Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake

Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake I’m still new to this blogging thing.

And, I’m learning that it’s a little harder than I thought it would be.

Posting weekly isn’t so bad; just bake something, take pictures, and post. Easy right? Mostly right. It gets harder when life things, like graduation, moving, packing, traveling, celebrating, and unpacking, interrupt your normal routine. Hence, my lack of posting in the past two-ish weeks, which I hope you’ve forgiven me for (and if you haven’t, I promise this recipe will make up for it).

The other thing about blogging that can be an issue is pictures. What’s so hard about taking a few artsy pictures? Nothing really, except that sometimes your friends and family get so excited about what you made (I can’t really blame them on this one…it is, after all, a dessert within a dessert), that they start eating it before you get the chance to have a dessert photo shoot.

It gets even harder, when your parents throw you a surprise graduation party (thanks Mom and Dad!!) and in all the commotion, you don’t get a single photo on your camera. Thankfully, Mom and Grandma take pictures like crazy (it’s actually part of their job descriptions) and my best friend snaps a few because, well, she thinks anything with red velvet needs to be photographed (this probably explains why we are friends). The end result is a few different pictures from different cameras of this deliciously, over the top, cookie stack cake.

Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake

This cake takes red velvet to a whole new level. Typically when you eat red velvet cake, the cream cheese frosting is only found on the top. By the last bite of cake, you’re left with no frosting and a craving for a hint of cream cheese. However, the only thing you’ll be craving by the last bite of this cookie cake is another slice. Soft and moist red velvet cookies are sandwiched in between layers of cream cheese frosting resulting in a cake slice that isn’t overly sweet, but still sweet enough to satisfy all your dessert cravings.

Also, if you’re looking for a cake that will have people applauding and asking for seconds for your Fourth of July celebrations, this is your recipe. The red and white colors are visible and you could alternate between doing white and blue cream cheese frosting to cover all three colors if you wanted!

Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake
Cake Concept adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Ingredients:
Red Velvet Cookies
2 boxes red velvet cake mix
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

Cream Cheese Frosting
8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Directions:
Red Velvet Cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine cake mix and flour.
Add oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
Scoop about a tablespoon of dough (per cookie) onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool completely.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Once the cookies are completely cooled, make your frosting.
Beat together cream cheese and butter, until creamy.
Slowly add powdered sugar, mixing until well-combined.
Add vanilla. Mix until frosting is fluffy.
Transfer frosting to a Ziploc bag. Snip off the corner (or, you can use a decorating bag with a large tip).

Assembling the Cake
(Note: If you work better with a visual on assembly, rather than just words, visit Erica’s Sweet Tooth)

Arrange six cookies in a circle on your cake plate. Place a cookie in the center.
Pipe a ring of frosting around the six cookies, leaving the center cookie free of frosting.
Layer six more cookies on top of your base layer, placing them to cover the slightly open gaps between the cookies on the base layer. Leave the center empty of a cookie this time.
Pipe another ring of frosting around the six cookies. Then, fill the center space completely with frosting.
Continue building layers, following the above steps, until your run out of frosting.
I used about 40 cookies for layering and crumbled one on top for decoration.
The cake isn’t meant to be perfect, so just take one layer at a time!

 
Red Velvet & Cream Cheese Cookie Stack Cake

Greek Yogurt White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Greek Yogurt White Chocolate Chip CookiesGreek yogurt is all that and a bag of chips.

Ask anybody.

I’m sure you’ve noticed the craze. Greek yogurt recipes are all over the Internet. Butter is being substituted left and right. Pinkberry created Greek yogurt froyo. And some people are even standing in front of their fridges (or mini fridges, if you’re in a dorm like me) eating spoonfuls of yogurt from the container as we speak. And by some people, I mean my roommate.

I don’t judge her. Especially since I stand next to her with a jar of peanut butter in my hand and a spoon in the other. That’s the kind of relationship we have. The kind of relationship where I tell her I’ve never had Greek yogurt and she tells me to put the peanut butter down and come try a spoonful of tart heaven.

How can you say no to a description like that? You can’t. So, I tried a spoonful. And sadly, I wasn’t a huge fan. It’s way too tart for my liking. But, when I saw a recipe for Greek yogurt chocolate chip cookies, I decided to give it another shot. Maybe it would taste better mixed with something. Maybe, mixing it with cookie dough and white chocolate chips was the perfect solution. So, that’s what I did.
Greek Yogurt White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Normally I don’t skimp on dessert. I live by the ‘go big or go home’ motto when it comes to sweets, but I figured since bikini season is here, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?

Let me just tell you the worst that can happen. The worst is that, like me, you classify these cookies as “healthy food”, making it okay for you to eat half of the batch. In one sitting. Without sharing. Or stopping for a sip of milk. I’m not saying they taste like regular cookies or that they can replace your buttery-chocolate-chip-hot-out-of-oven cravings, but if you are looking for a lighter cookie, that you won’t feel guilty for eating, then these have your name all over them.

These cookies taste just like the top of a muffin. They are cakey, extremely moist, and very pillowly. The morsels of white chocolate add the perfect hint of sweetness and the best part is, unlike a muffin, these cookies are relatively healthy. So, feel free to eat two, seven, or the whole batch. Either way, I won’t judge you.

Greek Yogurt White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Recipe slightly adapted from Heather’s French Press

Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 10 oz. bag white chocolate chips

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine eggs and both sugars in a bowl.
Add the vanilla and Greek yogurt. Stir until mixed.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
Gradually stir flour mixture into wet ingredients. Mix until well combined.
Fold in white chocolate chips.
Scoop about a tablespoon of dough (per cookie) onto a greased cookie sheet—the dough will be very sticky.
Bake for 10-11 minutes.
Let cookies cool slightly before eating.

 
Greek Yogurt White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter ‘n Oreo Cookies

Peanut Butter 'n Oreo CookiesI think it’s time I shared something with you.

If you haven’t read my about me section, you don’t know about my love for affair with obsession with peanut butter. I consider peanut butter to be its own food group, as in I need to eat 6 giant spoonfuls a day in order to survive. I’m not even kidding. How could I be? Have you tasted peanut butter? It’s heavenly.

I don’t really remember when this obsession started, but I do know that almost anything with peanut butter is an automatic warning signal for my stomach to grumble with excitement, my mouth to water in anticipation, and my hands to blindly grab as much as possible. Think about it. Peanut butter sandwiches. Fabulous. Peanut butter M&M’s. Addicting. Peanut butter and bananas. Amazing. Peanut butter ice cream. Mouthwatering. And, then there’s peanut butter and Oreos.

I blame Parent Trap. I learned three things from watching this movie. First, I needed to come up with a ridiculously cool handshake for my best friend and I (you’ll be sad to know that fourteen years later, it’s still a work in progress). Second, Lindsay Lohan was a twin. I thought there were two of her and to be honest, I was really disappointed when I found out she was twinless. Third, peanut butter and Oreos are a must have.

So, of course, I had to try it, and now I can’t eat Oreos without peanut butter. It’s a real problem. Oreos are decent on their own, but smothering, covering, drenching, dipping, or drowning them in peanut butter is like walking on rainbows. You can’t help but smile as you bite the cookie and do a little happy dance as you eat it.
Peanut Butter 'n Oreo CookiesAnd since no one likes to dance alone, I’m slowly trying to convert the world into peanut butter and Oreo lovers. This is my first (and definitely not my last) attempt to convince you. These cookies taste exactly like dipping an Oreo into the jar of peanut butter. So, if you’re a fan of that, you’ll love these. The cookies are super soft and chewy with a little crunch from the crumbled Oreo pieces and have the perfect creamy peanut butter undertone. I suggest pouring yourself a large glass of milk, grabbing a handful of cookies, and preparing yourself for the huge smile that’s about to cross your face.

Peanut Butter ‘n Oreo Cookies
Recipe adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth

Ingredients:
½ cup (one stick) salted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons granulate sugar
6 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cups creamy peanut butter
13 Oreos, crushed into small chunks

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream together butter and both sugars, until light and fluffy.
Add the vanilla and egg. Mix until well combined.
In another bowl, combine the salt, baking soda, and flour.
Gradually add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Stir until combined.
Add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly.
In a Ziploc bag, crush up the Oreos into small chunks.
Fold Oreos into the mixture.
Scoop about a tablespoon of dough (per cookie) onto an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake for 11-12 minutes.
Transfer cookies to a cooling rack and let them cool slightly before eating.

 
Peanut Butter 'n Oreo Cookies

S’more Bites

S'more Bites
When you hear the word s’more, what do you think about?

Aside from the visual of beautifully golden crackers sandwiching melted Hershey squares and marshmallow gooeyness (did your mouth just water? Or is that just me?) two things immediately come to mind.

You can probably guess the first one. It’s a location and usually there are tents. If you said circus, try again, but if you said campsite, keep reading. S’mores make me think of camping with my grandparents when I was little. We used to sit around the fire on folded chairs, have fuzzy blankets thrown around our backs, and bent wires held in our hands roasting marshmallows to perfection. It sounds wonderful, right? Wrong. There is one problem with camping. And it’s bugs. I would be moments away from stuffing my face with a melted s’more sandwich when bugs would fly into my face, cuddle in my hair, or worse, perch on the my s’more claiming it as their own. Needless to say, I don’t go camping very much anymore.

I doubt you’ll guess the second thing that comes to mind. But, if you do, I’ll be so impressed that I’ll mail you a box of these delicious S’more Bites. Take a guess. What do you have to lose?

Did you guess the movie Sandlot? If yes, I need your address or better yet lets get together and eat these while watching that movie. S’mores also make me think of the scene in which Ham asks Smalls if he wants s’more and Smalls answers, “Some more of what? I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing?” If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend making a batch of these cookies and plopping down on the couch.

Now, my question to you is, would you like s’more?
S'more BitesThese S’more Bites are the perfect way to get your s’more fix without having to deal with fire or bugs or camping. The bite itself is packed with chocolately flavor, both from the cakelike cookie and the added chocolate chips, a gooey marshmallow center, and a graham cracker crunch, which is swirled inside the bite and coated on the outside too. If you think the best part of a s’more is the middle part of the sandwich, then these cookies are a perfect fit for you. These bites really highlight the chocolate and marshmallow portion of a s’more, but fair warning they are extremely addicting…there is no possible way you won’t want some more.

S’more Bites
Dough recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) of salted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
½ granulated sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 egg yolk, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
24 marshmallows (I used Williams-Sonoma mini vanilla marshmallows, but you could use the bigger marshmallows and cut them in half)
1/3 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 full honey graham crackers

Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Melt 1 ½ sticks of butter in the microwave. Set aside until cooled.
Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda together in a bowl. Then set aside.
In another bowl, combine the cooled butter with the brown and granulated sugars.
Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla. Stir until well combined.
Gradually add the dry ingredients into the bowl and mix until dough forms.
Add the chocolate chips—the dough will be thick, so you may have to use your hands to combine the chocolate chips.
In a Ziploc bag, place two graham crackers and crumble into small chunks.
Mix graham cracker crumbles into the dough—again, you may have to use your hands.
To assemble the cookies, place the other two graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and crumble into dust (smaller than the pieces you folded into the dough). Place crumbles in a bowl. Set aside.
Take a little over a tablespoon of dough and flatten it in your hands.
Place a marshmallow in the center and wrap the cookie dough around it. Gently roll into a ball (the dough will be crumbly, so you might have to play with it in order to cover up the entire marshmallow).
Roll the cookie ball into the graham cracker dust and place on an ungreased baking sheet.
Bake for 11 to 12 minutes.
Let cookies cool slightly before eating (if you really want the full melted s’more experience, eat the cookies while still warm).

 
S'more Bites