Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cookie Butter Swirled Cheesecake Bars

I'm fairly sure a majority of the good people of this Nation are cookie butter addicts... I mean, why wouldn't you be? It's spicy, it's sweet, and has a little hint of saltiness.... It's a little unexplainable just how delicious this butter is.

And I love that they offer it at Trader Joes, among other things (OBSESSED with that store) and no, they aren't paying me to say that (unfortunately, because I love me some Trader Joes gift cards *ahem*).

I'm so excited about the many varieties of cookie butter they have to offer there; swirled with chocolate, cookies and cream, so many choices... But the classic, it's just, classic.

The cookie butter pairs perfectly with the semi-spicy crust from the Speculoos cookies and the creamy cheesecake... These bars are amazing. You can eat three and say you "Barely had like, even one piece"

New Years Resolutions, Schmu Years Resolutions...

For the Crust:
16 Speculoos Cookies
12 graham cracker squares, original flavor
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 Tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

For the Cheesecake:
28 ounces cream cheese, softened (approx. 3.5 boxes)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
8 ounces sour cream
3 large eggs, room temp
2 Tablespoons flour

Cookie Butter Swirl:
3/4 cup Cookie Butter Spread
4 ounces cream cheese, softened (1/2 a box)
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In the bowl of your food processor, crush the cookies into fine crumbs. Add in the sugar and pinch of salt and pulse to combine. With the processor running, pour in your melted butter until incorporated and the cookie crumbs begin to stick together.
Line a 13x9" pan with aluminum foil, spray lightly with cooking spray, and press the cookie crumbs evenly into the bottom and part way up the sides, about 1/2 an inch, set aside.
In your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla until incorporated. Add in the sour cream and eggs, beating on low speed until completely mixed. Pour over the prepared crust.
In a small bowl, mix together the cookie butter, cream cheese, sugar, and egg until smooth. Drop by spoonfuls over the top of the cheesecake mixture and drag a knife back and forth to create a swirl pattern.
Bake the bars in the oven for 45-50 minutes or until the edges are golden and set while the center still wobbles slightly. Cool completely on a wire rack before chilling for three hours and up to overnight.
Cut into squares and serve; one pan yielded about 6 squares (kidding). Make sure to store remaining bars in the fridge.

*recipe adapated from Rose Bakes

Friday, January 2, 2015

Spinach Artichoke Dip

"Hi, my name is Veronica and I am a dip addict"....

Ugh, I LOVE dips! I have yet to meet a dip I didn't like...

Lately, I've been loving the idea of appetizers for Holidays. No main course, no dessert, just an array of appetizers. Then I can eat as much as I want and call it "sampling". I made this dip for our New Years Eve celebration and it was perfect... I may have even had it for breakfast the next morning.

For the Dip:
1 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 of a large onion, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients in the order listed. Pour into a lightly greased 8x8" square baking dish and sprinkle top with mozzarella cheese.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden. Serve with bread, chips, veggies, or a spoon...

Enjoy this cheesey deliciousness.

*recipe adapted from Yammie's Noshery