desserts

Dirt & Earth (Day!)


I know it’s so late, I do. In fact, these should almost be another post in my “Never-On-Time Series,” since both of these desserts were made in past years. However, a few of my friends still insisted that I share, even so late. They promised you would still like seeing these treats, so please prove them right, okay? ;-)

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Last year, I had just passed my one-year anniversary in making decorated sugar cookies, and around my kids’ school, I was already known as the cookie mom. So, of course, I had to make cookies for Earth Day for Jack’s 3rd grade classmates…

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I made about 30 big Earth cookies, and each one was slightly different, as I just piped random shapes of green on the blue-iced globes. Cute!

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And, serious biz, they couldn’t possibly have been easier to make. Really. You could knock out 30 decorated cookies in an hour or less, I promise!

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I’ll even outline the steps for you:

1. Bake circle-shaped sugar cookies.
2. Pour blue 20-second icing into a shallow dish/plate.
3. Dip cookies into icing until evenly covered. Remove & lay on racks to dry a bit.
4. Tint piping consistency icing green, and pipe random continent shapes on the drying blue cookies.
5. Let dry completely.

See? SO EASY!

But TWO years ago, I was just getting my start in cookies, and I wasn’t as brave to “share” my work yet. Instead, I made a classic: Dirt Cake.

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This is a favorite in our family, and it always goes over well with crowds. It really couldn’t be easier to make, and I don’t usually go for the full “put-it-in-a-flower-pot” presentation, even. Don’t let not having the right props keep you from making it. You NEED this “cake” in your life!

Mmmm, gummy worms.

Chocolate Dirt Cake
(recipe handed down for years)

  • 1 to 1-1/4 lb. pkg. Oreo cookies
  • 1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3 cups milk
  • 1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip
  • 2 (3.5 oz.) pkgs. instant chocolate pudding
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 gummy worms (optional)

In a food processor or blender, crush the entire package of Oreo cookies. (I can only put 5 Oreos at a time in my blender without causing it to stop. It’s a long process for me.) Pour 1/4 of the crumbs into your serving dish (a flower pot or regular pretty dish).

In a large bowl, cream butter & cream cheese together until light & fluffy. Add vanilla & powdered sugar; mix well.

In a separate medium bowl, combine milk & both packages of pudding mix until well blended. Fold in Cool Whip until combined.

Fold pudding mixture into cream cheese mixture. Layer 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture onto the crushed cookies in the serving dish. Top with another 1/4 of the crumbs, and another 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture. Repeat layers one more time & top with last 1/4 of the cookie crumbs. Push gummy worms into the crumbs for decoration. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours before serving.

And here’s a picture where you can see the layering in effect:

Dirt Pudding!

I made 44 individual cups of Dirt Cake for both my boys’ 2nd & 6th grade classmates. My youngest was SO excited to hand these out, and ALL of the kids loved the sweet treat. They were the jealous talk of the school. ;-)

Dirt Cakes for Earth Day.

Personally, I can’t do the gummy candies, but if you asked Jack, he’d tell you that it’s not “real” Dirt Cake if there aren’t worms included! ;-)

Spiced Apple Cake with Mascarpone Browned Buttercream.


Have you ever tasted something so good that you wonder how you’ve lived without it? Have you?

Over the weekend, a guest brought his mama’s recipe of “Candied Yams” to my house for Thanksgiving. OMG, let me tell you… the buttery PECANS absolutely floored my tastebuds! How had I lived 31 Thanksgivings without it?! I had made my own Southern Sweet Potato Casserole, but this young airman’s yams blew my sweet potatoes out of the water! I savored every single bite, and I begged the spoonful of leftovers from him before he left our house. I used it to top a leftover cinnamon roll for breakfast the next morning, and oh!

It was a VERY good thing.

That’s the kind of GOOD I tasted last week when I created this new cake & buttercream. See?

Spiced Apple Cake w/ Mascarpone Browned Buttercream.

A lot of people have never had mascarpone cheese. Heck, a lot of folks have never even heard of mascarpone cheese. If you’re among either group, let me introduce you to your new best friend, mmkay? “Mascarpone” is a slightly sweet, Italian cream cheese. It’s a bit softer than traditional cream cheese. Previously, I’ve only used it as a spread on pastries, and I had some leftover in my fridge, so…

A star was born. A sweet, nutty, spicy, apple-y star that dances on your tastebuds in whimsy. And I promise you, this is the kind of whimsy you NEED in your life. There’s a bit of work involved, but the rewards are so worth it, I promise!

I was selected by Foodbuzz to create something new & exciting using both Duncan Hines® & and Comstock®/Wilderness® products, and I came up with this amazing dessert. I chose a Moist Deluxe Spice Cake for the Thanksgiving holiday, and sweet Apple Fruit Filling as the perfect complement. My favorite thing about Duncan Hines cake mixes is the absolutely VELVETY texture of their batter – seriously, it is SO silky-smooth! – and the light, perfectly-spongy texture of the final baked cake. Duncan Hines is my go-to brand when I’m making a boxed cake mix every time!

To make this cake, follow the steps below, or skip down to the recipe near the bottom of this post. :-)

Gather the ingredients:

Ingredients.

Make the cake as directed on the package, substituting an equal part applesauce for the vegetable oil called for.

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Welcome to Life’s a Batch!
I’m Nicole, and I’m glad you’ve stopped by my little corner of the web! I’m a former Air Force wife whose passions are baking, cookie-making, and photo-taking… all to the benefit of my loves – my family! C’mon in to…read more.

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