Category Archives: Bake Sale Ideas

Everything’s Coming Up Chocolate – My 5-minute Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake

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If you’re a busy person who needs a quick, stunning, and cost-effective dessert, then you’ll want to try this recipe tonight! I haven’t had much time lately for baking with all the event planning for Winnipeg’s 1st Annual Chocoholics’ Buffet 2013 – benefiting the United Way of Winnipeg. But if you know me, you already know that I’m a serious Chocoholic! “Hi, my name is Anna, and I’m a Chocoholic”, so it was time to bake up something chocolate to satisfy my craving last week because all my advent calendar of chocolate truffles are history.

You can literally give five minutes to create this cake, well maybe 10 - not including baking time - I promise!

You can literally take just five minutes to create this cake, well maybe 10 – not including baking time – I promise!

Last week, for a special LunchFor1 – plus 1 luncheon here at Chez Echols,  I whipped up my 5-minute Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake for my friend Juliana. Yes, I freely admit that I’m a cheater when it comes to baking cakes. Since the mid-80s I’ve been a devoted user of Betty Crocker’s Super Moist Chocolate Fudge Cake Mix – just ask any of my former co-workers – it’s my “go to” secret birthday cake weapon.

It's really that simple. 4 ingredients to make the cake + 3 ingredients to decorate it = Yummy Bliss mmmmm CHOCOLATE!

4 ingredients to make the cake + 3 ingredients to decorate it = Yummy Bliss mmmmm CHOCOLATE! Simple.

5-minute Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake

1 Super Moist Cake Mix*

3 Eggs

1/3 Cup Canola Oil

1 1/4 cup Water

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  1. *Follow the package instructions as they can be different for different cake flavours. Just dump everything into your mixing bowl.
  2. Beat on low for 30 seconds, then beat on medium for 2 minutes more.

    I like to use my KitchenAid whisk, but you can use a fork,
    a whisk, a hand mixer, or any stand mixer, of course.

  3. Spray your Bundt Pan generously with Pam and pour in your batter.
  4. Place into a pre-heated oven at 350*F for 35-45 minutes. Test for done-ness before removing.
  5. Let the bundt stand in its pan for 10 minutes, after you remove it from the oven.
  6. Turn out your cake onto your favourite plate.
  7. Let cool for another 30 to 60 minutes, or longer.
  8. Place 1/2 to 1 cup of the pre-made chocolate icing into a 1 cup measuring cup, and microwave for 20-30 seconds until your pre-made icing becomes pour-able.
  9. With a dinner fork, lightly punch shallow fork holes in the top, outer-sides and insides of your bundt cake. This allows the icing to seep into your already moist cake to make it extra delicious.
  10. Pour in a light drizzle back and forth over the top of your cake while turning the cake plate in a circle, and “paint” your cake with the icing.

Also works great with two different colour icing, like chocolate and vanilla!

This time I used some caramel sauce I had in the fridge along with the chocolate icing.
Then I decorated the top of my cake with small chunks of Skor bars.

Super easy – Super moist – Super tasty!

Click the above image to view Wine Enthusiast’s blog on Vday

VDAY TIP FOR MY GENTS… Hey guys – try this recipe to impress your lady with a special vday dessert at home… Simply bake a Super Moist brand vanilla cake mix the same as above. Use red and pink icing (or red & white) to drizzle over top the cake. Decorate the top with small heart-shaped sprinkles or small candies in the same colour scheme. I guarantee you’ll get “lucky” after dessert!!! Keep me posted! 😉 Watch for more Aphrodisiac Recipes coming soon! In the meantime, for more inspiration for February 14th – check out my Valentine’s Pins on Pinterest.

BTW this cake was even better the next day after it sat in my domed, cake server! PLUS, this recipe is totally freezer friendly too. My husband and I cannot possibly eat a whole bundt cake, so I’ll slice it into individual pieces and freeze it for a later treat. Remember my portion control suggestions from my WeightReleaseUpdate#2?

Sounds too hard? Don’t have that much time? Try my 3-2-1 Mug Cake recipe by clicking here. I LOVE making quick strawberry shortcake desserts for Jeff and I by using this easy method! Mug cakes work awesome at the cottage as well… sigh… Summer seems SO far away right now!

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What is your secret cake recipe?
Please click Leave a Comment below and feel free to share it with me and my readers.

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Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls

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So I took the plunged and picked up some Pillsbury Crescent Rolls during my weekly grocery excursion. And today I decided was the day to finally make an attempt at one of Pinterest’s most Pinned recipes using the crescent rolls.

These Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls were SO delicious, and got two thumbs up from my husband!

These Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls were SO delicious, and got two thumbs up from my husband!

As I love all things Mexican, it seemed a
natural choice to create a Mexi-Chicken stuffing.

These were so easy and quick to make for a simple Saturday lunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

These were so easy and quick to make for a simple Saturday lunch. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Mexi-Chicken Crescent Rolls

(makes 8 rolls)

1 tube Grands Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

1 Chicken Breast, uncooked

½ cup Spicy Clamato Juice (or Tomato Juice)

2 tbsp. Spicy Salsa

¾ cup Light Mayo

1/3 cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese, fine-grated

1/8 cup Jalapeno Peppers, minced
Taco Seasoning

Salt & Pepper

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  1. Slice your chicken breast into strips.
  2. Cook the chicken slices in non-stick frying pan (no oil) for 3 minutes each side. Sprinkle ½ tsp. of each – taco seasoning, salt and pepper over the slices.
  3. When flipping the chicken, add the salsa and juice to the pan. Cook for 2 more minutes.
  4. Remove chicken from pan, and dice it into very small bite-sized pieces, and let cool.
  5. Preheat oven to 375*F.
  6. Mix together mayo, cheese, jalapenos, and cooled chicken pieces in a bowl, add a bit of the cooked salsa/tomato liquid for flavour, about 1 tbsp will do the trick.
  7. Open and unwrap your crescent rolls. Cut each triangle length-wise to form two, long triangles.
  8. Place one teaspoon of your chicken mixture on the wider end of each triangle. I like to use my “Martha” gelato scoop for this step.
  9. Roll up each triangle from wide to narrow end, and place on a cookie sheet with Silpat or sprayed with Pam cooking spray. I sprinkled my crescent rolls with poppy seeds for decoration.
  10. Bake for 14 minutes. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes. And enjoy!

This made for a very impressive lunch for hubby and I yesterday. I’ll definitely be making these again. Finally I understand what all the fuss was about on Pinterest in regards to these stuffed crescent rolls.

What do you use Pillsbury Crescent Rolls for?
Please feel free to share your Comments below.

Cookies for Lunch? Why Not!

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I just sent my dear hubby off to work after having him home for five days straight. To kick off our holiday season, I loaded him up with a couple dozen of my Orange-Infused Madeleine Cookies for his co-workers to enjoy today.

Delicious little shells of scrumptious orangie-goodness - perfect for the holidays!

My delicious, little shells of scrumptious orangie-goodness – perfect for the holidays!

I should preface this recipe with the fact that I chose to bake these cookies for my 1st Annual Cookie Monster Christmas Cookie Exchange, which I hosted last Sunday. I actually needed a minimum of 12 dozen cookies, but I ended up with many more!

Here’s my funny (but long-winded) tale… skip to the bottom for the recipe, if you’re in a hurry.

– I first baked a 2-dozen test batch, in which I found I needed to add more orange flavouring. Thankfully I had a very willing 3-year old taster who readily gobbled up a dozen that afternoon.

– Then when baking a double batch a few days later, I only got 6-dozen cookies from the recipe. No problem, but I was out of eggs… and low on butter.

– A few days later while baking a second, double batch (after buying more eggs), I forgot to add the melted butter at the end, and left it cooling in the freezer. However, I got some very tasty French macaroon-like cookies as a bonus, and will definitely repeat that mistake again in the future… with a piping bag and macaroon filling handy!

– Finally I completed the task that same day with the last 6-dozen that were thankfully perfect.

BUT… I ended up with TWENTY dozen cookies in the end. More for sharing!
See I told you it was a long story… 🙂

Sometimes great things come out of little mistakes… but only sometimes.

Before attempting Madeleine cookies, you need to make an investment in a couple of molded-cookie pans. I picked mine up at my favourite local kitchen store, D.A. Niels on Berry Street here in Winnipeg. They had a wide selection of choices – at different prices points. I liked the idea of the smaller shell-shapes (for $9 each) as opposed to the larger $25 pans.

Non-stick Madeleine pans are the better choice, I think.

Non-stick Madeleine pans are the better choice, I believe.

Orange-Infused Madeleine Cookies

yields: about 24 small cookies

2/3 cup Flour

½ teaspoon Baking Powder

½ cup Butter, melted and cooled

2 Eggs

1 teaspoon Orange Extract
*Grand Marnier would also work

1 teaspoon Orange Zest, finely grated

1 cup Powdered (Icing) Sugar

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1. Preheat your oven to 350*F, and set your oven rack into the higher middle position.

2. Using a Madeleine pan, spray your pan(s) lightly with Pam.

3. Sift together flour and baking powder in small bowl – set aside.

4. In the mixer’s bowl, beat eggs, orange extract and orange peel on high for 5 minutes.

5. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, and beat another 5 minutes.

6. Turn down your mixer to low, and gently fold in your flour mixture. Mix until just combined.

7. Fold in your cooled, melted butter, then mix gently on a slightly higher speed for about a minute, until smooth.

8. Spoon the mixture into the cups, filling about ¾ full, or you’ll end up with an overly mounded cookie. Wipe any excess batter off of the sides of the pan before baking.

I use a gelato scoop to maintain consistent sizes. Don't worry they will spread.

I use a small gelato scoop to maintain consistent sizes. Don’t worry your batter will spread while baking.

9. Bake approximately 8 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned.

10. Cool in the pan for 2 minutes. Loosen cookies with a knife, then invert the pan on a rack to cool the cookies fully.

And for the finishing touch a little bit of snow

And for the finishing touch a little bit of snow…

11. When cool, sprinkle the tops with powdered sugar. I used an old-fashioned flour sifter to do this, but you could also use icing sugar in a sieve.

If you’ve made Madeleine Cookies before,
what flavours have you used?

Please feel free to share your experiences in the Comments area below.

Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls

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To commemorate the series-ending of Desperate Housewives I’ve brought out a favourite no-bake cookie recipe that is a perfect Adults-Only dessert idea. My Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls are a super addition to any cookie baking day you may be planning as they are super easy to make while the other cookies bake away in the oven.

Recently I made them for an Easter alternative cookie just to shake up the dessert selections. They were such a hit, and freeze so well, that I decided to make them once again for the Manitoba Food Bloggers Bake Sale benefiting Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day. I dedicate this recipe to my mother, who always went the extra mile for my Bake Sales throughout the years.

Using just 6 Easy-to-Source Ingredients

Prep all ingredients in advance using your food processor

Once you add the melting Belgian chocolate using a mixer the dough consistency will look like this

My “Martha” and I make very consistent sized balls together

And just because there isn’t enough sugar content in these already… don’t forget to roll them in sugar to finish them off perfectly

Place on parchment paper lined pan and freeze for a couple hours before you place them in an air-tight container for future use as needed

Chocolate Bourbon Balls make a great gift too!
(photo credit to http://shelzolkewich.com/)

And now for the recipe so that you can get started!

Anna’s Belgian Chocolate Bourbon Balls
Yield: 4 dozen balls

2 1/2 cups Vanilla Wafers, crumbled
(1 box Nilla Wafers, or make from scratch)

1/2 cup White Sugar

1 cup Pecan halves, finely ground

6 oz. Belgian Chocolate wafers, melted

1/2 cup Jim Bean Bourbon

3 tablespoons Light Corn Syrup

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1. Add all dry ingredients to mixing bowl.

2. Carefully melt the chocolate wafers in a double boiler.

3. Remove chocolate from stove, stir in bourbon and corn syrup.

4. Add chocolate mixture to the dry ingredients and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

5. Roll dough into uniform 1-inch balls, and then roll them in sugar to coat. I love to use my OXO Gelato scoop for perfect sized balls every time.

6. Place balls in air-tight container and store at room temperature for up to 45 days. Or freeze on flat baking sheet for 2 hours, and place in air-tight container.

And for an interesting variation…

If you double or triple the recipe, and happen to run out of steam part way through rolling the balls,
you can refrigerate the dough which will make it crumbly.
And Voila! L.M.F.A.O. Bourbon Chocolate Crumble is born!

Place the mixture back in food processor to make a fine crumble that is perfect to use on sundaes,
on pancakes, over fruit, on yogurt, or even in a layered cake filling.

Enjoy!