Blackberry Swirl Pound Cake

Since today Washington will be celebrating Obama’s inaguration today, I decided today would be an excellent day for a very classic treat. Pound cakes have been around forever! Martha Washington made them at Mount Vernon for celebrations there so consider this my little tribute to our first First Lady.
Generally, I don’t like pound cakes. They taste to plain or bland and are not very exciting. Then entered this recipe. The cake itself has a rich, sweet flavor. Coupled with a swirl of blackberry jam, it makes an absolutely delicious treat!
Pound cakes are the perfect treat because they can work for anytime: a dessert, a fancy birthday cake, a nice addition to teas or brunches… My personal favorite is placing a slice in our toaster oven for about four minutes and devouring it for breakfast. I’m not sure why, but the cake tastes even better after being toasted. Plus, it adds texture to the cake- a delicious way to start the day.
When making the cake, feel free to use whatever jam you want. Strawberry pound cake is a delicious treat in the summer and raspberry is perfect anytime; however, whatever variety you use, make sure it’s seedless. It helps create a smoother texture and blends better with the consistency of the cake.
-1-1/2 cups butter, softened
-3 cups sugar
-1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
-6 eggs
-3 cups all-purpose flour
-1 tsp almond extract
-3/4 tsp vanilla extract
-2/3 cup seedless blackberry jam

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 10-inch (14-cup)bundt pan by first greasing it them flouring the surface.
2. In a stand-up mixer,cream the butter until it becomes fluffy. Slowly add the sugar until it becomes light and creamy. Add cream cheese and eggs. Beat until the batter is just combined.
3. Gradually add flour at a low speed until combined. Stir in the extracts.
4. Pour 1/3 of the batter into prepared pan. Dollop 8 tablespoons of the jam on top of the batter and swill with a long wooden skewer. Repeat the process one time then use the remaining batter as the top layer.
5. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes then remove from the pan and let cool fully, about an hour.



Just Your Average Dough

posed s&s
I’ve been in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie dough base- the kind where you make the dough and can add what ever mix-ins you want: chocolate chips, M&Ms, pretzel pieces, chopped up candy bars, marshmallows, potato chips… the list goes on and on.The dough’s different from sugar cookie dough; while sugar cookies can stand on their own, this type of dough depends on something to hold it together.
In my attempt to create my own unique recipe, I created a meta-analysis of my four favorite cookies. I then used the data to find the average of all the ingredients used… thus this recipe may make your tastebud’s tingle but it’s just your average dough!
The premier use of my magnificent base dough was for pretzel M&M cookies. Some people (cough! my mother) don’t like the sweet and salty combo. I, on the other hand, love it. The contrast enhances both of the flavors and creates an explosion of heightened flavors. The colors, though I used Christmas colored M&Ms, appeal to little kids, too, so they’re perfect for a class party or bake sale.
tray full

Margaret’s Cookie Dough:
-14 tbls butter, sofented
-1/2 cup minus 2 tbls granulated sugar
-3/4 cup of brown sugar
-1 egg, room temperature
-1-1/2 tsp vanilla
-2 cups of flour
-1 tsp of baking soda
-3/4 tsp of salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. Cream together butter and sugars until smooth. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
3. Mix in the flour, baking soda and salt until combined.
4. Stir in any mix-ins you want, up to 2 cups.
5. Using a teaspoon, make uniform heaps on the cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges have browned.
dough balls

For the sweet n’ salty M&M cookies, mix in 3/4 cup of M&Ms and 3/4 cups of broken pretzel pieces.

I hope you enjoy this debutante recipe!