Choc-o-holic Chocolate Cheesecake

Like the Choc-o-holic Chocolate Brownies, but cheesecake form!

This is only the second full out cheesecake I’ve ever made, not to mention my first ever chocolate cheesecake! It turned out pretty well I think, but I needed some guidance. The recipe I used and accidentally adapted (I’ll explain later) is found here: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/chocolate-cheesecake-recipe/

I apologize for some of my photos. There’s only so much you can do with an iPod! But I do think you get the idea. This cheesecake is nuttin’ but chocolate. Oreo chocolate crust, a chocolate cheesecake middle, and a chocolate ganache to top it off. Get your sweet tooth prepared for this masterpiece!

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A little friendly advice when cutting a cheesecake, too. Use a long, sharp knife and after every cut, run it under hot water and wipe with a towel. It at least helps a little!

Now when I said I accidentally adapted the recipe, I got chocolate-happy and put all 16 ounces of the chocolate in the cake instead of 10, saving the other 6 for the topping. I then just used semi-sweet chocolate chips for the topping refraining from adding the extra sugar. Lo and behold, it turned out great anyway! Phew!

One last thing. Most of this chocolate cheesecake is made in a food processor! It couldn’t be easier! Just make sure your cream cheese is room temperature! And feel free to use the original recipe instead of mine. I’m just sharing 🙂

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Choc-o-holic Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For Crust:

24 chocolate cookies (Oreos)
1 T. sugar
1/4 c. butter, melted

For Filling:

32 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 c. + 2 T. sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
4 eggs, room temperature
16 oz. bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

For Topping:

3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch springform cake pan and wrap bottom edges with foil.
For Crust: In a food processor, blend cookies, sugar, and melted butter until mixed well.
– Press onto bottom of pan and bake for 8 minutes.
– Remove and let cool.
For Filling: Also in food processor, blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder, scraping sides as needed.
– Add eggs, mixing one at a time.
– Add melted chocolate, scraping as needed, and until completely blended.
– Pour over crust and smooth evenly.
– Bake for 1 to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until center is just set and top looks dry.
– Cool 5 minutes and run a thin knife around the sides.
– Place in fridge, uncovered at least 8 hours or overnight.
For Topping: Stir heavy whipping cream and chocolate chips in small saucepan over low heat until completely melted.
– Let cool until slightly warm and spread over top of cheesecake.
– Chill for at least 1 hour or overnight.
– Run knife around sides again and remove pan sides and bottom.
– Transfer to serving platter and let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.
– Cut, serve, and enjoy!

– For storing, cover and place in fridge.

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Cranberry Torte Loaf

This torte is full of everything– fruit, dried fruit, and nuts! It is sweet and tart. Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. Traditionally more of a Christmas dessert, but also works great for just the winter season! Spring is coming, I promise! But in the meantime, cold months mean prime time for staying in and baking.

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It makes two loaves so perfect for keeping one and giving another– or keep both to yourself! It goes quick, let me tell you. My parents and I went through half a loaf in the first sitting!

My mom has been wanting to make it for years and years. I think the last time she made it was around 18 years ago, so I was…three! That’s what she told me, anyway. She thought it was more difficult, but when you have two people it’s really not hard at all!

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So you have yer nuts, dates, cranberries, and orange zest. A perfect winter season “snack cake”!

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Just look at that color! They say the more color your food has, the better it is for you 😉

Cranberry Torte Loaf

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. flour
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 c. whole cranberries
1 1/2 c. finely chopped nuts
1 c. chopped dates
grated rind from 2 oranges
1/3 c. buttermilk
2 eggs
3/4 c. vegetable oil

Glaze:

orange juice and sugar

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 350 and grease and flour 2 bread pans.
– Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
– Add the cranberries, nuts, dates and grated rind.
– Next, add the buttermilk, eggs and oil.
– Pour batter into pans and bake for 1 hour.
– While baking, combine juice of 3 oranges (or just use orange juice like I did) and mix with the same amount of sugar to make a glaze.
– When done, take torte out and cool in pan 10 minutes; remove and let cool.
– Pour O.J. over top of torte.
– Wrap in foil and refrigerate or freeze.
– Enjoy!

Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla-Almond Buttercream Frosting

It’s always an exciting day when cupcakes are involved!

Especially homemade, classic vanilla ones with a hefty helping of vanilla-almond buttercream frosting on top!

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Sometimes I have cake duty in the family– or cupcake duty. These are for a birthday party for my nieces! You really can’t go wrong with vanilla cupcakes.

And, yes, if I love you I will bake for you. I’ve never heard anyone complain about that so far!

And speaking of love, Valentine’s Day is around the corner (wink, wink). I’m sure a loved one wouldn’t mind a few of these! Homemade treats are some of the best gifts.


Vanilla Cupcakes with Vanilla-Almond Buttercream Frosting
Make 28 cupcakes

Ingredients for Cake:

3 c. cake flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. baking soda
1 1/2 c. butter, melted
1 1/4 c. sugar
2/3 c. milk
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract
4 large eggs

Directions for Cake:

– Preheat oven to 350 and line cupcake pans.
– Mix flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda and set aside.
– Cream butter and sugar with electric mix on high speed until fluffy.
– Add flour mixture, milk, vanilla and eggs, mixing until well blended and scraping bowl as needed.
– Beat for two more minutes then fill cupcake pans evenly.
– Bake 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
– Let cool a couple minutes and remove from pan.

Ingredients for Frosting:

1 c. butter, softened
4 c. powdered sugar
2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract
5 T. milk

Directions for Frosting:

– Cream butter.
– Add powdered sugar and cream.
– Add vanilla, almond, and milk.
– Mix well, scraping bowl with rubber spatula.
– Frost cupcakes when completely cooled.

Better Butterscotch Bars

More like heaven on a plate! If it even makes it to a plate. This is almost more of a candy than a bar if you ask me. Starts with a sweet brown sugar crust, then a sweetened condensed milk filling, and ends with chocolate and butterscotch to top it off!

I will warn you now, there’ll be a lot of pictures! I guess I’d rather have them tell the story more than myself.

Normally I’m a fairly patient person, but when if comes to waiting for desserts I get feisty…no, not really, but when making these I found myself not being able to wait.

For example, I did not wait for the crust to cool completely before adding the filling. Whoops!

And I didn’t wait super long to cut into these babies, but in my defense that’s when they’re the best! All warm, melty, and delicious.

So, yes! Not much to ’em. Super easy, I’d say I whipped them up in 30 minutes. You work on the crust and while that’s baking work on the filling and the topping makes itself. You just have to do the sprinkling!

 Better Butterscotch Bars

Ingredients:

3/4 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 c. flour
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
2 T. butter
1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
1 c. butterscotch chips

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 350.
– For the crust, cream soft butter, brown sugar and flour until well combined.
– Press into a 9×13-inch pan and bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
– For the filling, combine milk, 2 T. butter and vanilla in saucepan.
– Stir constantly over medium heat for 5-10 minutes or until thick. **Be careful not to scorch the milk!!
– Spread over cooled crust and bake 12-15 minutes.
– Sprinkle chocolate chips over top and bake 2 more minutes.
– Remove and spread chocolate evenly.
– Sprinkle butterscotch chips over chocolate, gently press into chocolate (If you’re feeling really fancy, take a toothpick and do swirls!)
– Cool, Cut, and Serve!

Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Where chocolate chip cookies and coffee collide!

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It’s just like the good ‘ole fashioned chocolate chip cookie we all love, but with a twist of using “espresso morsels” instead of plain semi-sweet chocolate chips. I’ve had these morsels (is it just me who thinks that word sounds funny?) in the pantry for quite some time and figured this was a great time to use them.

As you can see below these were the unfortunate first batch because I tried to fit 8 on a sheet and discovered soon enough that was just too many. I narrowed it down to 6 per sheet to be perfect, but either way they still taste just as good!

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There we go…

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Did you know cookies are the hardest thing to make? There are so many variables each time you make cookies. Temperature, humidity, freshness of ingredients, how you stir it, how you don’t stir it. The list goes on, so never worry too much when you get a few oddly shaped ones!

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Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/4 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 t. water
2 eggs
12 oz. pkg. espresso chocolate morsels

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 375.
– Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in bowl. Set aside.
– Cream butter and sugars well.
– Blend in vanilla, water, and eggs until well combined.
– Add dry ingredients and mix until there are no more flour streaks.
– Drop onto greased or lined baking sheet by heaping tablespoons. I learned to only make six at a time on a 9×13-inch sheet otherwise they will touch.
– Let cool on pan two to three minutes before removing.
– Enjoy! And good luck eating just one 😉

Streusel-Topped Strawberry Muffins

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Streusel-Topped Strawberry Muffins

Streusel Ingredients and Directions

1/4 c. butter, cold and cubed
1/2 c. flour
1/4 c. brown sugar

– Place all three ingredients in a food processor and process until appearance of coarse meal.
– Reserve in fridge until later.

Muffin Ingredients

1/4 c. oil
1/2 c. milk
1 egg
1 3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. white sugar
1/4 c. brown sugar
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 c. fresh strawberries, chopped

Muffin Directions

– Preheat oven to 375 degrees and place cups in muffin tin or lightly grease.
– In a small bowl, whisk oil, milk, and egg. Set aside.
– In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.
– Add chopped strawberries to flour mixture and cover all strawberries in flour.
– Add egg mixture and stir well.
– Fill cups about three-fourths full.
– Take streusel from fridge and use a spoonful over muffins. As much as you’d like actually!
– Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
– Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.
– Store in airtight container.

Peanut Butter Cake-y Bars With Frosting

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Peanut Butter Cake-y Bars With Frosting

Ingredients

1 c. flour
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 c. creamy peanut butter
1/2 c. butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 eggs

Ingredients for Frosting

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 t. vanilla
2 T. milk

Directions

For Bars: Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8 or 9-inch. square pan.
– In large bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder.
– In large saucepan, melt butter.
– Remove from heat and add peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla.
– Mix the eggs in a little cup and *temper them with a little of the mixture.
– Then add all eggs.
– Add to dry ingredients and mix well.
– Spread mixture in pan and bake for 20 minutes or until done. Toothpick test works well.
For Frosting:  Cream butter and powdered sugar.
– Add vanilla and milk.
– Frost bars.
– Cool, cut, and serve!

Chocolate Eclair Cake

This chocolate eclair cake is quick, easy, and of course delicious. If it wasn’t delicious I wouldn’t be doing this right now. It starts with layers of graham crackers and a light and fluffy pudding mix, covered with a to-die-for chocolate topping. I’m not kidding. If my mom wasn’t here, I would probably double the chocolate 😉
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Now in order to have the optimal chocolate eclair cake experience, allow for it to sit a night or two. This way, for lack of better words, the flavors will develop and the graham crackers will not be all crunchy, but instead delightfully soft!
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Chocolate Eclair Cake

Ingredients

For Cake:
1 box of graham crackers
2 small pkgs. instant vanilla pudding
3 1/2 c. milk
10-12 oz. cool whip

For Chocolate Topping:
4 oz. German Sweet Chocolate
3 T. butter
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
3 T. milk
2 t. light corn syrup
1 t. vanilla

Directions

For Cake: Line bottom of 9X13-inch pan with unbroken graham crackers.
– In a large bowl, combine the pudding mix with 3 1/2 cups of milk; add cool whip and mix well!
– Pour half of pudding mixture over graham crackers.
– Add another layer of graham crackers.
– Pour rest of pudding mixture over graham crackers.
– Add final layer of graham crackers.
For Chocolate Topping: Melt German sweet chocolate with butter in large pan.
– Add the powdered sugar, milk, corn syrup, and vanilla; mix well.
– Pour over cake while it is still warm.
– Cover and refrigerate.

Chocolate Chip Bars

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Chocolate Chip Bars

Ingredients

2 1/2 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 c. butter, softened
3/4 c. white sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1 c. chocolate chips

Directions

– Preheat oven to — and grease a 9X13-inch pan.
– Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
– In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars.
– Add eggs and mix well.
– Add vanilla and mix.
– Add half of flour mixture and mix; repeat.
– Stir in chocolate chips.
– Spread evenly in pan and bake for — minutes.
– Cool, cut, and serve!

Good Mornin’ Lemon Muffins #1

The other day was a rainy, dreary day. Kind of one of those days that you love because you can just stay in, watch Harry Potter, and drink coffee. Now, I love my cloudy days, but I thought I would brighten it up with some lemon muffins.

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These mornin’-lovin’ jumbo muffins are full of fresh lemon flavor, topped with sweet streusel, and sweet and tangy lemon glaze that brings it all together!

I just bought myself a jumbo muffin pan a couple weeks ago, so of course I couldn’t wait to try it out. I have never made lemon muffins before, actually I have limited muffin experience to begin with. That is why I’m referring to these as “#1” because they are not quite there yet, but still delicious. It’ll take me a few times I think, so enjoy my muffin adventure!

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I cannot take full credit for any of this, just so you know. Since I have never made lemon muffins, I needed some direction, so this recipe is based off the one found here: http://www.simplyscratch.com/2011/07/jumbo-lemon-coffee-cake-muffins.html.

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I have grown very fond of the lemon flavor over the last year or so. I’m always the one that goes crazy for chocolate– I have a whole recipe book of chocolate things for goodness sake! But when done right, lemon things are pretty high up on the list for me.

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Good Mornin’ Lemon Muffins #1

Ingredients

For Streusel

1 1/2 c. + 4 T. flour
1/2 c. + 4 T. brown sugar
1/2 c. + 4 T. salted butter, chilled

For Muffins

2 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 t. Kosher salt
1/2 unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
Lemon zest of 1-2 lemons (depending on how much lemon you want)
Lemon juice of 1/2 a lemon
2 large eggs
1 t. vanilla
1 c. buttermilk (1 T. lemon juice or vinegar, then add milk until measures 1 cup)

For Lemon Glaze

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
Lemon juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions

Start the streusel topping: In a food processor, mix the flour, brown sugar, salt, and butter until you get crumbles.
– Reserve in fridge until later…
– Preheat oven to 350 and grease a 6 ct. Jumbo muffin (or 12 ct. regular sized) tin.
Now onto the muffins:  In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and powder, and salt. Set aside.
– With a mixer, cream butter and sugar until creamy.
– Add lemon flavors; zest and juice.
– Mix in eggs one at a time.
– Add vanilla and mix.
– Add buttermilk alternately with flour mixture, scrape bowl, and give a final stir.
– Fill muffin cups evenly and generously sprinkle streusel over batter.
– Bake 30-40 minutes **(Depends on your oven and weather and such. The recipe I adapted from, said 45-55 minutes and it definitely did not take that long for me, so just be aware, please!)**
– Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and remove the muffins for further cooling.
Lemon Glaze Time: Simply mix powdered sugar and fresh lemon juice until desired consistency. I typically like a glaze with more substance and thickness, but it is purely up to you!
– Glaze muffins when completely cooled and store in airtight container.
– Lastly, devour with a cup of milk, tea, or, if you’re like me, coffee! And enjoy.