Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Chocolate-Covered Oreo Cookie Cake


For the Cake:

  • 24 Oreo cookies, chopped (you will need a full package, the rest will be used for the filling)
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 package chocolate cake mix (the richer the better), and ingredients called for on the package

For the Chocolate Mousse Icing:

  • 1 teaspoon gelatin powder, unsweetened
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 2 tablespoons hot water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup heavy cream, chilled
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract

For the Buttercream Filling

  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • ¼ cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ t. vanilla extract
  • The rest of the package of Oreos, chopped finely

    To Make the Cake:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 9-inch cake pans with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine the chopped cookies, chocolate chips, flour, and butter. Sprinkle one-quarter of the cookie mixture in the bottom of one pan, repeat with the other pan. Set aside.
    Mix the cake up according to package directions. Pour one-quarter of the cake batter over the cookies in one pan, repeat in the other. Divide up the remaining cookie mixture between the two pans and sprinkle over the cake batter in both pans. Top off the pans with the remaining cake batter and bake for 30-40 minutes or until cake is done.
    Once removed from the oven, let the cakes sit for 15 minutes, then remove to wire rack. Cool completely.

    To Make the Buttercream Filling:

    Beat the shortening and butter in a mixing bowl. Add sugar, milk, and the extracts slowly; mix until blended. Beat at medium speed until fluffy. Add the rest of the package of Oreos to the mixture. Chill.

    To Make the Chocolate Mousse Icing:

    In a small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute to soften. Add the hot water; whisk until gelatin in completely dissolved and the mixture is clear. Cool slightly.
    Stir together the sugar and cocoa in a large bowl, add whipping cream and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until the mixture is stiff. Pour in gelatin mixture, beat until well blended. Chill.

    Once everything is chilled, arrange the bottom cake layer on a cake dish. Put the buttercream filling on top of the bottom cake layer (you’ll have to lay it on pretty thick, but the filling holds up nicely if the cake is refrigerated). Place the other cake layer on top. Frost the top and sides with the chocolate mousse icing. You may want to sprinkle more cookie crumbs on top, or make a pretty design with chocolate syrup.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Rosemary Bread

1 c. water
3 T. olive oil
1- 1/2 t. white sugar
1- 1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. Italian Seasoning
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1 T. dried rosemary
1-1/2 c. bread flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
1- 1/2 t. active dry yeast

Bake in your bread machine or use the dough cycle and bake in the oven at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until loaf is browned and makes a hollow noise when thumped.

This bread is wonderful with olive oil and dipping spices!

To mix the dough by hand, combine yeast + 1/4 c. warm water, wait 10 min. Add flour, salt, sugar, and oil; knead for several minutes. Add the herbs & pepper and knead some more. Let rise an hour or so in an oiled, covered bowl in a warm place. Punch down, let rise another hour. Bake at 375 until browned.
Red Ribs (also works on Pork Tenderloin) - For the Slow Cooker

2 lbs. pork tenderloin OR country-style pork spareribs, cut into serving piececs of 3-4 ribs
1/4 c. ketchup
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. lemon juice
2 T. honey
1 T. brown sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 T. freshly grated ginger

Arrange the rib portions in the slow cooker. Combine the ketchup, soy sauce, lemon juice, honey, brown sugar, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl and mix until smooth; spoon over meat. If you have a round cooker, stack the ribs with sauce in between. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours, until the meat is tender and starts to separate from the bone. Serve immediately.

Blueberry Orange Cheesecake

1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons brown sugar

6 tablespoons butter, melted


4 cups cream-style cottage cheese, undrained

1-1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 eggs


1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream

2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

1 cup fresh blueberries

Fresh mint, optional

  • In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, flour and brown sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 2-1/2 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan; set aside.
  • In a blender, cover and process cottage cheese until smooth.
  • Transfer to a large mixing bowl; beat in sugar. Beat in the flour, cream, orange juice concentrate, vanilla and salt. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust.
  • Bake at 350° for 70-75 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine sour cream and confectioners' sugar; spread over cheesecake. Garnish with blueberries and mint if desired.
Yield: 12 servings.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Fruit Pizza

1 tube sugar cookie dough
2-8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 cup powered sugar
1 8 oz tub cool whip, thawed
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup orange juice
2 T. cornstarch
1 ½ cup strawberries, sliced
2 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
2 bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries

  • Roll out cookie dough into a circle the size of your pizza pan. A 14-16” pan works best. Place on greased pan, and bake about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Let cool.
  • Make glaze: Mix together orange and pineapple juice in a small saucepan. Stir in cornstarch, and heat, stirring until mixture thickens. Set aside to cool.
  • Mix together softened cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Fold in Cool whip. Spread over cooled crust.
  • Arrange fruit on cream filling, in a pleasing design. Spread cooled glaze over fruit. Chill until ready to serve.

You can substitute any fresh seasonal fruit. Try peaches, any fresh berry, mandarin oranges, grapes...