Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Apple Cheesecake Cookie Bars

I am back!!! Back to the real world. Back where there is internet. Back to reality.

Even though I am sad to be back from my vacation, being back means baking is back!

Coming back from vacation always means baking withdrawal for me. I feel like I'm gravitating towards the kitchen with every passing hour, even though I am ridiculously tired. Obviously you can tell what my list of priorities looks like.

And I know it's not apple season quite yet, I have been seeing a lot of "back to school" advertisements lately. So my train of thought went: Back to school...fall...apples...I am so craving apples.. 

I was also craving some cheesecake. Because seriously.. when am I not craving cheesecake?

The weird thing about me and making cheesecake is that I have never actually made a cheesecake before. Like an actual cream cheese circular cake. Sure I have made things resembling cheesecake using Greek yogurt, like my 4 ingredient Greek yogurt no bake cheesecake or my raspberry Greek yogurt cheesecake. I have made mini versions or cheesecakes, like the mini peanut butter cup cheesecakes, ot the mini Oreo cheesecakes. I have even made something similar to these bars: my cookie dough cheesecake bars.

But I have been too scared to make an actual one. Maybe one day I will find the courage.But for now, you can try these delicious cheesecake bars. You will be coming and going from your fridge door all day, I can guarantee it.

Apple Cheesecake Cookie Bars
printable recipe

What you'll need:

-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1 cup butter, softened

Cheesecake filling:
-2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
-1/2 cup white sugar
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-2 eggs

Apple filling:
-3 small apples, peeled and cut into cubes
-1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
-2 teaspoon white sugar

Crumb topping:
-1/2 cup oats
-1/2 cup brown sugar
-1/2 cup butter, softened
-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
-1/2 cup whole wheat flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Place the dough ingredients in a food processor, and process until mixture resembles coarse meal.
  3. Press the dough evenly into a 13x9 inch baking pan with edges, and bake for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
  4. In the meantime, in a larger bowl, beat together the cream cheese and 1/2 cup white sugar until smooth. Ass in te eggs one at a time, beating around 20 seconds after each addition. Next add the vanilla and mix until combined.
  5. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the warm crust.
  6. In a medium bowl, mix together the apple filling ingredients. Spoon evenly over the cream cheese mixture.
  7. In the same bowl, mix together the oats, butter and flours. Add in the butter, and mix with a fork until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Sprinkle over the cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup brown sugar over the oat mixture, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
  8. Cut into squares and enjoy! Store in the refrigerator.

Monday, 21 July 2014

4 Ingredient Chocolate Mug Cake

I have been MIA for a while. This is because I am currently on a road trip and have been at a cabin with no internet access for the past while. The only reason that I am writing to you now is by making my phone a hot spot. Oh the joys of technology.

The cabin is gorgeous. It is on the lake, and we go swimming everyday because it is So. Freaking. Hot. Which is nice...until you want to bake something.

Thank goodness for the microwave oven.

This cake was born from not wanting to make the kitchen hot, and not wanting to to have a lot of dessert. Mug cakes are my newest obsession. And when I have an obsession, I go all out.

As a warning, this mug cake isn't as sweet as my eggless chocolate mug cake, or my microwave brownie in a cup, so if you want a sweeter dessert, try either one of those, or add more sugar to this. Or you could even make a frosting for this cake. As for me, I am fine with cakes..sweet or not.

This is a great way to satisfy your chocolate tooth..with only 4 ingredients! Mug cakes are my new favorite thing to do during the summer months.

4 Ingredient Chocolate Mug Cake
printable recipe

What you'll need:
  • 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  1. Place the chocolate chips and milk in a microwave safe mug. Microwave for 30-35 seconds, then stir with a fork until the chocolate is completely melted. If the chocolate is not yet melted, microwave for an additional 15 seconds and mix again. 
  2. Add in the flour and baking powder, and mix until fully combined. Microwave for 1 minute, and see if it's done. If not, continue to microwave in thirty second intervals.

Adapted from Kirbie Cravings

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Cranberry Pistachio White Chocolate Cookies

My blog is quickly becoming a dessert blog, and frankly, I'm kind of happy about it.

I was never the chef in the family. That was always my sister. In fact, when I was 7 and my sister was 6, we started a "business", or so we would like to think of it, called "Charmaine's Family Restaurant". My sister's name is of course Charmaine. Named after her because she was the cook behind it.

My sister made menus, and created meals such as "daddy's big breakfast" or "mommy's breakfast plate". Prices were reasonable, or so we thought when we were that young. I think we gave the "daddy's big breakfast" the large (or so we thought) sum of $0.50. But my job was to be the waitress. After about 2 days, my sister fired me. I think I tried to cook the omelette but burned it.

The first job I ever had, and I got fired before I entered the double digits. What a disappointment.

Ever since that day, I seem to have let my sister do all the cooking. Which meant I did all the baking. In my opinion, I think I came out on top.

I might try cooking some more later, but for now, I will leave you with yet another cookie recipe.

I kind of wish I saved this for Christmas, seeing as the colors look so festive, but I just couldn't wait. I bought some pistachios, and damn it, I wanted to use them. These cookies lasted all of 2 days. 1 and maybe a quarter if you wanted to be more accurate. I will definitely be making these again.

Cranberry Pistachio White Chocolate Cookies
printable recipe

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried pistachios
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. 
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt until fully combined. Slowly mix the dry ingredients in with the wet ingredients, and mix until fully incorporated.
  4. Fold in the oats, cranberries, pistachios and white chocolate until fully incorporated.
  5. Place the dough by tablespoonfuls onto lightly sprayed baking sheets.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cookies are beginning to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Closet Cooking

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Vanilla Bean Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

It seems like forever since I last made cupcakes.

And since I still want to use the vanilla bean paste that I made a while back, I decided on some vanilla bean cupcakes. And I know that most people are bored just a plain vanilla recipe.(obviously not me with my onetwothreefour different vanilla ice cream recipes on my blog) For you, I spiced up a plain vanilla cupcake with a hidden peanut butter cup inside. Topped with creamy peanut butter frosting.

You know that old saying: a way to a man's heart is through his stomach? Well if you were to ask me, the way to my heart is through my stomach...specifically with peanut butter.

I should make that into a T-shirt.

And since it's the weekend, indulge in one, two, three of these cupcakes! You deserve it. And even if you don't..well..I won't tell.

What you'll need:

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 12-15 peanut butter cups
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2-3 cups icing sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • up to 1/4 cup milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and set aside.
  2. Cupcakes: In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and baking powder. 
  3. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the butter until melted, around 20 seconds. Pour into a large bowl and cream together with the sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk in the egg, egg white, sour cream, milk and vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated.
  4. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients until fully combined.
  5. Fill the cupcake liners with the batter, and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool on wire racks.
  6. Frosting: Beat together the peanut butter and the butter until light and fluffy. Mix in 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.
  7. Add the icing sugar 1 cup at a time, alternating with 1 teaspoon of milk until it reaches your desired consistency. Beat until light and fluffy. Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.

Cupcake adapted from Budding Baketress
Frosting from A Taste Of Madness

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Coconut Vanilla Granola

I am of the opinion that the best thing about summer is frozen yogurt.

Yesterday me and my friend drove for 30 minutes to get some frozen yogurt, and it was worth every minute. If you live by Menchie's, then I urge you all to go. Or any make your own frozen yogurt place for that matter.

The reason that I'm bringing up my trip to get frozen yogurt is because the toppings that I put on my frozen yogurt was ridiculous. I put sour candy, reeses pieces, peanut butter cups, mochi, and a lot of granola. As I was eating my frankly ridiculous frozen yogurt, I got to thinking that I haven't made granola in forever. Also, granola and frozen yogurt taste fantastic together.

This granola is perfect topping for yogurt, both frozen and not. It is also great for shoving in your mouth by the handfuls. I have tried it out myself on many occasions. I guess my next project is to make some frozen yogurt to go along with this granola. However, I'm not sure this granola will last long enough for that..

Coconut Vanilla Granola
printable recipe

What you'll need:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup golden syrup
  • 2 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line a large baking sheet with a silicone mat or parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut. almonds, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. 
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and mix until the oat mixture is fully coated.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Bake for an additional 15 minutes. 
  6. Remove from the oven and let cool. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Vanilla Bean Mug Cake

Came back from Hawaii yesterday morning. If it were up to me, I would never leave that island. Maybe there were other people feeling the same way, because my flight back to Vancouver was on the most empty airplane that I have ever been on... ever. There were people literally sprawled out horizontally on 3 chairs sleeping.

So I'm back to the cold and the rain. How can I possibly lift my spirits?

Another mug cake? I think yes!

Ever since I made vanilla bean paste I have been searching for recipes that call for it. Because when I don't have it in my house, the recipes are everywhere. When I finally do, I can't find any recipe that calls for it.

But when I saw this recipe from Table for Two, I knew I needed to make it and satisfy my new found mug cake obsession.

Vanilla Bean Mug Cake
printable recipe

What you'll need:
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. 
  2. Whisk together the milk, vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract.
  3. Mix in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and mix until fully combined.
  4. Pour into a mug, and microwave for 1 1/2 minutes, and remove to see if it's done. If not, continue to microwave in thirty second intervals.

Recipe from Table for Two

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Raisin and Coconut Pumpkin Bread

I am still in Hawaii right now, and it is freaking gorgeous! We climbed Diamond Head, explored the mall, and went to the beach countless times. I swear, every time we are at the beach we see at least two weddings going on.

And since I can't be baking in my hotel room, I will be talking about something I baked a while back that has been in my drafts section for a while. That's almost as good as baking right?

If only hotels came with an oven and baking supplies. A girl can only dream..

But let's talk about this bread. I like making pumpkin bread almost as much as I like making banana bread. And even though it is not remotely close to fall, I don't know why we can't be making pumpkin recipes all year round.

Even my pumpkin hating parents loved this bread. And how can you not when you have the irresistible aroma wafting out from the oven, and this resulting bread which stays moist for days? Maybe next time I will make this with pineapple instead of raisins. That is, if I don't get too sick of pineapples after this vacation.

Raisin and Coconut Pumpkin Bread
printable recipe

What you'll need:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground all spice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup sweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup raisins


  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly spray 2 loaf pans and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, sugars, baking soda, salt, all spice and cinnamon until fully combined. Add in the pumpkin puree, oil and coconut milk until fully combined. Fold in the coconut and the raisins until fully incorporated.
  3. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans, and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove from the oven, and cover the loaves tightly with foil. Allow the bread to steam for 10 minutes. Remove the foil, and turn the loaves onto wire racks. Tent the foil on top of the loaves, and allow to cool completely.

Adapted from All Recipes
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