Posts Tagged ‘cool whip’

Last weekend was very exciting, we celebrated the engagement of Adam and Sara (my brother-in-law and future sister-in-law)!  Lots of champagne was involved and of course I had to bake for the occasion.

The happy couple:

engagement 2

Me with the new member of the family:

engagement 7

Looks like Matt and I are now the old married couple of the group;-)

engagement 3

The celebration was just a few days after my father-in-law’s birthday so I made this cake for him.  For the new engaged couple, I made a personalized Ice Cream Brownie.  I was very excited when Adam decided to propose to Sara.  When I asked what Sara’s favorite dessert is, he said she loves brownies with ice cream.  It didn’t take me more than a minute to decide what to make.

This is a dessert I’ve made often in the past, but the flavors always change depending on who I am baking for.  The basics stay the same:  brownie bottom, hot fudge and oreos on top of that, then cool whip and an ice cream of choice.  Pretty easy and oh so delicious.  ALWAYS a big hit.

Like I’ve said in the past, when there are enough tasty ingredients, lower fat parts don’t take away from the final product.  These No Pudge brownies are perfect for this recipe.  They are chewy and chocolaty, even when frozen, but not too rich to layer in this dessert.

brownie ingred

Brownie mix + yogurt + stir = easy!

brownie mix and yogbrownie batter

Spread batter thinly in a 13 x 9 pan sprayed with cooking spraybrownie batter in pan

Bake for about 20 minutes, or until knife comes out cleanbrownie done

Next step- hot fudge and oreos

oreo and hot fudge

You can crush the oreos in a ziploc bag by hand while your brownie is baking

crushed oreo

Spread the brownie with hot fudge before it is completely cool, it will be very easy to spread that way

oreos on brownie 1

Then cover the hot fudge with a full layer of crushed oreos

oreos on brownie 2

Then cover this entire layer in cool whip

cool whip

Since Adam and Sara have different favorite flavors that don’t really go together, mint and peanut butter, I spilt the dessert in half with a wall of oreos

cool whip on brownie 1

Once you have a full layer of cool whip, freeze the dessert for about a half hour

cool whip on brownie 2

Next layer is ice cream

ice creamice cream on brownie 2

Spread your ice cream over the layer of cool whip

ice cream on brownie 1

While I was planning the dessert, I realized we might want a way to identify each side before digging in

reeses and pepp patties 1

Pepperment patties and peanut butter cups

pepp patties

reeses and pepp patties 2

Once all of the ice cream is covered in cool whip, sprinkle the corresponding candy flavors on each side

cool whip on ice cream

full ice cream brownie 1

And serve to the happy coupleengagement 10 inside of ice cream brownie 2 inside of ice cream brownie

Ice Cream Brownie

Adapted from the Original Baker

Serves 12, generously


1 box No Pudge Brownie (or brownie mix of choice) and ingredients listed on box

1 cup hot fudge

12 oreos

4 8 ounce containers of cool whip, defrosted

1/2 gallon ice cream (or 1/2 container each of 2 different flavors), slightly softened

20 pieces chocolate candy


Bake brownie in a 13×9 baking pan sprayed with cooking spray, following instructions on box; bake for about 20 minutes or until knife comes out clean

While brownie is baking, crush oreos in a ziploc bag and set aside

Allow brownie to cool for about 10 minutes and then spread full layer of hot fudge

Layer crushed oreos over hot fudge

Spread 3 of the 4 containers of cool whip over oreos

Freeze layered dessert for about 30 minutes, or until cool whip layer is firm

Chop candy pieces while dessert is in freezer and set aside

Spread ice cream over top of cool whip

Cover ice cream with a thin layer of cool whip using 4th container

Sprinkle candy pieces over cool whip

Serve immediately or cover baking pan with tightly foil and freeze until serving

Have you celebrated anyone’s engagement recently?

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Layers of Fall

One of my favorite desserts for entertaining (and eating) is a trifle.  It allows you to incorporate lots of different textures and flavors into one dish.  It also is visually impressive but almost always EASY to make.  Historically I have made summer trifles with berries, angel food cake or pound cake and cool whip and pudding.  It’s September, now, so fall flavors are constantly on my mind.  Pumpkin. Apples.  Cinnamon.  This Fall Trifle takes some prep time but is very easy to put together.

top of trifle

First thing I do when making a trifle is figure out how I will get in all of the textures I want: Creamy, Crunchy, Soft.  I also consider the look of the trifle, what are some colors that will go well together but not blend too closely to one another?

For crunch a few cookie options came to mind (graham crackers and gingersnaps especially), so when I found these in my parent’s kitchen I grabbed them!  I think of them as a ginger-spiked Oreo:-)  Regular gingersnaps would have worked too.  I like the little spicy bite with all of the other sweet ingredients.

ginger cookie

I just crushed them in a Ziploc bag.  No food processor required since you don’t want crumbs, just small chunks of cookies!

crushed cookies

Next I thought about the creamy ingredients.  I always include cool whip in trifles because it is light and creamy and tailors well to any flavor profile.  Fresh whipped cream would be even better (hmmm maybe cinnamon whipped cream!), but I was going for some less indulgent ingredients.  In addition to the whipped cream I chose to use vanilla pudding which is creamy but thicker in texture.

pudding ingredients

One of my favorite guilt-free EASY recipes is pumpkin spice cake.  All that you need is spice cake mix, pumpkin, egg whites (or egg beaters) and water.  I can promise you that the cake will be moist and flavorful.  No one ever knows that it is low fat.  Use this as a base for muffins or cupcakes with cream cheese icing!

spice cake ingredients

In the summer, berries are usually a perfect trifle component.  Sliced banana is also tasty, but sometimes the mushier texture doesn’t provide enough contrast.  What dessert is more fall than apple pie?  Enter, apple pie filling!

cropped apples

When you are ready to build your trifle, layout all of the ingredients and decide on an order for layering.  Consider texture and color for this.

trifle parts

For this trifle, layer the apple pie filling on the bottom of your trifle dish (a large glass bowl would work too).  The apples are a little too heavy to have in the upper layers.

apples in trifle

Next is the pudding.  Apples + pudding = slightly crunchy + creamy.

pudding on apples

The crumbled spice cake is next.

cake on pudding

Then cool whip for that cool and creamy addition.

cool whip on cake

Cookies next for another crunch layer.

cookies on cool whip

After that, you repeat the prior layers except for the apple pie filling.  Leave cool whip as your final layer and decorate as you wish.  I scattered cookie crumbs and a couple pieces of the apple.

top of trifle

The layers don’t have to be perfect, does that mean I should call this rustic??

trifle 1

Serve with a long spoon for scooping.  Dig deep for that apple pie filling!

trifle with scoop

Fall Trifle

Serves 10-12


Prepared apple pie filling (recipe below)

Vanilla pudding, 2 small boxes prepared (use instructions on box)

1/2 of prepared pumpkin spice cake (recipe below), broken up into small pieces

2 8-ounce containers of cool whip

2-3 cups of cookie crumbs (gingersnaps or a similar variety are recommended)


Layer ingredients as follows-

Apple pie filling


Spice cake

Cool whip

Cookie crumbs

Repeat, except for apples, leaving cool whip as final layer

Decorate as desired

Refrigerate prior to serving


When layering ingredients, cover each prior layer completely.  You want to get a taste of each component in every bite.  Plus, the view from the side is prettier when you can see each element

Instead of or in addition to the cookies, toasted walnuts or pecans would make a great crunch layer

If you like butterscotch, butterscotch pudding would probably be a great replacement for vanilla

I chose to use lower fat ingredients in this recipe because 1) I knew that the way it comes together it does NOT taste low fat, and 2) the rest of the desserts planned for our night were extra indulgent.  This version was made with fat free cool whip and fat free, sugar free pudding

Spice Cake:


1 box spice cake mix

1 small can (15 oz.) pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling

2 egg whites or 1/4 cup egg replacement

1/2 cup water


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 9×13 pan or baking dish with cooking spray (if you want to, you can make into 24 cupcakes instead and save the extra; they will freeze well)

Combine all ingredients until batter is smooth.  A mixer is easier but this can also be done by hand

Spread batter into baking dish and bake for approximately 30 minutes or until knife or toothpick comes out clean

Allow to cool before using in trifle

Apple Pie Filling


3 golden delicious apples, sliced (peeling optional)

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Dash of cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons granulated sugar


Combine apples, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.  Set aside

Melt butter in medium pan over low-medium heat

Sprinkle in granulated sugar and stir until mixture is lightly browned

Pour apple mixture into pan and stir

Cook over medium heat for approximately 30 minutes or until apple slices are softened

Allow to cool before using in trifle

What are your favorite flavors of fall?

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For my first official recipe post, I considered baking something epic, a culinary masterpiece that would impress all of my readers.  However, I’d rather show you more of my every-day baking style.  My fit-into-busy-work-week and keep-fitting-into-my-clothes style of baking.  Don’t worry, though, the more complex recipes will come and this is just as delicious.

I present to you, Personalized Mini Ice Cream Pies.

There are a few reasons I came up with this dessert:

1)  It incorporates 3 of my favorite dessert elements: ice cream, chocolate and peanut butter (in fact, I happen to believe that peanut butter deserves to be its own food group)
2) Simplicity.  Sometimes on a weeknight, I just don’t have the energy for an elaborate dessert. This is simple yet delicious. Limited baking skills required.
3)  Portion. Control. I could take down anyone I know in an ice cream eating contest and win. Enough said.

For this recipe you will need:
1 regular-sized muffin pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray

1 ½ cups of crushed oreos (~20 oreos)

3 Tablespoons melted butter

1 8-ounce tub of cool whip plus extra for final topping

4 cups of ice cream, flavor of choice (I used ½ vanilla and ½ chocolate)

2 cups of chopped candy (I used peanut butter cups and pretzel M&Ms)

[Sidenote: pretzel M&Ms are a genius new candy.  They have the perfect balance of salty and sweet like their cousin the peanut M&M, without the peanut flavor the Executive Taster detests (I know, we almost couldn’t get married because of this)]


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove ice cream from freezer to soften slightly.

For the crust, mix together the crushed oreos and melted butter.  Fill each muffin tin with approximately a heaping tablespoon of cookie mixture and press down with the back of a spoon.  You will form a flat base that curves up slightly around the edges.

If you have extra cookie mixture, take whatever small baking dish you have available and bake additional crust in there.

I used this tool for scooping the crumbs:

You don’t really need to use a cookie dough scoop for this, but I take advantage of every excuse I have to use mine.  The Original Baker bought it for me and she knows her baking tools.

Now your crusts are almost ready.  Place the muffin pan in the oven for 10-12 minutes.  You just need to cook the crusts long enough for them to harden, otherwise your ice cream pies will be a melting mess.

Meanwhile, pretend like you work at Cold Stone and mix your ice cream and candy together.

You don’t need to do this on the counter (although I bet it would be fun if you had a cold marble countertop).  I did a couple of different combinations:  Vanilla ice cream with pretzel M&Ms for the Executive Taster; chocolate ice cream with both candies for me.  You can do as many variations as you have muffin tins, I just like to minimize my number of dirty bowls (leftover habit from 2 years living sans dishwasher).

Once your ice cream is done, you can put it back in the freezer until ready for use.  Warning:  It will be very tempting to eat the ice cream as is, do your best to hold off for the finished product. It will be worth it!

By now your crusts should be almost done.  Once out of the oven, allow to cool and then scoop a heaping tablespoon of cool whip into each crust.  Flatten it out a bit to be its own layer.  Place your intermediate product in the freezer for 1 hour.

When cool whip layer is frozen, scoop about ¼ cup of ice cream mixture onto each base.  Press down with the back of your scoop to flatten out.  Refreeze until solid.

Serve topped a dollop of cool whip.


Recipe serves 12, plus a little extra.

This recipe is great because you can personalize it to your liking.  Are you a chocolate lover?  Use chocolate ice cream mixed with dark chocolate chunks.  Craving coffee?  Try coffee ice cream and chocolate covered espresso beans.  The possibilities are endless.

I used reduced fat items because I like the way they taste and when mixed with some of the more indulgent ingredients (such as butter and chocolate candies), the finished product will still taste decadent.  However, these ingredients can easily be substituted for their regular counterparts.

If you don’t have a muffin pan, don’t fear!  You can either buy a disposable aluminum version at the supermarket or put your creation into a pie dish or 8×8 pan instead- good luck with the portion control, though…

The Sister Came to Help! And eat a piece I made her without ice cream…

Of course I had to dig in….

I only had 3 tonight, oops;-)

Question: Is this a dessert you would make?  Does it seem easy enough for those of you who don’t consider yourselves bakers?

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