Thursday, March 29, 2012

Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcakes

I was really craving something sweet to eat the other day. So I was kind of perusing Pinterest looking for yummy stuff to eat. I can really get carried away on this site with all the great recipes out there, but today was different.

On this occasion I found a recipe for Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcakes. The picture had intrigued me so much that I just had to check it out. I ended up at I was worried that the recipe might be difficult or may require items that I just don't normally buy, but this was not the case.

Well in order for me to make these cupcakes I need some Mint Oreo cookies and some mint extract.( I also couldn't resist purchasing some cute cupcake papers while I was there). I was headed off to Cub Foods in no time to pick up my few items. So about nine dollars later I was at home whipping up some cupcakes.

Now I did not have enough Oreos to place an Oreo on top of the cupcake after frosting put believe me you won't miss it. And a word to the wise when making the frosting. Make sure you crush the cookies in a food processor before adding them to the frosting. I didn't do this and when I wanted to decorate the cupcakes with a decorating tip and bag I kept getting cookie crumbs stuck in the tip. So because of this I went to plan B and just used a spatula to slather the frosting on top. 

I'm also going to warn you that once you eat one of these cupcakes you will have satisfied your urge for sugar. I think I almost went into a sugar coma after having one. In fact I decided that I just could not keep two dozen cupcakes. I needed to bring them into work and share the wealth.

Well here's the recipe. I hope you enjoy them.

Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcakes
(makes 24 cupcakes)

For the cake:
1 box Devils Food cake mix
1 small box (3.9 oz) Chocolate Instant pudding
1 Cup vegetable oil
3/4 Cup milk
4 eggs
24 Cool mint Oreos

  1. Preheat oven to 35 degrees and line muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  2. Place one cool Mint Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner.
  3. In medium bolw combine cake mix, chocolate pudding, vegetable ooil, milk and eggs.
  4. Beat with electric mixer until incorporated and then continue mixing 1-2 minutes.
  5. Scoop batter over top of Oreos in cupcake liner.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Let cupcakes cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to wire racks to finish cooling.
  8. Once cupcakes are completely cool frost with crushed Oreo Mint Frosting.
For the frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening
6 cups powdered sugar
3 T milk
1 t mint extract
green food coloring
12 cool mint Oreos, crushed

  1. In a bowl beat butter and vegetable shortening until creamy.
  2. Gradually add in powdered sugar one cup at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary.
  3. Add milk 1 T at a time as needed until reaching desired sonsistency.
  4. Add mint extract and a few drops of green food coloring to tint to desired color.
  5. Mix in crushed Oreos. Crush in a food processor.
  6. Place icing in piping bag and snip off tip to creat a large hole. Swirl icing on top of cupcakes.
  7. Garnish cupcakes with 1 cool Mint Oreo cookie on top if desired.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Lemon Bars

Lemon bar

Ohh, yesterday was so beautiful. The sun was shining and the birds were singing. We had so many ducks and geese out on the pond it was unbelievable. I even got a sneak peek at the fox that roams the neighborhood late in the afternoon. My dogs were loving laying in the sun on the deck, just soaking up rays.

Now me, I had other things on the agenda yesterday. I just had to do some heavy duty cleaning in my house. I did, however, take several breaks to go outside. I even made an excuse to be outside for awhile. After all, someone had to sweep up all those seeds and seed pods from the trees. Plus I had to survey the cushions for the outdoor furniture that I want to recover.

Well I finally got all my cleaning done and I got to thinking about food. I felt like making something that was sweet, but doesn't make you feel so guilty when you indulge. I knew just the ticket. Lemon bars. My daughter had mentioned it early this week and I thought this was the perfect treat to make.

I haven't made lemon bars in a very long time so I had to dust off my recipe. Thankfully I had everything that I need and I went to work making them. This recipe is kind of a two parter recipe, so be warned that they can't be made real quick. First you have to make the crust. Then you have to let it cool. After it is cooled you make the yummy lemon part and you bake it again. Even though it takes a little time they are worth it.

So give it a try. I'm sure you're going to love them.

FYI this is a recipe that I got from my mom a long, long time ago. I do not even know where she got the recipe from.

Lemon Bars
1 C flour
1/2 C butter
1/4 C powdered sugar
2 eggs (slightly beaten)
1 C sugar
1/4 t salt
3 T lemon juice
2 T flour
1/2 t baking powder

Cream flour, butter and powdered sugar. It should start to kind of ball up when it is ready. Press into an 8 inch pan. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Take from oven and cool.
Mix eggs, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Add 2 T flour and baking powder. Mix well. Pour over cool crust and bake at 350 for 25 minutes. Take from oven and cool. Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still a little warm.
You can double this recipe to make a 9 X 13 pan of bars.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Molasses Sugar Cookies

My son was home last week for spring break. I felt kind of bad that the whole week that he was home I was sick. I didn't really cook anything for him until the last two days that he was home. So to make up for his loss of home cooked meals I decide that I should at least make him some cookies to go back to the dorm room with him.

One of his favorites is Molasses Sugar cookies. I like these too because they are moist and chewy and they have an awesome flavor. They also happen to be a real quick cookie to make. When these cookies are baking in the oven it makes the kitchen smell so good. It's those spices of cinnamon, cloves and ginger mixed together that smells so good.

This recipe is the recipe that my mom use to make when I was a kid. I think she just got the recipe off the molasses jar. I'm not really sure, but I know that it is a favorite one for me,my kids and of course my hubby. I had a hard time keeping him away from the cookies as I took them out of the oven and cooled them Trying to get them ready to package up for the trip back to school.( I'm thinking I'm going to have to make some for home too.)

Molasses Sugar Cookies
3/4 C shortening
1 C sugar
1/4 C Molasses
1 egg
2 C flour
2 t soda
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t cloves
1/2 t ginger
1/2 t salt

Cream together shortening and sugar. Add molasses and egg; Beat well. Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger and salt; add to first mixture. Mix well; chill. Form into 1 inch balls, roll in sugar and place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. Cool on wire racks and store in an airtight container.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

Today's recipe is a quick supper recipe that will make your family think you've been cooking up a storm in the kitchen when really it hardly takes anything to whip this up. It's my beef version of stroganoff. I'm sure you're thinking what other kind is there besides beef. Well I also make a chicken version that is just as good, because to tell you the truth I usually cook more with chicken that beef (that's if you don't count hamburger, because I don't).

To make this wonderful dish you need some basic staples that most people have on hand like flour, paprika, onions, garlic and egg noodles. The stuff that some people may not have is stew meat, canned mushrooms, beef broth and sour cream. Now the only thing that I usually don't keep on hand is the stew meat, the rest are staples in my pantry and refrigerator.

I love this dish because it just fills you up and warms your soul. It is one of those yummy dishes that makes you feel all happy and content. I don't know what it is about this stuff, but it makes everyone happy from the inside out. So give it a try and see what you think. Let me know your thoughts on this one.

Beef Stroganoff
1 1/2 lbs stew meat
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 1/2 C beef broth
1/2 t salt
1/4 t paprika
pepper to taste
2 T flour
1 C sour cream
egg noodles

In a fry pan saute onion, and garlic. In another pan boil water to make egg noodles. Add stew meat that has been cut into small bite size pieces to the onion and garlic. Cook until the meat is no longer pink. Add mushrooms, broth, salt, paprika, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Combine the flour and sour cream in a bowl, mixing well. Add to the fry pan. Bring it to a boil cook and stir for about 2 minutes. Turn down to low for another 2 minutes. Serve with egg noodles. Makes 4 servings.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Cupcake extravaganza

Ok I know it's pi day (3.14), but I really wasn't in the mood for pie. I'm just now recuperating from being sick. I mean bed ridden sick. Although I kept going to work every day last week it finally got the best of me on Friday. I was in bed most of the day and it wasn't until Sunday morning that I realized "Man, I was really sick!" that just goes to show how much better I was feeling come Sunday.

Well even though I was not 100% myself yet I did make cupcakes on Saturday night. Now it wasn't from scratch cupcakes, but I did fix up a mix a little bit. Sometimes you just have to make do when obstacles stand in your way. The frosting, however, is homemade. It was the left over frosting from my cake decorating class and I just really needed to use it up.

Now the cake mix was just a generic brand of cake mix and I tried to give it a little something to wake it up a bit. My secret ingredient is coffee flavoring syrup. You know the stuff you pour into your coffee to jazz it up a bit. I buy the stuff at Sam's club to give my coffee a little zip, but I thought why not try it in the cake mix and see if it adds a little flavor.

The cake mix was a devils food cake  and I had raspberry syrup. What a nice combination. Instead of adding all the water that the mix called for I added only a cup and then put in the 1/3 cup of raspberry syrup. I then added the oil and eggs as usual and baked the cupcakes as directed.

Once the cupcakes were cooled I used my D2 decorating tip and a disposable decorating bag and got to work decorating some of the cupcakes with pink and purple frosting. I also used used tip 18 to make little stars on some cupcakes with green and yellow frosting.

The frosting is the buttercream icing that Wilton cake decorating classes has you make and it seems to pass the test with everyone so why not. I'll post the recipe so if you want to try your hand at decorating you have the stuff to do it right. You'll want it a medium consistency to decorate with decorating tips.

Buttercream Icing
(stiff consistency)
1C solid white vegetable shorting
1 t Wilton Flavor (vanilla, almond or butter)
7-8 t milk or water (add 2 1/2 t more for medium consistency)
1 lb. pure cane confectioners sugar
1 T Wilton Meringue Powder
pinch of salt (if you want to cut down on the sweet taste)

Cream shorting, flavoring and water. Add dry ingredients and mix on medium speed until all ingredients have been thoroughly mixed together . blend an additional minute or so until creamy. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

It's time to use that sourdough starter that I got going last weekend. I've been very good about stirring it at least twice daily and it's looking really good. The starter didn't take very long to ferment and is now ready for some baking action.

First up on the list is Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls. Cinnamon rolls are one of my sons favorite things for breakfast and since he's home from college for spring break it's a perfect time to make them. Now I usually make a different recipe for cinnamon rolls, so this is the first time I'm going to make these and I'm hoping they will pass the test.

The original recipe called for pecans in it. I just love pecans, but my son is not a fan of nuts so I just left them out. If you want to try it with the nuts please do and let me know how it tasted. Maybe next time I make these I'll add the pecans.

I also made these rolls the day before. Let them rise then placed them covered in the refrigerator overnight. I did, however, let them warm up a bit before baking them. Just place the pan on the stove top and preheat the oven. Once the oven beeps to let you know it is ready wait an additional 10-15 minutes more before placing them in the oven to bake.

Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls
1 C Sourdough starter (replenish after use)
1/3 c water
1 egg
3 T honey
1 T butter
3 C bread flour
3/4 t salt
1 1/4 t active dry yeast or bread machine yeast
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/3 C granulated sugar
2 T brown sugar
1 1/2 t ground cinnamon
2 T butter, melted
1/4 C whipping cream

Add the first 8 ingredients to the bread machine according to the manufacturer's directions. Select the dough cycle. When cycle is complete, remove dough frommachine. Punch down. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
In the meanwhile prepare the filling. In a small mixing bowl stir together the pecans, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 12 inch square. Brush with the melted butter and sprinkle with, filling. Roll up into a spiral; seal edge. Cut into 12 slices. Place , cut sides down, in a greased 13x9x2-inch pan. Cover and let rise in a warm place about 30 minutes or until nearly double. (This is when I put it in the fridge.) Drizzle whipping cream over rolls. Bake rolls in a 375 oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan about 5 minutes; invert onto a wire rack. If desired, drizzle with Powdered Sugar Glaze.

Powdered Sugar Glaze
In a small bowl stir together 1 cup sifted powdered sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in enough milk (1 to 2 tablespoons) to make a glaze of drizzling consistency.

Replenishing sourdough starter
For each cup of starter used, replenish remaining starter by stirring in 3/4 cup all purpose flour, 3/4 cup water, and 1 teaspoon granulated or brown sugar. Cover; let mixture stand at room temperature for at least 1 day or until bubbly. Refrigerate. If not used within 10 days, stir in 1 teaspoon granulated or brown sugar. Repeat every 10 days, unless starter is replenished.