Mother’s Day Mochaccino Cupcakes

For mother’s day, I decided to give my mom the choice of what dessert she would like to make, out of the Better Homes & Gardens edition of Cupcakes.  If you are an avid baker, and have not picked up this special edition yet, you are missing out.  There are some truly great recipes in this book.  My mom chose the Mochaccino cupcakes.  These cupcakes came with a complimentary with a pirouette cookie sticking out of the frosting-just a little addition to make these cupcakes a tad fancier.  I mean, I never saw kids taking pirouette cookies to school with lunch, it was always an Oreo or Chips Ahoy-nothing wrong with either of those, but a nice pirouette for a treat is always a nice change of pace.

The coffee buttercream that topped this chocolate based cupcake was very decadent.  And in all seriousness, the pirouette cookie made the presentation/taste that much better.  Do NOT skimp on the pirouette cookies.

Look at how beautiful these are!

Cookies and Cream Cake

As you all very well know from my oreo cheesecake post, I love Oreos.  Can’t get enough of them.  I decided I was going to branch out for Brendan’s 25th birthday cause I was having a party with a bunch of our friends and family for him turning a quarter century, so I chose to do a Cookies and Cream CAKE from Annie’s Eats!  I am by no means a cake decorator.  I love my piping bag because it makes everything look pretty.  This cake, drove that point home that I have only mastered the piping bag, and not the spatula.  But, nonetheless, the cake was delicious!  (even if it had a crack down the middle of one of the layers)

The cake is a Hershey’s perfect chocolate cake.  I think the name says it all.  The filling, was the cookies and cream.  A creamy layer, with crushed Oreos.  To die for!  Then the cookies and cream was spread across the top of the cake.  Chocolate frosting smeared around the cake and (sparsely) decorated.  I believe my frosting was a little too liquidy because the piping I tried to do around the edges wouldn’t hold.  Needless to say, I smoothed them over with my spatula and kept going.  Then a few decorations of halved Oreos on the top with some drizzled Hershey’s syrup and we were good to go!

Brendan loved it and I was truly proud of my former non-cake decorating skills being able to pull this off and present it to our friends and family to celebrate the quarter century milestone :)

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hands down, my favorite cookies that Stew Leonard’s used to sell in Norwalk, CT were the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  Every time that I now frequent the store, I write a suggesting in the suggestion box to bring these cookies back.  Don’t get me wrong, the sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies are divine, but they can’t hold a candle to my fond food memories of the oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

To say the least, I decided I was going to change out the raisins in the typical oatmeal cookies and replace them with chocolate chips to try and replicate my childhood obsession with Stew Leonard’s cookies.  I took the traditional Nestle chocolate chip cookie recipe, but I cut the butter amount in half, and replaced it with Crisco instead.  This is a secret I learned from my future in-laws to make the cookies keep their shape rather than “melting” and forming a flat cookie.  I then add the oatmeal to the cookie mix, use an ice cream scoop to make a mound of a cookie, and bake away.  Eating 2 of these is certainly a feat, but oh so worth it!  I will continue to write my suggestions at Stew Leonard’s, but until then, I think I have found a pretty good replacement.

Oreo Cheesecake Cupcakes a la Martha Stewart

Oreos are arguably the best cookie ever made.  I have a predisposed adoration for these chocolate and vanilla cream confections due to the fact that my grandfather worked at Nabisco.  Let’s just say as kids, my sister and I played the Memory game, with a Nabisco version that was the cookies as the playing cards, and the whole game board smelled like Oreos.  I have yet to be able to shake this infatuation with Oreos.

At my last job, I was known as the baker in the 13 person office, so when it came time that I received a promotion, the running joke was that the promotion was not official until I brought in a baked good to celebrate, so that is exactly what I did!  Now, I don’t know anyone who could deny themselves of an Oreo, ever! so I decided to make the Martha Stewart Oreo cheesecake cupcakes from the Martha Stewart Cupcake book (a should be staple for the home baker). They were a huge hit!  Even the people who didn’t like cheesecake, liked these cupcakes.  A full Oreo at the bottom of the wrapper, with crushed Oreos in the cheesecake batter.  What could be better?! The cheesecake is a good glass of milk substitute :)