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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Duncan Hines Cookies & Creme Cake and Family Dinner


Once in a while my family, or whoever is in town and available, gets together for a family dinner. Sometimes, Dad makes his famous spaghetti and meatballs. Other times, Mom makes her famous roast chicken with gravy. There's always a little wine and a wedge of Jarlsburg cheese and crackers before dinner and a homemade dessert to follow (usually made by me). On rare occasions, such as last week, I actually attempt to cook dinner. Last week, I made salmon, spinach and brown rice (which were not remarkable), and Duncan Hines Cookies and Creme Cake (which was a big hit). But no matter who cooks or what the occasion is, there is something special about a family dinner.

It's funny that these little dinners should make such an impression on me. Nothing really momentous ever happens. The evening is underscored by a quiet baseball or football game, which Dad keeps on for the sports fans in the family. We sit and talk and play with the little ones. Our conversation keeps to family, the news, my mother's latest garage sale find, or my dad's latest home improvement project. No deep personal revelations. No impassioned speeches.

After dinner we clean up a little and have dessert. Then when the little ones are ready to nod off, we call it a night. My dad (who's a mush-ball, like me) and I always end up remarking to each other how nice the evening was, using the phrase "really nice" all too abundantly
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If it's not the conversation or the food or any special occasion, then what makes these family dinners so special is just that--it's family.  It's dinner.  That's all you really need.  There is something sacred about breaking bread with your loved ones.  There is something comforting about sharing a meal.  As long as you're together that's all that really matters.

But a slam-bang dessert doesn't hurt either.  Last week, one of my favorite bakers, Duncan Hines, came through for me again.  I have yet to try a from-scratch white cake recipe that tastes as good as Duncan Hines, but I'm sure that's not going to stop me from trying out every delicious-looking white or vanilla cake recipe I find.  In fact, I have a recipe binder full of them.  When I find a winner I will post it.  But if you're looking for a simple, yet impressive cake, this is it.  Duncan Hines never fails.  And combine that with the goodness of Oreos, and you've got yourself a delightful dessert.  It's simple to make so go ahead and try this cake--it will make your next family dinner really nice.



Duncan Hines Cookies and Creme Cake
Ingredients:

1 package Duncan Hines Classic White Cake Mix
3 large egg whites
1 1/3 cups water
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 cup cream filled chocolate sandwich cookies, coarsely chopped (I used slightly more than 1 cup and will probably try even more the next time I make this cake.)
1 tub Duncan Hines Creamy Home-Style Butter Cream Frosting (I used my favorite buttercream frosting recipe.)
additional cookies (optional)

Baking Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.  (I used 8 1/2 inch pans)
2.  Combine cake mix, egg whites, water, and oil in large mixing bowl. Beat at low speed with electric mixer until moistened. Beat at medium speed for 2 minutes. Fold in 1 cup cookies. Pour into prepared pans.
3.  Bake 28 to 31 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans 15 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
4.  Fill and frost cake with frosting. Garnish with additional cookies, if desired.

1 comment:

  1. Family, food and a visit by Duncan--what could be more perfect!

    ReplyDelete