Happy Labor Day

Labor Day.jpgPolka Dot Birthday Cake

Ingredients:

  • Oil or melted butter, for greasing
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • Generous ¾ cup superfine sugar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. milk
  • Sugar-coated chocolate candies and birthday candles, to decorate

Filling & topping:

  • 5 tbsp. apricot jelly
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 lb. 2 oz./500 g ready-to-roll fondant

Method

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Grease and line two 8-inch square layer cake pans. Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Beat well until the mixture is smooth, then stir in the milk. Divide the mixture between the prepared pans and smooth the surfaces with the spatula. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, or until risen, firm, and golden brown. Let cool in the pans for 2-3 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling on a wire rack. Warm the apricot jelly with the lemon juice in a small pan until melted. Spread half over one cake and place the other cake on top. Brush the remaining jelly over the top and sides of the cake. Roll out the fondant and cover the cakes, smoothing with your hands, then trim the edges with a sharp knife. Decorate with candies and birthday candles.

Serves 8-10

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Summer Pies

Pies In A JarPies In A Jar

For The Crust

  • One double pastry pie crust
  • ½ pint wide mouth canning jars

Strawberry Pie filling:

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 rounded tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 (3 oz.) box strawberry gelatin
  • 1 lb. fresh strawberries, stemmed, hulled and sliced, plus extra for garnish
  • Sanding sugar, optional

To make the pie filling: Boil water, sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan over high heat. Add gelatin, reduce heat to medium, and stir until the mixture thickens. Let cool until warm but not hot. Add the strawberries to the glaze when it is warm but not set. Pour the strawberry mixture on top of eggnog mixture into baked pie crust. Chill for at least 2 hours, or until fully set and chilled.

To Prepare: Wash and dry jars before using. Roll out pie dough slightly thinner than you would for a regular pie. Cut into pieces and press into jars three fourths of the way up the sides of the jar. Spoon in pie filling until the jar is three –fourths full. Use a canning jar lid as a template for the diameter of the top crust. Make decorative cut-outs using tiny cookie cutters, if desired. Place the dough circles over jars, gently pressing dough in the center and on the sides. Add cut-out dough pieces. Sprinkle with sanding sugar if desired. Pies may be frozen with lids on for later use.

For Fresh Baking: Place jars on baking sheets and bake 375 F. for 45 minutes. Cover jars loosely with aluminum foil if the tops brown too quickly. You want to be sure the bottom crust bakes thoroughly. Allow jars to cool to the touch before serving.

To Bake from Frozen: Place frozen jars on baking sheets. Remove lids. Bake 350 F. for 1 hour. Allow jars to cool to touch before serving.

Make about 12 pie Jars, depending on thickness of crust.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Summer Pies

Caramel Apple Pie.jpgCaramel Apple Pie

Double pie crust:

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 2-4 tbsp. water

Sift flour and salt. Cut in shortening. Add egg, vinegar, and enough water to make a soft dough. Use a rolling pin to roll out the dough to make a double pie crust. Place half in a pie plate and press and shape into sides of the plate. Trim the edges to 1 inch, and flute. Prick bottom and sides of the crust.

Pie filling:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 6 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ cup water
  • 6-7 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced.

Melt butter in a sauce pan. Stir in all-purpose flour to form a paste. Add sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce temperature, and simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, fill the bottom crusts in you pan with sliced apples, mounded slightly. Top with about half of the sugary caramel sauce. Cover with a top crust, using whatever technique you feel comfortable with – a full crust, lattice, or other variation. Gently pour the remaining caramel sauce over the crust. Pour slowly so that it does not run off. Top with a few shakes of cinnamon. Bake 15 minutes at 425 degrees F. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to baking for 35-45 minutes. Once finished baking, let sit out for at least four hours, preferably closer to 12 hours.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Summer Pies

Peach Pie.jpegPeach Pie

For The Crust:

  • Two 9-inch pastry pie crusts

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons cold butter divided
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minute tapioca
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 3 cups fresh peaches, sliced
  • Whipped cream (optional)
  • Vanilla ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place 1tablespoon butter and flour in bottom of unbaked pie crust. In a bowl, add sugar, tapioca and cinnamon to beaten eggs mixture. Fold in peaches and pour into prepared pie crust. Cover with lattice crust and dot with remaining butter. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F and continue baking for additional 25 minutes. This is delicious served with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, if desired.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Back To School, Drive Safely

Cookies And Cream Cupcakes.jpegCookies And Cream Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 1 package white cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 cup coarsely crushed cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies (about 8)

Frosting:

  • ½ cup shortening
  • 4 to 4 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies and crushed cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies, optional

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and egg whites; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on high for 2 minutes. Gently fold in crushed cookies. Pour into two paper lined jumbo muffin pans.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

For frosting, beat the shortening, sugar, milk and vanilla in another large bowl until smooth. Spread frosting over tops of cupcakes. If desired, decorate the top with whole and crushed cookies.

Yield: 12 servings

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Cooking With Kids

Party Cone Cupcakes.jpegParty Cone Cupcakes

Utensils:

  • Flour sifter
  • Electric mixer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Cookie sheet

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine (softened)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • flat-bottom ice cream cones

Sift flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream sugar and butter with electric mixer; add egg and beat. Add vanilla. Beat in flour and milk, alternately until well blended. Beat two minutes. Place ice cream cones on baking sheet. Spoon batter to half-fill each cone. Bake at 375 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Frost with your favorite frosting.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup malted milk powder
  • 5 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 ¾ cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Chocolate frosting
  • 24 malted milk balls for garnish

Center an oven rack and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a bowl of a stand mixer, sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add the malted milk powder and whisk the mixture by hand to ensure that the ingredients are well mixed. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heat resistant bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Once both are melted, remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the oil until the mixture is uniform. Scrape the chocolate mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients, pour in 1 cup of the milk and blend with the paddle attachment on low speed until incorporated, scraping the bottom well to incorporate any dry ingredients patches. Once combined, kick up the mixer to medium-high speed for 1 minute. Stop the mixer and scrape the paddle, sides and bottom of the bowl. Whisk together the remaining ¾ cup of milk, the eggs and the vanilla in a separate bowl and add half this mixture into the batter on low speed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the second half of the mixture, blending until well combined. Pour the thin batter into the paper-lined pans, filling the cups to just below the rim. Place the tins in the middle of the oven and bake until the cupcakes are perky and firm on the top, 24 to 26 minutes. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack until they reach room temperature. Once cool, frost the cupcakes with the frosting and place a malted milk ball on top for decoration. These cupcakes are best the day they are made but keep for 3 days in an airtight container at room temperature.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Frosted Butter CookiesFrosted Butter Cookies

Cookies:

  • 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 2 ½ sticks (1/2 pound plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 ¾ cups all- purpose flour

Frosting:

  • 4 large pasteurized egg whites
  • ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoons almond extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 to 6 teaspoons milk, if needed
  • Food coloring gel (optional)
  • Sprinkles, jimmies, sanding sugar (optional)

For the cookies: In a large bowl, with electric mixer at high speed, beat the powdered sugar, butter egg yolks, salt almond extract, and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the flour and beat on low speed until large clumps of dough form. The dough will look too dry at first, so be patient. Pour the dough clumps onto a large sheet of plastic wrap. Gather into a ball & flatten into a disk. Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap and roll to 1/8 inch thickness. It will be a very large piece of dough. Slide onto a rimmed baking sheet to keep the dough flat and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours and up to overnight. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Discard the plastic wrap. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Stamp out cookies with cutters of your choice. Simple shapes with clean edges work best. Arrange the cookies on the lined baking sheet, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until golden brown on the edges, 12-15 minutes, depending on size. Cool the cookies on the baking sheet.

For the frosting: In a large glass or metal bowl, with electric mixer at low speed, beat the egg whites until frothy. Beat in the vanilla and almond extract. With the mixer running, add the powder sugar 1 cup at a time. Beat on low speed until smooth Increase the speed to high and beat until still, shiny peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Decorate the cookies as desired.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies depending on size & shape

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Christmas Grasshopper PieChristmas Grasshopper Pie

Crust:

  • 3 cups Crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips melted

Grasshopper Filling

  • 1 ¾ cups of whole milk
  • 12 ounces miniature marshmallows or 12 ounces marshmallow crème
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons crème de menthe liqueur
  • 3 tablespoons crème de cacao liqueur
  • 4-5 drops green food coloring

Holiday Marzipan Decorations:

  • ½ cup Marzipan
  • Green, Red and yellow food coloring
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
  • 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar mixed with a 1 teaspoon water

Toppings:

  • 2 cups whipped cream
  • 8 maraschino cherries
  • Holiday Marzipan Decorations

Crust: Toss the cookies crumbs and the butter in a large bowl until well coated. Butter and flour a 10 inch pie pan. Using your hands, press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and sides of the pan. The bottom, sides and edge of the crust should be ¼ inch thick. Using your fingers, flatten the edge flush with the top of the pan. Freeze for 30 minutes. Spread the melted chocolate over the cold crust and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes to set before using.

Holiday Marzipan Decorations: Color about 1/3 cup marzipan with green food coloring. Pull off a piece of the remaining marzipan, roll it into a ½ inch ball and color it yellow. Color the remaining marzipan red. Divide the green marzipan into 6 equal pieces and roll them into balls. Roll out the red marzipan on a work surface covered with confectioners’ sugar to a thickness of 1/16 inches. Using a cookie cutter or working freehand with a knife, cut out ¾ inch flowers, curl up the edges of the petals. Roll out the yellow marzipan to a thickness of 1/15 inch. Using a plastic coffee stirrer, or working freehand with a knife, cut out 1/8 inch dots. Attach the dots to the flowers and the flowers to the balls with the confectioners’ sugar mixture

Method: Preheat the oven to 325 F. Bake the crust for 7-8 minutes or until the bottom feels crisp. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then transfer to a rack to cool completely. To make the filling, heat the milk in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water until bubbles appear. Do not allow the milk to boil. Add about one – fourth of the marshmallows and stir until melted. Add the sour cream and stir until thick and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the liqueurs and food coloring. Stir until fluffy integrated. Pour the filling into the crust, cover the plastic wrap, and freeze for 2-3 hours, or until firm. Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before serving. Spoon the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a large star shaped tip. Pipe seven mounds of cream in a ring around the border of the pie, just inside the crust, and a large mound in the center. Top each mound with a maraschino cherry. Place the marzipan decorations in between the mounds of cream.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com

Christmas In July

Decorated Sugar CookiesDecorated Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter or margarine, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all- purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoons salt
  • Royal icing

Cream butter in a large mixing bowl; add sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mixing well. Combine flour, soda and salt; add to creamed mixture, blending well. (Dough will be very stiff.) Divide dough into thirds; roll each portion to 1/8- inch thickness on lightly floured waxed paper. Cut with desired cutters, and place 2 inches apart on lightly greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 deg. For 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool. Spoon red Royal icing into a pastry bag fitted with a No. 3 round tip, and pipe outlines on cookies. Fill in between outlines by piping green connecting stars, using a No. 16 or No. 18 metal tip. Let icing dry. Yield: about 5 dozen.

Royal Icing:

  • 3 egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, sifted
  • Red and green paste food coloring

Beat egg whites (at room temperature) and cream of tartar in a large mixing bowl at medium speed of an electric mixer until foamy; gradually add sugar, mixing well. Beat 5 to 7 minutes. Tint one- fourth of icing red; tint remaining icing green. Yield icing for about 5 dozen cookies. Note: Icing dries very quickly; keep covered at all times with plastic wrap. Food coloring may be substituted or omitted if icing is used for other cookie recipes.

Tested in the THASC kitchen. Photo by THASC.

THASC is a unique small American business producing cards and other promotional products.

www.thasc.com