I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Grandmothers'... The True Icing On The Cake!

Everyone's a critic when it comes to butter cream frosting it's too gritty, too sweet, too hard, too soft. The fact of the matter is that it's nearly impossible to ruin a butter cream frosting. For almost every possible scenario of what could go wrong there is an easy remedy. If it is too stiff, add milk a little at a time until desired consistency is reached. If the frosting is too soft, add more confectioners' sugar about a quarter cup at a time until its right.
A basic butter cream frosting to the pastry world is not unlike a B├ęchamel sauce to the savory world; both can take on whatever flavor you choose to give it. It is the white canvas of your imagination and senses to freely and limitlessly create upon.
I grew up preferring my grandmother's butter cream frosting to any of the store or bakery versions that I had tried. As a child I did not appreciate the amount of work that my grandmother put into her baking, I merely reaped the results of her efforts with delight and an insatiable hunger for more. Now that I am older and have that modern day ego that has conditioned me to think that I am somehow more pressed for time than she was in her day was the perfect excuse as to why I found her recipe a bit over the top time wise and went for my slightly quicker version of butter cream frosting. I believe that my version is still as creamy, buttery and delicious as my grandmother's recipe and holds up well on any cake, cupcake or cookie. The only flaw with my recipe was not the ingredients that it had but more so the ingredient that it lacked...... my grandmother. We have so many ingredients at our disposal these days that afford us the ability to prepare any recipe. Only one ingredient remains that can never be bottled, boxed or purchased and that ingredient is the loving heart and hand of a grandmother happily at work in the kitchen preparing her families' favorites as only she can; nothing could ever be sweeter than that.

Grandmother's Version of Butter Cream Frosting

10 tbsp. flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup of Crisco
1 cup of butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups confectioners sugar

Put milk in saucepan over low heat. Add flour, 1 tablespoon at a time. Stir constantly until smooth. Let cool. Meanwhile, mix Crisco, butter, vanilla and sugar. When flour mixture is cooled, beat everything together until smooth.

Granddaughter's version of butter Cream Frosting - my recipe will make less frosting than my grandmother's, just double the amounts if you need more.

1 lb. powdered sugar
1 cup of butter
3 tbsp. milk
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat half the sugar with the shortening and butter. Gradually add milk. Continue beating, add vanilla and gradually add remaining sugar until the right consistency is reached.

FYI - A good butter cream frosting should taste sweet and buttery without being gritty.
Butter cream frosting can be refrigerated up to a week safely. Just remember to bring it to room temperature before using.


Little Ol' Liz said...

Beautifully written, and absolutely correct. The only thing that cannot be duplicated is the Love added to a recipe, or memory.

Julie said...

A common truth for all of us...
Thank you Little ol' Liz

Rochelle R. said...

My Mom made the cooked icing and I remember it was very good. I tried to make it once a long time ago and didn't let the flour mixture cool enough and it curdled, what a mess.
You are so right about the Grandma's love. I guess that is the secret ingredient. When I make my Grandma's recipes they never taste the same as I remember.

Julie said...

I know Rochelle, grandmother's can even make something as simple as a sandwich taste better.

Wanda said...

I am so glad I found your website. I love how you present your recipes with interesting chit chat.
Nicely done. The pictures really excite the taste buds. Thank you

Julie said...

Thank you so much Wanda