Tag Archives: dessert

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies

17 Feb

Alright, y’all. I have totally hopped on the sweet & salty train. It actually worked out really well for me because the salted caramel trend hit right at a time when I discovered I actually like sweet/salty combos. See, as a kid, I hated that. I didn’t like desserts that had nuts or peanut butter in it, because those things are supposed to be salty, and desserts should not have salt in it. My older sister always got all the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups out of my Halloween haul.

But maybe my adult palate is becoming more adventurous. Whatever it is, I’ve been excited to experiment with salt on desserts. Last month I tried the salt-on-top method with my Salted Nutella & Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies. AMAZING. This time I tried the salt-baked-in method by adding pretzel pieces to chocolate chip cookies.

They were so tasty, and I really enjoyed them. My preference is for cookies to be slightly undercooked so that they’re super gooey and chewy. And with lots of extra chocolate. And straight out of the oven so it melts in your mouth.

These were really not that hard if I were making a normal batch. But I was making them for our local Meals on Wheels, and I needed SIX DOZEN, so it became a bit more of a project than I realized.

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A couple tips I learned while baking these:

  • The dough needs to be chilled when it goes in the oven. If it’s too warm, the cookies will spread a lot more while they bake, and you’ll end up with a thin cookie. So if you’re making a large amount of cookies and it’s taking a while to scoop them all out and rotate them in and out of the oven, periodically pop the dough back into the fridge to chill a bit.
  • Don’t drop an entire baking sheet of cookies on the floor because that is very frustrating when you need a certain amount of cookies and you’re almost out of flour.
  • Don’t turn off the oven when you meant to turn off the timer because then the cookies won’t bake enough and in your attempts to not waste that batch you might cook them a lot longer because you can’t tell when they’re done and then end up baking them to a crisp.

If you can find caramel chips in the store (I couldn’t, and I was in a hurry, so I didn’t look elsewhere) you should definitely consider adding them in, like the original recipe called for. I bet that’s tasty.

Cookies

These were really good, but I won’t lie, they would probably be better with even more mix-ins — more chocolate chips, more pretzels, and those caramel chips. Feel free to play around with the mix-ins with your batch. This recipe should yield about 2 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Chip Pretzel Cookies adapted from By Stephanie Lynn

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup crushed pretzel pieces

In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.

Slowly add the flour mixture and beat just until there are no streaks of flour showing. Stir in the chocolate chips, caramel chips and pretzel pieces.

Cover and chill the batter in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Using a cookie scoop drop rounded tablespoon portions of the dough, about 2 inches apart, onto an un-greased baking sheet.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 1 minute prior to moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Wonderfully Creative Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove

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Salted Nutella- & Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

11 Dec

Whoa! That title is a mouthful. And so are these cookies.

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In case you couldn’t tell from the name, these cookies are delightfully (and maybe a little sinfully) decadent. But when I was considering options for the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2013, I knew I needed something big. And since I went with something a little more mature and restrained last year — Chinese Chai Cookies — I decided to go all out. 2013 seemed to call for it.

Oh hai there little choco chip

As you can imagine, Salted Nutella- & Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies were a bit of a project, but they were worth it. And after I called in reinforcements — my BFF Lauren, aka Betsy Bundt — it really wasn’t too difficult with two people.

As an expert caramel-maker, Lauren took on that project while I whipped up the cookie dough. Once they were both ready, I rolled out balls of dough and pressed them out, Lauren filled them with a bit of caramel and a dab of Nutella, and I rolled out a second cookie disc to press on top and sandwich it all together. The cookie assembling took quite a while, so I finished up that while Lauren managed the multiple batches of cookies going in and out of the oven. See? Teamwork!

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I highly recommend eating these right out of the oven. They’re even gooier and richer and decadent-er. Plus, once they cool, the caramel is a little too tough. In the unlikely scenario that you can’t manage to enjoy the entire batch fresh from the oven and you have a few cookies leftover, just heat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before eating so the caramel gets all gooey again.

After I let all the cookies cool down, I packaged them up in adorable little gift boxes and sent them off to my 3 matches from the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

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Before I launch into the recipe for these delectable treats, a couple updates…

1) Today’s the last day to enter my first-ever giveaway! Check it out in last week’s post.

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2) Wine & Plum now has an Etsy shop! Right now there’s hand-knit scarves, like the eco-friendly wine and plum scarf pictured here, and creaseless hair elastics. In the next few days I’ll add new jewelry items as well. Order soon and receive your items just in time for Christmas gifts!

scarf

And now the recipe!

Salted Nutella- & Caramel-Stuffed Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies from Top With Cinnamon

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used half regular and half extra dark cocoa powder)
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
fleur de sel, for sprinkling
approx. 1/2 cup (8 tbsp) nutella
1 recipe for Salted caramel OR 15-16 caramel-filled chocolates
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Take off the heat and stir in the brown sugar and eggs. Then add the cocoa, salt, and baking powder. Stir until well combined. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Make the caramel, if using (follow link for recipe).

Take 1 heaped tbsp of dough and roll into a fat disc shape. Use your finger make a large indentation the centre of the dough; fill the indentation with a small blob of nutella (like 1/4 tsp ish), and top it up with the still-warm salted caramel (or a caramel-filled chocolate). Top with a flattened tablespoon of dough, and seal the edges. (You may need to dab on a little extra dough to seal the edges.)

Sprinkle with fleur de sel, and bake for 8-10 minutes.

Yield: 15-18 cookies.

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Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows Wild
Wonderful Food Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove

Biscoff Blondies

21 Oct

So after Biscoff Brownies, my first experiment with cookie butter, I was both completely enthralled by Biscoff and I still had some left in the pantry. So since brownies had already been done, I tried my hand with blondies. And this is rare for me, because as you know, I’m a straight-up chocaholic, but…

OH MY STARS Y’ALL THESE ARE SO GOOD YOU HAVE NO IDEA STOP READING AND MAKE THESE RIGHT NOW. RIGHT. NOW.

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Here’s the thing. Once cooled and cut into bars, these are just as good as any other brownie or blondie. Delicious, but not completely insane.

But if you bake these, pull them out of the oven, and then proceed to immediately eat them with a fork out of the pan? You will think you have died and gone to heaven. Oh yes you will.

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Like, after I cut them up the next day into actual bars, I tasted one, and it was good. But really, I was trying to give the bars to family and friends and coworkers to get rid of them as fast as I could in order to justify baking another batch to eat straight out of the oven. I guess it would have been smarter to leave them in the pan and re-heat them in the oven the next day, but I just didn’t know any better. Please, learn from my mistakes. I beg you.

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Here’s the recipe. You’re welcome.

Biscoff Blondies from The Traveling Spoon

3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup Biscoff cookie butter spread
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan lightly with butter. In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, Biscoff spread, and brown sugar until just combined. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Stir egg and vanilla into the cooled Biscoff mixture until just blended. Add the flour mixture, and stir until smooth. The batter will be very thick. Fold in chocolate chips.

Transfer mixture into the prepared pan, spreading evenly with the back of a spoon (or mush it with your fingers, if necessary). Bake for 20 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown. Eat directly from warm pan! (Or, if you just gotta be like that, cool in pan on a wire rack before cutting and serving.)

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Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the FloorTwelve O Eight,Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

Biscoff Brownies

23 Sep

I have been hearing so much about Biscoff spread lately! I’ve seen about a bazillion Biscoff-themed pins on Pinterest. And this came on the heels of the BF gently telling me that Biscoff, a.k.a. Europe’s favorite cookie with coffee, is vastly superior to whatever cookies I mistakenly brought home from the grocery store. So when I realized that this Biscoff spread existed and was created out of the same cookie that is Europe’s and the BF’s favorite cookie with coffee, I thought a Biscoff dessert would be appropriate.

I was craving chocolate, so Biscoff Brownies sounded perfect. But here I am using the word “Biscoff” a dozen times in a row, and I didn’t even use actual Biscoff in this recipe. I’m a fraud! I used a knock-off “cookie spread” from Trader Joe’s. And let me tell you, it was delicious.

Look at those Biscoff swirls!

I may try to use this brownie recipe either on its own or with other spreads, like Nutella. The brownies are so ooey-gooey and mushy and fudgy — my favorite kind of brownies. The original recipe called for 3 eggs, and I only had two, so I substituted 1/4 cup homemade applesauce for the third egg. Maybe that’s what made it extra gooey. Just in case, I will definitely make it with applesauce from now on. Also, the original recipe called for vanilla extract, and I just now realized that I completely forgot to put it in. I didn’t even notice. But do with that information what you will.

They’re so good! There may or may not be a hole cut into the middle of the brownie dish right now… I like the gooey center pieces so I avoid the edges. I’m going to go off to have another brownie while I research other Biscoff recipes now. Cheers!

Mmm... chocolatey gooey goodness

Biscoff Brownies adapted from Unsophisticook

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs
1/4 cup applesauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Biscoff Spread, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a square 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper or give it a coating of baking spray.

Melt the butter in the microwave. Whisk in sugar, salt and cocoa powder.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well, and then whisk in the applesauce and chocolate mixture until well combined.

In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder until well combined. Stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Melt Biscoff Spread in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the brownie batter. Use a clean butter knife to swirl the Biscoff Spread into the batter.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. When you jiggle the pan, the center of the brownies should be firm. Cool on a wire rack.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from I Should Be Mopping the Floor, Twelve O Eight, Redhead Can Decorate, and Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Honey Apple Cake with Vanilla Glaze

9 Sep

Shanah Tovah! I guess I’m a little late with my new year’s greetings, but the sentiment still stands.

The BF and I had been planning a trip with friends to Gordonsville, Virginia, for months. One minute I was thinking about the trip, and the next I was baking a cake and wishing the BF a happy new year. He was confused. Maybe you are too. To illuminate, here was my thought process:

  • I should bake a dessert to take with us
  • I have a ton of leftover apples from the Apple Festival
  • Why are there so many Jewish blogs coming up when I search for apple cake recipes?
  • It’s Rosh Hashanah! My friends celebrate Rosh Hashanah!
  • What’s Rosh Hashanah?
  • Google says apples with honey are a traditional Rosh Hashanah food item
  • Apple honey cake!
  • Happy New Year!

I don’t always vocalize all those steps in between the first and last point, so sometimes people are confused what I’m talking about. At any rate, I was excited that so many pieces came together for this dessert to fit perfectly into our weekend trip.

Apple Honey Cake

Even if you or your friends don’t celebrate Rosh Hashanah, this cake is amazing. And its delicious spice, honey, and apple flavors are really getting me in the mood for fall. I used the most delicious local wildflower honey for this, and the honey flavor was super intense. Apparently wildflower honey is stronger than clover honey, which is what most honey is in the States.

Shanah Tovah!

A small note on the recipe: the original recipe said to bake it for 75-90 minutes because the batter is so wet. I did not find this to be the case. I baked it for closer to 65-75 minutes, and I thought it turned out a little dry. I imagine it might depend on the quantity/type of apples you use, and maybe even on the type of honey you use, I’m not sure. So my warning to you is to just keep checking your cake with the toothpick test, and don’t freak out if it takes way shorter or way longer than the recipe says.

Honey Apple Cake adapted from The Shiksa in the Kitchen 

3 eggs
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 Granny Smith apples — peeled, cored, and shredded

Apple Honey BatterPeel, core, and shred your apples. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until they are frothy. Whisk in the honey, white sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla.

In a separate medium mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices. Incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid, and stir to blend. Fold in the shredded apples.

Grease a bundt pan, and pour the batter into the pan. Bake cake in preheated oven for 60-90 minutes. Check repeatedly with the toothpick test — when a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into the thickest part of the cake comes out clean, it’s done.

Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack. Allow cake to cool completely before frosting.

If you want to get super fancy, here’s how to decorate it: Place foil or pan on the counter, and then place the cake – still on wire rack – overtop the foil. Use a fine-mesh sieve or sifter to sprinkle a few tablespoons of powdered sugar overtop the cake. Fill a plastic baggie with the vanilla glaze and cut a tiny corner of the bag off. Drizzle the glaze in a zig-zag pattern over the top of the cake. Let stand at room temperature until glaze sets, about 15 minutes.

Vanilla Glaze from Bon Appetit

2/3 cup powdered sugar
4 teaspoons (or more) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift powdered sugar into a mixing bowl. Add milk and vanilla, and whisk to blend.

Add more milk by 1/4 teaspoons to thicken glaze if necessary.

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse

15 Jul

Mmm this is so delicious. Maybe not quite as delicious as the Best Chocolate Mousse Ever, but still pretty incredible. I have a friend who is both gluten-free and dairy-free, so coming up with a dessert that fit those parameters was difficult – I mean, I bake, right? But I was so excited for this amazing find. So simple, so quick, and so tasty.

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As long as you remember to refrigerate the coconut milk in advance, this only takes about 5 minutes to put together. Plus, mousse is like grown-up pudding. It’s as delicious and creamy as a Snack Pack, but super classy. To make it even classier, serve it out of something ridiculous like a martini glass or something a little less ridiculous like a stemless wine glass. And then when everyone’s done, bring out the bowl and mixing spoons and let people lick them clean. Classy.

For my mousse, I used a combo of regular Hershey’s cocoa powder and Special Dark Hershey’s cocoa powder. I haven’t tried it, but I imagine spending money on some high-quality cocoa powder would be worth it. There’s not a ton of sugar in this recipe, so unless you like really dark chocolate, be careful using too dark chocolate.

Also, need a good way to use the leftover coconut water? Try using it as the liquid base in smoothies! Super tasty with banana and pineapple.

Okay, go try this! It’s super easy to get a delicious, smooth, creamy, chocolate-y with a slight hint of coconut dessert that’s not too terribly unhealthy for you. I might just leave a can of coconut milk in the back of the fridge for whenever I need a quick chocolate fix.

Mmmousse

Dairy-Free Chocolate Mousse from The Urban Poser

1 cup full fat (canned) coconut milk, cream only (takes about 2 cans)
4-5 tablespoons cocoa
3 tablespoons honey or vegan alternative or stevia, to taste
1 teaspoon vanilla

Chill your cans of full-fat coconut milk in the refrigerator overnight.When ready to make the mousse, open up the cans and scoop the thick coconut cream into a large bowl, leaving the liquid behind. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and beat the mixture for 2-5 minutes.Serve. Excellent with strawberries, raspberries, etc.

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Market Yourself Monday from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Anything and Everything Blog Hop from My Thrifty Chic
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Link Party Wednesday from Lil’ Luna
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Chocolate Lasagna

3 Jun

My coworkers and I had a great conversation about what I should call this amazing dessert. “Chocolate lasagna” was the name of the original recipe I found, which suited me just fine. They thought it sounded gross, since they immediately started thinking of noodles, cheese, chocolate, and tomato sauce, which I admit, sounds pretty disgusting altogether. But really, the ‘lasagna’ part of the name more just refers to the fact that it’s layered in a baking dish.

When I saw the picture with the list of ingredients, I thought it was a perfect dessert to make for my brother’s birthday. Like me, he’s a choc-aholic. Or I guess I’m like him, since he’s older than me. At any rate, neither of us can ever get enough chocolate, especially dark chocolate and mint chocolate.

He and his new wife joined me and my slightly-less-new husband for dinner at a German restaurant in Durham, Bavarian Brathaus, which was quite an experience. The live band consisted of a clarinet and tuba played by two very loud gentlemen who occasionally interrupted their playing to sing/shout quite boisterously. My brother’s favorite foods are chocolate (as noted), German (he lived in Germany while he was in the military), and Italian (isn’t that one of everyone’s favorites?). So following up a trip to a German restaurant with chocolate lasagna seemed appropriate.

Chocolate Lasagna

This recipe is really less about cooking than it is about assembling. I prefer to make dishes that require a little more cooking and far more whole and natural foods, but there is nothing wrong with a little boxed, pre-made sugary goodness every now and then. Plus, after a really long week, it was awesome to zone out, munch on some Double Stuf Oreos, and put this together pretty easily. (And no, I didn’t use the Double Stuf I already had for this recipe. The Double Stuf are for eating, the regular Oreos are for making crusts with. I don’t find it weird at all that I had two entire packages of different types of Oreos in my home, Judgy McJudgerson.)

Do you have any suggestions to name this dish? Since none of my coworkers could come up with a better name, Chocolate Lasagna it is… for now. If you have any brilliant ideas, let me know in the comments.

Someone got a little messy plating this giant serving. Still delicious with all the layers mixed together.

Someone got a little messy plating this giant serving. Still delicious with all the layers mixed together.

Chocolate Lasagna from Center Cut Cook

1 package regular Oreo cookies (not Double Stuf)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cold milk
1 12-oz tub Cool Whip, divided
2 3.9-oz packages instant chocolate pudding
3 1/4 cups cold milk
chocolate chips and Oreo crumbles for topping

Crush the entire package of Oreos into crumbles. Use a food processor, or place in a large sealed plastic bag and wail on ’em with a can of beans or a rolling pin or something. Reserve a handful of crumbs for the topping.

Transfer the rest of the crumbs to a 9×13″ baking dish, and spread evenly. Drizzle the melted butter over the top, and use a fork to incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan to create an even crust layer. Place the pan in the fridge.

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add 2 tablespoons milk and sugar. Mix well. Stir in about 1/3 of the Cool Whip. Spread the mixture evenly over the Oreo crust.

In a large bowl, combine the pudding with 3 1/4 cups cold milk. Whisk for several minutes until the pudding starts to thicken. Spread the mixture evenly over the cream cheese layer. Place in fridge and allow to sit for at least 5 minutes.

Spread the remaining Cool Whip over the pudding layer. Sprinkle chocolate chips and reserved Oreo crumbles evenly over the top. Place in the freezer for 1 hour, or the refrigerator for 4 hours before serving.

Chocolate Lasagna

Linking Up With:

YOLO Mondays from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Market Yourself Monday from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Anything and Everything Blog Hop from My Thrifty Chic
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog