Chocolate Cookie Cake

 

oreo cake

My mom had her 80th birthday a couple of weeks ago. She wasn’t too keen on celebrating the fact she was turning 80 and wanted this birthday, to just “slide by” but the kids and I wanted to do something to make it a special day for her. So we made her a chocolate cookie cake!

The layers of this moist cake are covered with bits of chocolate sandwich cookies…

oreo cake

And then can be frosted with your favorite white icing…

oreo cake

We topped off our cake by serving it with mint chocolate chip ice cream and a few candles on top. The kids were pondering counting out 80 candles but eventually decided on 8 candles, one for each decade we have been so blessed to have her with us!

Happy Birthday, Mom! We love you so much…  :)

 Chocolate Cookie Cake

Sift together into a large mixing bowl…

3 c flour

6 T cocoa powder

2 t baking soda

1 t salt

1 ¾ c sugar

 

Then, pour in…

2 c cold water

¾ c vegetable oil

2 Tablespoons vanilla extract

2 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar

Mix well. Line 2 – 8 inch round cake pans with aluminum foil and spray with baking spray. Pour batter evenly into the 2 pans. Then sprinkle on top:

2 cups  coarsely chopped Oreo cookies ( this will take about 18 cookies)

Place the pans into a 350 degree oven and bake for about 30-35 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake.

Bring the edges of the foil over and down, around the edges of the baked cake. Place another piece of foil or waxed paper on top of the cake, followed by a dish towel and then let the cake completely cool down.

When cake has cooled completely, remove the baked layers from their pans and peel off  the foil. You will be left with a beautiful, moist and chocolate-y cake!…

oreo cake

 

Berry Patriotic!…

july 4 th dessert Okay,  all you strawberries…stand at attention!…

patriotic desserts

Straight lines now…

red, white and blue dessert

Heh! You in the front line…no leaning!…

patriotic strawberries

That’s better…

chocolate filled strawberries July 4th Want to have some fun with fresh strawberries this 4th of July? Have your strawberries “stand at attention” by sticking them onto toothpicks that have been inserted into an easy-to-make decorative foam platter! Your guests can pick out their favorite star-studded strawberry and then just slide it off without any fear of knocking the other berries over.

Who wouldn’t love a red ripe strawberry presented this way, filled with white chocolate cream and topped with a blue chocolate star on the 4th of July?  ;)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Items needed:

12- inch disc of styrofoam – 1 inch thick

Decorative ribbon ( 1inch wide)…

patriotic ribbon

Parchment paper

Toothpicks

Stick pins…

stick pins

Small star-shaped cookie cutter

6-inch shallow clay disc…

Hot glue gun

Fresh strawberries

Ingredients for White Chocolate Cream Recipe (recipe below)…

Velvet Red Fondant recipe and ingredients (you will be substituting blue confectionary wafers and frosting for the red, called for in the recipe) This recipe will make considerably more fondant than you will need for making the stars. Unless you are making a very large number of stars, you may want to half the recipe…

Making the Blue Chocolate Stars…

Prepare one recipe of Velvet Red Fondant according to the directions (click here for the recipe) but substitute blue wafers and blue decorator’s frosting for the red wafers and frosting called for in the recipe.

**For my stars,  I added some Royal Blue powdered coloring and some Violet Purple food coloring paste to the fondant  so that it would become more of a navy blue color…

Let the fondant sit for 24 hours for easier handling…

After the fondant has sat for 24 hours and has become very hard, break off a chunk and begin kneading it to soften it…

Dust a smooth rolling surface with cornstarch…

cornstarch for fondant

Place some fondant on the surface and puff with just a light dusting of cornstarch…

Roll it out until you reach the desired thickness of your stars ( I made mine about an 1/8 inch thick)…

Take a pastry scraper and slide it underneath the fondant to loosen it from the bottom…

Lightly reroll over it again to smooth it down. Take a pastry brush and brush off all excess cornstarch from the fondant’s surface.

Take your star cutter and cut out the shapes..

Place them on a smooth surface that has been dusted with cornstarch…

Decorate the stars with red and white frosting and sugars…

 Preparing the serving “plate”…

Take your ribbon and wrap it around the outer edge of the foam disc and overlap it by about 1-1/2  inches…

Trim it off and set this aside…

Place the foam disc on a piece of parchment paper…

 Then with a pencil, draw a line about ¾ of an inch out from the foam’s edge, and draw around the disc…

You should now have a circle drawn around the foam that is slightly larger than the foam disc…

 

Cut out the parchment circle…

Lay the  parchment circle on top of the disc, lining it up so that it is centered over the disc…

Stick a toothpick into the middle to secure the paper to the foam so that it doesn’t shift around…

Begin folding down the edges of the parchment paper and place the ribbon over the parchment . Secure the ribbon to the paper ( and to the foam)  with stick pins…

july 4th craftsContinue folding down the parchment paper, wrapping the ribbon and sticking in the pins until the edge has been completely covered around the disc…

Remove the toothpick from the center and tip the “platter” upside down…

Tip the clay dish upside down and put some hot glue around the edges…

Center the clay dish on top of the foam platter…


And then tip right-side up to cool…

Gluing this dish onto the bottom of the foam disc not only makes the platter easier to pick up, it adds weight to the foam platter so that it makes it easier to pull off the berries…

** If I am planning on making a lot of the filled strawberries for my guests, I make a second foam platter that is undecorated – and minus the clay dish. This way I can put the extra filled berries on the toothpicks and stick them in the refrigerator so that they are decorated and ready to go…ready to be placed on the decorated platter when the berry plate needs to be filled again. It is just less hassle than standing at the counter, filling and decorating strawberries during a party…  

White Chocolate Cream Filling…

Into a medium-sized heavy saucepan, put:

3 oz. cream cheese (or about a third of an 8 oz bar, reserve the rest)

3/4 c  heavy whipping cream

Over medium high heat, begin melting the cream cheese into the cream. Stir continuously with a wooden spoon. When the cream starts to bubble, turn down the heat. (At this point, switch to stirring with a whisk. It will help break up the pieces of cream cheese) Stir until the mixture is smooth. Turn down the heat to low and then add:

1 heaping cup white confectionary wafers ( or white baking chips will work also)

Slowly stir until the wafers have been melted and the mixture is smooth. Use the whisk to whisk out any remaining tiny lumps of wafer or cream cheese.

Pour mixture into a bowl and place into the refrigerator to cool down…

To prepare the berries, core the strawberries using a sharp knife…

Begin sticking toothpicks into the foam platter and adding the berries as you go…

strawberries on tootpicks

After all the berries have been attached, finish making the whipped cream, by placing into a mixing bowl:

¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Beat until stiff peaks form. When the cream cheese mixture has completely cooled down and is cold, place the mixture into another mixing bowl and add the rest of the bar of cream cheese. Beat until smooth and creamy. Add the whipped cream and beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl often…

Place the whipped cream mixture into a large decorator’s bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe the whipped cream into the berries…

pipe cream filling into strawberries

Swirl  a generous amount around the top of the berries and add a decorated star…

july 4th desserts

chocolate filled strawberriesIf your stars are very thick or it is very warm in your kitchen and your whipped cream seems too soft to hold the stars, try placing the filled strawberries into the refrigerator for awhile. When the whipped cream has firmed up a bit, garnish with the stars. Return the completed strawberries to the frig to remain cold until you are ready to serve them…

Happy 4th of July!!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

For another colorful way to celebrate the Red, White and Blue, please check out my post how to make this stunning jello poke Flag Cake…

It’s refreshing, yet dazzling as well…

flag cake

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

My posting is going to be very erratic for the rest of the summer due to me working on some  fun and exciting floral cookie bouquets coming out later on this Fall! If you haven’t subscribed to my blog, now might be a nice time to subscribe… especially if you don’t want to miss out on the latest floral cookie bouquet creation this summer! :)

Happy Summer to you!…

Bing Balls

Valentine cherry cake pops Why not give your sweetie one of these little delights on a stick – “Bing Balls”!

They start out with a sweet cherry pink candy center and then you dip them twice into melted chocolate and then roll them in coarsely chopped cocktail peanuts! They are like a Bing Cherry Bar only on a stick! Seems like we are putting everything on a stick these days, why leave out the Bing Cherry Bar?  Yum Yum…   :)

And if you don’t  care for peanuts or are allergic, skip the nuts and go for the gusto! -  dip them three times into the chocolate! Seriously, is there anything as too much chocolate??

pink cake balls for Valentine's day Bing Balls

Melt in a medium-sized saucepan:

      1/4 c salted butter

Then add:

      1 cup granulated sugar

      1/3 cup evaporated milk ( NOT sweetened condensed milk)

      1/8 teas salt

      6 large marshmallows

Stir and bring to a boil. GENTLY boil for 5 minutes. Take off the heat and add:

      2 teas cherry extract

      1 cup red candy coating wafers

Stir occasionally until the wafers have completely melted. Pour the mixture onto a sheet of parchment paper to cool down. When the mixture has cooled and has started to “set up”,  start kneading it and begin forming it into little balls ( about 3/4 inch). Place the balls on a cookie sheet that has been covered with waxed or parchment paper. Place the balls into the refrigerator until they are firm.

Meanwhile, melt:

      1 Tablespoon red candy coating wafers

Dip a skewer into the melted wafers and then insert the skewer into one of the balls ( stick the skewer in only about halfway. Be careful not to push it clear through the ball) Place the skewered balls back into the refrigerator. Meanwhile, in a small heavy saucepan, melt over low heat:

      1 cup or so semi-sweet chocolate chips

      1/3 cup peanut butter

This amount may vary depending on how many times you are going to dip the balls. You can always melt more if needed…  Dip the skewered balls into the chocolate mixture so that the chocolate is covering not only the balls but a little of the skewer as well….

Stick the skewered dipped balls into a chunk of plasticwrap-covered styrofoam to firm up. Place them back into the refrigerator until chocolate has firmed up and then dip them again. Then roll them in:

      1 cup or so coarsely chopped cocktail peanuts

When the chocolate has firmed up, it is time to take a bite…or two… :) 

valentine candy bouquets

 

 

 

 

Cherry Walnut Popcorn

walnuts

Oh, this is soooooo good, almost too good, it’s hard to stop with just a few pieces! Cherry Walnut Popcorn is filled with toasted walnuts, dried cherries, a buttery cherry-flavored caramel…

cherry caramel

And chunks of red chocolate-covered dried cherries!…

chocolate covered dried cherriescherry popcornCherry Walnut Popcorn

Into a very large bowl put:

      6 cups air-popped popcorn

      1/2 c dried cherries, sliced into thin strips ( using a clean scissors works best)

      1 c toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped

Toss. Meanwhile, into a heavy medium-sized saucepan put:

       1/2 c butter

       1/2 c granulated sugar

       1/2 teas salt

       1/4 c light corn syrup

Gently boil for 5 minutes. Turn down heat to low and then add:

       1 teas cherry extract

Stir and add:

       1/2 teas baking soda

Stir well. Pour the mixture over the popcorn, cherries and walnuts. Mix just until combined. Then sprinkle over the top:

      1 Tablespoon powdered butter sprinkles ( optional, but it adds a little extra buttery salty flavor! :)  )

Mix, then gently stir in:

      1 c coarsely chopped red chocolate-covered dried cherries

Don’t overstir or the chocolate will completely melt off the cherries. Spread the popcorn out over a cookie sheet and let it completely cool and firm up.  Enjoy!