German Chocolate Cake Cookies

I’m feeling uninspired.

I think that’s the saddest thing one could ever say. “I’m feeling uninspired.” With all the amazing (and horrible?) things going on in our world today, especially in my little corner of it, and I can’t find something about which to write?

I hope this doesn’t mean I’m burned out. I don’t know how to fix that.

Except maybe go shoe shopping. But I can’t keep buying shoes whenever I have a tough week. Though I do love the ones I just purchased from DSW. (I’m still waiting for them to arrive! I CAN’T WAIT)

Sigh. If classes didn’t start next week, I would spend this time dedicated to scrounging up some delicious recipes to try out. But with the graduate assistantship, work study job, freelance work and the three classes, I think I have just about all I can handle. To be honest, I think the posting schedule will have to change, which I hate to say, but I have to make room for my studies.

Ah, the troubles of a grad student.

Holy crap. I’m a grad student.

While we’re all reeling from the shock of this revelation, let’s check out how to make today’s German Chocolate Cake Cookies, okay? (If these cookies look a little familiar, it’s because I made a similar treat in 2009)

German Chocolate Cake Cookies

Ingredients
1 box of German Chocolate Cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 C applesauce
1 container of pecan coconut frosting (or you can make your own!)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper.

2. Mix together the eggs and applesauce. Stir in the cake mix.

3. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls on the cookie sheet. Space the drops out as these cookies will spread.

4. Bake for about 14-15 minutes, until the top is set.

Makes about two dozen cookies.

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Chocolate Cream Cheese MnM Cookies

Hello, everyone! We here at Bakers Anonymous have been all over the place lately. Graduate school, moving to Baltimore, applying to jobs in Maryland and oh yeah, work every day!

This is the part where everyone says, “Oh, boohoos for Niki. Her life is so difficult. We pity her.”

“Not.”

Yeah, that’s what I figured. And if that wasn’t enough, I’ve got boy problems! Goodness.

So yesterday while I was at work, all I could think about was M&Ms. Crunchy, melt-y, yummy M&Ms. And cookies. Not like I don’t already have some sugar cookies left over from last week’s baking, but that’s beside the point. I didn’t have anything chocolate!

But now I do. To make these cookies extra moist and thick, I included some dark chocolate cream cheese.

Oh yes. I did just say, dark chocolate cream cheese. Thank you, Kraft Foods for providing the world with the Indulgence line of cream cheeses. My waistline, however, does not thank you.

Chocolate Cream Cheese M&M Cookies

Ingredients
1 box of Pillsbury dark chocolate cake mix
1 8 oz. container of Philly Indulgence dark chocolate cream cheese
1/2 C softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp. almond extract
1 12 oz bag of M&Ms (I used dark chocolate)
1 C of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat together the egg, butter, cream cheese and almond extract.

3. Mix in the cake mix until thoroughly absorbed.

4. Add in the M&Ms and chocolate chips. The batter will be thick.

5. Roll the dough into one-inch balls, making sure to tuck in the M&Ms and chocolate chips.

6. Space out on foil-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

7. Remove to cooling rack.

Makes about four dozen cookies.

Chocolate Crunch Cups

So, I’m more than a little in love with Star Crunch.

Oh, you know what I’m talking about. That delicious, chewy caramel middle, the crunchy crisps around it and that milk chocolate coating.

Sure, it’s packed with preservatives and maybe none of it is real chocolate, crisps or caramel, but that doesn’t stop me from buying a box every now and again to enjoy the sweet, sweet taste of summertime and childhood.

The best part about making your own Star Crunch is that it takes hardly any time at all. The worst part is that I still haven’t figured out the exact recipe. For now, we’ll stick with these. Next time, homemade Star Crunch perfection. You better believe it.

Chocolate Crunch Cups

Igredients
1 box of Rice Krispies (not the big box. The smaller one)
1 jar of Herhey’s caramel topping
1 10 oz package of Nestle’s dark chocolate morsels

Directions
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together all of the chocolate chips and the caramel sauce.
2. Microwave for one minute at thirty second intervals, making sure to stir in between. After the one minute, stir the chocolate and caramel until smooth.
3. Mix in half the box of Rice Krispies. Thoroughly coat the cereal.
4. Add the rest of the cereal for a super crunchy treat or a quarter box more for crunchy and chocolatey treat. I went for the whole box because I don’t wait. Ever.
5. Once you’re finished mixing in the cereal, pack cupcake liners with as much of the cereal mixture as you want. I filled my liners as high as small cupcakes.
6. Put these in the fridge to set up. I also keep my cups in there for storage. It’s getting warm out.

Makes thirty cupcake-sized cups or sixty half-sized bites. I say, perfect for a party!

Niki’s Note: Stay tuned for when I update this recipe with an even closer version to the real thing!

Product Review: Crunch Girl Scout Cookie Bars

My dear Bakers Anonymous family, sometimes I get tired of eating baked goods.

I know, I know, blasphemy. How can I not want to eat baked goods all the time, right? Between the cakes, cookies, brownies, bars and other numerous baked treats, how could I want for anything else?

I don’t know, my friends, but there are days when I just a darn chocolate bar.

A few weeks ago, I heard about these Girl Scouts cookie bars from CRUNCH and thought I was going insane. What do you mean, my beloved chocolate bars are combining with Girl Scout cookies? Are you trying to blow my mind? And then I heard they weren’t coming out until June, and suddenly, I was a lot less excited.

But then, when I was in CVS on Sunday afternoon, innocently heading to the pharmacy in the back of the store, I spotted the display of Girl Scout cookie bars. I did a double take, a triple take, and then started to drool over the display of individual (AND BOXED. THEY SOLD ‘EM IN BOXES) bars – Thin Mint, Caramel and Coconut (Samoa) and Peanut Butter Creme (Tagalongs).

Since I don’t like peanut butter cookies (that doesn’t make me Communist, I swear), I only picked out the first two.

The Thin Mint candy bars might as well be the cookies themselves. If there’s one thing companies around the world have managed to do, it’s perfectly replicated the delicious and delicate balance of chocolate and mint. Inside the bar are chocolate wafer layers, topped with what seems like the exact same mint creme used in the regular cookies and a sprinkling of puffed rice on top (to make it more Crunch bar-like?)

As for the Samoas, which are my undeniable favorite in Girl Scout cookie form, these bites are drizzled in orange caramel topping, filled with crispy wafer layer, more caramel and a hint of toasted coconut, which you can see just under the coating of milk chocolate. Overall, these are mildly sweet and the chocolate has an artificial taste that takes away from what could potentially be an amazing treat.

So there you have it. These are definitely worth the $1.19 each I paid, though I wish (oh, do I ever) that the caramel ones were much closer to their namesakes. In the meantime, I’ll have to settle for these Keebler Coconut Dreams. Not like I”m complaining.

– Niki

Niki’s Note: By the way, these things taste a million times better if they’re refrigerated over night. I highly recommend it!

Chocolate covered Oreos

Bakers Anonymous family, change sucks, doesn’t it? Sometimes change can be great, like when you change your hairstyle or when you decide that maybe it’s okay to go to school without your “security hoodie” anymore. And sometimes, a change can represent the loss of an important person or place. For me, this time around, it’s the latter.

As of today, my newspaper office is officially closed. I’m in a new office, working for the same paper, but without the team that kept me sane since I first showed up as a desk editor last October. We laughed about so many stupid things – conspiracy theories, weird occurrences heard over the police scanner and yes, even our fair share of arguments. We’ve forgotten to place ads, structured pages wrong and forgotten to correct copy-editing mistakes. And now, after what seems like much longer than my eight months, I’ve been forced to depart from that team and hole up in an office already packed with people.

Not really looking forward to it, to be honest.

But, in the spirit of keeping the last day light (and making a treat that I’d seen on Pinterest), I brought in these chocolate-covered Oreos.

Because I’m just that awesome.

These were a total hit in the office. And the best part is that you can customize these any way you want – different colored coatings, sets of sprinkles and maybe even a surprise inside the cookie? 🙂 Go crazy!

Chocolate Covered Oreos

Ingredients
1  15.5 oz package of Reduced Fat Oreos (Hey, we’re already coating them in chocolate. Why not help everyone out a little?)
1 16 oz package of Candiquik (I found this at my local Target in the baking supplies section, but if you can’t find Candiquik, candy coating or white chocolate will work well)
1 container of sprinkles or other toppings

Directions
1. Cover a cookie sheet in foil.
2. Follow the directions on the Candiquik package to melt the chocolate (mine took one and a half minutes to melt in the microwave).
3. Carefully roll the Oreos in the coating. Place the covered Oreos on the foil. Immediately dash on some sprinkles (or whatever toppings of your choice).
4. Refrigerate for up to ten minutes before placing into decorative bags, etc.

My tray of Candiquick produced 25 covered Oreos, but I’m not stingy with the chocolate. It was a think coating. Mmm. I could have made these on sticks, too, but I think I need Double Stuffed Oreos for that.