Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

I generally dislike store bought cookies and ironically, Oreos are pretty far from homemade in look and in taste--but I love them. I found this recipe on a blog called Fake Ginger and had to make them because it calls for a whole lot of Oreo goodness.

For the cupcakes:

24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C butter at room temperature
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 T butter, at room temperature
1 T vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
2 T whipping cream

For garnish:
Oreo cookie halves

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Garnish with Oreo halves.

Because the frosting has cream cheese, I store them in the fridge.

Bon Appetit!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Homemade Chocolate Pudding

As a kid my Mom made homemade pudding regularly.
My favorite was butterscotch pudding.
I didn't even know about
Jell-O pudding or Snack Packs.
Pudding was something you made, not bought.
So, here for your consideration is an easy, homey confection.
It reminds me of being a kid.
Homemade Chocolate Pudding:
(Makes about 4 cups)

1/4 c. packed brown sugar
3 T. cocoa powder
3 T. corn starch
1/4 t. salt
2 3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. heavy cream
1 c. milk chocolate chips
1 t. vanilla extract

In a large saucepan combine the dry ingredients. Whisk lightly. Add the milk and cream, whisking until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips and simmer, stirring often. Once the chocolate chips are melted and pudding is simmering, lower the heat and stir constantly until thickened. Don't try to speed this process as it will result in burning the pudding. Stir until large bubbles pop at the surface about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.

Let pudding cool or speed up the process (because you can't wait to try it) by using an ice-water bath and stirring to cool. Make sure you cover with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to avoid a skin starting to form.

Refrigerate for up to 3 if it will last that long!

Bon Appetit!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Sheet Cake Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies have to be one of my favorite treats.
Chilling, rolling and cutting out Sugar Cookies...not so much.
This recipe takes all of the time consuming aspects of the
Sugar Cookie out of the equation.

Sheet Cake Sugar Cookies:
1 c. butter, softened (no substitutions!)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 t. vanilla
1 t. almond extract
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
2 3/4 c. flour
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In the bowl of a Kitchen Aid, cream together the butter, cream cheese, vanilla & almond extracts. Cream until light and fluffy. Add sugar and egg. Once they are incorporated, add baking soda, baking powder and flour. Do not overmix.
Spray a 10x15 inch sheet cake pan. Spread cookie mixture into the pan and bake for 18 minutes.
Frost with your favorite frosting! I used a simple buttercream flavored with almond extract & colored pink!
Bon Appetit!