Saturday, November 12, 2011


   This comes from www.yourcupofcake.com.  Nothing like the tast of homemade knock offs that look even better and tastier than the store bought brand.

Homemade Oreos


The Story:
I will try desserts that I have at parties, and think to myself “I can make this better.” Is that bad? Maybe. Or maybe it’s just a sign of an obsessive baker.
The first time I had these, they were good. But the cookies were over baked and the filling had way too much sugar. Now, they are fabulous.
This recipe is so easy and always gets rave reviews. I once had a friend ask for a cake-sized Oreo as her birthday cake. I always love a challenge.
If you love Oreos, you will think these are the Oreos from heaven.
If you want to make the cookie look a little classier, you can just top a single cookie with the filling, and place a raspberry or slice of strawberry on top.

Homemade Oreos

1 Devils Food Cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup oil

4 oz cream cheese
¼ cup butter
1 ½ cups powder sugar*
½ teaspoon vanilla

Yield: 24 cookies, 12 sandwiches

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix Devil’s food cake mix, eggs, and oil together. The dough will be very thick.
3. On a greased cookie sheet or on parchment paper, place dough balls about the size of a golf ball. You will need to make sure they are round and then pat them down with your fingers.
4. Bake for 7-10 minutes. Wait until just after they start to “crack” on the top.
5. Let cool on sheet for 2-3 minutes and then remove.
6. Filling: Beat cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add vanilla. Add as much powdered sugar as desired. 
7. Refrigerate filling in Tupperware or in a piping bag until firm and cookies are cooled.
8. Frost cookies and make into sandwiches. 
9. Refrigerate cookies for at least 2 hours and serve chilled. Trust me, this makes them much better.

*I don’t measure my powdered sugar, I just taste test while I put it in. So depending on if you want the filling to taste more like cream cheese or sugar, adjust your amount.


Is that you? Santa Claus?

Who is Santa Claus? Where did his story begin? Why does he have so many different names? As a company that specializes in online education, we felt it was our duty to learn and share.
Below the infographic, you’ll find a more detailed timeline of some additional Santa-related events. Do you have more to add to the story? What are your Christmas traditions? We’d love to hear in our comments below.

The Santa Timeline

1Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, and the gift-giving began as a remembrance of the 3 wise kings who came from the east to give gifts to the Christ child. To this day, many Catholic countries celebrate 3 Kings Day in the beginning of January as their primary gift-giving day.
280Saint Nicholas is born. He did not live in North Pole, but was a Greek bishop in present-day Turkey. He was known for many miracles and for his generosity, particularly to children. In one story, he visited a poor man at night, and anonymously threw 3 purses of gold in his window.
900Catholic church canonizes Saint Nicholas (he becomes an official Saint). Over the years he had become the symbolic “gift giver” of winter celebrations.
1600sAfter the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther’s followers declared that Saint Nicholas was detracting from the true meaning of Christmas. They soon adopted their own “gift-giving” figure called the Kristkindt (Christ Child), an angelic child who went from house to house quizzing kids on their bible knowledge. Fun, huh? Mothers declared that the Kristkindt was too young to travel alone, so they brought back Saint Nicholas.
1600sDutch Immigrants brought with them the legend of Sinterklaas, a figure who rides the roof tops upon a white horse, has a long beard, and visits houses with his mischevious black-faced helpers. Children would place boots filled with carrots or sugar (treats for the horse) near the chimney.
1770sAfter the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870
1809in his book “A History of New York,” Washington Irving wrote about Saint Nicholas riding into town on a horse. 3 years later, he revised the book to include Nicholas riding over the trees in a wagon.
1822Clement Clarke Moore writes “The Night Before Christmas” in which Saint Nick is portrayed as an elf with a miniature sleigh pulled by eight tiny reindeer.
1860From the 1860s through the 1890s, reknowned illustrator Thomas Nast created Santa images for Harper’s Magazine. He also created posters of Santa sitting with Union soldiers during the Civil War, which demoralized the Confederate army.
1920sThe image of Santa has been standardized to what we still picture today — a bearded, overweight, jolly man dressed in a red suit.
1931Haddon Sundblom illustrated a series of Santa images to advertise Coca-Cola. Coke Christmas ads continue to this day.
1939Writer Robert L. May created a poem about Rudolph, the ninth reindeer, who was teased by the other reindeer because of his slight build and shiny nose. 10 years later Johnny Marks wrote the song “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which became one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time.