Saturday, July 23, 2011

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes with Cookies and Cream Frosting

Loved by all ages.


These cupcakes are so simple and so delicious. Just about everybody I know loves Oreos which means just about everybody would love these cupcakes. All you have to do is mix in chopped Oreos into your favorite chocolate cake recipe. I like to use one Oreo per cupcake. Most cake recipes make 24 cupcakes, so you just need to roughly chop 24 Oreos and gently stir them into your cake batter. This time around I used my favorite quick Chocolate Cake recipe which uses a mix and they turned out just as delicious as when I make this recipe from scratch. That being said, it is completely up to you which cake recipe to use. I have also made these cupcakes using my Sugar Cookie Cupcake recipe and really loved them, but the chocolate took first place.

Now the frosting is truly delicious. I may have eaten quite a bit straight from the bowl. I want to spread this frosting on everything. Seriously, I am looking for any excuse to make this frosting. I topped each cupcake with half an Oreo which is completely optional.

Quick and Easy Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 cup sour cream
1 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups chopped Oreo Cookies (approximately 24 cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

In a large bowl, mix together the cake and pudding mix, sour cream, oil, vanilla extract, eggs, and water. Gently stir in the Oreos and divide batter into 24 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.

Cookies and Cream Frosting
recipe from Baked Perfection

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
12 Oreo cookies, finely chopped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Beat butter and cream cheese with until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly add sugar, 1 cup at a time. Add salt and vanilla; mix until smooth. Place Oreo cookies in a fine strainer to remove any small particles. Gently stir Oreos into the frosting, careful to not over stir. Frost cupcakes as desired. Store any remaining frosting in the fridge.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

S'mores Cracker Candy

You can thank me later.


If you have been following this blog for a while now, you know that I LOVE all things S'mores. I have made S'mores Bars, S'mores Cookies Pops, S'mores Cookies, S'mores Scones, and S'mores Ice Cream and them some. This S'mores Cracker Candy was no exception to the deliciousness. I found them on a webtsite called Bakergirl and I am so glad I found them. These bars are addictive and are so easy to make. I should really stop writing so I can get back in the kitchen to make more.

S'mores Cracker Candy
recipe ever so slightly adapted from Bakergirl

12 sheets of graham crackers
3/4 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 cups mini marshmallows
4 Hershey bars, broken into pieces
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang over the ends; spray foil with cooking spray. Line graham crackers on the foil, breaking any in half to cover the pan completely

In a medium saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth and mixture comes just to a boil (about 4-6 minutes). Remove from heat and pour evenly over crackers. Bake 5 to 6 minutes, or until bubbly.

Remove pan from oven and immediately sprinkle mini marshmallows, chocolate bar pieces, and chocolate chips over the crackers. Return pan to oven for another 2-3 minutes, or until marshmallows begin to soften and puff up.

Cool completely before serving.



p.s. Happy Birthday Zack! I love you!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Farm Fresh Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins

I told you some things were worth re-posting.


These muffins are seriously incredible and I posted them so long ago that I thought I should share them again. Don't worry, I will post something new next week. If you have not made these yet, then you should! A good friend of mine has a local farm in Maryland, Farm at Home. We headed out there and ended up picking six pounds of blueberries. That is clearly more than Zack and I could eat before they went bad, so I went to town on the blueberries. We had these muffins, blueberry pie, and blueberry soup. That is of course in addition to the handfuls we were eating throughout the week.

Anyway..back to these muffins. They are my favorite muffins. I personally think they are better than anything you can find at a local bakery.

Bakery Style Blueberry Muffins
recipe from Baked Perfection

makes 12 muffins

Muffins:

2 eggs
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 cups blueberries, dusted in flour

Topping:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

In a medium bowl mix together flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a large bowl beat together eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar. Mix in oil, vanilla, and sour cream. Mix dry ingredients into wet mixture (be sure not to over-mix, batter will be lumpy). Gently fold in blueberries. Scoop batter into prepared muffin cups so they are 2/3 of the way full.

To make the topping: mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with fork, and sprinkle over muffins before baking.

Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pistachio Macarons with Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Ganache

These never get old.


I really never get tired of macarons. I want to try every combination possible and the possibilities are endless. The pistachio flavor was very delicate and paired really nicely with the white chocolate...that is if you are a white chocolate fan. I for one don't really enjoy white chocolate, but these were very much enjoyed by my friends.

In other news, not much to report on my front. I just have not felt like baking as much as I normally do. That does not mean I have not been baking. Just in the last week I made these: Blueberry Muffins, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Strawberry Shortcake Cookies, Blueberry Pie, and a Chocolate Raspberry Cake. Expect posts soon!

Pistachio Macarons with Vanilla Bean White Chocolate Ganache
macaron recipe adapted from Tartelette, Ganache recipe from Baked Perfection

makes approximately 20 - 25 macarons

For the shells:

90 grams egg whites (use egg whites that have been left in the fridge 3-5 days)
25 grams granulated sugar
200 grams powdered sugar
55 grams almond meal/flour
55 grams ground unsalted pistachios
green powder food coloring

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, white the egg whites to a foam. Gradually add the granulated sugar and food coloring until you obtain a glossy meringue. Do not over bear your meringue or it will be too dry. Place the powdered sugar, almond meal, and ground pistachios in a food processor and pulse until well mixed. Add them to the meringue, give it a quick fold to break some of the air and then fold the mass carefully until you obtain a batter that falls back on itself after counting to 10. Give quick strokes at first and then slow down. The batter should fall back on itself and flatten (about 50 strokes). Fill a pastry bag with a plain tip (I used an Ateco #809) with the batter and pipe small rounds (1 in in diameter, as they will spread) onto parchment paper or silicone mats lined baking sheets. Let the macarons sit out for at least 30 minutes, up to an hour to harden their shells a bit. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit (285 if your oven runs hot like mine) and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before filling.

White Chocolate Ganache
recipe by Baked Perfection

1/2 cup good quality white chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split length way and scraped

Place the white chocolate in a medium bowl. In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream until it begins to simmer. Remove the cream from the heat and pour over the white chocolate. Let stand for 3 minutes. Add the scrapings of the vanilla bean and slowly stir until all chocolate is melted and the consistency is smooth. Let cool completely until mixture is thick enough to pipe. This can be speed up in the fridge. Pipe, or spread, on one half of each macaron.