Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Chocolate Pudding Cake

I have no idea where the recipe from this came from!  I got it from my mom years ago and it's a great recipe for when you are craving something rich and decadent.  Like dark chocolate fudge...that's exactly how I would describe this cake.  Don't be fooled, there's no pudding in this cake.  Sorry to disappoint if you wanted pudding, but trust me, you won't be disappointed after you take your first bite.

The first thing that you do is make this really thick cake batter (really thick), then a topping mix of brown sugar and cocoa powder is sprinkled all over the top.  

This is where it's so different from anything I've ever made...on top of the batter and the topping, you pour 1 cup of boiling water.  Then bake!!  

What happens is the water turns the topping of brown sugar and cocoa powder into this shiny, rich icing of sorts.  It's glossy, but not that pretty...but it's so good!!  

The batter part looks a little like cake, but more like fudge.  It is very rich and definitely takes on a more dark chocolate of a flavor.  You can serve it immediately topped with ice cream or whipped cream and it will be a little runny.  Store it in the fridge and it just gets even denser and more fudgy...it's hard not to just reach in with a spoon and take bites that way.  Well, who am I kidding?  That's what I've been doing all day.  Too yummy! 

 Chocolate Pudding Cake

1/4 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder (divided into 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the topping
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Using an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, a couple of minutes.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt and add to butter/sugar mixture and mix.  Slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix well (the batter will be very thick).  Stir in chocolate chips by hand.  Spread in a greased 1 1/2 quart baking dish (my oval dish was 13" x 10" x 3").  Use your hands to press the batter into the dish - wet your finger tips and it won't stick.

Combine the brown sugar and cocoa powder to make the topping and sprinkle over the top.  Pour 1 cup of boiling water over top of everything.  Bake for 50-55 minutes until the water is gone (the top will still look very wet).  Serve warm with ice cream and store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Double Layer "Dirt" Cake

I have been dreaming of this cake for the past couple of weeks.  I originally envisioned it being one of those "poke" cakes, but my 13 x 9-inch pan was already being used for the lasagna we were having for dinner!  So I had no choice but to do 2 round cake pans.  This is the exact recipe that is used for "Dirt" - pudding, cream cheese, butter, confectioner's sugar, cool whip and Oreos, but cranked up a notch...all of that yumminess on top of chocolate cake!   

I flipped the cake out of pan onto this plate and just left it upside down.  You don't have to keep it like this, I was just being lazy and figured it didn't hurt anything.  And I did still poke some holes in the top of the cake - I wanted that pudding mixture all through this cake.

Then a layer of pudding, mixed with cream cheese, butter, confectioner's sugar, vanilla and cool whip is spread on the bottom layer, followed by crushed Oreos!!  Can it get any better than that??

Oh yes, it can...another layer of cake, topped with the pudding mixture, topped with more Oreos.  

In a word?  Heaven.  

It certainly did not take long for us to dig right in.  Look at those layers!  You can really see where the pudding had started to combine with the cake (since we poked the holes!).  I had extra of the pudding and the Oreos so I just threw that in a bowl, just like the traditional Dirt recipe.  If you did a 13 x 9-inch pan, you may not have extra of anything, but I do love the layers on this cake!   

Double Layer "Dirt" Cake

1 box of chocolate cake mix (your favorite - I used chocolate fudge) and all the ingredients needed to prepare the cake
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (3.5 oz) packages instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 (12 oz) container Cool Whip
1 bag of Oreos

Prepare and bake chocolate cake according to package directions in 2 round cake pans.  Let cool and turn out on a plate or cake stand.

While the cake bakes, place all of the cookies into a freezer bag and crush with a rolling pin (as fine or as chunky as you like).  Mix butter, cream cheese, confectioner's sugar and vanilla extract in a bowl.  In a large bowl, mix milk and pudding together.  Fold in Cool Whip.  Combine the pudding mixture and the butter mixture together.

Once the cake has cooled, spread about 1/3 of the pudding mixture onto the first layer.  Top with crushed Oreos (enough to cover).  Set the other cake layer on top of the Oreos and repeat with pudding mixture, then Oreos.  Serve immediately because you won't be able to wait!  Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Cream Cheese Brownies

I had such a craving for cream cheese brownies the other day, but they had to have one thing...tons and tons of cream cheese mixed in!  Not those weak ones where it's just a little bit of cream cheese swirled throughout.  These had to be decadent and moist and that's exactly what these are.  Quite please with myself actually! 

And one other thing they needed:  a little bit of crunch.  Not nuts, because I'm not a huge fan of nuts in anything, but something to really bite into.  Chocolate chips!  Mixed in with the cream cheese mixture.  Ahhh....

Layers of  brownie (straight from a box - hey they're the best, right??), then the cream cheese filling (and tons of it!), then more brownie mix.  Then you swirl, but the way these bake, the brownies turn into pure awesome fudginess.  DO NOT overbake!!  In fact, you'll almost want to under bake these.  When the top stops being jiggly, and a toothpick comes out with some crumbs, you're done.   

Makes about 16 brownies

Cream Cheese Brownies 

1 box of your favorite brownie mix (I used Betty Crocker Original Supreme) and everything needed to prepare the brownies (usually oil, eggs, water)
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and pour half of the batter into a greased 9" x 9" pan.  Meanwhile, cream together the butter and cream cheese with a electric mixer.  Add sugar, eggs and flour and blend well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Pour cream cheese mixture over the brownie mixture in the pan, then top with the remaining batter (easiest to drop it by clumps all over - don't try to completely cover the cream cheese, it won't really work).  Swirl with a knife.  Bake 30-35 minutes (start checking at around 25 minutes).

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Oatmeal Cream Pies

I was so happy with the way these turned out - just the cutest and tastiest little treats!  The secret is to use a small cookie scoop to get all of your cookies the same shape.  You might want to also think about doubling or doing another 1/2 of the recipe for the icing or filling.  I didn't have enough to turn all the cookies into the little sandwich cookies (not that it was a problem - the cookies were great on their own).

See how nice and perfect they turned out?  That's from using a small cookie scoop (that you can get just about anywhere that sells cooking and baking utensils).

And I would absolutely make this recipe again if I'm just in the mood for oatmeal raisin cookies.  They are moist and chewy.  And the recipe for the filling is a great go-to, incredibly simple recipe to use for cupcakes as well.    

Are they not just darling?  They will keep for up to 5 days refrigerated in an airtight container (if they don't all get eaten before that!).     

Oatmeal Cream Pies

1 1/2 cups flour 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups rolled oats (not quick-cooking)
1/2 cup raisins
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
6 tablespoons confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon and set aside.  In a large bowl of a stand mixer (or using an electric mixer) beat butter and the sugars until light and fluffy, a couple of minutes.  Add vanilla, beat until combined.  Add eggs, one at a time.  

With mixer on low, add flour mixture and beat until combined.  Stir in the oats and raisins by hand.  Using a small cookie scoop, drop dough onto a baking sheet.  Bake until cookies are just set at edges and slightly soft in the middle, about 11 minutes, rotating halfway through.  Let cookies cool 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks and cool completely.  

Make the filling:  In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and confectioner's sugar until light, about 2 minutes.  Spread filling on flat side of half of the cookies and sandwich with remaining cookies. 

(Source:  Adapted from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food)

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I'm a super busy mom of 3 and a Beachbody coach. Follow along as I try to find a balance between eating good food and keeping my family healthy and happy! We eat mostly clean with a few fun treats thrown in every once in awhile. Thanks for stopping by!

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