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Turn holiday excess into cake

I might be a little slow in the process but I’ve finally taken my Christmas tree down and am packing up the Santa Claus collection for banishment to the attic. Though I’m sorry to see it all go I’ve got other things to do with my time, like figuring out ways to use the excess dairy still hanging out in the fridge. Eggnog, buttermilk, butter and sour cream all wait to be used. So, while still in holiday baking mode, let’s make cake.

Buttermilk and some bits of peanut brittle and nuts are just what’s needed for Peanut Brittle Crunch Cake. Baked in a Bundt pan, this yummy cake with its sweet crunchy center doesn’t even need frosting, just a dusting of powdered sugar.

Though it’s hard to believe that anyone would have any eggnog left, a slice of Glazed Eggnog Loaf Cake is sure to go down easy.

Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting is always a fan favorite and this recipe that calls for sour cream produces a crumb that is moist, rich and fudgy. The cake is baked in a sheet pan but can also be baked in (2) 9-inch round cake pans…one to eat now and another to freeze for later. Thank goodness for excess.

Peanut Brittle Crunch Cake

2 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar

2/3 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup butter

1 cup crushed peanut brittle

1/3 cup chopped nuts

1 1/3 cup buttermilk

2 large eggs

1 1/2 tsps. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsps. vanilla extract

Directions: Grease and flour a 12-cup Bundt pan. In large mixing bowl, mix together flour, brown sugar and butter till coarse crumbs form. Remove 1/2 cup of flour mixture; mix with peanut brittle and nuts. Set aside.

Add all remaining ingredients to remaining flour mixture; mix well. Spoon half of the batter into prepared pan. Spoon floured peanut brittle mixture over batter. Top with remaining batter.

Bake in preheated 325-degree F. oven 55 to 65 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serves 16.

Glazed Eggnog Loaf Cake

Cake:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 (4-serving) box vanilla instant pudding

2 tsps. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 1/2 cups eggnog

1 tsp. rum extract

Glaze:

3/4 cup powdered sugar

3 T. eggnog

1 tsp. rum extract

Directions: Line 9×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, or spray generously with baking spray. Set aside.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, pudding mix, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.

In large mixing bowl, with an electric mixer beat butter till smooth and light. Beat in sugar, then eggs, eggnog and rum extract. Add the dry ingredients and beat just till combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven 40 to 60 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. If bread browns too quickly, cover top with foil. Cool 10 minutes in pan then remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely.

When cool, prepare glaze in small bowl, beating together powdered sugar, eggnog and rum extract. Pour over top of bread, allowing glaze to drip down sides of loaf.

Sour Cream Chocolate Cake

Cake:

3/4 cup unsalted butter

2/3 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup water or strong coffee

1 3/4 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 large eggs

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

3/4 cup sour cream

Frosting:

12 T. unsalted butter

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3 cups powdered sugar

4 to 6 T. milk

Directions: For cake, lightly grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan. In medium saucepan over medium-low heat add butter, cocoa powder and water. Whisk till cocoa powder is dissolved and butter is melted. Remove from heat and transfer mixture to large mixing bowl. Allow to cool slightly.

With electric mixer beat in sugar, followed by eggs and vanilla. With mixer on low, beat in flour, baking soda and salt. Add sour cream and mix till incorporated.

Pour into prepared pan and bake in preheated 350-degree F. oven about 30 to 35 minutes or till toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack.

Prepare chocolate frosting by melting together butter and cocoa in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat and pour mixture into a mixing bowl to cool slightly. Beat in powdered sugar, about 1/2 cup at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of milk at-a-time till frosting is the desired consistency. Frost cooled cake. Serves 15.

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