I sent out a 411 to some of my favorite bloggers asking what cakes were on their to-make list. Elly from Elly Says Opa! mentioned that she was planning on making an Oreo cake. She didn’t give me a recipe but the mention got me off searching through blogs and websites for inspiration.
What I enjoyed about this is not only does it use Oreos as an ingredient, but the cake itself almost mimics a giant Oreo, too. The whipped cream frosting was a nice break from the usual sugar-sweet buttercreams that predominant most cakes. It was also super easy to make but makes quite an impression. I recommend it for sure!
Oreo Cake (adapted from Serious Eats)
- 3/4 cup (about 3 3/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (about 3/4 ounce) cocoa powder
- 1/2 plus 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (about 4 1/3 ounces) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Oreo whipped cream:
- 1 18 ounce package Oreo cookies
- 4 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
To make the cake:
- Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350°.
- Line bottom of a 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper and lightly coat the inside with non-stick pan spray.
- Sift flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt into large bowl; set aside.
- In medium bowl, whisk sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.
- Whisk wet ingredients into dry ingredients until smooth.
- Pour batter into pan and bake until cake is just firm and toothpick inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Let cake cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan to completely cool on wire rack, about 1 hour.
To make the whipped cream and finish the cake:
- Carefully cut 6 Oreo cookies in half; set aside. Chop remaining cookies into 1/4-inch pieces; set aside.
- Make the Oreo whipped cream in 2 batches:
- In bowl of standing mixer fitted with whip attachment, whip 2 cups cream on medium-high speed to soft peak, spoon into large bowl and refrigerate.
- In same mixer bowl, whip remaining 2 1/2 cups cream, sugar, and vanilla to soft peak.
- Fold into already whipped cream.
- Fold chopped Oreos into whipped cream.
- Slice cake in half horizontally to create 2 layers. Place bottom layer on serving plate. Spread about 1/3 of Oreo whipped cream onto cake. Top with second cake layer and use remaining Oreo whipped cream to frost top and sides of cake. Chill in refrigerator for about 2 hours to allow cookies to soften.
- Garnish with reserved Oreo cookie halves. Serve.
Brr! It is cold today. I stood in the parking lot after work and the wind just whipped through me. The sun was shining brightly and gave the appearance of a warm welcome when I looked out my office window – how disappointed I was. If only I had a soup like this to come home to. This is a meal I enjoyed last weekend with a close friend. She is an adventuresome eater so I know that this soup filled with an oddball combo of ingredients like apricots, eggplant, and lentils would not be unwelcome.
The flavors are so perfect and exotic while also being homey and hearty. A dollop of yogurt adds nice contrast but is totally not necessary. This soup was a great break from my usual vegetarian main courses in the winter.
Armenian Lentil Soup (Epicurious via Peanut Butter Runner)
- 1 cup dried green lentils
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 1 medium eggplant, diced
- 1 (28-ounce) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 bell pepper (red, green or yellow), diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice or ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, to taste
- Chopped parsley, cilantro or mint to garnish
- plain yogurt
- Rinse lentils in a colander and place them in a large soup pot.
- Add the broth and the apricots and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and let simmer for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté 4-5 minutes until the onions are translucent.
- Add all remaining ingredients except the herbs. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
- Then add the vegetable mixture to the lentils and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
- If the soup becomes too thick during the cooking process you can add more broth as needed. Salt to taste.
- Ladle into bowls, top with yogurt, if desired, or with chopped parsley, cilantro or mint for garnish.
My mom went through a cooking strike for quite a few years when I was a teenager. And who could blame her? My mom never was particularly talented at cooking but she certainly tried to get dinner on the table for her family. And when she finally set the food in front of us she heard a litany of complaining (and honestly I don’t think the food was that bad…we were just being brats).
So, she did what any strong woman would do. She said she wouldn’t cook anymore, loaded the freezer up with prepared meals, loaded the pantry with ingredients for us to cook things ourselves, and let us fend for ourselves.
One of my favorite ready-made dinners was Marie Callender’s Chicken Pot Pies. Nowadays, I am the first to say I am not a pot pie connoisseur as it is not a dish that I am particularly drawn to. I’ll eat it when served but I certainly wouldn’t go out of my way to prepare it. Until now. It seemed so labor intensive for what often appeared to be slop-on-a-plate. But this recipe turned me around. This is a meal you crave. And Marie’s frozen pot pie doesn’t hold a candle to this homemade version.
Favorite Chicken Pot Pie (adapted from Taste of Home)
This recipe makes 2 pot pies. Freezing instructions are listed below the recipe.
- 1-3/4 cups sliced carrots
- 1 cup butter, cubed
- 2/3 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1-3/4 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 3/4 teaspoon pepper
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1-1/2 cups milk
- 4 cups cubed cooked chicken
- 1.5 cup frozen peas
- 1.5 cup frozen corn
- 2 packages (14.1 ounces each) refrigerated pie pastry (or your favorite homemade version)
- Preheat oven to 425°. Place carrots in a large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cook, covered, 8-10 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender; drain.
- In a large skillet, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender.
- Stir in flour and seasonings until blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; cook and stir 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken, peas, corn; remove from heat.
- Unroll a pastry sheet into each of two 9-in. pie plates; trim even with rims. Add chicken mixture. Unroll remaining pastry; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in tops.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Let stand 15 minutes before cutting.
- Yield: 2 potpies (8 servings each).
- Freeze option: Cover and freeze unbaked pies. To use, remove from freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Preheat oven to 425°. Place pies on baking sheets; cover edges loosely with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Reduce oven setting to 350°; bake 70-80 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and a thermometer inserted in center reads 165°.