Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake

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Yeah – definitely not something you would want to make more than once a year! The crust starts out with 24 Oreo cookies and a half stick of butter  – not to mention the roasted peanuts!  There are also 16 Reese’s cups in and on this cake, 2 pounds of cream cheese, 1 cup of peanut butter…Thankfully, there will be at least 10 people who might be willing to try this. I don’t know many people who would turn down a Reese’s 😉

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Verdict: It’s a little too sweet for my taste, but no one else complained 😉 We have half a cake left, but I have several people in mind to share this with 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Ruggles Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Cheesecake – adapted from Food.com **Plan ahead–cheesecake needs to chill for at least 4 hours**

For the Crust:

  • 4 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted

For the Filling:

  • 2 lbs cream cheese, softened
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter ( not natural-style)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 12 Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, broken into small pieces

For the Topping:

  • 1/2 cup Reese’s Peanut Butter chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 Reese’s Cups, chopped

Directions –  

To Make The Crust: Combine crushed Oreo cookies and peanuts that have been ground in a food processor with the melted butter. Pat the crust mixture onto bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan.

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To Make The Filling: Beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sugar, peanut butter and cream; mix until smooth. Stir in vanilla, then fold in peanut butter cup pieces with a rubber spatula.

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Pour filling into prepared crust. Place springform pan into a larger baking pan. Pour hot water into the larger pan so that the water comes 1 inch up the sides of the springform pan.

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Bake at 275°F 1-1/2 hours, or until firm and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for one hour. You may run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen it from the pan somewhat. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

For the Topping: Pour the cream into a microwave safe cup for about 45 seconds. Pour the hot cream over the peanut butter and chocolate chips and don’t stir for about three minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth and shiny to break up any pieces and emulsify cream and chocolate. Add more hot cream to thin out the ganache if needed. Add chopped Reese’s to the cheesecake and then drizzle the ganache over all.

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Double Chocolate Deep Dish Cookies

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Quick Post: I decided to change-up my usual deep dish cookie recipe and kick it up a notch with some extra chocolate. How bad could that be? These were so rich, and I could only eat about half of it! It didn’t help that I added hot fudge sauce to the already sweet vanilla ice cream…

Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Double Chocolate Deep Dish Cookies – adapted from Lavain Bakery via Annie’s Eats

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, cubed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup +2 TBSP AP Flour
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare 4 – 6 ounce ramekins for batter. In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar. Beat together until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg, scraping down the bowl as needed. Mix in the cocoa powder until well blended, add the flour, salt and baking powder to the bowl and mix on low speed until well incorporated. Fold in the chocolate chips with a spatula. Divide the dough into four equal parts and lightly press down into buttered ramekins. Bake for 18-20 minutes, remove from oven and cool slightly. Top with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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Quick Post – My daughter’s exact words: “It’s amazing!” I thought that was sweet of her, but why would a 7-year-old not like chocolate for breakfast? 😉 I took a taste and it’s very banana-y, so if you appreciate straight banana bread with out spices and fancy ingredients, this is a winner. I modified this slightly, but provided a link so you can see the original recipe. Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread – adapted from Cannella Vita

  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (219 grams)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1/2 brown sugar
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 large)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil (* I used grapeseed oil*)
  • 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Directions – 
Preheat oven to 350°. Coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk eggs, sugar, bananas, and oil in a large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir just until combined. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth top.

Bake until a tester inserted into the center of bread comes out clean, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack; let bread cool in pan for 15 minutes. Run a knife around inside of pan to release the bread. Turn out onto rack and let cool completely.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Who doesn’t look forward to this time of year? It’s one of my favorite because of all the season-specific flavors. Who eats pumpkin bread in the spring? That’s just wrong! 😉 If my husband loved pumpkin flavored anything, there would be far more recipes to prove my love for it – however, he loathes it…so, I know that he wouldn’t even try these. How I wish I could justify making a pumpkin cheesecake! 😉 Oh, well! More for me and the kids I guess.

Verdict: These muffins baked up fragrant, beautifully light, sweet and they’re spiced just right. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Muffins –  adapted from Make the Bread, Buy the Butter

  • 1 ½ cups AP flour (187 grams)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp cloves
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp all spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (*I used grapeseed*)
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Oil for greasing or paper liners

Directions –

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, all-spice, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, beat the pumpkin with the oil and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla.

Stir dry ingredients and then chocolate chips.

Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners, or lightly grease. Scoop in batter.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm, or cool and store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

The Best Hot Fudge Sauce

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I have posted a hot fudge sauce before, but this once blows that one out of the water! It’s creamy, velvety and so rich and it makes just over two cups of sauce per batch. It will be perfect for gift giving this season, along with my very favorite salted caramel sauce. Thanks for reading, enjoy! 🙂

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*swoon* The perfect complement to vanilla ice cream and our favorite triple chocolate cookie cake 🙂

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce – adapted from Baked by Rachel via My Baking Addiction

  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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Directions – 

1. In a medium, heavy saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, cocoa, salt, and half of the chocolate. Bring the mixture to a boil. stirring until the chocolate pieces are completely melted.

2. Reduce heat and cook at a low boil, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and add in butter, vanilla, and remaining chocolate and stirring until smooth. Allow the sauce to cool down before serving. Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Oreo Brookies…or BrOreos?

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This insane dessert takes a little bit of planning, but it’s easy enough. Just don’t expect to be able to whip it up last minute because you need to allow the first layer to cool completely before you can continue with the other layers. My friend asked me if I could make her husband a special treat for his birthday – what a fun surprise! Of course I said yes. What better way to get the opportunity to make something so completely ridiculous and decadent? Birthdays are a great excuse to make something so butter, sugar, calorie and fat-filled and you don’t have to feel so bad about it cause, hey – we’re celebrating here! 😉

Verdict: Everyone loved these. They are so rich and gooey! I wasn’t a huge fan until the second day – wow…they reached another level of awesome! My health-nut friend thought she could get by on a tiny piece; but once she tried that she had to go back for more – something she rarely allows herself to do! I heard from more than one person that this was the best dessert they have ever eaten and have already received requests for this on their birthdays…so, yeah – this recipe is a keeper! Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Oreo “Brookies” – adapted from Brown Sugar

For the Cookie Crust –

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups AP flour (281 grams)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 12 ounce bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips

For the Brownie Layer –

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup AP flour (94 grams)
  • 1/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 12 whole Oreo cookies

Directions –

For the Cookie Dough: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a 13×9 inch baking dish.

In a mixer bowl, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, blending each one in before adding the next – periodically scrape the sides of the bowl down. Add vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, add all your dry ingredients and whisk to combine. Add your dry ingredients to your butter/sugar mixture in three parts, scraping the sides of the mixer bowl if needed. Mix in your chocolate chips.

Place the finished dough in your baking dish and with a damp spatula (or your hand) pat the dough until flat and evenly distributed. Bake for 20-25 minutes, take out and allow to cool completely. (*I let it cool for an hour at room temp, and then I placed it in my fridge for another hour*)

For the Brownie: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a standing mixer bowl, beat together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add each egg to the mixer one at a time, being sure to mix in each addition before adding the next. Add in vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine cocoa, flour and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture until blended. Fold in the melted chocolate until combined.

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Pour half of the brownie batter on top of the cookie crust, then evenly space out the Oreo cookies; then pour the rest of the brownie batter over all and spread evenly across the top of the Oreos. Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Snicker’s Cake

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When it comes to making a cake (especially the three layer, super involved kind), I need a good excuse to make one. My husband on the other hand would have liked me to make this because it was a Monday – no real reason and no company to help us eat it. I know better! The last thing we need is a giant cake all to ourselves,  not to mention how selfish that would be 😉

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I have used this particular chocolate cake recipe many times before, so I knew it would be really good. Also, for quality control sake, I had to taste the fluff and salted caramel I made – so I knew those were also really good. This is definitely not a cake I would have wanted to make in one day because of all the components; also, it’s much easier to work with when the cake layers have been frozen. On Friday, I made the salted caramel and the chocolate cake – let the cake cool completely, wrapped them up individually in plastic and then placed them in the freezer. I made the fluff on Sunday, stored it in a glass container and let it sit on my counter. Monday I made the nougat and I decided to reduce the amount of peanuts added; but other than that modification, I made it as directed. Also, I totally forgot to add the salted caramel to the top of the nougat filling – boo! I figured no one would care especially once i poured ganache and more caramel sauce over the top 😉

Verdict: This cake tastes as good as it looks – maybe even better. All the guests at our Labor Day party really enjoyed it and we only have about 1/4 of it left! 🙂  I’m glad that all that work I put into it paid off, and I’m sure I will get requests for it in the future 🙂 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

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Snickers Cake – adapted from Punky Purls via Brown Eyed Baker

For the Cake:

  • 2½ cups AP flour (312 grams)
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1  teaspoons salt
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 1/2 tsp espresso powder
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil (*I used grapeseed oil)
  • 4½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Nougat Filling:

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup evaporated milk
  • 1½ cups marshmallow fluff
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups salted peanuts, roughly chopped

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting:

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • ¼ cup salted caramel sauce
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

For the Milk Chocolate Ganache:

  • 8 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
  • 4 ounces (½ cup) heavy cream

For the Assembly & Garnish:

Directions –

1. Make the Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans, line the bottoms with rounds of parchment paper, grease the parchment, then flour the insides of the pans, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer (or large mixing bowl if you’re using a hand mixer), sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil and vanilla.

3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix for an additional 20 seconds (the batter will be very thin).

4. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pans in the oven. Continue to bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out almost clean (with a few moist crumbs), about 12 more minutes. Cool the cakes (in the pans) on wire racks for 20 minutes, then carefully turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely.

5. Make the Nougat Filling: Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the sugar and evaporated milk, stirring until dissolved, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and add the marshmallow fluff, peanut butter, and vanilla extract, stirring until completely smooth. Fold in the peanuts. Let the nougat mixture cool to room temperature before using it in the cake. You can do this leaving it at room temperature or you can pop it into the refrigerator to speed up the process. Be sure to give a stir occasionally as it cools.

6. Make the Frosting: Beat together the butter and cream cheese on medium-high speed for 5 minutes (I like to use the whisk attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, but it’s not necessary). Pour in the salted caramel and beat until combined. Reduce the speed to medium-low and slowly add the powdered sugar, a little at a time, until it has all been incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for an additional two to three minutes, until light and fluffy.

7. Assemble the Cake: If your cakes baked up uneven or have domed on top, level off the tops. Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Cover with half of the nougat filling and then spread a couple spoonfuls of the salted caramel sauce over top to evenly cover the nougat filling. Top with a second cake layer and cover with the remaining nougat filling and top with caramel sauce. Place the final cake layer on top face-down. Frost the cake with the salted caramel frosting, finishing it as smoothly as possible. Refrigerate the cake for at least 1 hour, until the frosting is set.

8. Make the Chocolate Ganache: While the cake chills, make the chocolate ganache. Place the chocolate in a medium bowl; set aside. Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and warm until it just comes to a boil. Pour the cream over the chopped chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes. Begin whisking the mixture in the center, gradually working your way outward until the ganache is completely smooth. Set aside to cool, whisking occasionally, until it has thickened slightly, yet still a pourable consistency.

9. Garnish the Cake: Transfer the ganache to a 2-cup measuring cup. Slowly pour the chocolate ganache into the center of the cake, letting it push itself outward and flow over the sides of the cake. Refrigerate the cake for at least 30 minutes, giving the ganache a chance to set up. To finish garnishing, drizzle some additional salted caramel sauce over the top and side of the cake, and top with chopped peanuts. Keep the cake refrigerated, removing it from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior to serving.

Simple Brownies

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Woo! These are rich 🙂 They are thin but so fudgy and perfect with homemade vanilla ice cream, (*I’ll share the ice cream recipe soon*). Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Simple Brownies – adapted from Baked Bree

  • 10 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup + 2 TBSP cocoa powder (*break out the good stuff for this!*)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour

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Directions –

1 Preheat oven to 325°F with rack positioned in the lower third of the oven. Line the bottom and the sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides to make it easier to lift the brownies out of the pan when they are done.
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2 Combine the butter, cocoa, sugar, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir the butter cocoa mixture from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.

3 Using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring quickly after each one. When the batter looks shiny, thick, and well mixed, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon. Spread the batter evenly in the lined pan.

4 Bake until a tester inserted into the center comes out just slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let the brownies cool completely on a rack. Lift up the ends of the foil or parchment paper liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

Copycat Panera Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I haven’t had any cookies other than homemade for quite some time now, but I make the exception for Panera’s chocolate chip cookies. They are huge and too hard to pass up, especially when the kid at the register asks me if I would like to add one to my order for 99 cents! They are my weakness along with the adult grilled cheese sandwich and the creamy tomato soup!

What did we ever do before Pinterest?? Seriously, I have collected some gems in the past year that I would probably not find if not for the convenient and genius site that is Pinterest! I just stumbled upon this recipe last night and made them today. These are the biggest cookies I have made to date, but there is really no way around the 1/4 cup serving 😉

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(some complimentary cookie close-ups!)

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Verdict: Wow – perfection! I will make these again. I baked off six – for quality control sake, of course 😉 Slightly crispy edges and chewy middles with plenty of sticky, sweet flavor from the dark brown sugar. One is more than enough for this lady! 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

*TIP: If you’re like me and you only buy light brown sugar, you can add one tablespoon of molasses per one cup of packed light brown sugar. Not to worry if you only have white sugar on hand; add 1/4 cup of molasses to one cup of white sugar.

*TIP: I use a disher to portion out the dough onto my cookie sheet, and then I use a fork to scrape the dome off the tops of each to flatten. They bake up as pictured – thanks to all the commenters! I hope this helps.

Copycat Panera Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies – adapted from The Pinning Mama

  • 1 c butter, softened
  • 1/2 c shortening
  • 1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (541 grams)
  • 2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 – 12 ounce bag mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions –

  1. Mix butter, shortening and sugars until light and fluffy.
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.
  3. Combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt and mix together.
  4. Mix dry ingredients slowly into wet ingredients and blend well.
  5. If the dough is crumbly, stir in water 1 teaspoon at a time until it just holds together. The dough should not be sticky.
  6. Add in chocolate chips and stir until evenly distributed.
  7. Using ¼ cup measure, scoop out dough and form into a ball. Continue until all dough is balled. Approx 24 cookies.
  8. Place dough in the freezer for 2 hours or up to 3 months.
  9. Place frozen cookie onto parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 15 min.
  10. Let cool 2 minutes.

Cookies & Cream Muddy Buddies

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The best thing I heard someone say about these last night was: “I can tell without even trying them; they’re good!” And they are, and completely addicting…it’s a good thing that I made them for a big group of people and not for my family of four! The recipe that I found suggested the candy melts, but I didn’t have them. Recently, I found a tip  for melting chocolate with a little bit of coconut oil to replace those, and it worked so well I decided to use the method again. The white chocolate didn’t want to melt as smoothly as the semi-sweet kind, so I just kept adding coconut oil by the teaspoon, and melting the mixture slowly until it became the right consistency. I forgot to add more chopped Oreos to the mix, but these were still so good. Next time I will not skip that step 😉 Thanks for reading, enjoy!

Cookies and Cream Muddy Buddies – adapted from Your Cup of Cake

“Cream”

  • 5 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 8 Oreos finely crushed
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp – 3 tsp coconut oil

“Cookies”

  • 5 cups Rice Chex cereal
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 8 Oreos finely crushed
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp coconut oil

Directions –

1. “Cream”- Measure out the rice Chex and place in a large bowl. Measure out powdered sugar and crushed Oreos and place in a container with a lid (You’ll need to shake the mixture in this later).

2. Melt white chocolate with the coconut oil, be careful not to burn it! (My microwave has a melt setting that I use) Pour melted chocolate over rice cereal and stir until coated. Transfer the coated cereal to the container with the powdered sugar and cookies. Shake until evenly coated. Dump the mixture on to a cookie sheet to cool.

3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 using the “Cookies” ingredients. Once cooled, mix the two batches together and fold in more chopped Oreos (I skipped this step – oops!)