Pecan Pie Cheesecake Squares

061
So I didn’t really stop after making those browned butter sweet potato cupcakes…I just kept on baking! I decided to also make these Pecan Pie Squares. They’re a bit messy, but in the best way possible. The recipe involves a few steps, but it’s easy as pie! Or in this case, easier than pie 😛
Shortbread Base:
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Cheesecake Layer:
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pecan Pie Topping:
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans

Preheat oven to 350. Begin by making the shortbread layer. In a medium bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Press mixture evenly into bottom of a foil-lined 9×13″ baking pan. Bake for 7 minutes; remove from oven, and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

While the base bakes, prepare the cream cheese layer. Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and beat at medium speed until smooth. Beat in sugar. Add milk and vanilla, and beat until combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the cooled shortbread layer. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly, about 10 minutes.

While the cheesecake layer bakes, prepare the pecan pie layer: In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, corn syrup, and melted butter. Gently stir in the eggs, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir in pecans. Pour pecan mixture over cooled cheesecake layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center is set, and the pecan pie layer is a rich brown color.

063

Advertisements

Reeses Chocolate Cupcakes

reesescupcake

I received a phenomenal cupcake order this week: A request for Reese’s Cupcakes 😀 I used my favorite chocolate cake base, topped with a fluffy peanut butter buttercream, chocolate ganache, crushed peanuts, sea salt, and a mini Reeses.

Chocolate Cake Batter:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/3 cup  vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Peanut Butter Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Garnish:

  • 1 Bag Mini Reeses
  • Sea salt
  • Crushed peanuts
  • Chocolate ganache (equal parts heavy cream and chocolate)

Begin by preheating oven to 350ºF. Line 2 regular muffin pans with cupcake liners. Combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Mix on low. Add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and completely combined. Fill each cupcake liner 2/3 full. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 16 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare peanut butter buttercream. Whip the butter and peanut butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until it is fluffy. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, adding it in multiple installments. As the frosting thickens, add salt, heavy cream, and vanilla. Continue to mix, and add additional cream until desired consistency is reached.

Frost the cupcakes with a swirl using a closed star tip. Drizzle cooled ganache over the top of the frosting, and garnish with crushed peanuts, sea salt, and a mini Reeses 😀reesescupcake

Salted Caramel Snickers Cake

snick1

SEA SALT. CARAMEL. CHOCOLATE. PEANUTS. Those are the key components to anything delicious in life, and also to this wonderful salty and sweet birthday cake 😛 I made it for coworker’s birthday, and would like to thank my friend Stan for the creative direction behind this cake! Although making your own salted caramel sauce is option, I highly recommend it!! The ingredients include:

Chocolate Cake Batter:

  • 3 cups (12.75 oz) all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups (1 lb. 5 oz) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups (4.5 oz) unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Salted Caramel Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 Tbsp Butter
  • 1 tsp sea salt

Salted Caramel Buttercream:

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup salted caramel sauce
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Garnish:

  • 8 fun sized snickers, chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Peanuts
  • Chocolate Chunks

Begin by preheating oven to 350ºF. Grease four 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with flour, tapping off excess. Combine flour, granulated sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of a mixer. Mix on low. Add eggs, buttermilk, 1 1/2 cups warm water, oil, and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until smooth and completely combined. Divide batter evenly among pans. Bake until cakes are set and a toothpick inserted into the center of each comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Let cool in pans set on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Turn out cakes onto racks, and let cool completely.

While the cupcakes bake, prepare the salted caramel sauce. Pour the sugar into a large, heavy-bottomed pot, and whisk until completely melted. The sugar will clump in the beginning, but don’t worry…it will melt completely with time. Allow the sugar to cook until it turns a beautiful amber color, and has a nutty aroma. I don’t have a candy thermometer, so I go completely by visual cues. At this point, remove the mixture from the heat. Whisk in the butter, then the cream. The mixture will bubble up, so be careful during this stage (I burned my finger!). The last step is to stir in the salt. Let the caramel cool to room temperature.You can store any leftover caramel in a mason jar. It will last in your fridge for about two weeks.

Once the caramel has cooled, prepare the salted caramel buttercream. Whip the butter in a large bowl with an electric mixer, until it is fluffy. Slowly incorporate the powdered sugar, adding it in multiple installments. As the frosting thickens, add caramel, salt, and vanilla. Continue to mix, and add cream until desired consistency is reached.

269

Frost each layer of cake with a thick slather of salted caramel buttercream, a drizzle of salted caramel, salted peanuts, and chocolate chunks. Stack the layers, and apply a thin crumb coat. Refrigerate the cake for 30 minutes, then apply another coat of buttercream. Drizzle warmed caramel over the edges of the cake, and make rim around the top of the with chopped snickers, peanuts, chocolate chunks, and sea salt.

Birthday Cake Oreo Stuffed Funfetti Cookies

oreo stuffed

I have always been a bit weary of pudding cookies, but decided it was time to give them a chance. When I saw this recipe,  I was smitten. It’s just a bonus that there oreos are involved 😀

 Cookie Dough:
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 (4.2 ounce) package Cookies ‘n Creme pudding mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips
  • 15 Birthday Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped

Yield: 36 cookies

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugars, and add the pudding mix, until fully incorporated. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Mix in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking soda with a whisk then add it to the butter mixture. Gently stir in the chocolate chips, sprinkles, and crushed Oreo cookies. Drop cookies by rounded spoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes until cookie edges barely have a touch of brown. I also decided to fill some with oreos….go figure 😛

cookies nad cream

Nutella Swirled Banana Nut Muffins

020

A lot of my client contacts at work have been asking me me to bring in some sweets, so I needed an easy, crowd pleasing treat.I decided to make banana muffins, which are almost healthy, right? I threw in some hazelnuts to give them some texture, and of course I swirled a giant globs of Nutella into each muffin. Why? Because Nutella makes everything taste like heaven. The ingredients included:

Muffin Base;

  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 jar Nutella

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and combine with a hand mixer. Fill each lined cupcake tray 2/3 full, and drop1 heaping tablespoon of Nutella onto the top of each muffin. Using a butter knife, swirl the Nutella around the top of each muffin.

021 024 025

Bake the muffins for about 15 minutes, until the edges were golden brown. The size of your muffin tins and how full you fill them will also affect baking time, so baking time may vary.

032

I chose to make both normal sized muffins, and mini muffins. The mini muffins only need to be baked for about 10 minutes.

038