Chocolate Chip Cream Cheese Bars

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bar 2
This is a rich dessert.  I cut the pieces a tad too big, so most people had to finish it in a few sittings.  For next time, I would know to cut it up in small brownie squares for better consumption.  Other than that, I thought the cookie was quite tasty.  Not too sweet, so if you’re looking for something sweeter, maybe add another half cup of sugar to the crust.  It was a puuuuuurfect pairing with a cup of coffee in the morning.
Crust Ingredients:
4 cup cake flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/3 cups butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla
3 cups chocolate chipsFilling Ingredients:
1 cup softened cream cheese
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
Preheat oven to 350oF.

Line a 9″ x 13″ inch baking pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt for crust.

In a large bowl, cream together butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

Slowly mix in the flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan to form an even layer.

In a small bowl, combine filling ingredients and beat until blended.  Spread filling over the cookie dough layer and level.

Crumble remaining crust dough over the filling layer.  Refer to the photo below.  (I rolled the dough into a small strand, similar to a chopstick and broke off pieces)

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bar 1

Bake for 40 minutes, or until cheesecake is set and cookie dough has browned.

Allow to cool completely and chill before slicing.  Enjoy!


Twisted Bread Sticks

I have always enjoyed going to my local pizza shop and ordered breadsticks.  It was getting more and more expensive since I first discovered this leftover pizza dough covered in spices.  So I did a bit of research and tried this out myself.  I may try a few other ones in the future to see what actually works with me, but I just wanted to share my first try.

1 package rapid rise yeast or 22 grams of fresh yeast
1 1/2 cups warm water
3 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 cups butter
garlic salt
italian seasoning
onion powder
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Set aside.  (If you are using fresh yeast, you can skip this step )

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, and salt.  Make a small well in the flour mixture and stir in the yeast mixture until combined .

Knead the dough for 3 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes.



Lightly flour a work surface and roll the dough out into a rectangle about the size of the baking sheet. Use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into 1-inch-wide strips.

Breadsticks 3

Melt 1/2 cup butter and pour onto a baking sheet.  With a strip of dough, bring the ends together so it is doubled, then twist. Roll the bread stick in the butter until coated, then place on the pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Season with garlic salt, onion powder, and Italian seasoning, or other desired seasonings. Sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the bread sticks.  I found it a little bland, so be a little generous with the spices.

Breadsticks 4

While waiting for the breadsticks to rise to double volume (10-20 minutes).  Preheat the oven to 375oF.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until beginning to lightly brown.

Breadsticks 5

I deliberately underbaked mine a little bit, as there was too much to be eaten at once, so I decided to freeze it.  When I needed it, I would just take them out to defrost to room temperature and throw them into the oven for 5- 10 minutes to heat and brown them up as my side dish with my pasta or even with some soup.

Eggnog Bundt Cake with Eggnog Butter Glaze (and rum)

Eggnog Bundt Cake

Every year, I experiment with an eggnog recipe.  This one is one of the best, if not, the best I’ve made, and by far, my favorite recipe.  I let it sit for a day, to have the eggnog glaze moisten the cake, as well as making it flavorful.  As this is almost like a pound cake, a butter substitute is not preferred.  Secondly, there’s always the boozy option.  I baked it a few times this season.  Once with no alcohol, once in 1 shot of rum and the last time with 2 shots of rum (only because I didn’t really taste the rum, putting in 1 shot).  If there were children in the crowd, stick with the non-alcoholic recipe.  I only tried out the rum option, because people kept asking, after making it without the rum.

Cake Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tbsp. vanilla
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/4 cup eggnog
2 shots rum, optional

Glaze Ingredients:
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup eggnog

Preheat oven to 325°F.  Spray large bundt pan (12 cups) with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder and baking soda.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until it turns white in color.  Add in eggs, one at a time and add in vanilla.

Alternately beat in flour mixture and eggnog.  Starting and ending with flour mixture.  (flour, eggnog, flour, eggnog and flour) and beating in each addition well.  Scraping the sides of the mixing bowl, after each addition.

***OPTIONAL***  Mix in the rum.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 60-65 minutes until a toothpick/cake tester comes out clean.

Cool for 10 minutes and flip the cake out of the bundt pan.  ***You can skip this step, but I found it easier to get out of the pan after an overnight cool, if it was loosened before pouring in the glaze.

While cake is cooling make the glaze. Combine all ingredients into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir continuously until butter is melted and sugar is dissolved. Do not bring to a boil.

Flip the cake back into the bundt (while it is still warm and poke holes with the cake tester, or I just poked it with a chopstick to create bigger holes for the glaze.

Eggnog Bundt Cake 2

Pour glaze evenly on the cake.  Be very careful, there should be enough glaze to fill it right up to the rip of the pan.

Eggnog Bundt Cake 3

Let the cake cool overnight in the pan and invert into a serving plate.

Sprinkle on icing sugar.


Pumpkin Spice Bundt Cake

Pumpkin Bundt Bake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
Pumpkin anything would have never been my first pick, however, I was going for the fall theme for the department potluck.  Bundt cakes usually asks for about an hour baking time, but this one was quick.  I didn’t think 40 minutes was going to be enough, but it was well over the baking time.  The consistency of the raw batter was quite dry already, so I should have checked it earlier.  I thought it would be dry, but to my surprise, it was quite impressive.  Do not over mix it, as it would be on the chewy side, but make sure the flour mixture gets slightly combined.
Cake Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 (16 oz.) can pumpkin puree
3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsps. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Frosting Ingredients:
1/3 cup softened cream cheese
1 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 cups powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk
1 tbsp. water


Preheat oven to 350oF.

Spray large bundt pan (12 cups) with non-stick spray.

In a large bowl, cream together sugar and oil .  Add eggs one at a time, mixing well in between, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl.  Add your can of pumpkin and let the mixer run for a few minutes.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg.

Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Mix together until the flour is incorporated.  Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, and smooth out the top.

Bake your cake for approximately 40 minutes, or until cake tester comes out clean.

Let it cool in the pan for 15 minutes.  Turn the cake into a cooling rack to cool completely.

Frosting:  Whisk together cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Whisk in milk, and then add water a little bit at a time, until the desired consistency is reached. It’s a rather thick frosting consistency.


Zucchini Loaf

For me, the whole thought of vegetables in any kind of baking feels a sense of healthiness.  Although I have heard people talk about the gluten free diets, the wheat free diets and kito diets, I’m not ready for that kind of baking yet.  I understand that it seems to be the “in” thing, but I am not prepared to gear my baking towards that direction, just yet.  I have thought maybe in the future, I might, but until I get warmed up and make sense of what each diet is really about, I think I’m going to stick with what I know and (in my opinion) do best.  Bad baking!  LOL
Zucchini Loaf sliced

This is quite the snack.  I find it, a tad different from my regular baking, as this is kind of chewy.  I’m not too sure if it because I have overmixed it with the flour, but it also doesn’t rise as much as the regular baking that I do either.

3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1½ cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups zucchini, grated/drained
1 cup walnut, coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.  Carefully mix in the grated zucchini, making sure that it doesn’t clump together.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla.  Fold in the flour mixture and walnuts until just combined DO NOT OVERMIX.

Pour into loaf pan and bake for approximately 1 hour or until cake tester/toothpick comes out clean.

Zucchini Loaf


Pumpkin Spice & Cream Cheese Loaf

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Loaf1

Just in time for American Thanksgiving.  I have never really grown to like Pumpkin, or cream cheese.  So I was actually going out on a limb here, hoping that everything would come together.  I have tested it on a few.  Majority of the people liked it, but I thought it wasn’t overly sweet, however, I think if there is pumpkin puree out there that is sweetened, might make the cake a little bit sweeter.  The pumpkin taste, is an acquired taste, so make sure who your audience is, when you decide to try this out.  The cream cheese put a little bit of a spin on this loaf, which turned out quite pretty, when it came out of the oven.

For the Cheese Layer Ingredients:
1 cup cream cheese, room temperature
1 egg, room temperature
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp. vanilla

For the Pumpkin Spice Loaf Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin filling)
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla
1¼ cups cake flour
1¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. ginger
⅛ tsp. cloves

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease a loaf pan with cooking spray, set aside.

For the cheese batter:
Beat together cream cheese, egg, powdered sugar and vanilla, until smooth.  Set aside.

For the pumpkin spice batter:
Whisk together the brown sugar and eggs in a medium bowl until light and fluffy.  Stir in the pumpkin, canola oil, and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves.

Gradually stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, DO NOT OVERMIX.

Pour the pumpkin batter into the loaf, then pour the cheese batter on top.  Bake until golden around the edges, about 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick/cake tester inserted inside comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in the pans, then remove from the pans and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Loaf2

Mini Applesauce Muffins

Mini Applesauce Muffins

This was my first attempt with mini muffins and I was quite impressed.  As I have mentioned before, the whole muffin and cookie thing is not really my baking style.  You actually need a lot of patience with scooping each batter out, and they all have to be same size, if not, it won’t bake evenly with the others.  Not only it’s the individual muffins (if you put enough batter or not enough in the baking mould).  Some look better than others, then it’s the stress of thinking what others may think.  Some people that think they know better bakers and then they start to judge, then it defeats the whole purpose of baking as a relaxation.  Anyhow, this may be the start of my mini muffin series.  LOL!

Cake Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup cake flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup applesauce

Topping Ingredients:
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Lightly grease the mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, cream 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time until combined, scrape sides if needed.  Stir in applesauce.

Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir just until moistened.  DO NOT OVERMIX!!!  (It will become very chewy if you overmix)

Spoon batter into prepared mini muffin pan.  Fill each 2/3 full.  Bake for 12-15 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before removing muffins from pan.

Once the muffins are cool, combine 1/4 cup sugar and cinnamon.  Dip the muffin tops into melted butter and then into sugar mixture.  Enjoy!

Churro Bundt Pound Cake

Churro Bundt Cake 1

I was looking for something “churro” like to bake for my co-worker’s birthday, as she is such a big churro fan.  I couldn’t make churros for work, as it would be soggy when I get it into my office the next day.  This was the closest I got, as it worked out for me (because I like making bundt cakes) and her (it’s not a soggy churro).  Although I wish I could have had a difference bundt mold to keep the topping from sliding off.  I may try to make it again with a different design to see how it holds the topping more “in place”.  I was very happy with the outcome for the first attempt though.  Give it try…..

Cake Ingredients:
3 cups cake flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 cup butter, room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup yogurt

Topping Ingredients:
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsps. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350oF.  Prepare a 10 – 12 cup Bundt pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together, flour, baking soda, and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping the sides of the bowl after each. Mix in the vanilla.

Add in the flour mixture, alternating with the yogurt.  (Start with the flour mixture and end with the flour mixture).  Scraping sides of the bowl as needed.  Give the bowl a good stir with a wooden spoon, scraping from the bottom and making sure everything is folded in. Pour batter into prepared pan baking pan.  Bake for roughly one hour, or until a cake tester comes out clean.

Place the pan on a cooling rack for about 20 minutes.  Carefully turn out onto rack to finish cooling. As cake cools, combine sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Brush the cake with the melted butter, and sprinkle the cinnamon sugar all over the surface of the cake.

Churro Bundt Cake

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bundt Cake 2
This was a quick and easy recipe for me to whip up as this was for a co-workers birthday.  Of course, celebrating without a cake is just a meeting.  It wasn’t too sweet and the frosting just gave it enough sweetness for a light dessert.  Love it!

Cake ingredients:
3 cups cake flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup yogurt
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1 cup creamy peanut butter

Frosting Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
4-5 tbsp milk

Preheat oven to 350oF.

Spray large bundt pan (12 cups) with non-stick spray.

In a medium bowl, sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, beat the butter on a medium speed until light and fluffy (approximately 1 minute). Slowly add the sugar and beat until combined.

Add the eggs, one at a time. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Then, beat in yogurt and vanilla.

Once everything in the large bowl is completely combined, add the flour mixture and milk alternately until just combined.  (Start and finish with the flour mixture)

Transfer half of the batter (3 1/2 cups) to a clean medium bowl. Then, stir in the melted chocolate.  Stir the peanut butter into the other half of the batter.

Using a separate spoon for each batter, alternately dollop spoonfuls of the chocolate and peanut butter into the bundt pan. Use a knife or spatula to swirl the batter together. DO NOT OVER MIX.  Fill your pan 3/4 of the way full.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Bundt Cake

Bake for 60 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes. Then, remove from the pan.

In the meantime, make your peanut butter frosting. In a bowl with an electric mixer, combine the powdered sugar, peanut butter, and enough milk to create a thick drizzle.

When your cake is cooled, drizzle with peanut butter frosting.


Coffee Chocolate Cake with Mocha Cocoa Frosting

Coffee Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

This was a pretty easy recipe, as most of the ingredients were in my pantry, but most of all, it was a one bowl cake mixture.  No fuss!!!  I found some almond slices and threw it into my toaster oven for a little burnt taste.  The last time I made this for my office, there were people that didn’t like the liqueur, so I substituted that with a shot of espresso from the local coffee shop.

Cake Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups cake flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup brewed coffee

Frosting Ingredients:
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. Cocoa
4 tbsp. warm water
1 tbsp. espresso (more if desired)
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350° F. Prepare two 8″ or 9″ round pans.  Line the bottom of your round pans with parchment paper for easy release.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the sugar, cake flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, oil, milk and vanilla. Beat for 2 minutes at medium speed, then stir in the coffee mixture.

Pour into the prepared pans and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Allow them to cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then flip them out on a wire rack and let completely cool before frosting and top with sliced almonds.  (I toasted my almond slices, for a little burnt taste)

For the frosting:
Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat.  Stir in cocoa, water and espresso.  Remove from heat.  Gradually add powdered sugar, beating slowly, until it get to your desired consistency.  Add additional water if it gets too thick.