Valentine’s Day Fluffernutter

Did you know that STRAWBERRY Marshmallow Fluff existed?  I had no idea until I saw it in the World Market section at Bed Bath and Beyond the other day.  I immediately grabbed a jar off the shelf.

I wish I hadn’t.

I wish….

…that I had grabbed three or four!  It’s SO GOOD!!  You know the first thing I had to do was make a fluffernutter sandwich, right?  Did you grow up on these things too?  Gooey marshmallow and peanut butter slathered onto good old white bread.  I could have eaten one every day for lunch and never gotten tired of it.

Of course, I had to take it up a notch.  We are talking about STRAWBERRY Fluff, people.  And what goes with strawberry??  That’s right – chocolate!

This strawberry and chocolate Fluffernutter is a fun and easy treat to make with the kids for Valentine's Day! It’s Monday morning, and I’m pretty sure that you know how to make a sandwich so I am going to spare you the directions.  Strawberry Fluff, your favorite chocolate nut spread (I used Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams but I am thinking Nutella would be AWESOME with this) and white bread are all you need to make this fun Valentine’s Day treat.

Strawberry and Chocolate come together in this fun sandwhich for Valentine's Day!The kids will love this and so will you because strawberry and chocolate, that’s why.  Now pardon me while I go continue eating this Strawberry Fluff straight out of the jar.

Yes, Strawberry Fluff exists and it's AWESOME!

Strawberries and Cream Cupcakes

‘Tis the season for all things red and pink so I’ve hopped onto the bandwagon and made you some strawberries and cream cupcakes!

Sweet strawberry cupcakes stuffed with Lindt Lindor Strawberries and Cream Truffles!Even if you don’t like Valentine’s Day you’ll be sure to fall in love with these cupcakes.  Sweet strawberry cupcakes, frosting made with heavy cream AND a strawberries and cream truffle stuffed into the center?  Good stuff.

Strawberries and Cream CupcakesThese cupcakes are really easy to make!  Bake up a batch of your favorite strawberry cupcakes (I used a boxed mix) and a minute or two after you take them out of the oven unwrap a truffle and just push it down through the top of the cupcake.  I used Lindt Lindor Strawberries and Cream truffles but you could use white, milk or dark chocolate truffles too.  Any kind of chocolate + strawberries = yum.  Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost them with this:

Butter Cream Frosting (adapted from Butter Cream Frosting II on allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups confectioners sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream

Directions

Cream butter and shortening in a large bowl until light and fluffy.  Add all other ingredients and beat well.

Strawberries and Cream cupcakes with a surprise inside! Perfect for Valentine's Day! From Shake Bake and Party

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles

I was super excited to participate again this year in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap which raises money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  Food bloggers sign up and get assigned three other food bloggers to send cookies to.  This year I sent cookies to Ashley at Memoirs from My Kitchen, Claire at Simply Sweet Justice and Renee from Tortillas and Honey.   More on who I received cookies from later…

First, on to the recipe!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles | Shake Bake and Party

I love snickerdoodles, and when I tried Apple Pie Candy Corn from Brach’s® around Halloween I knew I wanted to combine the candy with that quintessential cinnamon cookie.  I know it’s no longer candy corn season but I just checked and as of right now you can still buy a bag on Amazon.  So if you do want to give these a try you don’t have to wait until next fall!

You can use any snickerdoodle recipe that you like.  I happened to have a few bags of Betty Crocker® Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix hanging out in my pantry so that is what I used.  Easy and delicious!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

Ingredients and measurements will vary depending on what recipe you use for the snickerdoodles.  The following instructions are for use with the Betty Crocker® Mix:

1 bag of the cookie mix which contains a packet of cinnamon sugar
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted
1 egg
1 tablespoon of water

In addition to the ingredients to make the cookie dough you will need 1 bag of Brach’s® Apple Pie Candy Corn

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (350 degrees F for a dark or nonstick cookie sheet).
2.  Pour the cinnamon sugar from the packet into a small bowl.
3. Combine the ingredients needed to make the dough in a medium bowl until a soft dough forms.
4. Take about 1 teaspoon of dough and press one piece of candy corn into it.  Cover with a bit more dough, making a ball around the piece of candy corn.  Make sure no part of the candy corn is poking out through the dough.
5. Roll the ball of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar until coated.
6. Place dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set.
8. Remove from oven and press another 2 pieces of candy corn into the top of each cookie.
9. Place cookies back in oven for 1-2 minutes, just long enough to soften the candy corn so it will stick to the cookies.
10. Remove and let cool for 2 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.

This will make 2 dozen cookies.  Store in an airtight container.

Again, the ingredients and instructions here are if you are using the cookie mix.  If you are using a different recipe please follow the baking instructions for that recipe, just adding one or two minutes back in the oven after placing the candy corn on top.

You could skip inserting the candy corn into the center of the cookie but I wouldn’t!  It melts inside, infusing the cookie with a delightful apple pie flavor!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles | Shake Bake and Party

I received three FANTASTIC batches of cookies from some awesome bloggers.  The first batch was Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Snowball Cookies from Marcie at Flavor the Moments.  I love that she added chocolate chips to the traditional snowball cookie!

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Snowball Cookies

Next came Browned Butter Nutella® Slice-n-Bake Cookies from Sara at Cake Over Steak.  Nutella® makes everything awesome and these cookies were no exception!

Browned Butter Nutella Slice-n-Bake Cookies

My last batch of cookies was from Maurita at Get the Good Stuff.  She sent Ginger Shortbread Rounds.  I LOVE shortbread cookies, and the addition of chewy bits of ginger took these over the top!

Ginger Shortbread Rounds

I have to say now that the swap is finished, it’s pretty depressing coming home every day from work knowing that there is no chance there will be a box of tasty cookies on my doorstep.  If any of you out there are feeling generous and want to just randomly send me cookies, let me know so I can give you my address!  😉

Special thanks to Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil who are the masterminds behind the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  Thanks for all your hard work ladies!  Can’t wait to do it again next year!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Cookie Postcards

I recently participated in another Operation Cookie Takeover mission.  If you don’t know what OCT is all about you should check out their Facebook page!  The quick rundown though is this – people nominate deployed soldiers to receive cookies from the volunteers who have signed up to bake and send them.  Volunteers have shipped over 37,000 cookies to deployed soldiers since 2013!

This was the fourth mission and my fourth time participating.  It was also, by far, my favorite experience.

My idea for this round of cookies was to create a cookie “postcard” – a handwritten, edible note of thanks.  I have been seeing a lot of cookie decorators using the stamping technique to embellish their cookies and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try.  I used a rectangular cookie cutter to make my postcards and covered them in a layer of white royal icing.  Then I picked up a few postage related stamps from the craft store, read this tutorial on cookie stamping from Fancy Flours and went to town.

Cookie Stamping
It’s always best to practice first… : )

After trying out a few stamps I decided I liked the postmark one the best, so I stamped each of my postcard cookies with it.  Because my cookies weren’t perfectly flat, sometimes the stamp didn’t lay the ink down evenly in all spots but I figured that was okay – most postmarks aren’t completely uniform so I’m calling it “authentic.”  I let the ink dry overnight and then packed the cookies up and took them into work the next day for the fun part!

Cookie Signing Station

Along with my cookies I brought in a few sets of edible ink markers and set up a cookie signing station in an empty cubicle.  I invited all my coworkers to stop by and write a note to the troops on one of the cookies.

Here are a few of them:

Cookie Postcard

Cookie Postcard

Cookie Postcard

And here are all 24 together!

Cookie Postcards for the Troops

Thanks to the help of all my awesome friends at work these turned out so much better than I imagined.  I was so excited to ship these off to the Marine that I was matched up with.  I hope they all made it in one piece!

3rd Annual Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale

Fall is seriously THE best time of year. In addition to all the usual favorites (cooler weather, apple cider, gorgeous fall foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING…) it is also the time for fun things such as my birthday (next week!), Halloween, signups for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and the Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale!

Go Bo Foundation Bake Sale

This amazing bake sale is put together by Jill from Jill FCS Funky Cookie Studio to support the Go Bo! Foundation’s mission of funding cancer research and helping the families of children with cancer in Door County, WI.  This year cookie artists from ALL 50 states AND 17 countries have donated their time and efforts to this worthy cause.  If you are in the area you should definitely go check it out! Don’t worry though if you can’t attend because you could seriously spend hours scrolling through the Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale Facebook page looking at all the fabulous contributions.  There are some seriously talented cookie decorators out there!

This year Jill asked that in addition to whatever themed cookies we wanted to make we also send at least one butterfly cookie.  So here are the cookies I shipped out to WI last week:

Black Cat/Full Moon Halloween Cookie | Shake Bake and Party

Butterfly Decorated Cookie | Shake Bake and Party

                                                                 “You only live once so make it count.” – Bo

If you would like more information or would like to donate, please visit www.gobofoundation.org.

 

 

Chocolate Dipped Double Caramel Apple Oreos

I have a problem with Nabisco and all these new Oreo flavors they keep coming out with.  Cookie dough, banana split, Reese’s, fruit punch… Don’t they know I have a hard enough time not eating an entire package of regular Oreos?!  I managed to survive the summer without going completely hog wild but then they had to go and make caramel apple flavored Oreos.

CARAMEL. APPLE. OREOS.

I love caramel apple.  Please enter exhibits A, B and C into evidence:

A. The BEST freaking drink I have ever made – the Caramel Apple Pie Cocktail.
B. Super yummy and super easy Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cookies.
C. My “disgustingly good” Pumpkin Caramel Apple Magic Bars.

I started seeing these new fall flavored Oreos all over Instagram about two weeks ago.  I heard they would be available at “select” Target stores.  I had to have them.  I couldn’t find them.

So I did what any normal person would do in such a situation.  Last Friday, I asked all my coworkers before we went home to look for them if they ended up at a Target over the weekend.  That is how I scored a package.  Then they popped up in my Target so I bought two more.

I tried one and they were pretty good but they weren’t quite caramel-y enough for me.  I mentioned this to a very wise friend who immediately suggested dipping them in caramel (thanks Greg!).  I loved the idea but was worried about the stickiness factor so I decided that not only would I cover the cookies in caramel, I would also cover them in chocolate!

                                              Caramel Covered Oreos

Chocolate Dipped Oreos

You’re welcome.

Chocolate Dipped Double Caramel Apple Oreos - An easy fall treat from Shake Bake and Party

These were really easy to make!  They took me about an hour and a half start to finish – no baking necessary! – and they were a HUGE hit at work.  I love it when you get such a big payoff for minimal effort!

Chocolate Dipped Double Caramel Apple Oreos

Ingredients

2 packages of Caramel Apple Oreos
1 (14 oz) package of caramels, unwrapped
2 Tbsp water
2 (12 oz) packages of semi-sweet chocolate chips (melting chocolate or chocolate bars would also work)

Directions

1. Line two baking sheets with wax paper and lay out 3 dozen of the Caramel Apple Oreos.

2. Melt the unwrapped caramels and 2 Tbsp of water (you could also use heavy cream instead) in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.

3. Spoon the melted caramel on top of the Oreos.  I just kept the caramel on the burner and worked on the counter next to it.  Keeping the caramel warm prevented it from starting to harden back up while I was working with it.  Once the Oreos are topped with the caramel put them in the refrigerator until the caramel is set – about 15 minutes.

4. While the cookies are chilling in the fridge melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler, or in the microwave.

5. After the caramel has set dip the Oreos into the melted chocolate, making sure all sides are covered.  I dropped the Oreo caramel side down into the chocolate, and using two forks made sure the sides were covered before flipping it over to cover the bottom. Lift the cookie out with one of the forks and place back on the wax paper lined cookie sheets.

6. Once all the Oreos have been dipped let them sit until the chocolate has hardened.  Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place and they should keep for a few weeks.  Not that they will last that long!

Chocolate Dipped Double Caramel Apple Oreos - Simple yet decadent fall flavored treats!

Full disclosure: For some reason, on only some of the Oreos, the caramel oozed through the chocolate.  I’m not sure why this happened, so if you are an expert in candy making and can provide some kind of explanation or tips on preventing this, please leave me a comment!

wpid-20140911_073129.jpg

The leaky caramel didn’t really matter though because these cookies are FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!  The caramel and chocolate combined with the golden Oreo cookie are reminiscent of a Twix bar.  Add in the caramel apple flavor of the cookie filling and you have a decadent treat inspired by the flavors of fall!

Chocolate Dipped Double Caramel Apple Oreos

Of course, after I finished making these I saw a new Instagram post with a picture of Pumpkin Spice Oreos! Oh Nabisco, why do you do these things to me?!

Oh, right.  So I can make stuff like this!!

Decadent Chocolate Dipped Double Caramel Apple Oreos from Shake Bake and Party

If you’d like to see MY picture of the Pumpkin Spice Oreos when I get my hands on them be sure to follow me on Instagram!