Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Squares

I feel like I’m not alone when I say I could eat an entire package of Oreos and still want more (and if you disagree, then that’s probably why we’re not friends). Despite Nabisco’s attempt to branch out, most of their newer flavors have fallen short in my opinion. With the exception of the Red Velvet and Pumpkin Spice, I’m not tempted at all by the others. I really don’t get this Oreo Thins business. Don’t kid yourself. Oreo Thins will never make you as happy as the original Double Stuf.

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With National Cheesecake Day coming up this Saturday, July 30th, I figured it needed to be celebrated appropriately. When I came across a recipe for Oreo Cheesecake Bites from Six Sisters’ Stuff I knew I had a winner. It wasn’t until I was at the store facing the massive spread of Oreo flavors that I had a stroke of genius and grabbed the Red Velvet Oreos. This was probably the best decision I made all week. Maybe all month.

These squares are perfect to take to a party or to any event because they are bite sized and so cute! This is also an extremely easy recipe that doesn’t require much decorating. Fair warning- it’s hard to stop after one. Enjoy and happy National Cheesecake Day!

Red Velvet Oreo Cheesecake Squares

  • 2 packages Red Velvet Oreos (divided)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • white candy coating

Preheat oven to 325*. Line a 13×9″ baking dish with foil, with the foil going up and over the sides.

Crush one package of Oreos either by using a food processor or by hand. Food processor definitely cuts down on time! The smaller pieces the better. In a separate bowl mix the 1/4 cup of melted butter with the crushed oreos. Press this mixture into the pan, creating your crust.FullSizeRender-1

In a mixer beat the cream cheese until it becomes smooth. Add the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Pour mixture of the crust and bake for 45 minutes.

After you take the cheesecake out of the oven, let it set for a couple of hours. You can put it in the fridge if you need to speed up this process. Once the cheesecake is set, cut into squares and spread them out on wax paper. Melt the white candy coating and drizzle it over the top of the squares. Happy National Cheesecake Day!

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King Cake Bites

The beginning of February is such a different song from the beginning of January. We go from resolutions and committing to healthier lifestyles to celebrating Mardi Gras, the end of another football season, and Valentine’s Day. Basically food, food, and more food. It’s awesome.

I entertained the idea of making a King Cake from scratch for about 7 minutes. Maybe one day, but time is precious. For the sake of my sanity I opted to make a King Cake inspired dessert instead. You might remember my King Cake cupcakes from a couple of years ago. Using the same recipe I changed up the presentation and created these little bite sized delights.

King Cake Bites
King Cake Bites

What I LOVE about these King Cake Bites: they’re bite sized and perfect for parties, bringing to the office, or a snack for your kids. They are also super easy (time saver!) and if you have kids this is definitely something they could help bake!

King Cake Bites (24 bites)

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls (seamless dough sheets work best)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Filling:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice

Glaze:

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. milk

 

Preheat oven to 350*. Cream together the ingredients for the filling. Separate dough into 8 rectangles (sealing the seams if you’re not using seamless). Sprinkle cinnamon over each rectangle.

King Cake Bites

Spread the cream cheese mixture onto each rectangle- make sure you completely cover it length wise (it’s not necessary to cover it edge to edge across the width of it). Fold the rectangles length wise into thirds, keeping the seam side down.

King Cake Bites

Cut each rectangle into four squares. Pinch together the ends to keep the filling in while it bakes.

King Cake Bites

Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes, until golden. Make the glaze while the bites cool. To make the glaze mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Spoon over the bites, adding purple, yellow, and green sprinkles on top. Enjoy!!

YUM!
YUM!

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

Since my last post I went on vacation for about three weeks. I’m not telling you this to make you jealous- it sets up the story of the recipe I’m posting this week. I spent two weeks in Croatia and then jetted off to California a few days after I got back. Both amazing trips, but after three weeks of being gone I was ready to be back home! Obviously I had to completely clean out my pantry and refrigerator before I left so I wouldn’t have new things growing in my kitchen when I came back. This is what brings me to this recipe.

I decided last minute one night to bake something to take to the lake the next day. The only problem with this is that I hadn’t really restocked my kitchen since before vacation. I scrounged around to find what ingredients I DID have and then hit up pinterest to see what I could do with it. This is what I found:

Eggs, butter, cream cheese, cake mix
Eggs, butter, cream cheese, cake mix

If you’re wondering why I would have cake mix when I bake all my cakes from scratch, it’s because I have a habit of buying cake mix when it’s on sale. One of my parents told me once that they do that (I can’t remember which one!) and it’s just something that I picked up on. You never know when you might need some! I couldn’t make a cake or cupcakes because I didn’t have anything to make frosting. I narrowed my search to cookies and found this recipe at Cookies and Cups. They were incredibly easy to make and they disappeared FAST the next day! Funfetti is pretty hard to resist! I love the flavor that the cream cheese adds. These cookies are super light and fluffy and perfect for any get together!

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies
Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

Funfetti Cake Mix Cookies

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box French Vanilla cake mix
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Cream the butter and cream cheese together. Add in the egg, mix to combine. Gradually mix in the cake mix. Fold in the sprinkles. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour (Mine was still pretty soft after this, you could also put it in the freezer to firm up the dough).

Preheat the oven to 350*. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll dough into 1″ balls and dip in the powdered sugar. Place balls at least 1″ apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool for a minute before moving them to a wire rack. Enjoy!

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Well. I was going to bypass any excuses and “oh wow it’s been awhile”…until I saw it’s been almost a YEAR since I last posted. My bad. Hope I get some credit for making it back before a full year passed. Maybe these cupcakes will distract you from that.

When I was a kid I was an extremely picky eater (sorry mom and dad). I recall a particular snack time in preschool where I scraped the creme off of the Oreos to eat and gave the cookie to one of my friends. Of course I got in trouble for that and they cut me off. I still don’t understand that- I wasn’t wasting the cookies, someone was still eating them! Don’t worry, I’ve matured since then and will now eat the entire Oreo. My point is that I love the filling on Oreos. I’ve always thought that they should sell that stuff by the jar. Hold the cookies, please.

So when I was asked to make Oreo cupcakes this week I decided I would try to make my own Oreo creme. A quick google search provided several copycat recipes. Thank you, internet. You will never have to buy Oreos again after making this. Unless you want the cookie. I will warn you- this filling is like crack and you will probably eat all of it in one sitting.

Oreo Creme
Oreo Creme

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Make these chocolate cupcakes. After pouring the batter into the cupcake tin, add in chunks of Oreos. I used Double Stuf. We don’t mess around in this kitchen. I pressed some of the pieces down just for good measure. Bake for 20 minutes at 350*.

Ready to bake
Ready to bake

These cupcakes looked delicious coming out of the oven. Tempting to eat as is. But wait, we are not done!

Heavenly.
Heavenly.

 

And here’s what you’ve been waiting for- Oreo filling! Seriously. Making this might be the highlight of my baking career.

Copycat Oreo Creme Frosting

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 4 Tbsp. hot water
  • 7.5 cups powdered sugar

Cream the first four ingredients together. Gradually add the powdered sugar. The consistency will be thick, just like it is on the cookie. If you want Oreo creme then this is all you have to do. I needed to be able to pipe it onto cupcakes, so I had to thin it out. To do this I added 2 Tbsp. of hot water. It doesn’t take a lot of extra water, so add a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you need. This frosting should be enough for 2 dozen cupcakes.

Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes
Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes

Pipe onto the cupcakes and top with an Oreo. Marvel at your creation, then devour it.

Pure cupcake eating joy.
Pure cupcake eating joy

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free)

On Sundays there’s a Spanish channel that plays Dexter reruns- that is, they play Dexter in English but the commercials are still in Spanish. It’s the best of both worlds; I get to watch Dexter and learn Spanish. Of course what I’ve learned is limited to selling you AT&T and why you should eat Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. I was in for a treat today though. Several years ago there were some clips from a comedian named Anjelah Johnson that floated around the interwebs, most notably the nail salon lady and Bon Qui Qui. Well apparently they have combined the two to create a music video- yes, a music video! And they played it during a commercial break. Bon Qui Qui has her own music video for a song called “No Boyfren”. Google it. You’re welcome.

While that little gem should be enough for you, I highly doubt you came here just for that. This week I was approached by someone who saw my paleo chocolate chip cookies and was wondering if I could make them without eggs. Her daughter is allergic to eggs (among other things) and has pretty strict diet restrictions. Most paleo baking relies on eggs to bind ingredients together since that’s usually a job for gluten. I did some searching and came across this recipe from Elana’s Pantry. I made a few adjustments based on the ingredients I had and was pretty pleased with the results.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Egg Free) ~18 cookies

  • 3 cups almond flour*
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Preheat the oven to 350*. Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Whisk the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips. I did this all by hand, I think an electric mixer might lead to over mixing. Use a cookie scoop to drop dough onto a cookie sheet. Bake for ~8 minutes. These are soft cookies, so if they look like they need a little more time to set (1-2 minutes) then leave them in for a little longer. Just don’t let them burn! Let them cool for a minute or two on the cookie sheet before you move them to a cooling rack. They will firm up as they cool off.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

*If you read Elana’s Pantry’s recipe, she will say to not use Bob’s Red Mill almond flour. That happened to be what I had on hand, so that is what I used. My measurements are based on using that almond flour.

 

Holub/Anderson Wedding

A couple of weekends ago, I had the pleasure of baking for another wedding. The bride’s family and mine have been friends for about 20 years now. There’s a long history of swim meets, 4th of July fireworks and homemade ice cream, and both of our families even moved around the same time to the same area when we were in junior high. And then we started over on a new swim team in the new neighborhood (see the central piece here?). After high school we continued to A&M, and then both became teachers- although in different cities.

The couple wanted cupcakes and settled on four different flavors: strawberry, snickerdoodle, red velvet, and chocolate with peanut butter frosting. I don’t always get to watch people eat the cake after I set it up, so it was fun to watch the cupcakes disappear at the wedding. I wish I could take credit for the signs on the cake table, but that was all the bride’s doing. The entire wedding was absolute gorgeous and I loved being a part of it!

The Cake Table
The Cake Table
For all my Aggies, the bride's bouquet is in an A&M pitcher!
For all my Aggies, the bride’s bouquet is in an A&M pitcher!

Holub WeddingHolub Wedding

Strawberry cake for the cake cutting
Strawberry cake for the cake cutting

Holub WeddingHolub Wedding

To Gluten or Not to Gluten

Gluten has become quite the buzzword these days. At first you heard it constantly from the gluten free camp, but now the gluten eaters are vocalizing their opinions on this tiny little protein. The most annoying part (to me at least), is that so many people on either side can’t even tell you what IS gluten! People. If you’re going to throw around random studies, articles, and arguments, you should probably at least try to educate yourself on what you are talking about. I am not here to tell you whether you should be for or against gluten, but rather to help you form your own opinion. This is the science teacher side of me coming out.

This video by America’s Test Kitchen gives a good visual of gluten, as well as explaining what it is along with some of it’s properties. Don’t worry, it’s only about 3 minutes long. You probably spend more time looking at funny cat memes.

Obviously gluten has a pretty significant impact on baking, which makes it my problem. If you’ve been following my blog you probably know that I bake cupcakes with and without gluten. I realize I’m playing both sides while most sites will cater to one party or the other. As for myself, I choose to follow a gluten free lifestyle and I will gladly answer why if you ever care to ask me. But you probably don’t care and are not here for that. The reason I still post “gluten” desserts right along with the gluten free desserts is for this: Enjoyment.

Most of the events and moments I bake for are celebrations, everything from weddings, bridal showers, birthday parties, graduations, baby showers, gender reveal parties…you get the idea. People are celebrating someone or some achievement/moment in someone’s life. You should not be so fixated on FOOD that you miss enjoying the moment. (To clarify, I’m not talking about people who have medical concerns.) I have several customers who do prefer gluten free desserts for one reason or another- and that’s fine. I’m the baker, I’m the one who has to deal with the process whereas they’re concerned about the final product. Can you really tell the difference between these cupcakes? Both are chocolate cupcakes (though one is dark chocolate), but only one is gluten free.

Can you tell the difference?
Can you tell the difference?

My point is that for all the commotion that gluten has caused, it still remains a mystery to most people. All I’m asking is that you educate yourself before telling others what they should or should not eat. Chances are, if there’s cake you should be celebrating and not analyzing the food!