betty crocker

Reese’s Addict Brookie Ice Cream Sandwiches (And Bonus Whoopie Pies, too!)

So up until recently, I hated the name Brookie. I mean, it sounds like some overly-likable cookie you went to high school with (if, you know, it was the food world and everything). The popular cookie who was good at literally everything– good at being a brownie, good at being a cookie, just fit in with everyone because, yeah, why not? I’d always been partial to terms like “Layered brownie” or “Brownie cookie” or other terms that are kind of a mouthful.

But then I found some mixes and made these ice cream cookie sandwiches. And they live up to the name, because they really are good at everything… they’re good at being brownie, being cookie, being peanut butter chocolate goodness, and they’re just perfect at being an ice cream sandwich. Because what person doesn’t love an ice cream sandwich chock full with peanut butter cups? (I mean aside from the people with devastating nut allergies, of course!)

If you don’t have a nut allergy, though, these. These are the cookies you need to try. Because they’re really delicious. Reeses+Brownie+Cookie+Ice Cream Sandwich=the Best Darn Brookie Ever, and yes, it deserves to be called a brookie.

Oh, and if you’re horribly weird and don’t like ice cream (love you, mom!), stick around, because there’s another brookie sandwich with NO ice cream in it in this post, too.

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A&W Root Beer Float Cookie Bars

I was walking through Walmart not too long ago and saw a product that made me stop dead in my tracks. As a member of a Root Beer loving family, I knew I had to make something awesome with the mix I saw on the shelf. Betty Crocker actually released a Walmart-Exclusive Root Beer Float cookie mix. The first thing I thought? “This is either going to be absolutely amazing, or really off the mark…” I mean, you can’t make a root beer cookie… can you? Well, Betty Crocker succeeded, and I decided to tweak their cookie to make the perfect party treat. The best part? It’s really simple.

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Blueberry Peach Coffee Cake

Mother’s Day is right around the corner. I feel like I hear two things from two different sets of people… a lot of moms saying “I just want to feel appreciated for mother’s day,” “The one bad thing about everyone making me ‘breakfast in bed’ is that it usually means I have to help, or at least clean up,” “Is it really that much to ask?” and a lot of dads saying, “I guess I’ll just go and grab something at the store. You really think I’ll be able to help the kids cook?” “I’m sure a card is plenty,” or “Can’t it just be easy?”

Guess what? I’ve found a recipe that satisfies moms AND dads. Easy, very little cleanup, and tastes like there was a ton of effort put into it.

I test a lot of recipes for the blog. I know that I’ve found a true winner when my family asks for me to make it again. And again. And again. This coffee cake went fast, and I know you’re going to love it for Mother’s Day. Or any other day of the year.

This one gets bonus points for being a great option to take for a Mother’s Day Brunch.

The coffee cake is simple: the ingredients pictured (blueberry muffin mix, canned peaches, sugar, butter, flour, and cinnamon), plus whatever ingredients are listed on the back of your muffin mix of choice. I love the Betty Crocker Wild Blueberry Muffin and Quick Bread Mix, which required two eggs and some oil, but your mix may vary, so don’t forget to pick up those items at the store or grab them from your pantry.

Drain the peaches and the blueberries that come with the muffin mix, rinse the blueberries, and place them on paper towels to dry. I also blotted them off with a paper towel to make sure they were as dry as possible. Set these aside for later to air dry.

This easy crumble topping is perfect for coffee cake, and the best part about the crumble topping is that it’s quick to whip up for anytime you’re making muffins or quick bread. But it is the perfect touch on this coffee cake, too.

You’ll need 1/4 cup sugar, 1/4 cup flour, and 1/2 a teaspoon cinnamon to start out with. Mix those together in a small bowl, then cut in 2 tablespoons of butter until it’s all nice and crumbly… like this:

Nice and crumbly. Set that aside, too.

Mix the muffin mix according to the package directions, omitting the blueberries, since you’re holding those back for the topping. Pour the batter into a greased 9×9 pan.

Now for the fun part. Put your peaches on top of the batter. I decided to dice mine, but you can definitely just put them sliced if you’d like, or purchase pre-diced ones.

Evenly sprinkle the blueberries over the peaches on the batter.

Then finish with your delicious, buttery crumble topping!

Bake the coffee cake at 400 for 25-27 minutes. Dads, if you’re making this with little helpers, this gives you 25-27 minutes to clean up the kitchen!

Check out that delicious goodness… but don’t dig in for about 10-15 minutes.

Serve it with coffee however mom takes it, right there in bed. Delicious!

 

Do you do anything special for your mom for mother’s day? Do your kids do anything for you? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Linking up over at Do Tell Tuesday!

Watermelon Quick Bread (Or How To Make a Sweet Bread out of ANY Cake Mix!)

I’ve mentioned a lot lately how much I love spring. It’s that 70 degree weather and the delicious seasonal foods that appear in stores about this time, for sure. So the other day, I was shopping at Target, wandering the store the way I do… you know how you go into Target for one thing and there’s that unspoken law that you can’t leave without spending $50 even if you went in for just one $5 item? Yeah, so, I was wandering. And stumbled upon a Target exclusive.

Oh my goodness, Target, you kill me with those exclusives…

Betty Crocker got sneaky and made a WATERMELON cake mix. And frosting to go with it. And oh my goodness, this cake mix, it’s just like a watermelon. But like, in cake form. Psht, like I needed another excuse to eat cake!

So I gathered my Betty Crocker Watermelon Cake mix, a box of Jello Instant Vanilla Pudding, 4 eggs, 1 cup of water, and 1/2 cup oil, then preheated my oven to 350.

Now, I want to tell you here, I used the Watermelon Cake mix because I really wanted to have that amazing watermelon bread flavor. The vanilla pudding compliments that well, but you can use literally any flavor of pudding and cake mix. Want chocolate bread? Try chocolate cake and chocolate pudding. Want chocolate covered strawberry? Use a strawberry mix and chocolate pudding. Want lemon? Use lemon cake mix and lemon pudding and add some poppyseeds… or, use lemon cake and vanilla pudding for a lighter flavor. The sky is the limit!

But for today– Watermelon Cake Mix, Vanilla pudding. Everybody still tracking along?

Put your dry ingredients in the bowl, then add in your wet ingredients while mixing.

Aww, look at all of the fun “seeds” in the watermelon mix! This is a good time to mention that, while these great black seed bits came in the mix, you CAN add in mix-ins like chocolate chips or poppyseeds when making a cake mix quick bread. Use your imagination!

 

I divided my batter among 4 mini loaf pans, but you can make two regular loaves instead. I like mini loaves because they’re so cute, and great for sharing! The baking time should stay the same or increase just slightly if you’re using the regular loaf pans. Always insert a toothpick or use your method of choice to check for doneness!

Bake at 350 for 35 minutes, or until edges are golden. Then, cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour before slicing and serving. See, breads will continue to bake just slightly after removed from the oven, so cooling them before slicing allows that soft center to get fully cooked.

Cake mix quick breads are great because they use ingredients people usually keep on hand, and they’re so easy to take to friends or family, serve as a breakfast or dessert, and are just a great treat.

The best thing about the Watermelon quick bread is it’s delicious watermelon flavor that tastes so true to the actual fruit. This is the moistest sweet bread you’ll ever taste!

 

What cake mix/pudding combo would you try in your Cake Mix Quick Bread? Let me know in the comments below!

(Almost) Starbucks Lemon Cake Pops

Springtime. Seriously, is there anything better?

Today, I was telling a friend how a song I can’t get enough of right now (Gone Gone Gone by Phillip Phillips if you’re curious) makes me feel like it’s 75 degrees out, and like I’m driving with the windows down, hair blowing in my face, sipping an iced coffee and wearing sandals. Even though it’s still officially long-sleeves and heater on weather, I feel spring when I hear that song.

You know what else gives me that feeling? Lemon cake pops. Oh my gosh. It doesn’t matter what diet plan I’m following, Lemon Cake Pops from Starbucks are one thing I just can’t say no to. Which means every time I head to Target or my local grocery store, I end up buying a Lemon Cake Pop. See, the thing about lemon is, it truly gives me that “Windows-down, Radio-up” feeling that I love.

But I knew there had to be a way to capture that feeling at home, so I wouldn’t have to drive up to Starbucks to get one. I mean, I’m lazy, and 15 minutes is a long drive. Plus, there had to be a way to make them cheaper!

Seriously, if you’re looking for an exact duplicate, these are spot on. In fact, they may actually be even better than the real deal. So what is a lemon cake pop? Well, according to the Big Bucks themselves, it’s a vanilla white cake with lemon buttercream, dipped in white chocolate and topped with sugar sprinkles. So, to make a good duplicate, mine should be the same basic type of pop.

For the white cake base, I went with a Betty Crocker White Cake Mix, and the supplies listed on the back of the box. While yes, you could go totally homemade with a white cake, boxed cake is perfect for this recipe. It’s moist, it’s quick to prepare, and it just streamlines the process.

For the lemon buttercream, I decided to tweak things and make my favorite lemon cream cheese buttercream recipe, which uses cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and lemon and vanilla extracts.

To give the pops that signature yellow color white chocolate, instead of tinting a white chocolate, I decided to use these beautiful yellow Wilton Candy Melts! They’re the perfect color for these lemon cake pops, and they don’t require having the white chocolate and a gel color on hand.

Finish with pretty sugar sprinkles (I picked these up for $1 at Target) and you’ll be all set. If you’re making them into actual pops, you’ll want to make sure you have cake pop sticks on hand. If you’re like me and prefer to make balls, you might consider some pretty mini cupcake liners or truffle wrappers. Mine are from Wilton, and oh-so-cute!

Start by making your white cake according to package directions (or from scratch if that’s how you roll). For Betty Crocker mixes, that means 3 egg whites, 1 1/4 C water, and 1/3 C oil with the mix, baked at 350 for 29-34 minutes.

One way that white cakes get their signature white appearance is the lack of egg yolk in the batter. Yolks will tinge it slightly yellow, so pretty much all white cake mixes will use more eggs, but only the whites of each.

Once you’ve baked your cake, let it cool completely. If it’s even a little warm, the frosting will melt when mixed with it and give you mush. So patience is a virtue!

In the meantime, start your lemon cream cheese buttercream. You’ll want 1 block of room-temperature cream cheese (8 oz), 2 sticks of butter (1 cup), 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla, and 2 teaspoons of lemon extract. While lemon is a personal taste and you might like yours slightly more or less lemony, I’ve found that, side-by-side, 2 teaspoons tastes most comparable to the real deal when the pops are fully finished. Remember, you won’t want the lemon to overpower the vanilla of the white cake, but you will also want to make sure that the white cake doesn’t overpower the lemon. A delicate balance, for sure!

Cream this together until it’s nice and fluffy, very well whipped.

Slowly beat in 3 1/2 cups of powdered sugar, whipping it with a mixer until it’s perfectly creamy. This is about the look you’re going for.

When the cake is fully cooled, crumble it to bits. I mean just destroy it. Then, add in a couple of spoonfuls of the frosting. Stir and smush until it’s fully combined, then continue squishing until it combines into a thick dough, adding slightly more frosting if needed.

{Side note: You will have some leftover frosting, which you can use with additional baked cakes for more cake pops, eat it as-is, or top some cupcakes or a cake with it. Personally, I like layering crumbling graham cracker crumbs in the bottom, then cake and frosting in mini cordial glasses and serving them with a mini tasting fork for a “cake shot.” It’s a great way to use a variety of leftover frosting!)

When the dough is ready, chill it for about 15-30 minutes before rolling it into balls, then once you’ve rolled all of the dough into quarter-sized balls, go ahead and pop those in the freezer for about 30 minutes.

Melt your yellow Wilton Candy Melts. I like to use a double boiler, but you can absolutely melt the candy melts in the microwave if you’d prefer.

Dip your chilled cake balls in the melted white chocolate, coating it, then removing it. If you’re making cake pops, your technique will be slightly different from mine using a fork. Place the dipped balls on parchment or waxed paper, then sprinkle with the sprinkles before the chocolate hardens.

Don’t worry, though– if the chocolate does harden, you can use drip some more chocolate on the cake ball and sprinkle after.

For a fun party display, you can put a block of foam in the base of a watering can (I got mine for $3 at Target’s One Spot), cover it in Easter grass or shredded paper, and either stick your cake pops directly into the foam, or stack your cake balls carefully. Wouldn’t that look fun as a dessert buffet centerpiece or as a delicious gift?

 

In the comments below, tell me, what makes you have that springtime feeling, even when it’s not spring yet?

Cherry Nut Cake

I’m a huge fan of cherries. And also nuts and coconut. That’s why, when I found this recipe lurking in my box of inherited recipes, I knew I’d have to try it. I mean, I haven’t tried an inherited recipe I didn’t love, so this one was very likely to be great. My family had great taste when they were compiling that recipe box (I mean, I’m sure they still do, but that box is a goldmine of awesome flavor combinations!)

You’ll want to start with everything pictured: a box of Betty Crocker Cherry Chip cake mix, a box of Jello Vanilla Instant Pudding, 4 eggs, 1/2 cup oil, 1 1/4 cup buttermilk, and a cup each of pecans and coconut. I really like the Fisher nuts Cookie Pieces because they’re chopped so finely that you get a little taste of pecan in every bite, but normally chopped nuts will work. Don’t have buttermilk on hand? It’s okay. Put 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of white vinegar in your measuring cup, then pour milk in to make 1 1/4 cups total. Let that sit for about 5 minutes, and you’ll have a very similar flavor.

Start by putting everything except the pecans and the coconut into a bowl, then mixing. You’ll want a fairly large bowl for this, because there is a good amount of volume here. Once mixed, you can leave it as-is, or do what I did and add a few drops of red food coloring for a lovely pink color. I added 5 drops of Americolor Red into my cake batter.

Fold in your nuts and coconut. As you’ll see, there are literally bits of nuts and coconut in every bite of this cake. It’s also an incredibly moist cake!

Pour your batter into a well-greased bundt pan, and put it in the oven. This will bake at 350 degrees for approximately 50 minutes.

The best way to cool this cake is to put it on a wire rack and leave it in the pan for a full hour. It’ll allow the underside of the pan to get air circulation, as well, for a quicker cooling than just setting it on your countertop. You don’t want to turn it out onto a plate yet, because this additional in-pan time helps the cake finish baking and getting perfectly set.

Once the cake has cooled for an hour in the pan, you can flip it carefully onto a plate. Then, take a bit of powdered sugar and sift it over your cake for a light dusted topping. You might want to let the cake wait a bit longer before cutting into it.

Then, you can slice it and serve. I drizzled this plate with a little bit of chocolate syrup and grenadine. Yummy!

This is the perfect cake to take to a pot luck dinner, or serve to your beloved on V-Day. It’s effortless and tastes so good, like you made it from scratch.

 

Because this cake isn’t covered in frosting, but instead lightly dusted, it’s a huge calorie saver, clocking in at only 211 calories per half-inch slice, according to MyFitnessPal. Changing ingredients could change the amount of calories, so always be sure to double-check.

 

Do you have a special cake that is a pot luck staple? Tell me about it in the comments below!

(Almost) Starbucks Peppermint Brownie Cake Balls

I did a bad thing, guys. I started rewarding Zach and I for successful shopping trips by occasionally grabbing a cake pop from Starbucks for each of us. It started out occasionally, but then we both really liked it… and it became the standard rather than the exception. And now, it seems inescapable. Every shopping trip, we’re lured in by the smell of coffee, cocoa, and pastries. And don’t even get me started on the amazing Starbucks Peppermint Brownie Cake Pops. Zach and I just can’t get enough.

However, I also realized I couldn’t always pay $3.00 for two cake pops. Especially since they’re surprisingly easy to make at home. So, after spending lots of time and money taste testing the Peppermint Brownie Cake Pops, I knew I had perfected a copycat. It took eating many, many Starbucks cake pops, though. Or, actually, it didn’t, but I really like those darn cake pops. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it.

The best part about the copycat recipe is it literally only costs about $0.25 per cake ball versus $1.50+ each. And it tastes almost identical. Start out with a Betty Crocker Hershey’s Premium Cupcake Mix. The mix includes a filling pouch in addition to the cake mix, and you’ll use both for this recipe, eliminating the need for extra frosting to make these cake balls. You’ll also want to grab the ingredients listed on the back of the cake mix box to make the cake, some Nestle White Morsels (or your white chocolate of choice), and the Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Pieces.

Prepare the cake mix as listed on the back of the box, but instead of putting it in cupcake liners, bake it in an 8 inch round pan at 350 for about 28-30 minutes. Let it cool completely.

Once it’s totally cool, you’ll practically massacre the cake. You’re just going to dig in and shred it up really fine. It’s especially fun to do in front of those people who haven’t seen cake balls made before. It also helps to add a cackle or two as you shred it, to make people think you’ve really gone off your rocker. I did this in front of my boyfriend, and you could see him cringing over me taking a beautiful cake and shredding it to bits. He, of course, stopped protesting once he tasted the finished product. Pour in the contents of the filling pouch and mix the destroyed cake with the filling pouch.

Then, roll them into balls with a diameter roughly the size of a quarter. You’ll get about 20 cake balls out of this.

Melt your morsels in the microwave in 30 second increments, then dip your balls into the melted chocolate and tap off the excess.

While the chocolate is still a little wet, sprinkle on the Andes Peppermint Crunch bits. You’ll want it to still be a little wet so they stick, but don’t slide off. If you waited too long and the balls hardened already, don’t fret– you can spoon a little extra chocolate over the top before sprinkling on the bits!

You can, of course, serve them Starbucks-Style on a stick, but I prefer to tuck them into cupcake liners (or just eat the whole batch while I’m topping them, more often).

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that I’ll never dip quite evenly enough to make them look like Starbucks does, but at least they’ll taste the same. If you happen to be a pro cake pop dipper, your friends and family will never know the difference between yours and the real deal!

 

What’s YOUR favorite coffee shop treat? Let me know in the comments below! Who knows, I may even try to duplicate it!