Saturday, February 28, 2009

Channeling Sandra Lee with Oreos

Have I mentioned yet that I have a split personality?
I have a traditional self, the one that loves homemaking, cooking,
baking, gardening, making the house a home.
That's my Jane side. Jane loves her children and her home
and would rather stay in on a Saturday night watching
videos and cuddling with hubby on the sofa.

Then the flip side of the coin: Amy,
The Wild One. She's the one that calls her husband during
his work day to tell him all the naughty things she's
going to do to him that night when he gets home. She has
a whiskey voice, low and sultry. She likes the
nightlife and has a real weakness for vodka and
cranberry juice.

Jane is adamant about the superiority of cooking
and baking from scratch. The slow food movement holds
a lot of appeal for her.


The crazy-busy wifemomemployee Amy
finds relief in short cuts. Anything to get drudgery done fast so she can
get on with the fun stuff. The Sandra Lee side,
if you will.

My third-born recently celebrated his twenty-first birthday
and, given the choice, requested white cake ('because everything you
bake is chocolate') of some kind. I offered him an Oreo cake. Had
to get some chocolate in there somehow.

I had two Oreo cookie cake recipes: one that required
crushed Oreos to be distributed throughout the cake
batter. It was a Bundt cake with only powdered sugar sprinkled
over it in place of frosting or glaze. It had a nice glaze instead of typical frosting.
It was easy and light and didn't make you feel
guilty after you ate it.

The second one was the one I chose this past week.
I don't remember where in cyberspace I 'appropriated' this recipe,
but there was a note that the blogger got it from
Pampered Chef Delightful Desserts.
It sounded a little richer and actually had frosting, one of
my personal priorities in baked goods.

Cookies and Creme Cake


12 creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
1 pkg. white cake mix
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup sour cream
3 egg whites
2 tablespoons vegetable oil


6 creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons butter, softened


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray fluted cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. For cake, coarsely chop cookies, set aside. Combine cake mix, water, sour cream, egg whites and oil; mix according to package directions.

Pour half of the batter into pan. sprinkle chopped cookies evenly over top of batter but not touching sides of pan. Spoon remaining batter over cookies.

Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes. Loosen cake from sides and center tube of pan. Invert onto cooking rack; remove pan. Cool completely.

For icing, coarsely chop remaining cookies and set aside. Combine powdered sugar, sour cream and butter; beat until smooth. Ice top of cake, allowing some to flow down the sides.*** Sprinkle top of cake with cookie crumbs. Let stand until icing is set. Cut into slices. Store leftover cake, covered, in re

Yield: 16 servings.

***I found I needed to add a few drops of milk to mixing bowl when beating the frosting to make it thin enough to do any 'flow down the sides.'

And below is the first Oreo cake I made, for the sake of comparison.
If you decide to make either of them, I'd love to hear from you, and
hear what you think. They're both good, everyday-type cakes,
quick to throw together and lighter than many of the cakes I
have in my repertoire. But they're not really anything that special.
Which is not to say 'don't make them'; it's just that I like to fuss a
little more and create something really memorable. Someday
I'll try to come up with something more worthy of the
Oreo name.

Second Oreo Cookie Cake


1 pkg. white cake mix
16 Oreos, coarsely crushed
1 pkg. (3 oz) cream cheese, softened
2 teaspoons milk
2 cups heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup powdered sugar


Prepare cake batter according to package directions; stir in crushed cookies. Spoon into a greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 33-38 minutes, then test with a toothpick to determine doneness. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and milk until smooth. Beat in cream until mixture begins to thicken. Add powdered sugar; beat until stiff peaks form. Frost cake. Garnish with additional Oreos. Refrigerate leftovers.

Yield: 12-16 servings.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Own Little Hand-off of Power

The New Sheriff In Town

After a much too long absence, I am back,
new laptop in place, with a new post.
And I'm rarin' to go.

If you knew me at all, you would know that I rail against Big Business,
with all their soul-destroying marketing. For instance, don't get me started
on Disneywhore.

But...I must sing the praises of a product that has really delivered for me over
the years:


I was given a yard sale stand mixer the first year of my first marriage.
For twenty-five dollars, I got 16 years of excellent service,
About the time that Sunbeam was slowing down, someone gave me
yet another Sunbeam, again used, and again, an outstanding product.

As I grew into the obsessed foodie that I now am, I realized that
I was baking way too much for the old small one to handle.
Doubling batches of cookie dough (does anyone really make
a single batch anymore? They must live alone) was
becoming a health risk: I was breathing in copious amounts
of all-purpose flour every time I mixed up dough.

After reading and researching, I decided to ask Santa for the
Holy Grail: Kitchenaid.

Did I mention that I have a very enabling husband?
He fed the obsession this past Christmas and delivered unto me
a pristine egg-shell-colored Kitchenaid.

And not just any KA. It's a Professional 600 and it's sitting
on my counter as we type, purring like our new kitten Cleo.
A very special chocolate cake was his christening task,
and he was certainly up to the challenge.
Smooth as buttah.

I've named my new love Mighty Mac, which will most likely
only make sense to fellow Michiganians, but that's okay.

He's a hottie, isn't he?
Mighty Mac in profile--this is his best side.

And check out the power of this baby-he can handle the stiffest-errm-toughest
jobs I throw at him, six cups of flour or more, with no air pollution whatever.
My lungs have been giving thanks ever since he arrived.

So to the makers of Sunbeam stand mixers: I salute you! You make a
quality product. I'm a little sad that I've outgrown you.

And to Mighty Mac: I think it's the beginning of a
beautiful friendship.