Ho Ho Sheet Cake Recipe

My sweets-loving son and I are in agreement: the only Hostess product that's a significant loss is the Ho-Ho (followed by the cupcake).

If you are bemoaning the loss of that tasty treat, here's a recipe to satisfy your craving. My friend, Marie, has made it a few time and they taste just like the real thing -- and you don't even have to roll them up like a jelly roll.

Ho Ho Sheet Cake
Adapted from "Home Sweet Habitat"

For cake:
1 (2-layer) package chocolate cake mix, plus ingredients needed to make cake (or your favorite from-scratch chocolate cake recipe)

For fluffy white topping:
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For chocolate topping:
2/3 cup milk
1/2 cup butter or margarine
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons hot water

Prepare cake mix using package directions. Spoon batter into greased and floured 12x18-inch (jelly roll) baking pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in to the center comes out clean. Let stand until cool.

Make the fluffy white topping: combine the butter, shortening, sugar, flour and vanilla in a mixer bowl; mix well. Add milk gradually, beating for 10-15 minutes (yes, 10-15 minutes) or until fluffy. Spread over baked layer. Chill for 4 hours or longer.

Make the chocolate topping: combine the butter and baking cocoa in saucepan. Cook until smooth, stirring constantly. Cool slightly. Stir in vanilla, confectioner's sugar and hot water, beating until smooth. Spread over chilled layers. Chill for 30 minutes or longer. Cut into bars.

This post also appears in my blog for Flavors of Rochester.

Lettuce wraps from Thanksgiving leftovers

I have to be honest – my favorite recipe for Thanksgiving leftovers is simple. Put slices of cold sliced turkey on good bread. Add lettuce and mayo and eat.

But if you wind up with a lot of leftovers, here’s an easy, different way to use up the leftover turkey and cranberry sauce. (It is shown here with ground turkey but diced would work as well.)

Asian-Style Cranberry Turkey Lettuce Wraps
Adapted from recipes by Shannon Kohn and Priscilla Yee
1 cup whole berry cranberry sauce
3 Tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper sauce (such as Frank’s)
1 large garlic clove, minced
1/8 teaspoon dried ginger
About 3/4 pound cooked turkey, diced
Salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup packaged matchstick carrots
3 Tablespoons green onion, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped salted peanuts, optional
Chopped fresh basil, optional
8-12 large lettuce leaves (such as iceberg or Bibb)

In large, non-stick skillet, combine the first six ingredients; whisk well to combine.

Add the diced turkey. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes until sauce is slightly reduced and coats turkey. Taste the mixture; add salt, pepper, additional cayenne pepper sauce and/or additional soy sauce if needed.

Add carrots and green onion; toss to combine. Remove from heat.

To serve: Place 2-3 lettuce leaves onto each serving plate. Divide turkey mixture among the leaves. Top with peanuts and/or basil if desired. Wrap lettuce around filling to eat. Makes 4 servings.

Note: this post also appears in my Flavors of Rochester blog.