Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Recently, one of my coworkers asked when I would be bringing in dessert again. I love bringing in my baking creations to share with my teammates and so since it was requested I thought it would be prime time to make something that screams “AUTUMN”. What stood out to me the most from this recipe from Eating Well was the gingersnap crust. I love gingersnaps and I was so excited to try it out rather than the boring and bland graham cracker crust. I have to say this is going to now be my go-to crust, and maybe even my new Thanksgiving pie!

Ingredients

  • 8oz Gingersnap Cookies
  • 1/4 TSP Salt, divided
  • 3 TBSP Melted Butter
  • 3 8oz Packages Reduced-Fat Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 Cups Granulated Sugar
  • 4 Eggs
  • 15 oz Unseasoned Pumpkin Puree
  • 1 TBSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 TSP Pumpkin Pie Spice (Nutmeg, Ginger, Cinnamon)

Let’s Get Bakin’

Preheat the oven to 325F

Coat a 9in springform pan with butter. Tightly wrap the outside of the pan with foil, making sure to cover the bottom and sides.

Grab a small sauce pan and fill with water, bring to a boil.

In a food processor or blender, pulse the gingersnap cookies and 1/8 TSP of salt. Once finely ground, drizzle in the butter and scrape down the sides as needed. Make sure all the crumbs are all softened. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan and about 1/2in up the sides. Place in the freezer.

Clean the food processor/blender and then combine the cream cheese + sugar + eggs + 1/8 TSP Salt and blend well until smooth. Remove 1/4 cup of the batter and reserve. Add in the pumpkin + vanilla + pie spices to the remaining mixture and process until smooth.

Pour the pumpkin batter into the chilled crust. Drizzle the reserved batter over the top and run a knife through the batters to swirl together.

Place the pan in a roasting pan [I used a baking sheet]. Pour in the boiling water to come up about 1in up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake the cheesebake until set around the edges but the center is slightly wiggly, about 1hr 30 min.

Remove from the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the wter bath for about 1hr.

Remove from the water bath and remove the foil, refridgerate for atleast 3 hours before serving.

Serve with whip cream if you desire & enjoy!

Made with Love,

Hannah

Malted “Forever” Brownies

One of my best friends just took a job as the Director of Athlete Mental Wellness at Michigan State. We are all so freaking proud of her but going to miss her like crazy, so of course, there was a going away party involved. There is no better crowd-pleaser than brownies. It was finally time to break open Claire’s book for her ‘forever’ brownies as she claims that this is the only brownie recipe she will ever create. These brownies are extra chewy and you can add in the optional malted powder for a little extra dose of chocolate. You need an 8×8 in pan, Claire calls for preferably metal.

Ingredients

  • Butter for the pan
  • 1/4 Cup Dutch Process Cocoa Powder
  • 5oz Semisweet Chocolate [64-68% Cacao]
  • 6 TBSP Unsalted Butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 Cup Neutral Oil, vegetable
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Large Egg Yolks
  • 1 1/2 TSP Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 TBSP Malted Milk Powder, optional
  • 1 TSP Salt
  • 1 Cup Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped

Let’s Get Baking

Preheat the oven to 350F and line the pan with 2 sheets of foil, crossing one over the other and pressing into the corners. Lightly butter and set aside.

In a large heatproof bowl, whisk the cocoa powder into 1/4 cup boiling water until smooth.

Add in the semisweet chocolate + butter + oil into the large bowl with the cocoa mixture and set it over a medium saucepan filled with about 1in of simmering water, make sure the bottom of the bowl isn’t touching the water. Warm the mixture, gently stirring occasionally until the butter and chocolate are melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from heat and let it cool until lukewarm.

Whisk in the granulated and brown sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add in the whole egg, egg yolks, and vanilla and whisk ‘vigorously’ until the mixture comes together and looks glossy and thick.

Add in the flour + malted milk powder [if using] + salt and whisk slowly until everything is combined. Add in the milk chocolate and fold in with a spatula. Scrap the batter into the prepared ban, spreading it into an even layer.

Bake the brownies until the surface is shiny and puffed, for about 25-30 minutes. [I had to bake for 35, it all depends on your oven].

Allow the brownies to cool for an hour before placing them into the fridge for another hour [allows for chewier texture]. Use the foil to lift out of the pan and cut into about 16 squares & enjoy.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Apple Cider Doughnut Cake

I feel that apple cider unfairly takes spot #2 when it comes to fall flavors. Pumpkin always reigns supreme but I respectfully disagree. This doughnut cake from Princess Pinky Girl truly showcases that apple and cinnamon should be the real stars of fall flavors. My mom made this cake for a dinner with friends and I had to get the recipe from her to share because it may be one of my new favorite fall desserts.

Ingredients

  • 1 Box Yellow Cake Mix
  • 1 Cup Apple Cider
  • 1/4 TSP Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Cinnamon Apple Sauce
  • 3 Large Eggs, room temp
  • 1 TBSP Brown Sugar
  • 1 TSP Vanilla
  • 1/4 TSP + 2 TBSP Cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Unsalted Butter, melted

Apple Cider Glaze

  • 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Apple Cider

Let’s Get Bakin’

Preheat the oven to 350F

In a large mixing bowl combine the cake mix + apple cider + apple sauce + water + eggs, and mix until well combined. Add in 1/4 TSP cinnamon + brown sugar + vanilla and mix well.

Lightly butter a bundt pan and flour it as well. Pour the cake mixture into the bundt pan and cook for 45 minutes. Once done, remove from heat and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove from the pan once cooled.

To make the glaze: combine the powdered sugar + apple cider in a small bowl. Whisk until desired consistency.

In a separate bowl mix together the cinnamon + sugar. Once the cake has cooled, brush the surface with the melted butter. Coat the cake with cinnamon sugar.

Serve the cake with the glaze drizzled over the slices.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Chocolate Babka

Holidays are the time that you get to show off your cooking and baking skills. At least that is how it is for me because I am usually cooking for one. I know I am a few weeks late, but I made this chocolate babka for Easter and I have to say it was an absolute hit. This recipe is from the New York Times Cookbook and makes 2 loaves. It is a long process, so I say get started three days before you want the loaf done. I made the fudge filling and chocolate streusel beforehand and it made the process go a lot smoother. As the New York Times said, read this recipe a few times before committing to making it, you’ll need it.

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 Cup Whole Milk
  • 1 Package Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/3 Cup Sugar + a pinch
  • 4 1/4 Cups All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/2 TSP Fine Sea Salt
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TSP Grated Lemon Zest
  • 1/2 TSP Freshly Grated Nutmeg
  • 4 Large Eggs, at room temp, lightly beaten
  • 10 TBSP Unsalted Butter, softened

For the Fudge Filling:

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 Heavy Crem or Half and Half
  • Salt
  • 6 oz Bittersweet Chocolate (66-74% cocoa), coarsely chopped
  • 8 TSBP Unsalted Butter, diced and softened
  • 2 TSP Vanilla Extract

For Chocolate Streusel

  • 1/2 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 TBSP Sugar
  • 1 1/2 TBSP Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 4 1/2 TSBP Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 1/3 Cup Mini Semisweet Chocolate Chips

For the Syrup:

  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2/3 Cup Water

Let’s Get Baking

Let’s start with the dough. Warm the milk in a small saucepan on the stove until it’s lukewarm. Remove from heat, and add in the yeast + pinch of sugar and let bloom for about 5-10 minutes.

Using a mixer with the dough hook [you can also do this by hand it just takes a bit more time] combine flour + 1/3 cup sugar + salt + vanilla + lemon zest + nutmeg and mix. Slowly add the yeast mixture to the dry ingredients along with the eggs. Beat until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes.

Add in half of the butter and beat until the dough is smooth, add in the rest of the butter and wait until the dough is smooth and stretchy about 5-7 minutes. Add in 1 TBSP of flour if the dough sticks to the sides of the bowl.

Butter a large bowl and form the dough into a ball. Roll the dough around in the buttered bowl so all sides are buttered. Cover with clean dish towel and let the dough rise in a warm place for about 1-2 hours.

Press the dough down and recover, let rise in the friedge over night.

Onto the filling: Combine the sugar + cream + salt in a saucepan over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Add in the chocolate + butter + vanilla stirring until the chocolate is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. This can be made up to a week beforehand.

Onto the streusel: stir together flour + sugar + cocoa powder + salt in a bowl. Stir in melted butter until it is distributed and the streusel forms large crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. This can be made up to 3 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

To make the syrup: combine sugar & water into a small saucepan. Simmer over MED heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.

Butter 2 9-inch loaf pans and line with parchment paper

Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it in half. On a floured surface, roll one piece into a 9×17 inch rectangle. Spread with half the filling all over. Starting with the long side, roll up into a tight roll, transfer to a dish towel, and place in the freezer for 10 minutes. Do the same with the other piece of dough.

After the 10 minutes, slice the rolls length-wise in half and twist the halves together as you were braiding them. Fold the braid in half and place it in one of the prepared pans. Repeat with the other dough. Cover the dough with a kitchen towel and let rise in the fridge overnight.

When it’s finally the day to bake remove the dough from the fridge and let it come to room temp. Preheat the oven to 350F.

Using your hands, clump the streusel together and scatter along the bread. Bake the bread for 40-50 minutes, until a tester comes out clean with no dough.

As soon as the bread comes out, pierce it with a knife going all the way down to the bottom of the bread. Pour over the syrup. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool before serving.

Serve and share with family and friends.
Baked with Love,

Hannah

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

My Step-Mom, Cathy, makes the best chocolate chip cookies EVER. I remember learning that her secret ingredient was Captain Morgan and I thought somehow I would get drunk from eating all the cookie dough. The recipe is a simple one, it’s on the back of the Hershey’s chocolate chip bag [use whatever chocoloate chips you like just don’t use Nestle, Nestle steals resources from indigenous people]. Enjoy these chocolate chips with family and friends and don’t forget to thank Cathy for the secret ingredient. Makes about 5 dozen cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Butter, softened (2 Sticks)
  • 3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 1/4 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips
  • 3 TBSP Captain Morgan

Let’s Get Bakin’

Preheat the oven to 375F

Beat the butter + sugar + brown sugar + vanilla in a large bowl until it’s creamy. Add in the eggs one at a time and beat well.

Add in the Captain Morgan. In a seperate bowl combine the salt + baking soda + flour. Slowly pour in the flour and mix until well blended.

Stir in the chocolate chips.

Bake the cookies for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from the cookie sheet and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Made with Love,

Hannah

Apple Cider Whoopie Pies

Sorry, I was MIA for a few weeks, school is back in session and blah blah blah. BUT It’s October so we know that means all things pumpkin and apple cider. The cooler weather always makes me want to stay in the kitchen and baking, staying warm with the oven. This is a delicious recipe featuring all things apple cider. The recipe is from Parsley and Icing, she has many amazing options for frostings as well, I used a bourbon buttercream for the filling but you can use whatever your heart desires.

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup Apple Cider reduced to 1/4 cup
  • 1/2 Cups Unsalted Butter, room temp, divided 6 TBSP for dough + 2 TBSP melted
  • 1 3/4 Cups Flour
  • 1/2 TSP Salt
  • 1 TSP Baking Powder
  • 1/4 TSP Baking Soda
  • 1 1/2 TSP Cinnamon + 1/2 TSP for Coating
  • 1//4 TSP Ginger
  • 1/2 TSP Nutmeg
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar + 1/4 Cup for Coating
  • 1/4 Cup + 2 TSP Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1/4 Cup Applesauce
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/4 TSP Vanilla

Bourbon Butter Cream

  • 1/2 Cup Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 1 1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 2 TBSP Your Choice of Bourban
  • Pinch of Salt

Let’s Get Baking

Heat the oven to 350F

Bring the apple cider to boil over MED-HIGH heat and let reduce until it’s down to 1/4 cup

In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour + baking powder + baking soda + salt + cinnamon + ginger + nutmeg together

In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, beat the 6 TBSP of butter with the sugars until combined. Add in the vanilla + eggs, make sure you are scraping down the sides while completing. Add in the apple cider + applesauce and combine on low, slowly pour in the flour.

Place cookies onto lined baking sheets, about 1/2 TBSP each, bake about 11-13 minutes each, depending on your oven. Once out of the oven, brush with melted butter and sprinkle them with the cinnamon + sugar.

While the cookies are baking and cooling, make the buttercream. Beat the butter then add in the powdered sugar and bourbon.

Once the cookies are cool, full them with the homemade buttercream.

Enjoy with your friends and fam and a cold glass of apple cider.

Made with Love,

Hannah