Chocolate Pudding Cake… in the CROCKPOT!

CROCK POT CHOCOLATE CAKE   1 box chocolate cake mix  8 oz sour cream  1 pkg instant chocolate pudding  1 cup chocolate chips  4 eggs  3/4 cup oil  1 cup water  Mix all ingredients together. Pour into lightly greased 5qt crock pot, metal coffee can or Crock Pot Cake Bake pan. Cover.  Cook 3-4 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low.
image from pinterest.com
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 (3.4 oz) box cook-and serve chocolate pudding
  • 1/4 plus 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3 Tbsp chocolate sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  1. Coat the crockpot with cooking spray. Or better yet, put a crockpot liner in it.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, pudding mix. 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center and add milk, oil, and vanilla. Stir gently until batter is smooth and then add chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the mixture in the prepared crockpot.
  4. In yet another bowl, stir together chocolate sauce and remaining 1/3 cup sugar. Pour in the boiling water and stir until smooth.
  5. Pour the second mixture on top of the batter in they slow cooker.
  6. Cover and cook on HIGH for 2 1/2 hours until the cake is puffed and the top layer is set.
  7. Let stand 30 minutes with the cover on, then serve with ice cream.

Above is the picture from pinterest; here’s the crockpot cake that I actually made:

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This came out pretty well, although I’m not sure the cinnamon was the best idea.

Still, it did set up as an actual cake, with a nice soft center.

Baked Shrimp Scampi

Baked Shrimp Scampi
foodnetwork.com

This is a Barefoot Contessa recipe I made last week. Delicious!

Of course, my version was slightly less pretty. And I took out some of the complications.

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Here’s the recipe, with my modifications in (Notes):

Baked Shrimp Scampi

  • 2 pounds shrimp in the shell
  • 3 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic 
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 extra-large egg yolk
  • 2/3 cup panko (Japanese dried bread flakes)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. (Note: I took the tails off. I don’t like shrimp shells in my food.)

Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture.

In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined. (Note: I don’t have all of this stuff. I used minced garlic from the jar and then replaced the other spices with a seafood seasoning blend. I used plain old bread crumbs instead of panko. The egg yolk I used as directed.)

Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. (Note: This makes it look fancy. Since I cut the tails off I couldn’t do this, but I’ll trade fancy-looking for shell-free food.)

Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. 

ENJOY!!

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Macaroni and Cheese

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I saw a new way to make mac and cheese on pinterest.

The difference is: You cook the noodles in the milk instead of water. 

I know, right? CRAZY. But it was really good.

It was super creamy, but did not use any butter or cream. There was only skim milk and cheddar cheese.

Now, I haven’t done the calorie math on this, but it’s got to be healthier than regular mac and cheese. (Especially when paired with frozen broccoli, as above. Bravo to me! Ha ha.)

The only drawback was that it required more standing and stirring than I usually prefer. (I’m lazy like that.) In my experience, it took longer than the 25 minutes on low for the milk to thicken; I think it was more like 35 minutes.

Still, this was some good pasta.

Revolutionary Mac & Cheese
Source: Cate’s World Kitchen  adapted from White on Rice

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup loosely packed cheddar cheese, shredded by hand
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp dijon mustard, can omit and substitute nutmeg instead
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

In a small saucepan, add pasta and milk.  Bring to simmer, then reduce heat to low and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until pasta is soft, stirring frequently and ensuring milk does not boil.

Turn heat off, add cheese & salt & and stir to combine.  Stir in the mustard or nutmeg & cayenne a little at a time, to taste. Cover and let stand for a couple of minutes, then stir again and serve. If not creamy enough, add milk a little at a time, and gently stir.

If you would like to bake it at this point, place in a baking dish and top with a generous sprinkling of cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for approximately 10 minutes until cheese has melted.

How do you stuff an Oreo inside a cookie?

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Yesterday I made Oreo-stuffed chocolate-chip cookies.

Two words: De. Lish.

I will put the recipe below, but first of all, to answer the question. How do you get the Oreo INSIDE?

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Basically you make the cookie dough with extra flour so it holds together well, and mold the cookie dough AROUND the Oreo.

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Form it into giant dough balls. You see?

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Recipe:

  • 8 oz (2 sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 10-12 oz bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 pkg Double Stuf Oreo Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add butter and sugars to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat until light and fluffy. Then add the eggs and vanilla and beat until combined.

In a large bowl, sift the flour, salt, and baking soda with a wire whisk until combined. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until combined. Add the chocolate chips and mix until combined.

Use an ice cream scoop to place a scoop of cookie dough on top of an Oreo cookie. Place another scoop on the bottom of the Oreo. Seal the edges together by pressing and cupping the dough in hand until the Oreo is completely enclosed. Shape into a thick patty. Repeat with remaining cookies and dough.

Place the stuffed cookies on the prepared baking sheet a couple of inches apart and bake for 11-15 minutes, until the cookies are cooked through. Let cool for 5 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Source: © 2012 The Picky Palate Cookbook by Jenny Flake

Man-Catcher Brownies

brownie

I got this recipe from Ladies’ Home Journal. It was accompanied by a “story behind the recipe” that was really cute.

Short version: The brownies got their name when they caused the girl’s dad to propose to her mom.

Now, I don’t know if they will actually catch you a man, but let me tell you:These are some GOOD brownies.

The picture above shows a slice right out of the oven with a scoop of ice cream. HEAVENLY!!!

(If you wait until later to slice them, they will hold together into squares properly; however, who wants to WAIT for brownies? Not me!)

Anyways, here’s the recipe, and YOU’RE WELCOME.

  • 30-40 Kraft caramels, unwrapped (or a bag of caramel bits)
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk 
  • 1 pkg chocolate cake mix (German chocolate recommended; I used Devil’s food)
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350 and line a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper. (I didn’t have parchment, so I used cooking spray on my Pyrex dish and it was fine.)

Melt the caramels with 1/3 of the canned milk in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, and set aside.

Stir together the cake mix, melted butter, and the rest of the canned milk to form a dough. Press about 1 1/3 cups of the dough into the bottom of the baking dish in an even layer. Bake it until it’s puffed but not cooked through, about 7 minutes.

Remove bottom layer from the oven and pour the caramel sauce evenly on top. Sprinkle the chocolate chips on top.

Top with the remaining dough, crumbled into bits and scattered. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, if desired. Return it to the oven and bake until puffy and set, about 10-12 more minutes.

Cool completely and cut into squares.

Enjoy!!!

Delicious Cookies with a Dumb Name

cookie

I got this cookie recipe from my sister-in-law. Although at first I was skeptical of any recipe that did not contain what I consider the ESSENTIAL cookie ingredient –chocolate chips– it turned out that I LOVE these!

Unfortunately, I think they need a different name. They are called…

POTATO CHIP COOKIES

  • 1 c butter
  • 1 c white sugar
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 Tbsp baking soda
  • 2 c crushed potato chips
  • 1 pkg butterscotch chips

Cream together butter and sugars. Add egg and vanilla, then add flour and baking soda. Mix well. Mix in the crushed ships and butterscotch chips last. Drop by teaspoonfuls on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes.

I definitely suggest you try these cookies.

And if you can think of a better name, please let me know.

S’mores Crescent Rolls

I pinned this twice.

Crescent Roll S'mores
kidskubby.com

Inside the crescent roll, you are supposed to put chocolate chips, marshmallows, and graham cracker crumbs. Then roll it up and bake for 13 minutes at 375.

The second version involved a muffin pan:

Place unrolled crescent rolls in separate muffin tins. Fill with chocolate chips/hershey kisses, marshmallows, and crushed up graham crackers. Fold to close. Cook at 350 F for approx. 15 minutes.
image from pinterest

Since I obviously really wanted to make these, last night I finally got started.

I also made some stuffed crescent rolls for dinner while I was at it.

Inside the dinner ones I put: a little square of cream cheese, a little cheddar cheese, 1/4 strip of cooked bacon, and a dollop of mayonnaise or mustard.

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These were delicious!

For the dessert roll-ups, I tried mixing the chocolate chips with peanut butter chips or crushed Oreos. (I didn’t have any mini marshmallows.)

It turned out the ones in the muffin tins made a much nicer shape that the ones I tried to roll up by hand, but they all tasted good.

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I guess the verdict is: No mater what you put inside a crescent roll, it comes out yummy!

Brownie Bites

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These are actually called “Crinkle Cookies” but I think they tasted like Brownie Bites to me.

Recipe from Carla Hall of “The Chew,” which is in my opinion a quite dreadful name for a cooking show. I’ll let you have this one straight, since I pretty much followed this recipe as written.

4 tablespoons Butter
1/3 cup Unsweetened Cocoa
1 large Egg
1/2 cup Sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup All-Purpose Flour
3/4 teaspoon Baking Powder
1/3 cup Mini Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup Powdered Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Microwave butter and cocoa in a glass bowl on high for 45 seconds. Whisk mixture until smooth; set aside.

2. Whisk together egg, sugars, salt and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Gradually add egg mixture to chocolate mixture, whisking until well blended.

3. Whisk flour and baking powder together in a small bowl. Stir flour mixture into chocolate mixture until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips. Cover and chill dough for 30 minutes or until dough is firm enough to handle easily.

4. Place powdered sugar in a shallow bowl. Scoop dough and form into 3/4-inch balls;  roll in  powdered sugar. Arrange cookies on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes. Cool cookies 1 minute on baking sheet; transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

This came out pretty well.

I liked that they only took five minutes to bake; I didn’t like that I had to chill the dough in the middle of preparation.

I’m an impatient person.

Puddle Cake

I made a delicious chocolate-chip bundt cake topped with chocolate ganache.

Kikkoman Chocolate Ganache Sauce for Favorite Chocolate Cake
kikkomanusa.com

Unfortunately, it did not resemble the lovely picture on the ganache recipe.

(I know. A real shocker, right?)

Still, it tasted GREAT and had a surprise ingredient!

Wait until you see what that was!

(Hint: the recipe for the sauce came from Kikkoman…)

 

I started with my mom’s recipe for chocolate-chip bundt cake:

  •  1 pkg yellow cake mix
  • 1 pkg vanilla pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 1 pkg mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour a 10″ bundt pan. Combine the first five ingredients and beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in the chocolate chips until just mixed in. Pour it into the pan. Bake 50-60 minutes.

After the cake is done you can make the ganache:

  • 12 oz Heavy Cream
  • 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolates
  • 2 Tbsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce (SURPRISE!!)

Chop up chocolate.  Heat heavy cream.  Pour heated heavy cream over chocolate and let sit for a minute.  Whisk until smooth.  After the ganache is completely melted remove from the heat and whisk in Kikkoman Soy Sauce.  Pour Sauce over Cake.

Okay, here’s where I recommend: Make sure your cake is on a plate with a good-sized rim all around.

Otherwise, you get this…PUDDLE CAKE!!!

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I tried to transfer the spilled chocolate sauce from the waxed paper back onto the cake but it was super-messy.

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Still, the cake was delicious. The soy sauce really added something great, surprisingly enough.

Mayonnaise Chicken

I just had a little argument with spell-check over how many “n’s” are in mayonnaise. Also over how many “e’s” are in argument.

(The answers are 2 and 1, respectively.) But I digress…

The REAL Housewives of Riverton: Parmesan Mayonnaise Chicken Recipe

My point was, I made baked chicken with mayo.

The above image is from “The Real Housewives of Riverton.” Isn’t it pretty?

My chicken was decidedly less attractive.

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Still, it got two thumbs up from the kids and the husband, so I recommend the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 chicken breast halves
  • 4 Tbsp Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
  1. Combine the mayo and cheese in a bowl.
  2. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet.
  3. Top with mayo mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  5. Bake 20 minutes at 425.

Seriously, it was that easy!