You see, this year on Justin's birthday it dumped a ton of snow on the city and therefore nobody felt like going out to celebrate. Cincinnati is a strange city. Even though we get a considerable amount of snow every year the city just doesn't seem to know how to effectively handle it and Cincinnati drivers freak out at the mere mention of snow. God help you if you are on the road and there are *gasp*...snow flurries! Traffic will crawl along the highway going 20mph (if you're lucky!), cars will be doing 360s and spinning off the roads, and it will ultimately take a minimum of 2x (if not 8x) as long to get where you're going. No joke - one time it took me FOUR HOURS to get home for what is normally a 30 minute commute. For some reason it seems like the road crews find it appropriate to wait until it STOPS snowing before they get out and plow and oh, in the mean time they'll dump salt on the road to make it a nice slushy mess. Cincinnatians will rush the grocery stores for bread and milk the night to "stock up" before predicted snow and schools will cancel the evening before. It gets so bad that for those whose companies allow for it, people will just plain stay at home to avoid the headaches. Seriously. All hell breaks loose in this city when the "white death" is upon us.
As for me? I was abducted by Asians and sequestered away in a 4-day long residential training program for work during all of this snow nonsense. Thank goodness. But like I said, when the weekend came and we were ready to celebrate Justin's belayed birthday, I thought he certainly deserved a cake.
Justin, like his brother, likes peanut butter. But honestly I was all peanut buttered out and short on time. Thank goodness I found this recipe for a Cookies and Cream Cake which is doctored-up cake mix! Let's be serious for second, who DOESN'T love cookies and cream? And, I have to say that this is one of the easiest cakes I have made and yet it looks impressive and homemade. What would have looked nicer is if my cake hadn't split across the top layer during transport but no matter...I'm happy to report that the birthday boy loved his cake. He just says the cake is so delicious that it looks like it's eating itself :).
By the way, this is uber rich so either share with a friend or make your slices small!
Oh and for good measure, he's a picture of my mom and Diana with their Pull-apart Cupcake Cake that Kelly made and I helped to decorate. Ummm...as a side note, I'm kind of anal and didn't post this as my first picture because then it'd forever show up in the thumbnail previews as the photo associated with this recipe and I didn't want that because then it wouldn't match lol!
One Year Ago: Ham and Potato Soup
Cookies and Cream Oreo Look-Alike Cake
For the Cake:
- 1 Box of Chocolate of Devil's Food Cake Mix (or substitute your favorite homemade chocolate cake)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup (8 ounces) heavy whipping cream
- 12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) unsalted butter, cubed
- Prepare cake batter and bake in 2 (9-inch) round pans as directed on package. Cool cakes in pans 10 min. Invert cakes onto wire racks; gently remove pans. Cool cakes completely.
- To make the filling, with a stand or hand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the heavy whipping cream on low until it starts to become frothy and thick. Gradually increase the speed and whisk until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
- In a large bowl beat together the cream cheese and sugar until well-blended and smooth. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in ¼ of the whipped cream to lighten the cream cheese mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream, and then the chopped Oreos.
- Place one layer of the cake on a serving plate, spread the filling mixture on top, and top with the second cake layer.
- To make the ganache, microwave the chocolate and butter in a small microwavable bowl in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until the butter is melted. Cool for 5 minutes.
- Spread the ganache over the top of the cake and let stand until firm. Keep refrigerated.