Monday, November 17, 2014

Sugar Cookie Cheesecake

If you're looking for a simple yet festive Holiday treat this season, this cheesecake is for you.

It's studded with a crunchy sugar cookie crust that's stuffed with festive sprinkles... and that's just the vessel for the thick, creamy cheesecake. I'm a sucker for a cheesecake with a golden brown top...

Cheesecakes can really be made into any flavor combination but I love a classic cheesecake. Pillow-ey, thick, and so creamy...

For the Crust:
2 cups sugar cookie crumbs
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons festive jimmies

For the Cheesecake:
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan, set aside.
In the bowl of your food processor, pulse together the cookie crumbs and sugar. Slowly pour in the melted butter until incorporated. Stir in the sprinkles. Press crust into prepared pan, covering the bottom and about an inch up the sides. Bake in preheated oven until lightly golden, 10-12 minutes. Meanwhile, make your cheesecake filling.
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until creamy, scarping the sides and bottom as needed. Add in the vanilla and mix to combine. Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated
Pour cheesecake filling over prepared crust and bake for 60-75 minutes until set (the center should still wobble slightly). Cool completely on the counter-top before moving to the refrigerator to cool completely for a minimum of 4 hours.
When ready to serve, remove from fridge and allow it to come to room temp for 10 minutes. Slice and serve!
Enjoy the crunchy buttery crust and smooth cheesecake filling!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Biscuits and Sausage Gravy

Sometimes, you just need a classic breakfast.

My biscuits with homemade sausage country gravy are amazing. Fluffy, buttery biscuits are covered with thick peppery gravy loaded with sausage. 

And the best thing about this recipe? It's fat free...

(I'm going to hell for lying...)

For the Biscuits:
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup unsalted butter, very cold and cut into pieces
1 cup cold milk
1 Tablespoon melted butter

For the Gravy:
1 pound breakfast sausage, ground or links
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper 

Start by making your biscuits: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In the bowl of your food processor combine the flour, salt, sugar, and baking powder, pulse to combine. Add in the butter and pulse until crumbs the size of peas form. Slowly add the milk with the machine running and mix just until a dough forms. Remove dough on to a floured surface and pound out into a rectangle. Cut 6-8 biscuits out and place into a cast iron skillet greased with cooking spray or melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes until puffed and golden, during the last 2 minutes, brush the biscuits with melted butter. When biscuits are finished, remove and set aside to cool slightly while you make the gravy.

In a large pan cook your sausage until cooked through. Remove the sausage, keeping the drippings in the pan. Add in the 1/3 cup of flour and whisk, it will be very dry and thick. Cook for 1 minute until fragrant. Stir in cream and milk, whisking over medium heat until it starts to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and season with salt and pepper. Stir until thickened, around 5 minutes. Add the sausage back to the pan.

Place desired amount of biscuits on a plate...

...and slather with gravy...

Now shovel in your mouth and enjoy. Fluffy biscuits and peppery gravy goodness... Yum!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Gingerbread Latte Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Bring on the Holiday recipes and drinks! I will be the first to admit I have a Starbucks Holiday drink addiction... The Caramel Brulee Latte is out of this world. Lately though, I've been a little disappointed with the Gingerbread latte. The flavors are overly sweet...

When I ran across this recipe at Bakers Royale, I knew it would be holiday cupcake perfection. I know you're thinking lemon frosting sounds strange but it is the perfect compliment to the spicy cake. The addition of coffee makes these cupcakes super fluffy and moist.

Also, if you are looking for another fantastic Holiday recipe, this Gingerbread Dip from Crafts, Cakes, and Cats is for you! It is easy to whip up and tastes fantastic... It would be the perfect addition to your holiday pot lucks or get-togethers,

Now, let's get to baking shall we?

For the Cupcakes:
(Makes approximately 10-12)
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon all spice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick (or 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/2 cup strong, very hot coffee
1 teaspoon baking soda

For the Frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
2 teaspoon lemon juice

Gingerbread cookies for decorating

Start by making the cupcakes:
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, and salt, set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the softened butter and sugar until combined. Add in the molasses and large egg and mix just until the ingredients are incorporated. In a measuring cup, mix together the baking soda and hot coffee until the baking soda is fully mixed in. Add the coffee mixture to the butter/molasses mixture and stir just until everything is incorporated, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add in the flour and stir to combine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake pan with liners. Fill each cupcake tin about 1/2 way full with batter and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will be finished when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove and cool completely.

While the cupcakes are cooling, start your frosting. Beat together all frosting ingredients until smooth. Place the frosting into a bowl and chill for 20-30 minutes.

To decorate, I smoothed a thin amount of frosting onto the cupcake and dipped the tops in crushed gingerbread cookies. I then piped a small amount of frosting into the center of the cupcake with a 1" baking tip and topped with a whole gingerbread cookie.

These cupcakes are moist and spicy and the frosting gives the perfect tart compliment to the spicy cake... It's your favorite latte at 1/2 the price. Enjoy!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Caramel Apple Pumpkin Pie

Are you ever faced with the age old pie dilemma: apple or pumpkin? 

Well, I've essentially solved that problem for you. This pie has a flaky crust and a layer of caramel apples topped with creamy pumpkin pie filling... The best of both worlds.

No more small slices of each (which I'm not opposed to) or only to have only ONE pie... Who does that? Plus, now you can just have two pieces of this pie instead for ya know, research.

For the Crust:
6 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup vegetable shortening
4-6 Tablespoons ice water

For the Caramel Apple Filling:
4-5 apples, peeled, cored, and thinly sliced
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 Tablespoons water

For the Pumpkin Pie Filling:
2 cups pumpkin puree (I used homemade, canned is also fine)
1 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Start by making the crust: In the bowl of your food processor, pulse together the flour, salt, and sugar just until combined. Add in the butter and shortening and pulse just until pea sized pieces form. With the food processor running, slowly drizzle in the water starting with 1 Tablespoon at a time. You want to add the water just until the dough forms a ball. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap, flatten slightly, and refrigerate for 30 minutes. While the dough is chilling, start on the apples. 

For the Caramel Apple Filling: Place the apples, unsalted butter, sugar, cinnamon, and pinch of salt into a deep skillet. Cook over medium heat just until the apples have softened. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water. Add to the apple mixture and stir continuously over medium heat until less cloudy and significantly thickened, remove from heat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 
Remove dough from fridge and roll out on a lightly floured surface to a 9-10" circle, place in pie plate and crimp to your desired taste. Prick the bottom of the crust lightly with a fork to reduce a mushy bottom. 

Pour caramel apples into the bottom of your pie dish.

Place all the ingredients for the pumpkin pie filling to your food processor or blender and mix just until combined, pour over caramel apples.

Slightly push down apples into the filling if they poke up, either way do not worry about it as the pumpkin filling will rise up and souffle over the apples.
Bake the pie in your preheated oven, on the middle rack, for one hour. Check the pie around the 45 minute mark to make sure the crust isn't getting too browned.
Remove the pie and cool to room temperature before placing in the fridge to cool and set completely. 

Slice and serve, topping with whipped cream or ice cream as desired. This pie is easier to slice when it is slightly cooled. This would be the perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving table... enjoy!

*recipe adapted from Zoe Bakes

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween/Fall Link Party

We are at it again this year!

We think everyone could use a few new recipes and crafts for Halloween and Fall this year so we are having our second annual Halloween/Fall Link Party.

It will run from Tuesday October 28th for two weeks until Tuesday November 11th and be linked on all three blogs so please make sure to stop by again and again to share and see what is new.
Facebook Page                         Facebook Page                     Facebook Page
Pinterest                                   Pinterest                                Pinterest

Here's what your hostesses have been up to lately.....
Cutest Doc Around ~ Crafts, Cakes, and Cats
Baked Apple Cider Donuts ~ MorningNooNight
Pumpkindoodles ~ Michelle's Tasty Creations
Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal White Chocolate Chip Cookies ~ Michelle's Tasty Creations
Crock Pot Italian Wedding Soup with Turkey Meatballs ~ Crafts, Cakes, and Cats
Caramel Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies ~ MorningNooNight
Frankenstein Cupcakes ~ Crafts, Cakes, and Cats
Monster Eye Cookies ~ MorningNooNight
Pumpkin Maple Coffee Cake ~ Michelle's Tasty Creations

~ Now let's see what you've been up to ~

~A few things to remember~
Please only link up Halloween/Fall recipes, crafts, DIY, tutorials, printables, etc that YOU have created.
Please don't link up any Etsy shops, giveaways, or other link parties.
By linking to this party you give us permission to share your post on our blogs and other social media.
Please share this party by linking back to us in your post or by adding this party to your party page.
Be sure to stop by and visit a few of the other blogs that have posted; we all love to see sweet comments.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Caramel Stuffed Gingerbread Cookies

Oh my gosh y'all,.. I lurve stuffed cookies.

Like this recipe, or maybe this one.... 

But, I honestly think this one is my favorite so far! It combines soft gingery cookies with a gooey caramel center.

It takes plain old gingerbread men to the next level. Plus, it's soft and stuffed with caramel, totally not Christmas related. Make these year 'round...

For the Cookies:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 1/2 cups plus 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
24-26 packaged caramels

In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until combined. Add in the molasses until its completely incorporated. Add in the eggs, one at at time, making sure to scrape the sides as you go. Mix in the vanilla and spices until combined. Add in the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together. Cover and refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper, set aside. Unwrap your caramels.
When the dough has chilled, take about 1 Tablespoon in your hand and roll it into a ball, flatten slightly. Place a caramel in the center of the dough and top with another flattened Tablespoon of dough.

Seal the edges and roll into a ball, place on prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly. Continue with dough, I fit about 8-10 cookies per sheet.

Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until puffy and the edges are lightly golden.

Allow to cool slightly before consuming. The caramel hardens when it cools so these cookies are best the day they are made but if you heat them in the microwave for 10-15 seconds they are absolutely perfect... Soft, spicy dough paired with gooey caramel... Does it get any better than that?

*recipe adapted from

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cheesy Garlic Chips

Growing up in Northern California we had one of the best pizza restaurants They brewed their own beer, had an arcade with pool tables, and had the best cheesy garlic pizza they cut into "chips".

The crust was thin, the cheese was gooey, and it was loaded with thick chunks of garlic... Ugh, I can taste it.

Now it's easily at my fingertips with this recipe. It doesn't taste exactly like the one from my childhood but it comes pretty close. Between the huz and the kids, this pizza was gone before I could blink...

For the Pizza:
Pizza dough
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
Roll out pizza to a 12 inch circle.
In a small bowl, mix together the softened butter and garlic. Spread all over the top of the dough.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and mozzarella.

Carefully slide dough on to the preheated pizza stone and bake in the middle of the oven for 10-12 minutes or until bubbly and browned.
Remove, let cool (enough not to burn your mouth), slice and enjoy!
These are amazing served with marinara sauce for dipping or a creamy garlic sauce!