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Sayonara Cookie Exchange

Hopefully this won't be the end of a tradition. The person who started this holiday cookie exchange years ago is leaving Tokyo and relocating to Portland, Oregon. At first, there was a possibility that she would be moving to Tucson, Arizona, which made me decide to make iced saguaro cactus and red hot chili pepper cookies. Even after I found out she wasn't moving to the desert, I went ahead and made them anyway. Hey, when am I ever going to use those cookie cutters again? It was a fun event as usual, and the ladies outdid themselves this year. Here's just a sampling. Photos by Kelly and Jill.

 

Ginger_cookies_and_chocolate_cayenne_cookies

Double Chocolate Cayenne Cookies on left and Danish Ginger Cookies in bags

Peppermint_chocolate_cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Crunch Cookies

Peppermint_brownies

Chocolate Hazelnut Thumbprints, Chocolate Mint Brownies, Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies and Decorated Spice Cookies

Cookie_cake

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cake

I knew there would be tons of scrumptious cookies to eat after lunch, but I wanted to make a sayonara cake. I thought it fitting that it be a cookies and cream cake, after all. I had made this cake a number of times before so I knew it was a no-fail recipe and easy to make. We didn't have a chance to eat it at the cookie exchange, but it was taken to the children's sayonara party later that evening. Let's just say the cake did not go to waste!

 


Posted By: Jan Opdahl
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Oreo Cookies and Cream Cake

Adapted from Red Cat Cookies and Cream Cake from www.chow.com

For the cake:

  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • About 15 Oreos for decoration

For the mascarpone cream:

  • 1 cup mascarpone
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 18 Oreos, crumbled by hand

For the frosting:

  • 400ml (2 cups) heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Dash of vanilla extract

Cooking Process:

For the cake:

  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans ( I used two 11 X 7 inch rectangular pans). Also line the bottoms of the pans with greased parchment paper cut to exactly the size of the pans to ensure a non-stick release after baking. In a bowl, combine the coffee and cocoa powder and whisk until smooth. Add 1 cup cold water and whisk until combined. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Continue beating at medium speed while slowly adding the eggs and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture alternately with the cocoa mixture until well combined. Pour into the prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.
  3. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the cake pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.


For the mascarpone cream:

Whisk the mascarpone, cream, and sugar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cookie bits using a rubber spatula. Set aside.


For the frosting:

Using an electric mixer, whip the cream until slightly thickened. Add 3 tablespoons of sugar and a dash or two of vanilla extract. Continue whipping until stiff. Be careful not to overbeat. Set aside at room temperature.


To assemble:

  1. Trim both of the cake layers with a serrated knife until flat and uniform. Place one cake layer on a cake stand or platter, trimmed side up. Using a spatula, spread all of the mascarpone cream on top of the cake layer. Place the second layer directly on top, trimmed side down.
  2. Spread the whipped cream frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Cut about 15 Oreos in half using a sharp knife. Place the cut sides of the Oreo cookie into the frosting around the edge of the cake as a border.

For the writing:

Combine about 3/4 cup of powdered sugar and about 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder. Add about 1 tablespoon of cream or milk at a time until your desired consistency. Cut out a triangular piece of parchment paper and shape into a cone for piping.

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