Life is too short to eat bad food! Sharing great recipes, farm life, stories and photography from our Northern California dairy farm.

May 23, 2011

Pound Cake for 4-H Fair Entry Ideas

Sunday we geared up for our last 4-H cooking meeting of the 4-H year.  Fair season is just around the corner and my cooking co-leader and I thought it would be fun to give the kids some recipe ideas they could possibly enter in the county fair.

I adore my subscription to the Food Network magazine and really utilize and modify many of the recipes I find in it.  The May issue is where we found the Quick Bread {or pound cake} recipe we used yesterday.















We had a group of 10 kids {11 counting Paige} show up for the meeting with mixing bowl in hand.  This particular recipe allowed you to choose the 'mix-in' ingredients of your own choosing....the choices I had out for the kids to choose from were, dried cranberries, raisins, shredded coconut and chocolate chips.

We split the kids into four groups to work together and decide amongst their group members as to what mix-ins they would choose for their pound cake mini loaves.













While the pound cakes were cooling, the kids made a glaze to drizzle on top, if they wished.

 Baking in the kitchen sure leaves the house smelling SO good.  I was hungry and could hardly wait to try Bryce's or Paige's cake.













But someone was more impatient than.  As I peeked around the corner, I found Paige digging into her own mini loaf....doggie style.













Mix and Match Quick Bread by Food Network:

Create your perfect loaf of quick bread: This customizable recipe leads to thousands of possibilities!
1. Choose a Flavor
Prepare 1 cup fruit or vegetables (one kind).

*Pear, shredded and squeezed dry
*Apple, shredded and squeezed dry
*Banana, mashed
*Carrot, shredded
*Zucchini, shredded and squeezed dry

2. Pick Your Mix-Ins
Choose up to 1 3/4 cups total of the following ingredients (use no more than 3/4 cup nuts). Toast and chop any nuts; chop any large dried fruit.

*Walnuts
*Pecans
*Almonds
*Hazelnuts
*Pistachios
*Dried cherries
*Dried cranberries
*Dried currants
*Raisins
*Dried figs
*Dried apricots
*Pitted dried dates
*Rolled oats
*Chocolate chips
*Sweetened shredded coconut

3. Prepare the Pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan or three 6-by-3-inch mini pans.

4. Make the Batter
Mix 1 1/4 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon each baking powder and salt, and 1/2 teaspoon each baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl; add your dry mix-ins (from step 2). In a medium bowl, whisk 2 eggs, 1/2 cup cooled melted butter or vegetable oil, 1/2 cup plain yogurt or sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon citrus zest (optional). Stir your fruit or vegetables (from step 1) into the egg mixture, then fold into the dry mixture until just combined.

5. Bake the Loaf
Spread the batter in the prepared pan(s). Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes for a standard loaf, 35 to 40 minutes for mini loaves. Cool 30 minutes in the pan(s) on a rack, then turn out onto the rack to cool completely.

6. Make a Glaze
Prepare a glaze, pour on the cooled bread and let set, 15 to 20 minutes.

Chocolate
Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 2 tablespoons cocoa powder, 2 tablespoons milk, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract and a pinch of salt.

Vanilla Bean
Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon milk and the seeds from 1 vanilla bean.

Brown Butter
Brown 3 tablespoons butter over low heat; cool slightly. Whisk with 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar and 1 tablespoon milk. Use immediately.

Citrus
Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 1 tablespoon each milk and citrus juice, and 1 teaspoon citrus zest.

Cream Cheese
Whisk 1 cup confectioners' sugar, 3 tablespoons softened cream cheese, 2 tablespoons milk and ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract.

Make these in advance: You can store them in an airtight container for up to 1 week.




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