Cornbread Layer Cake with Pimento Cheese Filling

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Tender Cornbread + Pimento Cheese Spread = the perfect accompaniment to a big pot of chili or soup!!

I bake a lot of cornbread in the fall and winter, because it goes perfectly with the chili and soup I love to make!! I often take a weeknight shortcut and use that little blue box mix. I usually bake up a pan of cornbread or cornbread muffins right in my favorite countertop oven.

 1/4 Sheet Pan and Black KitchenAid Countertop Oven Roasting Pan

1/4 Sheet Pan and Black KitchenAid Countertop Oven Roasting Pan

We’re offering at QVC this Sunday 9/23/18 a Today’s Special Value: KitchenAid Countertop Convection Oven with two roasting pans. This is the oven I use everyday at home!

I’ve been having so much fun trying out all the items I can bake up using the two roasting pans. Turns out each pan fits perfectly two of those little blue cornbread mixes! …and if you bake up two layers of those (at the same time, because the oven has two baking racks) you can slather a homemade pimento cheese spread in between the cornbread layers and make this “Cornbread Layer Cake with Pimento Cheese Filling!” This will be a big hit at your next fall gathering!!

If you don’t have those pans or that oven - No Worries! A quarter sheet pan is similar in size and you can bake these up in your traditional oven, I would just watch the bake time as they may finish a little sooner as the cornbread will be spread out a little more, bake faster and come out a bit thinner. KitchenAid Countertop Oven (Black) Pan: 9 ⅛” x 11”, Quarter Sheet Pan: 9” x 13” (brands can vary)

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Prepare Your Pans for Baking:

Cornbread Layer Cake with Pimento Cheese Filling Recipe:

Tina Verrelli - epicuricloud.com

Makes 16 generous pieces

INGREDIENTS:

Cornbread:

non-stick baking spray

4 boxes Jiffy Cornbread/Muffin Mix

4 eggs

1 1/3 cups milk

Pimento Cheese Filling:

8-ounces Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4-ounce jar chopped pimentos (drained)

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon - 1 tablespoon hot sauce (I used 1 teaspoon Frank’s Red Hot)

2 cups finely shredded sharp cheddar cheese


DIRECTIONS:

Cornbread:

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees if using dark pans. 400 F if using lighter pans.

In my KitchenAid Countertop Convection Oven - I use rack positions 1 and 5.

For this recipe I used the two black enamel coated steel pans that came with my KitchenAid Countertop Convection Oven. They measure: 9 ⅛” x 11”. You could alternatively use a quarter sheet pan (9” x 13” approx.) in your traditional oven, but you will need to monitor the bake time as the pan is a little larger and they will be more spread out and thinner.

Spray pan with non-stick baking spray, line bottom of pan with parchment paper, spray again with non-stick baking spray.

Mix your cornbread mix, pour into pans (I actually mix 2 boxes in one bowl and two boxes in another bowl, so I just have to pour the contents of 1 bowl into 1 pan and I know they’ll be even.)

Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating after 5 minutes.

Allow to cool about 10 minutes before turning out of pans.

Pimento Cheese Filling:

Use hand mixer or stand mixer to beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add mayonnaise and all seasonings and mix until combined. Mix in cheese.

Assemble:

Place one layer of cornbread on your platter. Spread the pimento cheese filling over that layer, top with other cornbread layer.

If making ahead (few hours - 1 day) refrigerate covered.

Printable Recipe: Cornbread Layer Cake with Pimento Cheese Filling





Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese (No Boil Pasta)

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I was completely skeptical of slow cooker macaroni and cheese...

We love macaroni and cheese at our house - I usually make my own oven-baked version with a buttery panko bread crumb topping... But I was curious about these no-boil pasta, slow-cooker versions, I decided to give it a go with some of the ingredients I typically add to my traditional macaroni and cheese recipe.  

I was pleasantly surprised at how this turned out..and it was so stinking EASY!  You literally put the ingredients in the slow cooker and stir them.  2 1/2 hours later...it was creamy and cheesy and not mushy at all!  I could see using this recipe when you want a no-fuss, side dish everyone will love and you don't need to boil noodles or heat up the oven.  It's not a super-long cooking slow cooker recipe, so I would say this is not the kind of dish you put on in the morning and come home to at the end of the day.  It would be perfect, however, for those busy entertaining days when the oven is occupied with something large or when you just want a really easy homemade dish that everyone will love!

Note: I used the KitchenAid 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker with the Lid Seal installed.  I find this slow cooker holds a very consistent temperature.  Various makes and models of slow cookers will vary in their temperatures and cook times.

Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese Recipe (No Boil Pasta)

Tina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com

Ingredients:

Non-stick cooking spray

1 pound elbow macaroni (I used Barilla brand)

3 ½ cups whole milk, divided (reserve 1-cup milk for later in cooking time)

1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk

4 tablespoons butter

12-ounces mild cheddar cheese, shredded (not pre-shredded)

4-ounces American cheese, cut into 1” pieces

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt  +more to taste if needed toward end of cook time

¾ teaspoon dry mustard powder

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

Spray 6-quart slow cooker cooking insert with non-stick cooking spray.  Add all ingredients (reserve 1-cup milk for later) and stir to combine.  Cook on low (covered) for about 2½ hours or until the pasta is tender and the sauce is thickened.  I stirred the mixture about once every 45-minutes – not too much or you’ll lose heat from lifting the lid.  I like my macaroni and cheese to be a little on the “saucy” side, so I stirred in the extra cup of milk at toward the end (20 minutes to go) of the cooking time to loosen up the sauce.   

Note:

I used the KitchenAid 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker with the lid seal.   Various makes and models of slow cookers will vary in their cooking times and temperatures.

Printable Recipe: Slow Cooker Macaroni & Cheese (No Boil Pasta)

Cheeseburger Macaroni & Cheese with Burger Topping Relish Recipes

Everything you love in a cheeseburger!

Everything you love in a cheeseburger is baked together in our favorite macaroni and cheese...but don't forget the toppings!  Pickles, tomato, lettuce and red onion are diced and combined to make a fresh and crunchy relish to top or serve alongside the rich and creamy macaroni.  I love the contrasting textures and flavors - just like on a great burger!  We served this at our Memorial Day BBQ this year and it was a big hit with our crowd!

Cheeseburger Macaroni and Cheese with Burger Topping Relish
Tina Verrelli – epicuricloud.com

10-12 Servings

Ingredients:

Macaroni:
1 tablespoon salt – for water
1 box/pound elbow macaroni

Beef Mixture:
1 pound lean ground beef
¾ cup finely chopped onion
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup ketchup

Cheese Sauce:
½ stick of butter
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons flour
¼ teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
4½ cups whole milk
½ teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
¾ pound sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
 6-ounces American cheese, cut into strips

Bread Crumb Topping:
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper

Burger Topping Relish:
2 large dill pickles, diced
2 plum tomatoes, diced
2 large leaves romaine lettuce, cut into small pieces
¼ cup finely minced red onion

Directions:

This makes a half-sized foil steam table pan (12 ¾ x 10 3/8 x 2 3/5).  Place your foil pan on a baking sheet for stability.

Butter foil pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Set a large pot (6-quart or larger) of salted water (1 tablespoons salt) to boil.

Beef Mixture:  Brown ground beef, drain off fat.  Add onions, salt and pepper and cook, stirring until onions are softened, about 3 minutes.  Stir in ketchup.  

Cheese Sauce: In 4-quart saucepan make roux: melt butter and stir in flour, white pepper, mustard and salt until smooth.  Cook for a few minutes stirring constantly.
Whisk ½ cup of the milk into the roux until they combine smoothly.  Add a little more milk and whisk until smooth.  Whisk in the rest of the milk.  Heat and stir frequently over medium heat.  Make sure to scrape the bottom and edges of pan while stirring.  When slightly thickened, before it simmers, remove from heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce and cheeses.  Stir until melted and smooth.  Stir in ground beef mixture.  Taste and add more seasonings if desired.  

Pasta: Cook the pasta, about a minute or two less than the package directions. Drain and pour into baking pan.  Pour in cheese sauce and stir to combine.  Cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes.  

Assemble & Bake: Stir together melted butter, breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Remove foil from pan and sprinkle on breadcrumbs.  Bake uncovered for another 20-30 minutes or until hot all the way through.  Should be at least 150-160 degrees in the center of the pan on an instant read thermometer.  If breadcrumbs are not browned to your liking, you can broil until browned. 

Topping: Stir together pickles and vegetables.  Serve with Cheeseburger Macaroni & Cheese.   

Printable Recipe Link: Cheeseburger Macaroni & Cheese w/Burger Topping Relish