Thursday, December 26, 2013

Cookies & Cream Cookie Bars


These Cookies & Cream Cookie Bars are always the first thing to go when I bring them to a party. Everyone loves them, and when you cut them into smaller servings, there is more to go around (and you don't feel as guilty)! If your stumped on what to bring to a party for New Year's Eve, these cookie bars are great as either an appetizer or a dessert or both! The pictures show the Halloween Edition of these cookie bars, but as the seasons change, so do the editions of Oreos, so these practically go with any holiday or occasion!

Oreo Cookie Bars - Adapted from Skinny Not Skinny
Yield: 16 - 24 bars depending on the size
1½ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cup quick-cooking oats
1 cup brown sugar
¾ cup butter, softened
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
20 Halloween Oreos (chopped) - Or Red Holiday Oreos for Christmas - or regular oreos for an everyday treat!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine flour, oats, brown sugar and butter in large bowl; mix well. This mixture will be crumbly.
  2. Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease the paper with shortening. This is VERY important to do or your bars are going to stick to the bottom of the pan. Reserve 1 cup oat mixture and press remainder onto bottom of the baking pan.
  3. Bake 10 minutes.
  4. While the crust is cooking, chop the Halloween Oreos into pieces.
  5. After removing from oven, immediately pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crust.
  6. Sprinkle with chocolate and white chocolate chips and top with Oreo pieces.
  7. Top with reserved oat mixture; press down firmly.
  8. Bake an additional 25 minutes. Topping will be lightly browned.
  9. Cool bars for at least 15 minutes and then cut into bars.
  10. ENJOY!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Red Velvet Cupcakes


Whether your waiting for Santa to arrive or snuggling underneath the mistletoe, these Red Velvet Cupcakes are perfect for your holiday festivities. Personally, I love getting cozy by my Christmas tree and indulging in this delicious dessert. It's hard to share these with my family while they are in town, but there is no way I could eat all of them! Enjoy this recipe and leave comments; I am excited to hear your feedback!

Happy Holidays!

Red Velvet Cupcakes - Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker
Yield: 12 cupcakes or about 48 mini cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3/4 Cup Sugar
1 Egg
2 1/2 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
3 Tablespoons Red Food Coloring - way less if you are using gel food coloring!
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 1/2 Teaspoons Distilled White Vinegar

For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 Ounces Butter, at room temperature
4 Ounces Cream Cheese, at room temperature
3 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a standard muffin/cupcake pan with liners.

2. On medium-high speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Turn the mixer to high and add the egg. Scrape down the bowl and beat until well incorporated.

3. In a separate small bowl, mix together the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and red food coloring to make a thick paste - or if you are using gel food coloring, just add it to the batter.  Add to the batter and mix on medium speed until completely combined. You may need to stop the mixer to scrape the bottom of the bowl, making sure that all the batter gets color.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add half of the buttermilk. Add half of the flour and mix until combined. Scrape the bowl and repeat the process with the remaining milk and flour. Beat on high until smooth.

5. Again, reduce the mixer speed to low and add the salt, baking soda and vinegar. Turn to high and beat for another couple of minutes until completely combined and smooth.

6. Divide the batter evenly between the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a thin knife or skewer inserted into the center of the largest cupcake comes out clean.

7. Cool for 10 minutes and then remove cupcakes from the pan and place them on a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.

8. To make the frosting: Using the whisk attachment, whip the butter and cream cheese on high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl down as necessary. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the powdered sugar until all is incorporated. Add the vanilla and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium high and whip for a few minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy, scraping the bowl as necessary.

*Note: This recipe can be doubled to make an 8 or 9-inch layer cake.