Baking · Dessert · Home Cooking

and Gumdrops

Cafe Mocha Cheesecake


Welcome to #16Cheesecakes – part 2!!!

Last year Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla rallied some blogging friends to help her celebrate her 15th wedding anniversary. She was only looking for fifteen cheesecake recipes. But we posted waaaaaay more than #FifteenCheesecakes.  It was such a hit and we all had so much fun that she decided to see if she could get enthusiasm for another round of cheesecakes. Yep. This is an encore performance by some of her favorite foodie bloggers.

More than #SixteenCheesecakes

Last year I kept things rather simple with a chocolate caramel cheesecake – something I knew my husband would love.  As I mentioned last year, Joe and I also did a cheesecake at our wedding and it was the BEST decision ever.  This year I decided to go for something more my style: Cafe Mocha Cheesecake.  Don’t get me wrong, Joe’s a huge fan of coffee but not in his dessert so much as with his dessert.  I, on the other hand, prefer Double Dunker ice cream by Turkey Hill to almost anything!  Coffee and chocolate and just the hint of vanilla to keep things from being too overpowering – perfection!


Make sure to check out all the other fantastic cheesecakes – perfect addition to a holiday dinner or a substitution for dinner.


52Weeks · Baking · Dessert · Vegan

It’s Cold Out

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

Vegan Chocolate Cookies

Last post from 2013’s /52weeksofcooking and hoping oh so much that I stay on track in 2014, and get everything finished in 2014.  The last challenge posed a bit of a question for me as I had done my “holiday tradition” cooking for Thanksgiving.  However Christmas Eve wound up giving me the perfect opportunity to continue what is fast becoming a holiday tradition – vegan cookies for my sister(s)-in-law.  The first few years I stuck to a vegan sugar cookie recipe I found online but this time I wanted to try something different, even though I knew that would increase the risks of something going wrong.  My biggest fear was hard cookies, so I took every precaution I could think of to insure soft fluffy cookies – and it worked!


I’m not sure if it was the chilled dough or just dumb luck but the cookies were perfection.  The outsides were crisp with moist insides, almost brownie like – and the powdered sugar help cut down on the extreme chocolate taste.  These might not be the cookies I made with my family growing up, but I can easily see these being the cookies I make with my family going forward.

Now time to focus on 2014!  Fingers crossed I won’t fall so far behind this year 🙂

Baking · Dessert · Secret Recipe Club

Talk About

Mocha Muffins with Chocolate Chips

Secret Recipe Club

This morning I was contacted by the amazing Amanda to see if I could pick up another blog for the Secret Recipe Club.  Since I was in a desperate need for a new chocolate recipe I jumped at the chance, and then leaped for joy when I saw the information for the blog I was assigned.  Carolyn focuses on primarily low-carb and/or gluten free food and has a talent for coming up with great baked goods that aren’t going to send you into a sugar shock.  When I first got on her blog I went right to the chocolate chip section and nearly melted when I saw the first recipe listed, Cappuccino Chocolate  Chip Bars, and the recipes only got better as a went down the line.   Once I was able to tear myself away from the Carmelitas recipe I zoned right in on the Mocha Muffins with Chocolate Chips.  I LOVE anything that involves coffee and adding in chunks of Ghirardelli chocolate just made it that much better.  I did have to make some tweaks to the recipe since almond flour would not go over well with my better half and slightly reduced the amount of sugar.  I also made a pot of coffee and used a quarter cup of the prepared pot in place of the instant coffee.

Ingredients: (makes 1 dozen muffins)

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips/chunks


  1. Preheat oven to 350 and either line or lightly grease a 12-cup muffin pan
  2. In a medium bowl mix together the flour, cocoa, and baking powder.  Then add the coffee, melted butter, eggs, and sugar.  Mix well then stir in the chocolate chips chunks.
  3. Spoon in to the muffin pan, filling about 2/3 of the cup.  Bake for 12-15minutes, or until muffins are pass a toothpick test.  Let cool for 10minutes and then enjoy!

I gave one to Joe as soon as he came home from work and it was a BIG hit.  Everything came together easily and the ingredients are all ones I normally have on hand.  I can see this muffin becoming a regular rotation at my house.


Coffee Cup

Coffee Cookies


Coffee.  Caffeine. Sugar!  These three components are pretty much staples in my diet, and I don’t really find anything wrong with that.  It has been suggested that I am a nicer person once there is caffeine in my system, yet it has also been suggested that too much caffeine can produce negative results.  After seeing one two many episodes of Iron Chef I decided to experiment with coffee, trying to find other ways for using it that didn’t involve a cup.  While I contemplated coffee ice cream my last experience making ice cream wasn’t very successful.  So I decided to start messing around with cookies, which are becoming my go-to-baked good when I feel the need to do some baking.  Ice box cookies are one of those standard recipes that are extremely versatile, and a great beginner recipe for experimenting with new combinations.  I got my recipe from one of the original Joy of Cooking books, but I’m sure it’s in the newer versions as well.  For the tweaking I dropped down on the amount of butter and sugar, took out the zest, and switched out some of the vanilla in order to make room for more coffee.  I also dropped them instead of cooking them, but there is no right or wrong way.
– 1 1/2 cups flour
– 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
– 1/4 tsp salt
– 1 stick butter, softened
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 2/3 cup brown sugar
– 1 tbsp coffee or espresso or coffee liqueur
– 1 tbsp finely ground coffee beans

1. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder.
2. In a large bowl blend the butter and sugar.  Add the egg, vanilla, and both types of coffee.  Mix well and cover.  Refrigerate for at least 30minutes, and no more than 2hrs.
3. Preheat oven to 375.
4. Drop 1 tbsp of dough onto cookie sheets, leaving space between.  Cook 10 minutes.  Makes 4 dozen 2in cookies.

The cookies can easily be tweaked by adjusting the type of coffee being used, for example espresso for those looking for a real kick vs. decaf coffee for those looking for all of the taste and none of the jolt.  I tend to go for the full throttle version, heavy on the espresso and the ground espresso.  It should be noted that I spent the better part of 8yrs working in various coffee shops so I tend to prefer STRONG.
Also as a note applesauce didn’t work very well as an egg substitute, the cookies spread out but they didn’t want to rise.  I am probably going to try again using flax or maybe bananas and cream of tarter but that’s an adventure for another day!