The Freshman Cook: December 2016

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One day last week, a friend of mine asked me if I would make a small little Chocolate Peppermint Cake for her to give as a gift. Of course, I said yes. She is a dear friend, and I love to bake! So I went to my pantry to gather all the things I needed, when I realized, that I was out of both flour and sugar. Darn! I can’t make the cake without those items! I needed to go shopping! So, as I began writing my grocery list, (if I’m going to the grocery, I might as well get everything I need) I looked out the window, and it was pouring down rain! I did not want to go to the grocery right then! That’s when I remembered Walmart Grocery Pickup! 
 It’s a new service in my area of town, and it’s such an awesome way to shop for groceries.  It was time for me to give it a try! I went online to shop, and I was so happy! Ordering my groceries was simple, quick and there is no extra charge for the service! The online grocery area is divided into regular grocery sections, just like in the store. In no time at all, I was totaling my order, paying for it, and selecting a pickup time. Before I left for Walmart, I downloaded the Walmart Grocery App.  On Android use the Walmart Grocery Check in App. I checked in via the app to let the store know I was on my way, and because I enabled notifications and location services, Walmart knew when I would be pulling in to the parking lot.  I found a large sign attached to the front of the store, directing me to go to the side parking lot to use the Grocery Pick up service. So easy!

 I found clearly marked parking spots to use, and  it was less than 60 seconds before Sheryl, a Walmart employee greeted me at my door with a flat bed filled with my groceries. Sheryl was polite and professional and such a pleasure to talk to. I popped open the back of my car, and she loaded everything for me, smiled and said thank you, and went to greet another customer that had just pulled up. 
What a fantastic experience!  The best part? It was pouring down rain and I never got wet!  The service was so convenient and so easy, I am already planning to use it again! Give it a try! You will love it! Keep reading down the page to get the recipe for the cake i baked for my friend! Chocolate Peppermint Cake (printable recipe at bottom of page) (makes 1-9″ 2 layer cake)


2 1/4 cups Flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Soda
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Shortening
1 3/4 cups Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Peppermint Extract 
3 Eggs
1 1/3 cups Water


3/4 cup Warm Water
5 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
2.25 pounds Confectioners Sugar

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a mixing bowl. Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl beat the shortening, sugar, and vanilla until combined.Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. 

Alternating between the flour mix and the water, start adding them to the bowl, using low speed until all of the water and flour mix is combined.

I wanted to use a festive container for the cake, because it is a gift, so I found these cute red and white striped ones at a craft store. If you use this type of paper pan, please read the package directions in regards to preparing the pan. This package said to not grease and flour the pan, which makes this an even easier recipe! It did say to bake the cake on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

This cake came out a little lopsided, but not too bad. Once it cooled, I cut a thin slice off across the top. Then I refrigerated it, so the crumbs will not be loose when I go to icing it. 

This frosting is easy to make. You can easily cut this recipe in half if you do not want any leftover. In a large mixing bowl whisk together the warm water and the meringue powder for 30 seconds.

Add the cream of tartar and whisk for another 30 seconds. Add all the sugar at one time. Mix for 10 minutes on high speed. You will have a lot of icing. For this cake, remove a 1/4 cup of icing. Tint red with your food coloring. Remove a 1/4 cup of white icing.Fill a pastry bag with white icing and another one with red icing. 

Using the pastry bags of icing to randomly cover the entire top of the cake with frosting drops. Then take a toothpick or skewer to swirl the color around the cake, creating a beautiful iced cake. Refrigerate a couple hours, until cold. I had plenty of cake batter left because this recipe makes a double layer 9″ cake, so I made a few more for friends.

Thanks so much for joining me today! I hope you will try both the Walmart Grocery Pick up and this yummy Chocolate Peppermint Cake! You will love both of them!

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