Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Happy 3rd Birthday Billa!

My daughter celebrated her third birthday on Monday.  Cue the sniffling and crying...she's getting to be so big!

Sybilla enjoying one of her fave foods, "cheese pops" while watching Busytown on Netflix.  They're actually Cheetos Brand Natural White Cheddar Puffs (those things are like crack...super addictive!)

We've decided to hold her birthday party about two weeks later than her birthday, but we wanted her friends at school to celebrate anyway.  I whipped up some cookies for goodie bags and some homemade green and blue oreos for the kiddos to munch on after lunch for a mini party.

Here are the cookies I made for the goodie bags.  The kids love these things so much!

The goodie bag cookies were simply sugar cookies that I decorated in Scooby colors: aquamarine, lime green, and orange.  I had thought about getting crazy and making some Mystery Machines or trying to recreate Scooby's head, but I ended up not doing it.  To be honest, it was way too much work for a small of three and two year olds.  I think the shapes I chose ended up being much more kid-friendly.

These were the cookies I made for the kids to eat at the mini party. The flower one I made special for Sybilla.  I dyed them to coordinate with the goodie bags and the Scooby color theme!

I fell in love with a recipe for homemade oreos at my friend Anna's cookie party that uses cake mix, oil and eggs.  It's super easy and pretty darn tasty too!  The original recipe is here at The Sister's Cafe, where Anna snagged it, but instead of using the devil's food cake recipe, I used white cake mix and then dyed the batter in different colors.  It was easy and as you can see above, it made quite the impact!  Did I mention that it was easy? [wink]

The dots were really a test to see how the doughs would bake together.  They actually looked kinda cute!

Like, what is it Scoob!?  Tie dye and flowers, oh my!

The pictures above show you the different things you can do with the batter.  It's pretty thick once it's all mixed up, which made me think that I could maybe roll it out like cookie dough.  Yeah, not so much.  It's a little too oily for my taste when rolling (probably because it was white cake mix instead of chocolate...I bet the cocoa powder has something to do with it) and it stuck like crazy to the counter.  It also didn't hold the shape very well when I tried to peel it up off my floured surface.  Grrr.  Either way, the cookies came out alright in the end and there were none left when I picked up Billa from school.

Homemade Oreos
1 package cake mix, white or devil's food
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
(reduce this amount just slightly for white cake mix)
food coloring as needed

  1. Heat oven to 300-350F degrees and line baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Add oil, eggs and coloring (if using) to cake mix and blend together. 
  3. Roll dough into balls (a little larger than a quarter). Place on greased cookie sheet and press down gently. 
  4. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for a few minutes before moving them to a cooling rack. 
  5. To assemble the cookies, add a small dollop of filling into the center of one cookie.  Place another cookie similar in size on top of the filling.  Lightly press them together, working the filling evenly to the outsides of the cookie. Continue this process until all the cookies have been sandwiched with cream.
Cream Cheese Filling
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 block of cream cheese (8 oz)
3 - 4 cups powdered sugar (depending on desired consistency)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream butter and add cream cheese and mix well. Add powdered sugar slowly until you reach your desired consistency.

Some food for thought...
  • If you use a white cake mix and color it, use a bit more color than you think you might need.  As the cookies baked, the colors seemed to fade a bit.  Boo :o(
  • I didn't realize this until it was too late, but you need to watch these like hawks to prevent too much browning on the edges.  The sugar in the batter caramelizes as it cooks, giving the brown color.  I think the best way to combat this is to bake them low and slow: cook at 300F for about 12 minutes and go from there.  I baked mine at 325 for 10 minutes and I think that was too much.
  • Chilling the dough will work wonders if you're going to attempt shapes like the flower.  Try to handle it as little as possible too, so that it doesn't 'melt' in your hands.
  • If you wanted to jazz these puppies up even more, try adding sprinkles!  You can also (gently) swirl the doughs together to create tie dye, or place small balls together like the flower to create other shapes.  The possibilities are endless!
  • A recipe note: in order to make sure that the batters were evenly divided, I measured the bag of mix before splitting it, then split the eggs and oil down the middle.  You could just mix the entire batch together and then separate and color, but due to the thickness of the dough, that may actually be harder.
I hope this gives you some ideas for your own homemade Oreo versions!  And of course, a big happy birthday to my little munchkin...I love you, Sugary!

Happy Baking,

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