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Loves to bake

By Staff | Mar 22, 2013

KAITLYN BARRETT prepares to serve a peanut butter cup cake. Barrett said she enjoys baking, cooking and preparing anything that is a challenge.

By KRISS NELSON

“mailto:jknelson@frontiernet.net”>jknelson@frontiernet.net

MOORLAND – Kaitlyn Barrett has been enjoying her time spent in the kitchen for as long as she can remember and that time spent cooking and baking as a child has turned into a favorite pastime as an adult.

Barrett, who works in quality assurance in the feed division for NEW Cooperative in Fort Dodge, will graduate from Iowa Central Community College in May and plans to graduate from Buena Vista in 2014 with a degree in business administration and management.

Her plans after college are to further her career with NEW Co-op, but someday, would eventually like to open a bakery or at least to do it on the side.

THIS PEANUT BUTTER cup cake is just one of the many cakes Kaitlyn Barrett likes to make. Decorating the cake she said is one of her favorite things to do.

Barrett said she already has been creating goodies for friends and family, and uses her time in the kitchen as a break from a busy day.

“I like baking and cooking,” Barrett said. “I just like being in the kitchen, it is relaxing to me.”

It was while being baby-sat by her grandmother, Virginia Barrett, that her love for baking and cooking came into play.

“We would go through cookbooks, pick something out and make it,” Barrett said.

Barrett said her grandmother is a great cook, and she assisted her with making food for their church and other events as well as helping with meals during the busy farming seasons.

“I will look at recipes, combine them with others and take what I?like out of them.” —Kaitlyn Barrett Moorland

Her favorite thing to make with her grandmother, Barrett said, were sugar cookies and desserts. And although Barrett likes the cooking side of being in the kitchen, it is the creative side she likes to bring out. Making desserts is what she really enjoys.

“I really enjoy the whole decorating thing,” she said.

Barrett has recently been creating an inventory of decorating supplies, with the help of her fiance, Josh Stewart, whom she will wed on June 1, she now has her own tool box full of supplies to help her with that creativity.

Her piping tips, she said, are what she uses the most.

Thanks to the ever so popular, Pinterest and other online resources, Barrett said she has taught herself how to decorate cakes and cupcakes.

“I look at pictures and run with it,” she said. “But I like to add my own touches.

“I will look at recipes, combine them with others and take what I like out of them.”

The art of decorating cakes and cupcakes, she said, is a challenge, but one she strives for.

“I like trying new things and things that don’t look easy and that are challenging so that I can prove I can do it,” said Barrett.

Some advice Barrett has is to not be afraid to try new things and when it comes to melting chocolate, add Crisco, a little bit at a time to help smooth it out.

Reeses peanut butter cake

1 cup boiling water

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk mixed with 1 tablespoon vinegar)

1/2 cup oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 350 degrees and line three, 8-inch cake pans with wax paper.

Bring a small pan of water to a boil and keep it simmering while mixing other ingredients.

In a large mixing bowl combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add the eggs, buttermilk, oil and vanilla.

Beat with mixer until combined.

Add one cup of the boiling water and carefully stir until it is mixed. Beat for one and a half minutes with mixer. Batter will be thin.

Pour the batter into pans and bake for 18 to 22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

BUTTERCREAM ICING

1 cup salted butter (softened)

2 cups creamy peanut butter

4 cups confectioner’s sugar

Approximately 1/3 cup of milk

In a medium bowl, beat the butter and peanut butter with an electric mixer. Gradually add the sugar. When it starts to get thick, add the milk a little at a time until frosting is spreadable. (The amount of milk you use depends on the thickness of your peanut butter). Beat for three minutes or until fluffy.

GANACHE

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

4 tablespoons peanut butter

4 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 cup heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the chocolate chips and peanut butter in a metal bowl. Heat cream over medium heat. Watch it closely and immediately remove from heat when it starts to boil.

Pour over chocolate chips and peanut butter. Let it sit for two minutes. Slowly stir the mixture until all chips have completely melted and it is thoroughly combined. Stir in the vanilla and corn syrup. Let the ganache cool if you prefer a thicker consistency.

ASSEMBLING CAKE:

You need one 12-ounce bag of Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup miniatures. Eat two of the treats and save 12 to garnish the top of the cake, then chop up the rest.

Spread the peanut butter frosting on your first cake layer, then sprinkle half of the chopped Reese’s on top.

Press them down into the frosting with spatula.

Repeat with the second cake layer. Place third cake layer on top, then cover the whole cake with peanut butter frosting.

Pour ganache on top of the cake and smooth with a spatula.

Garnish the top with remaining 12 Reese’s minis.

Mint chocolate cupcakes

3 cups flour

2/3 cups cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups cold water

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon mint extract

2 tablespoons white vinegar

1 cup Andes mints (chopped)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda, sugar and salt.

In a separate bowl, whisk together water, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, mint extract and vinegar.

In a large mixing bowl, combine a third of the dry ingredients with half of the wet ingredients.

After the mixture is thoroughly combined, add half of the remaining dry ingredients with the remaining wet ingredients. Combine thoroughly.

Add in the remaining dry ingredients. Once the mixture is thoroughly combined, add the Andes mints, continue to mix for another 2 to 3 minutes.

Pour batter into cupcake liners or 9-by-13-inch pan prepared with baking spray.

Tap the pan against the counter to break any air bubbles that exist.

Bake for 20 minutes (for cupcakes) or 25 to 30 minutes for cake or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto wire rack and cool completely. Top with buttercream frosting.

Crispy cheddar chicken

Chicken:

4 large chicken breasts

2 sleeves Ritz crackers

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup of milk

3 cups cheddar cheese – grated

1 teaspoon dried parsley

Sauce:

1 10-ounce can cream of chicken soup

2 tablespoons sour cream

2 tablespoons butter

Cut each chicken breast into three large chunks.

In a small food processor, grind up the Ritz crackers.

Pour the milk, cheese and cracker crumbs into three separate pans. Toss salt and pepper into the cracker crumbs and stir the mixture to combine.

Dip each piece of chicken into the milk, then the cheese. Press the cheese into the chicken with your fingers.

Some of it will fall off when you add it to the cracker crumbs, don’t worry about it.

Press the cheesy chicken into the cracker crumbs and press it in.

Spray a 9-by13-inch pan with cooking spray and place chicken inside the pan.

Sprinkle the dried parsley over the chicken.

Cover the pan with tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for 35-minutes.

Remove tinfoil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until edges of the chicken are golden brown and crispy.

In a medium-sized sauce pan, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream and butter with a whisk. Stir it over medium high heat until the sauce is nice and hot.

Serve over the chicken.

Pepperoni roll-ups

1 can refrigerated crescent rolls

40 slices of pepperoni

4 pieces of mozzarella string cheese cut in half

Garlic powder

Pizza sauce

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Unroll crescent rolls and separate into eight triangles. Place five slices of pepperoni on each crescent roll.

Top pepperoni with string cheese half and roll up. Sprinkle crescent rolls with garlic powder.

Place rolls on baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with a side of pizza sauce.

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