Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

I don’t know about you, but something about an Oreo makes me want to devour an entire row of them after eating a single one. Incorporating them into a cupcake? Seems downright sinful. Chopped up Oreos get folded into a fluffy white cake and topped with a gooey frosting reminiscent of the creamy, classic filling and sprinkled with cookie crumbs. What a treat indeed! 😄 I made these for a friend’s baby’s 1st birthday party and I think they went over well… I know Jack enjoyed his, so much so that he tried to swipe another 😁 Happy baking!

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes: 
24 Oreo halves, with cream filling attached 
2 1/4 cups flour 
1 tsp baking powder 
½ tsp salt 
8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 2/3 cup sugar 
3 large egg whites, room temperature 
2 tsp vanilla extract 
1 cup milk 
20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

For the frosting: 
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature 
6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature 
1 tbsp vanilla extract 
4 cups confectioners sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream

For garnish: 
1/4 cup Oreo cookie crumbs 
12 Oreo cookies, halved (optional) 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line cupcake tins with liners (about 24). Place an Oreo half with cream attached in each well, cream side up.

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Coursely chop up those 20 Oreos…trying not to snack on the ensuing mountain of yum…set them aside!

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 In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt; whisk together and set aside.  In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Blend in the egg whites one at a time, beating well after each addition, then add in the vanilla extract.  With the mixer on low speed, add half of the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Do the same with then milk, then add the rest of the dry ingredients. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos with a rubber spatula until evenly incorporated, being careful not to over-mix.

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Divide batter evenly into liners…

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And bake for about 18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Allow to cool in the pans for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While those babies are cooling, let’s make some frosting! Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of your mixer and beat on medium-high speed until smooth. Blend in the vanilla extract. Slow the speed down and beat in the confectioners’ sugar until fully incorporated and smooth. Add the heavy cream to the bowl and beat on medium-low speed just until incorporated, then increase the speed to medium-high and whip for a few more minutes until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes as desired.

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Sprinkle some cookie crumbs on top, and if using, add on Oreo half (as pictured at the beginning of the post). Perfection!

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Recipe from Master Cook via Annie’s Eats (her recipe is no longer posted on her site for some reason, but this is the version I have printed).

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Best Ever Broccoli

I’m sure everyone has their own take on this, but it’s been a while since I’ve posted about a side dish. I also figured with all the dessert posts I’ve done lately, I could stand to put some veggie karma out there. 😜 Broccoli is hands down Jack’s favorite veggie, and he loves this roasted version so much we’ve seen him bypass main courses to devour it. Plus it’s super easy and ready in 15 minutes. What’s not to love?

Ingredients:
1 large head of broccoli
2 tsps olive oil
1-2 tsp minced garlic
Sea salt
Black pepper
1/4 shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
Squeeze of lemon (optional)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with foil. Remove broccoli florets from stems and arrange in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over florets, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add garlic and use hands to mix until all the florets are lightly coated.
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Roast in oven for about 13-15 minutes, or until you’re satisfied with the doneness of the florets. Remove to a bowl and toss with Parm and lemon juice if using… We regularly eat this both ways depending on what the main dish is and it’s delicious either way. Serve warm!
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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Truffles

Truffles. Mmm. Just the name conjures decadent, creamy deliciousness, doesn’t it? I’ve dabbled with Oreo and mocha in the past, but I wanted to do something different for my family’s Christmas goodie boxes this past year. When my sister in law requested pumpkin cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, I thought a) no way am I baking cupcakes for these things, ain’t nobody got time fa dat! and b) that flavor profile, though… Lo and behold, Pinterest held the answer for me. Like most recipes involving dipping, these can be a little time consuming- but they are oh so worth the wait! Don’t wait for pumpkin season to roll around again before giving these a try.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/3 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 oz cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 cup white chocolate chunks/wafers/chips
2 cups white and/or milk chocolate chunks, wafers or chips

Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk together your powdered sugar, gingersnap crumbs, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
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In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix together your cream cheese, pumpkin, and orange zest.
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Once well blended, melt the 1/2 cup of white chocolate in your microwave until smooth. Pour into the mixture.
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Add your dry ingredients and mix well. Cover mixture and refrigerate until firm enough to roll into balls, about 2 hours. Using a melon scoop or round measuring spoon, scoop mixture and roll into balls. You’ll end up with about 30 overall.
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At this point, I chilled mine a little longer before dipping to really let them set. Once good and firm, melt down the 2 cups of whatever chocolate you choose (we made both and liked white better!) and dunk the pumpkin balls in the chocolate, coating completely. Allow excess to drip off and place on wax paper to dry. Store in fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Recipe adapted slightly from Lillyella.

Crockpot Beer Chicken

Guys, this is hands down the easiest Crockpot recipe you’ll ever make. 7 ingredients, most of which are spices, and I’ll put good money on you having all of them in your kitchen right now. You can even through the chicken in frozen, so it’s a perfect choice if you’re strapped for dinner ideas and need something to throw together quickly. In my experience making this meal, using a lighter beer produces a juicier, more flavorful chicken than a darker beer. And as for the spices? Again- these are the ones I used, but use whatever you have on hand and it should turn out pretty well. 😊

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or less if you don’t want leftovers)
1 can/bottle of beer
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp powdered garlic
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Directions:
Arrange the chicken breasts along the bottom of the Crockpot. Add spices.
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Pour beer over the top of the chicken and spices, and stir if you wish. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 8-10 hours, turning at least once during cooking time.
Remove chicken from liquid, plate, and serve with sides of your choice.

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Recipe from Pinterest.