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

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

Bachelorette Party Cake

Disclaimer: I started writing this post last weekend and just got around to finishing it today. Instead of changing what I wrote…you got this disclaimer.

This was officially my last week of summer before I head back to work on Monday, and I spent a good part of it baking. I really know how to live it up. But one of my orders was a bachelorette cake and it seemed like a fun order. Out of the 5+ bachelorettes I’ve had to plan/attend in the past year, I never had to make a corset cake. So of course when I was asked if I could do one, I said sure. I was given a couple of pictures to go off of, and was told the colors were “neon”. I like neon (that may or may not be how I decorated my classroom this year).

First thing to do was bake the cake. They wanted red velvet, so I made a rectangular red velvet cake. I usually bake cakes that need to be cut into a shape a day earlier than I normally would. This is because I freeze the cake after baking. Wrap it up in several layers of saran wrap and stick it in the freezer. Sometimes this requires some creative rearranging of my freezer. I leave the cake in there overnight and finish it the next day.

It makes me happy when a cake rises so evenly.
It makes me happy when a cake rises so evenly.

I draw out the design on paper before I take a knife to the cake. If it’s a little more complicated, I’ll draw it out on cardboard and then cut out the shape. Then you have a stencil to use. This was a pretty simple design, so I just did it freehand.

Step 1: Done.
Step 1: Done.

That’s the hardest step! All that’s left is icing on the cake. Pun intended. Make sure to brush away all excess crumbs before you start frosting.

Step 2: Frost entire cake.
Step 2: Frost entire cake.

For the rest of the decorating, I just went off one of the pictures she sent me and made up whatever I thought looked good. This is where all those years of note taking doodles come in handy…I can’t tell you how many swirls I’ve drawn over the years. I had some sprinkles that looked like pearls and used those to accent the frosting design.

Bachelorette Cake
Step 3: Add details.
Bachelorette Cake
Step 4: Admire and eat cake.

Odd how the pink looks a different shade in each picture. But I assure you, it was bright (first picture is probably the most accurate). This cake was definitely fun to make!

Baking for a Wedding

I am REALLY slacking on posts here. Actually I just missed last week, for which I have a semi-decent excuse. This past week I was baking for a wedding. This totaled out to 300+ cupcakes, a cake for the couple to cut into, and a groom’s cake. Needless to say…I spent a good 72 hours baking. Normally I would have at least one good freak out pop up in there, but I somehow managed to get it all done without a covered-in-frosting-meltdown. Even when this happened.

Worst nightmare.
Worst nightmare.

I think I might have been in denial that there was a chance I’d have to bake another cake. Flipping large cakes out of the pan gives me a heart attack. Every time. Mainly because this can happen. However, I fixed it and no one ever knew the difference (Until now.) This was the final product- a duck hunting themed cake. They had fun with the duck call after cutting it at the reception. For those of you who don’t watch Duck Dynasty, “Happy, happy, happy” is a quote from that show that the bride thought of to write on the cake.

Groom's Cake
Groom’s Cake

For the bride’s “cake”, we did four flavors of cupcakes. The bride happened to be one of my friends and also one of my main taste testers. The original list of flavors she gave me was about eight flavors long and I had to tell her to cut it back. We settled on strawberry, brown sugar pound cake, red velvet, and chocolate- covering her favorites, crowd favorites, and chocolate since the groom’s cake was funfetti (his favorite.) I also made a smaller cake for them to cut into- can’t skip that tradition! Cutting into a cupcake just isn’t very exciting.

Lovebirds.
Lovebirds.

Bride's Cake Bride's Cake Bride's Cake

I loved getting to be a part of this couple’s wedding. Seeing happy customers makes me happy, and this picture pretty much says it all!

She stole a cupcake before the ceremony even started.
She stole a cupcake before the ceremony even started.

New Year, New Goals

Holy cow I almost forgot to write a post today. I wish I could say I was busy doing other things…but honestly I woke up, ran 8 miles, then sat around watching the Texans and the Game of Thrones all day. Even with heads being cut off, Game of Thrones was easier to watch than the Texans.

Word Press kindly notified me that it was my blog-iversary. Good thing I’m not in a real relationship, I can’t even remember when I started my own blog. It’s hard to think it’s been a whole year. I started the year as a fitness specialist and ended it as a high school science teacher. I catered 4 (FOUR!) weddings, along with bridesmaiding in 5 weddings and attending a few others. I ran a half marathon in Disney World with awesome friends, and ran my second full marathon. I competed in my first CrossFit competition…and then another. I got my sixth teaching certification (really- whatever you want, I can teach it to you). I’ve been trying to work on my goals for 2013 and have been having some major difficulty. By the way, if you haven’t set your own goals- you should. Resolutions…whatever. We all know those don’t stick. But you really should sit down and figure out what you want from life. I’m not quite sure what all I want to accomplish in the next year, but I know 2013 will hold big things!

My Christmas present from my brother. He said I could make it my baking mask- apparently I don't like to disturbed when in the kitchen!
My Christmas present from my brother. He said I could make it my baking mask- apparently I don’t like to disturbed when in the kitchen!

With that said, I ended 2012 catering a wedding. The bride wanted cupcakes for her cake (luckily for me). As for the groom’s “cake”, the bride had seen what I had done with Kyle Field stadium and wanted that but with a twist. The bride is an Aggie, the groom from LSU. We’re talkin’ about a split stadium/house divided here. So that’s exactly what I did. Divided the stadium in half and decorated the cake balls accordingly. It took me 4 days total to do all the baking, but it honestly wasn’t too bad. Pays to plan people.

Gumpaste hearts to top the cupcakes
Gumpaste hearts to top the cupcakes
They still wanted a cake to cut into, so I made a 6" round cake for them.
They still wanted a cake to cut into, so I made a 6″ round cake for them.
Aggie side
Aggie side
LSU side
LSU side
The bride made the "cake" sign- adorable!
The bride made the “cake” sign- adorable!
House divided
House divided
Mmmmmm cake pops.
Mmmmmm cake pops.
3 flavors of cupcakes: red velvet, brown sugar pound cake, and lemon
3 flavors of cupcakes: red velvet, brown sugar pound cake, and lemon
Love the vintage look of the stand.
Love the vintage look of the stand.

Happy New Years!!! Don’t forget to figure out some goals!

Red Velvet Cupcake In a Jar

People often ask me what my most popular flavors are. Red velvet is hands down one of my most requested flavors. Don’t get me wrong- I enjoy red velvet as much as the next person, but it surprises me how many people say it’s their favorite. It’s not vanilla, but there’s not enough cocoa in it to consider it chocolate. It’s red because of flavorless colored gel. Back in the day, red velvet got it’s name from a chemical reaction between the buttermilk and vinegar which brought out the red from the cocoa. During World War II, cooks used beets (due to rations) to enhance the color. Hello history lesson. But regardless, people keep coming back for the red velvet.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
I make several orders of these a month. I don’t think people are aware of other flavors.

At some point I had the notion to add a chocolate ganache filling to my red velvet cupcakes. People freaked out. I mean really freaked out. Like they would take a bite and then tell me they would need a moment with the cupcake. I’ve heard a lot of inappropriate responses too, which just makes me laugh. It’s funny what people will say when eating a cupcake. But where I was going with this is that I can’t make a plain red velvet anymore. People have heard about “this cupcake” and they want the “magical center”, that “bite of heaven”. People have actually used those words when ordering cupcakes.

Red Velvet Cupcake
Someone please hand me a spoon.

My friend requested red velvet cupcakes for her birthday. We happen to have a lot of jars on hand for homemade habanero jelly, so I decided to try the whole cupcake in a jar thing. (Note: there were no habaneros near the cupcakes!) Honestly, I think that’s an awesome gift. I went to a wedding where the favor was a cupcake in a jar, and I may or may not have ate the whole thing on the way home. So I decided to make one for the birthday girl. I cut a cupcake in half, then put in one layer, layered some chocolate ganache and cream cheese frosting on next, and then repeated. Two halves didn’t quite fill the jar, so I used another half to finish it off.

Ode to a Cupcake
I found this madlib card that was all about cupcakes. She filled it out after a couple of margs, pretty entertaining.
Birthday Girl
Birthday girl with her cupcake in a jar. Much easier to transport than a cake!

I guarantee you NO ONE would complain if you gave them a cupcake in a jar. Especially if it’s red velvet. But let’s be honest…people are generally happy with whatever flavor you give them.