Oreo Brownies

This recipe came with another name but I prefer oreo brownies. There is a layer of chocolate chip cookie dough, a layer of oreos and a layer of brownies. The original used boxes of cookie mix and brownie dough but it is not necessary. It is very easy and fast to make it from scratch! Look out!! They are delicious!! I think these could be great with the mini oreos, if you can find them.
Oreo brownies
Brownie layer
10 T. unsalted butter
1 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. cocoa
1/2 t. salt
2 t. vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1/2 c. all purpose flour
Oreo layer
1 package of Oreos (regular stuffed or double stuffed) 16 cookies
Cookie dough layer
1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 t. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
Cut oreo brownie
You will need an 8″ or 9″ square pan, lined with foil and sprayed with baking spray.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the brownie layer, in a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the sugar and cocoa when the butter is melted. Whisk to combine and remove from heat. Add the salt, vanilla and eggs and whisk until combined. Add the flour and mix well. Set aside.
For the cookie dough layer, cream the butter and sugars in a mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla, making sure to mix well. Add the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix on low until everything is incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips.
Assembly-layer the cookie dough on the bottom of pan, pressing to form the bottom crust. Layer as many oreos that will fit on top of the cookie dough. No need to overlap-one layer will do. Pour the brownie batter over the oreos and spread evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes. Test the center with a knife and make sure it comes out clean. Serve warm with ice cream or cool and cut into 16 portions.

Pear and Almond Cake

This is from Food 52, and it a version of the almond cake previously posted. I think this is a better recipe as the cake is tall and does not sink in the middle. I think the key to making a perfect cake, without it sinking in the middle, is to have all of the ingredients at room temperature!

Pear and almond cake
2 very large ripe pears, depending on size, 1 may do, D’Anjou
1 c. cake flour, divided
1 1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. salt
1 1/3 c. caster or superfine sugar (I used cane)
7 oz. almond paste
1 c. butter, room temp, cut into tablespoon cubes
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
6 large eggs
Confectioners sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 325° F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan or springform pan, line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper and butter that, too. Dust the pan with flour and shake off any excess. Peel the pears and cut them into very thin slices from stem to bottom. Starting at the outside perimeter of the pan, place the pear slices in tight concentric circles until you’ve covered the pan’s bottom. In a small bowl, whisk together 3/4 cup of cake flour, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside. In a food processor, grind the sugar, almond paste, and 1/4 cup of the cake flour until the almond paste has mixed with the sugar to form a sand-like substance. With the food processor running, add the cubes of butter one at a time. When the butter has been incorporated, add the vanilla and almond extracts. Process until the batter is smooth and light. Add the eggs one at a time, processing after each addition. Add half of the dry ingredients and pulse a few times. Add the rest of the dry ingredients and pulse the machine until the dry mixture is just incorporated. The batter will be light, fluffy, and thin. Pour the batter over the pears, then bake the cake in the center of the oven. Check it after 50 minutes, at which point in may look like an ominous white blob. Cook it until the top is nicely browned and the center is not too jiggly (mine took 60 minutes in one oven, 70 minutes in another; it has also been known to take 55 minutes. Moral of the story: Watch closely). Remove the cake from the oven and run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the pan to loosen it from the sides. Let the cake cool completely, then invert it onto a cake rack. Invert it once more if you want the pears at the bottom and the crackly, golden-brown side facing up. Dust it with confectioners sugar, then slice a piece for yourself.


My Aunt Sue is obsessed with popovers and I finally decided it was time for me to revisit them. I ordered a pan (a must!) online and made them this morning. This is my aunt’s recipe that I combined with one from Cook’s Illustrated. They did not disappoint! This recipe makes 6 large impressive popovers! You really need 6 people or neighbors to share them with as I don’t think they will hold. I may try making some chicken hash and putting into a heated popover for dinner tonight!
Popovers hot
2 eggs (you can use 3-for super puffy popovers)
1 c. whole milk
1 c. unbleached all p. flour (about 5 oz.)
1/2 t. salt
1 T. melted butter
approx. 1 T. vegetable oil for popover cups
In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and milk together for 20 seconds. Whisk the flour and salt in a medium bowl and add to the egg mixture. Stir just until the flour is incorporated. Whisk in melted butter until smooth, about 30 seconds.

Let the batter rest for 30 minutes.
Popover breakfast
While batter is resting, measure 1/2 t. vegetable oil into each popover cup. Adjust the oven rack to the lowest position. Place the popover pan in the oven and heat to 450 degrees. After the batter has rested, pour into a 4 c. measuring cup with a spout. Working quickly, remove hot pan from the oven and pour mixture into 6 popover cups. Return to the oven, bake 20 minutes. Do not open oven door! Lower heat to 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Invert pan onto a wire rack and cool for 2-3 minutes. Serve immediately with good butter and jam!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Icing

This is an easy recipe from Relish and would be great to take to a party of kids. It does have pecans it in so you may need to omit them! The frosting makes enough for two batches and is delicious!
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened (one stick)
1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
3/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
Maple Cream Cheese Icing:
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick) softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pumpkin cupcakes
Preheat oven to 375F. Place 24 paper muffin cup liners in muffin cups.
To prepare cupcakes, sift together flour and next 4 ingredients (flour through cinnamon). Place butter and brown sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add pumpkin, beating on low speed. Add flour mixture and milk alternately to sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour, beating on low speed. Stir in nuts.
Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
To prepare icing, place all ingredients in large mixing bowl; beat with mixer on medium speed until smooth. Spread icing onto top of cooled cupcakes.