Saturday, July 9, 2011

Poppy Seed Kolaches

Kolache, kolacky, delicious, scrumptious, same thing! I can pretty much look back and remember points throughout my life visiting a cafe on the outskirts of downtown Omaha with my family. The Bohemian Cafe, ah delicious, is definitely one of those places that pops up from time to time when you can't quite figure out where you should dine out at that night. While my dad loads his plate with extra gravy, dumplings, and saurkraut.. I can't help but to be anxious for dessert. They serve these amazing (and very cheaply priced) poppy seed kolaches. Mmm. I want one now even thinking about them. I'm quite certain that on my 6th grade graduation night we ate here, and for sure my high school graduation as well.

So, now that I'm in Omaha for the deployment, kolaches have been on my mind. In fact, now that I've got them on my mind, my mind is searching for new delicious ways to use this amazing pre-made poppy seed filling I picked up at HyVee. It tastes just like the filling from the ones that are homemade at the cafe, so I'm convinced it's the same stuff they use. Anyways, I think once I finally splurge for my ice cream maker attachment for my stand mixer I want to make some type of poppy seed ice cream, or maybe poppy seed kolache ice cream, using the pastries straight from the cafe. I'd use my own but we did not exactly perfect the recipe with the first go. The pastry was good and the filling was good, but they just weren't a match made in heaven for each other. With that said, I'm not going to post the recipe just because they didn't turn out just how I imagined them to, but I thought I'd share a photo either way! If you haven't ever tried one of these, I highly recommend finding a bakery that has perfected them, it's well worth the search!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Banana Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ah, bloggeroos, these little creations were a hit. I made a full 2-dozen of them and they were all gone within hours. I took some to work, some to my aunt's and the rest stayed here, well, they stayed here for awhile, before entering the watering mouths of loved ones around me. Mmm. I may or may not have gone on and on about this cake my aunt T made at my cousin's son's 1st birthday. Wow, that was a mouth full of relations, huh? She made this banana cake and after everyone had gone home everyone was re-eating. The main course? Pizza. I opted out since it was from the place of my employment, I won't rag on the company I work for, but I will say their pizza is dis-gust-ing. Is that ragging? I thought it was more honesty than ragging, but to each their own.

My cousin sat down with a big piece of this and told me to try a bite, I shoved two-bites-in-one in my mouth with her fork and my eyes instantly got huge and I pushed my chair back as fast as I could to get my own heaping bowlful of cake. That's right, I didn't say piece, I said bowlful! Mmm. I'm not one to rant and rave over cream cheese frosting but even this stuff was amazing. I think I devoured said bowlful of cake within seconds and talked about the cake for the next week. I had emailed my aunt begging for her to share the recipe and finally after calling her work phone, yes I said it, work phone, and leaving a lovely little message I got said recipe. Now, I'm not sure if she was really busy (hey the lady does have two married children, a teenager, a set of 6 year old twins, a grandchild), oh and don't forget the husband (because we all know they may be more work than all the children combined, right?) orrrrrrr if she was trying to keep this delicious recipe for herself. So.. for now I won't post the recipe, but know that these were amazing in cupcake form, without frosting, with the frosting, and I can't wait until I eat some more of said cake.

Patriotic Berry Cheesecake

For the love of blog, I went out of my way to ensure I'd have some new posts for my favorite little followers. I made two of these little cheesecakes, took one to work and left the other to continue chilling in the fridge for the following day, yep, the 4th of July. Well I'd have you know that taking one of them to work and deeming the other one 'off limits' caused quite the stir back at the house while I was at work. In the chilling process of the untouched berry goodness, tantrums were thrown, feet were stomping, lips were pouted, phone calls were made, threats were unleashed, oh yeah, it got dirty. Needless to say I had to rush the remaining cheesecake from the tester pan back home once I closed work to ensure that the people back at home were allowed to try some. It all got eaten, I tried some myself, I'm really not into cheesecake, except I am quite fond of the crust part of cheesecakes, but that sort of void and nulls the point of the actual cheesecake, right? Right. So, I tried a small piece of this, for it being cheesecake I thought it was good. I had to go with the red, white, and blue theme to be patriotic and supportive of the troops. The 4th of July is one of the holidays that reminds you that you currently have your spouse deployed to a war zone. Real cool America, real cool. I took it with great shots- er- I mean strides.

2 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
2 pkg. cream cheese (room temp.)
1 tsp. vanilla
2 large eggs
1/2 c. sugar (plus 2 tbsp. for berries)
1/3 c. fresh blueberries (plus a few extra for garnishing)
1/3 c. fresh raspberries (plus a few extra for garnishing)

Combine cream cheese, eggs, vanilla, sugar (minus the 2 tbsp). Pour into pie crust pans. Let settle while you prepare the berries. In a food processor, combine 1 tbsp of sugar with 1/3 cup of blueberries, set aside. Rinse out processor and repeat steps with the raspberries. Swirl or drop berry mixture into filling however you desire. You can refer to my picture as to how I did mine. You could even fully swirl it throughout the mixture, that would have been really pretty too, didn't think about that until just now! I threw in a few extra whole blueberries for garnish on the top. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes or less, do not allow the filling to turn brown!

On a side note to refer back to the Oreo treat things I posted about recently, I made them again on the 4th to add a little, okay, a lot of sugar to my brother's last minute BBQ, and boy, that stuff is not pleasant to be sick with, so just a warning if your night is going to consist of a mexican themed fiesta complete, and only consisting of tequila, limes, salt, and oreo treat things? Pass on the oreo treat things I promise, they'll be much better the next day, tequila free and all!