Cookies and Cream (Cheese) Truffles.

oreo bites3

Yeah, I know – it’s been well over a month since I’ve posted anything…and it’s not like I haven’t been baking. If anything, I’ve been baking more than I have in a long time, what with the holidays and stuff. I just haven’t been writing about it. So, today, I just felt like writing again. So here I am.

I figured I’d ease my way back into blogging with a super easy and super delicious little treat that a friend mentioned to me in passing last month, saying that I should make it as one of my Christmas cookies this year, because it makes a lot of them and it’s easy and everybody loves them. Well, she was right about all of that.

Basically, you take a whole package of Oreos (or faux-reos, which is what I used because they taste the same and in some cases, even better), crumble them all up in a food processor, mix them with one package of cream cheese (but put a small amount of the crumbles aside for sprinkling on top later), and roll them into walnut-sized balls. Refrigerate them for a few hours. When they’re good and cold, take them out, and dip them into melted chocolate, I used unsweetened bakers chocolate. Some people may tell you to use semi-sweet – that’s your call. But truth be told, unsweetened was all I had in the house, so I had to use it. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little concerned with how this was gonna play out. Anyway, as soon you dip them, sprinkle some of the crushed cookie bits on top, and let them sit for at least another hour.

oreo truffle shuffle.

oreo truffle shuffle.

So, after I let mine sit, I figured I’d better eat one. I was pleasantly surprised – the unsweetened chocolate actually complimented the sweetness of the cookie/cream cheese ball quite well. But I was still concerned. Maybe I just don’t like things as sweet as everyone else? I had so many of them though, I couldn’t just not share them. So I started slipping them into to cookie gift boxes and trays, and you know what happened next? Not only did everyone like them, but each time I gave someone a cookie assortment, they specifically asked me what that one was, and said how fabulous it was. Go figure.

I guess it’s true – what you have really is all you need – especially when it’s unsweetened chocolate.

 

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Recipe Saturday: Storm Cakes.

What do you do when the thing you’ve feared more than anything since you were about 5 years old is finally about to happen in the form of a superfreak “frankenstorm” with a path that appears to have curved intentionally to slam dead smack into your house? Bake, of course.

Enter: The Storm Cake.

I figured maybe by making a cake in honor of the storm, it would ease the blow – you know, the old “offerings to the angry gods to keep them from unleashing their wrath” kinda thing. Anyway, I began thinking, what kind of cake could live up to such a great task? What goes into a “storm cake?”  More importanly, what doesn’t? I couldn’t just frivolously use up my storm-essentials like eggs and milk. Not at a time like this. No, this cake must be egg and milk-free. But what to add? Chocolate chips seemed like a good choice. And coconut. Oh, and oats. And how ’bout some crushed oreos? So far so good. But a storm has clouds, and lots of them. Marshmallows seemed like a good cloud-representation, however, I had absolutely zero marshmallows in the house, and I was not about to go to the supermarket in the midst of the storm-preparation frenzy for mere marshmallows. So, I improvised.

peep no more.

I mixed it all together, and the batter looked like a jumbled mess – which was rather storm-like.

the wrath of cake.

I opted for cupcakes, and baked them up. When I took them out of the oven, they were bumpy, with things sticking out here and there – yet they rose to life as any normal cupcake should. These were truly Frankencupcakes.

it’s alive!

I topped them with a swirling cloud of cinnamon whipped cream, of which I originally made as topping for the Pumpkin Rosemary Pie, but still had a ton left over.

here comes the twister.

I had to eat one, to see if they lived up to the hype. And unlike I hope the real storm does, they did. The Storm Cake of the Century, I’d say. Give it a try and see for yourself. And if you don’t have all the ingredients, that’s ok – use what you’ve got. No two storms are exactly alike.

———————————————————————————–

Storm Cakes.

What you’ll need:

2 cups warm water

3/4 cup canola oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

2 teaspoons vanilla

3 1/2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup coconut

1 cup oats

4 crushed oreos

3 ghost-shaped marshmallow peeps (cut up)

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine the water, oil, vinegar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until well combined and smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips, coconut, oats, Oreos, and cut-up Peeps. Scoop into lined muffin tins, filling each cup about 2/3 full. Should make about 2 1/2 dozen cupcakes. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes. Cool, ice, and enjoy.

cupcake matchmaker.

I made birthday cupcakes this weekend, for one of my favorite 2 year olds. Not only did I get to contribute to the celebration with some confectionery love,  but I also got to double the fun, with cupcakes in not one, but 2 different flavors. And just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, it did – the flavors requested just so happened to be 2 of my personal favorites (and specialties) as well!

Flavor #1: Cookies and Cream

oreo-my-oh.

I’ve mentioned before that these are probably my most popular cupcake (available in either chocolate or vanilla). I’m certainly not complaining – they’re fun to make, and taste good too (note the “Toy Story” wrappers). I mean, how can you go wrong when oreos are involved? (Random aside: when my brother and I were kids, we went to a babysitter while our parents worked, and our mom always sent us with “snacks,” which were often oreos. Well, the first time we were eating our oreos, we did what we always did, which was to break them in half. The babysitter was none too pleased by this turn of events, and promptly removed the halved oreos from our plates and with finger shaking, informed us that we were never to break oreos in her house again. True story.)

Flavor #2: Salted Caramel.

2 times the fun.

This one has become my favorite, mainly because the frosting is wicked good  – as in, I have to make extra because I know that I will not be able to resist eating it which could potentially cause me to run out before the product is completed. Knowing yourself is half the battle.

Anyway, the order was for 2 of each type in a box, making 4 total, like so:

soul mates.

Not only do these two very different cupcakes look great together, but the flavors compliment each other like yin and yang. I’m a cupcake matchmaker, people.

The good news is that I have extras of everything. So somewhere, someone in the next day or so is going to be pleasantly surprised with some unexpected cupcakes; and those are ultimately the best kind. 🙂

 

a little bit of cheesecake.

Yesterday, i made a cheesecake. It was from a recipe on the back of the gelatin box, and it sounded pretty good, so I thought I’d give it a shot. I prepared my usual homemade graham cracker crust (I have very strong feelings about using only homemade crusts). After it cooled, I made the cheesecake, which was more like a cream cheese pie, but there’s really nothing wrong with that. I poured the cheesecake/cream cheese pie mix into the crust, only to discover that there was a ridiculous amount still left in the bowl. I did not need two cheesecakes – there were only going to be 4 guests (including myself) partaking in this dessert to begin with, and even one cheesecake was probably too much. The stuff was too good to just throw out (and I would never do that anyway – re: my philosophy on no cake left behind).

The wheels starting turning, and thoughts of Small Indulgences filled my head. And out came: Cheesecake Bites.

I took a mini cupcake pan. Filled the bottom of each cup with Oreo cookie crumbs.

that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Poured the cheesecake on top.

bite me.

Chilled and served.

this is what they serve at parties in heaven.

Ok, I haven’t actually served them yet. Like I said, there were only 4 guests at the party last night. So I’ll just bring these to work, and win some friends and influence people. Who knew it was so easy.

“c” is for cookies and cream chocolate cupcakes.

That’s actually 5 “c’s”.

I keep getting requests for these bad boys.  This is a good thing – I like making them – not only do I get to fill a bag with Oreos and smash the crap out of it with my bare hands, but the icing is, pardon my bragging, the best icing I’ve really ever had. Ever. And whenever I make something, I have to taste it – it’s part of the job. And sometimes, I have to taste it multiple times, in various conditions, just to make 100% certain it can leave the kitchen.  There’s just something about smashed Oreos mixed with buttercream that makes my taste buds tremble.  And I must not be alone, as these C&CCCCs are the most popular item in my confectionery repertoire.

that's good enough for me.

I’m making another order of them for an event this week, in fact. I can’t wait to taste – I mean make – the icing. 

Like what you see? Buy my book – the recipe’s in there. 😉

oven spring.

I’ve been doing a very suck-tastic job of blogging lately. I’ve been busy with classes, work, self-discovery…and baking, of course. In fact, the spring has been pretty busy as far as cake making goes. If there’s one thing in this life I’ve been able to rely on lately, it’s the public’s demand for all things baked. And I learned that even when my mind is elsewhere, the one thing that I can still do is bake, and bake well (I’m patting myself on the back at this very moment).

i've also decided to start taking yoga so i can pat myself on the back more easily.

 

Now that we got that out-of-the-way, it’s time to get to the good stuff – the cakes. So, here’s a sampling of what’s been “springing” out of my oven as of late (ha ha, springing – get it? look ma, I’m funny!).

1. Say Hello to Elmo:

i'm vegan!

 

2. The purrrr-fect cake:

no cats were harmed in the making of this cake.

 

3. vanilla cupcakes by day…

give me some sugar, cookie.

 

4. ….chocolate cupcakes by night.

o-o-oreo...o-o!

(on a side note, both of these cupcakes were for an event for WHYY (you know, the TV station…)

5. And last, but not least, the Grande Dame of the lot:

april showers really do bring may flowers (on so many levels).

So, I hope your mouth is now sufficiently watered, and your cake-envy has prompted you to want one of your very own (cakemuffingirl@gmail.com would be a good place to start…just saying).

Keep calm and have a cupcake.

A good friend  gave me a handmade sign for my wall that said this. I hung it in my kitchen, and I read it everyday. It’s pretty much become my mantra. What’s not to love about the cupcake? It’s cute, petite, and delicious – if I were a confection, I’d be a cupcake, no doubt.  They come in an endless variety of flavors and can be decorated with pretty much anything your heart desires. So when you’re feeling blue, don’t reach for that bag of chips, giant tub of ice cream, or anything from any fast food joint or giant calorie-ridden chain restaurant – have a cupcake instead (you can even get one that looks like a hamburger, if that’s your thing). You’ll get your sugar fix on, without regretting it later.
 

cookies and cream cupcakes - one of my specialties.