Saturday, October 30, 2010

Oreo Ghosts

I was going to post this on Halloween, but I figured I'd post it the day before in case you want to actually make these festive treats!

Oreo ghosts are the same as oreo balls, just shaped differently. I also consider them easier to make, too, because with oreo balls you roll them, then freeze them, then dip them. With the ghosts you shape them, then spoon the almond bark right over them!
With these, it's definitely a "slow and steady" scenario. If you quickly dump the almond bark on, it'll get lumpy and won't cover evenly. So instead, go slowly. Spoon a decent amount over with a plastic mixing spoon (it acted weird when mom and I tried to use a metal spoon) and then use the back of the spoon to guide the almond bark where you want it to go.

Be sure you add enough for them to have a cute little "skirt" at the base, to make sure they really look like ghosts!
Adding the eyes is the most fun part to me!

Let the almond bark completely harden before adding the eyes, or you risk the almond bark simply sinking back into itself, or cracking the soft shell. Take a toothpick, and push it through the almond bark. If you twist the toothpick once embedded, you can create a larger eye socket.
And be sure to experiment with different little shapes! My favorite is the ghost with his little ghost head cocked! It's love at first spook. ;)

Oreo Ghost Recipe

  • One package Oreos
  • One package full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • One package white Almond Bark


  • Finely crush the Oreos. (Mom and I used a food processor this time. Or, put them in a large bag, and smash up with a rolling pin.)
  • In a large bowl, blend together with cream cheese until fully combined.
  • Chill for 30-60 minutes, to make it easier to handle.
  • On a sheet of wax paper, roll out oreos to 1-2" tall, with varying heights and widths.
  • Chop up and melt Almond Bark, adding in vegetable oil if necessary to make it runny enough.
  • Spoon A.B. over the oreo shapes, using the spoon to guide it along the ghosts to make sure they're fully covered. (Watch out for their butts! Mom and I miss those most often.)
  • Let fully harden, then use a toothpick to form their eyes.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Candy Melt Pretzels

Halloween is fast approaching! Today mom came up and we made treats.

I don't know if they have a name, but she's made them before for Christmas, and wanted to make Halloween ones! Notice how they're all Halloween colored?
And since they use pretzels, candy melts, and M&Ms, I figure "Candy Melt Pretzels" is easy enough.

These are easy. SO easy, in fact, that I don't even need to put a recipe guide below. I will anyway, but it's astonishing how easy these are. I mean..have I mentioned how easy they are?
I'm just going to fill up this post with pictures!

Candy Melt Pretzels Recipe

  • One package pretzel Snaps (The square/grid kind)
  • Candy Wafers (Purchasable at craft stores like Hobby Lobby, and Wal-Mart)
  • M&Ms (one large, or a few small bags)


  • Preheat oven to 200
  • Arrange Snaps on a cookie sheet, in one flat layer.
  • Top each with one candy wafer (the color is your choice!)
  • Put into oven for 2-3 minutes, until you can press an M&M into the wafer without any resistance.
  • Remove from oven, press M&Ms into remaining wafers. Let cool/harden!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Reverse Chocolate Chip Cookies

Alright, so these might have another name, but I prefer the one I gave them. Today I made chocolate cookies, with white chocolate chips!
(Arg, stupid picture rotating! There HAS to be a way to fix it..) I had the same issue today that I always have with chocolate cookies, no matter what: I can never tell when they're done. I may or may not have also burned a pan...but I can't tell. Sad, right? The ones I ate were tasty, though! But then, I also like white chocolate.
I know I should've baked yesterday, but there was too much going on! I had to enroll for my classes today too, and skipped today's class to make sure I got my next semester lined up correctly, so I baked while I waited! ..I'm a good student, I swear.

The only suggestion I have is that, if you know a tip to tell when a chocolate cookie is done, use it. And possibly share it with me. Otherwise, they were delicious. Enjoy!

Reverse Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
  • 6 oz milk chocolate (chips probably work-- I used Hershey's Bliss squares because it was all I had)
  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 c flour
  • 6 oz white chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Melt the milk chocolate (microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then heat in 10 second increments until done) and set aside to cool.
  • Cream together butter, sugar, and vanilla until well mixed.
  • Add eggs one at a time, beating together between each.
  • Add the melted, cooled chocolate. Beat on low.
  • Add in cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt, and beat well.
  • Gradually add in flour.
  • Once well combined, stir in the white chocolate chips.
  • Shape dough into 1" balls, and drop onto baking sheet.
  • Bake for 8-10 minutes.
  • Leave on the pan for 1-2 minutes to set, then transfer to wire rack to cool.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Orange Dreamcicle Cheesecake

Laura and I took a daytrip to the Louisburg Cider Mill this weekend! Suuuuch a fun day!

It's like heaven in a country store!

Along with all of the cider, and cider doughnuts I bought, I also bought a jar of peach butter, some caramel apple sprinkles (which taste like french vanilla, actually), and a package of "orange dreamcicle cheesecake mix." (OH! AND SORRY! The next two pictures did that automatic-rotate thing and I can't get them back. Head, meet shoulder.)

I'm trying to find a recipe to use peach butter in, but no luck so far, and I might do something with the cider, but for now I went with the mix.
You can't buy this mix in any regular store I don't think, but you CAN order it online. The cheesecake was really really sweet, but reminded me of those orange ice cream push-pops-- you know, the Flinstones ones. Quite tasty! You can buy the mix at named for Peculiar, Missouri. You can probably make this from scratch too, but I never would've thought of it!

Hamilton helped me today, instead of Maisy! (aka: handheld vs kitchenaid)

Orange Dreamcicle Cheesecake Recipe

  • 1 package O.D.C. mix (see website above)
  • 2 - 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c milk
  • 1 graham cracker crust


  • Combine packaged mix, cream cheese, and milk in a large bowl. Beat until well blended.
  • Put into graham cracker crust.
  • Chill until served!

Caramel Brownies

Occasionally my roommate will decide to have a girl's night. So this time I decided to make a little treat: Brownies!

This is partially because I already had a box of brownie mix in the cabinet, but also because I had some little caramel squares in the cabinet that I wanted to get rid of. Otherwise I would've eaten them all plain!

So I made the brownies, and then melted 20 of the caramel squares. Now, no matter how much you heat these, they will firm up again right least the way I did it! So I melted them and stirred in a little veggie oil, just to get it liquid enough to drizzle the caramel over the brownie mix before I baked it.

And the caramel will harden as you drizzle, so make sure you work quickly!

Caramel Brownie Recipe

  • One box of brownie mix
  • Eggs (2, probably)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • 20 small caramels


  • Prepare brownie mix according to directions on the back of the box.
  • Pour mix into the pan of your choice (ex: 9x13 pan)
  • Unwrap the caramels (yep!) and put in a microwave safe bowl.
  • Heat on high for 30 seconds, then stir. Add in a little vegetable oil, then continue heating in 10-second intervals until totally melted.
  • Use a spoon to drizzle caramel over the brownies.
  • Bake according to the box's directions.
  • Frost if you'd like, or serve slightly warm!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Red Velvet Cake


My co-worker Derek proposed to his girlfriend on the 9th, and she said yes!

He actually asked me to take anniversary pictures and engagement pictures for them (He asked her the day of their 5.5 year anniversary) and requested that I also make her favorite dessert -- Red velvet cake -- as a bonus. Typically, I'd whine about how much stress I'd be under to do it all, but this was a big day, you know?
So I took a page out of the "Semi-homemade" book, and bought a boxed cake mix but made the frosting myself.

Since I've really started focusing on baking, I've had a hard time eating those jarred frostings you buy at the store. Now, if I'm in the right mood I can gobble down the chocolate frosting with no problem. But the canned cream cheese frosting.... ugh. Just ugh.
The frosting I made was AMAZING. I almost kept the cake for myself, but that wouldn't be right.. I like my cream cheese frosting much more cream-cheesy, and less sugary-sweet. Apparently it's the same recipe my mom uses, except she uses a few cups more of powdered sugar.

This was also my first time decorating a cake!! I don't make them often (ever) so it was fun! I'm surprised at how pretty it came out. Very regal, or at least I'll convince myself that it is.
Red Velvet Cake Recipe
  • One box red velvet cake mix
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 c water
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil


  • Prepare cake according to box directions.
  • Let cool completely. If needed, cut off the rounded tops (for 2 - 9in cakes) before frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

  • Note: I mixed the recipe to have 1.5 the amount it originally called for, in order to have enough to pipe the decor on. If you don't plan on this, remove a third of the recipe from your measurements.
  • 3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c butter (1 1/2 sticks), softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla


  • In large bowl (medium if using 2/3 of the recipe) cream together the cream cheese and butter.
  • Mix in vanilla.
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar, stirring the edges constantly to make sure it's evenly distributed.

Note: You should store this cake in the fridge because of the frosting. Enjoy!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cinnamon Apple Slices

Fall is here! It smacked me in the face last night when the temperature dropped to 36 and my room was freeeeezing. So what better day to celebrate autumn than with cinnamon sugar apples slices?I love apple pie, but I have one measly issue: I don't like the crust. I'm not a crust person! With french silk pie (my favorite!) I eat the chocolate and the whipped cream, and leave a triangle of crust sitting on my plate when I'm done. So I figured I'd make the cinnamon apples without that pesky crust getting in my way.

There were a lot of recipes online, but none were really what I was looking for. Several call for brown sugar, which I was going to try, but my brown sugar smelled weird, like it had gotten mixed in with allspice and ginger or something. And of course, when something smells weird it'll taste weird too, so I didn't want to risk it.
I wound up using three small Granny Smith apples (because the store only had small ones. Uh..okay?) and a simple cinnamon-sugar mixture. The brown sugar surely would've made it thicker, but this was still pretty tasty.

This recipe is the epitome of my "quick and easy" tag: Three ingredients, two and a half minutes in the microwave. The only thing that takes time is the peeling of the apples, but really, how much longer does that take?
Cinnamon Apple Slices Recipe
  • 3 small Granny Smith apples
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/3 c granulated sugar


  • Peel, quarter, and slice each apple.
  • Cut each quarter into relatively thick slices.
  • Mix cinnamon and sugar in a separate bowl. Slowly sprinkle over apple slices, stirring to ensure that it's evenly distributed.
  • In a large, microwave safe bowl (I have a large ceramic dish that resembles-- or is?-- a giant ramekin) put the apples in layers, preferably as even as you can.
  • Cook on high for 2-5 minutes (our microwave heats HOT)-- I did for 2.5 minutes-- until the apples are soft.
  • Stir, then let sit so the apples absorb the liquid. Stir again, then enjoy!