Pumpkin Part Two – Pumpkin Molasses Cheesecake Cookies

I don’t really think I have to explain why I decided to try this recipe. The title pretty much says it all. Pumpkin. Molasses. Cheesecake. Cookies. C’mon, how could you not try these?

Turns out the “cheesecake” part of the cookies is a little misleading, the cream cheese really just makes these more moist and cake-y. After they came out of the oven I decided they needed to be dressed up a little more, so I drizzled some cream cheese icing on them. This step should be done RIGHT before serving; I did this the night before and the icing melted a bit and kind of soaked into the cookies.

Here is the recipe:
Pumpkin Molasses Cheesecake Cookies (Found on A Sweet Baker)


IMG_0370  1 – 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/4 cup pure pumpkin puree
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp. vanilla
2 & 1/3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 & 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt


IMG_0371In your stand mixer with your paddle attachment, cream together cream cheese and butter.
Add in brown sugar and mix until creamy and smooth.
Add in egg, pumpkin puree, molasses and vanilla and mix well until blended well.
In a separate bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients.
IMG_0372Slowly add the dry ingredients to wet ingredients in the mixer and blend until well.
Remove bowl from mixer and refrigerate for about an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
After dough has chilled remove from fridge and, using a medium cookie scoop, place balls of dough on prepared cookie sheets about 2 inches apart.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until cookies are set in the middle.
Remove from oven and let cool completely on cookie sheet.
IMG_0374Since these cookies only called for 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree I’ve got some leftover pumpkin waiting to be baked into something else delicious.

So link up in the comments if you have a good pumpkin recipe!



Hey Batter Batter Batter Batter, Swing Batter

photo 2 (2)Ever since going camping last weekend and making some s’mores I’ve had quotes from the Sandlot running through my head. “How can I have s’more if I haven’t had any yet?” C’mon how can you eat a s’more and not think of that scene in the movie. Needless to say somewhere in my head I went from thinking about s’mores to thinking about using the bag of mini marshmallows I had in my pantry for some Rice Krispies Treats. THEN I remembered I had seen a recipe for Cake Batter Rice Krispies Treats… Batter up! (okay please excuse all of the horrible cake batter/baseball batter puns, I can’t help it.)

photo 3 (2)Anyways, I found something that said to add a quarter of a cup yellow cake mix (dry) into the marshmallow mixture before adding the Rice Krispies. Easy enough.

Now I haven’t made Rice Krispies Treats in a long time, and all I can say is I do not remember the marshmallow being so damn hard to stir when its melting.

Despite the stirring difficulties, the recipe is incredibly easy. Here it is:


  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 10 oz bag of mini marshmallows
  • 1/4 cup yellow cake mix
  • SPRINKLES! (because duh everything is cuter with sprinkles, I only had some 4th of July sprinkles so my treats are patriotic)
  1. Melt butter on low in large saucepan
  2. Add marshmallows, as they begin to melt stir in cake mix one spoonful at a time
  3. Remove from heat, mix in cereal and sprinkles
  4. Spread into a 9 x 13 pan, you sprayed with cooking spray.

After I piled the mixture into the pan, I sprayed cooking spray onto my hand and just pressed them down flat. The cooking spray makes it easy to get the treats flattened out and your hands don’t end up a sticky mess.photo 5

That’s all you need to do, then you let them cool and eventually cut them into squares. If you can’t handle this recipe, well then, you’re killin me smalls!

Say Yes to Pretzel-Bottom Brownies

The salty-sweet flavor combination falls in rank as a close second to the combination of peanut butter and chocolate when it comes to being delicious. Another favorite salty-sweet dessert is pretzel jello, and when I realized these brownies incorporated the same pretzel crust I knew I had to make them.

The recipe is rather simple – you put together the pretzel bottom, cover it with brownie batter and bake. The first step in making the pretzel crust involves crushing up your pretzels into small pieces. The recipe suggests using a food processor, but since my food processor is tiny and would require splitting the pretzels into 3 or 4 batches I decided to go with the “smash them in a Ziploc bag” technique. This works, except make sure you put a towel or something under the bag because the pretzels tend to tear through the plastic, leading to a pretzel-dust leakage situation.photo 1

The original blog I found this recipe on warns to not taste the pretzel crust mixture because it is too good and you will want to eat the whole bowl. Clearly I took that as “you must taste the pretzel mix before baking it.” I put all but one spoonful into my pan, so I could maintain some sense of self-control. Luckily the thought of consuming the amount of butter in the pretzel crust stopped me from eating any more than a spoonful, but yes the simple combination of sugar, pretzels and melted butter is pretty frickin fantastic.

After you have the crust ready, baked and cooled, you top it with your brownie batter and bake. Warning: these brownies smell amazing.

Here is the original recipe as found on Allie’s Clean Plate Club:

4 cup pretzels (I eye-balled it, taking handfuls until it looked like enough to cover the bottom of my pan)
¾ cup unsalted butter (1.5 sticks)
½ cup sugar

Brownie Batter:
*you can use a simple boxed mix or your own favorite brownie recipe


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Line a 13×9 inch pan with a foil, letting some of it hang over the edges (this will allow us to lift the brownies out of the pan for easier cutting and presentation).  Be sure to spray the foil with cooking spray or butter and flour.

Process the pretzels in a food processor (or crush them in a sealed Ziploc bag), until small but not to powder.

Melt the butter.

Mix the crushed pretzels, sugar and melted butter in a mixing bowl until combined.

Press the mixture into the baking pan.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the crust has set.

WARNING:  Do NOT taste the pretzel mixture before baking…you might end up eating the whole bowl!!

Cool the baked pretzel crust in the refrigerator.

photo 2Now on to the brownie batter… I used a boxed mix, just follow the directions on the box.

Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees Farenheit. Carefully, spread the batter over the cooled pretzel crust with a spatula or icing knife.

Bake the brownies for 35 to 40 minutes, checking occasionally with a toothpick in the middle to see if they are done.  Cool before serving.

photoI decided to bring this batch of brownies into the my office, by the end of the day all I left was crumbs. Word on the street (well the streets of our office) was that they were like crack brownies. Which doesn’t really sound like a good thing to compare baked goods to illicit drugs, but it is.

So basically, my advice is  to say no to drugs, and yes to Pretzel-Bottom Brownies! (Too corny?)

Add It to the Christmas Cookie List

This recipe for Toffee Chip cookies is definitely going to find its way back on my list of recipes worth repeating. I normally make a batch of regular chocolate chip cookies for Christmas, but felt like spicing it up a little this year. I found this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine in my mountainous collections of cookbooks. 2012-12-22 12.00.04

The recipe is a little unusual because the bulk of the dry ingredients comes from graham cracker crumbs and the main source of sugar comes from sweetened condensed milk. This is a drop cookie (it’s okay if you just starting singing Drop It Like Its Hot, I may have too…), so you don’t have to mess with nicely rolling the dough into little balls or rolling it out with a rolling pin. Just grab a spoonful and dump it on your cookie sheet. (Okay, technically you are supposed to make “rounded” tablespoons and of dough, but you get the picture.)

2012-12-22 12.00.13

I do think the recipe is a little deceiving because the “toffee” part of these cookies is not an overwhelming flavor. I think they taste more like a jacked up chocolate chip cookie. I added the exact amount of toffee bits, which left me with some leftover bits. If you are a big toffee lover, through in some extra bits.

Ok enough of my rambling… here’s the recipe!

Toffee Chip Cookies (Original Source: Taste of Home Best Loved Cookies & Bars 2008)


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups (12 oz) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup English toffee bits or almond brickle chips (I have no flipping clue what almond brickle chips are… I used the little heath toffee bits)
  • 1 1/2 cups flaked coconut (optional)


Combine butter and condensed milk. In a separate bowl combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, and baking power; then gradually add to the butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, toffee bits and coconut.

Drop by rounded tablespoons, 2 in apart, on a greased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until edges are lightly browned. Cool for a couple of minutes before moving to a wire rack. 2012-12-22 12.28.05

I will also say, some of these cookies were tough to get off the baking sheet, so don’t skimp when you grease up your pans. Be sure to grease up the pan between each batch, otherwise you’ll make a hot cookie mess. And if you end up with a hot cookie mess, well at least you made it from scratch and sarcasm.

Happy Baking!

I’ll Be Home for Chrismas (Cookies)

I’m one of those huge nerds when it comes to Christmas. I can’t get enough of cheesy Christmas movies, I play Christmas music as soon as Thanksgiving is over, I enjoy wrapping presents, and no Christmas is close to being complete without baking a TON of Christmas cookies.2012-12-24 15.35.05

There are certain cookies I have to bake every year, but I always like to try a few new recipes. Here is the list of what I baked this year:

  • Molasses Sugar cookies
  • Snickerdoodles
  • Peanut Blossoms
  • Toffee Chip Cookies
  • Cherry coconut cookies (which were really supposed to be cherry macaroons but didn’t quite work out.)

I always like making some sort of ginger/molasses cookie, but I haven’t found one recipe to be totally loyal to. Snickerdoodles and Peanut Blossoms are always a must. I decided to try toffee chip cookies and cherry macaroons this year. The toffee chip cookies might have to become a regular on my list, the cherry macaroons are a whole other story….

I’ve never made coconut macaroons, and when I found the cherry macaroon recipe I thought it would be perfect for Christmas (since the cherries add a little red color). Well they taste great, but I must have somehow screwed up this recipe because they look nothing like a normal macaroon. I’ve read over it ten times and I swear I measured everything right, but they just didn’t turn out the consistency you’d expect. So instead of macaroons I’m calling them cherry coconut cookies. I’ll have to find another macaroon recipe to try to master.

Anyways I’m going to post the cookies recipes later, but wanted to make sure to wish everyone a Sweet and Merry Christmas!

Zucchini Is an Awkward Word to Spell

Do not proceed if you are of the faint of heart. I will warn you right now… the batter for this recipe looks like barf or swamp muck. And yes, I am showing you pictures.

Okay, now that you’ve been warned let’s get to the zucchini bars! These bars were adapted from a recipe for zucchini carrots bars. I had some zucchini to get rid of, but the only carrots I had were baby carrots. Shredding a cup and a half worth of baby carrots sounded awful so I skipped that step.  I was a little concerned by the amount of moisture that was pooling in my bowl of shredded zucchini, but I was already more than halfway done getting the zucchini ready and was not about to throw in the towel…except I did throw some paper towel in the bowl to soak up the water. This seemed to work, although, my concern grew as a made the batter and it looked swampy. Pouring it into the pan, didn’t make it look any more appetizing. I said a little prayer to the baking gods and put that bad boy in the oven. When all was said and done they smelled fantastic and tasted even better. I followed the recommendation from the blog I found the recipe on and threw in some chocolate chips, definitely made these a little more special! Plus they are basically like zucchini bread in a bar form, which I think means you can pass it off as dessert or a breakfast treat.

Here is the recipe (adapted from The Domestic Wannabe):


  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • chocolate chips (I didn’t measure, I used a couple of handfuls)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, oil, honey and vanilla.  Don’t worry about clumps of the brown sugar, those will dissolve as it sits while you prepare the remaining ingredients.  Then fold in the zucchini, and walnuts.
  2. In another bowl combine the flour, baking powder, ginger and baking soda.  Whisk to blend together.
  3. Add flour mixture to the wet mixture.  Stir until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips. Spread batter into an un-greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
  4. Bake about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.  Cut into bars.

I’d leave you with an innuendo regarding putting the zucchini in the oven… but that would be too obvious. So happy baking!