I haven’t made cupcakes in over a month. Can you believe it?!

These Cookies & Cream Cupcakes are my new favorite cupcakes. I love all things cookies and cream – ice cream, Hershey’s bars, everything – so of course I love these. They have a white cake base with chopped Oreo’s stirred in and they also sit on half an Oreo cookie. Cream cheese frosting and more Oreo’s for decoration make them one of the best looking cupcakes I’ve ever made.

My husband said they were like “a quadruple stuffed Oreo” because the cream cheese frosting really does taste like the Oreo cream! I cannot wait to make these again!

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 24 Oreo halves with cream filling attached
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 8 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 20 Oreo cookies coarsely chopped
For the frosting:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature
  • 6 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 cups confectioners’ sugar sifted
  • 2 tbsp. heavy cream
For the garnish:
  • 24 Oreo cookie halves
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line the wells of two cupcake pans with 24 paper liners. Place an Oreo halve in the bottom of each liner, cream side up. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; stir together with a fork to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla extract. With the mixer on low speed, beat in half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Add the milk and beat just until combined, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.
  2. Evenly divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pans 5-10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Blend in the vanilla extract. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until incorporated and smooth, 1-2 minutes. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for 4 minutes until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Frost the cooled cupcakes as desired. Garnish with Oreo halves.

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When I first joined Tuesdays with Dorie (<all my TWD posts) my intention was to bake every recipe in Dorie’s book, even though the book calls for too much dried fruit for my tastes. I managed to get about halfway through before giving up on the group which means I need to get my booty in gear.

Yesterday I just wanted something I could throw together quickly but would also make my 3 year old happy. He suggested a birthday cake because he’s pretty convinced that his birthday is coming around again soon but we settled on Dorie’s blondies.

I liked this recipe because it called for small amounts of chocolate chips, nuts, butterscotch chips, and coconut. I managed to get rid of all those mostly empty bags of baking supplies that have been taking up too much space.

The blondies were also very tasty. The chocolate chips and the butterscotch chips aren’t a combination that I thought would work but we really enjoyed it. And you can never go wrong with coconut! These were definitely a winner!

Loaded Blondies
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 sticks 8 ounces unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut
Instructions
  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 325. Butter a 9 x 13 baking pan and put on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add both sugars and beat for another 3 minutes, or until well incorporated. Add the eggs 1 by 1, beating for 1 minutes after each addition, then beat in vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients, mixing just until they disappear into the batter. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chips, nuts, and coconut. Scrape the batter into the buttered pan and use the spatula to even the top as best as you can.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of the blondies come out clean. The blondies should pull away from the sides of the pan a little and the top should be a nice honey brown. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool for about 15 minutes before turning the blondies out onto another rack. Invert onto a rack and cool the blondies to room temperature right side up.
  5. Cut into 32 bars, each roughly 2 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches.

One year ago: Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

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A few months back I bought The Sweet Melissa Baking Book on complete impulse after seeing a baking group using it. I participated in the group for two weeks and then the next recipe called for ricotta. At that point, the thought of ricotta made me nauseous so I dropped out of the group and I haven’t picked up the book since then until recently.

I was thumbing through the book looking for holiday-ish recipes (because having a newborn isn’t going to be enough to keep me occupied in December apparently) and these butterscotch cashew bars called out to me. They looked so simple and I’m a sucker for anything with cashews. And a shortbread base? Oh man, I went to the store that day to get the ingredients.

I made them on a football Sunday and the pan was gone by the time our guests left. They were just gobbled up and everyone raved about them.

Butterscotch Cashew Bars
Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound 2 sticks, or 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 11 ounces butterscotch chips
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon water
  • 2 cups roasted salted cashews
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″x 13″ pan with cooking spray. Using two sheets of parchment paper, line the pan’s width and length, creating a parchment “sling.” Spray parchment paper with cooking spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter, brown sugar, and salt for 1 to 1 & 1/2 minutes. Decrease mixer speed to low and add the flour. Mix just until combined. Lightly press dough evenly into the prepared pan. Poke holes in the dough with a fork. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the crust is a golden color. Remove to wire rack to cool.
  3. In a heavy saucepan over low heat, stir together butterscotch chips, corn syrup, and water. Stir until mixture comes to a simmer and butterscotch chips are melted. Pour over crust.
  4. Sprinkle cashews over the butterscotch caramel. Bake for 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. After cooling, remove from pan and use a very sharp knife to cut into bars.
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Awhile ago I mentioned that I joined a new baking group, well this is it! Sweet Melissa Sundays! I haven’t really heard much about the Sweet Melissa Baking Book but the few people I know that own it, love it. So I figured I couldn’t really go wrong.

This week’s recipe was chosen by Jessica of The Singleton in the Kitchen. The recipe was a 2 part recipe, the first being granola and the second being the cookies of course. I took the easy way out and used some store bought granola that I have on hand.

Oddly enough, this granola included everything that the homemade granola called for except the currants. That’s okay though because I don’t even know what a currant is!

The recipe was really easy. Seriously, took me maybe 6 or 7 minutes to mix everything up and that’s with a toddler helping! Oh, and by the way, someone should’ve warned me that molasses is the worst smell in the entire world. I nearly choked on the awfulness.

I was a little worried because I find honey to be VERY strong and the recipe called for 1/2 cup of it. And then after smelling the molasses I was even more worried.

My kid is in LOVE with these cookies. He has had one with each meal since I made them. I can’t blame him though, they are pretty good. They’re a little dense since they’re made with only whole wheat flour, but hey, that’s fine with me. I’d rather have WW any day. I’ve seen a few of my fellow bakers talk about the molasses being overwhelming but I thought it was fine. Even the honey was okay.

If you want to make these and I know you do, head over to Jessica’s blog to get the recipe.

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