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Entries in cakespy mischief (123)

Monday
Sep072009

A Sweet End of Summer Treat: Cakes Grilled in Orange Shells on Serious Eats

Cakes baked in orange shells
If Labor Day is the last hurrah of the outdoor grilling season, why not go out with a sweet bang? Wow your guests with these totally awesome cakes which can be baked on the grill in orange shells, which I recently wrote about for Serious Eats!

It's a little trick I discovered in an old Boy Scouts camping guide. Basically the idea is simple. First, you slice the top third off of an orange, and hollow out the bottom part:
Slice the Orange...Hollow out the orange

Then you fill it about 3/4 full with your favorite cake batter:
Oranges filled with cake batter

Then you either bake it according to the cake's recipe instructions, or throw it on the grill for about 15-20 minutes (shifting frequently if on grill):
Off the grill

Once done and cool, you can eat it as-is, or make it even awesomer by giving it a healthy dollop of frosting and garnishing it with a piece of the orange leftover from when you sliced the top off.

Either way, it's a sweet treat for the dwindling days of summer! Find the full recipe at Serious Eats!

Friday
Aug212009

Sweet Escape: Cake With Nail File from Criminal Crafts

Cake with Nail file by Criminal Crafts
We all need to make a stealthy exit sometimes--so why not add some gateau to your getaway with a super-sweet cake complete with prison-break nail file from Criminal Crafts?

These two-layer cakes are indeed edible, and come in a variety of cake and frosting combinations; they are coated in apricot glaze before shipping to preserve freshness; each cake has a (non-edible) durable 6" metal file (safely wrapped in a parchment paper seal) hidden in the lower layer. Of course, as they specify in their shop, "We’ve never actually tried to make a jail break with one, but seen it done in movies, so we’re fairly certain it should work" -- though refunds are not offered in case it doesn't.

Of course, there is some fine print:

This item is for delivery in the US only and will NOT be shipped directly to prisons, mental health facilities, government offices or HS detention, you’re just going to have to take it in person, and as we’ve spelled it out in delicious dark chocolate, “Good Luck”.

And finally, to sweeten the deal:

As a special offer we’re offering a 20% discount to anyone ordering who is under investigation for tax fraud or if your last name is Madoff. Please convo for more info on felony specials.

Sounds like one sweet escape!

 

CakeSpy Note: The artist in question, Shawn Bowman, is also part of an amazing upcoming event in Portland, OR: The Pie Fight Party! Click here for more information.

Monday
Aug102009

Sweet Surrender: A Little Debbie Death Match

Little Debbie Death Match
Oh, Little Debbie. You loyal lunchtime companion, you siren of saccharine sweetness. With you, we've unwrapped so many smiles--and you've never asked for anything in return.

Which is all to say, Little Debbie, that you never did anything to deserve what follows...but in the dark reality of the real world, sometimes bad things happen to good people. Yup--it's time for a...

Little Debbie Death Match

 

 

But first, to get some important information out of the way:

What have you done? A side by side comparison of several Little Debbie treats to see which one will rise victorious through various challenges. Winners were determined simply: at the end of each challenge, which seemed the most edible? (Though, as a disclaimer, we did not eat them afterward)
Little Debbie Display
Which Treats Were Used? Since the Little Debbie line boasts over 50 varieties of snack cakes, it was elected (for the sake of brevity, and to conserve cash) to choose just four treats that would be representative of some of the major textures and flavors; ultimately, it was narrowed down to the following contenders from their list of bestselling treats: Cosmic Brownies, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Swiss Rolls, and Zebra Cakes.

Why Did You Do This? To see which snack cake is truly superior. And also, you know, for fun.

 

Let the games begin:

Challenge One: Death by Boiling

Objective: To see which treat would last the longest when dropped into a pot of boiling water.
See you in hell, cosmic brownie!Still alive!
Brownie: Dude. This brownie was a survivor--while the icing melted fairly quickly, even after six minutes the cake part was holding strong and still retaining much of its original form. It wasn't until minute seven that it began to fall apart.
See you in Hell, Oatmeal Creme Pie!Oatmeal Creme Pie Boiling
Oatmeal Creme Pie: This little guy never stood a chance. Almost instantly the snack cake began to fall apart when it hit the boiling water; in under thirty seconds, it had completely liquefied, with not even crumbs remaining.
See you in Hell, Swiss Rolls!Swiss Rolls--After
Swiss Roll: These dudes were probably the luckiest of the bunch: since they come in pairs, at least they didn't have to die alone. When the rolls hit the boiling water, the chocolate glaze melted almost immediately, with the cream filling following in short order--however, the cake held on for dear life, slowly unraveling and remaining solid (albeit bloated and soft) for a good four and a half minutes before the spongy pieces began to fall apart. 
Boiling a Zebra cakeDeath to Zebra Cake!
Zebra Cake: The first thing that happened was that this cake seemed to dissect itself: the top icing and middle creme layer began to melt, thus separating the cake layers, which then began to expand in the water. The pieces held steady for nearly five minutes until they began to disintegrate.
Winner: Cosmic Brownie, which not only lasted longest but also retained the best form.

 

Challenge Two: Death by Car
Objective: To see which treat would fare best when run over by a car.
Cosmic brownie about to be run overSweet Roadkill
Brownie: Held its form surprisingly well, considering that it was a frosted brownie--no frosting stuck to the car wheel. Perhaps because it was so oily? This one was definitely the most interesting to look at, too.
Oatmeal Creme Pie about to be run overRoadkill
Oatmeal Creme Pie: Like the brownie, this little sandwich cookie fared pretty well, retaining its general makeup and not even losing much filling. 
Swiss Roll about to be run overSweet Roadkill
Swiss Roll: Total Goners. They stuck everywhere: the tire, between the treads, the ground. It was grisly.
Zebra cake about to be run overSweet Roadkill
Zebra Cake: Not much better than the Swiss Rolls--it seemed as if this snack cake exploded under the weight of the car. 
Winner: Oatmeal Creme Pie. While it was a hard decision between this and the brownie, ultimately the fact that the filling was intact made it slightly more appetizing.

Challenge Three: Death by Flight
Objective: To see which snack cake would fare best after being dropped from a second-story window.
Fallen brownie
Brownie: After landing on its side, Brownie almost looked normal...but upon closer inspection, had a strange and unnatural twist in its side. Sure, it survived...but it would never be the same.
Oatmeal Creme Pie after falling
Oatmeal Creme Pie: The cookies acted as a protective buffer, and quite honestly, this one probably just could have been dusted off and given to a friend, and nobody would have been the wiser.
Fallen Swiss Cake Roll
Swiss Roll: The roll cracked open at the seam, allowing the sweet cream to ooze out--the equivalent of a confectionery head wound?
Massacre! Creme FillingFallen Zebra Cake
Zebra Cake: Poor, poor Zebra Cake. This one fared the worst, hitting a step on the way down and leaving a sad trail of creme filling as it went. Zebra Cake was so not okay.
Winner: Oatmeal Creme Pie. It didn't seem to have suffered very much at all, other than collecting some dead leaves and dust.

Challenge Four: Death by Mr. CakeSpy
Objective: To see which treat will fare best when jumped on by the mighty Mr. CakeSpy.
JumperDanny jumps on it
See? He meant business. 
Brownie after being jumped-on
Brownie: Not so bad at all. It definitely suffered, but didn't lose its form under the weight of the mighty jump.
Oatmeal Creme Pie, Smashed
Oatmeal Creme Pie: Sure, it's only a small bit of creme filling poking out of the top cookie...but who's to say it's not a cookie concussion, bound to claim the cookie's life at any moment?
Smashed Swiss Cake Roll
Swiss Roll: Oh, poor swirly treats: the creme that makes them so delicious was also their downfall, popping out at the ends and rendering them limp and a shadow of their former selves.
Ouch!
Zebra Cake: Though the form was somewhat intact, the moment the cellophane was lifted, half of the frosting and cake came with it. Another one bites the dust.
Winner: Brownie. It was close, but ultimately the Oatmeal Creme Pie looked like it might not survive.

 

Which Snack Takes the Cake? Looks like it's a tie between the Oatmeal Creme Pie and the Brownie--but if you want a sweet survivor, stay away from the the iced snack cakes--they're total softies.

Conclusion: Overall, these Little Debbie treats are hardier than you might think: they're willing and able to withstand all sorts of hardship and will generally remain surprisingly edible. Of course, whether this information is comforting or horrifying is up to you. Naysayers may express horror at the health implications of ingesting foods that won't die. But isn't it much nicer to think that if you grew up eating them, you might have absorbed some of these sweet super powers?
Little Debbie Death Match

 

Tuesday
Aug042009

Babka Kebabs: Glorious Kebabka!

Kebabka
There is a deeply rooted belief here at CakeSpy that just about any food tastes better on a stick. I dare you to think of one that doesn't.

But as Rachel of Coconut & Lime recently lamented via twitter, while many desserts-on-a-stick are adorable and delicious, they can all too often be "too small to be satisfying". 

Happily, there is a food on a stick that will stick with you: delicious chunks of chocolate babka speared kebab style on a skewer--or, as I like to call it, kebabka.

Kebabka!
Now, kebabka is not necessarily a cute food. It's not delicate, and it's not dainty. But it is rich, chocolatey, carbohydratey, and delicious--and when enjoyed several chunks at a time eaten directly off of a stick, it will not leave you hungry.

Here's how you do it.

 

Kebabka (based loosely on this recipe)

  • For the babka
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1 (.25-ounce) package active dry yeast (2 1/2 teaspoons)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour


For the topping (I kind of cheated here)

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 big bar of chocolate (the jumbo sized ones at the grocery store--I used Hershey's Special dark chocolate)
  • Small amount of whipping cream, just for texture

 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth.
  2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until creamy (I saved the egg whites for an egg wash later)
  3. Mix the yeast in warm water with the 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. When this mixture thickens, add it to the egg yolks along with the, milk, vanilla and salt.
  4. Add the yeast mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well. Slowly add the flour until a soft dough is formed. 
  5. Turn dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until dough is no longer sticky.
  6. Cover the dough and allow it to rise in a warm place until it doubles.
  7. When it's looking pretty big, you might want to prepare the filling. To do so, you could put your butter and chocolate (broken up) in a double boiler to melt it, or you could do as I did and microwave it at 10 second intervals until it is melted. Add a touch of heavy cream (if you feel like it; I did) and mix until fully incorporated.
  8. At this point, I put the dough on a floured silicone pastry mat and rolled it flat and long. I cut it into about 15 separate little chunks.
  9. Then I rolled out each little chunk of dough and poured some chocolate filling in each one, then made it into a little roll and put each one into a cupcake cup.
    Mini BabkasRising to the occasion
  10. Allow these little loaves to rise again for about 2 hours.
  11. At this point you can either pour some of the leftover topping on top of the risen dough mounds or just, you know, eat it with a spoon (oh so rich!). 
  12. I used some of the leftover egg whites to lightly brush on top of each little loaf to ensure a pleasing golden tone.
    Mini Chocolate Babka
  13. Place in a preheated 350*F (150*C) oven for 30 minutes or until done. Let cool completely.
    Big plate of kebabkas
  14. Once cool, cut into either halves, or fourths; spear as many chunks as you'd like on kebab skewers, and eat yourself some food on a stick. If desired, serve with whipped cream for dipping (it's good!)

 

Wednesday
Jul082009

Corndog Days of Summer: A Sweet and Savory Experiment

Corndog Dessert Experiment
Combining sweet and savory in desserts is not a new thing--unless you've been living under a rock, you've certainly encountered desserts with savory elements--bacon or honey baked ham cupcakes, chili-infused chocolates and caramels; cakes with a cheesy secret; salted licorice ice cream...the list goes on.

Nonetheless I was intrigued when I came across this corndog dessert. It sounded interesting, yes--but delicious? The inventor of the recipe, a pastry chef who also invented a fried chicken dessert assured me it was tasty; I had heard good things about incorporating corndogs into desserts in the past. I set out to see for myself.

Starting out: For the recipe, I started out with Plinio's recipe mentioned above, but substituted the hot dogs with veggie dogs, and instead of making my own ice cream (too hard!) I simply used store-bought French Vanilla. Before anything else, I made the batter and let it sit for about an hour in the fridge. You can scroll down to the bottom of this post for all of the ingredients.
Veggie Dogs
Let the Experimentation Begin: 

 

That didn't work out.Oh well.

Idea 1: To make the little corndogs as if they were little balls of fried ice cream: surrounding a piece of veggie dog with vanilla ice cream, then coating it all in the cornmeal batter and frying it quickly. 
Verdict: Two problems: First, I don't think I let the ice cream set long enough, and it all imploded. Second: it occurred to me that having the veggie dog surrounded by ice cream would mean that at the center of this treat you'd find a chunk of frozen veggie dog. Sorry, but definitely not a delicious prospect.

 

Corndog Dessert

Idea 2: Going for a simpler approach, I coated chunks of cooked veggie dog in the cornmeal batter, and fried them up in a skillet filled with butter and sugar. This gave for a nice, carmel-y crisp edge; they were then served a la mode with plain vanilla ice cream.
Verdict: This method did work better, and the taste was actually pretty good--I think the hardest part was getting over the visual of the little pink coin of veggie dog, but taste-wise it had a nice sweet and salty thing going on.

 

Corndog Dessert Skewer
Idea 3: Building off of the success of Idea #2, this time I brought back the ice cream ball idea again, but this time put a little dollop of spicy mustard inside of each ball of ice cream and then let them cool for an hour in an extra-cold freezer. Then, I fried up another batch of the corndog-fritters and skewered them on a stick, alternating the fritters and balls of mustard-filled ice cream (note: you might want to let your little corndogs cool for just a little while--if they are still hot, the ice cream will melt a bit too rapidly for you to get them together).

Make Room for MustardBalls of Ice Cream
Verdict: Once again, once you can separate yourself from the weird factor of mixing hot dogs and ice cream, it's actually pretty good. I was most suprised by how nicely the spicy mustard worked with the rich vanilla ice cream though: it was a surprisingly addictive combination. 
Resolution: This was a very fun experiment, and once past the weird factor, the dessert is actually pretty palatable. Nonetheless, I don't think it is going to make it into my regular dessert rotation--as fun as it is to challenge yourself sometimes, I still think guests might make faces if you tried to serve this to them at a barbecue.

Corndog Dessert
Miscellaneous things you'll need:
  • 3 veggie dogs (or two would be fine if you like smaller pieces--you'll end up with about 20 golfball-sized corndog balls)
  • Vanilla Ice cream (if you got a half-gallon, it would be too much, but I'm sure you'll put it to good use).
  • Spicy mustard, if desired (I used Gulden's)
  • For frying: a stick of butter and as much sugar as you want to sprinkle in with it

Batter:
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 ea egg
1 cup milk

 

Directions:

Combine dry ingredients; in separate bowl, combine egg and milk. Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before use.
Batter
At this point, choose your adventure! You can coat each piece of veggie dog (I cooked mine first) and fry it up in a butter-and-sugar mixture and serve a la mode; you could make them up and skewer them with ice cream balls, or you could invent your own variation. Have fun!

 

Friday
Jul032009

Snap, Crackle and Pop Rocks: Explosively Delicious Fourth of July Cookies

 

Pop Rocks Cookies: Tastes Like America.

Sure, you can make red, white and blue treats for the 4th of July. But how can you really American 'em up for the holiday?

 

You need to add explosions.
Pop RocksPop Rocks

Like a summer blockbuster movie, these cookies are chock full of explosions: they're both infused and garnished liberally with Pop Rocks. This not only makes them crackle like fireworks but also pays homage to that other all-consuming american obsession: truly trashy candy (and I say this in the most loving way possible).

So--are you ready to make your fourth of July extreme?

Here's how you do it.

Pop Rocks Sugar Cookies (based on this recipe from the King Arthur Flour site)

1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) butter
2/3 cup (4 3/4 ounces) sugar
1/4 cup (2 ounces) buttermilk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, to taste
2 cups (8 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar till smooth. Add the buttermilk and vanilla, again beating till well-combined. The mixture may look a bit curdled; that's OK.

Add the nutmeg, flour, baking soda and salt to the wet ingredients, and beat until the mixture forms a cohesive dough.
Red, White, blue.
Divide into three parts, mixing one part with blue food coloring (a lot!), one part with red (also a lot) and leave one part plain. This way, you can have a mix of red, white and blue.
Pop Rocks Cookies
At this point, you'll want to break into those Pop Rocks. I put a nice little handful of red (strawberry) and blue (raspberry) into the corresponding balls of dough (you could do a mix in the white dough).

Drop the dough in round blobs onto a parchment-lined or greased baking sheet. They should be a bit bigger than a ping-pong ball, a bit smaller than a golf ball. Using a cookie scoop (or, if you have one, a small ice cream scoop, one that will hold about 2 level tablespoons of liquid) makes this task extremely simple. Leave about 2 inches between the dough balls, as they'll spread as they bake.

Bake the cookies in a preheated 350°F oven for about 12-14 minutes, or when they are just starting to brown. Remove them from the oven, and cool on a rack. While you're waiting for them to cool, you'll want to take a small bowl and mix the leftover pop rocks with whatever red, white and blue sprinkles you've got around. Once cool, either top with a generous dollop of frosting (I used cream cheese, below) or put a dollop between two cookies for a sandwich. If you've just frosted the top of the cookie, apply sprinkle mixture to the top or dip it into the bowl if the frosting consistency allows for it; for the sandwiches, you can dip the sides in the bowl so that they pick up the sprinkle mixture.
Sprinkles on the sandwiches

Cream Cheese Frosting (from Slashfood)

Beat 8 oz. cold cream cheese (not rock solid, but it means you can use it straight out of the refrigerator) with 5 Tbsp. softened butter and 2 tsp. vanilla until combined. Gradually add 2 c. powdered sugar that has been sifted after measuring. Continue to add more sifted powdered sugar until you reach a consistency and sweetness that fits your taste.

Sprinkles
Sprinkle mixture

I used two half-pouches of Pop Rocks (what was left after I folded some into the dough) and a mix of some other red, white and blue sprinkles I happened to have around.


Pop Rocks Cookies
Mmm, tastes like America.

 

Thursday
Jun252009

Campfire Meets Cookie: Let's Make S'moreos!

S'moreos!
Have you ever found yourself, mid-s'more, feeling like maybe, just maybe...something is missing?

You're not alone, buddy. But the matter has been given much thought, and a conclusion has been reached: that missing thing is cream filling, and the solution can be found with a certain famous sandwich cookie.

It's time to make S'moreos!
S'moreos!

When s'mores meet Oreos, magic--in the form of an oozy, creamy, unapologetically sweet treat--ensues. Basically, you won't be able to believe you've lived this long without them.

CakeSpy Note: I made mine in the microwave, as I am not an outdoorsy type; however, if there is a campfire handy, feel free to make yours using toasted marshmallows.

S'moreos
Hershey's Chocolate BarOreos
You'll need:

  • Either one, or two (depending on how decadent you feel) Oreos--Double Stuf optional
  • half a jumbo marshmallow per s'moreo (a whole one was just too big)
  • 2 rectangles from a regular sized Hershey bar

With One Oreo: If you've elected to use just one Oreo, twist it apart so that the top and bottom are separate. Face the filled side up, and put the chocolate squares on top, then layer the marshmallow half, then top it off with the remaining Oreo half. Put in the microwave at high for approximately 15-20 seconds. The marshmallow may rise and cause the top half of the Oreo to fall off; this is ok. Simply place it back on top upon removing from the microwave, and enjoy immediately.

 

With Two Oreos: If you're going for the double Oreo version (good decision), repeat the same steps as above, simply using a whole Oreo for the top and bottom. It may take a few more seconds in the microwave, but it's oh so worth it.
S'moreos!

 

 

Tuesday
Jun162009

Ace in the Hole: A Sweet Breakfast Trompe-l'œil

Bagel with cream cheese...or is it?
The bad news: this is not a deliciously chock-full of carbohydrates bagel with cream cheese.

The good news: it's even better. It's a delicious doughnut filled with cream cheese frosting and topped with poppyseeds so as to resemble a deliciously chock-full of carbohydrates bagel with cream cheese.

Now, a variety of reasons for making these could be presented to you, but really, why bother? When breakfast treats collide this sweetly, the awesome speaks for itself.

Want to make some for your own breakfast table? Oh, it's easy, and they're so much fun to serve. Here's what you need to do.
Top Pot Doughnut
Breakfast "Bagels" Made From Doughnuts and Cream Cheese Frosting


Ingredients:
  • Plain cake doughnuts (as many as you'd like); we picked up ours at Top Pot Doughnuts.
  • Vanilla or cream cheese frosting (about the same amount you'd use to top a cupcake for each doughnut; if you need a recipe, try this one or this one)
  • Poppyseeds (or sesame seeds would work too)
  • Butter (about a teaspoon-ful per doughnut)

Directions:
  1. Slice doughnut in half (for some reason it seems to work easiest if you apply the poppyseeds after slicing)
  2. In a small microwave-safe dish, melt about 1 teaspoon-ful of butter per doughnut you'll be making by putting it in the microwave for about 10 seconds. 
  3. Lightly brush the top side with about a teaspoon of melted butter (oh, get over it--they're already fried, anyway)
  4. Immediately sprinkle poppyseeds on top of the buttered side (this will ensure that they stick) and put this half to the side for a moment.
    Frosting!
  5. Apply a generous dollop of room-temperature frosting to the bottom (sans seed) half of the doughnut. It is important that the frosting be room temperature because if it is chilled, when you try to spread it you may break the doughnut apart. Gently spread.
  6. Put the poppyseed-laden piece on top.
  7. Enjoy (coffee works nicely at this point, too).
Bagel and Cream Cheese

 

Wednesday
Jun032009

Faking It: How To Pass Off Store Bought Baked Goods as Your Own

How to fake it.
Let's be honest: there are times when you're just not feeling it. Don't worry: we're all tempted to fake it sometimes.

There are many reasons why you might want to pass off purchased baked goods as your own. Maybe you want people to think you're a better baker than you really are. Maybe you're pressed for time or ingredients. Maybe--let's be honest-- you're just plain lazy.

But don't despair. Whatever your reason may be, here are a few tips for faking it, dessert-style: by slightly editing store or bakery-bought baked goods to make them seem homemade. They're quick and easy, and bound to win you accolades--whether you deserve them or not, you lazy jerk.


Make them imperfect!Fry, baby!
Cookies: One of the major challenges with store-bought cookies is that they are so--pardon the pun--cookie-cutter perfect. The solution? Put a pat of butter in a frying pan on medium heat. While it is heating up, take a lightly serrated knife (I used the mini one on the side of a waiter's corkscrew) and gently razor the edges of the cookie to create slight imperfections. Once the butter is lightly bubbling, place cookies in the pan. Leave them in just long enough so that they begin to brown on the bottom. Remove from heat, and with your (very clean) hand, slightly dent the tops and sides to create a slightly "homemade" look. The genius of this method is actually twofold: not only do you get a more homemade look, but the frying also gives them a buttery, freshly-baked aroma.

Shape themThis homemade cookie has a secret 
CakeSpy Note: Depending on the type of cookie, adding frosting on top is also a great added touch. Top with shredded coconut, sprinkles, or whatever you'd like for added authenticity.

Store bought sweet potato piePressing down on crust
Whipped creamSweet Potato Pie
Pie: The problem with a store-bought pie can often be its too-perfect crust and perfectly even filling. What to do? First, you'll want to preheat the oven (I used 300 degrees). Once warm, place the pie in the oven for a short period of time--just about five minutes--until the crust has gotten a little bit soft. Once out of the oven, use the bottom side of a spoon to gently press down on the crust to create slight imperfections. As for that perfect topping? Cover it up! A generous topping of whipped cream, spread in a very homey, imperfect manner and then topped with cinnamon or nutmeg, gives a nice homemade touch.

Creamsicle CupcakesCupcakes
Dip it!Fake it!

 

Cupcakes: The problem with cupcakes that you buy at the supermarket or at a bakery is that they are decorated just a little too beautifully. Though it might hurt you to do it, you're going to have to take them under the knife. Make sure the frosting is soft and doesn't have any crisp edges first, as they will cause weird little chunks in your reconstituted frosting. Using a butter knife, gently redistribute the frosting to look a little more homespun. To look like you tried to do something fancy at home, try dipping the sides into sprinkles. Just like homemade...sort of.

OK, so the ethics of these methods may be...questionable. But hey, it sure is fun to see if you can fool people. And nobody loses when you've got sweet treats!

 

 

CakeSpy Note: Should any of these treats arouse too much curiosity and/or inquiries about recipes, here are suggestions to nip any follow-up questions in the bud:
  • "It's my grandmother's secret recipe!"
  • "I found it on a blog...but forgot to bookmark it!"
  • "I'll email you the recipe!" (this said in a sort of "Check's in the mail", offhanded sort of way)
  • "That's weird--they do taste just like that bakery's (insert baked good here)! Excuse me." (beat a hasty exit)

 

Wednesday
May272009

Triple Threat: The Cookie Cake Pie

Cookie Cake Pie
Cookies, Cakes and Pies are basically the holy trinity of baked goods.

Separately, each is wonderful in its own way. Cookies and milk after school. Birthday cake. Pie at Thanksgiving.

But what if--just what if--all of this awesome could be combined into one singular sensation?

It's time to break out a seriously sweet triple play: the Cookie Cake Pie.
Cookie Cake Pie
I wish I had a more clever moniker for you, but really, the name does say it all: it's a cookie and a cake within a pie. This treat embraces the idea that if some is good, more is wonderful; it weighs more than any I've ever held in my arms, and it packs much more of a sugary punch. Excessive? Perhaps. But everyone who tried it all but licked the plate clean.

Want one of your very own? Here's what you need to do.

Cookie Cake Pie

You'll need:


Cookie Dough
First, prepare one batch of chocolate chip cookie dough. You can leave this in the fridge or to the side while you prepare the rest.

Next, prepare a single pie crust and line it into a pie plate. I considered blind-baking it, but ultimately did not, and I thought it turned out fine.
Cookie dough in pie crust
Place the cookie dough inside of the pie crust and using your fingers or a spoon, spread it so that it evenly coats the bottom of the crust. Mine was about an inch thick; I had enough cookie dough leftover to make about three big cookies, or one massive cookie dough snack.

At this point, you might want to pre-heat the oven. I considered each of the three recipes (pie, cookie and cake) and chose an average of 350 degrees.

Let the cookie-filled pie crust rest for a bit while you mix up some birthday cake. If I'm to be completely honest here, I used Rainbow Chip cake. Yes, from a mix. It just felt right, and it added such a nice color contrast. Don't judge me.
Pouring Cake Batter on Cookie dough in Pie Crust
Pour cake batter directly on top of the cookie dough til the pie crust is about 2/3 filled. The cake will rise, so you want to leave room for it. You will probably have leftover cake batter; why not make some cupcakes?
Let it Bake
Put this monster in the oven and check after about 25 minutes. I kept on checking every 5 minutes and think it ended up baking for about 30-40 minutes total. I took it out when the cake was golden around the edges. As an update, I have tried it again with other mixes and sometimes it takes up to 55 minutes.
Frost, GenerouslyFrost it!
Let cool, and frost generously with buttercream frosting (mine was approximately an inch thick--this is not the time for moderation). Garnish as desired; I thought sprinkles were festive and pretty.

Yum
Finally--and most importantly--enjoy.

 

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