Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies-do I have your attention??? Those words sound just Heavenly, don't they?? I am not sure where I found this recipe, but it was in my pile of printed-out-goodness that I keep handy when I am in the mood to try something new and yummy. Today, we were in the mood for something that involved oreos, and this recipe totally fit the bill. These were easy to make and a great recipe to get your kiddos involved in the baking. Just have them put the oreos in the middle of the cookie dough. My son loved helping, and he especially loved sneaking a few stray oreos :). These cookies are best served straight out of the oven with an ice-cold glass of milk. Delish!!!

Have a blessed day, my friends, and remember that you are dearly loved by your Heavenly Father!!

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

•2 sticks butter, softened
•3/4 cup packed brown sugar
•1 cup white sugar
•2 large eggs
•1 tablespoon vanilla extract
•3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
•1 teaspoon salt
•1 teaspoon baking soda
•10 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
•1 package Oreo cookies – I used mini oreos to make smaller cookies, but you could use regular or double-stuffed oreos to make super large cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars. Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined. If you do not have a stand mixer, use a large bowl and a hand mixer.

In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add to the wet mixture and combine thoroughly. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Chill the dough for 15 minutes to make it easier to work with and to keep the dough from spreading when baking.

Using a cookie scoop place one scoop of dough on top of an Oreo cookie. Place another single scoop on the bottom of the Oreo to create a cookie sandwich. Seal the edges together to completely close in the Oreo. (NOTE: I made smaller cookies with mini oreos-I just placed one small scoop of cookie dough on the parchment-paper lined cookie sheet; my son placed a mini oreo in the center of each cookie; and then I topped the cookie with another scoop of dough and sealed the edges with my fingers-this process worked great!)

Place the balls of cookie dough on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet and bake for 9-13 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Eucharisteo" Oil Painting Adoption Auction-Auction ends on May 8, 2011

We recently were blessed with a BEAUTIFUL gift from our dear friends, Jacob and Cyndi Morales. Jacob painted a GORGEOUS oil painting for us to auction off to raise money for Emma' adoption. This painting has been prayed over and devoted to our Lord, and it is our prayer that whoever wins the auction receives a blessing from the beauty that Jacob captured as he used the talent that God has blessed him with.

Visit http://emmacharity.blogspot.com/2011/04/eucharisteo-oil-painting-auction.html

and make your bid on this GORGEOUS piece of Artwork. All Proceeds go towards our Adoption. The Auction will close on Sunday, May 8, 2011 at Midnight.

Please pass this link along to your friends whom you think may be interested. The more bidders the better :).
May God Bless each of you!
Much Love,
Darin, Christina, Jaythan, Bella, and Emma

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

White Chocolate Jelly Bean Bark-the Perfect Preschool Easter Treat

Next week, my son's four year old class is having an Easter Party, and I am responsible for bringing the "sweet" treat. I was told it is better not to bring cupcakes because they are too filling, too messy, and too full of sugar (the children will have lots of other snacks to enjoy as well). At first, I was super disappointed because cupcakes are my speciality. I have the cutest Easter cupcake with shredded toasted coconut, Peeps chickens, and Whoppers Easter eggs. But, I recovered quickly from the cupcake creation letdown when I came across this fun and easy recipe for "White Chocolate Jelly Bean Bark".

I decided to do a trial-run of the recipe this week prior to making several batches for his party next Wednesday. It was a huge success! This turned out to be such a pretty, Springy, simply delicious, and insanely easy-to-make treat. I used Starburst Jelly Beans because they are by far the BEST! Seriously, I could eat an entire bag of the in one sitting. So, if you are looking for a different kind of Easter Goodie to make for your children, then try this recipe. This Jelly Bean Bark would be such a fun gift to give to your childrens' teachers packaged in a cute Easter cellophane bag and tied with pastel-colored ribbon. You can find packages of holiday-themed cellophane bags at the Dollar Tree.

Have a Blessed, Joy-Filled Day!! You are prayed for daily and loved Immensely by your Heavenly Father!!

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day." Luke 24:5-7

White Chocolate Jelly Bean Bark


2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) White Chocolate Chips

2 teaspoons vegetable shortening (I use Crisco Sticks)

1/2 cup Starburst Jelly Beans, divided (or your favorite Jelly Bean brand)


LINE baking sheet with wax paper.

MICROWAVE chocolate chips and vegetable shortening in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl on MEDIUM-HIGH (70%) power for 1 minute;

STIR. Morsels may retain some of their original shape. If necessary, microwave at additional 10- to 15-second intervals, stirring just until morsels are melted. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Jelly Beans.

SPREAD mixture to 1/4-inch thickness on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup of Jelly Beans. Refrigerate or Freeze for about 15 minutes or until firm. Break into pieces. Store in airtight container at room temperature (I store mine in the refrigerator because I think it tastes better cold).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Granny's Watergate/Pistachio Cake

A dear friend of mine saw Pioneer Woman's recipe for Pistachio Cake and posted on facebook that she would love to taste it one day. You can find her original recipe here: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2011/01/pistachio-cake/

The very first cake that I learned how to make was my Granny's Pistachio Cake, which she always called, "Watergate Cake". I am not sure where the name came from, but I always thought it was a cool name for a yummy green cake. I had totally forgotten about that recipe, so today, I pulled it out, compared it to the one posted by Pioneer Woman and got to baking. I can't wait to suprise my friend tomorrow at church with her very own Pistachio Cake. Since my friend referenced the Pioneer Woman's recipe, that is the one I made for her. But, I fully intend to make my Granny's Version later this week. Granny has never been a fan of chocolate, so I can imagine that she would stick with her own recipe :).

This really is one of the easiest cakes ever to make, so I encourage you to get your kids involved. They will love that the cake is green and has chocolate ribbons inside :). My Granny's cake doesn't have chocolate in it like the Pioneer Woman's does, so I will post both recipes and you can choose which one fits your tastes the best.

I am including a picture of my beautiful Granny-she taught me so much and continues to bless me with her laughter and smiles.

Have a beautiful weekend my dear friends. You are prayed over and loved dearly by your Heavenly Father!

Granny's Pistachio Cake


1 box White Cake Mix

1 package (4 ounce) Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix

3 eggs

1 cup Canola Oil

1 cup 7-up or Ginger Ale Soda

FROSTING Ingredients:

2 envelopes Dream Whip

1 instant Pistachio Pudding

1 1/2 cups Milk


Mix all 5 ingredients in medium bowl for two minutes. Pour into a tube/bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. After cake has coooled, make frosting by mixing all frosting ingredients together with a hand mixer. Spread all over the cake and enjoy!


Pioneer Woman’s Pistachio Cake


1 box White Cake Mix

1 package (4 Ounce) Pistachio Instant Pudding Mix

½ cups Orange Juice

½ cups Water

½ cups Vegetable Oil

4 whole Eggs

¾ cups Chocolate Syrup (such As Hershey's)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour bundt pan. Mix all ingredients but chocolate syrup and beat for two minutes on medium-high. Pour 3/4 of the batter into the bundt pan. Add chocolate syrup to the remaining batter and mix well. Pour chocolate-laced batter on top of the pistachio batter. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Note: You can use a knife to swirl chocolate batter into the pistachio batter for more of a marbled design. Variation: Coat cake with chocolate ganache!