Cookies & Cream Chocolate Layered Cake

This right here is death by Cookies & Cream. I mentioned before that I have never really been into cake making before. I still have zero talent when it comes to decorating. Fondant is a foreign language to me, and I’ll leave that one to the professionals. But ever since I made that Mint Chocolate Chip layered cake for my daughter’s birthday, I couldn’t wait to try making another version. When a friend had a birthday I was excited for a chance to experiment some more. When I found this to-die-for cream cheese Cookies & Cream frosting, I knew that had to be it. The combination of that frosting with my all time favorite moist chocolate cake was enough to do me in! To say it was delicious was an understatement. It was a huge hit with the birthday crowd (I’ll have to make it again so I can sneak a picture after it was cut, and before it was inhaled at record speed) and I have requests to make it again. If you like anything Cookies & Cream, you may lose all self control with this. Consider yourself warned.

Cookies and Cream Layered Chocolate Cake

For the cake:

4 C flour
4 C sugar
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp baking soda
1 C cocoa
1 c butter, melted
2 C water
2 C milk
4 eggs

For the frosting:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 Tbs cream (or more)
1 package Oreo cookies

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, butter, water, milk and eggs, mix until combined (don’t over mix). Line the bottom of two 9 inch round spring form cake pans with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray. Pour batter into pans and bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing spring form. For the frosting: Cream together butter and cream cheese until smooth and whipped, about 3-4 minutes. Add vanilla, then gradually add powdered sugar while beating until blended well. Add the cream and continue to beat until desired consistency is reached. Crush Oreos, reserve about 1 cup for the top then mix the rest into the frosting. After the cake has cooled, spread the top of one cake with frosting, then set the second cake on top. Evenly frost the top and sides then garnish with reserved crushed Oreos.

Source| Cake- Julie Tovey, Frosting- Instructables

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Chocolate Crepes

I am sitting here speechless, wondering where these have been all my life. We love chocolate, and we love crepes with the best of ’em, so I don’t know why I never thought to make these before. When I came across this recipe I knew I HAD to have it in my life. And believe me, it did not disappoint! It’s every bit as delicious as you can imagine a chocolate crepe with fresh fruit and cream would be! It earned me a huge hug from my 10 year old, and he’s normally not the hugging type, so I’ll gladly take it.

Chocolate Crepes

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and beat until smooth, or blend everything together in a blender. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Lightly grease a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into the pan, lift and tilt the pan until the bottom is evenly covered with a thin coat of batter.

Chocolate Crepes
Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it begins to bubble

Chocolate Crepes
flip and cook for another 20-30 seconds. Remove to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter.

Chocolate Crepes

Serve with freshly whipped cream and sliced bananas, or other fresh fruit.

Chocolate Crepes

Chocolate Crepes

Chocolate Crepes

2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups flour
1/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa powder
1/4 cups sugar
1/4 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a large bowl and beat until smooth, or blend everything together in a blender. Cover and chill for 30 minutes. Lightly grease a skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Pour about 1/4 cup batter into the pan, lift and tilt the pan until the bottom is evenly covered with a thin coat of batter.  Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it begins to bubble, flip and cook for another 20-30 seconds. Remove to a plate and continue with the rest of the batter. Serve with freshly whipped cream and sliced bananas, or other fresh fruit.

Source | Sweet Treats & More

Chocolate Crepes

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Next to family and friends, it’s the foods that we miss the most from home. I’ve gone on my Mexican Food rants before, but now it’s time to talk about Reese’s Peanut Butter cups. Don’t get me wrong, they have got the most delicious chocolate here and so much variety, but Reese’s PB cups are home. Just the smell brings back a flood of memories of Halloween. Food is memories. When I came across this recipe here, I was immediately drawn to it because, hello, chocolate and peanut butter. Need I say more. And because it was so simple to make. But I didn’t realize that they would taste just like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups until I took that first bite. It was like the heavens opened and angels were singing. I couldn’t wait for my husband and kids to have some, their first reaction was, “oh my gosh, these taste just like Reese’s!” And of course we had to share some with our American missionaries that are serving here too. It’s a shame I didn’t discover this like two years ago, but even though we’ll be back soon enough to the land of milk and honey and endless supplies of Reese’s, I know I’ll keep coming back to this recipe because it is so simple and absolutely delicious. And there’s all that jazz about not being filled with preservatives, but you know that’s never stopped me from eating them before 🙂

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars
I originally cut them into 9 squares, but they are super rich, so I cut them into 36 bite sized pieces and they were just perfect.

Reese's Peanut Butter Bars

Filling:
½ cup butter
¾ cup creamy peanut butter
2 ¼ cups powdered sugar

Topping:
1 ¼ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter
Directions:

Melt 1/2 cup butter, then use a beater to beat together melted butter and peanut butter in a medium bowl. Gradually mix in powdered sugar and continue beating until smooth. Press into the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan. Use a double boiler to melt the chocolate chips with 2 Tbs butter. Or melt butter and set aside to cool, then microwave chocolate chips for 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until melted and smooth. Gradually stir in melted butter (be sure the butter is not too hot or it will scorch the chocolate) until evenly combined. Spread the chocolate on top. Chill for about 30 minutes, until set then cut into squares with a sharp knife. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.

Source | Blue Nose Baker

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzels

{chocolate dipped} Peanut Butter Stuffed Pretzels
These bite sized little babies are seriously so addicting. I mean, I was eating the peanut butter mixture alone by the spoonfuls. And as I was making them I was daydreaming about every possible scenario where these would be needed. Class parties, holiday parties, ward parties, after school snacks, neighbor treats…pretty much these would be appropriate for any of life’s occasions. I got the recipe from a blog I recently came across and have really enjoyed, Crunchy Salty Sweet, and if ever there was a snack that was crunchy, salty and sweet, this would be it!

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzels
In a mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and continue to mix at medium speed until smooth. Take 1 teaspoon of peanut butter mixture and roll it into a ball, then gently press the ball between two mini pretzels to flatten.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzels

Place the pretzel sandwiches onto a baking sheet and repeat until the peanut butter mixture is gone. Place the sheet into the freezer for 10-20 minutes, or until firm.

Chocolate Dipped Peanut Butter Pretzels

{chocolate dipped} Peanut Butter Stuffed Pretzels

{chocolate dipped} Peanut Butter Stuffed Pretzels

1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
70-80 mini pretzels
1/2 bag semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, beat the peanut butter and 2 tablespoons of butter until smooth and creamy. Mix in the powdered sugar, brown sugar and vanilla and continue to mix at medium speed until smooth. Take 1 teaspoon of peanut butter mixture and roll it into a ball, then gently press the ball between two mini pretzels to flatten. Place the pretzel sandwiches onto a baking sheet and repeat until the peanut butter mixture is gone. Place the sheet into the freezer for 10-20 minutes, or until firm. Add the chocolate chips to a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 second intervals, stirring between each one, until smooth and melted (or use a double boiler). Dip half of each pretzel sandwich into the chocolate then return to the baking sheet and refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened.

Source | Crunchy Salty Sweet

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
If you like moist poppy seed bread with a hint of citrus and a rich creamy lemon glaze, then this is the recipe for you! Because I know you were craving that specific thing right at this moment. And if you weren’t then now you are. This bread is so delicious, that it really should qualify as a dessert. But I called it a bread mostly to justify making it for my kids for an after school snack. And then eating it again for breakfast. But hey, if you check out the ingredients, it’s rather healthy (er, healthier) with whole wheat flour, greek yogurt, egg whites, low fat milk and no butter. So enjoy! Also perfect for a brunch or luncheon, and pretty enough to be packaged up and given as a gift to neighbors, teachers, visiting teachers, or that friend who volunteered to watch your kids when you needed a break. Those are the best kind of friends, and this is definitely a worthy thank you gift. Just saying….

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

1½ cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
½ cup Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
¼ cup lowfat milk
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
Lemon Glaze:
1½ cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
3 Tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan (8½ by 4½) with cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl mix sugar and lemon zest, then add greek yogurt, milk, olive oil, vanilla, egg, egg whites and poppy seeds. Whisk vigorously until well blended, then add to the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated (don’t over mix). Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick entered in center comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature before turning out and removing from pan. To make the lemon glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, lemon juice, and cream (can thin out with a little milk if too thick). Pour over the top of the bread, then slice and serve.

Source | The Recipe Critic

Glazed Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

{Flashback Friday} German Chocolate Brownies

A while ago I posted about the perfect brownie. I referred to it as “the black pencil skirt in your wardrobe. No matter how many trendy and colorful clothes you might have in your closet, you always go back to the pencil skirt. It’s timeless. This right here is your black pencil skirt brownie. A perfectly moist and gooey brownie with just the right amount of cracking on the top that never goes out of style”.  All that is still true, but now I’m giving you a way to dress up that brownie to give it the ultimate “wow” factor. In fashion sense, this is the hot pink Manolo Blahnik heels that will turn heads and drop jaws. (Original post here)

 We’re talking about this sinfully delicious german chocolate version.  The added gooey sweet coconut pecan frosting is just too much to handle. I really have lost all control when it comes to these. I ate the last three, then lied and said the kids ate them. It’s delicious when it’s still warm and chewy, but I think it’s even better the next day when the topping has a little more of a bite to it, just sugary and crumbly and absolute perfection.

German Chocolate Brownies

German Chocolate Brownies

 

German Chocolate Brownies

German Chocolate Brownies

1 C butter, melted
½ C cocoa powder
2 C sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 C flour
2tsp baking powder
1 C chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Melt the butter, add cocoa, sugar, vanilla, eggs and beat all together with an electric beater until smooth.Add the flour, baking powder and chocolate chips. Stir together and pour into 9×13 glass baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes until the center is just set.

Coconut Pecan frosting:
3 egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated milk
2 1/2 to 3 cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)

In a medium saucepan, stir together the egg yolks, sugar, butter, vanilla, and evaporated milk until well blended. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring regularly, until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the flaked coconut and chopped pecans, blending well. Let mixture cool to room temperature then spread evenly over the cooled brownies.

Source | Julie Tovey

German Chocolate Brownies

Mint Chocolate Chip Layered Cake {with Dark Chocolate Ganache}

I’m in denial. I have  a thirteen year old. I don’t know how that little pink bundle I brought home from the hospital just yesterday is now a teenager. But she is a pretty amazing girl and I couldn’t be more proud to be her mom. Alright, that’s enough with the gushing. Now that she is all grown up, she wanted a sophisticated cake. And when she suggested something with mint chocolate chip I immediately remembered a pin that has been sitting on my pinterest board, for say the past two years. I was excited for the excuse to make it, because this cake is straight up RIDICULOUS. In the best way possible. I used my absolute favorite chocolate cake recipe that was passed down by a friend because it is just about the easiest cake you’ll ever make and quite possibly the most delicious one you’ll ever eat.  And then Meg’s finishing touch with the rich mint chocolate chip frosting and drizzled with a silky smooth dark chocolate ganache was just about enough to put me over the edge. It was too good to be true.  My daughter absolutely loved it (and I have a long history of failed birthday cakes under my belt), and so did everyone else at the party.  I’m completely smitten with this decadent cake and I’m anxious for another excuse to make it again!

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, butter, water, milk and eggs, mix until combined (don’t over mix). Line the bottom of two 9 inch round spring form cake pans with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray. Pour batter into pans and bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing spring form.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
For the frosting: Beat butter until smooth and creamy (about 3-4 minutes) gradually mix in powdered sugar and milk and continue mixing until smooth and creamy. Mix in peppermint extract and food coloring and add more milk if necessary to desired consistency. Fold in chocolate chips. When the cake is cooled, frost the top of the first layer of cake, then top it with second layer.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
Completely frost sides and top of cake.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache
For the ganache, heat 3/4 cup heavy cream in saucepan. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Place chocolate chips in a bowl then slowly add in hot cream and extract. Stir until smooth and completely combined. Allow ganache to cool then pour over chocolate cake.

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache  Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

 

Mint Chocolate Chip Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache

For the cake*:

4 C flour
4 C sugar
4 tsp baking powder
4 tsp baking soda
1 C cocoa
1 c butter, melted
2 C water
2 C milk
4 eggs

*this makes two 9-inch round cakes, half the recipe if using a regular 9×12 cake pan

For the frosting:

1 cup butter, softened
8 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1/2 cup milk plus 2 Tbsp
1 cup mini chocolate chips (or more)
green food coloring (about 1/2 tsp)

For the Ganache:

3/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
1/4 tsp peppermint extract

For the cake: Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, butter, water, milk and eggs, mix until combined (don’t over mix). Line the bottom of two 9 inch round spring form cake pans with parchment paper, then spray with cooking spray. Pour batter into pans and bake 45 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing spring form. For the frosting: Beat butter until smooth and creamy (about 3-4 minutes) gradually mix in powdered sugar and milk and continue mixing until smooth and creamy. Mix in peppermint extract and food coloring and add more milk if necessary to desired consistency. Fold in chocolate chips. When the cake is cooled, frost the top of the first layer of cake, then top it with second layer. Completely frost sides and top of cake. For the ganache, heat 3/4 cup heavy cream in saucepan. Bring just to a boil and remove from heat. Place chocolate chips in a bowl then slowly add in hot cream and extract. Stir until smooth and completely combined. Allow ganache to cool then pour over chocolate cake.

Source | Cake: Julie Tovey, Frosting: Meg’s Everyday Indulgence