12.29.2011

Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies



If you keep up with my blog posts at all, you probably know that I'm a huge fan of Oreos. So when I saw these candy cane Oreos in Walmart, I had to have them.

I wasn't sure what I was going to use them for, but I knew something would come to me. Sure enough, I remembered a website my friend showed me months ago. It's called Serious Eats and my friend showed me this post about Cookie Stuffed Cookies.



Here's what you need:
Cookie dough and Oreos

You can make your own cookie dough if you want, but I made these for a Christmas party the week before final exams, so I didn't have time to make my own. My mom gave me some chocolate cookie dough with white chocolate chips that she bought from a friend at work and I bought some regular chocolate chip cookie dough at the store. If I did make my own, though, I would have used Nestle's recipe that's found on the back of their bags of chocolate chips. My mom and I always used that recipe when I was growing up.

They're pretty easy to make.
1. I pressed the dough out pretty flat with my hands into two circles.
2. Take one circle and fold it over one side of the Oreo.
3. Do the same to the other side.
4. Press the two circles together so there isn't really a seam.
Pretty simple. And delicious!

Keep in mind that the dough will spread out, so you don't want to use too much.



The Oreos will probably look like lumps after the chocolate chip cookie dough expands in the oven. I've seen some people use round cookie cutters to cut out the part with the Oreo, but I didn't have any so I just used a knife.

I think they looked pretty close to regular chocolate chips cookies because people seemed surprised when there was an Oreo inside. I used some regular Oreos with red cream along with the candy cane Oreos, but the candy cane ones were better by a looottt.


There are tons of possibilities when it comes to cookie-stuffed-cookies, and hopefully I'll be experimenting more with those soon!

PS!
You can now subscribe to my blog posts by email! All you have to do is type your email address in the box on the right under the "about me" section and whenever I post a blog, FeedBurner will send it out as an email to you!

12.21.2011

Reese's Cake

After a super stressful semester, I'm finally at home for Christmas break! Thank goodness. I did a lot of baking at the end of the semester and I've had my pictures edited and ready to go for a little while, I just didn't have any time to post them. After all my Christmas shopping and laying around for a couple days, I decided I should probably get on it.


My friend Patrick, who is also my roommate's boyfriend (They've been dating for over two years! So cute!), had his 21st birthday at the end of November. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted, and he said chocolate and covered in Reese's.

 


I got my inspiration from Bakerella's chocolate Reese's cake, which I immediately thought of when Patrick said "covered in Reese's". I already had a chocolate cake mix and I knew there was a chocolate peanut butter cake recipe in Betty Crocker's The Big Book of Cupcakes that I could use. I changed it up a little bit because I didn't want the cake to have too much peanut butter since there would be Reese's all over it too. The cake needed to have more chocolate to balance it out.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake:
1 box devil's food cake mix
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

The directions are pretty simple. Combine ingredients and mix for two minutes on medium speed. Bake at 350 and follow time instructions of the box mix.

For the frosting, I used the creamy chocolate frosting recipe in The Big Book of Cupcakes. It was the first time I made chocolate frosting from scratch and I think it turned out really well!

Creamy Chocolate Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 oz unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
3 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3-4 tablespoons milk
+Mini Reese's for decoration


Mix butter and chocolate, add powdered sugar one cup at a time, add vanilla, and milk one tablespoon at a time until desired thickness.



I bought two bags of Reese's, but one bag probably would have been fine. I placed the candy around the top edges and added one in the center. Then I chopped up the rest and added them two the top. After that, I decided the sides could use come Reese's and added some around the bottom.

It was pretty easy to make and definitely one of my favorites so far, mainly because Reese's are my favorite candy. It also goes wonderfully with a big glass of milk.

12.02.2011

Butterbeer Cupcakes

Last semester, Creative Campus hosted an event called Quidditch on the Quad and it was a huge success. I'm so glad they decided to have another one this semester because I watched last year, and this time I played on a team. I ran around with a broom between my legs and threw dodge balls at my opponents in 30 degree weather, and it was fantastic.

I got my picture taken with Big Al dressed like a wizard! :)

A little background information:
Each team picks a country--we chose Djibouti because, you know, it's Djibouti--and makes uniforms and flags. Preliminary rounds were held on Thursday, November 9th and we won our first game against Russia.  We played again that night, but lost to Mexico, which wasn't that bad because we still got to go watch the rest of the matches on Sunday, November 12th. There were tables and tents set up around the quad that were supposed to be the different buildings on Diagon Alley so people can walk around and make little crafts or drink Butterbeer. And it all leads up to the final match, The World Cup!

While we were planning for quidditch, I decided I should make Butterbeer cupcakes! I had never had Butterbeer before, but I finally got to taste some on the main day of Quidditch on the Quad.



I never considered myself a fan of butterscotch before I made these cupcakes. My grandparents used to have a little bowl of butterscotch candies on their living room coffee table, and I remember being addicted to them, but not really to butterscotch.

And then I made these cupcakes. I think they turned out really well for kind of winging it.

I did some research and finally settled on this recipe from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen, and then tweaked it a little bit along the way.

My recipe ended up looking something like this:

For the Cake
1 box yellow cake mix
1 cup cream soda (mine was a ginger flavor, but I don't recommend that)
3 eggs
1 stick of butter, melted
1/4 cup melted butterscotch chips

For the Frosting
1 stick of butter, softened
3 tablespoons of cream soda
3 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons butterscotch ice cream topping
butterscotch chips for decoration

The cake was pretty simple. I added the mix, cream soda, eggs, melted butter, and melted chips in that order. Mix on medium speed for two minutes. Follow temperature and time directions on the box. I have to bake around 300 and for less time because my oven is old and senile.

To make the frosting, cream butter and cream soda. Mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Then mix in butterscotch topping. You could probably cream the topping in with the butter and cream soda, I don't think the order really matters.


Being an amateur baker, I didn't know what kind of cream soda to buy. I should have gone to Walmart because they probably would have had a better selection, but I went to Target because it's closer. They didn't have much to choose from and then I noticed that one of the two shelves labeled "cream soda" was completely empty. So, apparently cream soda was really popular that weekend and everyone beat me to it. They only had flavors like tangerine and black berry and ginger. There wasn't any regular cream soda.  Ginger was the lightest color they had, so I just had to go with that one.

I was afraid the ginger flavor would cover up the butterscotch so I decided to melt some of the butterscotch chips and add it to the batter. That helped a lot and I could barely taste the ginger. There was a hint of it, but not too much.

The frosting was my favorite. I taste-tested it multiple times.


The Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 DVD came out that same weekend, so I took these cupcakes over to my friend's apartment the night before Quidditch on the Quad and we had a movie night.

The only thing I would do differently with these cupcakes would be trying a different flavor of cream soda. I don't know a lot about cream soda, and all the recipes I've seen haven't called for a specific flavor, so I'm not really sure what I would change it to. I also think it would be really fun to make a cake with this recipe, so I might have to try that sometime in the near future ;)