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Baking for Japan

Last week, the Asian Student Association at my school was having a bake sale to raise money for Japan and I was asked to bake cookies and cupcakes for the event. The bake sale was a success! They sold everything they had and raised almost $300 :).

For the cookies, I used Martha Stewart’s Ideal Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing recipe and I used a square and heart-shaped fondant cutters to cut out the cookies with. For the cupcakes, my original idea was to bake vanilla cupcakes with vanilla frosting and dye some of the frosting red to add to the top of the cupcake (to look like Japan’s flag). But unfortunately the cupcakes were a bit last minute and CVS didn’t have food coloring (who would have thought?!) so I ended up buying cherries which I cut in half and placed on top of the cupcake.

Ideal Sugar Cookies

Martha Stewart

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Royal Icing (Doubled)

All Recipes

  • 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 bottle red food coloring
  1. In a bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in 2 beaten egg whites for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape
  2. Set aside half of the icing and mix with the food coloring until bright red. Use this for the dot on the flag cookies and the icing for the heart cookies

Vanilla Cupcakes (Quadrupled)

Adapted from Joy of Baking

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (3.4) ounce packages instant vanilla pudding (use 1 package for each double batch)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 containers store-bought vanilla frosting
  • 1 jar cherries
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F and line muffin cups with paper liners
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and pudding mix in a small bowl. Set aside
  3. In the bowl of electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat well after each addition. Beat in vanilla
  4. With mixer on low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and milk in three additions, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients
  5. Bake for 17-20 minutes and cool on wire rack

Cupcakes!

The heart cookies. Obviously made with the heart fondant cutter

The “with love” cookies, made with the square fondant cutter and black icing

Mini White Chocolate Butter Bars

Warning: these bars are extremely gooey bars. For the first batch, I attempted to bake them in my mini brownie pan but unfortunately they ended up falling apart when I tried pulling them out. The taste was still great, however and though not completely intact, they were perfectly snackable. Yes, I just made up a word. Anyway, the second time around, I just made the rest of the batter in a 9×9″ pan and they came out fine.

White Chocolate Butter Bars

Adapted from Godiva

Butter Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (3.4 oz) package white chocolate instant pudding
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1  1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk

Topping

  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted, divided
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Solid Ivory, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray mini brownie pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, instant pudding, and salt. Set aside
  3. Cream butter and sugar in mixing bowl at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, using electric mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Lower the speed and add vanilla. Add flour mixture alternately with milk, blending until the batter is smooth (do not overmix). Pour batter into prepared pan and spread evenly
  4. Beat cream cheese, eggs, 3 cups of the confectioners’ sugar, almond and vanilla extracts at low speed. Beat until smooth. Increase the speed to high and beat for 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the remaining confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Pour over batter and bake for 20 minutes or until the top is lightly browned all over. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes
  5. Drizzle the top decoratively with melted solid ivory

This is a close-up of just the batter

Then with the topping on top

And the final product :). These are not the ones that came out of the mini brownie pan, which explains why they look so presentable here

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

This recipe was really done completely out of the blue. My mom went to the store and I asked her to get me some oreo cookies with the full intention that I would make cookies & cream ice cream, especially considering I bought some cookies & cream sprinkles from A.C Moore recently. But then I remembered I had some instant oreo pudding mix in my pantry and I guess I just went with it!

Cookies & Cream Cupcakes

Cupcakes

Adapted from Martha Stewart

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (4.2 oz) package instant cookies & cream pudding mix
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 20 oreo cookies, finely chopped

Cookies & Cream Buttercream

Adapted from Savory Sweet Life

  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks or 1/2 pound), softened
  • 3-4 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tablespoons milk or heavy cream
  • 10 oreo cookies, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
  3. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract
  4. Add flour mixture and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl to assure the batter is thoroughly mixed. Stir in oreo cookie crumbs. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling papers about 2/3 full. Bake about 20 minutes. Cool on wire racks
  5. Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed.  Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed (so the sugar doesn’t blow everywhere) until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter
  6. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, salt,  and 2 tablespoons of milk/cream and beat for for 3 minutes.  If your frosting needs a more stiff consistency, add remaining sugar.  If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 tablespoons at a time. Beat in oreo cookie crumbs

Close-up of the batter

Pre-baked

Post-baked

I made the frosting a little too thick so I wasn’t strong enough to push it through my mechanical pastry bag. Kamil did it for me and he said I’m not allowed to criticize his work on my blog so I’ll have to keep that part a secret. I’m just kidding, he did a really good job :)…

…Probably even better than me

Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies

This recipe truly made the perfect whoopie pies because they weren’t too cakey which makes them stick to the pan and they end up breaking apart. They came out of the pan very nicely and the filling brought the flavors of the chocolate and the peanut butter together wonderfully!

Fluffernutter Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pie

Whoopie Pies

  • 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup (packed) light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  1. Preheat the oven to 375° F
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside
  3. Beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the vegetable shortening, brown sugar, and peanut butter until combined, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract and eggs
  4. Beginning and ending with the dry ingredients, beat in the flour mixture and alternating with the buttermilk
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes and let cool slightly in pan. Carefully remove and let cool completely on a wire rack

Chocolate Fluff Filling

Adapted from Tracey’s Culinary Adventures

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 7 1/2 oz marshmallow fluff
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (3.4 oz.) package instant chocolate pudding
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until incorporated – the mixture will become crumbly at first, just keep beating and it will come together.  Add the marshmallow fluff, vanilla, and instant chocolate pudding and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Pre-baked

Post-baked

And put together with the yummy chocolatey, fluffy filling

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake

This is another one of my favorite recipes, mostly because it’s so easily adapted to use any instant pudding mix. The first time I used this recipe, I made a Triple Butterscotch Cheesecake obviously using butterscotch pudding in the mix. However this time around, I used cookies & cream pudding mix for my best friend Sarah because I promised her a cookies and cream cheesecake. I got a thank you text at 12:14 in the morning telling me how much she loved it so I guess this recipe’s a keeper!

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake

Adapted from Nabisco World

Crust

  • About 1-1/2 cups oreo cookie crumbs
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

Filling

  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 package Oreo instant pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups oreo cookies, roughly chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F
  2. Mix oreo cookie crumbs, 1 Tbsp. sugar, and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes
  3. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, flour and milk with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Blend in dry pudding mix. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended
  4. To assemble, pour 1/2 of the batter into the pan. Top with 1/2 cup oreo cookies. Repeat with remaining layer
  5. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours

Here’s the crust. I’ve been experimenting with various cookies in crust recipes and I must say that graham crackers are good but nothing makes the cheesecake more delicious when you use a cookie that matches the flavor of the cheesecake, as this one does

Half the batter and half the cookies. If I were to make this again, I would probably use more cookie crumbs here to make a fine layer separating the two layers of filling

Almost ready to pop in the oven…

Pre-baked

Post-baked

This was Kamil’s piece that fell apart slightly. Though he liked it, he complained that his pants got “instantly tighter”

Yummm 🙂

Devil’s Food Cookies

These cookies don’t just have cocoa powder in the mix, but they also have Devil’s Food instant pudding and milk chocolate chips in them (triple the chocolate, triple the fun!). They came out with the texture and consistency of a cookie but they looked kind of like a brownie, so much so that I was tempted to call these “brookies.”

Devil’s Food Cookies

Adapted from Lovin’ From the Oven

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant Devil’s Food pudding mix
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 (12 ounce) bag milk chocolate chips
  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, instant pudding mix, and salt. Set aside
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely

Close-up of the batter. I’m not sure if it was the addition of the pudding mix that did it, but it had a very rich chocolatey color to it!

Pre-baked
Post-baked. I told you they looked like brownies!

Triple Butterscotch Cheesecake

That’s right…I said it. Three different butterscotch elements are put together in this recipe to create the ultimate, decadent butterscotch cheesecake. Are you ready? Because if you’re as crazy for butterscotch as I am, your mouth should already be watering! 😉

Triple Butterscotch Cheesecake

Adapted from Nabisco World

Crust

  • About 1-1/2 cups chocolate graham crackers
  • 3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
  • 3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

Filling

  • 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 Tbsp. milk
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) butterscotch instant pudding
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups butterscotch chips
  • Butterscotch ice cream topping, for drizzling
  1. Preheat the oven to 325° F
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, 1 Tbsp. sugar, coconut and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes
  3. Beat cream cheese, remaining sugar, flour and milk with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Blend in dry pudding mixes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended
  4. To assemble, pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan. Drizzle with butterscotch sauce and top with 1/2 cup butterscotch chips. Repeat with remaining layers
  5. Bake 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours

Here is the baked crust. Unfortunately, my Wal-Mart did not have chocolate graham crackers so I had to use the honey ones I had in my pantry. Equally delicious, however!

Close-up of the filling. It was funny how fast the mixture turned to a light shade of orange after pouring in the pudding mixes

Alternating the layers of the filling and the butterscotch sauce/chip topping. Make sure to pay attention to the edges of the cheesecake too! I didn’t give enough love to mine 😦

Pre-baked

Post-baked. I’m not sure what happened to the edges exactly but seriously, this is one of the best cheesecakes I’ve ever had. It’s definitely very rich though so don’t eat too much at once or you’ll get sick!

 

40 NILLA Wafers, crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
3/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. milk
1 cup BREAKSTONE’S or KNUDSEN Sour Cream
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) JELL-O Lemon Flavor Instant Pudding
4 eggs
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