Oreo-cream-ganache-cake-frosting

The Amazing Oreo Cream Layer Cake {Recipe}

This isn’t just any old Oreo cake.  This Oreo cake is packed with everything that’s good in life {sorry, I didn’t say “good for you”!}.  With two layers of double chocolate Oreo, one layer of vanilla and Oreo, cookies and cream filling, AND chocolate ganache frosting- this Oreo cake is definitely worth the splurge, and it’s certainly one impressive looking dessert!

Oreo-cream-ganache-cake-frosting

Enter: The Oreo Cream & Ganache Layer Cake…

The Oreo layer cake was slightly adapted from a recipe found on the Bean Town Baker.  Since this cake is multi-layered, we’ll start with making the two chocolate Oreo cake layers first.

Ingredients for the Oreo Chocolate Cake Layers

1 3/4 cups flour
1 3/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup milk with 1 tbsp. white vinegar added
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup freshly brewed hot coffee
10-12 Oreos, cut into quarters

Instructions for the Oreo Chocolate Cake Layers

Preheat the oven to 350. Butter and flour two 8″ cake pans {I used square pans}

Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl

In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla.  Add to dry ingredients.

Slowly blend the coffee into the mixture.

Stir in the Oreo chunks & pour batter into the prepared pans…

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes, until cake tester comes out clean.

Yummm….looking delicious.  Now onto the Vanilla Oreo Cake layer.

Ingredients for the Oreo Vanilla Cake Layer

1/2 stick softened unsalted butter
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
6-8 Oreos, cut into quarters

Instructions for the Oreo Vanilla Cake Layer

Keep oven heated at 350 degrees.  Butter and flour another 8″ baking pan.

In a large bowl, cream the butter until fluffy, add the milk and vanilla.

In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

Mix the dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in sugar, eggs and Oreos.

Pour cake batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes

Now the three cakes can cool for a bit while you make the frosting…

Ingredients for the Cookies & Cream Whipped Filling

4 ounces softened cream cheese
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
6-8 Oreos, cut into quarters

Instructions for the Cookies & Cream Whipped Filling

Cream together, cream cheese, vanilla, and sugar until light and creamy. Slowly whisk in  whipping cream until smooth.  Stir in Oreo chunks.

It took all my self control not to devour all of the cookies and cream filling.  It’s just too delicious.  Now for the chocolate ganache, which is equally delicious…

Ingredients for the Chocolate Ganache Frosting

1 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 3/4 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

Instructions for the Chocolate Ganache Frosting

In a medium sauce pan, bring whipping cream to a simmer

Remove cream from heat and stir in chocolate chips.  Let stand for 5 minutes.

Pour mixture into a bowl and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours

 Now its time for the Oreo cake assembly!

 Lay down one of the chocolate Oreo cakes.  Spread a layer of the cookies & cream frosting.

Place the Oreo vanilla cake on top.  Spread another layer of the cookies & cream frosting.

Place the final layer of chocolate Oreo cake on top.

Here’s the completed Oreo Cream Layer Cake…

I decided to glam the cake up with some white chocolate polka dots {I melted a Hershey’s Cookies & Cream Bar} and a “Happy Birthday” flag banner.  The flag banners are super simple to make.  Simply cut out little triangles, tape them onto a ribbon, then tape around craft sticks.

What a delicious end to a great night!

witch fingers and spider rice krispie treats

Witch Fingers & Spider Krispies [recipe]

Last week I posted 10 of my favorite Halloween recipes, which worked out perfectly because I had the opportunity to make some of those treats this past weekend at a little Halloween party Brett and I had.  I always feel like you can never have too many sweets, so I decided to make a big platter of witch finger cookies and rice krispy treat spiders!  These were so much fun to make and they look great too!  I did modify the original recipes a bit after a failed batch of finger cookies that looked more like finger pancakes…so here’s the end result, both of these recipes are Halloween “must-makes”!


We’ll start with the Witch Finger Cookies…I wish I had taken a picture of the failed batch, but trust me when I say they looked awful.  I ended up using a great sugar cookie base for the witch finger cookies instead, here it is!

Witch Finger Cookies [recipe]

Makes approx. 40 cookies

INGREDIENTS

3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

1/2 tsp. green food coloring, plus 1/2 tsp. for almonds

1 tsp. almond extract

1/3 cup whole, raw almonds

METHOD

In a large bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt-set aside.  In a .medium bowl, combine the butter, sugar, egg, milk, food coloring and almond extract-add to flour mixture.  Roll the cookie dough into a large ball and refrigerate for 1 hour, I have no patience so I froze mine for 10 minutes…still turned out great ;)

While your waiting for the dough you can prepare the witches (almond) finger nails!  Add almonds to a small bowl along with 1/2 tsp of green food coloring.  Stir until the almonds are coated-set aside.

Heat oven to 375.

Once cooled, roll small sections of dough into finger shapes (each cookie is approx. 2 tbsp of dough), lay them onto a non stick or greased cookie sheet.  Add one almond to the tip of each cookie for the witches nail.  Last, use a butter knife to make tiny indents on the cookie for the knuckles!  Bakes for 10-12 minutes, or until cookies are lightly golden brown on the bottoms.  Here’s how my witch finger cookies looked when they hit the oven:

Then 10 minutes later…


I may or may have accidentally broken a few…then I had to eat all the broken ones since they were no good.  These things are DELICIOUS.


Now for the Spider Rice Krispies Recipe!  This recipe couldn’t be more simple.  It’s your average rice krispy treat recipe with a spooky twist!

Spider Krispies [recipe]

Makes approx. 20 spiders, source

INGREDIENTS

6 cups Cocoa Pebbles

1 bag of mini marshmallows (10.5 oz), reserve a small handful for the spider eyes

1/4 cup butter

mini pretzel sticks (for spider arms and legs)

METHOD

Melt butter in a medium saucepan, add marshmallows and stir continuously.  When butter and marshmellows are fully melted and mixed, remove from heat and add Cocoa Pebbles, stir until pebbles are coated.  Pour into a non stick or glass baking dish and press down.  Allow to cool.

Using a knife, cut the rice krispy sheet into circles.  Stick pretzel sticks in them for arms, pieces of the mini marshmallows for eyes.  I got about three sets of eyes from each mini marshmallow.  Here’s how they turned out!

These things were so much fun to make!



These spooky Halloween treats are perfect to make with kids too!

10 spooky halloween treats

Top 10 Picks: Spooky Halloween Bites [recipe inspiration]

Halloween is big for me.  I love all the silliness, candy, dressing up, candy, trick-or-treating, candy…and did I mention candy?  Yea, I give myself a free pass to eat all the candy I want this time of year…why not!? Aside from all the candy, we can’t forget about the yummy Halloween treats!  There are so many fun ideas out there for Halloween food and treats, so I’ve pulled together this list of my 10 favorite Halloween Recipes & Treats…

Mummy Dogs! [recipe]

Jack-o-lantern Mexican Dip [recipe]

Cheesy Bones [recipe]

Witches Fingers [recipe]

Witches Wands [recipe]

Blood Rim Martini

*Use honey and red food coloring to get this spooky look!  Raspberry syrup works great too! 

For the green martini? Use equal parts vodka, Midori Liquor and sour mix-shake then pour!

Boogy Man Cupcakes [source]

* Add green food coloring to cake frosting, top cupcakes with a marshmello then frost with green.  Use black gel frosting to add hair and a face to your boogy man!

Spider Eggs [source]

*Make your usual deviled eggs, then slice up some black olives into slivers.  Arrange them into a spider shape on the eggs!

Candy Corn Jello Shots [recipe]

Spider Krispies [recipe]

Here’s another fun Halloween Treat I made the other day…Pumpkin Teeth & Ghost Poop!

 

chopped mushroom phyllo bundles

Chopped Shroom Phyllo Bundles {recipe}

Football season has arrived! Sometimes there’s nothing better than cheering on [insert your team here!] and lounging around on a Sunday afternoon amongst a smörgåsbord of food :)  Sometimes I burn out on the usual chips and salsa, wings, and pizza…so last weekend I figured, why not switch it up a bit?  I came across a great recipe for Phyllo Mushroom Bundles some time ago and it was an instant hit amongst a crowd of picky palets.  So I decided whip these up for last weekends (GO PATS!-sorry, I have to!) game.  Although these may not look like the typical football fare, I can assure you that no one will complain after biting into one of these.  The beauty of this dish is that they look great, so they can be served at any function!  Here’s they are, the Chopped Shroom Phyllo Bundles

PS. If you like working with phyllo, you’ll love m Phyllo Wrapped Asparagas too!

Chopped Shroom Phyllo Bundles {recipe}

Slightly adapted from the Pioneer Woman

INGREDIENTS:

1 package (1 Roll) Phyllo Dough
1/2 stick Unsalted Butter
3 cups Chopped Mushrooms (chopped small)
4 cloves Garlic, Minced
1/3 cup Dry White Wine
 Salt To Taste
1/3 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

METHOD:

Melt 1/4 stick butter in a bowl. Set aside.

Melt 1/4 stick butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and mushrooms and sautee for 1-2 minutes.  Pour in wine, stir to coat well, cook on medium heat for five minutes, until all liquid is cooked off. Add salt & pepper to taste.  Turn off heat and set aside.

Roll out phyllo dough. You should have one a large (approx. 10″ x 10″) piece of layered phyllo. Separate the sheets.  Working quickly, place 1 sheet on a flat (dry) surface and brush very lightly with melted butter. Place another sheet on top and brush with butter. Repeat this until you have four to five sheets of phyllo. Do not brush top layer with butter.

Cut the buttered stack of phyllo into four equal squares.  Place a spoonful of mushroom mixture in the middle of each square. Sprinkle grated Parmesan on top of each mushroom.

Arrange each square into a little bundle, pinching the tops of the phyllo dough so that it remains as closed as possible when it bakes. Place bundles on a greased or parchment-lined cookie sheet, pressing very lightly so that they’re flat on the bottom.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Once golden brown, pull these babies out of the oven and serve immediately. 

 

garden turkey roll ups

Garden Vegetable Turkey Roll-ups {recipe}

In my opinion, gatherings should feel uncontrived and casual, this way people feel free to relax and enjoy themselves. In fact, some of my best get-together’s have been thrown together at the last minute with just light bites to eat made from ingredients I already had at home.  Whenever I find myself in this position, one of my go-to dishes is usually a tray of garden vegetable roll-ups with sliced turkey.  These are so simple to make, and they look beautiful too!

Garden Vegetable Turkey Roll-ups [recipe]

Recipe makes 18 sandwiches

INGREDIENTS

one package of six 10″ tortilla wraps ( I used wheat)

one pound of roasted turkey breast

head of romaine or green leaf lettuce

three carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips

one English cucumber, not peeled, cut into julienne strips

one red pepper, cut into julienne strips

optional: strips of celery (I added to mine)

8 oz. light cream cheese

one clove of garlic, minced

1 tbsp green onion, minced

dash paprika

dash of salt

METHOD

In a small bowl, mix cream cheese, garlic, green onion, paprika and salt.

Lay out your first tortilla, spread 2-3 tbsp of the cream cheese spread all over the tortilla.  In the center of the tortilla, lay down 3-4 slices of turkey, then a couple slices of lettuce, then some of the vegetables.  Roll up the tortilla into a wrap then slice the wrap into three pieces.  The cream cheese spread should keep everything stuck together, if the wrap is lose in some spots, just apply a bit more spread.

Repeat this with the rest of the wraps, then arrange nicely on a platter.

Enjoy!

phyllo wrapped asparagus

Phyllo Wrapped Parmesan Asparagus {recipe}

Phyllo dough is a wonderful thing.  If you’re not familiar, it’s basically paper thin sheets of unleavened flour dough (used in a lot of Middle Eastern dishes).  Until recently, I hadn’t had much experience working with it, so I was a little weary when I finally decided to give it a whirl.  I knew I liked the taste and texture of this unique dough as I’d tried it in many yummy Greek dishes in the past.  I found a few great appetizer recipes that called for it, and I’m always stumped when it comes to appetizers…so this was the perfect time to give it a shot!  Working with the phyllo dough was a bit time consuming, but it was worth it in the end.  These Phyllo Wrapped Parmesan Asparagus came out delicious, and the presentation isn’t too shabby either, here’s the recipe…

Phyllo Wrapped Parmesan Asparagus {recipe}

Adapted from Big Oven

Makes 20-24 pieces

INGREDIENTS:

20-24 asparagus spears

one package of phyllo dough sheets (thawed)

1/4 cup melted butter

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

salt & pepper

FOR THE MUSTARD DIPPING SAUCE:

½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon grated horseradish
1 teaspoon capers, minced
2 teaspoons whole seed mustard
salt and pepper to taste

METHOD:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Bring a pot of water to boil.  Cut the white ends off the asparagus and submerge in boiling water for approx. 3 minutes, just until they become vibrant green (not soft).

While the asparagus is boiling, you can whip up the mustard dipping sauce.  In a small bowl, mix together the mayo, mustard, capers and horseradish.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

This dipping sauce is delicious, there are tons of other things it can be used on.

Roll out the phyllo dough.  On a dry (lightly floured) surface, lay down one sheet of dough.  Use a pastry brush to lightly dust with the melted butter, sprinkle Parmesan cheese, salt & pepper. Lay down another layer of dough, repeat.  Do this 3 times until you have three coated layers of dough.  Continue this process until you have enough for all of the asparagus spears.

Cut the dough into approx. three by five inch by rectangles.

Wrap one rectangle of dough around each asparagus. Roll on a diagonal so that you have the most amount of coverage.

Arrange asparagus on a non-stick baking sheet.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until phyllo is golden brown.

Arrange on a platter with mustard dipping sauce and enjoy!

buffalo chicken pasta salad

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad {recipe}

Pasta salad.  The one simple dish that makes an appearance at just about every summer cookout, gathering etc.  I know for me it’s always a great go-to dish that I can make ton of and everyone’s sure to enjoy.  I’ve been making my usual pasta salad all summer, which is delicious, but I decided it was time to switch it up a bit and try something different.  I searched online and came across an interesting recipe for buffalo chicken pasta salad.  I went ahead and decided to give it a whirl and it turned out to be a big hit, especially served along with the refreshing Skinny Watermelon Smash summer cocktail!  This pasta salad had the perfect kick of spice without being too spicy, and it looked impressive too!

Buffalo Chicken Pasta Salad

Serves 8-10 as a side dish

(Slightly adapted from Snappy Gourmet)

INGREDIENTS:

16 ounces cooked whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)

1/3 cup Frank’s hot sauce

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon celery salt

2 cups precooked chicken breast, shredded (I boiled one large chicken breast)

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, chopped

METHOD:

Set aside cooked (cooled) pasta and shredded chicken breast.

Whisk together hot sauce, oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, and celery salt in small bowl until well combined.

Place pasta in large mixing bowl. Stir in chicken, blue cheese, carrots, and celery. Slowly mix in dressing until desired amount.

Refrigerate until served.

skinny summer berry trifle

The Skinny Summer Berry Trifle {4th of July recipe}

July 4th is right around the corner!  It’s time to start thinking of some festive desserts to make for your celebrations.  Well, I have an unbelievably delicious and SKINNY fourth of July dessert that’s a guaranteed crowd pleaser every time.  This may just be my all time favorite dessert for feeding a large crowd…in fact, it’s so yummy no one will ever believe this dessert its guilt free!  The Skinny Summer Berry Trifle is beautiful and simple to make; it may look like a work of art when you’re done, but it’s this recipe consists of only angle food cake, fruit, and guilt-free cream…yum, a heavenly combination.

The Skinny Summer Berry Trifle {recipe}

(serves 14, approx. 170 calories per serving)

Ingredients:

one angel food cake (prepared from box instructions), cut into 1-inch cubes

2 pints strawberries, sliced

2 pints blueberries

For the cream filling:

6 tbsp fat-free sweetened condensed milk

1 1/2 cups cold water

1 package sugar-free white chocolate instant pudding mix

12 oz fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed (fat free Cool Whip)
Directions

In a medium bowl, whisk together the condensed milk and water. Slowly whisk in the pudding mix. Let stand for 2 minutes or until the pudding is soft set; fold in the whipped topping.

Arrange half of the cake pieces in the bottom of a trifle dish. Sprinkle a layer of blueberries on top. Spread a little less than half of the cream mixture over the blueberries. Add a layer of diced strawberries on top.  Layer the remaining cake cubes on top of the strawberries, then add more blueberries and top with the remaining cream mixture.  Last, complete the SKINNY trifle with the remaining strawberries and blueberries, arranging them in a fancy pattern. Cover and refrigerate at least one 1 hour before serving.

Inspiration for this recipe came from Skinny Taste

Have a SAFE and HAPPY 4th OF JULY!

 

smashing skinny vodka mojito

The Smashing Skinny Vodka Mojito

It’s Thirsty Thursday and I have an extra special treat in store for you today!  This new SKINNY concoction uses one of my all time favorite cocktail ingredients, fresh mint.  You may recall some of my other drink recipes that also use fresh mint, like the Skinny Watermelon Smash and the Minty Cucumber Mojito.  Well here’s another refreshing SKINNY treat to spice up your Thursday, The Smashing Skinny Vodka Mojito

The Smashing Skinny Vodka Mojito {cocktail}

Gather Up:

  • 2 oz. citrus vodka (or any other flavor you fancy ;))
  • 4 wedges lime
  • 2 sprigs of fresh mint
  • 4 oz. Sprite Zero

Muddle together the fresh lime and mint.  Transfer the fresh lime and mint to a shaker, add vodka-SHAKE.  Pour over ice and add Sprite Zero.

Enjoy!

skinny watermelon smash

The Skinny Watermelon Smash {cocktail recipe}

Happy Memorial Day! Before you set out for the day’s festivities, I have to share a beautiful thing…a deliciously refreshing beautiful thing that’s SKINNY. It’s a better-for-you spin off of a watermelon mojito that will knock your socks off with it’s crisp, refreshing taste and of course it looks like a beauty too! The Skinny Watermelon Smash may just become my go-to drink this summer. It’s simply fabulous.

The Skinny Watermelon Smash {cocktail recipe}

Gather up:

2 oz. citron vodka (I used Absolute Citron)

1/2 cup freshly sliced watermelon

2 sprigs of fresh mint (one is just for garnish)

1 tsp. agave nectar

splash of soda water

one cup crushed ice

Instructions:

Using a muddler, crush the watermelon and one sprig of mint together

Fill a cocktail shaker with  one cup of crushed ice, add the crushed watermelon & mint, vodka, and agave nectar. SHAKE.  Pour into a cocktail glass and top with a splash of soda water, garnish with a spring of mint.

Pure, refreshing, perfection.

Happy Memorial Day!