Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake

Happy Anniversary to ME!!!  Doesn't this cake look delish? I made this cake for my husbands and my 8th wedding Anniversary. It combines my favorite things: cake and cookies (or cookie dough for that matter). Though truth be told, the idea for this cake came from our friend Erv who jokingly requested cake and cookies for dessert. I was half thinking of making those cookie dough stuffed cupcakes I've seen everywhere, but man, sometimes making cupcakes just takes way more time. And given the fact that we are still unpacking from the move to our new house, I didn't want to spend all day making and decorating cupcakes. 
Now, I used a boxed cake mix for this and just prepared it as the box entailed. So I don't have directions for that. I used a yellow cake mix, but this recipe could go with any cake (yellow, white, chocolate) mix that you want.  Make your 2 layer cake, bake and allow to cool. While it is cooling you can start on your cookie dough filling.

Butter and sugars

Take 1 and a half sticks room temperature (softened) butter, place in a bowl and add your white sugar and brown sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer, beat until creamy. Your mixture should resemble the following picture. 
Once your mixture is well beaten, add your vanilla and flour. I used salted butter, so I did not add extra. If you are using unsalted butter, you would add a pinch. 
Dry ingredients added

 Once all those are in, mix until well combined. It will be crumbly like the below picture.
 Add milk, by the tablespoon, until creamy. I used about 3 tablespoons. Once it is nice and creamy (like cookie dough) you can add your chocolate chips!

All mixed
Take one of your cakes out of the pan and place it on a whatever you are serving it on. Then take a knife and cut the top off the cake to even it out (this was the first time I ever bothered with that). Then spoon the filling onto the cake and spread evenly. I didn't do the best job with this as I ended up with way more filling in the middle of the cake. Which was ok with me! Then place the other cake on top. Now you are ready to start the frosting! 
Seriously, I could eat that filling with a spoon

For the frosting, you want to take softened butter and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add your confectioners sugar and brown sugar.
Beat with hand mixer until creamy. Add your flour, salt and vanilla and mix until everything is combined. Add milk if need be until your reach the desired consistency of your frosting. Mine looked like below. And then I forgot to take the picture once I added the chocolate chips. OOPS! 

Once your frosting is done you are ready to frost your cake! I just used a butter knife and spread it on, making sure the separation between the cake was covered. I was a little nervous about this recipe I found because I thought that for the amount of butter (2 sticks), there wasn't much of the other ingredients. But it tasted really good. I may try a bit more powdered sugar next time. 
Finished Cake!
This cake ended up being really good. My husband (who isn't the biggest fan of cake) said it was probably his favorite tasting cake by far. SCORE! Now if you have leftovers, I would recommend refrigerating it. When you go to eat it the next day, just leave it out of the fridge for about a half an hour to take the chill off before eating. Though cold dough is yummy so.... Either way, ENJOY!!

1 box cake mix *I used yellow*
For the cookie dough filling
 1 1/2 sticks butter, softened *i used salted*
 3/4 cup brown sugar
 1/3 cup white sugar
 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Pinch of salt *do not use if using salted butter*
 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
 2-3 tablespoons milk (use as much or as little to thin out)
For the cookie dough buttercream frosting
 2 sticks butter, softened
 2 1/4 cups confectioner's sugar
 1/3 cup brown sugar
 2/3 cup flour
 pinch of salt
 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
 Milk if needed to thin frosting (add by the tablespoon)

Another cake view!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Perfect Roast Beef Rub

I know I don't post too many savory recipes. It's amusing because I actually cook probably 75-90% of our dinners. This is one recipe I found that I really enjoy. I love roast beef, prime rib and this recipe is actually a prime rib rub that I use on roast beef. It's really good, and has a nice subtle kick to it.
Ingredients for rub
Put all your spices in a small bowl.
Mix well, making sure spices are evenly combined.

Stir in olive oil. Your mixture should resemble the following picture.
Let your mixture sit for 15 minutes before putting it on your meat.

Beef, all ready for coating
Spoon your mixture over your beef, covering it completely. It should look like the below picture.
Once it is all coated, you are ready to cook. I usually bake my roasts at 325 degrees for about an hour and then check it every few minutes until it is at the temp I like. 

All done!
I like my beef medium rare and this came out pretty perfect.  And my girls had double helpings of meat so that is always a plus!!

Serving Suggestion =)

1 1/4 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons olive oil
3lb beef (I used a 5lb top round roast and doubled the rub recipe)

Place all your spices in a small bowl and combine
Add olive oil and mix well
Let mixture sit for 15 minutes
Spoon mixture over beef.
Cook beef to your preference.

Chocolate & White Chocolate Chip Cake Mix Cookies

I would say my main obsessions lately have been anything made with boxed cake mix, and anything with chocolate chips and M&M's.  This recipe has the former.  I made these at my Mom's house so where the original recipe called for chocolate chips, I halved the batch and did some with chocolate and some with white chocolate.
Using softened butter, add your sugars and beat until well combined. It should resemble the following picture.
Add your eggs and vanilla and blend on high for one minute. Your batter should resemble the following picture. 
Once it's all well mixed, you are ready to add your dry ingredients. 
Dry Ingredients added
Add the flour, cake mix, and baking soda to your wet mixture. Blend on low until combined.
All mixed!
Next, you are ready to add your sprinkles. I used rainbow sprinkles and nonpareils.  Add to your batter.
So colorful!
Sprinkles added
All mixed in!
Now, if you aren't separating your batter like I did, you can skip these next steps. You can just add your chocolate chips with the sprinkles and mix.  I separated my sprinkled dough, and then added white chocolate chips to one bowl and mini chocolate chips to the other.

Kae adding the chocolate chips
Ariana adding the white chocolate chips
Mixed Chocolate chip dough
Mixed white chocolate chip dough

Once your dough is all mixed, cover and refrigerate for a couple hours.  You don't want your dough too sticky. Once it has had its cooling session, you are ready to form your dough for baking.  Take about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough and form them so the are taller than they are wide (like the below picture)

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

All done!

White chocolate cookie closeup!

I thought these cookies came out pretty well. They were nice and soft with a nice softness in the middle. I will say, I thought the white chocolate ones were a bit too sweet for my liking. I think you need the semi-sweet chocolate to cut down on the sweetness from the cake mix and sprinkles.

Recipe (Adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction)
3/4 cup softened butter
1/2 sugar
1/2 brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup yellow cake mix
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sprinkles ( I used 1/4 Rainbow sprinkles and 1/4 rainbow nonpareils)
1 cup chocolate chips (I used 1/2 cup white chocolate and 1/2 mini chocolate chips) 

Cream together butter and sugars using electric mixer on medium speed until smooth.
Add egg and vanilla and mix on high, about 1 minute.
Add flour, cake mix and baking soda and mix on low until just combined.
Mix in Chocolate chips and sprinkles.
Cover and refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours.
After refrigerating, preheat oven to 350 degrees
Scoop dough out by 1 1/2 tablespoons
Form balls taller than they are wide
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until edges are slightly brown
Allow cookies to cool for a few minutes before moving to cooling racks.

Chocolate Chip cookie closeup!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Mint Cookies & Cream Bars

Happy St. Patrick's Day!! I made these delish bars for a St. Paddy's Day brunch we went to yesterday. They were so good! Kristen over at Confessions Of a Cookbook Queen posted them a few days ago, and I knew they would be perfect for the brunch. With a tweak to her recipe of course.

Ingredients for bars

Have I mentioned how much I love cake bars? They are so easy to make and can be easily adapted to make all different kinds of bars.  You combine your cake mix, oil, water, 1 egg, 1 egg yolk, food coloring and peppermint extract in a bowl.  I started with two teaspoons of peppermint extract, tasted, and then added a third. I like a noticeable mint flavor and I didn't want it getting lost. Once it is mixed, it should look like the below picture. Nice and thick.

I used Wiltons Leaf Green food coloring. I was worried that it would be too light, but just a little bit went a long way. I thought it was a perfect green. Next, I put about 10 Oreos in a bag and chopped/crushed them with the end of a knife. You should crush them so they are still big chunks like the below picture.

Add them to your batter and fold in gently. You don't want to completely crush the cookies. 

Add to your prepared pan and spread to the edges. I used a 9x13 pan covered in tin foil. I was totally out of Pam, but the bars didn't stick as bad as I had expected. I would totally use Pam or some other cooking spray whether you use tin foil or not.

Ready for baking

Bake in a 350 degree oven. I baked mine for about 15-17min. If you use a smaller pan, you need to adjust your cooking time by a few minutes.

All done!
After your cake has cooled about 10 minutes, you can start preparing your frosting. 

Ingredients for Frosting

Because the frosting cooked really quickly, I didn't get to take pictures of the prep. Sorry about that. It is really easy though. Crush an additional 4-5 cookies. Melt 4 TBS of butter on medium heat. Add your milk and cocoa powder and whisk until it just begins to boil. The mixture will thicken up. Remove from heat and whisk in your powdered sugar. Continue to whisk until mixture is smooth. Pour over bars and spread. Immediately sprinkle crushed Oreo's over frosting and lightly press in. The frosting starts to set as soon as it starts to cool so you have to do that quickly. I actually had my sister spread the frosting while I poured it on.

Looks so good! 
Closeup of the Oreo covered frosting

These bars were so good. They had a great mint flavor that worked really well with the dark chocolate frosting and the Oreo's. I loved the texture of the bars too. They were almost 'fudgy' like without being overly gooey. And they were a big hit at the brunch. 

Recipe (adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen)
 For the bars:
 1 box white cake mix
 1/3 cup oil
 1/4 cup water
 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
 3 teaspoons peppermint extract (you can use less)
 10 Oreo's, chopped
 Green Food coloring
For the frosting:
 4 TBS butter
 2 heaping TBS Dark Chocolate cocoa powder
 3 TBS milk
 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
 4-5 Oreo's, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line a 9x13 pan with foil and/or spray with cooking spray
Combine cake mix, water, oil, egg, egg yolk, extract and food coloring. Beat with electric mixer until well combined.
Fold in chopped cookies gently.
Spread batter in prepared pan
Bake for about 15-17 minutes until edges are lightly browned.
Let bars cool about 10 minutes and prepare frosting.
In a small saucepan, melt butter.
Add milk and cocoa powder and whisk until mixture just starts to boil. 
Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar. Whisk until smooth.
Pour frosting over bars and spread to edges. Immediately press remaining chopped cookies.
Allow bars to cool completely before cutting. 
Mint Cookies & Cream Bars