Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Are you a cheesecake fan? I think it’s probably one of my top 5 desserts to make and eat. I love the endless flavor combinations and the cold creamy center.  Speaking of cold, creamy center…do yourself a favor and resist the urge to try your cheesecake warm out of the oven because you have no self-control. It was kinda gross.

Now onto the recipe! Bars are fabulous if you don’t feel like dealing with your springform pan and want ease of serving. Just cut into huge reasonably sized squares and slap some whipped cream on top. Honestly, is there a recipe that whipped cream doesn’t improve upon?  These bars (SPOILER ALERT) have pumpkin in them, which is awesome, and contrary to my children’s claim, pumpkin is NOT just for Thanksgiving and is, in fact, something to be enjoyed from October to December 31 🙂

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Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
Creamy pumpkin cheesecake bars with a graham cracker crust.
pumpkin cheesecake bars
Course Desserts
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
Cheesecake Filling
Course Desserts
Servings
bars
Ingredients
Graham Cracker Crust
Cheesecake Filling
pumpkin cheesecake bars
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 F.
  2. Grease a 13 x 9 pan well, including up the sides.
  3. In a bowl, mix your melted butter and graham cracker crumbs.
  4. Press mixture into bottom of 13 x 9 pan and set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat your cream cheese and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the lemon juice.
  6. Beat your eggs in one at a time on low speed. When one egg is incorporated, add another and so on. Don't go nuts here with mixing. Beating at a low speed keeps too much air from getting into your batter and causing cracks.
  7. Pour half your mixture onto your crust. If you want more exact and even layers, use a scale to weigh your batter first and halve that amount for your first layer.
  8. Add your spices and canned pumpkin to the other half of your batter. This will look like a light orange/brown color, but will darken after baking and cooling.
  9. Stir until smooth and carefully pour on top of your first cheesecake layer.
  10. Bake about 45 minutes; you want a bit of wobble still in the middle, but just set on top.
  11. Turn off the oven, open the door, but leave your cheesecake in there. Let it sit in place for about 15 minutes.
  12. Take out of oven and cool on wire rack. When completely cool, cover and put in fridge for 3 hours before digging in.
  13. When ready to serve, slice with a sharp knife wiped off between cuts to get a nice look. Garnish with whipped cream.
Recipe Notes

Recipe adapted from A Treats Affair.

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Spiced Gingerbread and Chocolate Bundt Cake

Chocolate + gingerbread = deliciousness. This recipe screams HOLIDAY to me!

Are you a gingerbread fan? There seems to be a love/hate relationship with gingery things out there. I can say I’m now a bigger fan of the combo of chocolate and gingerbread than just plain gingerbread. Speaking of gingerbread, I love to browse cookbooks for the food photography recipes and I came across a fabulous one – American Cake: From Colonial Gingerbread to Classic Layer.  Apparently gingerbread has been around a long time, like 13th century long time.

(Also – am I the only one who won’t bother with a cookbook unless it has BEAUTIFUL pictures? I have literally flipped through a book, saw it had little/no pictures, and placed it back on the shelf. Who sells a cookbook filled with only WORDS?? Ok, rant over 🙂

Continue reading “Spiced Gingerbread and Chocolate Bundt Cake”

Creamy Nutella Pudding

This recipe came about as a result of being out of peanut butter…let’s just say I’m glad I dropped the ball on stockpiling the PB 😉 This Nutella pudding didn’t last long in our house and there weren’t any leftovers.

CAUTION: This isn’t a recipe for those who “kinda” like Nutella – it’s for those of us who eat it straight out of the container with a spoon. Nutella is an awesome substitute in recipes where you don’t mind some chocolate flavor (who would mind that??).  Whipped cream dolloped right on top before serving takes this recipe over the edge, and actually cuts back just a bit on the sweetness of the pudding. Make this a few hours before you dive in, as you’ll need to let it firm up and get cold in the fridge first.

This recipe also is a great way to use up egg yolks if you *ahem* have a macaron-making addiction (see http://www.weirdlittlefrenchcookie.com/recipe/easy-strawberry-macarons/ 🙂 Enjoy! – Tiffany

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Creamy Nutella Pudding
A rich and tasty Nutella pudding that comes together quickly.
Nutella pudding
Course Desserts
Servings
people
Ingredients
Course Desserts
Servings
people
Ingredients
Nutella pudding
Instructions
  1. Whisk together your sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Don't put this on the stove top yet!
  2. Slowly whisk in your milk and break up any cornstarch lumps.
  3. Whisk in your egg yolks and Nutella. Don't worry if it's a bit lumpy; it will smooth out while cooking.
  4. Place your pan on medium heat and continue to whisk. You'll be whisking for 5 to 10 minutes. This will begin to thicken and go from runny to pudding consistency pretty quickly. When it starts to bubble up, turn your heat down to low and cook about a minute more while whisking the whole time.
  5. Remove from heat and strain the pudding through a mesh colander. This will get rid of any lumps and make your finished product nice and smooth.
  6. Stir in your butter and vanilla extract while pudding is still hot.
  7. Let sit for about 5 minutes and press a piece of plastic wrap directly on top; this will keep your delicious pudding from getting a "skin" on it.
  8. Chill in the fridge for several hours.
Recipe Notes

Adapted from I Wash You Dry peanut butter pudding.

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Gluten Free and Dairy Free Tater Tot Casserole

Is there ANYBODY on earth who doesn’t like tater tots?? These tiny machine-pressed potato products are serious comfort food for me and especially yummy on a cold November day. I whipped up this recipe for the Reddit 52-week baking challenge and casseroles were the theme. To be honest I wasn’t really looking forward to this bake, as casseroles aren’t generally my “thing” and my hubby and kids aren’t too enthused with them. My husband also eats gluten free/dairy free, so that sort of limited my options. Luckily I found a pretty good recipe and adapted it to our needs. BTW – this recipe is dairy free EXCEPT for the butter in the homemade condensed cream soup portion, so you could try using some sort of vegan butter substitute, but I haven’t tried that yet. Make sure your tater tots are gluten free if needed. Enjoy! – Tiffany

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Gluten Free and Dairy Free Tater Tot Casserole
A simple gluten free and dairy free (except for the butter!) casserole with beef and crisp tater tots.
Gluten free, dairy free tater tot casserole
Course Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Gluten Free/Dairy Free Condensed Cream Soup
Gluten Free Tater Tot Casserole
Course Main Dish
Servings
people
Ingredients
Gluten Free/Dairy Free Condensed Cream Soup
Gluten Free Tater Tot Casserole
Gluten free, dairy free tater tot casserole
Instructions
Condensed Cream Soup
  1. Melt your butter in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Whisk in your GF flour and keep whisking while it cooks for 2 minutes or so.
  3. Slowly add in your almond milk (or whatever dairy substitute you prefer). Keep whisking!
  4. Turn up the heat to medium high and add your garlic salt (and your mushrooms if using them).
  5. This will thicken up as it cooks. Stir often and cook until a condensed soup consistency. Take off the heat when it is the thickness you prefer and set to the side for the next step.
Tater Tot Casserole
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Brown your ground beef and drain the fat from the pan. At this point I tossed my frozen green beans into the pan with the beef to warm and soften them up a bit.
  3. In a bowl, toss the dried onions, condensed soup, cooked beef, and green beans together. Salt and pepper to taste if you'd like.
  4. Place this into a casserole dish; I used a round 2 quart Pyrex dish.
  5. Now you can artfully place your tater tots on the top! I started on the outside and worked my way in, making somewhat of a spiral design. You could try rows or columns if you are baking in a square dish.
  6. Bake until your tater tots are golden brown and crispy. This took about 30 minutes for me.
Recipe Notes

OPTIONAL - Do you want cream of mushroom soup? Then add some chopped canned mushrooms while stirring.

 

Recipe adapted from a Simple Home Cook and Food Fanatic.

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How about some macs??

I sell these, so if you are looking to buy, let’s talk 🙂

boxed assorted macarons
YUM!

See that pic? That cute little box will run you 5 bucks (plus shipping) and includes 1 each of pistachio, strawberry, gingerbread chocolate, and lemon. I can take larger custom orders and have made chocolate mint, vanilla, and lavender flavors. You can contact me at thekuhnfamily2 at gmail dot com 🙂

Easy Strawberry Macarons

Are you intimidated by these little cuties? I really was, especially after reading everywhere how fickle they are, how important technique is, etc. I’ve now made these well over a dozen times and each batch gets better than the last. I think the key is the batter consistency more than anything else. Here are some things I DON’T do, as I haven’t found them necessary for making macarons (macs for short!):

– aging the egg whites (I only separate them an hour or 2 ahead of time to get them to room temp so they whip up better)

– using cream of tartar (I used this for several batches and then left it out, and haven’t seen a difference in my macs)

As we speak I have close to a dozen egg yolks in my fridge leftover from my macaron-making extravaganza, so I’m open to suggestions on what to do with those!

Here are some step-by-step pics to help you along.

Continue reading “Easy Strawberry Macarons”

I actually WON SOMETHING

See this here dessert I made?? baking-contest-low-fat-raspberry-cheesecake

This beauty WON ME SOMETHING – I got a cooler bag and a 20 dollar gift card to a local grocery store. How cool is that?? This was for my first ever baking competition for a “healthier” dessert and I beat out all…

wait for it…

3 OF US!

and 1 of them was me.

But I totally won!

Thanks to Sally’s Baking Addiction for the recipe –

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/2013/08/12/skinny-raspberry-swirl-cheesecake-bars/

Who am I REALLY??

I’m Tiffany and I love to bake. My obsession love for baking started this past year with a Reddit baking challenge – https://www.reddit.com/r/52weeksofbaking/ and I realized how fabulous it is to decide on a recipe, drool over a recipe, make said recipe, share the recipe with others, and of course stuff my own face with it. Now I will share my baking escapades with THE WORLD, or whoever happens to read this blog.