Sunday, October 24, 2010

Homemade Oreo Cookies

So I am sure that everyone has made these once in their life, if not....YOU ARE MISSING OUT! I am not a huge Oreo fan, (that is, unless the are double stuffed and I have tons of milk...but Cody doesn't like double stuffed, so there goes that!) but these are more than just oreos! You can put as much filling in them as you want...mmm...mmm good! For the past three years I have been making them from a cake mix, and tonight I made a little switch-a-roo. Cody and I made them from scratch. Yes, no cake mix involved, DUN Dun DUN! It was amazing, which I am actually kind of bummed about because #1-it takes longer, and #2-I will now eat more of these little caloric morsels! I included both the easy version and the made from scratch version below...

Homemade Oreo Cookies

2 boxes Devils Food cake mix
1 1/2 cups shortening
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Roll into ping-pong size or smaller balls. Cook at 350 for 10 minutes.

1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream Cheese
1 stick (8 Tbs.) butter
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. Vanilla

Cream butter and cream cheese, add sugar and vanilla. Mix well. Spread frosting between two cookies. Keep covered.

Or, for the full-on, homemade goodness, use the recipe below for the cookies and the frosting recipe above.

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (1 1/4 sticks) room-temperature, unsalted butter
1 large egg
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a food processor, or bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and powder, salt, and sugar. While pulsing, or on low speed, add the butter, and then the egg. Continue processing or mixing until dough comes together in a mass.
Roll batter into ping-pong size balls and place on a  baking sheet approximately two inches apart. With moistened hands, slightly flatten the dough. Bake for 9 minutes. Allow to cool on sheets for two minutes then move to cooling racks.

Recipes From: Lyndsey Swenson and Smitten Kitchen

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Coconut Pie

This was a happy mistake! Really, I totally made this pie the WRONG way. It was supposed to be a coconut cream pie, and I was looking at the wrong recipe the entire time. Long story short, this is what I ended up with, and my friends RAVED about it. I will forever think of this pie as a Happy Mistake! (And yes, I do plan on making a cream pie in the future...)
Coconut Pie
Printable Version
Yellow Pie Crust
1 1/8 cup flour
1 Tbs. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1/2 cup butter flavored crisco
2 Tbs. cold water
Combine flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Cut in crisco
When all mixture is crumbly, add water, 1 Tbs. at a time, and toss with fork after each addition. Mix lightly. After dough is throughly mixed, press dough into a loose ball. DO NOT TIGHTLY PACK DOUGH. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
After refrigeration, roll dough out until approx. 1/4 inch thick. Place into pie pan. Leave 1-inch rim of dough along outer edges of your pan. Form a  rim on edge of pan by pinching with fingers. Prick bottom and side thoroughly with a fork. Bake at 475 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Allow to cool prior to adding filling.
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 Tbs. cornstarch
3 Tbs. flour
dash salt
1 1/2 cups HOT water
3 slightly beaten egg yolks
2 Tbs. butter
1/2 cup toasted coconut, plus 1/4 cup for topping
After making the pie crust and setting it to the side, mix the sugar, cornstarch, flour, and salt in a sauce pan and gradually add hot water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir over high heat until mixture boils. Reduce heat and continue to cook and stir for 2 minutes more. (Make sure that you do the full 2 minute cooking times, this allows the fillings to cook and hold its shaped when cooled).
After the mixture has cooked for the above 2 minutes, crack eggs yolks into a DIFFERENT BOWL. Add a small amount of hot mixture to gradually temper the eggs. (Temper=slowly warm up the eggs before adding them to the boiling mixture, if they are added while cold they will immediately cook, yuck!) Then add the eggs to the boiling mixture and bring to a boil again. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove the hot mixture from the heat and add butter.  Stir until butter is melted. Add 1/2 cup toasted coconut and stir until combined.
Pour the hot mixture into the pie shell.
Allow pie to cool, and make fresh whipped cream for the topping. Spread whipped cream on top of cooled pie, and sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup toasted coconut on top.
Serve and be amazed!
Serves 10.
Recipe adapted from Erika and Laurel

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Strawberry Supreme Cupcakes

I am taking a cake decorating class, and we learned how to FILL our cupcakes. As if cupcakes aren’t already completely and utterly addicting, add this outstanding filling and they hit the next level. I was literally spooning the filling into my mouth plain! We love cupcakes and these hit the spot, right along side my Key Lime Coconut cupcakes and Lemon Bar Cupcakes.

Strawberry Supreme Cupcakes

1 (18.5 ounce) box white cake mix (without pudding)

1 (3 ounce) package strawberry jello

1 Tablespoon self rising flour

4 teaspoons granulated sugar

3/4 cup vegetable oil

4 eggs

1/2 cup water

3/4 cup fresh strawberries, pureed

Preheat the oven to 350F.   
Mix together the cake mix, jello mix, flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add the oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the water and strawberries and mix well.  Fill lined cupcake tins 3/4 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Transfer to wire racks and let cool, still in their pans, for 10 minutes. Then remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack before frosting.

Makes 22 cupcakes

Strawberry Filling

1 pkg (16 ounces) fresh strawberries, pureed
1/3 cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon lemon juice

In large saucepan, combine strawberries, sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice; mix well. Heat and stir until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can also be made with blueberries, pineapples, or raspberries.
Makes 2 cups filling

Seven Minute Frosting
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs. strawberry jello mix
1/3 cup water

3 large egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 Tbs. pure vanilla extract
In large metal bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup water, sugar, jello mix, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and mix with handheld electric mixer at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
Transfer bowl from pan to folded kitchen towel on counter and continue beating until mixture is cool and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. Frosting can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.
To finish cupcakes, use a long, cone shaped cake decorating tip. Insert tip from the top of the cupcake, until you feel it hit the bottom of the liner. Begin a slow squeeze while retracting the tip out of the cupcake. Stop squeezing when the top is reached. Or, click here, for a step-by-step instruction if you do not have Wilton tips.
Frost cupcakes and either leave plain or roll tops in raw coconut.

Recipes highly adapted from Joy the Baker, Epicurious, and Wilton

Monday, October 11, 2010

Southwestern Quinoa Salad

We love quinoa. It now make a bi-weekly appearance in our home. It has replaced brown rice for us and is sooo much better for you. It has an amazingly mild, nutty flavor that goes great with virtually everything. My friends and I have started eating girl-ey lunches together every Monday, and a Quinoa Salad was the perfect fit!

Southwestern Quinoa Salad
Printable Version

3 cups of water
Chicken Bouillon cube (or vegetable)
1 ½ cups of quinoa, rinsed
½ tsp sea salt
Juice from 3 Limes
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
2 T red wine vinegar
2 T olive oil
4 cloves of minced garlic
1 can black beans, drained
½ cup fresh or frozen corn
½ red onion, diced
½ cup red pepper, diced
1 T minced jalapenos
¼ cup cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot combine water and chicken bouillon and bring to a boil. Add quinoa and salt and boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and rinse quinoa and place in a fine metal sieve or fine colander. Bring a fresh pot of water to boil.  Place quinoa in the sieve over it. Cover with a kitchen towel and lid. Steam for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile make the dressing by combining lime juice, cumin, chili powder, vinegar, olive oil and garlic. (You can do this in a small bowl or in a blender)
In a separate bowl, combine black beans, corn, onion, red pepper, jalapenos and cilantro.
After quinoa cools, combine with black bean mixture.
Toss with dressing and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Serves 6.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Peanut Butter Bars

Cody had to beg for this recipe. He had eaten them a few times, asked for the recipe a few times, and was always denied it. She said it was a secret recipe...but she finally gave in! They were yummy, o-so-yummy...especially since they include my 2 favorite things: peanut butter and chocolate.

Peanut Butter Bars
Printable Version

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup peanut butter
2 eggs
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 cups oats

3/4 cup peanut butter
chocolate lover’s frosting, below

Chocolate Lover’s Frosting:
3 cups sifted powdered sugar, divided  
2/3 cup baking cocoa
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
5 to 6 Tbsp. milk, divided  
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the bars, cream butter, sugars, and peanut butter. Add eggs and mix well. Mix in remaining ingredients. Spread in a thin layer in a cookie sheet.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes.
Spread a topping of peanut butter after cooking and cooling for about 5 minutes.

Make frosting: Beat 1 cup powdered sugar, cocoa, butter, 2 Tbsp. milk and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until creamy. Gradually beat in remaining powdered sugar and milk until smooth.
Spread on top after completely cooling.

Makes 20 bars.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pudding Cake

Breakfast, anyone? Totally kidding (but not really, I actually WANTED to eat this for breakfast it was so good!). I have a major weakness for peanut butter and chocolate. Especially when they are together in once decadent dessert. This hit the spot. I fed it to some friends, and was honestly being praised for this yumminess! (If they only knew it took about 5 minutes of work! Thank you crock pot!)

Hot Fudge Peanut Butter Pudding Cake
Printable Version

2 cup all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
3 cups boiling water
Vanilla ice cream for serving

Coat a large slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. (If you would like to use a small slow cooker, simply 1/2 the recipe).
In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Make a well in the center, add the milk, oil, and vanilla, and stir in widening circles, gradually incorporating the dry ingredients, until you have a smooth batter. Stir in the peanut butter. The batter will be thick. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread evenly in the crockpot.

To make the topping, in another medium-size bowl, combine the cocoa, and sugar; pour in the boiling water and whisk until smooth. Gently pour over the batter in the cooker; DO NOT STIR. Cover and cook on HIGH until puffed and the top layer is set, 2 to 2 ½ hours.
Turn off the cooker and let it stand, covered for 30 minutes before serving.
Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe from Melanie at Mel’s Kitchen Cafe
Serves 12.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Chicken Scallopine

My sister LOVES the Pioneer Woman. She tries her recipes often, and always recommends the ones that she tries. I have so many stinking recipes that I want to try that I rarely get around to trying the ones that she tells me to...rude, I know. I did give this one a shot, some points for me, right?! My poor hubby despises mushrooms, so PLEASE do not ask him about this meal. I thought it was delicious. There is a key to the deliciousness though-you must get pasta, a mushroom, chicken, parmesan, and plenty of sauce in each and every bite! That isn’t too much to ask, is it?

Chicken Scallopine

1/2 pound Linguine
2 whole Boneless, Skinless, Trimmed Chicken Breasts
Salt And Pepper, to taste
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Butter
8 ounces, White Mushrooms, Sliced Thin
1/4 cup Dry White Wine
1/4 cup Chicken Broth  
1/2 lemon
4 cups Heavy Cream
1/2 teaspoon Capers
Chopped Fresh Italian Parsley
Parmesan Cheese, For Topping

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Flatten chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Salt and pepper both sides, then dredge in flour. Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove to a plate and set aside.
Throw mushrooms into the pan and stir. Immediately pour in wine and chicken broth, and then squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon. Stir to deglaze the pan, and then cook vigorously for 3-4 minutes, until sauce reduces.
Pour in cream and stir, then add capers and parsley and stir. Turn off heat. Stir and add salt and pepper to taste. Don’t under salt!
Place pasta and chicken on a platter and top with every last drop of sauce. Generously sprinkle Parmesan Cheese over the top.

Serves 2.
Recipe from Pioneer Woman.