Baking with the Joneses

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 18, 2007

Peter and Angenell Jones met in college at Alabama A&M University, and got married shortly thereafter. Since that time, they became teachers at Demopolis High School, where they share a classroom as special education teacher and job coach. But the classroom is not the only place where the Jones&8217; lives intersect.

Their second love is baking, and they have turned their mutual interest into a home business, called Homemade Goodness. They have always cooked for family and friends, but decided to go larger scale in the fall of 2005.

One of the most important things to note about their baked goods is that everything is made from scratch.

The Jones&8217; are also very faithful people, and they make it a priority to pray before every baking endeavor.

The Joneses say their busiest times are during Thanksgiving, Christmas and Mother&8217;s Day. They also do wedding cakes.

Angenell said one of the most important things with wedding cakes is pleasing the bride.

Angenell remembers a recent bride who wanted all lemon flavoring for her wedding cake. Despite the input of the rest of the family, the bride got just what she wanted.

Angenell said they also want their wedding cakes to be pleasing to the eye and the palate.

The Joneses say they have many loyal customers. They even have one gentleman who drives from Atlanta to come pick up an order of their chocolate chip cookies. They say they don&8217;t ship their goodies because they want everything to be fresh. Another important part of their baking technique includes crushing each nut individually for their cookies.

One of their signature cookies are known as the Turtleback cookies, which are an incarnation of the Turtleback cookies made at Trager&8217;s bakery, which used to be a Demopolis staple.

Since both of them work at Demopolis High School, they say students frequently ask if they have any of their goodies on hand.

When it comes to who does the lion&8217;s share of the work, the Joneses agree they both contribute equally. Angenell said her main responsibility is decorating and making icing, while Peter mixes and bakes most of their orders.

When asked if they each had a favorite baked good, Angenell said they didn&8217;t really eat as many sweets as they make.

The Joneses don&8217;t just make cakes. According to Angenell, they make anything from cookies to quiche. They also have a program which allows them to print pictures on top of cakes.

In addition to filling special orders like birthdays and weddings, Peter said they also get a lot of last minute and everyday requests.

Lil Peter&8217;s Pound Cake

2 sticks of margarine

2 stick of butter

2 teaspoons Lemon flavoring

3 teaspoons vanilla flavoring

3 cups sugar

5 eggs

4 cups flour

1 cup sweet milk

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

Cream margarine, butter, flavorings and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; beat until well mixed and fluffy. Add 1 cup flour and 1/3 cup milk; mix with spatula and continue to beat until well mixed.

Mix baking powder with remaining flour; add with remaining milk to batter. Pour into greased and floured steeple pan. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Be sure cake is golden brown and is pulling away from pan before removing from oven. Cake is done when the cake tester comes out of the cake clean. Glaze or frost as desired. May also be put in to 3-9 inch layer pans.

Fresh Fruit Tart

Crust:

1/2 cup confectioners&8217; sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced

Filling:

1 8 oz. Package cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Topping:

Fresh strawberries, kiwi slices, blueberries, raspberries

Glaze:

1 6-oz. can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Whipped cream, for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For the crust: In a food processor, combine the confectioners&8217; sugar, flour and butter and process until the mixture forms a ball. With your fingers, press dough into a 12-inch tart pan with a removable bottom, taking care to push the crust into the indentations in the sides. Pat until the crust is even. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until very lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

For the filling and topping: Beat the cream cheese sugar and vanilla together until smooth. Spread over the cooled crust. Cut the strawberries into 1/4 inch slices and arrange around the edge of the crust. For the next circle, use kiwi slices. Add another circle of strawberries, filling any spaces with blueberries. Cluster the raspberries in the center of the tart.

For the glaze: Combine limeade, cornstarch, lime juice and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about two minutes. With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart. You will not use all of the glaze.

Keep the tart in the refrigerator. Remove about 15 minutes before serving. Slice into eight wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

Easy Oreo Truffles

1 package Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies, divided

1 8 oz. package cream cheese, softened

2 packages semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted

Crush nine of the cookies to fine crumbs in a food processor; reserve for later use. Cookies can also be finely crushed in a resealable plastic bag using a rolling pin. Crush remaining 36 cookies to fine crumb; place in medium bowl. Add cream cheese; mix until well blended. Roll cookie mixture into 42 balls about one inch in diameter.

Dip balls in chocolate; place on wax paper-covered baking sheet. Any leftover chocolate can be stored at room temperature for another use Sprinkle with reserved cookie crumbs.

Refrigerate until firm, about one hour. Store leftover truffles, covered, in refrigerator.

Almond Sour Cream Pound Cake

1/2 pound butter, plus more for pan

3 cups sugar

1 cup sour cream

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon orange extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Almond butter cream frosting

This is the basic recipe for a sour cream pound cake with almond butter cream frosting. This recipe would have to be modified to make into a wedding cake.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter and flour a tube pan and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, cream butter and sugar together and then add sour cream. Sift flour and baking soda together. Add to creamed mixture, alternatively with eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add extracts and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan and bake for one hour and 20 minutes. Cool cake in pan for about 10 minutes and then unmold and cool completely on a wire rack. Frost cake when completely cooled.

Almond butter cream frosting:

3/4 cup butter, softened

3 to 4 cups confectioners&8217; sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract

With an electric mixer, cream butter in a large mixing bowl. Slowly beat in the sugar until smooth and creamy and sweetened to your liking, about two minutes. Add almond extract and stir to blend. Frost cake when fully cooled. If you are not using frosting immediately, store it, covered, in the refrigerator and then bring it t room temperature just prior to using.