Monday, November 29, 2010

Oreo Snowmen

So I've repeated the Oreo Balls recipe yet again, but come on-- how cute are these little snowmen!
I wanted to take something fun to my writing group, and they'd been requesting more oreo balls since I took in the oreo ghosts, so in response to the chilly weather today I whipped these guys up.
At first I made them the size of regular oreo balls, but I was running short on time, so I figured 15 huge ones were easier to dip than 30 little ones. And they were! Then I used a regular toothpick to carve the eyes and mouth. But first went on the nose! For the nose, I melted one square of almond bark and then used a gel-based food coloring to turn it orange. The noses were about the size of a pencil eraser (the visible part on a new pencil, not the whole eraser.) I used a toothpick to dab some globs of A.B. onto a piece of wax paper, and used the toothpick to get the right shape.

These are my favorite oreo creations yet! If anyone can think of any more shapes to try, let me know!

Speaking of favorites, here are some of the members of my favorite group! (Thanks for posing for me!!)

Oreo Snowmen Recipe

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


  • Either crush Oreos or blend in a food processor.
  • Using an electric mixer, blend cookies and the cream cheese together. Chill while working on the noses.
  • Melt one square from the Almond Bark block, then add in orange GEL-based dye until it reaches the color you want.
  • On a sheet of wax paper, use a toothpick to shape drops of a.b. and form to a rounded cone-like shape.
  • Leave those to harden and take the oreo mix from the fridge. On a separate sheet of wax paper, use your hands to roll mix into balls (mine were probably around two inches in circumference, but you can pick the size.) Put in freezer.
  • Chop and melt the remaining almond bark.
  • Drop balls into a.b., one by one. Use a plastic spoon to make sure it's completley covered, then use a toothpick to retreive it from the a.b. Tap off excess and place on wax paper to dry.
  • When mostly dry, press a dried nose into each ball. When completely dry, use a toothpick to create the coal-eyes and coal-mouth.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Pumpkin Cupcakes

Happy Thanksgiving!
Happy Gluttony and Coma Day!

I think that it's obvious by now that I like baking, but SURPRISE! So does my mom!

More specifically, she likes baking CUPCAKES. And I don't just mean regular chocolate or vanilla, either.
For my birthday she made Reese's cupcakes, and lemon cupcakes.
For dad's birthday she made German chocolate cupcakes.
She's also made amazing banana split cupcakes, Twix cupcakes, rocky road, key lime, toffee, white chocolate with raspberry cream cheese, caramel apple...

And for Thanksgiving, she made pumpkin cupcakes!

Pumpkin with cream cheese frosting and sugared pecans

She makes the cupcakes themselves from a box mix, and then makes the frosting (and any other toppings) from scratch.

For these pumpkin cupcakes she added in a can of pumpkin. Then, the amazing and ambitious person she is, she made two different types of frosting: Cream cheese frosting (topped with sugared pecans), and maple buttercream (sprinkled with cinnamon).

Pumpkin with maple buttercream frosting, sprinkled with cinnamon

Included below are both frosting recipes, for your convenience. You don't have to make them both at the same time!

Pumpkin Cupcakes Recipe

  • 1 box Betty Crocker SuperMoist yellow cake mix
  • 1 small box vanilla pudding
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 1 - 15oz can pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice


  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Line a cupcake pan with 24 cupcake papers
  • Combine cake mix, pudding, sour cream, pumpkin, water, oil, eggs, and spice (aka all ingredients) in a large bowl.
  • Beat with electric mixer on low for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.
  • Divide among cupcake cups (about 2/3 full).
  • Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  • Cool completely.

Maple Buttercream Frosting Recipe

  • NOTE: This recipe has been doubled to allow enough frosting to pipe
  • 2 -8 oz packages full-fat cream cheese
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp maple extract
  • 8 c powdered sugar
  • Cinnamon (optional)


  • Cream the cream cheese and butter until well combined and fluffy.
  • Add in vanilla and maple extract, and blend well.
  • Add powdered sugar slowly, until you reach the consistency you like.
  • Frost/pipe onto cupcakes and sprinkle with cinnamon if desired

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

  • 2 - 8oz packages full-fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 9 cups powdered sugar (2 bags = 8 cups) [This amount makes it stiff enough to pipe]
  • Sugared Pecans (optional -- Recipe below)


  • Cream the cream cheese and butter until well combined and fluffy.
  • Add vanilla, mix in.
  • Add powdered sugar slowly, until you reach the consistency you like.

Sugared Pecan Recipe

  • 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
  • 3 tbsp sugar


  • In a heavy skillet, cook pecans and 2 tbsp sugar on LOW heat, about eight minutes, until sugar is melted.
  • Spoon pecans onto waxed paper in thin layer, and sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Diabetic Friendly Chocolate Mousse Pie

Here's another good recipe! Good in many different ways, too. Good: For you; for your wallet; if you have a busy schedule.
You only need four ingredients: A ready-to-use graham cracker crust, one box of pudding, one container of Cool Whip, and milk. What makes it healthy is that the pudding is sugar-free and fat-free, and the Cool Whip is fat-free as well. (An optional fifth ingredient is chocolate for the chocolate curls on top.) I honestly didn't look at the nutrition facts for the crust, but I think with how healthy the mousse is, it shouldn't make that big of an impact.
Chocolate curls are SO fun to make! Now, online it says to use a cheese slicer, and a large block of chocolate. I used a vegetable peeler, and a chocolate bar. The trick is to make the chocolate soft enough that it'll sculpt into the form you want, but if it's too soft it'll just melt. I just bought a regular Hershey's bar and practiced with it. Now, this takes away from the 'diabetic friendly' label, but it's completely optional!

Diabetic Friendly Chocolate Mousse Pie Recipe
  • 1 ready-to-use graham cracker crust (Chocolate, if possible)
  • 1 - 1.5oz package sugar-free/fat-free chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 2/3 c skim milk
  • 1 - 8oz container fat-free Cool Whip, thawed
  • Chocolate curls, or chocolate chips


  • In a large bowl, whisk together pudding powder and milk.
  • Once well combined, add 4oz (1/2 container) of Cool Whip. Fold in carefully-- over mixing will cause the Cool Whip to lose its form.
  • Spoon into crust and smooth out.
  • Top with remaining Cool Whip, and chocolate curls if desired.

Chocolate Curls Recipe

  • One bar of chocolate (or a few, for practice)


  • Put patterned-side down and carefully heat in microwave, making sure not to melt the chocolate. (I used a paper plate, but cut off the raised edges so I could have a flat surface to work on.) Heat ~ 10-15 seconds on 70% heat.
  • Using a vegetable peeler, carefully guide the blade along the chocolate.
  • The amount of pressure/speed will determine how large or loose your curls are.
  • If the chocolate flakes, put it in the microwave for a few more seconds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Almond Bark Popcorn

One of the best tastes in the world is when sweet and salty are combined-- it's why chocolate covered pretzels are so good! As it gets closer to the holidays, I find myself craving all of the holiday treats that I haven't had in a whole year.
This is one of my favorites! Fast, easy, delicious, and sooo tasty. Trust me when I say that you can't eat just one bite of this. You'll be lucky if you don't eat the whole batch. ;)
I overdid it on the Almond Bark, so do NOT add a whole block of it like I did. It just didn't look like the popcorn was completely covered, so I kept adding more. It's still great, but the sweetness overwhelms the popcorn. 2/3 of a block would probably be a much better amount.

Almond Bark Popcorn Recipe
  • 1 bag of 'natural'/unbuttered popcorn
  • 2/3 package of white Almond Bark


  • Pop popcorn according to the instructions on the bag.
  • Empty into a large bowl, and pick out any unpopped kernels ("old maids" as my mom calls them!) or burnt pieces.
  • Melt Almond Bark according to instructions on the package.
  • Pour over popcorn, then use a mixing spoon to mix the two together.
  • On a large sheet of wax paper, pour the popcorn from the bowl and use the spoon to press it out into a thin layer.
  • Let cool/dry completely.
  • Once hard, break off into pieces and serve or store.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Pumpkin Fro-Yo Pie

At work, we'll be getting "yogurt pies" soon! Think of it as a twist: Instead of ice cream cake, it's frozen yogurt pie. Nomnomnom.

Being the impatient person that I can be, I wanted to try one out myself. A couple of days ago our pumpkin yogurt was being changed out, so after work I filled up a cup with that and only that, and brought it home. I had a graham cracker crust waiting to be used too, so I thought, perfect!
This is the easiest, and strangest, and most delightful pie! Pumpkin yogurt, for example, tastes exactly like pumpkin pie. (Or in my case, better, as I've never been much of a normal pumpkin pie girl.) It just adds this odd new element! Plus, you only need two ingredients and a freezer.

I can only assume that this will work best with soft-serve frozen yogurt, not ice cream because the consistencies are different. With all of the fro-yo stores popping up, I bet it'd be easy to find one, and then all you have to do is pick your flavor!
Pumpkin Fro-Yo Pie Recipe
  • 16 oz (1 pint) of frozen yogurt, your choice (more if you don't want that top 'lip' of crust)
  • 1 - 9" graham cracker crust


  • Preheat oven to 250
  • Heat crust for about 10 minutes, just to firm up. Then let cool completely.
  • Pour yogurt into crust, and smooth out/flatten with a rubber spatula.
  • Put into freezer for ~3 hours (or overnight) to fully firm up.
  • Serve!