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16

Mar

Oreo Truffles

In honor of Oreo’s 100th Birthday, Team College Bake decided to create something for all the tasty times Oreo’s has provided over the years. Of course, Oreo’s are one of the many wonderfully delicious snacks that often occupy the space underneath a student’s bed. But let’s be honest, plain Oreo’s and milk is rather cliche. To mix it up without getting in the kitchen, we made Oreo Truffles

Ingredients: 

  • 1 package of Oreo cookies
  • 1 (8-ounce) package of softened cream cheese 
  • 12 ounces of white or semi-sweet chocolate chips (I recommend both)
  • Toothpicks
  • Wax paper
Directions:
  1. In a blender or food processor, pulse 1 package of Oreo cookies until they resemble crumbs. 
  2. Pour crumbs into a bowl and mix with one 8-ounce package of softened cream cheese until a moist dough forms. 
  3. Roll dough into 1 inch balls and place them on a wax-paper-lined baking sheet. 
  4. Place the rolled dough into freezer for about 10 minutes.
  5. While waiting, melt 12 ounces of white or semi-sweet chocolate in a bowl.
  6. Remove rolled dough from freezer and stick toothpicks into each ball.
  7. Coat dough by dipping each ball into melted chocolate. 
  8. Place on wax-paper-lined baking sheet and remove toothpicks.
  9. Place in refrigerator until firm. 
  10. Makes aprox. 3 dozen truffles. 

College Tips:

  • Odds are, you don’t have a food processor laying around your dorm room for such times as when you might need to blend up some Oreos, so here are a few options.      
  1. Use a fork.
  2. Use your hands.
  3. Put oreos in a sealed plastic bag and beat with textbook. This one is my personal favorite. Works even better when you pick a textbook associated with your least favorite class. Gets the oreos crumbled and gets your anger out!               
  • Get creative! Since these truffles aren’t baked, the size of the dough balls do not have to all be the same size. Make large or small ones! Feel free to use multiple types of chocolate to dip dough into as well. 
  • If you don’t have a freezer, use a fridge to firm up dough balls. (Let them sit in fridge for 30 min. rather than the 10 min. in freezer.) 

Enjoy these rather sophisticated-looking treats with a glass of milk and a few friends. And if you don’t have friends, after you offer a plate of Oreo truffles, I’m sure it won’t take you long to find some! 




                                                                                                                  [For how-to photos, click on image above.]

08

Mar

Slutty Brownies

Slutty Brownies and College Baking
Adapted from http://www.thelondoner.me/

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack chocolate chip cookie mix
  • 1 pack brownie mix
  • 1-2 packs of Oreos (depending on how many you intend to eat in the process)
  • 2 eggs*
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil*
  • ¼ cup water*
  • 1 stick of butter*

*these are the amounts based on the brands of mixes I had, they may vary from brand to brand.

 

It’s about 6:30 at night, and I just finished my dinner of Caprisun and dinosaur chicken nuggets. No, I’m not four, I’m 18, but one of the things I quickly learned when I came to college was that the four-year-old diet is nothing to be ashamed of when you’re working with very little money and even less kitchen availability. Now, dinosaurs for dinner is something I can handle, but when I realized that giving up a fully stocked kitchen also meant giving up the freedom to bake whenever I wanted, I was not willing to go down without a fight. That’s why, when I found The Londoner’s recipe for “slutty brownies” I was pretty excited; it couldn’t have been simpler! Even with my limited resources and budget, this was something I could do. Everything it called for was inexpensive, and I didn’t need to use anything fancier than a cake pan in the process. Not to mention, these brownies looked absolutely incredible, how can you go wrong with a warm combination of chocolate chips, Oreo cookies, and gooey brownies? This is definitely a recipe I plan to share in the future.


Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350° and find a 9x13 baking pan.**
  2. Next, in a medium bowl, or whatever sized bowl you have on hand, prepare the chocolate chip cookie dough according to the directions on the package, mix it like crazy until you have a really gooey dough. It might help to add a little bit more oil than the package calls for.
  3. Once you dough is sufficiently mixed, press the it into the bottom of the pan. Make sure the bottom of your pan is completely covered, it will probably be a thin layer.
  4. Then cover the cookie dough layer in a layer of Oreos and set the pan aside. It is very important to only use the perfect cookies for this step, eat the broken ones.
  5. Wash your medium bowl
  6. Prepare the brownie mix exactly as it says to on the box.
  7. Pour the brownie mix on top of the Oreo layer
  8. Put your pan in the oven and find something to distract yourself for about 30 minutes while the magic happens.
  9. Take your brownies out of the oven and try to restrain yourself from diving right in, things straight out of the oven tend to be hot.
  10. Once they have cooled, you can decide to either cut them into nice, civilized squares; or you can grab a couple spoons and dig in.

 

Tips:

·       ** If you’re like me and you live on a college campus, or are even living on a college budget, good luck with the pan. I opted for a $2 aluminum pan from Safeway. It didn’t survive the night, but it worked perfectly for one batch.

·       This was my first experience with dry cookie mix, and I was a little puzzled by it at first, it just didn’t want to mix. At home I would have used a wooden spoon, but college doesn’t have wooden spoons, so I had to get creative. My first instinct was to use a hand mixer because we happened to have one of those, but all that did was chop everything into little bits and whip it around a little. Not effective. Next I grabbed a regular dinner spoon because it seemed to be the next best option, but it was simply too small and I was afraid I was going to break it. I finally opted for just using my hands and this seemed to work great, even if it was messy.

·       If you want to cut them into neat little squares at the end, I suggest lining your pan with parchment paper. The removal process will be much less painful and your end product will probably be a lot prettier.

 

Even if you’re baking in a closet with an oven crammed inside, this is one recipe you will happily be able to make again and again, not to mention, I’m sure the sugar rush will do wonders for you once finals week rolls around. With simple ingredients and very few tools necessary, this truly is the perfect recipe for the college baker!

06

Mar

Red Velvet Cupcakes

It’s hard being a college kid and trying to make one of your favorite recipes that happens to be a little more complicated than pouring milk into a bowl. When you have 10+ steps and about the same amount of ingredients needed, you start to find short cuts that save time and money. Now you can have the best of both worlds, good food and college fun!

What You Need

Red Velvet Batter:

·       4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

·       ¾ cup granulated sugar

·       1 egg

·       2½ tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

·       3 tablespoons red food coloring

·       ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

·       ½ cup buttermilk

·       1 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

·       ½ teaspoon salt

·       ½ teaspoon baking soda

·       1½ teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Cream Cheese Frosting:

·       4 ounces butter, at room temperature

·       4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

·       2½ cups powdered sugar

·       1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Instructions

1.     Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and insert standard cupcake liners into cupcake tin.

2.     In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium-high speed with mixer. After about three minutes, add egg and increase mixer to high speed. Scrape bottom of bowl and continue on high speed to mix thoroughly.

3.     In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and red food coloring. This should create a thick paste, if not add more cocoa powder (especially if using sweetened cocoa powder).   

4.     Add contents of small bowl to batter mix in the large bowl, mixing on medium speed, make sure all batter receives even amount of color.

5.     Reduce the speed of mixer and slowly add half of the buttermilk (1/4 cup). Add half of the flour mix (half a cup and a tablespoon) until evenly combined. Repeat the process with the other half of the ingredients (buttermilk and flour). Beat on high until smooth.

6.     On low speed, add the salt, vinegar, and baking soda until mixed well. The vinegar and baking soda make react and cause bubbling, this is normal.

7.     Evenly pour batter into cupcake tins. This should produce 13-16 cupcakes.

8.     Bake for about 20 minutes, or until toothpick or knife comes out clean after inserting into largest cupcake.

9.      Cool for 10 minutes in fridge and then frost.

10. To Make Frosting: Whip butter and cream cheese on high speed for about five minutes. Reduce speed and add sugar, until all is combined. Add vanilla and beat on high until frosting in light and fluffy.

At home, where my mother baked me goodies and the cupboards are stocked with spices and other innocuous ingredients, it was never too hard to whip up one of these recipes. But now that I’m here in college with about as much space as a mouse to store my food, I’m not about to go out and buy a 5 oz container of unsweetened cocoa powder. Of course, it doesn’t help either that the local grocery store doesn’t carry it, because they figured that college students would be more prone to by the real deal, sugary cocoa powder instead. They aren’t too far off, but still for the sake of my baking, I wasn’t too happy.

Instead of storming off in a fit and cramming the whole idea of making red velvet cupcakes right into my mental trashcan, I sat back and began to think. How off would my cupcakes taste if I put sweetened cocoa powder in? I mean really, when has a little extra sugar hurt anyone?

Here are a few helpful and easy short cuts for the average cheap college student:

·      While the recipe above, found on browneyedbaker.com, calls for unsalted butter, most college students will not be happy to go out and buy a package of butter they’ll only use once. To solve this problem, add a small pinch of salt rather than ½ teaspoon and used the same measurements as called for in recipe with normal butter.

·      As for cocoa powder, using sweetened cocoa powder is a fine substitution. Make sure to continue adding powder at will until the paste is thick enough as called for in recipe above. If you follow the recipe with the sweetened cocoa powder without making a thick paste, don’t fret. The cupcakes will just come out extremely red and taste like cake batter. And they taste just as good with the cream cheese frosting!

You may end up covered in red dye enough to look like you just went on a murdering rampage, but disregard the strange looks you get from your roommates. At least you have the wonderful company of sinfully delicious, red velvet cupcakes.  

04

Mar

Starting this off with a Bang

Of a cheap aluminum tin pan, because that’s what college baking is all about. 

If you’re anything like me, the one bummer about going off to college was knowing that you would be giving up some privileges you once had at home. 

For me - that meant giving up baking.

While some college dorms have kitchens, they are usually broken down, barely working headaches that tease you with the idea of baking without giving you the best results. Or even if you have a fully functioning kitchen, there are times when you can’t find measuring implements or your mixer just broke. 

And why should any of those things above stop you from enjoying the wonderful experience of baking? 

That’s what this blog is here for. To bring recipes to you that are meant to make your life easier. 


Three cheers for college baking, hip hip!