Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Andes Mint Chocolate Poke Cake

I decided to update my last post. I didn't like the name of the recipe, so I decided to rename it. I decided to rename because the ingredient central to this cake that is really featured are the Andes Creme de Menthe Chocolate Mint Baking Chips. I love the Andes Creme de Menthe chocolate mints. Sometimes the best part of going to Olive Garden or some other restaurant is when they give you the  Ande Mints after paying the check. I think they do that so you aren't so irritable about the amount on the bill. It's their incentive for you to come back. They taunt us with those wonderful little chocolate mints. It's both wonderful and sad at the same time. What I am trying to say is that because of the greatness that is Andes mints, I believe they deserve a cake of their own. It's really only fair to them and the world. 
I must also say that even though, I named this cake with Andes Mints in mind, it does taste like thin mints.
When I first saw the original recipes, it called for different ingredients. I made this recipe into my own by just using Andes Creme de Menthe Chocolate Mint Baking Chips. Ultimately it gave the flavor and texture I wanted. Beyond that, it also made the recipe simpler; instead of having to find buy several ingredients for the minty flavored ingredients, I simply had to find Andes Creme de Menthe Chocolate Mint Baking Chips and mint extract. 
When you add your mint extract to the cool whip, I'd recommend that you on the smaller amount and then add more. When I made this recipe the first time, I almost doubled the amount of mint extract. 
*****Warning: If you do not like cake with rich chocolate and mint then you will not like this cake. But that just means more for me. :)







Double Mint Chocolate Cake a.k.a. Grasshopper Cake
adapted from Something Swanky

Ingredients: 

1 chocolate cake mix(& water, oil, and eggs as listed on box)
1- 14.5 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1- 12.8 oz. jar Hershey's Special Hot Fudge Sauce 
2 cups crushed Andes mints 
1- 16 oz. container Cool whip
1/4-1/2 tsp. mint extract 
Green food color (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Prepare and bake the cake mix according to directions on box and bake in a 9x13 baking dish for the amount of time labeled on box. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke holes evenly across the entire cake (about 20-30 holes). Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake, trying to fill the holes.
  3. Heat the hot fudge sauce in a small bowl in the microwave. 30-40 seconds should do the trick, you jut want it to soften a little.
  4. Crumble half of crushed Andes mints into the hot fudge sauce and mix. Spread the fudge sauce mixture over the cake.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together mint extract, green food coloring, and the cool whip. Spread the whipped topping over the fudge layer.
  6. Sprinkle the Andes Mint chips on top. Refrigerate and chill for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).
  7. Serve up and enjoy!


If you like thin mints, you'll love this cake. My family does! There is never any left, and when there is a slice left, it isn't for long. The last slice or two is always fought over. 
Enjoy and let us eat cake!

Peace, Love, Bake on.

                                             Andrea 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Double Mint Chocolate Cake a.k.a. Grasshopper Thin Mint Cake

Hello world! It's been a while since I've been on here. Like the bees, I've been busy this spring. My friend and I coordinated and directed a dinner theatre for a second year in a row so, I've been playing catch up with all the things that I neglected while I was doing the show. 
I have been some very exciting news to share! I have week left of classes this semester. Woot, woot! I take my last final May 4th. I decided to take the summer off from school. I was just promoted at the library I work at, which means working more hours. So, I'll be busy with that while also trying to focus my energies on other aspects of my life. 
My birthday was back on March 7th. In fact, my sister and I share the same birthday. We are seven years apart however. Because we share the same birthday, we usually share a birthday cake. This year we both agreed that we wanted a double mint chocolate cake a.k.a. a thin mint cake a.k.a. grasshopper cake. We didn't even argue about it because we love it so much. It's most likely my favorite specialty cake. It's everything you could want in a cake: chocolatey goodness, minty freshness, and cool creamy top. Enough said. 
*****Warning: I must warn you though. If you don't like mint then you will not like this cake; and if you don't like rich chocolate then you will not like this cake. However, that just means more for me ;) and if you do like it, you will not be able to eat just one slice. You've been warned. 






Double Mint Chocolate Cake a.k.a. Grasshopper Cake
adapted from Something Swanky

Ingredients: 

1 chocolate cake mix(& water, oil, and eggs as listed on box)
1- 14.5 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1- 12.8 oz. jar Hershey's Special Hot Fudge Sauce 
2 cups crushed Andes mints 
1- 16 oz. container Cool whip
1/4-1/2 tsp. mint extract 
Green food color (optional)

Directions: 

  1. Prepare and bake the cake mix according to directions on box and bake in a 9x13 baking dish for the amount of time labeled on box. Allow to cool completely.
  2. Use the bottom of a wooden spoon to poke holes evenly across the entire cake (about 20-30 holes). Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the cake, trying to fill the holes.
  3. Heat the hot fudge sauce in a small bowl in the microwave. 30-40 seconds should do the trick, you jut want it to soften a little.
  4. Crumble half of crushed Andes mints into the hot fudge sauce and mix. Spread the fudge sauce mixture over the cake.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together mint extract, green food coloring, and the cool whip. Spread the whipped topping over the fudge layer.
  6. Sprinkle the Andes Mint chips on top. Refrigerate and chill for at least 4 hours (overnight is best).
  7. Serve up and enjoy!


If you like thin mints, you'll love this cake. My family does! There is never any left, and when there is a slice left, it isn't for long. The slice or two is fought over. 
Enjoy and let us eat cake!

Peace, Love, Bake on.

                                             Andrea 

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Polish Reuben Casserole {my favorite casserole in the whole wide world}

Polish Reuben Casserole is one of my very favorite foods. I could eat it all day, everyday. I really can't get enough of it. Although, it wasn't always like that. The first time my dad made it, I hated it. But after several years, I grew to like it. But not just like it, I loved it. 
So, what exactly is Polish Reuben Casserole? Polish Reuben Casserole has layers of sauerkraut, noodles, and polish sausage topped with a creamy mushroom mixture, bread crumbs, and Swiss cheese. If you like Reuben sandwiches, you'll love this casserole. 
My dad first found this recipe in a big cookbook. However I can't remember which cookbook. Through the years we have made small changes to suit our family. It originally called for only 8 oz. of wide egg noodles, but we wanted more noodles on it. So, I doubled the noodle amount, and in doing so, I have doubled the amount of milk called for in the recipe. 
Everyone always asks me if I'm Irish simply because of my red hair. When I tell them "no", they go onto ask if my parents have any Irish blood in them. I then answer "no" and that I am actually very German. On St. Patrick's Day, however, I become an adopted Irishmen with my friends very Irish family. Polish Reuben casserole may not be  corned beef and cabbage, but it would make a great substitute if you are in a time crunch. As St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner, Polish Reuben casserole would make a festive sauerkraut dish for St. Patrick's Day. 


Polish Reuben Casserole


Ingredients:

2-3 cans (10.75 ounces each) condensed cream of mushroom soup
3-4 cups milk (I do 3.5 cups)
1 onion, chopped
1-2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 can (16 oz.) sauerkraut, drained and rinsed
1 pkg. (16 oz) wide egg noodles (uncooked)
1 1/2 lb. Polish Sausage, cut into 1/4 - 1/2 inch pieces
8 oz. shredded Swiss cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
 2 tsp. butter, melted

Directions: 
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 
  2. Combine soup, milk, onion and mustard in a medium bowl and blend together well.
  3. Spread sauerkraut on the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Top with uncooked noodles.
  4. Spoon soup mixture evenly over the top. Top sausage.
  5. Combine butter and bread crumbs in a small bowl. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over top. Then sprinkle the cheese on top. 
  6. Cover tightly with foil. Bake in oven for 40 minutes- 1 hour or until noodles are tender. 
  7. Serve up and enjoy!

This casserole is so easy to make. I hope you find to love this recipe like I did. The great thing about cooking at home is that you can make the way your family likes it. So if your family wants more sauerkraut, add another can of sauerkraut. Want less noodle, but the same amount of sauerkraut? Then halve the noodle amount and milk amount. This recipe is simple a blueprint. And with that I shall I say goodbye and have a Happy St. Patrick's Day!

 Peace, Love, Bake on... & the luck of the Irish.

                                                  Andrea