Last Friday was the IMMSA bake sale to raise money for our undergrad Immunology (study of immune systems) student association. I, being a fourth year immunology student with a passion for baking, of course couldn’t pass the chance to help out! When I was deciding what I wanted to make for it, the first thing that came to my mind was oreo truffle mice. Anyone who studies immunology or any sciences will know how important mice are to scientist ;). I called them Chocolate Black 6s (or C57BL/6 which is a common lab strain of mice for scientific research…yes I know very nerdy). I also decided on pumpkin bars because I had pumpkin lying around and it’s such a great fall dessert! Cinnamon and pumpkin is such a great combination, just as great as cinnamon and apple <3. Last but not least, I decided on the owl cupcakes, who can resist these cute things? I love their huge round eyes (I was running out of black smarties so the red eyed ones were my boyfriend’s idea…I thought they were a bit evil looking but a huge hit at the bake sale!) Hehe, notice I used oreos for two of my items because oreos were on sale recently ($0.99) so I stocked up =)
Thanks for everyone who came out to the bake sale!
#1 Oreo truffle mice (inspired by Bakerella and my roommate 🙂 )
For the truffle
1 package of oreos (350 g)
1 box of cream cheese (8 ounces)
For the chocolate ganache
½ cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup of whipping cream (35%)
For the mice:
Sliced almonds (2 per mice)
Hershey kisses (1 per mice)
- In a food processor crush 1 package of oreo cookies into fine bits. In a bowl, stir in the finely crushed oreo cookies in softened cream cheese. Use the back of a large spoon to help mash the two together.
- Roll the mixture into 1″ balls and place on wax/parchment paper covered cookie sheet. Refrigerate to harden them (few hours – overnight).
- Roughly chop up the semi-sweet chocolate chips into finer pieces. Bring 1 cup of whipping cream to almost boil in a small sauce pan (stir constantly). Turn off heat when you start to see bubbles. Slowly pour hot cream onto the chocolate chips and slowly mix until all chocolate are melted and mixture is smooth.
- Dip the balls into chocolate, tap off extra and set aside on wax paper covered cookie sheet to dry.
- Immediately attached the Hershey kisses as the head of the mice and sliced almonds as ears.
- Once the chocolate dries, refrigerate and enjoy!
For the cupcake
½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup boiling hot water
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the chocolate ganache
See recipe for Oreo truffle mice
- Preheat oven to 375 degree F. Lightly butter, or line 16 muffin cups with paper liners.
- In a small bowl stir until smooth the boiling hot water and the cocoa powder. Let cool to room temperature.
- In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Then in the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat only until incorporated. Then add the cooled cocoa mixture and stir until smooth.
- Fill each muffin cup about two-thirds full with batter and bake for about 16-20 minutes or until risen, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
- Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, spread the top with chocolate ganache. Decorate the top with oreos and smarties =).
#3 Pumpkin cake bars (Adapted from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)
For the pumpkin bars:
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 ¾ cup mashed pumpkin (I steamed Kabocha and mashed them)
2 cups of all purpose flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
2 teaspoons of cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
For the cream cheese frosting: (can double the recipe if you really want thick layer of cream cheese on top!)
Half of package of 8-ounces package cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup of confectioner’s sugar
½ teaspoon of vanilla
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment combine the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and baking soda.
- Hand mix the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined. Do not overmix. Spread the batter into the prepared 13 by 9-inch baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
- In the bowl using hand mixer, combine the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the sugar and mix at low speed until combined. Stir in the vanilla and mix again. Spread on cooled pumpkin bars. Top off with pecan!