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franklin county times

Taste of Franklin: Try these treats on national recognition days

FRANKLIN LIVING SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER 2023

Recipes by Amy Dolan McCollum

Photos by Lara Gunderman

In this country we have days that celebrate certain foods, and in this issue of Franklin Living we are highlighting some of our favorite foods that merit these unique observances. You might want to whip them up on their respective days!

For National Coffee Day Sept. 29 and National Chocolate Day Oct. 28, try this Brownie Mocha Trifle. This layered dessert features a fudge brownie, vanilla pudding and Heath candy, as well as cold brewed mocha coffee. If you want to pass on that coffee flavor, you can still incorporate the chocolate by using one chocolate pudding mix paired with the vanilla. 

For National Angel Food Cake Day Oct. 10, Angel Berry Trifle is the perfect option. You can combine a homemade or store-bought angel food cake with the other tasty ingredients in this dish for a light, sweet dessert. 

National Banana Pudding Day was Aug. 31 this year, but it’s not too late to celebrate this quintessential Southern treat. Did you know there is a National Banana Pudding Festival? The National Banana Pudding Festival started in 2010 when volunteers in Centerville, Tenn., were looking for a way to help local nonprofits earn money. The festival has grown every year since then, and the mission to support nonprofits remains the same. Thousands of people come to RiverPark in Centerville, Tenn., the first Saturday and Sunday of October every year to enjoy the live music and the national cook-off. So don’t miss my quick and easy Banana Pudding Trifle recipe in honor of this Southern fall festival. 

My middle daughter, AnnaBeth Gunderman Pressnell, has become my favorite baker.  While staying home with my grandson, she has started her own little baking business, Baking with BB. I wanted to share two of her most popular items, and there are days dedicated for these delicious goodies too! National Red Velvet Cake Day is Sept. 18, and you can try her Artisan Italian Bread for World Bread Day Oct. 16; it is a customer favorite, and she always sells out on Bread Day. 

National Rice Krispies Treats Day is celebrated annually Sept. 18, and our recipe provides a newer spin on the old classic by incorporating chocolate Krispies alongside the original. 

Brownie Mocha Trifle
If you do not want to add the coffee, you can use one box of vanilla pudding and one box of chocolate.  You will need to use 2 cups of cold milk instead of 1 cup. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 package fudge brownie mix
  • 1 cup cold 2% milk
  • 2 packages, 3.4 ounces each, instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup cold brewed coffee mocha (chilled expresso from Starbucks is my favorite)
  • 2 cups whipped topping
  • 1 Heath candy bar (1.4 ounces), crushed

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Prepare brownie batter and bake according to package directions. Cool; cut into 1-inch pieces.
  2. In a large bowl, beat milk and pudding mixes for two minutes or until thickened. 
  3. Stir in coffee. Fold in whipped topping.
  4. In a trifle bowl or 2-quart glass bowl, layer a third of the brownie pieces, pudding mixture and crushed candy bar. 
  5. Repeat layers twice. 
  6. Chill until serving.

Angel Berry Trifle
You can make your angel food cake or buy one from the bakery. If you don’t like Cool Whip, you can whip heavy whipping cream with a bit of powdered sugar and vanilla extract to make your own. You can change the recipe up by adding fresh raspberries or blackberries.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 angel food cake
  • 12-ounce tub of Cool Whip
  • 3.4-ounce box of vanilla instant pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 cups milk 
  • 1 pound  fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 pint of fresh blueberries

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Cut angel food cake into 1-inch, bite-sized pieces.
  2. Beat pudding mix and milk with a hand mixer until smooth in a large glass bowl. Fold in whipped topping with a rubber spatula.
  3. Spoon 1/3 pudding mixture into bottom of trifle bowl.
  4. Add layer of sliced strawberries and blueberries.
  5. Add 1/2 of the angel food cake cubes.
  6. Add 1/3 pudding mixture followed by another layer of fruit.
  7. Add remaining angel food cake cubes.
  8. Spread with remaining pudding mixture.
  9. Chill 1-2 hours.
  10. Add remaining strawberries and blueberries to the top of the trifle before serving.

Banana Pudding Trifle
If you don’t have a trifle bowl, you can layer this in 9×13 pan, and it will still work great! This recipe is best if made and enjoyed on the same day.

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 5-ounce box of instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), thawed and divided
  • 8 bananas, sliced
  • 12 ounces vanilla wafers cookies

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. 
  2. Add in condensed milk, dry pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla and mix until completely combined and smooth.
  3. Fold in half of the Cool Whip.
  4. Line the bottom of a trifle bowl with vanilla wafers.
  5. Top wafers with a layer of sliced bananas.
  6. Spread half of pudding mixture on top of bananas.
  7. Repeat layers with remaining vanilla wafers, sliced bananas and pudding.
  8. Spread remaining Cool Whip on top.
  9. If desired, sprinkle crushed vanilla wafers on top.
  10. Chill for two hours before serving.

Red Velvet Cake

INGREDIENTS

  • 2/3 cup sour cream, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 whole eggs, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tb. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Boxed red velvet cake mix (Pillsbury is AnnaBeth’s favorite, but you can use Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines)
  • Pecans for garnishing
  • For the frosting: two 8-ounces packages of cream cheese, two sticks of unsalted butter, 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 4 cups of sifted powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Use the first six ingredients with the boxed cake mix to make the cake batter. Bake in two layers, as directed on box. 
  2. With a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip up the butter and cream cheese until they’re thoroughly combined and there are no little bits of cream cheese, about 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add vanilla extract and stir well to combine.   
  4. With mixer on low, gradually add powdered sugar until completely combined.
  5. Once the cake is thoroughly cooled, frost the bottom layer, then add the top layer and frost the sides and top of the cake.  
  6. Garnish with pecan pieces. 

Artisan Italian Bread
You can serve the bread with olive oil and herbs for dipping if you desire. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pack active yeast
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 12 ounches water
  • 1 Tb. Italian herbs (more or less to taste) 
  • 1 Tb. fresh Parmesan cheese (more or less to taste)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Add yeast, flour and salt to a bowl. Mix in water with wooden spoon.  
  2. Cover in a warm place and let rise for two hours.  
  3. After two hours, roll out and fold in Italian herbs and Parmesan cheese.  
  4. Bake in a Dutch oven at 450 degrees for 30 minutes.

Modern Day Rice Krispies Treats
To make thicker treats, use a 9-inch square dish. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 6 tablespoons salted butter (not margarine) 
  • 16 ounces mini marshmallows, divided
  • 3 cups Cocoa Rice Krispies cereal
  • 3 cups of regular Rice Krispies cereal

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Line a 9×13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. 
  3. Once melted, add in all but 1 cup of the marshmallows. Reduce heat to low and continue stirring until completely melted.
  4. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and regular Rice Krispies cereal and the remaining cup of marshmallows.
  5. Pour into the prepared baking dish. 
  6. Press gently with your fingertips or wax paper. 
  7. Allow to set about one hour. Cut and enjoy!

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