Dress up your holiday desserts with Pat Sinclair

1:19 PM, Dec 6, 2011   |    comments
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GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn.--  Tuesday on KARE 11 Today, Baking Basics and Beyond author Pat Sinclair joined us with her recipes for dressing up your holiday desserts.  Pat said making a pound cake in a special pan is a great hostess gift. 

Pat is hosting a book signing at Sam's Club in St. Louis Park on Saturday, Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon.  She'll also be appearing at Byerlys Ridgedale on Sunday, Dec. 11 from 1-3:00 p.m.  On Dec. 13th, she'll be at The Village Troll in Glenwood from 10:00 a.m. to noon.

Chewy Cherry Squares

MAKES 25 SQUARES

Crust
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup cherry preserves

Topping
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350°F with oven rack in middle. Spray bottom of a 9 x 9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Crust
Mix flour and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse crumbs with some pea-sized pieces. Press crust evenly in bottom and slightly up sides of pan.
Bake 10 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Spread preserves over the warm crust.

Topping
Beat brown sugar, butter, and vanilla in bowl of a heavy-duty mixer on Medium speed until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl once or twice.
Add egg and mix well. Stir in coconut and pecans. Drop topping over the preserves, leaving some preserves uncovered.
Bake 23 to 28 minutes or until topping is browned. Cool on wire cooling rack. Cut into squares.

Orange Bundt Cake

A classic pound cake is made with one pound each of butter, sugar, eggs and flour but doesn't have the lighter texture preferred today in cakes. The delicate orange flavor added by the orange rind can be intensified by also adding orange extract. If you are using a fluted tube pan, I recommend using shortening and brushing it into all the grooves in the pan before flouring.

Makes 1 cake, 12 to 16 servings

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract, if desired
3/4 cup 2% milk, room temperature
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons grated orange rind

Heat the oven to 350°F with rack in lower third. Thoroughly grease and flour a 10-inch fluted tube pan or an angel food cake pan.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl. Combine the milk and orange juice.

Beat the butter in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add the sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, and beat 2 minutes.

Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each egg is added. Add the vanilla and beat 3 minutes until the mixture is very light and creamy.

Reduce the mixer speed to low. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of the milk. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After adding all of the flour beat until smooth, but no longer than 15 seconds.
Stir in the orange rind. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly.

Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire cooling rack 10 minutes. Run a spatula or a wooden skewer around the edge of the pan and around tube in the center to loosen the cake. Carefully loosen the cake from the pan and cool completely.

Variation: Mini-Bundt Cakes or Small Loaves
Thoroughly grease and flour a mini-bundt pan or 4 (5x3 inch) loaf pans. Prepare batter as directed above. Pour into pans.

Bake 24 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire cooling rack 5 minutes.
Run a small metal spatula around tops of cakes, lifting to release the bottoms. To remove cakes, cover with a wire rack and invert. Cool completely. Drizzle with glaze when cool.

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 tablespoon whipping cream or milk
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
Place powdered sugar, whipping cream, and orange juice in small bowl and beat until smooth. Drizzle over cakes, allowing glaze to drip down the sides.

(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)

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