Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Middle age is not so bad. There is cake.

Somebody in our house is turning 40 this week, and it's not me.  My husband is bravely going before me to tackle this middle age business.  (I'll be there myself in less than two months, but that's another post.)  And in our house, birthdays mean cake. 

Birthday cake is a tradition passed on from my mom who insisted that everyone have a cake for their birthday.  There were fancy homemade cakes when we were young.  In the days before fondant and Ace of Cakes, a Styrofoam cup cut in half and covered with frosting made a very fancy train tunnel.  During my teen years, I recall the Fudge Pie Era where I requested fudge pie for each and every birthday.  It felt very non-conformist to request a pie instead of cake, but my mom graciously provided.  Even after my brother and I went away to college and made a life for ourselves, the "Happy birthday" phone calls from mom always got around to the most important question of the day; "Did you have a cake?" 

Now that I'm married and have a family of my own, the birthday cake tradition continues. Everybody gets cake on their birthday.  Sometimes it's store-bought and fancy.  Other times it's a Funfetti cake mix purchased at 7-11 at 9pm the night before someone's (almost forgotten) birthday.  But the tradition continues.  If there is no cake does the birthday really happen? 

A few years ago, I stumbled across a recipe from a cooking gal you might know...Paula Deen.  Oh, Paula.  I lived so many happy, healthy years without even knowing that I was missing butter in my life.  And along comes +Paula Deen .  So I tried this recipe for Ooey Gooey Chocolate Ice Cream Cake. Yes, friends.  The first ingredient is one CUP of butter.  But I'm pretty much convinced that Paula may be a saint and butter may be the holy grail.  Because this cake is good.  So good, so rich, so cold and delicious that everyone was requesting it for their birthday. Year after year after year.  As my husband's birthday aproaches I ask, "What kind of cake do you want?" hoping for something new.  Something less labor intensive.  Something that won't clog my arteries just thinking about it.  But the call of the Ooey Gooey cake is strong.  And my husband remains faithful to his butter queen, Paula Deen. 

But this year, he's turning 40.  And we're breaking the mold. 

I've been researching and Pinning and Googling "Fantastic birthday cakes", "Super delicious cake", "Birthday cake to die for", "Cake to make my family forget they ever heard of Ooey Gooey Chocolate Ice Cream Cake". I plotted and planned how I would wean my husband into new birthday cake territory on this, his big 4-0. 

Enter Oreos. 

I make a grocery list every week. 90% of the time, "someone" adds Oreos to the list.  100% of the time that person is disappointed because I do not, in fact, come home from WinCo with Oreos.  Well, this Oreo lover is going to get a treat this year. Goodbye Paula Deen.  Hello ChocolateCovered Oreo Cookie Cake.  What better way to ring in middle age with a NEW cake!  One made from his very favorite, packaged, chocolate sandwich cookie?!  It's Cake!  It's Oreos!  There is cream cheese filling.  What's not to love?!

Chocolate-Covered OREO Cookie Cake recipe

I know.  It's a little dicey.  Trying out a new cake for this milestone birthday.  He's the birthday boy!  What kind of heartless wife won't make her husband his favorite cake for his 40th birthday??  Yeah, I get it. But it's not as if I've ignored his wishes and desires.  I have proposed this "Paula Replacement Cake" based on my knowledge of his deep love of Oreos!  And also, I have a short attention span.  It physically pains me to do something the same way more than say...three times.  I like new recipes, new things, new adventures.  And I'm about done with the mixing and baking thawing and freezing steps required for Paula's masterpiece.

I also know that my husband tends to be a creature of habit.  And my birthday is coming up soon.  So there's a very good chance that nobody in this house is actually going to miss out on Ooey Gooey Chocolate Ice Cream Cake this year.  JOY.

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