So. I’m almost a graduate (ONE MORE SEMESTER YES), I’ve actually baked a lot, and I’m finally getting back into blogging. I did not meant to take that long of a hiatus, but it happened! Life happens, guys. I got a new job (same place, new position), and I think I’ve finally figured out my future- and it feels good! (Also I went to Disney in December.)
TO THE FOOD…
I decided to come back with some cookies I’ve been thinking about since last summer when I found boxes of Oreo pudding on the shelves of my local grocer. The first ingredient in pudding mix is cornstarch, which helps make cookies soft, chewy, and thick. And when you add crush cookies and vanilla pudding? YES PLEASE.
I adapted this recipe from my family’s classic chocolate chip cookie recipe. In fact, it’s almost exactly the same with the addition of oreo pudding mix and crushed mini oreo cookies! What’s not to love?
Chocolate chip cookies with crushed oreos and oreo pudding... it's cookieception!
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 and ¼ cup all- purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup oreo pudding mix
1 cup crushed mini oreo cookies
Cream butter and sugars. Mix in eggs and vanilla extract.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, and oreo pudding mix.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix in oreo cookies.
Scoop into 1 tablespoon size balls and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until the edges are golden. To achieve the softest, gooiest cookies, you want to remove the cookies from the oven while the middles are still slightly underdone. Allow the cookies to finish baking on top of the stove before moving to a wire rack to cool.
Seven Layer bars with peanut butter, Oreo cookies, Mini Marshmallows, Chocolate Chips, and Popcorn.
So… I know you all just read that and are now thinking “Faith… what were you thinking when you developed that recipe? I’ll tell you what I was thinking. I had a bunch of stuff in my cabinets that I wanted to get rid of. I wanted 7 Layer Bars. They fit together wonderfully.
We start with a graham cracker crust, and top with melted peanut butter. You must spread the peanut butter carefully- it sinks into the crust a little and if you spread too quickly, you’ll pull the crust apart. Learn from my mistakes! On the peanut butter goes a few Oreo’s broken in half, marshmallow bits, chocolate chips, popcorn, and it’s all topped with a can of sweetened condensed milk.
If you’ve never baked with sweetened condensed milk, and you’re anything like me, you probably are a little weirded it out by SCD. Milk… in a can? I know, I know. It’s kind of weird. Just don’t think about what it is, and pour it over your bars and bask in the ooey, gooey, chewiness it adds to the bars. And don’t accidentally eat a whole spoonful of it before the bars bake… not that I did that. (Grossest thing ever!)
These bars are ooey, gooey, chewy, and moist. They’re perfect for when you have a bunch of random things sitting in your cupboards that you need to get rid of, and they’re totally customizable! Do you eat a lot of peanut butter, so you don’t want to use the last bit of your jar, but have a jar of butterscotch that no one is using? Just just butterscotch instead of the peanut butter layer! Feel free to use a different type of cookies if you’re not an Oreo fan, and and potato chips can work in place of the popcorn.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line a 7×11 pan with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray.
crush graham crackers in a plastic bag and mix in a small bowl with melted butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
Melt the peanut butter and spread on graham crackers. Top with Oreo cookies broken in half, marshmallows, chocolate chips, popcorn, and sweetened condensed milk.
Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes (Until the middle doesn’t “jiggle” when you move the pan); after 15 minutes top with foil to keep from browning. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.
I’m SO over death by chocolate. I mean, it’s good and all, but if I’m going to die a food related death, I would rather die in the ooey, gooey, creamy/crunchy salty flavors of peanut butter. Yes please, that sounds divine.
And I know there are dozens of you out there who would agree.
I was thinking the other day about the abundance of Death By Chocolate desserts, and I started wondering… why is there death by chocolate EVERYTHING, but any peanut butter dessert has to be paired with other things? Why can’t peanut butter stand alone as the shining star it is? So I set out to find a combination of recipes that would do that.
I decided on cookie sandwiches A simple enough recipe to combine multiple peanut butter goodies. For the cookies, I halved the Soft Baked Cookie recipe I posted a few weeks ago. I also added an extra egg yolk and some corn starch to make the cookies softer and chewier.
I then stuffed the cookies with a homemade peanut butter buttercream, and rolled them in peanut butter chips. Pure bliss.
In a medium bowl combine flour, baking soda, and cornstarch. set aside.
In a large bowl combine the sugars in an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Add eggs, peanut butter, and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy.
Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Do not overmix.
Chill well, at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 300˚.
Drop 2-teaspoon size rounds onto a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until cookies are slightly brown on the edges. Let sit for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
Spread frosting on cookies when completely cool, and roll in peanut butter chips.
To make frosting: Beat butter in an electric mixer on medium-high speed until creamy. Add peanut butter and mix until combined and fluffy. Slowly add in powdered sugar. Spread on cooled cookies and top with a second cookie before rolling in chips.
You know what’s great therapy? Baking. Saturday morning I baked a whirlwind of treats, including these cupcakes, which I made for a movie night at Brian’s house. The funfetti cupcakes are from a recipe I found over at Crazy for Crust, originally from How Sweet it is. The frosting is also adapted from that same recipe, but I changed it a bit to make it smooth and creamy, but also fluffy and with cotton candy flavor.
The cupcakes are moist and delicious, and taste just like they came out of a box. I definitely have a new favorite homemade cake recipe! The frosting is creamy, sweet, and tastes like cotton candy, but it isn’t overwhelming. I simply whipped the butter, slowly mixed in the the powdered sugar, and about 2 teaspoons of whole milk. Heavy cream would have made the frosting fluffier, but I didn’t have any on hand and I had no time to go buy some. The fluffier you want your frosting, the higher fat content you’ll want in your milk; hence why I chose to use whole milk, rather than 1% like I usually use. I also threw in a pinch (or two!) of salt, simply to cut the sweetness so it wasn’t too overwhelming. I find that, while I have a VERY sweet tooth, some frostings are so sugary and sweet I feel like my teeth are rotting as I eat. (Lovely description, I know.) I don’t find that very pleasant, so I add salt. After the frosting was made, I mixed in one packet of Dunken Hines frosting creations mix; naturally I used cotton candy flavor. However, you could use any flavor you want- I’m sure they’re all fantastic!
Here’s the recipe:
(yields 12 large cupcakes)
For the cupcakes
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup sprinkles, plus more for decoration if desired.
preheat muffin tin to 350. line muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
whisk together flour and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
beat the butter and sugar together in a mixer until fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add half of the dry ingredients and mix until combined; add the milk and stir, then add the rest of the ingredients. Fold in the sprinkles.
pour into the prepared pans about 2/3 full and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
To make the frosting: Beat the butter in a large bowl (i used the bowl of my stand mixer; but used my hand mixer to make the frosting) until creamy. mix in the powdered sugar; about 1/2 cup at a time. mix in the vanilla. If the frosting is too thick, mix in the milk/cream about 1 teaspoon at a time until it has reached desired consistency. Mix in the packet of flavoring with a spoon or rubber spatula, and spread onto cooled cupcakes.