Category Archives: Desserts

Oreo Cheesecake Cookies

Each week, I bake cookies for my hubby that he brings to work for lunch.  He loves cookies and I love baking, so it works out nicely.  I try to bake different cookies every time to keep things interesting.  Sometimes I run out of ideas, so I check Pinterest.  I found these Oreo Cheesecake Cookies, so I decided to give them a try.  What’s great about this recipe is that you don’t need an entire package of Oreos for the batch.  This is obviously great because it means you’ll have a batch of Oreo Cheesecake Cookies and 1/2 a package of Oreo cookies when all is said and done.  These cookies are scrumptious and probably taste better than they look.  There’s no baking soda or baking powder, so they’re rather flat.  However, what they lack in fluffiness, they make up for in taste.  Enjoy!


Ingredients:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Oreo cookie crumbs, divided

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2. In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and well-combined.

3. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix until the ingredients are well-combined.  Add the flour and mix on low until the flour is incorporated.  Stir in 1/2 cup crushed Oreos with a rubber spatula.

4. Place the remaining 1/2 cup Oreo cookie crumbs in a small bowl.  Roll the cookies into 2″ balls and then roll in the cookie crumbs (Make sure you roll the cookies large enough because they will not rise). Place the cookie balls on the baking sheet and press down with your palm. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges and bottoms are golden.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.  Yield:  12-15 cookies.

*Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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Samoa Rice Krispie Treats

Samoas are those delicious Girl Scout Cookies with caramel, chocolate, and coconut.  They are easily my favorite!  I have no idea why they are called Samoas (I was never a Girlscout; could this be the reason I hate camping?), but I’ve heard them called Caramel Delights as well.  Wherever the name comes from, those G-scouts bake a mean cookie.  I turned these Samoas into Samoa Rice Krispie Treats;  I mixed toasted coconut with the Rice Krispies and then covered the top with chocolate, more toasted coconut, and caramel drizzle.

 

Disclaimer:  These Samoa Rice Krispies are best enjoyed while watching Troop Beverly Hills, starring Shelley Long, circa 1989.  A classic, must-see 80’s movie.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 package (10 oz.) marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows
  • 5 1/2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup shredded sweetened coconut, toasted
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Caramel syrup for drizzling

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Spread shredded coconut on a rimmed baking sheet and bake, stirring once or twice, until golden, about 5 -10 minutes.  Meanwhile, coat a 13×9″ pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat.  Add Rice Krispies and 1/2 cup coconut and stir until well coated.  Using buttered spatula or wax paper to evenly press mixture into pan.
  3. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals, stirring after each interval until melted and smooth. Spread melted chocolate over Rice Krispie treats and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup toasted coconut, gently pressing into chocolate.  Drizzle with caramel sauce.  Allow Rice Krispies to harden before cutting into squares.

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Blueberry Baked Donuts

July is National Blueberry month and what better way to celebrate then with these delicious Blueberry Baked Donuts. One of my favorite types of donuts, besides peanut donuts, are blueberry donuts. They are delicious and because these donuts are baked, are healthier too! I must have a thing for bluberries because I also love blueberry bagels. Blueberries are chocked full of healthy antioxidants, so be sure to get your fill with these delicious blueberry treats:

Blueberry & Coconut Smoothie

Blueberry & Lavender Scones

Blueberry & Pineapple Smoothie

Blueberry Cheesecake Squares w/Hazelnuts

Blueberry Glazed Doughnut Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

Oatmeal Blueberry & White Chocolate Cookies

Fillet Mignon w/Blueberry Balsamic Reduction (Fileno al Mirtillo)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 Greek Yogurt
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Vanilla Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and spray donut pan with non-stick spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Add yogurt, eggs, and butter and beat until combined. Fill each doughnut cup 2/3 full.
  3. Bake 7-9 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Let cool in pan 4-5 minutes before removing from pan.
  4. To make glaze, combine ingredients and whisk until smooth. Drizzle over donuts and allow to dry on a wire rack.

*Makes 12 doughnuts

Adapted from Wilton Baked Cake Donuts

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Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies

The hubby and I recently saw Moonrise Kingdom this past weekend.  It was hysterical!  Wes Anderson’s movies are not for everyone (dry, sarcastic humor said in a serious tone), but I knew I’d love this movie since The Royal Tenenbaums and Life Aquatic were great and Bill Murray is one of the best actors ever.  I thought Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and especially Sam Shakusky (real name?) were also great in this movie.

What’s also great?  These Peanut Butter Pudding Cookies!  The vanilla flavor from the pudding really gives these cookies such a wonderful taste – the peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Pieces help too!

Ingredients:

  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding mix, 1.34 oz.
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup Reese’s Pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine pudding mix, flour, baking soda, and salt and set aside.
  3. Using a mixer, beat together butter and sugars until creamy.  Add in eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.  Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.  With a wooden spoon, stir in peanut butter chips, chocolate chips, and Reese’s Pieces.
  4. Drop cookie dough by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheet, about 2″ apart.  Press down gently with the palm of your hand.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden.  Remove cookies from oven and let cool on baking rack.  Yield: 3 dozen cookies

*Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

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Blackberry Hand Pies

Guess what I did this past weekend????  I went blackberry picking!  Ok, maybe that’s not the coolest thing to do, but it’s fun and it supports our local farmers.  I read a Washingtonian article entitled 61 Hidden Gems.  One of the “Hidden Gems” was to go strawberry picking at Homestead Farms in Poolesville, MD.  Strawberry picking season is over in my neck of the woods, but blueberry and blackberry picking season isn’t!  For $2.49 a pound (not pint!), you can pick blueberries and/or blackberries.  That’s a great deal, so I decided to drive the 30 minutes out there – what a great drive through the Maryland countryside too!

I filled two large tupperware containers full and spent around $14 on 5.5 pounds of blackberries.  I froze the majority of my blackberries for smoothies and future backed goods.  I also set aside a small amount to eat throughout the week.  The last 2 cups were reserved for these Blackberry Hand Pies.  These hand pies are delicious and the perfect treat for a summer BBQ.  Enjoy and if you’re in the DC Metro area, I highly recommend the trip to Homestead Farms!

Pie Crust:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chilled shortening (Crisco)
  • 7 tbsp. ice cold water
Filling:
  • 2 cups blackberries
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
Directions:
  1. In the bowl of  a stand mixer, beat flour, salt, butter, and shortening until crumbly.  Add cold water and mix until a ball forms.
  2. Divide the dough into two balls and wrap each one in plastic wrap.  Chill dough for about 30 minutes.
  3. Remove dough from plastic wrap and roll out first round on a floured work surface with a lightly floured rolling pin.  Roll dough to a 12″ diameter.  Using a 4″ cookie or biscuit cutter, cut out 6 dough rounds, re-rolling dough scrapes together to get 6 rounds.  Lay dough rounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat process with the second dough round.  Set aside the other 6 dough rounds on lightly floured surface.
  4. In a bowl, toss together the blackberries, cornstarch, cinnamon, sugar, and salt.  Divide the blackberries among the 6 dough rounds on the baking sheet.  With a pastry brush, dampen the edges of the first round with cold water and lay another dough round on top.  Gently press down the dough over the blackberries.  With the tines of a fork, press the outer edge of the two dough rounds together.  Repeat with the remaining 5 pies.
  5. Refrigerate the hand pies, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375.  Back the hand pies until they are golden brown, about 30-40 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm.

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Peanut Butter Silk Cake

I hope you had a wonderful weekend!!  I did!  I was at home celebrating my Mom’s birthday with this amazing Peanut Butter Silk Cake that my sister and I baked.  This cake is amazing!  It’s semi-homemade because we used a yellow cake mix, but we doctored up the cake mix by adding peanut butter and made a homemade peanut butter filling and a chocolate frosting for the top and sides.  This cake was a huge hit served with a scoop of French vanilla ice cream.  Who wouldn’t love this for their birthday?  I think my Mom and the rest of my family did!  

PS. June 12th is National Peanut Butter Cookie Day.  You should def make these in celebration:

Ingredients:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix
  • 1 ¼ cups water
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped peanuts, optional

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350°F (or 325°F for dark or nonstick pans) and generously grease bottoms of 2 (8- or 9-inch) round cake pans with shortening or cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, 1/2 cup peanut butter, the oil and eggs with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pans.
  3. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pans to loosen cakes; remove from pans to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  4. In 2-quart saucepan, melt butter over medium heat and stir in brown sugar. Heat to boiling, boil, and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat and refrigerate 10 minutes.
  5. In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream on high speed until soft peaks form and set aside. In another medium bowl, beat 1/2 cup peanut butter and the brown sugar mixture on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add whipped cream to peanut butter mixture and beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  6. Place one layer on a serving plate and spread peanut butter filling until smooth.  Place other cake layer on top and set aside.
  7. To make the chocolate frosting, microwave the chocolate in a small microwavable bowl until melted, about 1 minute. Cool 10 minutes.
  8. Beat the powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Gradually beat in melted chocolate until well blended.
  9. Frost sides and top of cake with chocolate frosting. Press peanuts onto frosting on side of cake. Store covered in refrigerator.
*Adapted from Betty Crocker

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Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake

I didn’t really have a good reason to bake this Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake besides the fact that I saw it in a magazine and thought it looked scrumptious.  The original recipe was for blueberry coffee cake, but the lemon and blueberry combo is too delicious to ever turn down.  Most of the time, I bake with a purpose, meaning that I usually bake when there’s an event at work, a birthday party, a brunch, a big game on tv, etc.  However, sometimes I just get the urge to bake for the heck of it purely because I like to bake.  Maybe that’s crazy, but I think my family and friends appreciate it.  🙂

Baking is definitely one of my stress relievers, as is spending time with my family, working out, reading, drinking wine, etc.  And baking does not really require too many expensive ingredients – ok, don’t get me wrong, there are some expensive ingredients that I love to use like almond paste, anything with fig, nuts, etc.  But the pillars of baking (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, vegetable oil, shortening, etc.) are all relatively cheap and last for quite a while.  Baking is great!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
  • 4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 8-oz container plain, Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 of a lemon, juiced
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. milk (or additional for desired consistency)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13×9 pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.
  2. To make the topping, combine brown sugar, nuts, and cinnamon in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  3. In another small bowl, stir together the Greek yogurt and baking soda and set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat granulated sugar and butter on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, vanilla, and 1/2 of a lemon’s juice and beat until combined.
  5. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and lemon zest and add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  Beat until combined.  Beat in Greek yogurt mixture.
  6. Pour half of the batter in the pan and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the blueberries and then half of the topping.  Pour the remaining batter over the layers and spread evenly.  Sprinkle with the remaining topping.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.  Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and milk until drizzling consistency (add more milk if necessary, 1 tsp. at a time).  Once cake has completely cooled, drizzle frosting over and enjoy!

*Adapted from Our Best Desserts

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