Have you ever had a mocha frappuccino with malt powder from Starbucks? If you haven’t, I suggest you get one. Immediately. It will change your life. This cheesecake is like that delicious drink only in cake form.

I’ve made one cheesecake previously and that one turned out so pretty that I was feeling pretty cocky about this one. I thought about using a water bath even though the original recipe didn’t call for it but decided not to worry about it. And what happened? HUGE crack down the middle that a water bath would have prevented. So please, always use a water bath so you have pretty cheesecakes.

The cheesecake was pretty amazing despite the crack. The malt flavor became more apparent as the cheesecake sat in the fridge and was super malt-y after a couple days. Yum!

Chocolate Malt Cheesecake
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup unsalted butter melted and cooled slightly
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 packages 8 ounces each cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 can 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
  • 3/4 cp chocolate malt powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • whipped cream and malted milk balls to decorate
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Wrap the bottom a 9 x 3 inch springform pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Combine butter, sugar, and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl. Press mixture firmly into bottom of springform pan.
  4. Beat cream cheese in a large mixing bowl until fluffy. Add condensed milk and beat until well blended. Add malt powder, eggs, and vanilla and beat thoroughly. Pour filling into crust. Put springform into a larger pan and fill the larger pan with water – about halfway up the springform.
  5. Bake for 65 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool to room temperature and then chill in refrigerator. Decorate with fresh whipped cream and malted milk balls.
7

Cupcakes + Snickers = amazing. The End.

There were some Snickers cupcakes in Food Network magazine a few months back and I’ve been looking for an excuse to make them. I got tired of waiting and decided to make them when I was wandering around the grocery store one day (my favorite hobby). I used my phone to check what ingredients I needed and luckily noticed the reviews on the Food Network website. Dry cake, nougat sliding everywhere, there were complaints about every little thing in the recipe. I still thought the idea was a good one but it needed major changes.

Basically this is vanilla cake with peanuts, a peanut butter & marshmallow nougat, and chocolate frosting. It turned out awesome. The cake was so soft and the peanuts added a great saltiness to it. The nougat layer was good enough to be eaten with a spoon. The chocolate frosting was good but I wish I had used my favorite one.

Did they taste like a Snickers? Yes and no. The top definitely did, although it could have used more peanuts. Know what else they were missing? The most important part of a Snickers! CARAMEL! I didn’t even realize they were missing caramel until I sat down to write this post. A caramel drizzle would have made these even better. But I heard no complaints and there are definitely none left so I guess no one missed the caramel too much!

Snickers Cupcakes
cupcake from Ina Garten
Ingredients
For the cupcakes:
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
For the nougat:
  • 1 7- ounce jar of marshmallow fluff
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
For the frosting:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 ounces milk chocolate finely chopped
  • 2 ounces semisweet chocolate finely chopped
  • 1 - 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • salted peanuts for garnish
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on high speed, until light and fluffy. On medium speed, add the eggs, 1 at a time, then add the yogurt and vanilla. Scrape down the sides and stir until smooth.
  3. Sift together the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda in a bowl. With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Gently stir in peanuts. Fill the cupcake liners to the top with batter. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool to room temperature.
  4. For nougat layer, use a spatula to fold marshmallow fluff and peanut butter together until combined. Spread a thin layer on cooled cupcakes.
  5. For frosting, melt the 2 kinds of chocolate in microwave, stirring as needed. Set aside to cool slightly.
  6. Beat butter until creamy; add 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time until fully incorporated. Add chocolate, heavy cream, vanilla, and salt. Beat until everything comes together and add powdered sugar as needed. Spread on top of nougat layer. Top with salted peanuts.


One very enthusiastic thumbs up, even if he was mad that I interrupted his cupcake eating.

4

My sister-in-law turns 17 today and when it came time to make her cake, her mother suggested a cookie cake. I agreed to make it and it came with my standard warning, “You know I’m not a cake decorator” because let’s face it, I’m not.

I used a basic chocolate chip cookie recipe for this, the one from the Nestle Tollhouse chocolate chip bags. I’m not sure if I’ve ever actually made the recipe (as cookies) but I was happy with how it turned out as a cake. I had worried that the outside would brown a lot faster than the inside but it all seemed pretty even in the end. Just be careful because the cookie does expand – I would suggest using a pan with a higher rim than I did or you could probably refrigerate the dough in the pan for a little while to stop the spreading.

My favorite part of the cake was how easy it was to decorate! A few dots here, a few there, and it almost looked like the cookie cakes you buy at the mall!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake
Ingredients
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups 12-oz. package chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan (or pan of choice). Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool in pan on wire rack.


Ever since I made that awesome chocolate biscotti last month I’ve been looking for an excuse to make some more – and a new recipe to try! I stumbled upon this one by accident and knew immediately that it would be amazing. I’d never seen peanut butter in biscotti and now I’m trying to figure out why. Peanut butter makes everything better, right?

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Biscotti
Ingredients
  • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped peanuts
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate mini-morsels divided
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons shortening
Instructions
  1. Beat 1/3 cup peanut butter and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add eggs, beating until blended.
  2. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt; add to peanut butter mixture, beating at low speed until blended. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; knead in peanuts and 1/2 cup chocolate mini-morsels.
  3. Shape dough into a 13″ x 3″ log on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 40 minutes or until firm. Remove to a wire rack to cool (about 20 minutes).
  4. Cut log diagonally into 1/2″-thick slices with a serrated knife, using a gentle sawing motion; place slices on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 325° for 7 minutes; turn cookies over, and bake 7 more minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.
  5. Combine remaining 1 cup chocolate mini-morsels, 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter, and shortening in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat until chocolate and peanut butter melt. Dip one end of each biscotti in chocolate mixture. Place biscotti on wax paper until chocolate hardens.

5

About a week ago I read a blog post about high-fructose corn syrup. It wasn’t anything scientific, it was just the blogger saying that once she has something with high-fructose corn syrup, she wants more and more. I’ve never really bought into the whole HFCS debate but this made sense to me. I cannot be trusted around granola bars which is one of the only things I buy for myself that contains HFCS.

Enter these bars. Oh my gosh, they were so good. Chewy but a little crisp around the edges. Lots of chocolate chips, coconut, and a tiny hint of banana. Mmm! So much better than the packaged stuff and none of the HFCS for me to stress over (or convince myself that HFCS is the reason I could eat boxes of granola bars at once ;))

These are also easy to customize. Dried fruit, chopped nuts, sunflower or pumpkin seeds – they would all be delicious. Don’t like honey? Try brown rice syrup, it would be perfect in these!

Peanut Butter Granola Bars
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter natural or regular
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 small banana mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup coconut
  • 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat peanut butter in microwave just until it’s easy to stir. Combine it with brown sugar, honey, banana, and vanilla. Stir until smooth. Add in oats, coconut, and semisweet chocolate chips.
  3. Press mixture into a prepared 8 x 8 baking pan. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely before cutting.
16