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Made From Scratch: November/December Recipes

Make sure you save room on this year’s holiday dessert table for a couple of luscious cakes that food blogger Katrina Adams, aka K Marie, shares here with Alabama Poultry readers.

Consider her easy-as-pie Key Lime Cake, for instance. It’s delicious any time of year, but bake it in a Christmas tree-shaped pan for the family’s holiday meal and it will be in demand for years to come.

As for the ultra-rich creation K Marie aptly calls The Best Chocolate Cake, it is a chocoholic's dream that's covered with not just cream cheese frosting, but chocolate cream cheese frosting. It is seriously delicious.

Eggs give the cakes their moistness, and they do the same in Katrina’s Sweet Potato Cornbread, a delightful alternative to the standard marshmallow-topped sweet potato casserole that, frankly, has worn out its holiday-meal welcome.

And for an effortless entrée that’s ideal for this hectic holiday season, try her tender and juicy garlic rosemary baked chicken breasts.

Garlic Rosemary Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary or rosemary seasoning blend

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

4 tablespoons butter, melted

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup dry white wine

Fresh lemon slices and rosemary sprigs for serving, optional

Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry. Combine rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl and rub on chicken. Place chicken in a plastic storage bag and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours. Heat a large skillet that has been sprayed with nonstick spray over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook 3-5 minutes per side, or until browned. Transfer chicken to a baking dish coated with nonstick spray.

In a small bowl, combine melted butter, chicken broth and wine. Pour mixture over chicken and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. Garnish with lemon slices and rosemary sprigs, if desired.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Serves: 4

Sweet Potato Cornbread

2 cups cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon sugar*

1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potatoes

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1/4 cup honey

1 stick butter, melted

Lightly butter a cast iron skillet, place in oven and begin preheating to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon sugar. In a separate medium bowl, combine the mashed sweet potatoes, eggs, buttermilk, honey and melted butter. Add sweet potato mixture to dry ingredients, stirring to combine.

Remove skillet from oven and pour in cornbread mixture, smoothing the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes, or until cornbread is golden brown and cake tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 8

*K Marie uses McCormick Cinnamon Sugar.

Key Lime Cake

1 (15.25-ounce) box lemon cake mix

1 (3-ounce) box lime-flavored gelatin

1 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

3/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons lime juice

In a large bowl, stir together dry cake mix and gelatin. Add oil, eggs, orange juice, lemon juice and lime juice, blending well. Divide batter between two 8-inch-round pans* sprayed with nonstick spray with flour. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle of layers comes out clean. Cool in pans 10-15 minutes. Remove from pans onto wire racks. Spread frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 cups powdered sugar

3 tablespoons vanilla flavoring

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Blend in powdered sugar until smooth; stir in flavoring.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Servings: 12-14

*Bake cake in a pan shaped like a Christmas tree for a special holiday treat.

The Best Chocolate Cake

2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1 cup milk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons vanilla

1 cup boiling water

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla, and beat on medium speed of electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water. (Batter will be thin.) Divide batter between two greased and floured 9-inch-round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then remove layers to wire racks and cool completely. Spread Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup cocoa

3 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature

Combine butter and cocoa powder in a mixing bowl. Add powdered sugar alternately with milk to butter mixture; beat with an electric mixer until smooth, adding a small amount of additional milk if needed. Stir in vanilla. Add cream cheese and beat until all ingredients are blended well. Spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35-40 minutes

Servings: 12

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