and surrounding communities. I look forward to visiting with you.
The COOK OF THE WEEK 3rd Edition Cookbook is available. Cost per copy is $10.70, plus $4.80 shipping/handling. Order a copy today by sending a check or money order, along with name and shipping address, to: Humboldt Independent, 512 Sumner Ave., Humboldt, IA 50548.