A Weekend of Appetizers!

It was my sister Michou’s bridal shower last weekend. I decided to volunteer to make all of the lunch appetizers (with the great and amazing help of my little sister Spoon, who as acting as my sou-chef for the day). We had a blast making homemade Oreo cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, shrimp and pork salad rolls, and stuffed mushroom caps. I tried to include all three recipes in one post, seeing as I am quite far behind in recipes posts… Oh well! Makes for a great post, after all!

For the cupcakes, we began by separating two dozen Oreos, and placing the frosting side up into the cupcake papers.

Some broke, but that’s ok! They’re getting baked into a cupcake, after all!

We took the remaining pieces of Oreo and crushed them up to put in the batter.

Then scooped the batter into the muffin papers.

Only filled to 3/4 full!

Once pipped with frosting, we took the remaining cookie halfs, that did not get smashed into the batter, and placed them on top! These were a huge hit at the party. Delicious!

Jacquie’s Tasty Oreo Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting (Courtesy of Dainty Chef)

What you’ll need:
For the Cupcakes:
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups flour, plus 2 Tbsp for the Oreo chunks
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 2/3 cup sugar
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 pkg Oreo Cookies (~45 cookies)

For the Frosting:
8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 stick butter at room temp
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar

What you’ll do:
Preheat over to 350F. Insert liners into a medium cupcake pan.
Twist apart 24 Oreos. Place the wafer with filling on it, filling side up, in the bottom of each paper liner. Cut other wafers in half. Save 24 halves to place in the frosting. Crush the other wafer halves, also for garnishing.

Cut the remaining Oreo cookies into quarters with a sharp knife. Toss with 2 Tbsp flour and set aside.

In a large bowl cream the butter until fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the milk and vanilla and mix to combine. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to butter mixture. Mix until integrated. Stir in sugar. With an electric mixer on low speed, beat for 30 seconds. Turn the mixer up to medium speed and beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg whites. Beat for 2 more minutes. Stir in the quartered cookies.

Fill the cupcake lines three-quarters full. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.

For the frosting:
Cream butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Add vanilla extract. Slowly add powdered sugar until desired consistency is reached. To assemble the cupcakes: Once cupcakes have cooled completely, frost with cream cheese frosting. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos and place 1/2 of an Oreo on the frosting of each cupcake.

The salad rolls were a lot more work, and were a little tricky at first. But once you got the hang of them, they weren’t too bad (in my opinion, not Spoon’s), and they were so tasty! We had to julienne all the vegetables that you see here. That took some time, but was well worth it!

Begin by soaking a rice paper sheet in warm to hot water until it becomes soft and maliable.

Let it drip off a bit, then place it on a dry plate. Next, dab it with a paper towel, to remove access moisture, and so that the paper becomes a little sticky.

Next, fill your salad roll with all your fixings! (We used julienne carrots, cucumber and avocado, slices of romaine lettuce and baby spinach and beansprouts, and shrimp or pork.)

Then, fold the rice paper around the ingredients like a burrito.

If possible, try and avoid using broken sheets of rice paper. They are extremely hard to work with, something we learned the hard way. When purchasing rice paper, go for the sheets in a plastic protective case, rather than a bag. The plastic case prevents the sheets from breaking in the store, whereas if you buy a bag, there is no way to prevent the poor rice papers from breaking and snapping at the slightest touch. (The bride saved us halfway through the process by running to the store for more. This is why you can see some pretty ones, and some horrendous looking ones…)

Jacquie’s Tasty Shrimp and Pork Salad Rolls with Spice Peanut Sauce (Courtesy of Boomer Cuisine)

Yield 1-2 servings (we times the recipe by 20)

2 large rice spring roll wraps
2 green leaf lettuce leaves
12 cooked 31-40 per pound prawns
1 small carrot (matchstick cut or shaved with a peeler)
½ avocado
½ medium cucumber (matchstick or julienne cut)
4 sprigs cilantro
½ cup bean sprouts
12 baby spinach leaves
6-8 fresh basil leaves

Dressing: 2 teaspoons fish sauce (we didn’t have fish sauce, so we omitted it), 1 teaspoon of lime juice, 1 teaspoon sugar

Run the wrapper under warm water both sides so the entire surface is wet or place some warm water in a large dinner plate and submerge the wrapper. As it softens (about 10-20 seconds) spread the sheet on a flat surface. Pat with a paper towel to remove any excess surface water and place 6 shrimp in a line on the center of the wrap. Lay half the above quantities of lettuce, avocado, cucumber, carrots, cilantro, spinach, basil and bean sprouts on the row of shrimp. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of dressing to your salad mixture, gently bring the side flaps over then fold the bottom flap (closest to you) over the salad’ burrito’ style then firmly roll towards the top flap while slightly compressing to form your salad roll. The skin is delicate, tears easily and sticks to itself so be gentle. Repeat process for second roll.

Peanut Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter, 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce, 1 teaspoon fish sauce, 1 teaspoon lime juice, 1/3 teaspoon chile flakes…Whip or blend till smooth and pour into a small soufflé cup for dipping.

The last thing we made, which ended up being the biggest hit of them all, were the stuffed mushroom caps.

During the party, people kept asking what were in the mushroom caps, because the combination of flavors were unbelievable! Honestly, the primary ingredients were parsley, parmesan cheese, garlic and bread crumbs. That’s it I swear!

We tried to stuffed the mushrooms as much as possible, because when we doubled the recipe, it made way too much stuffing!

Here’s what they looked like before we baked them…

And here’s what they looked like after… Oh yea. Can you see now why these were such a hit?!

Jacquie’s Awesome Stuffed Mushroom Caps (Courtesy of Kitchen Konfidence)

1 pound large cremini mushrooms
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup freshly made bread crumbs
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Grease a baking sheet with non stick spray or dab of extra virgin olive oil.

Using a damp kitchen towel or paper towel, wipe the the mushrooms clean of any grit.  Trim off the tough bottoms of each stem.  Carefully remove the stems and set aside.  We are going to stuff the caps, so be sure to keep them intact.

Chop up the reserved stems and add them to a medium sized bowl with the egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and garlic.  Toss to combine and then season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Stir in enough extra virgin olive oil to make the mixture glisten.  You want the stuffing coated, but not swimming in olive oil.

Stuff each mushroom cap with a good spoonful of the stem mixture.  Place the stuffed caps, stuffed side up on the prepared baking sheet.  Transfer to the preheated oven and cook until the tops are lightly golden brown (about 15 minutes).

Let the mushrooms cool a minute or two before serving.

Makes 6 – 8 servings.

Here was our intense spread.

Even my homemade whole wheat crackers made an appearance on the cheese plate. It was quite the great foodie weekend! I look forward to the next party that I get to make all the food for!

I wanted to send a big shout out to my foodie sou-chef Spoony, for all of her help on the weekend during the party. I could not have done it without her!! Also thank you to my mom for getting all of the ingredients together, and help chop, slice dice and decorate the food before serving! You two are the best!


5 Comments on “A Weekend of Appetizers!”

  1. supersu says:

    love your posts.
    just want to give you a tip for the salad rolls…i love love love these too and can NEVER get the rolls right.
    my trick is to use a double layer of wrapper. that seems to give it more ‘strength’ and then the things actually stick together better. personally i dont mind the extra outer coating, but then you might! give it a try if you feel like experimenting.
    thanks again for all your posts….mucho appreciated
    su 🙂

  2. Addie says:

    I like how you’ve used avocado in your shrimp rolls

  3. […] (hey, I meant well…), and my cilantro lime chili shrimp (another good attempt…), and my homemade salad rolls (what a pain in the ass!). There are some recipes, however, that I return to again and again […]

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