Ice Cream Cake

My second little man turned five this last week and he was VERY specific about what he wanted his special birthday cake to be.  His request: Chocolate cake with ice cream and cookies inside and sprinkles all over on the top with a big 5 candle to blow out.  I was so glad that I totally nailed it and it was A-MAZ-ING!  I’m excited to try this with different kinds of cake and ice cream combinations.   It was so worth making rather than spending $30 for an ice cream cake at Baskin & Robbins that wasn’t half as good:).

Chocolate and Cookie Ice Cream Cake

1 Chocolate Cake Mix pre made in a round pan***

Cookie Dough Ice Cream

1 Tub Chocolate fudge frosting

Oreos

Sprinkles

This takes a few steps.  It’s easy to make but takes time.  Once the cake is cooled off  place it on some waxed paper on a plate and put in the freezer for a couple of hours.  Take the ice cream out to soften a little bit and then scoop it into the bottom of the pan, that once had the cake in it, so that it’s about 1-2 inches thick.  Smooth it out as best as you can and put it back in the freezer.  After a couple of hours, take the cake and ice cream out of the freezer.  Cut the cake in two with a long serrated knife.  Put one half of the cake on the serving dish. (I crumpled up some Oreos and put it on the dish so the cake wouldn’t stick to the plate)  Put a warm washcloth on the outside of the pan holding the ice cream so that it melts a little bit and can slide out easily.  Plop the ice cream layer on top of the cake bottom and then place the top half of the cake on top of the ice cream.  It looks like a big oreo:).  Cover in a few layers of foil and stick in the freezer for a few hours or over night.     Carefully frost the cake.  It won’t look super neat, but that’s okay.  Cover the sides with cookies to cover the imperfections and cover the top with sprinkles or crumbled up cookies.  Numm Num Num!  Enjoy!

***I used Dark Chocolate Fudge Mix with the high elevation instructions and replaced the oil for applesauce.  Be sure to spray the pan really well so that the cake will slip out easily.  I have a springform pan with a drop out bottom that made it even easier to make.

PS: We did have a big ’5′ candle on the top.  It made my little man’s day to have exactly what he asked for.  :)

Chocolate Pomegranate ‘muffins’

I was craving chocolate covered pomegranates, but I didn’t want to spend all the time covering each seed.  This was SO good and so easy.  It’s my new favorite pomegranate treat.  My picture is blurry but it looked so pretty in person:)

Chocolate Pomegranate ‘mufins’

1 Pomegranate de-seeded

melting chocolate (I actually used chocolate chips and they worked great)

mini-muffin pan

Spray your muffin pan with oil to help prevent sticking. Fill the bottom of your muffin cups with the pomegranate seeds. You want it just be one-two seeds thick, no thicker than that.  Melt your chocolate and spoon over the pomegranates.  Place in freezer for 20ish minutes.  Carefully flip the pan upside down.  Some will just fall out for you and be ready to serve.  Use a knife to gently wiggle the stuck chocolate edges off the pan of the remaining.  Enjoy!

No-Bake Cookies

Thanks for hanging in here with me!  I know my posts have been few and far between lately.  Let’s just say, as sickening as it is to admit this, we’ve been eating a lot of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and sandwiches.  I love this little kicking boy inside me, but man he really throws off our diet and my relationship with the kitchen.  I mustered up enough energy to make some of the easiest cookies around to appease the boys begging. I was shocked to see that I hadn’t posted our favorite no-bake cookies on here!  So, for your chocolate enjoyment here is some goodness that never gets old.  Oh, and my boys really thought it was hilarious when I told them that some people call them Gorilla Poop cookies.  Enjoy and happy baking!   . . . Oh, and it goes great with a scoop of rainbow sherbet ice cream, mmmm.

No Bake Cookies

Boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly:

2 cups sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup margarine

Add:

1 cup peanut butter

5 Tbsp. Cocoa

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/2 cup shredded coconut (opt)

Then add and stir until blended:

3 cups rolled oats

Cool slightly.  Drop onto wax paper in blobs.  Let cool in refrigerator.

Cake Truffles (Guest post)

(I’m so excited that my sister, who is an AMAZING cook/baker has offered to help me out this months and be a guest contributor to my box of recipes.  You’ll love her and you’ll LOVE her recipes.  Anything she puts on here is edible gold, so be sure to save these recipes!)  Here’s Michelle Ouderkirk:

It was just another baby shower. . . . or so I thought. Delicious fruity drinks, decorative cookies, veggie and fruit trays, a variety of salads, etc.,etc., etc.  And then I saw them: CAKE TRUFFLES.  They looked adorable: pastel pink with rainbow sprinkles. I am often disapointed at “cute” treats but NOT this time. The cake truffles tasted delicious. I had to try a couple just to make sure they were really as good to eat as they were to look at . . . they were.   I spent the rest of the baby shower trying to get any information about those cute little truffles – mission accomplished. I’ve been making cake truffles ever since. I make them for work parties, gifts, midnight snacks, company visiting from out of town, and any other excuse I can think of.

Cake Truffles

Ingredients: Be creative with flavors;the possiblities are endless!

One baked cake

One tub frosting (slightly softened)

Dipping chocolate

Instructions:

Let baked cake cool slightly.  Break apart entire cake using fingertips.  Pour all frosting on top of cake crumbs.  Stir to an even consistency.  Shape into balls (a cookie scoop makes it very easy).  Freeze at least 2 hours – I prefer overnight.  Melt dipping chocolate and dip cake balls using skewer or toothpick.  Place on wax paper and let cool.  Decorate as desired.

Helpful hints about Cake Balls/Truffles:

(They’re not all that pretty in the process.  Here’s the cake and frosting balls being put onto the wax paper.)

-Place frosting on top of oven as cake is baking.  This will soften the frosting and make it easier to mix with crumbled cake.

-Use a cookie scoop to form the balls (they are universally shaped and you can pack the dough in fairly tight).  Small and medium sized scoops are what I use most often.  The small scoop uses more dipping chocolate since there are more balls created causing a greater surface area to cover in chocolate.

-Freeze cake balls before dipping.  If the balls are frozen they are more likely to hold their shape while dipping, and your dipping chocolate stays cleaner.

-If cake balls are falling apart while dipping, hand roll cake balls into a more compressed ball and/or place back into the freezer.

-Using ‘candy coating’ in place of dipping chocolate allows for a variety of flavors and colors.

-If dipping chocolate is too thick, add a small amount (teaspoon at a time) of pure vegetable oil, olive oil, or shortening until desired consistency is reached.

-Decorate with a complementary different color of chocolate, sprinkles, and/or decorative-colored sugar.

-With or without chocolate, truffles may be frozen for at least 2 months (maybe more, they just never make it longer than that in my house:). I know the chocolate may ‘sweat’ if refrigerated or frozen but I have never had a problem with it.

-Use a variety of complementary flavors.  Although using milk chocolate cake, frosting and dipping chocolate will be fine it really tastes so much better if all you flavors are NOT the same.

-Here are some fail-proof flavors to mix-and-match:

Cake: yellow, white, milk chocolate, German chocolate, French vanilla

Frosting: cream cheese, vanilla, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, butter cream

Dipping Chocolate: semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, white chocolate, mint chocolate

By far my favorite combination – especially around Christmas:

Chocolate cake- Mix as usual but right before you pour the batter into the baking pan, add 1 tsp. peppermint extract and 2 pulverized candy canes (place in plastic bag and smash with a meat tenderizer)

Cream Cheese Frosting

Dark Chocolate and Mint Chocolate dipping chocolates (equal parts of each)

Brett’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is my husbands all time favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe.  He loves it, craves it, and will even initiate making it himself.  Yes, they are very yummy.  THESE are still my favorite, but they are both delectable.  Warning: this is a BIG batch and you just might eat them all.

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Brett’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 cups butter

2 cups sugar

2 cups brown sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

5 cups blended oats

24 oz. chocolate chips

1-2 chopped candy bars or 1 bag M&M’s

2 cups chopped nuts

Cream the butter and both sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla; mix together with flour, oats, salt, baking powder, and soda.  Add chocolate chips, candy bars, and nuts.  Roll into balls and place two inches apart on a cookie sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Don’t over-cook!  Just bake them enough to be hard on the outside, but still soft in the middle, and not quite golden yet.

White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

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White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

1 cup butter

1 cup white sugar

1 cup applesauce

2 eggs

2 tsp. almond extract

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

3 cups flour

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1 pkg. white chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, pecans, or walnuts)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl, cream together the butter, sugar, and applesauce until smooth.  Stir in the egg and almond extract.  In a separate bowl stir the flour, baking powder, soda, salt, and oats together.  Add the flour mixture to the cream mixture and stir together and add in the nuts and chips.   Spoon onto greased baking sheets, 10-12 minutes.

Happy Baking

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

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The oats in these cookies are really there so that you can justify how bad these cookies are (and by bad I really mean awesomely delicious).  These are DELICIOUS and you will love them! I made these as written, but I did put in substitutions for you if you would like to make them a little less scandalous. Happy baking!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies

1/2 cup butter flavored shortening (substitute: 1/2 cup butter)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (substitute: 1/2 cup apple sauce)

1 cup packed brown sugar

3/4 cup white sugar

1 cup peanut butter

2 eggs

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups quick-cooking oats

1/2-1 package milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Get out a big bowl and mix together the ‘wet’ and sugary ingredients: shortening, butter, brown sugar, white sugar, and peanut butter.  Then add in eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, salt, and then combine with the cream ingredients.  Once the above are combined add in the oats and chocolate chips.  Spoon onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake for 9-12 minutes, or until just lightly golden on the top.

Chunky Chip Cookie

I’ve tried out dozens of chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Most of them are really good, but this is the one cookie recipe that will always be my all-time favorite.  Soft –check. Chewy-check. More chocolate than dough-check. Never hard-check.  Freezes great-check.  These are A-MAZE-ING !!!

Chunky Chip Cookie

cream together:
2 1/2 cups brown sugar
1 1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla

stir together:
4 cups flour
1 cup oats
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. soda

combine the cream and flour mixture together and then add:
1 cup chopped nuts
1 1/2 pkg. milk chocolate chips
*1/2 pkg. Andes mint chips
*1/2 pkg. peppermint chips

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes until just slightly golden on top (Don’t over bake!).  Let cool for a few minutes and eat . . . and then eat another one.

*I really love minty flavors, but I’ve also put in a bag of toffee bits instead and it turned out phenomenal.