Oreo Earthquake Cookies

My name is "Cookie Crazed Mama", however I find myself more attracted to bar desserts lately.  My recipe box is filled with them.  Have you noticed?  I'm a traitor to my own name. I know.

Today, I'm here to make up for that.  Oreo Earthquake Cookies.  These were inspired by Picky Palate and by my favorite Dairy Queen Blizzard.  Mmm...this Blizzard has marshmallow topping, and chocolate, and Oreos.  Perfection whirled in a cup!  I was delighted to throw all these ingredients into a cookie!

These cookies call for my favorite tiny marshmallow.  Locally, they can be bought at Dayton's 2nd Street Farmers Market at the Bulk Spice stand.  Otherwise I recommend that you check online; they are super cheap!  And if you don't know what else you can do with them, they also go in my Cornflake Chocolate Chip Cookie, plus they are the perfect marshmallow for a cup of hot cocoa!  You want hot cocoa now, don't you?  I do!  Anyway...

See?!  These are tiny!  Tiny= Cute.

Oreo Earthquake Cookie
adapted from Picky Palate

-2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
-1 c. sugar
-3/4 c. brown sugar
-2 eggs
-1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
-1 3/4 c. flour
-1 c. Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder
-1 tsp. baking soda
-3/4 tsp. salt
-15 Oreos, crushed finely (powder-like)
-3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
-1 c. micro marshmallows
-8 Oreos, quartered or large chunks

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

2.  In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugars until fluffy (a few minutes).  Work butter back down bowl using a spatula.  Add eggs and vanilla, mix on medium speed until combined.

3.  In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients-flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and finely crushed Oreos.  With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture.  Mix until just combined.

4.  With mixer on low or by hand, add mix-ins-Chocolate chips, marshmallows, and Oreo chunks.  Using a large cookie scoop, drop dough onto sheets leaving 2 inches between.

5.  Bake for 12-15 minutes or until desired doneness, err on the side of under than over cooked.  Cool on cookie sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to cooling rack.  Enjoy!

This is the ONLY kind of earthquake I enjoy!

S'mores Bar Bites

The time for making S'mores outdoors is coming to an end, and in case you didn't already know, I have a thing for S'mores.  Indoor S'mores.  So this campfire out-of-season thing doesn't affect me so much.

I've been making these bars all summer.  They were a huge hit at the Farmers Market.  And, here I am sharing this special recipe.  It's called love.  I love you all, and you should try these for yourselves.

One thing you must know about these bars first...  I use Biscoff spread.  Have you heard of this stuff?

I found it in the peanut butter section of my local Meijer's.  I'm always searching for a peanut butter replacement since my son has allergies to nuts.  He is not fond of Sunbutter or Soybutter... I tried.  I would taste them myself, force a "Mmmm, yummy!", and then when he wasn't looking I'd start desperately searching my pantry for something to get that flavor out of my mouth.  But, I have the pleasure of knowing what real peanut butter tastes like.  Poor kid.

Anyway, I find this Biscoff spread (didn't have a clue what a Biscoff cookie was).  I taste this stuff and... OH MY!  Briefly, I contemplated hiding in the closet and hoarding this jar of goodness to myself.  It's the perfect replacement for peanut butter in this original recipe.  I think it has a graham cracker flavor to it which helps keep with the genuine S'more flavor.  I'm a genius!

Meijers carries this spread;  It's $5.29 for a 14 oz. jar.  If you can't find it at a store, online shopping may be your best option.

S'mores Bar Bites
adapted from Idle Wife

-3 c. Graham cracker crumbs (one sleeve)
-1/3 c. sugar
-1/2 tsp. salt
-2/3 c. (11 Tbsp.) unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper.  Coat with non-stick cooking spray.  In a large bowl, combine all ingredients until wet crumbs form.  Spread evenly on the bottom of prepared pan.  Press down firmly.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Set aside and cool completely.

-1/2 c. salted butter
-1 c. Biscoff spread
-2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips
-1, 16 oz bag miniature marshmallows

In a medium saucepan, melt butter, spread, and chocolate chips together over medium-low heat, stirring constantly.  Keep stirring until everything is melted and combined evenly.  Remove from heat and let cool-pot should be cool enough to touch, you don't want to melt the marshmallows!

After filling has cooled enough pour over marshmallows in a large bowl.  Fold until the chocolate is completely coating the marshmallows.  Pour over graham cracker crust, use a spatula to create an even top.  Place bars in the refrigerator.

- 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
-1 tsp. corn syrup
-1 stick unsalted butter
-graham crackers, crushed into large pieces

In a microwave safe bowl, add chocolate, corn syrup and butter.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring well after each time.  Do not overheat!  Once everything is melted and combined, pour evenly over cooled topping, using an offset spatula to work around pan as needed.  Sprinkle with desired amount of graham cracker crumbs.

Return to fridge and cool completely (2-4 hours).  To cut into bite-sized pieces, cut 9x13 pan into 12 squares, then cut each square into fours.  Enjoy!

More yummy "Indoor S'mores" recipes:

S'mores Cookies at Bakers Royale
S'mores Rice Krispie Treats from Cookie Crazed Mama
S'more Bars at Milk N Cookiezzz
S'mores Cake in a Jar at How Sweet Eats
S'mores Cookie Bars at Lovin From the Oven
S'more Biscotti from Cookie Crazed Mama

Kahlua Pie, a Rant, and Sharing

Warning!  This is a rant post.  The first part might be slightly offensive.  The second part however, is quite lovely. It's about pies and people Nanny's.  So scroll on down for that if you don't want anything to do with my quibble.

Basically this is about sharing, and things you shouldn't say.

You see, I love to bake.  Duh.  I also like to share things I bake.  I don't expect anything in return.  You don't even have to thank me.  If you want, I do enjoy some constructive feedback on what you sampled.

I believe sharing treats is good for several reasons.  Sometimes selfish reasons.  Like it helps build my good karma.  It helps to keep me from weighing a million pounds.  Overall I like to think of it as a happy experience for both parties.

But there is one thing that can ruin this whole baking/sharing utopia.  It's when someone tells me this:

"Oh.  I wish I had time to bake."

Um.  Okay...

This is pretty much what I hear, "Oh.  I'm so busy and important, and you're, well...NOT."

And this is also what my brain immediately wants to tell you:

Photo courtesy Rants from Mommyland

It's not very lady-like, I know.  Thankfully my brain to mouth filter still works (most of the time).  But let's clear a few things up.  I bake because I truly LOVE to do it.

You love to jog?  So you might get up at 6 a.m. to jog.  You love to watch "Desperate Housewives"?  You DVR that jazz and watch it when you can.  I bake because I truly LOVE to do it.  And just like with anything you love, you make time for it.

When I did the Farmers Market over the summer, on Friday's I baked until 2 a.m. Saturday morning and woke up 3 hours later to make 5 fresh batches of scones.  I didn't do that because I had nothing else to do with my time-time for I don't know, sleeping maybe- but because I enjoy it and I made a commitment.

Point?  You think you're busier than me?  You may be.  But you don't know what my day is like, so don't assume that, mmm-kay?  So just take your cookies that I offered you and go complain about your lack of time-management skills to your husband or friend like a normal person.

Deep breath.  See, I just need to:

Let me share with you a special recipe.  It is special because its someone's Nanny's recipe.  And what "Nanny" doesn't have an amazing recipe to share?!  There's a "Nanny" in our family and she had the best dinner rolls.  And caramels.  And pie crust.

I asked Amber at Bluebonnets and Brownies if I could share this recipe too, and she graciously agreed.  And this pie is really very simple, but I strongly recommend you have everything ready to go and measured out before you get started.

Nanny's Kahlua Pie
from Bluebonnets and Brownies

- One blind baked pie crust, your favorite recipe

-1 packet unflavored gelatin
-1/4 c. cold water
-4 egg yolks, reserve 2 whites
-1/2 c. sugar
-2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, chopped or chipped
-1/4 c. water
-1/4 c. Kahlua
-1 1/4 c. heavy whipping cream
-2 Tbsp. sugar
-(reserved) 2 egg whites
-pinch salt
-1/4 tsp cream of tarter

Have your blind baked pie crust set aside, cooled and ready.

Fill a large bowl or sink (if you don't have a large enough bowl) with ice.  This ice will be to place the bowl containing your pie filling in to help cool the filling down.

Sprinkle gelatin packet over 1/4 c. of cold water.  Let this sit and bloom.

Whisk egg yolks until pale yellow and creamy in a bowl that you will be using for the double broiler.  Metal bowl if you have it, but I used glass and it worked fine-this bowl should not touch the simmering water in your pot.

Place bowl with whisked egg yolks over simmering water.  Add sugar and whisk until sugar is dissolved. This will take a few minutes.  You can check by dipping a finger in and then rubbing your fingers together.  You should not feel sugar granules.

Add chocolate and 1/4 c. water to egg/sugar mixture.  Whisk until all chocolate is melted and the mixture is well combined.

Whisk in gelatin until dissolved and completely combined with chocolate mixture.

Remove from heat.  Whisk in Kahlua.  Place the bowl into prepared ice bowl.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, or using a hand mixer, whip heavy whipping cream.  Add sugar as cream starts to bubble and slightly thicken.  Whip on high speed until whipping cream is thick and leaving whisk marks.  Do not over whip or it will curdle.

Reserve half of the whipped cream.  Fold remaining half into chocolate mixture (while keeping bowl in ice).  Fold until completely incorporated.  This make take some time.

In the (clean) bowl of a stand mixer or using a hand mixer.  Beat the egg whites on medium speed.  When whites start to become foamy, add salt and cream of tarter.  Turn mixer to highest setting.  Beat until whites form stiff peaks-pulls away from sides of bowl and whites stand up straight when turn the blades up.

Fold into chocolate mixture until completely incorporated.  Filling will be mousse-like.  Pour into prepared pie shell.  Chill for 1-2 hours.  Garnish with reserved whipped cream.

The only changes I made to this recipe was the addition of salt and cream of tarter to the egg whites.  I call it a habit.  This pie is light and fluffy.  Delicious and not overpoweringly sweet or rich.  I love it!  I recommend that you go over to Bluebonnets and Brownies to check out Amber's post about her Nanny and her recipe.  It sure is nice of her to share such a treasured recipe!

Sopapilla Bars, Baby

I live in Ohio.  I've never lived anywhere else, so I don't know any better than to enjoy all the four seasons.  And by that I mean all four seasons within the week.  40 degrees today, 70 degrees tomorrow.  I'll send my kid to school in a winter coat with a sleeveless shirt underneath.

Basically what I'm saying is that even though there are weather extremes, I've never wished to be in a warm weather climate all the time.  However, (that's a strong "however") the only time I curse Ohio is when I want a Sopapilla!  Seriously.  I've road tripped it to New Mexico and I've enjoyed an authentic Sopapilla.  They are amazing hot pastry puffs tossed in cinnamon sugar, and then you pull them apart and drizzle honey into the steamy puff pocket.  Heaven.  Simple, but Heaven none-the-less.

Yummy, authentic Sopapilla.  Come hither.

Apparently not a single Mexican restaurant around these parts is familiar with the authentic Sopapilla.  Because if you order them around here you will be served a fried flour tortilla drizzled with honey.  Tough, flat little triangles that make you cry inside if you've had the real thing.

I see you, tortilla chip disguised as a Sopapilla!  I'm on to you!

I put my daydreams of Sopapillas aside and go on with my life, but last week Shelly from Cookies and Cups (She's one of my favorites!) posted Sopapilla Cheesecake Bars.  Yum!  So...not an authentic Sopapilla, (kind of a combo between a Mexican Xango and Sopapilla) but hey, they sounded delicious and they have simple ingredients.  I'm there!  Authentic or not, I will never turn my nose up to cinnamon, sugar, and pastry!

Sopapilla Bars
adapted from Cookies and Cups

-2 cans Crescent Rolls
-2, 8 oz. packages Cream Cheese, softened
-1/2 cup honey, plus more for drizzling
-1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
-2 sticks salted butter, melted
-3/4 c. sugar, divided
-2 tsp. cinnamon, plus more for sprinkling

Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Line a 9x13 pan with parchment paper, coat with non-stick cooking spray.

Unroll one can of Crescent Rolls and stretch out dough in the bottom of your prepared pan.  Pinch any open seams shut.  Pour about 1/2 the melted butter over top, approx. 1 stick.  Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar and desired amount of cinnamon over the top of butter/pastry.

In a bowl, whip the cream cheese using a hand mixer.  Add your honey and vanilla.  Whip until well blended and creamy.  Evenly pour cream cheese mix over the top of your buttered pastry.  Use an offset spatula to spread evenly if needed.

Open and unroll remaining can of Crescent Rolls.  Place over the top of cream cheese and stretch out dough over the size of the pan.  Pinch any open seams shut.  Pour remaining butter over top.  In a small bowl combine 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tsp. cinnamon.  Sprinkle evenly over the top of buttered pastry.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is golden brown and bubbly.  Cool completely or till just warm to the touch.  Cut as desired and drizzle with honey.  These are sweet, sweet, sweet!  Enjoy!