April 30, 2016

Candy Lovers Chocolate Filled Cookie Cake

My little sweetie's 1st birthday was this month and as usual we celebrated all month long!
To end Stella's birthday month I made this Candy Lovers Cookie Cake for all of us to enjoy.
It's soft and chewy and filled with all our favorite chocolate candies. We chose to fill it with M&M's, chocolate chips, Snickers and Hershey Bars but the options are endless! If you love cookies and chocolate you have got to try this easy dessert!
 Happy Birthday Stella Rose!
 Stella's first bite of cake.
 She was unsure at first but then she dug right in!
Yay! Another kid with a sweet tooth like her parents!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips,{go all out and use caramel filled}
  • 1/2 cup M&M's plus 2 tbsp for topping
  • 1 cup assorted chocolate candy, chopped {I used a Hershey's bar and Snickers}
  • 1/4 cup mini Oreos, chopped plus 2 crushed Oreos for topping
  • Frosting, for decorating {optional}

Directions:


  1. Preheat 350 degrees.
  2. Spray {or butter} a 9 inch round cake pan or pie plate with non stick spray.
  3. Cream butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl on medium speed.
  4. Add egg and egg yolk then vanilla.
  5. In a separate large bowl add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until fully combined. The dough will be thick.
  7. Add the chopped candy and Oreos, reserving 2 tbsp M&M and crushed Oreos for topping.
  8. Gently stir until combined then spread evenly into the pan.
  9. Press remaining 2 tbsp M&M's on top of the cake.
  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through.
  11. Cool slightly then remove onto a cooking rack to cool completely.
  12. Optional: once cooled add decorative frosting around the edges and sprinkle with crushed Oreos. 
  13. Slice and serve and enjoy this Chocolate Lovers Cookie Cake!

Spray or butter a 9 inch cake pan or pie plate.
In a large bowl add flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. 
Mix well and set aside.
Add brown sugar and softened butter to a large mixing bowl.
Cream butter and brown sugar together on medium speed.
Once smooth add vanilla.
Now add egg and egg yolk.
Mix until well combined then with the mixer on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture until incorporated. The dough will be thick.
Now it's time for the good stuff!
Stir in chopped candy and chocolate gently by hand.
I use 1/2 cup M&Ms.
Then 1/2 cup chopped Hershey's Bar.
I had to add 1/2 cup of my favorite chopped Snickers candy.
Add it all to the bowl and gently stir together.
Of course I couldn't forget chopped mini Oreos, about 1/4 cup.
Lastly, 1/2 cup chocolate chips, any kind you want but I like semi sweet.
Spread evenly into the pan.
Press remaining 2 tbsp M&M's on top of the cake.
Bake for 18-20 minutes until cooked through.
Cool slightly then remove onto a cooking rack to cool completely.
Optional: once cooled add decorative frosting around the edges and sprinkle with crushed Oreos. 
I like to use this Cupcake Icing for quick and easy decorating! 
Slice and serve. 
I hope you enjoy this Chocolate Lovers Cookie Cake!
 If you love cookies and chocolate you have got to try this easy dessert!
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April 28, 2016

Spaghetti Casserole for Spaghetti Stella's Birthday


Everything you love about spaghetti- rich sauce, gooey cheese, and delicious pasta - all baked together in a casserole! This comfort food dish will warm you right up, fill your tummy, and put a smile on your face!

Spaghetti Stella, our little foodie, loved this casserole and so will you!

Our "Prego" announcement and Stella's 1st Birthday!
 Little did we know how much our baby would love pasta :)
My darling baby girl, Stella Rose turned one this month and I cannot believe how time flies!
To celebrate we had a fun photo shoot with the talented Lisa Anne Photography.
Instead of the traditional cake smash, we let Stella enjoy a big, messy bowl of her favorite food: spaghetti! Then she got to take some adorable bath tub pictures after. I know I am biased but is she not the cutest baby ever?!

Stay tuned for the bath tub pics!
Little Miss was all pretty in pearls in the beginning....
 then things got fun...
and very messy!
She's pretty darn proud of herself!
My girl has a good appetite for sure!
Slurp!
Spaghetti Stella photos by Lisa Anne Photography.
Prego baby announcement photo by Megan Keys Photography.
 

Ingredients:

Makes 9 servings
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground pork or beef
  • 1 lb spaghetti, broken in half
  • 24 oz jar marinara sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 1/2 cups mozzarella or cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened 
  • olive oil, for saute
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • Italian seasoning, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Start by cooking spaghetti according to package directions. I use the pot size spaghetti or you can break the noodles in half. 
  3. Drain and set aside.
  4. In a large saute pan, add onions and a swirl of olive oil and cook over medium heat for about five minutes, until they start to soften and brown.
  5. Add garlic and cook another minute.
  6. Add ground pork and cook, crumbling with a spoon.
  7. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Once pork is no longer pink, drain any fat and add cubed cream cheese.
  9. Mix until combined and melted.
  10. Now stir in marinara sauce.
  11. In a 9x13 pan, add a ladle or two of sauce on the bottom of the dish, spreading to cover. 
  12. Now add half of the pasta, then half of the remaining sauce, then 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
  13. Top with remaining pasta, the rest of the sauce, and the last 1 cup of cheese. 
  14. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese has melted.
  15. Serve hot with bread and a side salad {to be healthy, of course!}.
Start by cooking spaghetti according to package directions.
 I use the pot size spaghetti or you can break the noodles in half.

Drain and set aside.
In a large saute pan, add onions and a swirl of olive oil and cook over medium heat.

 Cook for about five minutes, until they start to soften and brown.
Add garlic and cook for another minute.

Add ground pork and cook, crumbling with a spoon.
Season with salt and pepper.

Once pork is no longer pink, drain any fat and add cubed cream cheese.
Mix until combined and melted then stir in marinara sauce.
In a 9x13 pan, add a ladle or two of sauce on the bottom of the dish, spreading to cover.
Now add half of the pasta..
then half of the remaining sauce...
then 1/2 cup shredded cheese.
You can use any cheese you like.
I was low on mozzarella so I used a mix of cheddar and sliced mozzarella.
Top with remaining pasta...
 the rest of the sauce, and the last 1 cup of cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
The cheese should be melted and the casserole hot and bubbly.
Top with a sprinkle of Italian seasoning and scoop onto plates.
This is definitely a messy but good family meal but it is worth it!
Me? Make a mess? No way!
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