Birthday Cake Truffles

Oreos are like my Mr. Big a la Sex and the City. I go back to them time and time again no matter how bad they make me feel (i.e. this directly correlates to how many I eat). My friends warn me about repeating bad decisions, but something keeps me coming back. I’ve dated them all: the birthday cake, the mint, the double stuf… no matter the flavor, they’re all my old standby.

This recipe gives air to an old flame; it’s amazing what adding cream cheese and chocolate to a relationship can do. These Birthday Cake Truffles are sort of a hybrid between a truffle and a cake pop; the texture is so creamy you wouldn’t know Oreos were the primary ingredient. Though delicious, they are exceedingly sweet, so have a cool glass of milk ready! There I go, pushing milk again.

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INGREDIENTS:

16 oz. white chocolate chip morsels, melted

8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temperature (not whipped– save it for your bagels!)

1 package Birthday Cake Oreos (you can use golden or chocolate but for the classic cake pop taste, go for golden!)

2 tbsp. rainbow jimmies

1 tbsp rainbow nonpareils

DIRECTIONS:

Set aside a baking sheet.

Put Oreos in a food processor. Process until a fine crumb forms, about 45 seconds– I used to use a meat mallet to smash the Oreos, but it never got the crumbs fine enough.

Dump Oreo crumbs into medium sized mixing bowl with cream cheese. Mix well, then add jimmies until combined. Roll Oreo mixture into balls that are about 1 inch in size. Set on baking sheet. Let chill in the freezer for 30 minutes.

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One by one, dip each Oreo ball into the melted chocolate, then set back on the baking sheet. I used a fork to dip the truffles into the chocolate, which was pretty successful. In the past I’ve used toothpicks and they always fell out!

Put a pinch of nonpareils on each ball as you go. Don’t wait until the chocolate has set or none will stick!

Wait until the chocolate has hardened, then eat!

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Jumbo Sugar Cookie

As much as I love baking, sometimes I’m not in the mood to go through all the setting up and cleaning up involved. That’s why this recipe, courtesy of Sally’s Baking Addiction, caught my eye– it just makes one huge sugar cookie. Meaning, it’s a much smaller project than making a full batch. It requires lower ingredient measures and therefore, smaller baking tools can be used.  I LOVE when a recipe only needs 1 or 2 small mixing bowls and teaspoon/tablespoon measures. Small bowls can be popped in the dishwasher and more of them can simultaneously fit on drying mats. Aka, quicker and easier cleanup. Oh, and did I mention the best part? If you only make one giant cookie you don’t have to worry about cookie vultures*; if there’s only one cookie, they know who it’s for.

*A cookie vulture is a person or animal that circles the kitchen while you’re baking and snags a cookie before it’s even hit the cooling rack. When I’m not the one baking, I am one hundred percent a cookie vulture.

This is the first time I’ve made a small batch version of a classic, and part of the reason I chose this recipe to be my first is that it still calls for an oven. I keep seeing recipes for single serving microwave brownies and microwave cakes, but there’s something about *baking* by *microwave* that feels wrong to me. Would it taste the same? Maybe. Would I think it tasted the same? Most likely not.

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INGREDIENTS:

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature

3 Tablespoons sugar

2 Tablespoons beaten egg (crack the egg, beat it, and use 2 tbsp)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

6 Tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

2 Tablespoons sprinkles — the more colorful, the better!

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DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Either spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray or cover it with a piece of parchment paper.

In a small bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Stir in the 2 Tbsp of egg and the vanilla extract.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to overdo it!

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Flip the cookie dough out of the bowl and onto the baking sheet so that it looks like a tall ball (if it’s too flat it will be way too thin!). Bake for approximately 15 minutes until the edges are lightly browned. I took mine out at 13 minutes because I wanted an ooey gooey center, but that’s your call! Just remember that it will continue baking for a few minutes after you take it out of the oven, so don’t overcook it.

Allow the cookie to cool completely on the cookie sheet– no cooling rack needed here.

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Rice Krispie Treat Pops

One of my favorite food-related smells has to be that of marshmallows and butter melting together in the same serendipitous pot over medium-low heat. I’ve only had the good fortune of smelling this delightful interaction while making rice krispie treats, which are, perhaps, the easiest dessert to make besides box pudding. Even though the pre-packaged rice krispie treats are pretty good (I used to eat 6 or 7 at a time after school while watching “Friends” on DVD), there’s nothing like the homemade version. They’re also super fun to play around with; you can use cookie cutters to make different shapes, or even food dye to change the color of the marshmallow-butter blend.

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My friend Chloe’s birthday is coming up so I decided to make celebratory rice krispie pops for our improv practice group tonight. One of the benefits of making these as opposed to cookies or cupcakes is that they’re virtually allergen (i.e. gluten or nut) free, so most people can eat them. With that said, always check the packaging on the ingredients, since allergens vary brand to brand.

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INGREDIENTS:

10 oz. mini marshmallows

6 cups rice krispie cereal

3 tbsp. butter

1/4 melted milk chocolate

1/4 cup rainbow sprinkles

fun straws, cut in half

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DIRECTIONS:

Melt the butter and marshmallows over medium-low heat in a large saucepan. Once there are no marshmallow lumps remaining, turn off the heat and add the cereal. Mix until all of the cereal is coated with the marshmallow mixture. Pour into a 9×13 baking dish, and press down with wax paper or a spatula until smooth. Let cool for a few minutes.

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Spatter with melted chocolate in a diagonal pattern. Move your arm rapidly so that the chocolate doesn’t drip and look gloppy on the treats. Shake sprinkles over the rice krispies so that the whole rectangle is coated. Let chocolate harden for about 10-15 minutes.

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Using a sharp knife, cut into squares about 2 inches in diameter. Remove from pan. Insert straw half into each square. If the straws aren’t sticking,try dipping one end of each straw in melted chocolate before inserting into the rice krispie treats.

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Enjoy!

Leslie

Baked Brooklyn Birthday Cake

Yesterday was my grandma, Nawnee’s, 79th birthday. Nawnee is a pretty fabulous woman, so she required a pretty fabulous cake. I like to do either classic double chocolate or funfetti for birthdays, but she isn’t a huge chocolate fan, so I opted for funfetti. I’ve only ever made funfetti from the box (which is delicious), but my recently purchased cookbook, Baked Occasionshas a homemade funfetti cake right on its cover. The recipe is pretty straightforward, just more time consuming than using a box mix.

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I can’t reprint the recipe here, but I encourage you to buy the cookbook; the recipes and introductions are funny, heartfelt, and mouth-watering good. Side note: if you’re wondering why this recipe has “Baked Brooklyn” in the title, it’s because the cookbook Baked Occasions is based on recipes that the authors, Matt and Renato, created for their bakery, Baked Brooklyn.