Birthday Crumb Chocolate Cookies

Have you noticed?  The cake batter rage?  Trust me, I have.

I am not bothered by this craze because it is amazingly easy to create something and dub it "Cake Batter This".  Basically you can add a little bit of cake mix to anything, like say, cream cheese, and TA-DA!  You have an amazing dip to serve to friends and family.

I know first hand how much people love this phenomenon because my version of Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip is one of my most viewed posts.

Would you like to see just a few of the delicious recipes I've spied?

-Cake Batter Blondies from Girl Meets Life
-Cake Batter Truffles from Chef in Training
-Cake Batter Rice Krispie Treats from Gimme Some Oven

And my personal favorite...

-Cake Batter Martini from How Sweet It Is.  Mmmmmm...Happy Hour may need to come early today!

My treat today is not "Cake Batter" per se, but it has the essence of cake batter; tons of cake batter flavor with chunks of Birthday Cake Oreos and homemade "Birthday Cake Crumb" and finished with a cake batter drizzle.  These are fun and delicious!  They're not quite as simple as throwing together a tasty cake batter dip, however, you may find these are worth your time!

Now, go have your cake AND your cookie too!

Birthday Cake Crumb:
adapted from Milk Bar by Christina Tossi

- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 3/4 c. cake flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. sprinkles ( I used nonpareils)
- 1/4 c. grape seed oil ( you can replace with vegetable or canola oil)
- 1 Tbsp. clear vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugars, flour, baking powder, salt, and sprinkles on low speed until combined. Add the oil and vanilla, and mix until small clusters start to form.

Spread clusters evenly over prepared cookie sheet.  Bake for 20 minutes, during that time occasionally break up the clusters.  Remove from oven and let cool completely before using in the cookies- clusters will harden as they cool.

Birthday Crumb Chocolate Cookies:
makes 22 cookies

- 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/4 c. sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla
- 1/2 c. cocoa powder
- 2 1/4 c. flour
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 1/2 c. Birthday Oreos (approx. 12 roughly chopped)
- 1 1/2 c. Birthday Cake Crumb (from above)
- 1/2 c. bittersweet chocolate chips

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine butter and sugar and beat until creamy, light and fluffy- at least 3 minutes.  In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder-set aside. With mixer on low, add eggs one at a time, combining well after each addition. Add vanilla and combine.  Scrape mixing bowl down.

On low, add cocoa powder, followed by flour mixture.  Mix until no dry ingredients are visible, do not over mix.  Add in Birthday Cake Crumbs, Birthday Oreos, and chocolate chips.  Stir until just incorporated- no more than 30 seconds.

Using a large cookie scoop, scoop all dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet, press dough down slightly.  Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.  Place chilled dough balls on prepared sheets at least 2 inches apart.  Bake for 12-14 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Cake Batter Drizzle:

- 6 oz. white chocolate, chips or chopped
- 3 tsp. yellow cake mix (not prepared batter)
- 2 tsp. canola oil, if/as needed
- sprinkles or nonpareils for decorating

In a microwave safe bowl, add white chocolate.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir well and continue this on 15 second intervals until chocolate is melted-do not overheat!

Add cake mix and stir until smooth.  Add canola oil a little at a time for a desired, thinner consistency if needed.  Drizzle over baked cookies and sprinkle with nonpareils or sprinkle of your choice.


You can find my link this week on BruCrew Life, Crazy for Crust, and Six Sisters Stuff-but go and check out all the other amazing projects and treats!

Raspberry Cream Wafers

Someone's husband got volunteered for this job! ;)

Petite, pretty, and pink.  Not something commonly found in a house dominated by boys.

But let's not be mistaken, as the Mama, I run things around here.  It's my job.  However, I'm surrounded by dirt, camouflage, hand-fashioned guns, Star Wars, and legos-all boy, all the time.

So it was beyond fun for me to make petite treats for a little girl's "Tea Party" themed birthday.  I provided lavender macarons,  lemon tea cakes topped with purple sugar flowers, and these adorable sparkly pink raspberry creams, heart-shaped (of course!).

I cannot stress enough how delightful it was to make these "girly" treats.  But just because I deem them "girly" does not mean that my boys didn't love to dig into these treats too!  It was beyond adorable to watch my rough and rowdy little one eat a petite pink heart.

These treats will melt in your mouth.  The wafers are like a tiny flaky pie crust with a smooth raspberry cream piped between them.  You'll be popping them in your mouth one after another.  Simple and perfect, a light Spring treat.

Raspberry Cream Wafers
adapted from White Lily & Piccadilly Pastries

- 2 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
- 1 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1/3 c. heavy cream
- pink food paste and pink sanding sugar

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, blend flour, butter, cream, and desired amount of food coloring.  Blend until combined and dough forms.

Divide dough into thirds, shape into a disk and flatten slightly.  Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

On a heavily floured surface, roll chilled disk out (one disk at a time) to about 1/4 - 1/8 inch thickness.  Use a small (1 1/2 in.) cookie cutter, in the shape of your choice, and place dough shapes on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  Use a fork and pierce dough a couple times, then sprinkle with sanding sugar.  Bake for 7-9 minutes.

Cool completely before filling.

Raspberry Filling

- 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 3 Tbsp. seedless raspberry preserves
- pink food coloring

In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat all ingredients until light and fluffy-about 3-4 minutes.  Pipe or spoon raspberry filling (approx. 1 tsp) on one wafer and top with another wafer.  Serve immediately, or store in the refrigerator and bring to room temp. before serving.

Must have more!  Even while double-fisting macarons!  They're that good!

Tribute Brownies...Beer & Pretzel Brownies

A year ago I lost a best friend.  I lost my dad.

Thinking about it now it's hard to believe that a year has gone by.  Most times it's hard to accept it has been a year since I've seen him.  I've been dreading this "anniversary" knowing it just brings me one day further away from when I was last with him.

Cancer, as it turns out, cares nothing for how old you are, what important things and people you have in your life; the plans you've made.  Cancer doesn't discriminate.  My dad had 5 short months after his diagnosis.  He was just 53 with a wife, two kids, and two beautiful, young grandchildren-my boys- just 3 and 1 at the time.

Nothing can prepare you for devastating news.  Nothing can prepare you as you watch someone physically become someone you no longer recognize.  But we got through it.  We always, no matter how desperate, held onto hope.  We focused on good days.  We focused on the boys...the everyday norm that can be so easily taken for granted.  We kept our eyes set on better times ahead just to get through the really difficult days.  We realized, in the end, better times meant no more fighting, no more pain, only peace.

We never talked about the past in a "What if?" scenario.  We never laid out regrets.  There was no point.

We bonded as we always had.  As a child of divorce, time with my dad was always "fun time".  Time we spent to stay up late to hang out, eat junk food, watch movies, and talk about life-without judgement.  This time never ended; not when I got married, not when I had kids.  The only thing that changed was that he came to me.

As my love for baking grew, we bonded more and more over food.  He was my biggest cheerleader.

To honor my dad, after this year, I've created a brownie with some of his favorite snack foods, and his weekend beverage of choice-beer.  As I use these ingredients, I envision him at his bar, popping some peanuts in his mouth as he cranks up the tunes.  I see him munching on his Butter Braid pretzels while watching a race or a game.

It's how I'll always remember him.  Joining him in his favorite things while I spent quality time with the first man to ever hold my heart.

I love you, Dad.  I miss you more than ever.  These are for you.

Tribute Brownies
makes 16 brownies

Pretzel Crust:
- 1 1/4 c. butter pretzels, fine crumb
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
- 1/2 c. salted peanut, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper.  Spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Set aside.

Use a food processor to get pretzels to a fine crumb, like a graham cracker crumb texture.  In a small bowl, combine pretzel crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.  Press down evenly into your prepared pan.

Hand chop or pulse peanuts in food processor until they are smaller pieces, not dust.  Sprinkle over crust, and lightly press down.  Bake for 6 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Brownie Layer:
- Use your favorite brownie mix and prepare as directed on the box.  I used regular brownie mix, not "Family Size"

Evenly pour brownie batter over slightly baked pretzel crust.  Gently spread and work into corners as needed.

Return to oven, bake according to box instructions.  I baked mine for 34 minutes.

Ganache Layer:
- 9 oz. milk chocolate
- 1/2 c. heavy cream
- 3 Tbsp. beer*
- 1 c. chocolate covered potato chips, chopped* (optional)

While brownies bake, place chocolate and heavy cream in a heat-safe bowl, and place over simmering water.  Let chocolate and heavy cream sit for 3 minutes without touching.  Remove from heat and whisk until chocolate is smooth and shiny.  For a less strong beer flavor, add beer now and whisk.  For a stronger flavor, add right before brownies are removed from oven, about 20 minutes or so later, whisk until chocolate is smooth.

* I used a dark, stout beer.  It seems to pair nicely with chocolate.  Normally I would use dark chocolate, but given the saltier nature of this brownie, I needed something sweeter.

* I coated Lays Wavy Potato Chips with Merckens Dark Candy Coating Chocolate.  This step is optional if you want to do it, it adds a little extra "pizzazz" to the finished look.

Once brownies are removed from oven, evenly pour chocolate ganache over the top, using an offset spatula as needed.  Place on a wire rack and let cool for an hour and top with chocolate covered potato chips. Cool completely before cutting.

These brownies are unique/special just like I wanted them to be!  Salty, sweet, smooth, crunchy, and gooey.  I noticed an initial beer flavor when I bit into them.  I would say these are some "manly" brownies, and something to keep in mind for a tailgating party!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Whoopie Pies

Cookie Dough!  Cookie Dough!

I've been hit with the "cookie dough" recipe bug after doing some researching for a birthday order I had this week.  Mmm, and if you love cookie dough, their are some recipes out there that are right up your alley!

How about,

That's some cookie dough eye-candy right there!

But if you're wanting to eat on some cookie dough, these whoopie pies may not be for you.  These are cookie dough-esque.  Inspired by cookie dough....On-the-go cookie dough...

You get the picture!  With a cake batter chocolate topping, and a cookie dough-like frosting squeezed between two fluffy chocolate cakes...what's not to love?!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Whoopie Pies
recipe from Making Whoopies 

- 1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1 c. light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 2 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 c. cocoa powder
- 1 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a bowl of stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar.  Beat in the egg and vanilla until mixture is light and fluffy.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together baking soda, salt, flour, and cocoa powder.  With mixer on low, slowly alternate adding flour mix and buttermilk; beginning and ending with flour.  Combine well after each addition.

Scoop, spoon, or pipe onto prepared cookie sheets.  I use a #30 scoop.  This makes 24 shells- 12 pies.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, (longer for bigger whoopies) the cakes should be firm, but spring back on top.

Let cool completely on wire racks before filling.

Brown Sugar Frosting
adapted from Annie's Eats

- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
- 3 c. powdered sugar
- 1 c. flour
- 1 tsp. salt (scant; not quite a tsp. but larger than 3/4)
- 3 Tbsp. milk
- 2 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and brown sugar until combined and creamy.  With mixer on low, slowly add powdered sugar.  Beat until combined-scrape down bowl.  Continue on low, add flour and salt, increase speed to medium-high (mixture will be thick).  On low, slowly add milk and vanilla, increase speed to medium-high and beat until fluffy.  Scrape down the bowl as needed, and then beat on high again to get a smooth, fluffy frosting.

Pipe, scoop, or spread a generous amount of frosting on cooled whoopie shells.

Finishing touches

- Mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Pick up a filled whoopie, and sprinkle chips on the frosting seam.  Gently pressing them in as you go around the whoopie.

Cake Batter Chocolate
adapted from How Sweet It Is

- 6 oz. white chocolate ( I use Callebaut)
- 2 rounded tsp. butter golden cake mix (or yellow)

Make sure your chocolate is chopped or in small pieces.  Place chocolate in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 30 seconds, stir.  Microwave in 15 second intervals, stirring after each time to ensure that you don't overheat your chocolate.  Repeat until chocolate in smooth and creamy.  

Sprinkle cake mix over melted chocolate and stir thoroughly, taking care not to have large lumps of cake mix.

Spoon approx. a Tbsp. amount on top of whoopie pie and use an offset spatula to smooth over.  Sprinkle topping with mini chocolate chips.

Make sure chocolate is set before serving!  Enjoy!

QUICK NOTE!  To all my email subscribers, I've had issues with my email service.  If you've been receiving my posts via email, (and hopefully you'll see this post somehow) then you may need to re-subscribe.  I apologize for any inconvenience.  If you also happen to have a Facebook account, you can follow Cookie Crazed Mama there to get all up to date deliciousness!  Thanks to all my followers!

And right now I'm sharing this treat over at Creations by Kara and BruCrew Life!