Sunday, February 27, 2011

Deep Fried Oreos

You have no idea how good these are.

Just remember moderation is key. Now don't make these when you are alone because you will easily want to eat every last bite. Last month one of our friends, JM, who also has a food blog Plated Perfection, co-hosted a Deep Frying Party with her boyfriend. If you have never heard of a Deep Frying Party, it is a party where the guests bring food and then the host fries it. Zack and I decided to bring/make fried pickles, fried mac and cheese and fried Oreos. Some other items people bought/made were doughnuts, fried mozzarella, chips, chicken tenders, and calamari. I may be forgetting a couple things, but I think you get the point. The fried Oreos ended up being much more delicious than anybody expected they were tied with the pickles as my and Zack's favorite. They could not be more simple. You just make a batter with pancake mix and then fry it. When you make these, you should really serve them warm. The Oreo becomes the same soft texture as the rest of the cake. They really just melt in your mouth! I suggest dusting them in powdered sugar and going to town.

Deep Fried Oreos
recipe adapted from

2 quarts vegetable oil for frying
1 large egg
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup pancake mix
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 (18 ounce) package Oreos
Powdered Sugar for dusting

Heat oil in deep-fryer to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Whisk together the egg, milk, and 2 teaspoons of vegetable oil, and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. Stir in the pancake mix and salt until no dry lumps remain. Dip the cookies into the batter one at a time, and carefully place into the hot frying oil. Fry only 4 or 5 at a time to avoid overcrowding the deep fryer. Cook until the cookies are golden-brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on a paper towel-lined plate before serving.
Dust with powdered sugar.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

German Chocolate Cake

Cake for friends

First I have to tell you I made this a while ago. A long while ago. In fact I made it before Thanksgiving. I really did not mean to hold out on you, I have just baked so much lately that I have a lot I need to share with you.

You know I love my friends because I made one of them this incredibly indulgent German Chocolate Cake. This was my first time making a German Chocolate Cake and will most likely be my last. It is not that the cake was too hard to make, but there were sooooo many steps. First I had to toast my coconut and my pecans (separately of course). Then I had to make the cake batter which involved separately whipping egg whites. While they were baking I had to make the filling. Then I made the chocolate ganache frosting, and lastly had to assemble it. Oh, I almost forgot that I also made a simple syrup to brush over the cake. It seriously took half the day to make this cake. Of course my friends are worth it, but next time I will likely try to talk them into an easier cake or a cupcake version. They all told me it was delicious. Zack and I delivered the cake on Tuesday before Thanksgiving and then left town so we did not get to taste it. It smelled and looked delicious.

I used a David Lebovitz recipe for the cake. Because the recipe is so long, I am not going to post it here; you can find it on David Lebovitz's blog here: German Chocolate Cake. Pretty much anything he makes is amazing so you can trust this cake is.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes

Adorable and perfect for a baby shower.

I really love lemon cupcakes. I am not sure if I always have, but lately they have been closing in on my sugar cookie cupcakes as one of my favorites. The recipes are very similar so it makes sense that I love them both. The frosting is so tasty, perfectly balanced between sweet and sour. I added yellow coloring to the frosting to play up the lemon flavor. These particular cupcakes were for a baby shower where they did not know the sex of the baby. You can see some green frosted cupcakes in the picture which are actually my sugar cookie cupcakes topped with green tinted vanilla frosting. I was not at this baby shower, as it was an order for a friend, but I was told by my friend who purchased the cupcakes that the future father thought they were better than Georgetown Cupcake. They are pretty big here in DC (and featured on TLC) so I take that as a pretty big compliment.

I hope you are not cupcaked out, because I have many more to show you!

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Buttercream
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes 24-30 cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons of lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups sour cream

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a separate mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla; mix well. Add the flour mixture to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream (batter will be thick). Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups 3/4 full with batter. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Cool completely.

Lemon Buttercream
recipe from Baked Perfection

2 cups butter, softened
zest of 1 lemon
juice from 1 lemon (2 if it is not a juicy lemon)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
generous pinch of salt
6 cups powdered sugar

Cream the butter, lemon zest, and vanilla. Slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time alternating with the lemon juice. (Feel free to add yellow food coloring like I did)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Super Tasty Maple Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

These are worth every bit of the effort and then some.

I have to thank the Pioneer Woman for sharing her incredible recipe for these cinnamon buns. I took the photos of these after they sat out all night so you can't tell how much glaze is on them as they soaked up all the tasty maple coffee glaze. Really, I don't know why I am talking because you should stop reading and go make these, or find somebody to make them for you.
Of course Ellen made them with me. Well to tell you the truth she mostly made them. She made the dough before coming over and I just helped to roll it out and cover it in butter, cinnamon, sugar, and tasty glaze. We split the dough in half to make these and added raisins and pecans to half. We also sprinkled some cinnamon on the counter a long with flour when we rolled out the dough to give them some extra cinnamon. I preferred the hald without the raisins and pecans, but Ellen preferred the half with them. We made 7, yes 7 pans of cinnamon buns so unless you have room in your freezer or are feeding an army, you may want to reduce the recipe. Now get in the kitchen and make these ASAP!

Go to Ree's site for detailed step by step images throughout the process: The Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls

Pioneer Woman's Cinnamon Rolls
recipe from the Pioneer Woman

1 quart Whole MIlk
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 cup Sugar
2 packages Active Dry Yeast
8 cups(Plus 1 extra cup, separated) All-purpose flour
1 heaping teaspoon Baking Powder
1 scant teaspoon Baking Soda
1 heaping Tablespoon Salt
Plenty of Melted Butter
2 cups Sugar
Generous Sprinkling of Cinnamon

Maple Frosting
1 bag of powdered sugar (not the bag that comes in a box)
2 teaspoons maple flavoring
1/2 cups milk
1/4 cups brewed coffee
1/4 cup melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt

Mix the milk, vegetable oil and sugar in a pan. Scald the mixture (heat until just before the boiling point). Turn off heat and leave to cool 45 minutes to 1 hour. When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in both packages of Active Dry Yeast. Let this sit for a minute. Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir mixture together. Cover and let rise for at least an hour.

After rising for at least an hour, add 1 more cup of flour, the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir mixture together. (At this point, you could cover the dough and put it in the fridge until you need it – overnight or even a day or two, if necessary. Just keep your eye on it and if it starts to overflow out of the pan, just punch it down).

When ready to prepare rolls: Sprinkle rolling surface generously with flour and add a little cinnamon. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle. Then roll the dough thin, maintaining a general rectangular shape. Drizzle 1/2 to 1 cup melted butter over the dough. Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.

Now, starting at the opposite end, begin rolling the dough in a neat line toward you. Keep the roll relatively tight as you go. Next, pinch the seam of the roll to seal it.

Spread 1 tablespoon of melted butter in a seven inch round foil cake or pie pan. Then begin cutting the rolls approximately ¾ to 1 inch thick and laying them in the buttered pans.

Repeat this process with the other half of the dough. Let the rolls rise for 20 to 30 minutes, then bake at 400 degrees until light golden brown, about 15 to 18 minutes.

For the frosting, mix together all ingredients listed and stir well until smooth. It should be thick but pourable. Taste and adjust as needed. Generously drizzle over the warm rolls. Go crazy and don’t skimp on the frosting.

You can see the raisins and pecans peeking out of these:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentine's Day Baby Cakes

Great project for kids.

My friend Ellen came over last weekend and as usual, we baked too much. She just started her own food blog Orange and Cardamom which you should definitely check out. She and I made several things including some bundt cakes which I will save for a later day. We had some extra batter and I thought of this great idea to make miniature colored cakes for Valentine's Day.

Like I said, this is really more of an idea than a recipe, but definitely worth sharing. I think we can all agree that anything mini is cute after all. For a while I have wanted to make mini-cakes as opposed to cupcakes. I happen to have a molten chocolate cake plan that we used to make these mini-cakes, but any small sized pan would work including individual ramekins. Ellen and I decorated all of these, but I think this would be a really fun project to share with kids. Just give each one a baby cake and let them go wild.

All you have to do is:

  • Make your favorite vanilla/yellow/white cake recipe (or use a boxed mix)
  • Divide the batter into separate bowls, a bowl for each color you want on your cake and mix with food coloring. We selected to leave part of the batter un-colored, part pink, and part red.
  • Your favorite frosting and sprinkles.
  • Layer the different colors of your cake batter into greased and floured pans and bake according to your recipe (you may have to reduce the time depending on what you bake these in so keep an eye on them)
  • Decorate as desired.
Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Day Candy Cane Blossoms

Same recipe different holiday.

I went to Target after Christmas (I go after every holiday) and looked at holiday sale items. You can usually find a great deal on candy and other assorted goodies after any holiday. Lucky me, I found these Candy Cane Kisses 75% off and new it was meant to be. If you remember, I made these for Christmas and not only were they adorable, they were also delicious. Of course I was going to make them again. This time I used red sugar on half the cookies and pink on half. Zack thought the red looked too much like Christmas, but I thought they worked for V-Day. Now, don't worry if you don't have these kisses. I think they may be even better with traditional Hershey's kisses. I suggest you make your own colored sugar which I mentioned in the original post. Happy Baking!

Valentine's Day Candy Cane Blossoms
recipe from Hershey's

1 bag Hershey;s Kisses brand Candy Cane Kisses
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 egg
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons milk
Red and Pink colored sugar

Preheat over to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove wrappers from candies (approx. 35)

Beat butter, sugar, vanilla, and egg in large bowl until well blended. Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; add alternatively with milk to butter mixture, beating until well blended.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Roll in red and/or pink colored sugar. Place on ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake 8 - 1o minutes or until edges are lightly browned and cookies is set. Remove from oven; cool 2 to 3 minutes. Press candy piece into center of each cookie. Remove from cookie sheet to wire rack. Cool completely. Yields approximately 35 cookies.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream

Another tasty cupcake.

I have been baking...a lot. I just can't seem to stop. Both my and Zack's co-workers get to reap the benefits. In fact, after baking 4 types of cupcakes and two types of macarons last weekend I told myself I was not going to bake this weekend. Oops, I just made some cookies that I plan to post later this week and my friend Ellen is coming over tomorrow to bake some more. I suppose there are worse hobbies :)

Anyway, I made these cupcakes quite some time ago for a co-worker's birthday and they were delicious! I am not a huge raspberry fan (due to a weird allergy to artificial raspberry flavoring), but I decided I would give these cupcakes a taste. I ended up loving them. The frosting was definitely my favorite part. The chocolate and raspberry paired so well together. In addition to birthday's I think these would be perfect for Valentine's day. It is the holiday devoted to chocolate and pink after all. They are super easy to make and your sweetie will definitely be grateful.

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
recipe adapted from

makes approximately 30 cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips (dust these in flour to keep them from sinking to the bottom of the cupcake)
1 cup fresh raspberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mixes, sour cream, oil, beaten eggs, and water. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and raspberries and pour batter into lined muffin cups.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until top is springy to the touch and a wooden toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Raspberry Buttercream
recipe from Baked Perfection

2 sticks butter, softened
6 cups powder sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup good quality raspberry jam or preserves
1 teaspsoon vanilla extract
1-3 tablespoons milk

Beat the butter and vanilla until creamy. Add the salt and jam. Slowly add the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until combined. Add milk 1 tablespoon at a time until you reach desired consistency.