Oreo Overload Cupcakes

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This weekend was filled to the top with Oreos.  I made these Oreo cheesecake cupcakes for the BF’s co-workers, and then I made these cupcakes for the BF.   Well, in his honor, at least.

You see, he sent me the original inspiration for this recipe.  Oreos, in my opinion, are pretty much the most perfect cookie in existence.  The quintessential cookie.  Crisp cookie, creamy filling, and once dunked in milk it will lead your tastebuds to immediate bliss.

Immediate.

The only way to make Oreos better?  Mix them with more chocolate, more cream, and even more Oreos, for maximum Oreo consumpion.  These cupcakes have an Oreo cookie base, then chopped Oreo cookies mixed into the cake batter, Oreo crumb frosting, and the tiniest cutest little Oreo right on top.

That’s right, we have four layers of Oreo here, people.  Four!

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The only problem I had was the frosting.  This is probably the only frosting I have ever made that I would recommend chilling just a bit before using (although my kitchen tends to be a bit warmer than the average kitchen anyway).  I had much better success using a spatula to spread the frosting than I did attempting to pipe it.  This may be partly because I hand-crushed the Oreos for the frosting instead of using a food processor, so they weren’t uniformly-sized and therefor didn’t come out of my piping bag evenly.  So, using a food processor to make your crumbs may help, but the easiest fix for me was just to spread the frosting with a spatula instead.

Oreo Overload Cupcakes

Yield: 24 Cupcakes

Ingredients

    For the Cake:
  • 24 Oreo cookies, whole (I used birthday cake Oreos)
  • 12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped (I used regular)
  • 1 recipe your favorite chocolate cake - I used this one (halved), but even a box mix will do
  • For the Frosting:
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temp
  • 1 (4-ounce) stick unsalted butter, softened to room temp
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 Oreo cookies, finely crushed*
  • 24 mini Oreos

Instructions

    Make your cake
  1. Preheat oven and line 24 cupcake wells with liners. Place 1 whole Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  2. Make your cake according to directions, stirring chopped Oreos in at the end. Fill each well 2/3 full with batter and bake until done. My cake recipe took 24 minutes to bake as cupcakes. Once baked, remove from cupcake tins and cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. Make your frosting
  4. Whip butter and cream cheese together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides and add vanilla extract, beating again to incorporate.
  5. Add powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating carefully after each addition to avoid exploding powdered sugar all over your kitchen. After the last bit is mixed in, scrape down the sides and beat on medium-high until light and fluffy.
  6. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the Oreo crumbs, beat again until well mixed. Allow to chill just slightly so it is easier to handle and spread on cupcakes, topping with a tiny Oreo cookie, if desired.

Notes

Using a food processor for your frosting crumbs will help to ensure you end up with a smoother, more uniform frosting. I ended up spreading my frosting with an offset spatula, glopping some on top of each cupcake and then letting it set for a bit and then came back to actually spread the frosting a later. Of course I didn't find this out until the last couple of cupcakes (that had been sitting with glopped frosting on top)...

http://wee-eats.com/2013/03/24/oreo-overload-cupcakes/

Brownie Swirl Cake

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I’m going to tell you all that I had high hopes for March.  I know that Spring is right around the corner and I was all excited to share some “healthy” (well, more healthy than usual) recipes with you so that you didn’t have to swear off the website while you readied yourself for Spring Break or whatever it is that you have looming around the corner that may require you to wear some less-skin-covering clothing items.

Much to absolutely no one’s surprise, that ended quickly.  I promise that I’ve been making juices and salads for you, but in between all of those green and healthful things there is cake.  So.  Much.  Cake.

Well, since March is my birthday month and I’m always in search of the perfect cake for my birthday anyway, I decided to embrace my cake madness and MAKE ALL THE CAKE!  Followed by eating all the cake, and posting all the cake.

all the cake

Last year I made pretty much the best cake ever – a three layer rich chocolate cake with peanut butter frosting and finished off with a dark chocolate ganache.  It was heavenly.  It’s going to be really hard to top.

But not everyone has hours to dedicate to cake-making.

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So, what if you have a birthday say, tomorrow, and you want to do something a little more special than just a box cake mix and you don’t know what to do because you have a job and a life and not enough hours in the day?

That’s where this comes in.

You get the ease of a box mix but with super fancy sprinkles and swirls that make it look like you worked really hard.  And the weirdest part?  Somehow you use brownie mix and a cake mix and it magically turns into this fun and pretty marbled sensation.

Not too shabby, huh?

So in honor of March, I’m going to say IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH AND I CAN EAT CAKE EVERY FRICKIN’ DAY IF I WANT TO AND NO ONE CAN STOP ME.  And if you feel the need to celebrate March (officially renamed “Cake Month”) with me, then more power to you!  We’ll save all that healthy stuff for next month or something (or I’m sure I can sneak a recipe or two in between the cake).

For now, I’ll take another piece of cake please.

Brownie Swirl Cake

Yield: One 9- by 13-inch cake

Ingredients

  • *1 (15.25 oz) box cake mix
  • *1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • *1 egg
  • *1/2 cup milk
  • *1 "Family Size" box Brownie mix
  • *1 recipe frosting (or just a large can of frosting, I won't tell)
  • *Sprinkles, if desired

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 350°F and spray 9x13 pan with cooking spray or line with foil/parchment.
  2. 2. In a medium mixing bowl combine cake mix, oil, egg and milk. Beat together for about 1 minute, until ingredients are incorporated.
  3. 3. Spread batter in the bottom of the prepared pan (it will be thick). I find the easiest way to do this is to wet my hands with water and use them to press and spread the mix until it covers the bottom of the pan.
  4. 4. Make your brownie batter according to the directions on the box. Pour the brownie batter on top of the cake layer.
  5. 5. Bake approx 25-30 minutes until center is set, err on the side of slightly underbaking than overbaking. What I ended up with was delicious brownie outsides (I like the dry brownie outside) and a nice, cakey inside. Surprisingly tasty.
  6. 6. Frost and top with sprinkles, if desired.
http://wee-eats.com/2013/03/03/brownie-swirl-cake/

 

[ Adapted from Cookies N Cups ]

Sunday Brunch: Meyer Lemon Cake

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Two things:

1.  This cake is filled TO THE TOP with lemon flavor.

2.  It is probably the best lemon cake known to man.

Maybe not, but it might be.  I haven’t tried every lemon cake on the planet (yet). It has  a bright citrus flavor with a light and airy crumb… I don’t know how it happens, but it does.  And it’s magical.  Even though it’s no secret that I’m a chocolate girl at heart, every once in a while I crave something a little more… refreshing.  Plus, it’s not really acceptable to eat chocolate cake for breakfast.

Lemon cake, on the other hand, is totally legit.

Replacing the lemons called for in the recipe with meyer lemons allows the ctirus flavor to really shine and keeps it light and refreshing instead of having the citrus flavor assault your tongue.

Like, I love lemons, but if you give me a lemony treat I can usually only eat so much of it before my mouth is just tired of the lemon flavor.    It’s all “HEY I’M LEMON AND I’M HERE IN YO FACE,” where meyer lemon is like the regular lemon’s sweeter, more laid back cousin who is just like “Hey, what’s up? I’m kinda lemony and kinda sweet… whatevs.”

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That being said, if regular lemons are your thing (ahem, BFF), go with that.  I will happily use regular lemons later in the year when my darling meyer lemons are nowhere to be seen.

But, if you do get happen to find some meyer lemons in your basket at the store, bring them home and make this amazing sweet, citrusy cake.  You will not be sorry.  A little guilty, maybe, but not sorry.  Not too guilty though, this cake has yogurt so it’s good for you!  (Something like that)

Meyer Lemon Cake

Makes: 1 loaf

[ Printable Recipe ]

For the Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup vanilla yogurt*
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • ½ cup vegetable oil

For the Soak:

  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup lemon juice

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease or line a 8 x 5 inch loaf pan

2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  In a large bowl whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, and lemon zest.

3. Slowly whisk dry ingredients into wet ingredients just until mixed.  Gently fold in the vegetable oil until incorporated.  Pour into prepared pan and bake about 50 minutes or until done.

4. While the loaf bakes, make your lemon soak by heating ⅓ cup lemon juice and ⅓ cup sugar in a small saucepan until the sugar is dissolved.  Set aside while loaf finishes baking.

5. When loaf is done baking, cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack placed over a baking sheet.  (To make clean-up easier, line the baking sheet with foil).  Pour the lemon soak over the loaf and allow it to soak in while the loaf continues to cool.

6. Once the loaf is completely cooled, make your lemon glaze by mixing the powdered sugar and lemon juice.  Drizzle over cake to your liking.  Honestly, I think the cake was just perfect even WITHOUT the glaze, so if you want to skip this step, be my guest!

* Alternatively, you can use 1 cup of plain yogurt + 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

[ Recipe adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home ]
m4s0n501

Celebrating the New Year and Top 12 of 2012

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It’s New Year’s Eve and while some of us will be popping bottles of expensive champagne to celebrate, the rest of us will be taking a much more affordable approach.  Prosecco is an Italian sparkling wine and, in my opinion, is less dry and more delicious than your usual champagne anyway.  Mix it with a little pureed fruit or, for the lazier of us, peach nectar from a can, and you’ve got yourself what’s called a “bellini”.

Simple, delicious, bubbly.  Just like New Year’s Eve should be.

Making bellinis is super easy.  Just one part fruit juice or nectar to two parts prosecco.

Bellinis

  • 2 oz fruit juice or nectar
  • 4 oz Prosecco (the sommelier at our local grocer recommended La Marca brand)

Pour 2 oz fruit juice into champagne flute.

Add prosecco and let the bubbles mix it for you.

Drink, enjoy, pour another, drink more.

Happy New Year!

The Top 12 Posts of 2012

pds

moc

basil

ddcc

scc

peanut butter truffle brownies

gooey butter cake

chocolate peanut butter cake

smore cook

btc brownie

ccroll

apple cider donut cake

Fall is full of apples, and apple orchards, and fresh-pressed cider, and hot apple cider donuts and fresh apple fritters.

For most of the country, at least.

The closest I can get is store-bought apple cider… and this apple cider donut cake, which is delicious, and not deep-fried, and still super full of fall flavors.

The original recipe calls for cooking sliced granny smiths in cider, and pureeing them, and adding that to the cake.  Since my stores apple selection could be described as dismal at best, I decided to replace the fresh pureed apples with applesauce, which also means you make this any time of the year, in any part of the world, because I’m pretty sure that even if you don’t have fresh apples readily available, you will still be able to find some applesauce.

I also added buttermilk to give it a nice, tender crumb, since anyone who may have tried to substitute applesauce in a recipe may know it can make things a little on the “chewy” side.

This cake is like a fresh cider donut, and since it has “donut” in the name that means you are allowed to eat it for breakfast.  And any recipe that allows me to sneak cake into my breakfast regimen is considered a win in my book, especially if you then cover that cake in a layer of sweet cinnamon-sugar.

This cake would be the perfect brunch item, providing you and your guests something to snack on while they wait for your turkey to roast, or it would make a delightful alternative as a Thanksgiving dessert for those of you who don’t care for pumpkin, I know you’re out there.

Apple Cider Donut Cake

[ Printable Recipe ]

For Cake

  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room-temperature, cubed
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • ¾ cup apple cider
  • ½ cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For Cinnamon-Sugar Coating

  • 6 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 F and prepare bundt pan with butter or spray.

Put applesauce in liquid measuring cup.  Fill with apple cider to 1 cup mark. Stir to combine. Add buttermilk and vanilla to cider mixture and stir to combine again.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating to incorporate after each addition.  Add oil and continue beating until incorporated.

Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour mixture alternating with apple mixture (flour-cider-flour-cider-flour), scraping down the bowl as needed.  Remember to scrape up from the bottom too to catch any flour pockets that may be hiding down there.

Scrape batter into greased bundt pan and bake 35-45 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto rack, coat with cinnamon sugar mixture (I sprinkled it over the top, then poured into my hand and rubbed onto the sides), leave on rack until it has cooled completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Inspired by Serious Eats ]