Heather's Florida Kitchen

Seasonally inspired easy recipes for the home cook.
Caramel Apple-Spice Cupcakes

Caramel Apple-Spice Cupcakes

Caramel Apple-Spice Cupcakes (Photo courtesy BettyCrocker.com)

Caramel Apple-Spice Cupcakes (Photo courtesy BettyCrocker.com)

Caramel Apple-Spice Cupcakes from BettyCrocker.com are easy treats for holiday bake sales, parties and after-school gatherings. Store loosely covered in refrigerator.

Caramel Apple-Spice Cupcakes
Yield: 24 cupcakes

1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist spice cake mix
Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on cake mix box
1 cup chopped, peeled apple (1 medium)
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup butter, softened
4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup caramel topping
24 (3-sticks) cinnamon sticks
Ground cinnamon for garnish

1. Heat oven to 350F. Place paper baking cup in each of 24 regular-size muffin cups.
2. Make cake mix as directed on box, using water, oil and eggs. Stir in chopped apple. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups.
3. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to cooling racks. Cool completely.
4. In large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Beat in powdered sugar until smooth. Spoon frosting into decorating bag fitted with star tip; pipe on tops of cupcakes.
5. Drizzle with caramel topping. Top each cupcake with cinnamon stick. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon.
SOURCE: BettyCrocker.com

Everybody’s Favorite Chocolate Cake

Everybody’s Favorite Chocolate Cake

Everybody's Favorite Chocolate Cake (Photo courtesy The White Lily Foods Co.)

Everybody’s Favorite Chocolate Cake (Photo courtesy The White Lily Foods Co.)

Everybody’s Favorite Chocolate Cake from WhiteLily.com celebrates CakeFair, which opened today at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Every variety of flour has unique qualities, and is specially made for baking different types of dishes. All-purpose flour is extremely versatile, and can be used for most baked goods, including cakes, cookies, pie crusts, pancakes, brownies, muffins, scones, and more. For a mocha frosting follow the instructions substituting 1 teaspoon instant coffee crystals dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water for 1 tablespoon of the milk.

Everybody’s Favorite Chocolate Cake
Yield: 10-12 servings

Pillsbury Baking Spray with Flour
2 cups White Lily Enriched Bleached All-Purpose Flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Crisco Pure Vegetable Oil
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Chocolate frosting:
2 (1-ounce) squares unsweetened chocolate
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Crisco Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening or 1/2 cup Crisco Baking Sticks Butter Flavor All-Vegetable Shortening
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 to 6 tablespoons whole milk

1. Heat oven to 350F. Coat three 8-inch or two 9-inch pans, or a 13-by-9-by-2-inch pan with flour nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Beat two minutes at medium speed. Stir in boiling water until blended (batter will be thin). Pour batter evenly into prepared pans.
3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
4. For the frosting, place chocolate in small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally until smooth. Combine powdered sugar, salt, melted chocolate, shortening and vanilla in mixing bowl. Slowly blend in milk to desired consistency. Beat on high 3 to 5 minutes or until smooth and creamy.
Source: WhiteLily.com

Morning Mix recipe: Cheddary Chicken Bones

Morning Mix recipe: Cheddary Chicken Bones

Cheddary Chicken Bones (Photo courtesy Florida Dairy Farmers)

Cheddary Chicken Bones (Photo courtesy Florida Dairy Farmers)

Cheddary Chicken Bones is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. Add these drumsticks to your Halloween party recipe file or quick kid-friendly meals. For more Halloween treats that don’t come wrapped in a plastic wrapper check out DairyGood.org. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s website.

Cheddary Chicken Bones
Yield: 2 to 4 servings

4 chicken legs
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 large egg
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F. Line a rimmed baking pan with foil and spray surface with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, combine the milk, butter and egg, set aside.
3. In another bowl combine the rice cereal and cheese, set aside.
4. Season chicken with salt and pepper, dip in flour, then egg-milk mixture and finally in the cheese/rice cereal mixture. Place each leg on the prepared baking pan. Wrap a small piece of foil around the end of each leg.
5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning once. Chicken is done when the juices are no longer pink. Let chicken rest on pan, uncovered, for 5-7 minutes before serving.
SOURCE: Florida Dairy Farmers

Hot Chocolate Pancakes

Hot Chocolate Pancakes

Hot Chocolate Pancakes (Photo courtesy Betty Crocker and General Mills)

Hot Chocolate Pancakes (Photo courtesy Betty Crocker and General Mills)

Start National Chocolate Milk Day with these breakfast pancakes that could fill the bill for tonight’s dessert as well. Developed in the General Mills test kitchens for the Betty Crocker brand, the recipe combines chocolate milk, baking cocoa, sugar, vanilla, eggs, and Bisquick baking mix. Baking mixes are a great convenience product for busy households. From rudimentary recipes to gourmet inspirations, amazing dishes can often start with a baking mix.

Hot Chocolate Pancakes
Yield: 16 servings

2 cups original Bisquick mix
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 cup chocolate milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
Toppings:
Chocolate-flavored syrup, warmed
Sweetened whipped cream
Miniature marshmallows
Chocolate candy sprinkles

1. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the toppings with wire whisk until well blended.
2. Heat a nonstick griddle to 375F, or warm a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Brush cooking surface with vegetable oil if necessary or spray with cooking spray before heating.
3. For each pancake, pour slightly less than 1/4 cup of batter onto the hot griddle. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until pancakes are bubbly on top and dry around edges. Turn; cook the other side until they turn a light golden brown around edges. Remove from heat and keep warm until all the batter is used.
4. Drizzle the pancakes with chocolate-flavored syrup; top with sweet whipped cream. Sprinkle with little marshmallows and chocolate candy sprinkles.
SOURCE: BettyCrocker.com and General Mills

Morning Mix recipe: Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel

Morning Mix recipe: Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council)

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel (Photo courtesy National Chicken Council)

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel is my Morning Mix recipe of the week. Florida grows many different types of potatoes, from russets to red creamers. Look for them in the produce bin from January through June, with peak season months in March, April and May. Fennel is crunchy and slightly sweet with a refreshing licorice-like flavor. Every Thursday, you can find more recipes curated exclusively for WOMX Mix 105.1’s website.

Chicken with New Potatoes and Fennel
Yield: 4 servings

Chicken:
4 chicken breast halves, bone-in and skin on
1 slice wheat bread
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon curry powder
1 tablespoon freshly chopped tarragon
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Vegetables:
1 pound small new potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1 bulb fennel, cut in half and into 1/4-inch slices
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400F. In small roasting pan or baking dish, combine potatoes, fennel, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of pan. Set aside.
2. Place slice of bread in bowl of food processor. Process until bread becomes crumbs the size of peas. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard, curry powder and tarragon.
3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise mixture under skin of each chicken breast. Spread 2 rounded teaspoons of the mayonnaise mixture on top of skin; spread evenly to coat. Sprinkle each breast with 1/4 of the bread crumbs, pressing to adhere to the chicken.
4. Place chicken on top of potatoes and fennel. Place in oven and roast for about 45 minutes, or until meat thermometer registers 170 F.
5. Serve chicken over fennel and potatoes.
SOURCE: National Chicken Council and ChickenRoost.com

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies (Photo courtesy McCormick & Co.)

The thought of Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies from McCormick & Co. just makes me smile.  These treats are a chocolate lover’s dream with a soft chocolate cookie dough base and semi-sweet chocolate chunks. You can switch out the vanilla with orange, coconut and peppermint extracts for flavor twists. Me? I like them just like this:

Double Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Yield: 24 (2-cookie) servings

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
6 ounces semi-sweet baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Beat butter and sugars in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until well mixed. Stir in chocolate.
4. Drop by rounded tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto baking sheets sprayed with no stick cooking spray.
5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or just until cookies are set. Cool on baking sheets 2 minutes. Remove to wire racks; cool completely.
SOURCE: MCCORMICK & CO.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Brownies

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Brownies (Photo courtesy Pillsbury and General Mills Brands)

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Brownies (Photo courtesy Pillsbury and General Mills Brands)

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Brownies are pure indulgence. I posted the photo of the Pillsbury recipe yesterday on my Twitter @FLFreshKitchen with the comment: “So much work to do, but I really want to bake! How a Floridian feels days before a storm. It’s a slow moving train & you can’t look away.” I figure these ingredients are in your refrigerator and the recipe is so simple it is easy to let young chefs in the household assist. Comfort food isn’t just to ease our own worries. These bars will make great gifts for those who help us find the new normal after Irma is long gone. Hide a few away for the people who restore your power and neighbors who check up on you. Be careful. Be safe. And bake on.

Peanut Butter Cup Cookie Dough Brownies
Yield: 24 servings

1 (16.5-ounce) roll Pillsbury refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough
24 large chocolate-covered peanut butter cup candies, unwrapped
1 (1-pound 2.4-ounce) box Original Supreme Brownie Mix plus water, oil and eggs called for on mix box

1. Heat oven to 350F. Line a 13-by-inch pan with foil, allowing foil to hang over sides of pan for easy removal after baking. Spray with cooking spray.
2. Press cookie dough evenly in bottom of pan. Top with single layer of peanut butter cups. Make brownie batter as directed on box. Spread batter on top of peanut butter cups.
3. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until brownies are set around sides and toothpick inserted in center of brownies (not candies) comes out clean. Cool in pan 20 minutes. Remove brownies from pan by foil edges. Cool completely on cooling rack, about 1 hour. Cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.
Recipe tip: Swap out the peanut butter cups for your favorite sandwich cookies, if desired.
SOURCE: Pillsbury and General Mills Brands

Ginger Grapefruit Pound Cake

Ginger Grapefruit Pound Cake

Ginger Grapefruit Pound Cake (Photo courtesy Dixie Crystals)

Ginger Grapefruit Pound Cake (Photo courtesy Dixie Crystals)

Ginger Grapefruit Pound Cake makes an impression at potlucks and Sunday brunch. A grapefruit is a cross between an orange and a pomelo, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. A normal grapefruit tree produces, on average, 350 pounds of grapefruit in a season. Some older trees have been known to produce up to 1,500 pounds of fruit in one season. Florida grapefruit are split into two classifications, white and pink. Each has its own distinct taste. The Florida grapefruit season begins in September and runs through May.

Ginger Grapefruit Pound Cake
Yield: 9-10 inch cake or 9-12 servings

Cake:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 tablespoons dried ginger
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, very soft
2 3/4 cups Dixie Crystals Free-Flowing Brown Sugar Shaker
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fine grated grapefruit zest, no white bitter pith
3/4 cup grapefruit juice, do not discard grapefruit peel
1/4 cup candied ginger
Grapefruit glaze:
2 tablespoons grapefruit juice
1 cup Dixie Crystals Confectioners Powdered Sugar
Candied grapefruit peel:
1 to 2 grapefruits from juiced fruits
1/2 cup Dixie Crystals Extra Fine Granulated Sugar
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons honey

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour a 9 or 10-inch tube pan. Set aside.
2. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and ginger together. Set aside.
3. In a stand or hand held mixer using paddle attachment, mix butter until light and fluffy. Add sugar and mix well.
Add one egg at a time waiting for the previous added egg to be fully incorporated and mixture regains a smooth homogenous look.
Add salt and grapefruit zest. Alternately add flour mixture and grapefruit juice in 5 steps, starting with and ending with flour.
4. Scrape batter into prepared pan and place in oven. After 15 minutes in oven reduce temperature to 325F. Bake until center of the cake bounces back when lightly pressed with a finger or an inserted toothpick comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. If cakes becomes too dark before being done, cover cake with a lightly butter piece of foil. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes before turning upside down on a serving platter.
5. Prepare the glaze by combining grapefruit juice and powdered sugar, cover with plastic food wrap and set aside.
Using a sharp knife remove outer zest from grapefruit peel. Ensure that only a minimum of white bitter pith is still on zest. Bring sugar, water and honey to boil. Add grapefruit peel and cover with a lid. Simmer on very low for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Brush cake with glaze and decorate with candied ginger and grapefruit zest.
SOURCE: Chef Eddy Van Damme for Dixie Crystals

Pickled Shrimp with Sweet Potato Pecan Quinoa and Aioli

Pickled Shrimp with Sweet Potato Pecan Quinoa and Aioli

Pickled Shrimp with Sweet Potato Pecan Quinoa and Aioli  (Photo courtesy Chef Jim Smith)

Pickled Shrimp with Sweet Potato Pecan Quinoa and Aioli (Photo courtesy Chef Jim Smith)

Pickled Shrimp with Sweet Potato Pecan Quinoa and Aioli is a great menu addition for entertaining and football tailgates. Wild Florida shrimp is abundant in the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean.

Pickled Shrimp with Sweet Potato Pecan Quinoa and Aioli
Yield: 2-4 servings

Pickled shrimp:
1 pound wild-caught Florida shrimp, boiled (see note) and cooled
1 large sweet onion sliced
2 lemons, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
8 fresh bay leaves
10 sprigs fresh thyme
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 whole dried chili peppers
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Salt and white pepper to taste
Aioli:
2 egg yolks
1 poached egg
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves blanched and cleaned garlic
2 cups vegetable oil
Salt and white pepper to taste
Tabasco sauce to taste
Sweet potato:
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced in 1/4-inch cubes
3 cups room temperature water
1 tablespoon salt
Quinoa:
1 cup quinoa
1 3/4 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup diced sweet onion
1 teaspoon butter
Blanched sweet potato (see Step 3)
3 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted pecans
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
Salt and white pepper to taste

1. For the shrimp, in a large glass or non-reactive bowl mix all ingredients. Cover and store in the refrigerator several hours or overnight.
2. For the aioli, in a blender combine the yolk, poached egg, mustard and garlic and pulse until a smooth consistency is reached. Turn the blender to medium low and in a steady stream slowly pour in the oil until emulsified. Be careful not to break the emulsion, add salt, pepper and Tabasco to taste.
3. For the sweet potatoes, place the diced potatoes into a medium sauce pot with the room temperature water, add the salt and bring to a boil. Once the water boils the sweet potatoes will be almost done, 1 to 2 minutes at full boil should be enough time. It is best to taste a couple of the cubes to gauge the consistency. They should be firm but not crunchy. Remove from heat, strain and spread out onto a lined sheet pan. If the dice is larger than 1/4-inch it will take longer to reach to reach desired consistency. Set aside.
4. For the quinoa, rinse using a fine strainer. In a sauce pot use the half the butter to saute the onions in the onions until translucent. Add the quinoa and stir to evenly coat the quinoa in the butter-onion mixture. Add the vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until tender. Fluff the quinoa with a fork. Gently fold in the diced sweet potatoes, pecans and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve shrimp with aioli and quinoa.
How to boil the shrimp: In a large pot bring 2 gallons of salted water to a boil with one rough chopped onion, 2 chopped stalks of celery, one large peeled and chopped carrot and the juice of 2 lemons. Reduce and simmer for 20-30 minutes before adding raw shrimp. Add shrimp to the simmering liquid and poach for 3-5 minutes until shrimp are cooked. Do not bring to a hard boil; shrimp are very easy to overcook. Remove from water and let cool.
SOURCE: Developed by Chef Jim Smith for the American Shrimp Processors Association.

Buttermilk Grits Waffles

Buttermilk Grits Waffles

Buttermilk Grits Waffles (Photo courtesy American Butter Institute and Go Bold With Butter)

Buttermilk Grits Waffles (Photo courtesy American Butter Institute and Go Bold With Butter)

Buttermilk Grits Waffles is a recipe developed by the blog Sprinkles Bakes for the American Butter Institute, and the recipe lives on their website Go Bold With Butter. Corn grits have long been a Southern staple. This easy, vintage recipe uses leftover prepared grits in buttermilk waffle batter. The combination yields a waffle with a crisp exterior and sweet corn flavor inside. If you don’t have leftover grits, the shortest distance between you and Buttermilk Grits Waffles is to use quick cooking grits. Five minutes is all the time it takes to stir up a creamy potful. Just be sure to let them cool to room temperature before using in this recipe.

Buttermilk Grits Waffles
Yield: 4 servings

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 cup prepared grits, cold or at room temperature
2 tablespoons sorghum syrup or molasses
5 tablespoons butter, melted
Extra butter, maple syrup, whipped cream and fresh seasonal berries for serving

1. Preheat a Belgian waffle iron according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
2. Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Add the eggs, buttermilk, grits and sorghum syrup. Whisk together until thoroughly combined. Add the melted butter and mix until well incorporated.
3. Grease the waffle iron with butter and pour a scant 3/4 cup of waffle batter onto the iron. Cook about 5 minutes, or according to manufacturer’s cooking instructions. The waffle is done when exterior is light golden brown and crisp.
4. Serve immediately topped with butter, maple syrup, whipped cream and fresh seasonal berries.
SOURCE: Go Bold with Butter