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.

FullSizeRender(1)

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!

FullSizeRender

 

Advertisements

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!

King Cake Cupcakes

I’d say February does a pretty good job at kicking all those January health goals to the curb. First you’re hit with Valentine’s Day, and then Mardi Gras and the rodeo (well, for those of us residing in Texas). Diets don’t stand a chance. However, you can’t help but get caught up in all the festivities. I personally love this time of year. Mardi Gras and the rodeo are both ongoing events and lend themselves for a lot social activities. It’s just fun! With Fat Tuesday coming up I figured King Cake Cupcakes would be the perfect cupcakes to bake!

I found this recipe over at The Virtuous Wife. Best thing about it? You use crescent rolls. Seriously can’t get much easier than that. Delicious treats don’t have to be complicated recipes, most of the time simple is better! The only down side to these is that the recipe only makes eight, although they are large. But MAN are they tasty! I actually preferred the bread flavor as opposed to a sweet cake- I felt like it balanced out with the filling and glaze. My taste testers told me it was even better with a cup of coffee. You could always experiment and try different fillings…so many possibilities.

King Cake Cupcakes
King Cake Cupcakes

King Cake Cupcakes (~8 cupcakes)

  • 2 tubes of crescent rolls (seamless dough sheets work best)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamonFilling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extractGlaze:
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp. water

Preheat the oven to 375* and grease your cupcake pan. With a mixer, cream together the ingredients for the filling (cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla). In a separate bowl whisk together the sugar and cinnamon. Lay out the crescent roll sheets and cut each tube into four squares.

King Cake Cupcakes

Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture onto the squares (divide it evenly until there’s no more).

King Cake Cupcakes

Add about 1-1.5 Tbsp of filling to each square. Try to spread it longways.

King Cake Cupcakes

Roll up each square longways (hot dog style). Pinch the edges together. Fold the left side over the middle, then fold the right side over the left. You’ll end up with what looks like a cinnamon bun. Place it in the cupcake pan.

King Cake Cupcakes

When you have all the rolls in the pan, cover the pan with foil. Bake at 375* for ~12 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking another 12 minutes. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan before removing them.

King Cake Cupcakes

While they are cooling, make the glaze. Combine all ingredients for the glaze in a bowl. When the cupcakes have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cupcakes. I put wax paper under the cooling rack they’re on because the glaze drips down. Add sprinkles of your choice!

King Cake Cupcakes
King Cake Cupcakes

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

This past week was homecoming week at the school where I teach. If you are unfamiliar with homecoming in Texas, then you have no idea what I’m talking about. All non-Texans can refer to this article. Yes, that really happens and no, I can’t explain why. All I know is that I had to spend an entire day listening to bells and whistles and looking at glitter, gold, and miles of ribbon. Everything is bigger in Texas. We have theme days each day as well to build up school spirit. We don’t mess around. With that said, high school football, homecoming, and a cool front officially ushered in fall. I usually get a constant stream of requests for pumpkin cupcakes once October hits. As I was baking a batch of pumpkin spice cupcakes this week, I realized I had yet to try paleo pumpkin spice cupcakes. A couple days later and I fixed that issue! I’m really trying to provide more flavors for the gluten free crowd, so if you have any suggestions please let me know!

Paleo Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes
Paleo Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes

Paleo Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes (~10 cupcakes)

  • 1 c. almond flour
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 2 Tbsp. arrowroot powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 c. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 c. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1- 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350* and line your cupcake pan. Whisk together the flours, arrowroot, baking soda, and spices. With an electric mixer, mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil, honey, and vinegar until well combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Fold in chocolate chips (the chocolate chips I use are dairy/gluten free). Bake at 350* for 20 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test.

Paleo Pumpkin Cupcakes

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp. honey

Whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. In a separate bowl, whip the cream cheese until smooth. Add the maple syrup and honey to the cream cheese, mix until combined. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese and mix until combined. Frost your cupcakes, and sprinkle with a cinnamon/nutmeg mixture.

Paleo Pumpkin Cupcakes

 

Cookie Dough Cupcakes

I think we all know most people (/girls) have a board on pinterest dedicated solely to food. At least one. So when my friend said “something chocolate” for her birthday cupcakes, that’s exactly where I went. I’ve seen variations of Cookie Dough Cupcakes all over the place so I decided those were going to happen. Ironically the friend who these were for ended up getting her wisdom teeth removed and was unable to join us…so she did not get to enjoy her birthday cupcakes. Sorry Michelle. The rest of us enjoyed them though. I decided to try out the cookie dough frosting, mainly because I had my doubts about it actually tasting like cookie dough. Trust me…I have years of experience tasting cookie dough. But this frosting was fantastic. Sure, it’ll put you into a sugar coma, but isn’t that what we’re looking for in a cupcake? Because the frosting is so sweet, I think a chocolate cupcake is definitely needed to balance it out. I also use coarse sea salt instead of regular table salt, and it definitely added something to these. I made these chocolate cupcakes and added chocolate chips to the batter before baking.

Cookie Dough Cupcakes
Cookie Dough Cupcakes

Cookie Dough Frosting (~24 cupcakes)

  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/4 c. butter
  • 3/4 c. light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp. milk (plus more depending on the consistency you want)
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 c. mini chocolate chips

Cream together the cream cheese and butter. Add the brown sugar, vanilla, and flour. Add the milk. Gradually add the powdered sugar, adding more milk if necessary. Finally add the chocolate chips.

If you have a pastry tip large enough, you can pipe the frosting without the chocolate chips getting stuck. If not, then you have to frost your cupcakes the old fashioned way!

Margarita Cupcakes

I think this is the first week all summer that we’re supposed to have rain. We definitely need it, but it sure does put a damper on my pool time. Since we can’t lounge out in the sun, we can at least continue the summer activities by enjoying margarita cupcakes. I’ve been meaning to post these for awhile now. I first made these when someone just offhandedly asked if I could make a margarita cupcake (of course I said sure). I was honestly surprised at the response I got to these. Citrus is just one of the flavors that people LOVE or they’re not crazy about. I expected people to like these, but I didn’t really consider them “favorite” material. You know what I mean by “favorite”- red velvet, salted caramel, flavors that people just love. But these were very well received and are requested often. In my opinion the lime curd filling is what makes the cupcake, it would not be as good without it. “Curd” has to be one of my least favorite words by the way. These are light, fluffy cupcakes with a kick of lime and tequila and definitely a summer cupcake!

Margarita Cupcakes
Margarita Cupcakes

Margarita Cupcakes (~24 cupcakes)

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 limes, zested and juiced
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 c. buttermilk
  • 4 Tbsp tequila

Preheat oven to 350* and line your cupcake tin. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs to the butter mixture one at a time. Beat in lime zest, vanilla, and tequila. With the mixer on low, alternately add in the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture.  Fill tins about 2/3 full and bake for ~22 minutes , or until they pass the toothpick test.

Lime Curd Filling

  • Zest of 4 limes
  • 1 c. lime juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs + 2 egg yolks

In a medium saucepan, stir together the lime zest, juice and sugar and bring to a simmer over medium heat. In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and egg yolks. Whisk the lime mixture into the eggs to temper them. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan and place over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.

Margarita Cupcakes

Tequila Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 8 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Tequila

Cream the cream cheese and tequila together. Add the powdered sugar one cup at a time. You can add milk or water to thin out the frosting to the consistency you need. Fill the cupcakes with the lime curd filling, and then frost them. Garnish with lime zest, or those white sugar crystals (because they look like salt around a marg glass!).

Margarita Cupcakes