how do you oreo?

Love at first sight. This recipe was undeniably a must-make as soon as I glimpsed a picture and mumbled in disbelief, “is that an oreo?!” These have it all, a light whipped topping, smooth cheesecake center, and of course a delicious oreo crust. They are easy and impressive, and the cookie is a wonderful surprise. As soon as I turned them upside down to show off the oreo bottom in response to all the “what are these?” you can see it—-the look only an oreo can bring. Don’t we all have childhood memories with these treats? After all, they are ‘milk’s favorite cookie’.

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pb & c

 

The sole reason for these cupcakes lies behind my love of peanut butter pie. I wanted some the other day when a crazy thought hit me—can’t I use it as icing?? (I know, I’m wild!) You could spread that creamy, fluffy goodness on a turkey sandwich and I’d be a happy camper, so why not cupcakes? And determined as I was to come up with some incredibly unique pairing for a cupcake flavor, type in “peanut butter and—-” into google and chocolate chocolate chocolate it is. There were ideas for apple or banana cupcakes topped with peanut butter icing, but overwhelmingly peanut butter pairs with chocolate to top the dessert charts. And I’ll be darned if I’m not going to give the people what they want. I went with the delicious dark cocoa cupcake from a previous post, spread with a layer of nutella, and topped with a dollop of whipped peanut butter pie filling. And it was crazy—I had an overwhelming amount of people telling me (or telling my husband to tell me or texting me) to say that they were the best cupcakes they ever had. It threw me for a loop, but I guess you can’t deny the delicious combination of peanut butter and chocolate. And a layer of nutella between the two never hurts.

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twice as nice

It’s not often a recipe is this versatile. It’s half of a recipe that can go two ways. Confusing, right? While looking for a good church breakfast treat I could make in a bundt pan, I came across a blueberry sour cream coffee cake. It had everything in it–blueberries, cinnamon, brown sugar, pecans…so much so that since I needed to make two bundts, I made the base twice and then went only blueberry with one and cinnamon pecan with the other. AMAZING, both ways. Let me tell you. It makes for an amazingly moist cake. When you bite into it, the cake practically melts and I have no idea why but it is good and I do not question things that are good. All I know is I may or may not have been making repetitive trips every 5 minutes or so to the leftovers, so that I eventually just left a fork under the saran wrap for convenience.  But this post is specifically about the magic that was the cinnamon pecan result. The bundt I drizzled with a maple glaze. And a day later in response to a request at work for a sweet treat, I scooped this same batter into cupcake sleeves and topped with a maple cream cheese icing. The batter was that same fluffy, melty white goodness with swirls of sweet crunch. I have never seen cupcakes disappear this quickly (they never saw high noon) and one coworker came to me with a mouthful and exclaimed “these are stupid good!”. People went out of their way to come to me and tell me how good these were, they were their favorite yet. It was like a weird dream. I even ate 2 and normally I am so over sugar by the time I pop goodies out of the oven that I rarely make it through more than a few bites. I can say all these things because I am not complimenting myself, but merely reveling in a thing of magic. I don’t know why or how but this recipe is here now, stored forever, and I can’t wait to pull it out when I need it for a breakfast bundt or special dessert.

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southern comfort

I am a southern girl, born and raised. Well, it can be argued that Florida is south of the real south, we just kind of stick out into the sea and associate ourselves with old people and flip flops and sort of this half southern accent. Ya’ll. yeah, we use that a lot. And along with the goodness associated with southern things, is southern food. Now I am probably commiting the ultimate southern sin by saying this but…I don’t like grits. at all. And surely I do not like sweet tea. Not your mamas, or grandma’s, or Mickey D’s…BUT this recipe is an ultimate favorite and easy to make. It’s almost an all in one entree—why make a main dish and a side when you can put one inside the other? It’s creamy and crumbly and oh so delicious. Try it out. And like us, you might just find yourself making it again and again.

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mint condition

 

Oh my, Martha has done it again. I’m not one to admit this in a crowded room or in a situation where the possibility of a piece of chocolate cake arises, but I’m not big on chocolate cake. And inevitably that is the flavor people request, again and again…oh yes, and again. I’ve found that I  prefer the lighter flavor of vanilla, paired with various fruits and creams…the types of desserts that leave me feeling like I might have a fighting chance at getting up from the table after consumption. I think it may be because I’ve had my fair share of made-from-the-box chocolate cakes slathered in inch high, heavy chocolate icing, ‘fresh’ from the can. And that every forkful of cake requires half a glass of ice water to get down. I’m allergic to milk so adjust the metaphor accordingly (oh no, don’t worry. It’s nothing that keeps me from cheeses or every dessert that is enjoyable…you just won’t see me with a hefty glass of milk).  Anyways, this cake broke all the chocolate cake stereotypes for me without compromising the the reason chocolate-lovers reach for that extra slice—that pure, smooth chocolate flavor. The cake itself is a good chocolate cake recipe that is perfectly moist and rich, and the chocolate mint ganache is creamy and refreshing. Together they combine to make what I can only describe as a girlscout thin-mint type satisfaction, amplified. And the ganache is the most wonderful consisency to work with, leaving you with an evenly covered, smooth cake—a thing dreams are made of. Top with these chocolate leaves to take it to irresistible.

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