Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Cadbury Mini Egg Cookies (with a Double Chocolate Sprinkle Birthday variation)

I've been making Cadbury mini egg cookies for a few years now, but have never found the "right" chocolate cookie recipe to pair them with.

This is it!

I used a Wilton whoopie pan to bake these in thick uniform circles (this method is an OCD person's dream) and just pressed Cadbury eggs on top of the dough before baking.

I also made a sprinkle version that uses chocolate chips in the dough and is super cute for a birthday or any time you can't find Cadbury eggs at the store.  

*Cough* Dumbest idea ever, corporate America. *Cough*

Yes, apparently I am a seventh grade boy and like to send bullying passive-aggressive messages via coughing.

Anyway, this is a super double chocolate cookie any time of year and with any topping.  Mix and match with M&Ms, sprinkles, anything you like.

Because I wanted the Cadbury eggs to really shine, I omitted the chocolate chips for my Cadbury cookies.  If you want a super chocolatey cookie, and don't care about being a purist, you can add about a cup of the chocolate chips into the dough before pressing into the pans and before adding Cadbury eggs.

These are best within the first few hours after baking, but are fine a few days later.  They tend to dry out a bit, and the chocolate is best melted, so feel free to pop one in the microwave for a few seconds before eating.

Or, of course, I will not judge you if you try to eat them all right out of the oven.

Happy first day of Spring!!

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Caramel Turtle Cheesecake

It's unfortunate that I forgot to take a picture of this cheesecake when I cut it.  The inside is really the impressive part.  Just imagine gooey caramel spilling out of the shortbread crust and little dots of pecans above that.  Pretend I photographed it.  Then make this. 

No  need for Cheesecake Factory really.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

S'mores Cupcakes

The bad news is I live in one of those school districts that doesn't allow "homemade treats" for class birthday and holiday parties.  Just pretend I don't complain about this every other day.  Who the frikk am I supposed to bake for if not a bunch of sugar-loving little kids?? 

The good news is I have a husband who is basically a big kid and who lets me bake him treats to take to work.

Yes, I realize how backwards this is.

I made these for him to take to work on his birthday.  They were pretty good.  Not my favorite marshmallow frosting ever but I have aversions to eggs and now that I realize marshmallow is made of eggs I may never eat it again. 

Sometimes it's blissful to be ignorant.

I chopped up some nice bittersweet chocolate for the inside, which makes a nice grown-up version of S'mores cupcakes, but if you want it to taste like an authentic campfire s'more you will probably want to use a little chunk of a Hershey's bar or kiss in each liner instead.
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Strawberry Cheesecake

Some days you just need a big fat slice of delicious strawberry cheesecake.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

St. Patty's Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Just in case you're wondering, I did not forget pi day.  Girls that like pie as much as I do don't just forget pi day.

Continuing my quest for the perfect coconut cream pie I made two different coconut cream pie recipes for pi day.  Yes, I know this is a little bit ridiculous when there are only four people in your house and two of them are under the age of 4.

Unfortunately neither of them was the pie.

I'm going out of my mind here people!!  If you have a great coconut cream pie recipe please send it my way!  I can't keep making coconut cream pies every other weekend.

Anyway, since pi day got kicked out the window this year I figured at least I'd better post a St Patty's recipe before tomorrow.  You can make these for St Patrick's Day and put a gold coin in them, or you can make them any other day of the year and put a Thin Mint or Keebler Grasshopper in them.  (Crushed Thin Mints in the cake batter certainly wouldn't hurt either.)

Have a very happy St. Patty's!

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Light and Airy Vanilla Cupcake Frosting

Just because I love you I thought you probably needed this cupcake frosting recipe. It is so delicious and so light.  (Frosting is probably actually a misnomer because it's so light.)

This is the frosting for people who hate frosting.  

It can be flavored with extracts, and holds up well if you refrigerate your cupcakes after frosting.  At room temperature it is roughly the consistency of stabilized whipped cream.

Sprinkling with Nerds is optional.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reeses-Stuffed Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallow Pops

Anybody remember back when we invented stuffed marshmallow pops?  I tried a Reese's version last week for my brother-in-law's birthday, and they were even better than the original.  Super sweet, but seriously loved these!

Visit this post for full instructions and pictures of how to make stuffed marshmallow pops.  Just replace the Oreo/S'more filling with chopped Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, and drizzle with melted peanut butter chips once chocolate has set.

The Reese's cups worked great because they "packed down" better than the cookie versions so they had lots more flavor.  Feel free to substitute with any candy or filling you prefer.  I'm thinking Milky Way needs to happen soon.
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Bubblegum Cupcakes

 Is it weird that my 4 year old told me today that he wanted to be an organ donor?

(Then he continued the conversation by saying,  "Like maybe they could use my face.")  
I'd really like to know who he knows that doesn't have a face, but that's a topic for another day.

This is the same kid who was discussing politics with his teacher last week.

I'm pretty certain we could do a little freaky-friday switcheroo and no one would notice.  Probably they'd be all, "Wow.  You know about politics and medical terms?  When did you get so smart? You're so refined now!" And I, in a 4 year old body, would just eat bubblegum cupcakes all day and throw my socks on the floor and tromp mud through the house.

Obviously we would never switch back.

The idea for these cupcakes has been in the back of my brain for awhile and I'm pretty pleased with how they turned out.  The frosting tastes just like the pink bubblegum ice cream from Baskin Robbins, which is a wonderful thing. 

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Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting

This frosting doesn't really taste like marshmallow, but because it uses marshmallow it makes a lighter fluffier version of buttercream that I much prefer.  It isn't so heavy and you won't need to feel like you need to scrape it off your cake/cupcakes because it's "too rich".  It is pretty sweet but not insanely so like some buttercreams are.

It flavors really well, so feel free to experiment.  Maybe use bubblegum, for example? :)

This is my go-to vanilla frosting recipe (although I'd almost always prefer cream cheese frosting or whipped cream frosting).

I usually use this one if I need my frosting to hold up well in the heat, or for transportation, or just over a several day period.

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Raspberry Jello Pretzel "Salad"

Whenever I'm asked to bring a salad to some sort of dinner or function, I usually bring this.  Because, even though I'm good at lots of things like spinning straw into gold, and harvesting beets, I am a dismal salad maker.  I guess my heart's just not in it.

My mom always tries to convince me that this is a dessert and not a salad or side dish, but since names, like hips, do not lie, I'm pretty certain this is a salad and therefore healthy.

Raspberry Jello Pretzel Salad

-2 cups crushed pretzel sticks  (I don't pulverize mine, just crush them a bit.)
-3/4 cup melted butter
-3 Tbsp sugar

-8 oz cream cheese
-1 cup sugar
-8 oz Cool Whip

-1 (6 oz) pkg raspberry Jello
-2 cups boiling water
-2 (10 oz) pkgs frozen raspberries, partially thawed 

Mix pretzels, butter, and 3 Tbsp sugar and press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 8 minutes.  Let cool completely.

Beat cream cheese and 1 cup of sugar together.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Spread evenly over pretzel crust.

Mix Jello and water until dissolved.  Add raspberries, then set aside for 10 minutes.  Pour gently over cream cheese layer. (It may help with splashes to spoon the raspberries into the pan instead of pouring.)

Chill until firm.  Serve cold.

Note: You may substitute frozen strawberries and strawberry Jello for the raspberry fruit/Jello in this recipe, I just prefer raspberry.
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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chewy Cinnamon Bear Popcorn

Pink snacks make me happy.  Happiness in an edible form is necessary when you become the mom of the kid who brings politics to preschool. 

Seriously.  That just happened. 

Note to self: Do not let your preschooler watch Super Tuesday ever again.

After today I need a whole crackload of this pseudo happiness.

This is great right after it's made (warm, gooey, and delicious), or several hours later (chewier and clumped together but still delicious).  I think it is best within a day or so, so eat it up quick.
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Chocolate Raspberry Frosting

I am about to tell you a secret that equivocates to treason in blogger bakingdom.

Seriously.  Don't throw rocks at me.

It is this:

I am a big believer in box cake mixes.  

(This is where I need a large black grandma to be like  "Oh No, she Dit-n't!)
 currently taking auditions for that part if you'd like to volunteer

Oh yes I did.

Let me explain. 

Except for specialties like coconut or carrot, box mixes are usually just as good as homemade and take about 1/8 the effort. In my opinion, it's really the frosting that makes that much of a taste difference.

Not to be a snob, but this is why canned frosting in my house just doesn't happen.  Homemade frosting typically takes less than 10 minutes to whip up and tastes a million times better.  It's kind of like a disguise for a cake mix.  Like the opposite of when Lindsay Lohan dresses up as a zombie for Halloween in Mean Girls.  Please tell me you remember that part.

I developed this recipe based on my favorite chocolate buttercream frosting by Williams Sonoma.  This chocolate raspberry version is really great on a plain old Duncan Hines chocolate cake.  It adds just enough raspberry and goes great with a glass of milk.

The candy oil can be found at baking stores or craft stores like Hobby Lobby.

A tip for using the LorAnn candy oils-  The bottles are hard to pour from. They will drip all over the place as you pour.  Just a drop or two makes a BIG difference in taste, so when you are pouring your oil into measuring spoons- do it over the sink and NOT over your recipe.  The last thing you want is to overwhelm your recipe with excess candy oil.  Not that I have experience in that area or anything.

(Seriously it's nasty... it will give you aversions for years)

If you're *really* smart you might want to use a dropper to measure the oil into your measuring spoon so you don't waste any. 
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Birthday Cake Oreo Fudge

In honor of Oreo's birthday today, I really felt like I needed to make this fudge. At my house we don't discriminate celebrating birthdays just because they don't happen to belong to a human being. 

My cute bloggy friend Dorothy at Crazy for Crust posted this a few weeks back and I went out that very day and bought the birthday cake Oreos.  (I'll be honest, I was just waiting for an excuse to buy some.  More than happy to oblige, I'm sure.)

I decided to use a 2-ingredient fudge as my base because... welp, I was feeling lazy, but I followed her main idea.

This fudge is crumbly and incredibly sweet but only takes about 5 minutes to whip up.  The benefit to one piece being PLENTY is that you have lots to share.

When you cut this fudge, the Oreos and sprinkles make a huge mess...  If you are worried about that you can omit the Oreos on top (add about 5 more to the batter) and just sprinkle with jimmies.

Happy Birthday Oreo!!
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