March 13, 2019

Mint Oreo Brownies with Oreo Creme Buttercream

What the heck is going on with Utah weather?  Yesterday was warm and sunny and I was even outside in a t-shirt and was fine.  Today, I wake up to a lot of snow and it's still snowing.  You never know what you are going to get when you wake up this time of year.  If you want consistency, then make these brownies ASAP!  Since they start out with a brownie mix, it's a no-fail recipe, unless you over bake them of course, so don't do that :)

These might possibly be the most DIVINE brownies ever.  The flavor is outstanding and the texture is soft and chewy and fudgy and exactly what I like in a brownie.  The buttercream uses the filling of Mint Oreos and has a nice subtle mint flavor.  I like to add a tiny bit of almond extract to enhance the flavor just a little bit. The flavor combo is perfect.  You can always leave that out or add a tiny bit of mint extract instead.  

Seriously . . . these will disappear in no time.  
You might also like:

Mint Oreo Brownies with Oreo Creme Buttercream
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

1 Fudge Brownie Mix (I prefer Betty Crocker)
Ingredients called for on the brownie mix
8 Mint Oreos, roughly chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Mint Oreo Creme Buttercream
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
8 mint creme fillings from Oreos, save the cookies for garnish
3 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbl. milk, if needed
a few drops green food coloring, opt.
1/8 tsp. almond extract, opt.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare brownie mix according to package directions with the addition of vanilla extract.  Gently fold in chopped Oreos.  Pour into a greased 9x13-inch baking pan.  Spread out evenly.  Bake according to package directions.  I bake mine for 23 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Top with buttercream and crushed cookies.  

For the buttercream:  Add butter, salt and the creme filling from 8 Oreos (reserve cookies for garnish) to a medium mixing bowl.  Mix until smooth.  Mix in one cup of powdered sugar at a time, adding milk as you go, if needed until desired consistency is reached.  Last, mix in a few drops of green food coloring and almond extract and mix until smooth and creamy.  Spread over cooled brownies.  Crush reserved Oreo cookies and sprinkle over top of brownies, for garnish.  Cut and serve.  

March 3, 2019

Thin Mint {Grasshopper} Fudge Ribbon Cake

It's Girl Scout Cookie time.  I give in every time I see those delicious little cookies.  My absolute favorite are the Savannah Smiles (lemon ones).  I've already bought 5 boxes of cookies this year and two of those were Thin Mints.  The funny thing is, I have zero intentions of eating those Thin Mints plain.  I plan to add them to delicious desserts . . . like this amazing bundt cake.
This cake is incredible.  I used this Fudge Ribbon Cake recipe, but added crushed up Thin Mints and a little green food coloring to the cheesecake layer.  The mint flavor from the cookies is subtle, so if you want a stronger mint flavor, then add a little mint extract.

The cake is dense and chocolatey, the cheesecake layer is smooth and creamy and the glaze on top is rich and adds the perfect finishing touch to this divine cake.

It's the perfect cake for Girl Scout Cookie season and St. Patrick's Day! 
You might also like:

Thin Mint Fudge Ribbon Cake
(Printable Recipe)

Cake Layer:
1 (15.25 oz.) Devil's Food Cake Mix (I use Betty Crocker)
1 1/4 c. water
1/2 c. vegetable or canola oil
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake Layer
1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
2 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
1 Tbl. cornstarch
1 large egg
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 Thin Mint cookies, crushed (or Grasshopper cookies)
5-6 drops green food coloring

Chocolate Glaze
2 Tbl. unsalted butter
2 Tbl. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 c. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbl. milk
3 Thin Mint cookies, crushed, for garnish (or Grasshopper cookies)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a large 12-cup bundt pan; set aside.  For the cake layer:  Combine dry cake mix, water, oil, eggs and vanilla and whisk until smooth and well combined.  Pour into prepared bundt pan and spread batter out evenly.  

For the cheesecake layer:  Combine cream cheese, butter and cornstarch and beat until creamy.  Add the egg, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla and green food coloring and mix until smooth and creamy.  Fold in the crushed cookies.  Spoon cream cheese mixture around the center of bundt pan, making sure to leave a border of chocolate cake mix around the edges.  Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then invert to a cooling rack and cool completely.  When cool, prepare the glaze.

For the chocolate glaze:  Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in the cocoa powder.  Remove from heat and stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla.  Add just enough milk to reach desired glaze consistency.  Pour over top of cake.  Immediately sprinkle with crushed cookies.  Allow glaze to set, then slice and serve.  Store leftover cake in the refrigerator.     

Jenn's Notes: If you want a stronger mint flavor, add 1/2 tsp. mint extract to the cheesecake batter.    

Base Recipe adapted from: Vanessa C.

February 20, 2019

Easy Lo Mein

These noodles are WAY WAY good and SO DANG EASY!

The flavor is perfect.  The soy sauce is not overpowering at all like it sometimes is.  The amount of sesame oil called for is just right.  I can taste it, but it isn't overpowering either.  I recently looked up a recipe that called for 3 Tablespoons of sesame oil.  Holy cow.  I have used that stuff enough to know that is way too much and would have ruined the dish.

Three cups of slaw seems like a lot, but it somehow disappears when you add it and you could even even add more.

I use angel hair pasta noodles, because I always have it on hand.  This has become a go-to recipe and I make it all the time.

I swear, this one is a keeper, you gotta try it!

You might also like:
Easy Ground Beef Lo Mein
Copycat Panda Express Chow Mein
Sesame Chicken
Teriyaki Chicken and Noodle Bowl

Easy Lo Mein
4 Tbl. soy sauce
2 Tbl. rice wine vinegar
4 Tbl. brown sugar
1 tsp. sesame oil
2 tsp. fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp. fresh garlic, minced
1 tsp. Sriracha hot sauce
2 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. canola oil
3 heaping cups coleslaw mix
1/4 c. green onions, chopped, opt.
8 oz. angel hair spaghetti noodles
   or chinese egg noodles

Cook noodles according to package directions.  Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, sriracha and cornstarch; whisk to combine; set aside.  

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the coleslaw mix and saute a few minutes or until crisp tender.  Add the sauce, the cooked and drained noodles and green onions.  Toss together to combine.  Cook for a few minutes and serve.  Serves: 4-5.

slightly adapted from: Mandy's Recipe Box

January 27, 2019

Strawberry Gooey Butter Cookies

Have you ever had a cookie that was so simple to make, yet so delicious that you couldn't stop eating them?  Well, that was pretty much me with this cookie recipe.  

I have a Christmas Gooey Butter Cookie recipe that is always a big hit, so I needed another version that could be made at any time during the year, but would be extra special for Valentine's Day.    

These pretty pink cookies are soft and chewy and seriously irresistible.  The white chocolate chips add a nice contrast of flavor.  One batch makes around 40 cute little cookies, so they are perfect to make and share with friends (or you can eat them all) . . .  

I added some strawberry extract to the cookies for a little extra boost of flavor.  Sometimes strawberry extract can be hard to find.  I ordered mine online.  It is an optional ingredient, so you can always leave it out and still have delicious cookies.
You might also like:

Strawberry Gooey Butter Cookies
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
(Printable Recipe)

8 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. strawberry extract, opt.  
1 (15.25 oz.) box strawberry cake mix
1/2 (heaping) cup white chocolate chips
1/2 - 3/4 c. powdered sugar

In a large bowl, cream together butter and cream cheese.  Add the egg, vanilla and strawberry extract and mix until combined.  Add the cake mix and mix until combined.  Stir in the white chocolate chips.  Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 24 hours.  I like to refrigerate mine overnight.  The longer you can refrigerate the dough the less sticky it will be.  

Once dough has chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place powdered sugar in a small bowl; set aside.  Using a one-inch cookie scoop, scoop out dough and roll into a ball.  Roll dough ball in powdered sugar, completely covering the entire ball.  Place on a greased cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough.  Flatten dough balls slightly and bake for 10 minutes.  Cookies will look under-done, but they will be perfect.  Allow to cool on cookie sheet for 2 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely.  Makes around 40 cookies.    

January 19, 2019

Pink Funfetti Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream {Valentine's Day Cupcakes}

I have really grown to love raspberries over this past year.  I owe it to those soda shops where you can get fruit puree in your soda.  Diet Mountain Dew with fresh raspberry puree is my go-to.  

I took my favorite go-to vanilla cupcake recipe and added pink sprinkles.  They turned into the prettiest pink speckled cupcakes with a nice vanilla flavor and a hint of almond.  Then, I topped them with a beautiful raspberry buttercream frosting.    
This frosting has real raspberry flavor.  Thanks to freeze-dried raspberries, you get the fresh berry flavor without adding extra moisture from fresh fruit.  Plus, no food coloring is needed to achieve this beautiful raspberry color.

The frosting is a perfect balance of tart and sweet.  However, if you don't care for raspberries, you could always use freeze-dried strawberries.  Also, this frosting will have seeds, because raspberries have seeds :)

If you are a raspberry lover, you have got to make these cupcakes.  
You might also like:

Pink Funfetti Cupcakes
(Printable Recipe)

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
3 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 c. buttermilk
1/4 c. pink sprinkles

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Cream butter and sugar until very light and fluffy; about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each.  Scrape down the bowl.  Add the vanilla extract and almond extract and mix well.  In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In 3 parts, alternately add the dry ingredients and buttermilk to the batter, beginning and ending with the dry.  Mix until just combined. Stir in sprinkles.  

Line a muffin tin with paper liners and spray with cooking spray.  Fill liners 2/3 full.  For regular cupcakes: Bake about 23 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but be careful to not over bake. Yields: 28-30 cupcakes.  Cool completely and top with frosting.  

Raspberry Buttercream
From: Jenn@eatcakefordinner
12 Tbl. unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of salt
1 (1.4 oz.) pkg. freeze-dried raspberries (I use Trader Joes)
4 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3-4 Tbl. milk

Add the freeze-dried raspberries to a food processor.  Make sure to take out the white packet that's in the package and discard.  Pulse the raspberries until they're a fine powder; set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter and salt and mix (using a hand mixer or stand mixer) until creamy. Add the raspberry powder and mix until combined.  Add one cup of powdered sugar and vanilla and mix to combine.  Add remaining powdered sugar, one cup at a time, adding milk as you go, until desired consistency is reached.  Spread or pipe onto cooled cupcakes.  I used a 1M Wilton piping tip.  

Base Cupcake Recipe adapted from: Ina Garten