Chocolate Sour Cream Cake

The best reason to bake is to bake for someone else.  My best
friend Maddy had a birthday coming up and of course I planned to make
something special.  I chose to make a 3-layer chocolate sour cream cake, because
chocolate is her favorite. For the frosting, I made brown sugar maple to give a
little surprise.

I decorated it with pastel dragées and bunting I made from masking tape, yarn and chopsticks.

Ingredients:
FOR CAKE
 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
 1 cup boiling water
 1 cup butter
 2 1/2 cups sugar
 4 eggs
 3 cups flour
 6 T cornstarch
 2 t baking soda
 1/2 t baking powder
 1 cup sour cream

FOR FROSTING
4-5 cups powdered sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup butter
4 T milk (optional)

Preheat over to 350°

1. Dissolve cocoa in water.
2. In a bowl combine butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.
3. Mix together flour, cornstarch, baking powder and baking soda. Gradually add mixture into butter mix.
4. Add sour cream.
5. Pour evenly into 3 greased and floured 9″ round cake pans
6. Bake for 30-40 mins at 350°

While cake is baking, make the frosting
1. Beat butter until smooth.
2. Add brown sugar and 2 cups of powdered sugar to butter and mix until combined.
3. Add maple syrup and 2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until combined.
4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar if necessary. To thin the frosting add the milk 1 T at a time.

When the cake is done, cool, then refrigerator for 1 hour. Then frost.

Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies

In each of my classes at school, we all generally sit in the same seats every week, next to the same people. This past Monday I ended up sitting next to my friend Ryan, which was quite a please might I add.  He said he wasn’t having a good day and all he wanted was for class to end before it even started.  I told him, “I can’t make that happen, but I can bake you something! What do you like?” He said, ” Do you make brownies?”  And I replied, “No, do you like peanut butter, or earl grey? I can make you earl grey shortbreads.”  As Ryan agreed that shortbreads would make him happy, Maddy (my friend sitting on the other side of me) added, ” you can dip them in chocolate.”  So it was settled, I would bake him Earl Grey Shortbread cookies dipped in chocolate and bring them to class on Wednesday.

So you may be confused about two major things
1. I don’t make BROWNIES??!?!?
2. Where are the Chocolate Dipped Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies?

To clear up the first issue, unfortunately I don’t like chocolate, so I don’t make brownies because I don’t care for them.  I am aware that it is a near catastrophe for both cases, but how can I guarantee that my brownie recipe will be great, if I don’t have a palate for quality brownies?

I did not dip my cookies for two reasons: 1. I didn’t have chocolate chips.  and 2. These cookies are melt-in-your-mouth PERFECTION! So adding a shell of chocolate seemed unnecessary in terms of both taste and texture.

With that said, I bring to you the recipe, which also includes directions for the chocolate dipped version if you wish to try it.  Enjoy!

Makes about 36

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups flour
3 tea bags (or 2 T) earl grey tea leaves
3/4 cup conectioners sugar
2 sticks salted butter (room temperature)

6 oz chocolate chips

1. Combine flour and tea leaves.
2. Add confectioners sugar and butter.
3. When all the ingredients are almost combined, finish the dough by quickly and loosely kneading in the loose crumbs. Flatten into a disk (about 1″ thick) and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375°.
4.  Unwrap the dough and place on a lightly floured (or powdered-sugared) work surface.  Roll the dough into a 1/3-1/4 inch thick rectangle. Cut into strips or squares or any shape your heart desires.  (I cut mine into 3 columns and 12 rows to make 36 rectangles).
* the warmth of your hands should melt the butter and make the dough workable, but if not add 1-2 tablespoons of water
5. Place cookies onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, rotating half way through.

For Chocolate Dip:
1. Once cookies are out of the oven and cooling, melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
2. Dip cooled cookies into chocolate and place on parchment paper to let the chocolate set.

xxx Miss G