Friday, 21 June 2013

Sugar and Spice and All Things Nice

I've been getting a bit of advice on how to take better pics for my blog :) In case you hadn't noticed, there are two types of pic on here - a bright, clear, looks like it came from a magazine type, and a dull, grainy, amateur type.  Guess which ones are mine??  :)
The really awesome pics you see are taken by my sister, who happens to be a photographer (you can check out more of her work here). 
So after listening to her tips, I've given it another go, and I think you'll find they are somewhat better!  Not quite to her standard, but I'm impressed with myself - someone's gotta be right??

Anywho, onto the topic of the blog - I know all you really wanna hear about are my fantabulous (and lack there of) kitchen creations!

Sweet treats!  That pretty much sums up what has been happening this week.  I made some cupcakes that are meant to taste like doughnuts, one of my favourite biscuit recipes, and ... CHOCOLATE LASAGNE!!!!!  I know right?  Drool ...

So first up, the doughnut cupcakes - simple recipe - again from Facebook.

1 3/4 c (all purpose) flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/3 c vegetable or canola oil
3/4 c white granulated sugar
1 egg
3/4 c milk

Combine dry ingred. Mix liquids in separate bowl. Add liquids to dry and combine together well, without over beating. Spoon mixture into prepared muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 20-25 min.

While muffins are baking prepare sugar topping.
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon

While muffins are hot, dip into (1/2 c) melted butter and roll into sugar & cinnamon mixture.
Now I followed this recipe except for the last part.  I sprinkled the sugar and cinnamon on top before baking.  I did this because I thought it seemed easier, and I was worried about the butter making the cupcakes soggy - or worse, have that horrible slimey butter feel on the roof of your mouth.  They still taste like doughnuts - only a bit stodgier than I was expecting.  Anywho, this is what mine look like:

Moving right along.  The biscuits I made were Raspberry Drops.  It's a recipe that my Mum used to make and she passed it on to me.  It's basically like a shortbread with jam dolloped in the centre ... yum!
(Look at that beautiful photo!)
These biscuits are good with any flavour jam too.  And oh so good when they are fresh from the oven!

Now for the moment I know you have all been waiting for ... CHOCOLATE LASAGNE!!!!
And yes it is just as good as it sounds :) 

1 package regular Oreo cookies (Not Double Stuff) – about 36 cookies
6 Tablespoon butter, melted
1- 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons cold milk
1- 12 ounce tub Cool Whip, divided
2 – 3.9 ounce packages Chocolate Instant Pudding.
3 1/4 cups cold milk
1 and 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips


1. Begin by crushing 36 Oreo cookies. I used my food processor for this, but you could also place them in a large ziplock bag and crush them with a rolling pin. When the Oreos have turned into fine crumbs, you are done.
2. Transfer the Oreo crumbs to a large bowl. Stir in 6 tablespoons melted butter and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs. When the butter is distributed, transfer the mixture to a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the refrigerator while you work on the additional layers.
3. Mix the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add in 2 Tablespoons of milk, and sugar, and mix well. Stir in 1 and 1/4 cups Cool Whip. Spread this mixture over the crust.
4. In a bowl, combine chocolate instant pudding with 3 and 1/4 cups cold milk. Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken. Use a spatula to spread the mixture over the previous cream cheese layer. Allow the dessert to rest for about 5 minutes so that the pudding can firm up further.
5. Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the top. Sprinkle mini chocolate chips evenly over the top. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.
Right so as you can see, I split this into two containers - mainly because in a moment of blondeness I had it in my head that 9 x 13 inch pan would be a slice tin - and when I put the oreo layer in, I could see it wouldn't all fit in there - but afterwards I realised that the measurements would be more likely to be that of a casserole dish!  I do quite like it in the loaf tins though, you get nice deep layers.
The recipe says one pack of oreo's (36 cookies) but one pack here only consists of about 14, so I used a double pack.  I also adjusted the chocolate pudding amount.  I had it worked out that it would be 4 packs of instant pudding mix, but I only used 3.  I also decided to use regular cream (whipped with a little icing sugar and vanilla) instead of canned stuff.
The kids were glad to have a treat after the cold wintery day we had today.  As you can see it went down really well :)
I don't anticipate much on the culinary genious this weekend.  I'm off to the "Mother of the Year" Awards tomorrow night - my sister has been nominated :)  Quite looking forward to a night off!  Happy weekend, and stay warm!!