Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Cake Pops--FAIL

I really hate when I fail making a baking treat.

As you all know Easter Sunday was this past weekend and I was scheduled to go to brunch at my friend Sam's house. Of course I told her I would bring dessert and quickly decided on cake pops.


Friday night my friend Judi came to visit for the weekend and so off we went to Michael's to purchase all of the necessary equipment--lollipop sticks, candy melts, wrapping paper to package them up---everything.
1 of 2 flavors I made---Strawberry pops with cream cheese frosting

I had high hopes.

Well, Saturday morning I baked the cakes, let them cool and before we went out for the day I mixed the icing in.

I was so excited!


I came back home Saturday night and settled down to make them.

I rolled the cake pop, froze the cake pop, dipped the cake pop, and then tried the cake pop.


It was a fail.


As I bit into the beautiful white chocolate candy coating that I meticulously adorned with a myriad of multi- colored sprinkles, the cake  pop tasted like a big ball of yuck. (I'm sorry, I've ALWAYS wanted to write "meticulously adorned with a myriad". Forgive me)

They were incredibly mushy and way too wet.

I was angry. I was mad. What happened??

After my anger subsided I quickly rushed to the grocery store and bought a Strawberry Shortcake to take to brunch, but I knew this would not be the end of me and cake  pops.

As I poured through different blogs, I realized that I made the mistake of putting too much icing in with the cake. The recipe I used called for 1 1/2 cups or a can of frosting and that is what I did. However, people were saying that it makes the cake balls mushy and "wet" which is what happened to mine.

A coworker of mine happened to bring in cake balls  to work today and there was way too much icing in hers as well.

This is  NOT the end of me and cake pops.I will perfect these things in  the very near future. Look out for another post about these because I will make them right!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Fried Oreos

Little hugs from Jesus—that’s what Deep Fried Oreos are.

A warm and softened Oreo cookie nestled inside fried batter is one of my FAVORITE desserts.

This weekend I had the strongest urge for this summer time staple (to me) after I flipped through some old college photos of my friend Kourtney and I hanging out at the Jersey Shore.

Kourt and I upside down. ;)
Kourt and I right side up. :)

I’m happy to say that I conquered the craving and made some this weekend!

I love fried Oreos!

I actually like them even better when they are paired with a raspberry lemon puree---yes, raspberry lemon puree. Trust me.

The first time I had this combo was when some friends and I randomly visited the Chip Shop in Brooklyn, NY .   

Since the owner fries EVERYTHING there, I figured I would bring a couple of Oreos with me and let him do his thing.

Well, he fried up my Oreos, but then gave my friends and I some raspberry puree  to dip them in and they were h-e-a-v-e-n-l-y.

Something about the raspberry and chocolate combo made them delicious, and so I of course made some to go with the fried Oreos I made this weekend.

Both items are super easy to make and it seriously took me about 20 minutes from start to finish to make both of them.

If you're not too grossed out yet about the thought of eating fried cookies, give these babies a try!


Fried Oreos from (I halved the recipe) 
  • 1 (20 ounce) package Oreo cookies
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk
  • 3 teaspoons of oil
  • Vegetable oil for frying

  1. Blend Bisquick, eggs, milk, and 3 tsp oil until smooth.
  2. Preheat your deep fryer to about 375°F (use a thermometer if you wish to deep fry in a pan).
  3. Dip the cookies in the batter mixture until totally covered and then place in the hot oil.
  4. Keep checking and turn over the cookie when bottom side of Oreo is brown.
  5. Keep a close watch because it only takes a short time to brown.
  6. Remove cookies and eat warm.

Raspberry Lemon Puree
  • About 1/2 cup of frozen raspberries 
  •  2 tablespoons of sugar (add more or less depending on taste)
  •  1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice 

    1. Pulse frozen raspberries in a food processor blender until fine.
    2. Transfer it to a saucepan and simmer on low for about 2 to 3 minutes
         until it starts looking like liquid
    3. Remove from the saucepan and strain the mixture in a bowl
        to remove all seeds
    4. Once all seeds are removed add the lemon and sugar and refrigerate
         until cold.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

Crown and root canal procedure this past Saturday.

Could not eat anything solid cause you know—teeth out of commission.

Wanted something sweet that was not ice-cream. (Yes, I know. Don't judge me.)

Rummaged through cupboards and found can of sweetened condensed milk.

Always wanted to make Dulce de Leche from the “boil can in water but may explode” method.

Just survived dentist---could survive possible explosion.

Boiled unopened metal can of sweetened condensed milk for 4 hours.

No explosion.

After 4 hours of boiling an unopened can of sweetened condensed milk you end up with this.  :)
Only sweet milk caramel.

‘Twas exciting! 

And delicious.

Sunday—bored and hungry.

Wasted life away on couch reading food blogs.

Saw Dulce de Leche Cheesecake squares

Made them.




Sinful Sunday.  :)

Recipe--From Smitten Kitchen

For crust
3 1/2 oz graham crackers, crumbled (1cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope, will be just about half an envelope)
1/4 cup whole milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dulce de leche (12 1/2 oz) (recipe follows)
For glaze
3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Make crust: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of foil (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
Finely grind crackers with sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor. With motor running, add butter, blending until combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

Make filling: Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly. Pour filling over crust, smoothing top, then bake in a hot water bath (I was able to fit mine in a 9×13-inch baking pan) in oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours.

Glaze cake within 2 hours of serving: Heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilting baking pan to coat top evenly. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into 1-inch squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut. (Don’t skip this step! A clean knife is essential for uber-neat squares.)
Note: Cheesecake (without glaze) can be chilled up to 3 days.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Best Friend Series #1 (Lisa) -Not Yo' Mama's Banana Pudding

I first had banana pudding in the summer of 2009.

Before then I was not interested in eating pudding of any kind unless it was in a plastic cup containing swirls of vanilla and chocolate ---you know, the Swiss Miss variety.

Anyways, for the greater part of my life I didn’t have the privilege of eating this simple but decadent dessert, so I asked my friend Lisa to make me some since she’s kinda southern.

She did.

It was fabulous.

Lisa is fabulous.

No, she really is.

If you ever get the privilege to meet her the first thing you’d notice would probably be her. Yes, HER.

Not the vintage dress she is wearing or the statement necklace that she happens to have on, but HER.

She’s the whole package and is put together uber fabulously.

Whenever we go out together and I see people staring, I understand that it is Lisa they are gawking at and I happily stand aside and let them look.

I look too.

Lisa is also one of the wittiest people I know. She can outwit anybody with her comebacks. Anyone. Try her.

Lisa is also gangster. She kinda scared me when we first met. We met in 2008 when we were both working at a local TV News station in NYC as Assignment Editors.
Cream cheese whipped with sweetened condensed milk. Yes, please!

I was sitting behind the desk scared and nervous about my first “big girl” job while our now other bestie, Connie, was training me.

Lisa came over to ask Connie if she was ready to go to lunch and Connie then introduced me to Lisa.

It went like this:

Lisa (with her arms crossed)-
“ Connie, you ready to go?”

“ Yea, but Lisa this is Jihane, she’s going to start working at the desk with us.”

Lisa (with her arms crossed and no smile on her face) -
“ OK, hello. Connie, are you ready to go?”

LOL! We crack up about that now because she probably didn’t even realize she did that! If she’s not interested, she’s NOT interested, and she was NOT interested in me when we first met.
Favorite picture of Lisa taken by Yours Truly.  On our way to a bakery in Paris.  :)

I don’t know what the turning point in our relationship was that made us become the best of friends, but we are!

I asked her the other day when she came to visit and she said, “I don’t know really, I think I got to talking to you and realized you had some sense.”

HAHA! Of course…

Anyways, she was the one who introduced me to banana pudding when she made a huge pan of it just for me about 2 years ago.

Not pretty, but it was delicious!!!

I’ve loved the dessert ever since and will always be reminded of my fabulous Lisa whenever I eat it.

She’s my boo and I am hers. :)

-I have been wanting to try this banana pudding recipe for a LONG time now, and I am glad I did. I brought it to work and people liked it mucho.
**I halved the recipe**
  • 2 bags Pepperidge Farm Chessmen cookies
  • 6 to 8 bananas, sliced
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 (5-ounce) box instant French vanilla pudding
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 (12-ounce) container frozen whipped topping thawed, or equal amount sweetened whipped cream

Line the bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch dish with 1 bag of cookies and layer bananas on top.
In a bowl, combine the milk and pudding mix and blend well using a handheld electric mixer. Using another bowl, combine the cream cheese and condensed milk together and mix until smooth. Fold the whipped topping into the cream cheese mixture. Add the cream cheese mixture to the pudding mixture and stir until well blended. Pour the mixture over the cookies and bananas and cover with the remaining cookies. Refrigerate until ready to serve.