Friday, November 21, 2008

roasted cranberry chicken & pumpkin sandwich cake

A good friend of mine gave me a subscription to Better Homes & Gardens for my birthday and I am loving the yummy recipes I find inside each month. I had to share two of my latest favorites, their Roasted Cranberry Chicken and Pumpkin Sandwich Cake. Both are perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday. Let me know what you think!

Roasted Cranberry Chicken
8 small chicken thighs (2 to 2-1/4 lb.), skinned
3/4 c low-calorie cranberry juice
3/4 c fresh cranberries
2 sprigs fresh thyme
4 tsp packed brown sugar
Fresh thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat extra-large ovenproof skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium-high heat. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper on chicken. In hot skillet cook chicken meaty sides down for 5 minutes, turning once until well-browned on both sides. Transfer skillet to oven. Roast uncovered for 20 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink (180 degrees).

Meanwhile, in saucepan combine juice, berries, thyme sprigs, brown sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Bring to boiling. Simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes until slightly thickened. Discard thyme sprigs. Serve chicken with sauce and sprinkle with thyme leaves. Makes 4 servings.

Pumpkin Sandwich Cake
3/4 c all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
1 c granulated sugar
3/4 c canned pumpkin
1/2 c whipping cream
1/2 of an 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 Recipe Chocolate Cream Icing, below
Pumpkin pie spice

Chocolate Cream Icing
1/2 c whipping cream
1 c bittersweet or semisweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease bottoms and sides of two 8x1-1/2-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; lightly flour pans. In bowl combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

In a second bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer on medium to high speed until thick, about 5 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add flour mixture; beat just until combined. Spread cake batter in prepared pans. Bake 16 to 18 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near centers come out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 10 minutes; remove and cool thoroughly.

For filling, in a chilled mixing bowl beat whipping cream to soft peaks; set aside. In a second mixing bowl beat cream cheese until smooth; beat in powdered sugar. Fold in whipped cream. To assemble, place one cake layer on serving platter. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over bottom cake layer. Top with second cake layer. Refrigerate while preparing Chocolate Cream Icing.

To make icing bring whipping cream just to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate pieces in medium bowl (do not stir). Let stand 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Cool 15 minutes.

If Chocolate Cream icing is too thin, cover and chill 30 minutes until of spreading consistency. Too thick, add a teaspoon of milk or cream. Spread over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle lightly with pumpkin pie spice. Chill cake at least 1 hour before serving. Store cake, loosely covered, in refrigerator. Makes 8 servings.
"To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant, to enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch Heaven." ~Johannes A. Gaertner

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