Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries Recipe

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries Recipe

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries Recipe

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries Recipe

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries Recipe

Well… As of September 13th, I submitted a short story to the Popular Fiction contest held by Reader’s Digest.  Supposedly, I will hear back from them by the end of December. I submitted it in the thriller genre, but it is a bit on the milder side of thriller, I would say. It starts off pretty serene (or it’s supposed to, anyway) and ends-well- badly for all involved. I doubt that submission will yield anything, but hey! It’s fun to try. Wish me luck.

This recipe was REALLY good! You would think that cream cheese in a strawberry wouldn’t have much bang for the buck, but these were outstanding, quick, easy, and a crowd pleaser. Besides, they are so cute and pretty! they are definitely worth trying.

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries (By Fifteen.Spatulas)

1 quart strawberries

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. almond extract

Directions:

  1. Remove stems from strawberries and, using a lemon baller, scoop out a hole from the top of each strawberry

2. Cut a small part of the bottom with a sharp knife to create a flat surface for the strawberries to stand on.
3. Using a hand mixer, mix together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and almond extract until fluffy and light.
4. Into a piping bag lined with a star tip, transfer the cream cheese mixture and pipe the filling into each of the prepared strawberries.

6. Enjoy!

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Butterfingers Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Butterfingers Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Butterfingers Cheesecake Bars Recipe

Well, Junior year started off with a bang. There’s not much of an update in that respect, I guess. I really like all my teachers (yay! That makes school so much more fun!), and the new schedule that the school implemented was a really good idea. I am already used to it and I, quite honestly, love it. I’m in a play, which is also proving to be pretty fun, as my role is small enough that it isn’t stressful at all, but present enough that I get to be part of all the fun and shenanigans. I continue to be awed by the school that it’s hosted by. There were ramen noodles in the drinking fountain… explain that one to me!

I assume you have probably already guessed about what my review is going to say-let’s see- I think I like cream cheese… just a little… alright, maybe love… like, unconditionally… And have I ever mentioned my love for butterfingers? Yes, they have a special place in my heart. Alright, not really, but you get the point. I love these bars! If you’re a fan of candy, these bars are a very rich cross between homemade heaven and candy. They are soft, creamy, chocolatey, peanut-buttery, and absolutely melt in your mouth. Give them a try!

This recipe serves 20 and takes about 1 hour to make.

Yield: 36 small squares

Butterfingers Cheesecake Bars (by Lauren’s Latest):

For the crust
16 whole nutter butter cookies
1/4 cup melted butter

For the filling
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 tablespoon all purpose flour
6 fun size Butterfinger chocolate bars

For the topping
3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons butter

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9×9 square dish with lightly greased foil or parchment and set aside. Grind nutter butter cookies in a food processor until the consistency of graham cracker crumbs. Pour in melted butter and pulse a few times to mix. Press into prepared dish and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, whip cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Stir in egg, vanilla and flour. Finely chop butterfingers and fold into the cheesecake mixture. Pour over top nutter butter crust and bake for 18-22 minutes or until cheesecake has set. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until completely chilled.

3. Pour chocolate chips and butter into a small bowl and microwave , stirring every 20-30 seconds. (If your chocolate is almost melted, don’t put it back into the microwave! Just keep stirring- the residual heat will continue to melt the chocolate completely) Spread melted chocolate over the top of the bars evenly and place back into the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to harden the chocolate.

4. Remove from refrigerator and using the foil or parchment, remove the entire block of bars from the pan. Cut into bars and serve.

5. Enjoy!

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe

So… if you haven’t figured it out be now, I should tell you the obvious. I love cookie dough and cream cheese. Anything with those two, for me, is bound to be wonderful. This jolly ol’ recipe happens to have BOTH. I know, it’s evil wonderful!!! It is also good for anyone who likes ice cream. It has a bit of a similarity in that it is cold and creamy :) at any rate, as I already mentioned, this pie is creamy, chocolatey, cookie doughy, has a nice Oreo crunchy crust, and is an overall winner. It is also quite rich and, I must admit, a little difficult to get a clean cut piece because the crust is tricky to cut neatly.

I cannot believe that summer is almost over. I feel as if it has just begun! Recently someone asked me if  my summer felt long (because it was also quite busy). I shook my head vigorously and said “noooooo!!!” A little while ago, I was leafing through my planner where I, throughout the school year, I had written down due dates, homework, and tests that I needed to study for. Not to sound snobby or anything, but I am amazed at what I managed to fit into a twenty-four hour day without going insane or dying! That being said, I really loved my freshman year and am looking forward to my sophomore year, which will start in eleven days. Crazy. It is strange how time works. During the school year, it seems slow. At times when it is at a crawl, I think to myself, “At some point, I won’t care what the heck I am doing right now. I won’t care about this upcoming history test when I turn 20. Or 30. Or 40. Or 90.” Well, I realize how much time files when I recognize that the time I was thinking of arrives hand in hand with summer. Already, I could care less about the test over the industrial revolution, the quiz over photosynthesis and cellular respiration, and the 44 slide presentation about Mark Twain that was 200 points (to put this in perspective, my exam was worth 100 points. Anything wrong with that picture???). At one point, I also had a quiz over a quiz. Again: anything wrong with that picture???

Seriously, though, I am super excited for this year! I am going to be in a musical, and continuing with the Astronomy Club that I created. I will also be continuing in a number of other clubs I was in last year. I’ll continue taking piano lessons, and I have many weddings to look forward to in my family! <3 :) I also love to anticipate and guess who will be my teachers this year. I have not gotten my schedule yet, but I am pretty sure I know who my teachers will be. The only thing I am not sure of is homeroom, and I have one that I hope to be put in. If I get into that one, I think I will scream out loud. If I don’t, I will still scream out loud.

P.S. I promise that I don’t talk about school 24/7… It just that, well… It’s immanent. Beware.

Cookie Dough Pie Recipe (from Life, Love and Sugar):

For the Crust:

20-25 oreos

5 Tbsp. butter, melted

For the Cookie Dough:

6 tbsp butter

1/3 cup dark brown sugar

1/8 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 tsp milk

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

For the Filling:

8 oz cream cheese

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup dark brown sugar

8 oz cool whip

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
Directions:

For the pie crust:

1. Crush the oreos into a fine crumb and mix the oreo crumbs with the melted butter.

2. Press into the bottom of a greased 8 or 9 inch pie pan. Set in the freezer while you make the cookie dough.

For the Cookie Dough:

1. Cream the butter, sugar and dark brown sugar. Mix in the vanilla extract. Add the flour and milk and mix thoroughly. The dough will be thick. Last but not least, mix in the chocolate chips.

2. Roll the dough into little balls that are similar in diameter to a nickel.  Freeze the balls of dough while making the filling.

For the Filling:

1. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and brown sugar together with a mixer. Mix until smooth. Carefully and thoroughly fold in the Cool Whip. Stir in a 1/4 cup of chocolate chips and about 3/4 of the frozen cookie dough balls.

2. Pour the filling into the pie crust and top with remaining cookie dough balls and 1/4 cup of chocolate chips.

3. Allow to freeze completely. Set the pie on the counter 5 min before serving (it may be tricky to get the first piece out, but after that, it’s easy as pie :)

4. Enjoy the major comfort food!

Pear Crescent Cookies (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

Pear Crescents (Rugalach) Recipe

When my sister tasted these she said “Oh, wow. They’re like little pies! Geez, they’re so good!” She was eating them before dinner, as was I (naughty, naughty). She was spot on with her comment, except for when she added that they looked somewhat like caterpillars :) Anyway, these cookies really are like miniature pies. The actual crescent is  very pastry-like and the cream cheese in it is another interesting addition that makes it softer. I don’t quite know how to put it, but the cream cheese adds somewhat of a “gentleness” to the taste of the cookie. Maybe it’s just that hint of creaminess that makes it to pleasant to me. :) At any rate, the filling is good too. There is also cream cheese in the filling, along with pears, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE (etc.) pears!!!!

These are not as hard as they look. I’m just putting that out there. There is no cutting butter in for the crescents or weird things that need to be this temperature or dough that needs to be refrigerated. NO. This was one of those recipes that I saw and laughed at when I read the directions. It had all these things that were so complicated, and I knew that it wouldn’t affect the outcome (a.k.a. the cookies’ appearance or taste). Sometimes I get a good kick out of the things that recipes will direct you to do. Needless to say, I wouldn’t usually recommend skipping directions.

Ah. Do you ever wish that days were actually 36 hours long instead of 24 hours long? That’s me right now. I wrote most of this post at 1:30 a.m., so I was desperate for a longer day. It’s not uncommon for me to be up until one or two o’clock in the morning. Of course, then I sleep late, too. I’m no early bird, noooooo sireeeeeeeeeeee… I’m a late owl. My sister is usually my partner in crime in this department. Last summer, we stayed up until 2 o’clock almost every night. When I was really young (imagine me around age 6), I used to wonder how on earth my siblings could sleep for all eternity and HOW, OF ALL THINGS, could they ever want to got to bed?!?!?!?!?!? I understand now… all too well, I think. I’ve had some times this year when the only “equation” I could think of in math class was this: sleep+ infinity number of hours= heaven x life completion. I cannot tell you how many times I have told my sister that I wish I was Sleeping Beauty; not because I would be a princess (although it would be a plus), but because then I could sleep for 100 years on end. I still hold the records in my class for least amount of sleep and waking up the earliest… it’s a bittersweet accomplishment.

Pear c Cookies (Rugalach) Recipe (Adapted from Taste of Home):

(Makes one dozen)

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, divided

1 cups all-purpose flour

one dash of salt

1/2 cup finely diced pear (about one medium)

2 Tbsp. white sugar

1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out one ungreased cookie sheet.

2. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 4 oz. cream cheese until light and fluffy. Combine flour and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside.

3. On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a 12-inch circle. Cut it into 12 wedges. In a small bowl, microwave the other 4 oz. cream cheese until it is easy to spread.Then, spread the cream cheese evenly on each wide end of the crescents. Sprinkle the prepared cinnamon sugar over each crescent evenly. Next, top each crescent with 1 teaspoon of pear (you won’t use the entire 1/2 cup diced pear, just FYI).

4. Roll up, beginning at wide end. Place pointed side down 2 inches apart on baking sheet; curve ends to form a crescent.

5. Bake for 12  minutes, no more. They might not look any different than when you put them in, but trust me… take them out after 12 minutes. If you flip one over, the bottom should be golden brown, or even a tad lighter is fine. Immediately remove to cool.

6. Enjoy! <3

Muffins Recipe (with variations for 20 different flavors)

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Blueberry Muffins Recipe

Peach Muffins Recipe

Peach Muffins Recipe

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe

Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins Recipe (my brother was amusing himself with Scrabble pieces, if you didn’t notice…)

What with school and all, I kept the baking pretty brief. Short and sweet. Literally, sweet. Anyway, muffins are always reliably easy, right? So that’s what I have been making for the past year of my life. Muffins. Oh, the adventures (note the sarcasm). It’s not that I don’t enjoy making muffins, it’s just that I need some time consuming projects every once in a while to quench my constant desire to bake something, ANYTHING. For example, the gingerbread house that I made at Christmas… That put me out of commission for a while!

Anyway, as you can imagine, eating blueberry muffins everyday can get kind of boring. One advantage of that boredom, though, is that I discovered a million different combos and flavors, as well as tweeked the recipe so that the muffins are always very moist, but not simultaneously dry and gooey. There’s a fine line, and I could never seem to find that line until I changed the recipe for the more awesome. :) But like I said, I have the base of the muffin recipe below and you can look under the Note: at the bottom of the post to find the flavor(s) that are a calling your name. Abut the actual muffin base, though… After my modifications, I feel confidant that it is a great one! As I already mentioned, it is perfectly moist (neither gooey nor dry), soft, fluffy, light, and pleasantly sweet (but not sweet to the point of becoming a cupcake).

I’m going through summertime guilt right now. I have summer homework to do, but I keep procrastinating, which is new for me. It just sits on my bedside table, reminding me that I should be doing it, and me stubbornly not wanting to do it. To be honest, there are many things that I want to do (like blog more often!!! I hadn’t realized that my last post was at the beginning of the summer- it feels like I just posted it a week ago!). However, I keep just enjoying, well… stuff. Mostly I’ve been playing the piano (I’m trying to make up for all the lack of practice throughout the school year), reading, training, helping around the homestead, and baking. Also, my brother reminded me to start practicing Mario Kart before he came home so that he would have a good competitor, so I’ve been doing a little bit of that too. :) I hope you all are having a great summer so far, too. More to come, I promise! I just need to put my “butt-eth to the seat-eth” as my sister once told me.

Muffins Recipe (adapted from Betty Crocker):

2 eggs

1/2 cup vegetable oil

12 oz. vanilla yogurt

1/4 cup milk

2 cups flour

1/3 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

turbinado sugar for sprinkling (Optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out two muffins tins (each holding six) or one muffins tin (that holds twelve). Line the tins with paper cups.

2. Mix all of the dry ingredients together. Add all of the wet ingredients together, and then mix. (Do not add some dry and then some wet ingredients. You may think that it won’t make a difference, but it does. Unless you want lumpy muffins, of course, be my guest.)

3. See the note below if you want a unique flavor! Change the recipe according to the directions given below for the flavor you want. Then simply fill the paper cups 3/4 way full and sprinkle them with turbinado sugar.  and bake the muffins for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

4. Take the muffins out of the pan immediately!!! Allow them to cool a little before serving warm.

5. Go, fight, win!

Note:

Flavors (alphabetical order):

1. Apple cider– substitute apple cider for the milk and add 1/3 cup applesauce. Mix these two ingredients into the muffins with the wet ingredients. Continue as instructed.

2. Apple cinnamon-Add 1 tsp. of cinnamon with the dry ingredients. Next, add 1/2 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup chopped applesauce with the wet ingredients. Continue as instructed.

3. Blueberry– add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries after all of the ingredients have been mixed together. Continue as instructed.

4. Blueberry lemon/orange-substitute the milk for 1/4 cup orange juice or lemon juice. Add the latter juice with the wet ingredients. Add 1 cup blueberries after all of the ingredients have been mixed. Continue as instructed.

5. Blueberry/Strawberry cinnamon– add 1 tsp. of cinnamon with the dry ingredients. After all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1 cup of fresh or frozen blueberries or 1 cup of chopped, fresh strawberries. Continue as instructed.

6. Butter pecan– after all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1/2 cup chopped pecans. Bake as instructed. Immediately remove the muffins from the pan and roll them in melted butter. Allow to cool and eat!

7. Cherry almond– add 1/2 tsp. almond extract with the wt ingredients and add 1 cup dried cherries. Continue as instructed.

8. Chocolate chip– after all of the ingredient been mixed, add 1 cup chocolate chips. Continue as instructed.

9. Cinnamon chip– after all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1 cup cinnamon chips (Hershey’s is the brand). Continue as instructed.

10. Coconut pineapple– substitute the milk for pineapple juice (mix it in with the wet ingredients). After all of the ingredients have been mixed, add 1 cup coconut. Continue as instructed.

11. Eggnog– substitute the yogurt and milk for 3/4 cup eggnog. Continue as instructed.

12. Lemon poppyseed– substitute the milk for 1/4 cup lemon juice. Add 1 tbsp. poppy seeds. Continue as instructed.

13. Oatmeal raisin– add 1 cup oatmeal and 1/2 cup raisins with the dry ingredients. Continue as instructed.

14.  Orange chocolate chip– add 2 tbsp. orange extract or substitute the milk for orange juice (mix with the wet ingredients). Next, mix in 1 cup chocolate chips. Continue as instructed.

15. Peach– add 1 cup chopped peaches with the wet ingredients… Before baking, sprinkle the tops of the muffins batter with cinnamon along with the turbinado sugar. Bake as instructed.

16. Pumpkin– (click here for recipe)

17. Raspberry (lemon)– for raspberry lemon, add 2 tbsp. lemon juice with the wet ingredients. Increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. After all of the ingredients have been mixed, GENTLY fold 1 cup of raspberries into the batter (this is important, otherwise you will end up with purple muffins. This is a voice of experience talking… ).  Continue as instructed.

18. Rhubarb– increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. Add 1 cup chopped rhubarb. Continue as instructed.

19. Strawberry– add 1 cup fresh, chopped strawberries. Continue as instructed.

20. Strawberry Pretzel– add 1 cup fresh, chopped strawberries. Spoon the batter into the cups as instructed and set aside (do not bake, yet). In a separate bowl, melt 1/4 cup butter and mix in 2 tbsp. sugar. Add 1/2 cup crushed pretzels. Sprinkle this topping over the batter in the cups. Gently press it into the muffin, but don’t mix it in. It should still be on the top. Bake as instructed.

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies Recipe

You have to  trust me on this one- they’re not the prettiest cookies on the planer but they are SO GOOD! The apple butter gives the cookies their great and unusual (for a cookie) flavor. The apple flavor is gently and sweetly complemented by the butter-y brown sugar taste of the actual cookies. Oh yeah- this recipe has cream cheese!  I realized just a moment ago, after a quick calculation, that about 20% of my blog posts contain cream cheese. Sorry about that… I guess I just love cream cheese too much. :)

Anyway, my cousin came for a visit this weekend and she was very enthusiastic about making some things that I could post on my blog. So, she, my sister, and I baked three things to take pictures of and post and made one thing already on my blog. It was a baking frenzy and so much fun! And it just felt good to make something fall-ish. I’m SOOO excited for fall! Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but fall is a good time of year too. The air is cool and crisp and the landscape seems to be bursting with color! That’s my personal heaven.  I’m not one for the heat. In the summer, I seem to become a nocturnal creature if it means avoiding heat.

Apple Butter Whoopie Pies (adapted from Mrs. Fields):

For the Cookies:

2 1/2 cups flour

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

For the Filling:

1 1/2 pkgs. (12 oz.) cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup apple butter

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out two ungreased cookie sheets.

2. In a bowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and eggs together until smooth. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix together on a low speed until just combined.  Be sure not to over mix the dough.

3.  Roll the dough into marble sized balls (or regular sized if you want. I do a mix) and bake for 10-12 minutes. DO NOT BROWN THE COOKIES. Allow them to cool for several minutes until they have firmed up and can be removed with a spatula.

4. In a medium bowl, beat all of the filling ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate for 10 minutes if you think the filling is too runny.  Spread filling on the bottom of one cooled cookie and top with another cookie to create a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of the cookies. Refrigerate until served.

5. Serve on a nice fall day… or, in my case, any day of the year. :)

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies Recipe

This one was a package deal. Not only did I get to make some fun cookies, but I also got to enjoy a fun afternoon of going to a convenience store a few times. Literally, I went twice and I had fun both times. Alright, so here’s how it started off… when I decided to make these cookies  the other day and the time came for me to fill the cookies, I realized that I had no powdered sugar. So, I persuaded my sister to drive me to a convenience store roughly two minutes away. Let me tell you that that store has anything and everything. It has, many times, been a life saver for me because an essential or two ingredient ran out during the making of a new recipe. Many times, my family will debate if they carry something and resolve to calling them and finding out that, yes… of course they carry it. Anyway, my sister and I got some powdered sugar and brought it up to the register. The woman there was very friendly and asked me what I was making. I told her about the cookies. She laughed and jokingly asked us to drop a few off as she would be there for a little while yet.  When I got home, I finished making the cookies and smiled. My sister loaded a few cookies on a plate and we went back to the store to give her some cookies. :) Unfortunately, she wasn’t there anymore, but we asked someone to give them to her, along with one of my business cards. My sister and I were smiling for the rest of the afternoon. Some things just make me feel happy. :)

One thing that I had to laugh about with these cookies is that the directions said to drizzle the chocolate over the cookies. True, yes… but in the picture they had obviously piped the chocolate on. It was totally a “Hey look at this! This drizzle is perfectly round and beautiful! You can do it too!” Not without piping it on, no! No way! So instead I followed the directions that the picture gave me… I piped the chocolate on instead of drizzling it on. The other thing was that the directions were way way WAY overly complicated (it was really funny, actually). Anyway, the cookies were very good. The cookie is a butter-y shortbread base and the filling is… well… it’s cream cheese filling(!!!). If you’ve read any of my posts, then you know that that is an instant love for me! The chocolate was an excellent complement to the creamy filling and the cookies were, over-all, excellent treats. They were the perfect sweetness for a cookie and were very snack-able and snitch-able. :)

Cream Cheese Thumb Print Cookies (from TasteofHome Cookies):

For the Cookies:

2/3 cup butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

For the Filling:

6 oz. cream cheese

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

2 tbsp. flour

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Drizzle/Piping:

3/4 cup milk chocolate chips

3 tbsp. butter, softened or melted

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out two greased cookie sheets.

2. For the Cookies: In abowl fitted to an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the egg and vanilla and beat well until smooth. Slowly mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until thoroughly combined. Roll the dough into tablespoon sized balls and flatten the balls slightly with the palm of your hand to make a fat disc. Bake the cookies for 8-10 minutes or until the edges of the cookies just start to turn golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately make a large indent in the cookies with your thumb or make a thumb-sized indentation with the end of a wooden spoon handle.

3. For the Filling: In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and flour together until smooth. Fill the cookies with about 1 or 2 tsp. of filling each.

4. For the Drizzle/Piping: In the microwave, melt the chocolate and stir until smooth. Add the butter and microwave a little bit more if it has to melt some more. Stir until well combined and drizzle or pipe the topping over the cookies.

5. Serve with a smile.

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe

I think that the past two days (July 24th and 25th) were the nicest summer days yet (at least in my area). There was a cool breeze, but  it was still pleasantly warm… the perfect combo! It was nice not to have one of those beastly hot days where I go outside and instantly feel like I was poached in my own sweat. Ick!!! We’ve also had plenty of rain, and let me tell you that I’m absolutely loving that! I think that one of my favorite things to do is to sit and watch a thunderstorm. They’re just so awesome!!! My favorite kind of thunderstorms are the ones where I look up toward the sky and I see those big, puffy, periwinkle-blue storm clouds ahead; then there’s a breeze, and best of all, the smell of rain. It’s probably the best smell ever to be in existence.

Alright, so I guess at this point you’re wondering if the weather talk ties in at all. Well, originally, I was going to say that the perfect summer day calls for the perfect summer dessert. :) I was never really looking for a recipe with rhubarb until I had a ton of leftover rhubarb from making pie. I literally had enough to make another  pie, but, of course, I didn’t want to wear out the eaters on rhubarb pie. :) So, I poked around and found this recipe in a cookbook that my Mom gave me last year. I had to give my mom a good tease because when I told her that I wanted to make these bars, she was very hesitant. She thought that no one would be able to taste the rhubarb, but she didn’t know that the recipe called for four cups of rhubarb… with that, everyone would be able to distinguish it’s great flavor! Well, when everyone dug in, she was the first one to say that the bars were fabulous. I totally agree with that statement. The crust is a butter-y shortbread and the creamy, flavorful, custard filling makes the whole thing delightfully gooey. The cream cheese frosting tasted great (how could it not? It has cream cheese!!!)  and was nice and fluffy. It was a nice finish to a perfect summer day!

Rhubarb Custard Bars Recipe (adapted from TasteofHome Cookies):

For the Crust:

2 cups flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup cold butter

For the Custard Filling:

2 cups sugar

7 tbsp. flour

1 cup vanilla yogurt

3 eggs

4 cups chopped rhubarb (about 1/2 inch pieces)

1 cup chopped strawberries

For the Frosting:

6 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out one greased 13×9 inch pan.

2. For the Crust: Mix the flour and sugar together in a medium bowl. Cut in the butter and mix it with your hands until it is a course, crumbly mixture. Press the dough into the prepared 13×9 inch pan and bake it for 15 minutes before removing it from the oven. The dough will not appear golden brown or done baking at all, but definitely take it out after 15 minutes because it will bake some more later. :) There is no need to cool the crust.

3. For the Custard Filling: In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, yogurt, and eggs until smooth. Add the chopped rhubarb and strawberries and mix well. Gently pour it into the 13×9 inch pan, on top of the baked crust. Continue to bake the bars for 45 minutes or until the custard has set and the edges turn golden brown. Allow the pan to cool for half an hour before moving it to the refrigerator to cool completely.

4. For the Frosting: Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream. When the bars are fully cooled, spread the frosting over the top of the bars.

5. Serve and enjoy the taste of summer!

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe

I have been looking for a good peanut butter pie recipe for ever. No matter what recipe I found or looked at, none of the pies seemed quite right… even this one (adapted from LoveThatFood.com) had to be tweeked a little by some random teenager called Katy. :) Anyway, other than some fixed proportions, I didn’t have to change much. I just thought that… hm… perhaps it would be best if the crust covered the bottom and the sides of the pie plate instead of sparsely coating the bottom.

For me, this recipe hits two birds with one stone. Cream cheese and peanut butter! Could it get much better??? I’ve been craving peanut butter lately and ever since my uncle mentioned peanut butter pie to me I knew that I had to get my hands on a recipe! I have found that I’ve been getting better at finding good recipes online whereas when I first started, I came across many bum recipes. The key is not to focus on the presentation of the dessert… look for goo. Look for messy. And make sure you like the taste of the ingredients. :)

This pie was a hit. My family devoured all but one tiny slice of pie which no one could manage to squeeze in. My sister, after one bite, said “Put this pie on the favorites list.” So, I guess I should respect by elders and obey… what a bummer (NOT!!!!!!!!!). Anyway, the peanut butter pie was very soft, creamy, flavorful, and the oreos added a great crunch to contrast the fluffy, pudding-y filling.

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

2 1/4 cups double stuf oreo cookies crumbs (about 20 cookies)

7 tbsp. white sugar

7 tbsp. butter, melted

For the Filling:

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup sugar

1 tbsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup heavy whipping cream

For the Topping (optional):

1/4 (12 oz.) bags milk chocolate chips (melted), grated chocolate, or oreo cookie crumbs

Directions:

1. For the Crust: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and set out one pie plate. In a small mixing bowl, mix the crushed oreos, butter, and sugar together until well combined. Press the mixture into the pie plate and bake it for ten minutes. Remove the pie from the oven and, if the crust has sunken to the bottom of the plate, use a spoon to re-press the crust (while it’s hot) to the pan. Allow it to cool completely.

2. For the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, mix all of the filling ingredients (except the whipping cream) together by hand until smooth. In a separate bowl fitted to an electric mixer, whip the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until well combined. Pour the filling into the cooled pie plate and place the pie in the freezer (no worries, the pie does not get hard in the slightest… it gets chilled but remains soft. That’s how mine was even after I left mine in the freezer for several hours!).

3. For the Topping (optional): Melt the chocolate chips and use a fork to drizzle the melted chocolate over the pie; return the pie to the freezer until it is served. OR sprinkle the grated chocolate over the pie before returning it to the freezer. OR sprinkle the oreo crumbs over the pie before returning it to the freezer.

4. For the Eating: This part is fairly self-explanatory, I think… :)

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe

This recipe was another one of my tests. The first time I made it I used a different filling and it turned out super runny. Of course, everyone was saying “Katy this is so good! It’s not a good pie if it isn’t gooey!” I had a hard time trying to explain to them that there is a fine line between gooey and runny. I just didn’t think that I should have to serve pie in a bowl… :) And, as usual, I have my summer-time pie fever. Something about making pies is just so fun to me… they are, by far, my favorite baked goods to make.

This recipe is based off of a family favorite (apple crumble pie. See my post on it!) from the Devil’s Food Cookbook, but I switched out the apple pie filling for a blueberry pie filling by Betty Crocker. The pie got rave reviews and the best thing is that, for all you people out there who hate rolling out pie crusts, this crust recipe is a piece of cake or, more literally, easy as pie. Anyway, the crust has almost a creamy flavor (hence the cream cheese I guess…) and is matched well by the crumb topping. The filling complements both, of course, and knowing that it’s a blueberry filling, I don’t suppose that much could go wrong with it. :) The lemon frosting is a nice touch of zing (but not at all overpowering) and is the perfect finishing touch to the decadence.

Blueberry Crumble Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

4 0z. (1/2 package) cream cheese

For Filling:

4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. butter

 For Crumb Topping:

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 cup flour

1/2 cup (1 stick)  butter

For Glaze:

1/2 cup powder

2-3  tsp. lemon juice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and grease a 9 inch pie plate.

2. For crust: In a medium bowl, cut the butter into the flour with a knife . Using your hands or a pastry cutter, mix the butter-flour mixture to a coarse mixture. Add the cream cheese and continue mixing with your hands until a soft dough forms. Press the dough into the prepared pie plate.

3. For the Filling: Combine all of the filling ingredients except for the lemon juice and butter. Pour the filling into the pie plate and dot the butter on top before sprinkling the lemon juice over the filling.

5. For the Crumb Topping: Mix all of the ingredients except for the butter together in a small bowl. Cut the butter in and use a pastry cutter to make a crumbly mixture. Spread all of the crumble mixture over the pie and make sure that you cover all of the pie’s edges. You should not be able to see any filling.

6. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet and bake for ten minutes. Then reduce the oven’s heat to 325 degrees and bake for 50-60 more minutes or until the crumble topping starts to turn a light golden brown. Allow the pie to cool.

7. Mix the powdered sugar and the lemon juice. Start off adding less lemon juice than suggested. Keep adding juice until the frosting is thin enough to drizzle. Be careful not to make it too thin, however, or the frosting will just soak in and the pie will not look as pretty.

8. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream… on a plate, not in a bowl. :)

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe

This recipe (adapted from Glorious Treats) is reeeeeeeeeeeally good! When I saw it, I thought that it was just going to be a sort of cheesecake that someone opted to call a pie. Not so! Here’s where the difference comes in: it isn’t baked at all. It has no eggs, less cream cheese, and it actually is a cream cheese pie.  In fact, the pie has more sweetened condensed milk than cream cheese. Anyway,  back to the taste. This recipe is summer-y, sweet, savory, gooey, creamy, crunchy, butter-y… and just about everything else. The crust is what adds the nice crunchy, butter-y flavor and the filling is creamy, gooey, and has some zing from the lemon. The strawberry sauce adds the summer-y factor. Is there any better way to be reminded of summer than to eat a strawberry garnished slice of cream cheese pie?

When I finished taking pictures of the pie, everyone dug in… except for my brothers, who were in their bedroom playing a well-loved game called The Settlers of Catan. So, my sister and I took the opportunity to play a prank (it was especially fun since one of my brothers is absolutely crazy about strawberries). We left two slices for our brothers and hid them. When they finished their game and came to get a serving of pie, I told them that it was gone. “What?!?” my strawberry-loving brother exclaimed. My sister and I exchanged a grin and I went to retrieve their pie slices. Oh the fun of baking!

Cream Cheese Pie Recipe:

For the Crust:

2 cups finely crushed graham crackers

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted

3 tbsp. sugar

For the Filling:

1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature

1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 (about 1 lemon) cup fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Strawberry Sauce:

1 pint strawberries, divided

4 tbsp. sugar

2 1/2 tsp. corn starch

3 tbsp. water

Directions:

1. For the Crust: Set out an ungreased 9 inch pie plate and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the graham crackers, butter, and sugar together until well combined. Then press the mixture into the pie plate and bake the crust for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Allow the crust to cool completely.

2. For the Filling: In a small bowl, mix the ingredients for the filling together with a whisk or a fork until smooth. Pour the filling into the cooled graham cracker crust and refrigerate the pie for about 3 hours or until it has set up.

3. For the Strawberry Sauce: In a blender, blend the water and half of the strawberries. Strain the strawberry-water mixture. Next, in a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Whisk the mixture as you slowly add add the strained strawberry juice so that there are no lumps. Heat mixture to a boil and boil about 1 minute.  Remove the sauce from the stove. Slice the rest of the strawberries into pea sized pieces and add it to the strawberry sauce. Allow the sauce to cool in the refrigerator until it is ready to be used.

4. Top your slice with the strawberry sauce and yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum! Ah, the taste of summer!

Ooey Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe

This is my family’s go-to classic. Whenever a guest comes to our house and we can’t decide what they would like, we end up making this recipe (bingo!).  You can never go wrong with something called “Ooey-Gooey Bars” . :) This recipe is super easy to whip up as well as tasty. The crust is nice and buttery and tastes like (actually it literally is) a cake and I love the cream cheese top that makes it ooey and gooey… these bars are sweet, savory, and simple. :)

Ooey-Gooey Bars Recipe:

For the Crust:

1 box yellow cake mix

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened

1 egg

For the Filling:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

2 eggs

1 lb. ( 3 1/2 cups) powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out a greased 13×9 inch pan.

2. In a medium mixing bowl, hand (litterally… use your hands) mix the butter, cake mix, and egg until the butter and egg is well incorporated and the cake mix it like a dough. Pat the dough into the prepared pan and set aside.

3. For the filling: With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and SLOWLY mix so you don’t get a mushroom cloud of sugar in your kitchen. (This may have happened to me one time, so I’m kind of speaking from experience:) Pour the mixture over the unbaked crust.

4. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cream cheese just starts to turn a golden brown. A knife will never come out clean, so don’t even think about using it… there’s a reason that they’re called Ooey-Gooey Bars. Allow them to cool.

5. Gobble up (and horizontally as well, I guess)!

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe

This recipe, Patriotic Perfection Pudding (by katydidbakeit, adapted from a recipe from a cookbook that I borrowed, so I don’t know who to cite), was a huge hit in my family and my Dad said that it’s one of his favorites. I love the crunchy, nutty, buttery crust and the creamy, pudding-like cream cheese filling and the final touch of home-made blueberry pie filling and cherry pie filling. The recipe calls for canned cherry pie filling, but I thought that the blueberry pie filling was SO good on the top layer that it made the canned cherry pie filling taste home-made as well… so you can get great taste the cheaters way!

The original recipe calls for just canned blueberry pie filling, but here’s how it got patriotic: I had only half of the amount of blueberries I needed for the home-made pie filling, which was not nearly enough to cover a 9×13 inch pan. At this point, I remembered a can of cherry pie filling that had been in our cupboard for over a year and had still not met it’s expiration date. Bingo! So that’s what I used. After I finished making the pudding, I remarked on the red and blue top with the white filling… hence, the patriotic in the name that my sister suggested. Also the original recipe called itself blueberry pie. What a ridiculous name! It’s not pie! I had almost passed over the ultimate recipe, thinking: “Not another blueberry pie recipe!” So that’s why I re-named it. :) Anyway, enjoy!

Patriotic Perfection Pudding Recipe:

For Crust:

1 cup flour

1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter

1 cup chopped pecans

For Creamy Layer:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 (8 oz.) package cool whip

1/2 cup butter

1 (16 0z.) box powdered sugar

1 tsp. lemon juice

For Pie Filling Layer:

 2 1/4 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed and drained if frozen)

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup flour

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 (21 oz.) can Comstock classic cherry pie filling

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and set out an ungreased 13×9 inch pan. Arrange the oven wrack in the center of the oven.

2. For the Crust: In a small pot, melt the butter. Remove the pan from the heat and add the flour and the chopped pecans. Mix well and pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 33-37 minutes or until golden brown and the mixture is not bubbling as much as it was before… mind you it will still be bubbling some and it might slide around in the pan a bit when you remove it from the oven. Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool in the refrigerator until thoroughly cold and stiff. Meanwhile, do the next steps.

3. For the Pie Filling Layer: Mix the blueberries, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and lemon juice in a medium pot and cook over medium heat until it is about the consistency of canned pie filling (thick). Set aside and allow to cool in the refrigerator. Open the can of cherry pie filling and set aside.

4. For the Creamy Layer: In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients (except for the cool whip) until smooth. Then fold the cool whip in until thoroughly  mixed in. Spread the mixture over the cooled crust and allow to cool in the refrigerator until the cream cheese layer has stiffened, about 20 minutes.

5. Pour the blueberry pie filling over the cream cheese layer. Swirl the canned cherry pie filling with the blueberry pie filling to get pretty blue-red swirls for presentation. Refrigerate until served.

6. Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm(etc.)

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe

Well, this is officially my first ever recipe that is MINE. MINE MINE MINE. :) Do you think I’m excited? I used a base recipe but made many changes on the first go, including the portions of the sugar, eggs, filling, frosting, and many other ingredients in the cupcakes. I also changed the flavor and texture of the frosting and the flavor of the cupcakes. Of course, I was debating about  my Lenten resolution to not eat sweets… but how would I know if I had put in too much or too little flavoring if I couldn’t even taste it? That would make things difficult. Well, I figured that God would understand… and I don’t think that he will condemn me to fry for eternity in my afterlife just because I had a snitch of cupcake batter. :)

Anyway, I thought that these little treats were very good. The cupcakes were bursting with orange  flavor and the filling was a nice contrasting surprise. The frosting was great too- it was soft and a great final fruity touch to the cupcakes. Not everyone thinks of orange and blueberry as a must-try first fruit combination but I thought that the two flavors tasted VERY good together! I would really appreciate it if you would maybe give it a try and please please give me some feedback on the first dessert that I have ever invented. :)

Blueberry-Orange Cupcakes Recipe:

For Cupcakes:

2 cups plus 2 tbsp. sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

4 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

2 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. orange extract

3 cups flour

3 tsp. baking powder

1 1/4 tsp. salt

For Filling:

2 cups fresh blueberries (or 1 cup frozen, drained+thawed)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. orange extract

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 tsp. salt

For Frosting:

1/2 cup shortening

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1 lb (4 cups) powdered sugar

2 1/2 tsp. orange extract

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups OR grease the muffin tins generously.

2. In an electric mixer,  cream the butter, sugar, eggs + egg yolks, cream cheese, vanilla, and orange extract until smooth. Add the other ingredients and mix until well incorporated. Fill each muffin cup 3/4 of the way full and bake for 16-19 minutes or until an inserted toothpick or knife comes out clean. (Yes, the filling doesn’t go in yet. I know it’s surprising, but you’ll see how it comes together later.) Allow to cool to room temperature.

3. In a small pan, mix all of the filling ingredients together and cook over medium heat until a thick consistency (about the consistency of canned pie filling). Allow it to cool in the refrigerator until it is thoroughly chilled. It is very important that the filling is not warm. Do the next step while the filling cools.

4. With an electric mixer, cream the shortening and butter. Add the sugar, orange extract, vanilla, and milk; beat until smooth.  Put the frosting into a piping bag with a large star tip or set the frosting aside.

5. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut cylinders out of the centers of the cooled cupcakes; save them… do not eat them. :) Spoon the filling into each empty cupcake center and “re-cap” it with the cupcake centers. Frost the cupcakes.

6. Enjoy, and be sure to let me know what you think!

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

Dirt Pudding Recipe

What can you expect a kid like me to say about a recipe like this? YUM! It’s classic, easy, fun, tasty, creamy, soft, crunchy, sweet, (the list goes on and on!) and has the stamp of approval from just about every person I’ve met. Who doen’t like cookies? And cool whip? And cream-cheese-frosting-like substances? And pudding? And candy? And okay-Katy-is-getting-kinda-long-winded? The answer is NO ONE. :) This recipe is satisfyingly gooey and messy to eat, so treat someone (namely yourself) to this quick and easy wormy backyard concoction!

Dirt Pudding Recipe:

1 family sized box (30 0z.) of double stuffed Oreo Cookies, crushed

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1 (12 oz.) package cool whip

1 tsp. vanilla

2  packages (3.4 oz. each) instant vanilla pudding

sour or regular gummie worms (however many you want for the pudding + some to snack on)

3 cups milk

Directions:

1. Set out an ungreased 13×9 inch pan.

2. Spread half of the crushed Oreos on the bottom of the pan. Set aside. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together until smooth. Fold the cool whip in untiul well incorporated. Next spread the mixture carefully over the oreos so that you don’t mix them(I drop small glops of the mixture all over the oreoes so that there is little spreading to do).

3. In another bowl, stir the milk, vanilla pudding mix, and vanilla together with a whisk. Let sit for five minutes before spreading the pudding over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the other half of the crushed Oreos over the pudding and top with sour gummy worms. Refrigerate your dirt and worms concoction for at least three hours before serving.

4. Yay! Chomp! Hearts fly everywhere!

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

Apple Pie Bread Recipe

This bread (adapted from Baked by Rachel) is, well, is it bread or dessert? I can’t decide. :) I’m just kidding, of course, but seriously… this bread is a vision of delectability! It is flavorful, moist, soft, has an excellent, not-gooey but gooey-tasting filling, and a crumb topping that bakes on to make a sort of crumbly, sweet shell. Goodness in a pan. I’m kind of not my talkative (or… writative, in this case) self today, so please excuse the winky little paragraph. Of course, you’re probably so tired of reading my essays about my baking adventures. :) But really, it is very good bread!

Apple Pie Bread Recipe:

For the Bread:

1 3/4 cup flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tbsp. apple pie spice

1 tbps. cinnamon

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup applesauce

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups shredded apples

1 cup chopped apples

For the Filling:

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, warm

1 egg

1/4 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For the Crumb Topping:

2 tbsp. flour

4 tbsp. sugar

1/2 tsp. apple pie spice

2 tbsp. butter, cold

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 loaf pan.

2. To make the bread, mix the egg, vegetable oil, applesauce, and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Add the shredded and chopped apples. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and apple pie spice to the applebattermixture. Stir until well incorporated. Set aside.

3. For the filling, mix all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. For the crumb topping, mix the flour, sugar, and apple pie spice in a small bowl. Cut in the cold butter and mix with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course, pea-sized crumbs.

4. To assemble the loaf, pour just enough of the bread batter into the pan to coat the bottom (i should be about half of the batter) then pour all of the cream cheese mixture on top of it. Pour the remaining bread batter over the cream cheese, making sure that the batter seals the edges and you cannot see any white if you look at the batter directly from above. Next evenly pour all of the crumb topping over the batter.

5. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Let the loaf cool in the pan until you can flip it into your hands which you can use, in turn, to flip the loaf onto a platter crumb-side up. :)

6. Enjoy the any-meal dessert at anytime!

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Muffins Recipe

The history of this recipe: one day, I had the brilliant idea that there should be a muffin with a crumbly top and a cream cheese filling. So I went online, searched for a recipe, and hit raw gold. This recipe (by sweet escape) was, hands down, the best muffin discovery I’ve ever made. These muffins are not only moist, soft, and downright heavenly, but the cream cheese oozed out of them when they were warm and the crumb topping did not make a mess when you tried to eat it as most foods with crumb toppings do. No, it baked on and stayed on. :)

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Muffins:

(Makes about 18 muffins)

For the Muffins:

3 cups all-purpose flour

4 eggs

2 cups white sugar

2 cups pumpkin puree

1¼ cups vegetable oil

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1 tsp. ground cloves

1 tbsp. + 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

For the Filling:

8 oz. (1 pkg.) slightly warm cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

For the Crumb Topping:

1 cup white sugar

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. flour

1 tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 cup (1 stick) cold butter, cubed

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with paper cups or grease lightly.

2. For the muffins,
combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Hand stir the ingredients until well mixed. Then add the rest of the muffin ingredients. Mix well. Set aside.

3. For the filling, combine the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a bowl and
mix well by hand until smooth and thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

4.  For the topping, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon
in a small bowl. Add the cubed butter. Next use a pastry cutter or two knives (I much prefer the pastry cutter) to mix the butter/flour mixture until the mixture resemblesx coarse crumbs. Set aside.

5. Time for the assembly! Cover the bottom of each muffin cup with just enough batter to cover the bottom. Spread some batter up the sides. Drop a sizable glop of cream cheese filling in the center of the muffin cup. Then fill the muffin cup up to the brim with batter and top with the crumb topping (don’t be shy, pile it on- it bakes down). Repeat this step for each muffin.

6. Bake for 18-23 minutes… you should be able to gently tap the muffins with a knife without making an indent. Remove them from the pan immediately.

7. Serve them warm or hot (even room temperature, but then the cream cheese doesn’t ooze as much:) and go to heaven.

Rosca De Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

Rosca de Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe

A few adjectives can sum up this bread: sweet,  tasty, time consuming. It’s taste is wonderfully gentle and sweet and it could be a breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. I highly recommend it, although I will tell you that it’s a time snarfer. (Don’t you love all this wonderful vocabulary?)

This Mexican sweet bread is typically made for the celebration of the Epiphany. The tradition is to hide a plastic baby Jesus doll in the bread and whoever finds the doll has to make Tamales for everyone at the end of the month. Wouldn’t you know it, the plastic doll that we put in ended up in one of the pieces of bread shown above (the piece with the sweet pasta strip and single slice of fruit, to be exact).  I changed the recipe a bit by inserting a cream cheese filling that I was told was pretty typical in Mexico. Also, I must give credit where due: my sister was hoping to be a credited helper on this recipe, and she  was very helpful, so I can’t take all the glory for myself.

Rosca De Reyes (Three Kings Bread) Recipe :

(Adapted from Mexico in my Kitchen)

1/2 cup of warm water

4 1/2 teaspoons of dry active yeast

4 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup of sugar

3 large whole eggs

4 egg yolks (mix with 2 Tablespoons of water)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 Tablespoon orange extract

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 

freshly grated orange zest from one orange

For Filling:

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

For Sweet Pasta:

The “sweet pasta” strips are the cookie-like strips that you see on the top of the bread.

1 egg yolk

3/4 cup of all purpose flour

6 Tablespoon margarine, softened

1/2 cup of confectioner sugar

For Egg Wash:

1 egg (beaten)

1 Tbsp. heavy cream

Fruit for Top :

Obviously you won’t be able to use all of these fruits, but you can mix and match. These are just my recommendations. 

candied papaya

candied figs

candied prunes

candied mango

candied pineapple

Other:

I know, it never ends…

white sugar, for sprinkling

1 small plastic baby Jesus doll

Directions:

1. Pour warm water into a bowl, and sprinkle with yeast. Stir with a fork until yeast has dissolved, then let stand until foamy, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the flour, and cover the bowl with a clean towel. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 25 minutes.

2. While letting yeast/flour mixture,  mix the flour, eggs, sugar, orange extract, orange zest, salt and butter in a large bowl. Mix until crumbly. You can mix it together with your hands if you like… it worked well for me.

 3. Add yeast mixture to the bowl and mix. The dough will be sticky. Place dough on a floured surface and start kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic. It will take about 15 minutes to get this results.

4. Place dough in a greased, large bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let dough stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 and 1/2 hours.

5. While the dough rises, mix the margarine and confectioners sugar until creamy. Then add in the flour and egg yolk. Mix until smooth. If the mixture is to soft to roll, refrigerate the mixture until you think that you can work with it. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface and cut into strips. (The dough is supposed to be rolled out super thick and cut into relatively short strips.) Then chop the candied fruits of your choice to preferred size.

6. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.

7. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lower third. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead a few times. Roll it gently into a long rectangle. Then spread the cream cheese up the middle and fold the dough over the filling and pinch it to seal. Pinch the ends shut as well. Move the caterpillar of dough to a large & greased baking sheet, and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.

8.For the egg wash, whisk egg and cream together. Brush the dough with the egg wash. Place the sweet pasta strips on the top of the dough. Sprinkle with sugar and bake for 5 minutes. Place dried fruit slices on the top of the bread. Then bake for 5-10 more minutes until bread is a nice golden brown color. The time will vary depending on your oven.

9. Let the bread cool for about 10 minutes before inserting the plastic baby doll in the bread from the bottom of the loaf-ring-thingy. Don’t tell anyone where it is or that the doll is even there. Whoever finds the doll in their slice of bread has to make Tamales for everyone at the end of the month!

10. Enjoy! (Whewy!)