Tag Archives: chocolate

Whoopie Pie Cake aka the ugliest cake I have ever loved and focusing on what matters

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Martha Stewart I am not…and that is ok

Ok…so we had some good friends over for supper the other night.  Truth is, it would have been far easier to skip having anyone over that day.  We had gone to visit my sister and her family in South LA and got  back into town that afternoon.  But we had been planning on having Chris and Sarah and their kiddos over for a while and Christmas break was almost over.  It is so easy to put things off.  It is so easy to say “oh forget it!”  “I am too tired”  or “another time”.  But we were committed.  I had promised Chris I would make him something good and that includes dessert.  So I got on Pinterest to find the perfect dessert.  I knew what I was making for the main dish so dessert was all that was left.  I got home and got to work on prepping dinner.  I was exhausted ya’ll.  But I was looking forward to dinner with our friends.  As parents of 4 kiddos…we enjoy downtime with just our family.  Just driving down the road with all of us in a vehicle tends to be a little chaotic, so of course we savor our version of calm.  I learned long ago though, that if we were to have any social life at all, we would have to open our home to others.  Is our home clean all of the time?  No.  Is our home a showplace?  No way.  Is our home serene and always pleasant?  Negative Ghostwriter.  Is our home full of energy, laughter and noise?  You bet.  So if you are going to roll with us, know that ahead of time.  Get ready for it and embrace imperfection.  Nothing about my life is perfect.  It is by all accounts…perfectly imperfect.  And finally, finally, I am growing comfortable with this.  I no longer apologize.  We are who we are.  So come on in, feel comfortable and welcome, and grow comfortable with the chaos.  We had our friends over.  We accepted what was and knew as long as everyone ended the evening with a full belly and a happy heart, our mission was accomplished.  We were doing this!!!

So, as the evening went  on, the chicken breasts were so dang big they took too long to cook.  (that is a recipe for tomorrow)  and the cakes I made for the whoopie pie cake were all broken up and I did not cool it long enough because I was in a hurry, so lots of crumbs got into the filling.  Yet, I persisted.  I was making this cake.  Chris comes over and says “Cajun Mama, that cake does not look perfect” (he was joking) and to this I said “this is not Cajun Mama bakes and I am not Martha Stewart”.  Funny but so true.  I hope that I am every cook’s cook.  I do not want to be an example of a cook who does everything perfectly or shows you all only the perfect side of things.  I am all about the imperfect side.  The real stuff.  Because I am real.  If I set that bar so high and make it all look easy, that discourages other and they put so much pressure on themselves.  There is far too much pressure on us as a society to be perfect as it is.  Who needs that?  So…my cake did not look perfect.  BUT, as many things go in my life, it was DELICIOUS!!!  Kiddos raved.  Big Daddy raved.  Our friends raved.  That was all that mattered.  We could have waited to have them over when everything was perfect and I could have made another cake.  That is not me though.  That is not us.  I am above all a realist.  And I know I could wait forever and nothing will be perfect.  There will always be a kink.  Life is busy, mommies get tired, cakes fall apart…but things can still be sweet.  As the saying goes, dip it in chocolate and it will be fine.  This cake is amazing and not too hard and everything good about dessert and life all rolled into one.  Layers of yum!!!  I hope if you make this cake that it turns out beautifully.  Picture perfect.  But in case it doesn’t, persevere.  It is so good, it can be ugly and everyone will love you more.  It is how sweet and tasty the cake is that matters.  Enjoy!!!

Please do not be intimidated by the 3 part recipe.  Every step is easy and painless.  Don’t be deterred by the word ganache.  I almost let this turn me away, but my friend, Sarah, whisked the 2 ingredient ganache together quickly and easily.  This is a delicious, seems as if you worked for hours, special dessert that is in reality easy peasy.  Just do it!!!

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Being together is the sweetest thing of all…sweet friends making sweet memories

Whoopie Pie Cake (adapted from http://cookiesandcups.com)

Stuff you need:

1 box chocolate cake mix (I used Duncan Hines triple chocolate fudge), baked according to package direction plus add one more egg)

Filling:

2 sticks of real butter

2 cups of marshmallow fluff

3 cups of powdered sugar

Ganache topping:

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

What to do with the stuff:

In a mixing bowl, beat together the cake mix according to package directions, adding one egg.  Divide into 2 prepared (greased and floured) 9 x 13 ” pans.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Let cakes cool completely. (trust Cajun Mama on this one…)

Now make the filling while the cakes are cooling.  In a stand mixer, combine softened butter and marshmallow fluff until smooth.  Try to not stick your fingers in this utterly delicious concoction.  I…um…thought it looked delicious.  Ok, ok, I totally tasted it.  5 times.  MMMM!!  Ok, now add powdered sugar one cup at time, beating after each addition.  Once your cakes are cooled, spread the filling on top of one of the cake layers then place the other cake on top.

Now, make the ganache.  You can so do this.  In a small saucepan, bring the heavy whipping cream almost to a boil.  Remove from heat.  Whisk in chocolate chips until smooth.  Allow this to cool for about 10 minutes and then pour over the cake.  See?  Now matter if there is a crack or 10, pouring this over that broken up cake makes it all better.  Ain’t life sweet?

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Layers of chocolate and yummy filling…how sweet it is

Oreo Balls

Ok now some people call these Oreo Truffles.  I admit that does sound fancier.  But when my sister, Jenny, offered me one for the very first time, she called them Oreo Balls.  So it stuck.  My kids ask for them by name…Oreo balls.  And so it is.  These things are so tasty and a wonderful addition to any dessert buffet.  Perfect party treat.  They can be easily packaged into cute gifts.  Teacher appreciation gifts?  Put them in a clear treat bag, make a tag that says “It’s been a ball being in your class!!” , punch a whole in the corner and tie it to your treat bag with some colorful twine.  It’s in the bag…literally!!  They are superb treats for your neighbors, especially if you are into ding dong ditching.  You can use vanilla candy quick and put the food coloring of your choice in and voila…yummy, edible party favors that go with your color scheme.  I could go on but I know ya’ll want me to get on with it already and so I will.  You can use vanilla candy Quik, white chocolate chips, chocolate candy quick or semi sweet or milk chocolate chips.  I am working on a mint variation right now.  Mint oreos with those limited edition Nestle mint chocolate chips.  I will let ya’ll know.  You really truly can do almost anything with this recipe.  Make it your own!!  Now that the lovely people at Nabisco are offering so many different varieties of Oreos, the options are nearly endless.

Oreo Balls

Ingredients

1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened

1 package Oreos, crushed

1 package candy quik or 1 package chocolate chips

Directions

Now, I use my food processor to crush my Oreos.  You want them to be ground until they are almost like sand and the food processor works perfectly.  I get that not everyone has a food processor or wants to get it out for this task, so you can also put them in a gallon size Ziploc bag and take a rolling pin to them.  This also works great for getting rid of some pent up aggression.  Unless you don’t have any…if that is the case, you can bring them to me and I will crush them for you.  I have plenty of pent up aggression…kind of makes me wonder why I missed the opportunity to smash cookies with a rolling pin?  Hmmm…need to consider this next time.  Anyway, once this is done put your cookies crumb sand into your standing mixer bowl or a regular mixing bowl along with the softened block of cream cheese.  Mix away until it is well combined.

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This is how your mixture of cream cheese and cookie crumbs should look

Now, you are going to make them into uniform balls.  I just take a spoon and scoop some up and roll it into a ball.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place your balls on parchment paper a few inches apart.  Now, melt your candy quik according to package directions or put your chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each round until they are melted.  Taking one ball at a time, roll in the melted candy quik or chocolate chips.  I will tell you, this can get messy.  Place each dipped ball back on parchment paper once you are done until each ball is covered.  If you want, you can put some sprinkles or mini chocolate chips on some or all of the balls.  It gives them a little added texture and makes them look especially festive.  My kids like them plain, so I usually do half and half.  Put them in the fridge over night or for several hours at least, to cool.  Get ready to make more because they will disappear quickly.  Big Daddy says these are “tasty” and he is not usually a dessert person.

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Oh luscious Oreo balls…how I love thee…

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The plan was to have some left for the man in red…yeah…there is one left.  Onto plan B.

Naughty brownies

Now the original name of these brownies is “slutty” brownies and “lady of the night” brownies.  I am really not sure where that name comes from unless it is the fact that you feel downright bad about yourself for making them let alone eating one.  I didn’t not let such a notion stop me.  I mean…chocolate chip cookie dough, double Stuf oreos and brownies?  Umm…sounds like a dream come true to me. But truthfully, these things are sinful so I can kind of see why such a name.  But for the sake of any aunts, uncles, friends’ parents from elementary school who might follow my blog I am going to call them Naughty brownies.  Also, my 10 year old gets on my Cajun Mama facebook page from time to time and also reads my blog, and I really not ready to answer questions about that name.  And they are naughty, so this name is appropriate.  Anyway, Big Daddy was going to the store this morning to get some stuff for his boat and he asked if I needed anything.  I said yes, 2 packs of double stuf oreos.  He immediately got a worried look on his face and asked if i was ok. He knows that Oreos are my weakness and a bad day could send me into the position.  Hunched over a glass of milk dunking oreo after oreo.  I told him I was fine.  I am making brownies.  He didn’t ask any more questions.  He just went and then came home with a pack of double stuf Oreos and then…gasp a package of Mega stuf Oreos.  Seriously?  Who knew they made those.  Luckily my kids love oreos too, so between putting them in the brownies and my kids’ attacking them like a pack of starved gorillas…no worries about having them around the house.  Ok…I made these brownies once before when I first found them on Pinterest.  I don’t think I cooked them long enough and the batch was too small so I kind of felt meh about them.  That was before Cajun Mama.  I felt like it was my responsibility to try them again and report the results to you all.  So…it was tough but I muddled through.  I took one for the team.  ha ha ha! 🙂  Much better results this time with a few changes to the recipe.

Also, this is NOT my brainchild.  I wish I could claim ownership of such a devilish concoction, but I am not a genius.  i do not know where this originated from but I will give you my take on it and i made some changes so to whomever came up with this recipe…my hat is off to you!!

Naughty Brownies

Ingredients

One recipe of Nestle Toll House cookie dough (off the back of the nestle toll house semi sweet chocolate chips package)

one package of Double Stuf Oreos

One family size package of Betty Crocker chewy brownie mix

Directions

LIne one 13 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper.  Leave some sticking out on each side so you can use it for handles to lift the brownies out the pan later.  Trust me.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Make cookie dough according to Nestle Tollhouse directions.  Press cookie dough into pan.  Lay enough Oreos on top of cookie dough to amply cover the cookie dough.  Like this…

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Next, make your brownie batter according to package directions.  Pour brownie batter on top of Oreos.  Make sure you spread it evenly over the Oreos and cookie dough.  Pop your pan in the oven and bake for about 40 minutes.  Check them for doneness and continue to cook in 10 minute increments until done.  You will know they are done when the brownies start to separate from the parchment paper and you don’t see any gooey brownie dough when you look at them.  Mine took about 50 minutes to be done.  I made a bigger batch than what the original called for and they cut much better and more evenly.  Plus more to share.  Win!  This batch turned out perfectly.  I let them cool for about 30 minutes and then I took each end of parchment paper and put that on a cutting board.  I then used my beloved Pampered Chef spatula and cut them into squares while simultaneously shooing little hands away until I was done.  Seriously…little people and big men come out of the woodwork when these are done.  Proceed with caution.  So. devilishly good.  Also these would be precious with the seasonal oreos (thought they will not be double stuf) for a little added color.  Hope you enjoy them.

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Aren’t they lovely?  These taste even better than they look.  Promise 

Cajun MAMA side note…So I woke up too early this morning.  Big Daddy had woken up and then my little bull followed suit.  Little Bull wanted a pot pie from the freezer of all things for breakfast.  So BD heated it up for them.  He had no way of knowing that Cookie loves potpies and i had bought that one for her.  She of course woke up this morning and decided she HAD to have it for breakfast.  That is how I ended up at Walmart at 7 a.m. in the frozen food aisle buying another potpie.  So naturally, me being the talkative Cajun I am even without coffee, I share this with the sweet checkout lady.  She gives me a knowing look and tells me “honey.  stop spoiling them children.  They gonna always expect you to do this stuff for them.” I took her words to heart.  She went on to tell me she knows what she is talking about as a 53 year old experienced mom.  I have no doubt she does.  I also have no doubt I probably go too far to please my kids sometimes.  I find it hard to see the line sometimes.  I often wonder if I am the only one.  Am I too self indulgent?  Then I see someone else doing something for their kids and I realize no…I am a mom.  Moms do those things.  Do our kids take us for granted?  Sure.  They are too young to understand why we do it…they just know we do it.  Was going to WM at 7 a.m. on Saturday morning to replace that potpie too much effort for my child who is already struggling to find her place and identity?  I don’t think so.  I want her to know she is worthwhile.  I want her to feel valued.  It is the same reason we moms and dads do any of the stuff we do.  Because we are laying the foundation for their tomorrow.  Does it ensure their love for the long haul?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  All I know is that I cannot give her everything.  I won’t. I cannot give her a pony.  I cannot order everything she wants from the PB Teen catalog.  Even if we could afford it, I would not.  That is not realistic.  I am limiting what Santa brings this year because all that excess is unnecessary and eventually setting me up for having to give more and more.  But I CAN go replace a potpie that was her’s and that I bought because she loves them that got eaten.  I can do that.  I try hard to live my life doing what I can with what I have where I am.  That is all I can do.  Same reason on Saturday when I am too tired to really care, I make trashy brownies, cajun bean and ham soup, a cheese dip for the game.  If it is the small things that become the big things, then I think I am going to make it.   We all will.  Those things I can do.  ~AMB

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