Tag Archives: Chocolate

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 2

Holy. Cow.  These chocolate cheesecake bars are incredible.

My go-to dessert lately has been cookies.  I’ve made SO MANY cookies lately that I quit taking pictures of them to post on here because I didn’t want to bore you all.

As I was visiting my parents this weekend, I looked in their cabinets to see what they had.  I like to play a little “game” where I pick an ingredient, then Google “{Insert ingredient here} dessert recipes.”  So, after I spotted some evaporated milk in the cabinet, I Googled “Evaporated Milk desserts,” ignored all of the fudge recipes, and stumbled upon these delicious little bars.

I am all about pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but I would totally forego the pie for these bars.  That’s how good they are.  They’re very decadent and you’ll probably need some milk to go with them. Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 4

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from: Very Best Baking



  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, (1/2 a stick) melted
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 8×8 inch baking pan.
    2. Combine flour, nuts, brown sugar and butter in medium bowl; reserve 1/2 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan.
    3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or just until light golden brown.
    4. Make the filling:  beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in evaporated milk.
    5. Microwave 1 cup of the chocolate chips in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until chocolate chips are melted. Beat into cream cheese mixture. Gently stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
    6. Pour over hot crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping mixture.
    7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan to room temperature. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, then serve.

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 3


Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal


About 80% of the time, I crave sweet, unhealthy breakfasts… like donuts. And cinnamon rolls.  And Reese’s Puffs.  It’s really hard to pass up these options when I’m rushing around in the morning trying to get ready for work.

But, I’d like to live a while so, I find healthy and quick alternatives.  Obviously this oatmeal doesn’t taste like Reese’s Puffs, but it’s a totally sufficient substitute.  Especially topped with heavy cream… balance, right?


Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

1/2 cup quick oats
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
splash of milk or cream

1.  Mix water, quick oats, cocoa powder, and salt in a pot on the stove (or make in the microwave).
2. Cook until you’ve reached a desired consistency, then stir in the honey and vanilla.
3.  Top with peanut butter and cream and mix!


Oreo Pudding Cookies with Cookies ‘n’ Cream Hershey’s Chocolate!

I really, really want a VitaMix!!

And now we all have a chance to win one for free!!

To celebrate the success of the world’s first Flaxmilk, Flax USA is
giving away a Vitamix Machine to one of their lucky Facebook fans! You
could bring home the same power and performance, in a blender,
experienced by chefs and restaurants around the globe and start making
smoothies, soups, frozen desserts and more.  Just “like” Flax USA on
facebook to enter!


I also made some delicious cookies that I’m excited to share with you guys!  These cookies can be best described as “Oreo cookies that have the texture of a chocolate chip cookies.” So basically better Oreo’s.  I used my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe and decreased the amount of flour by a little bit and it made the most amazing cookies.  They’re pretty chewy on the inside and the outsides are semi-crunchy.  The best 
part is the bites with the Cookies and Cream Hershey’s Chocolate in them.  These are so good! 

Oreo Pudding Cookies with Cookies and Cream Hershey’s 

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
¼ teaspoon baking soda

1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
1 packet (4.2 oz) Oreo Cookies ‘n’ Cream Pudding
1 bar Cookies ‘n’ Cream Hershey’s Chocolate, crushed
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Place the very soft butter in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the sugars, salt, vanilla, and stir well. Add the egg and stir until well blended. Add the baking soda, flour, and Oreo pudding, mixing until blended. Stir in the chips and crushed Hershey’s bar.
  3. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto light-colored baking sheets. Flatten into disks, using gentle pressure from your fingers.
  4. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned; the tops shouldn’t brown, they should still be slightly gooey. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them rest on the pan for 5 minutes, then slide them onto a rack to cool completely. 

Baking: College Edition. Brownie Cookie Sandwich

Learning names can be SO HARD when you’re meeting a million people.  Luckily, you’re never too old to play games.  Even as a junior in college, two of my teachers have already had us play games to learn everyone’s name in the classes.
Game number one:  Each student has to think of an adjective that describes them and starts with the first letter of their first name.  Then everyone says their name and adjective out loud (Kind Katie) and the names and adjectives of all of the people who went before them.  Pretty effective.
Game number two: Everyone gets a miniature dry erase board and marker.  They have to write their name at the top and then below draw something that everyone can remember them by.  Then everyone holds up their board to the class and describes what they drew.  My drawing sucked but I tried to draw my blog.  Also effective.
My first week of classes has been consumed by learning names and way too many syllabus’ (syllabi?).  I haven’t been able to sleep very well so if anyone has any tips on sleeping they’d be greatly appreciated!!
I also had my first baking experience at school!  I prepared everything in the room (everything but the actual baking part).  My roomies weren’t really phased by that because they already know about my blog, but when I went down to the commons area to put the cookies in the oven, it got a lil’ awkward.  The kitchen was packed with people hanging out so they were all grilling me about what I was doing.  But I kept on bakin’ on and made these yummmyy cookie sandwiches with packaged frosting and a box mix. (My roommate brought them for me because she knew I had a blog :)) 

What do you guys think about box mixes and packaged frosting?

I hate them both.  Buuuttt… they’re cheap and easy.  And I’m a college student now, ya know.  Let’s be cliche here and go with it.  
These were so good.  They reminded me of oatmeal cream pies.  The texture was exactly the same… that soft and chewy cookie with the whipped, creamy filling, but the flavor was even better than oatmeal cream pies!  They’re really decadent, but so worth it and so cheap.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I highly recommend these, processed chemicals and all. 
What do you do when you can’t sleep
Do you use boxed mixes?
Brownie Cookie Sandwiches



  1. Preheat oven to 375 ºF. Grease cookie sheet.
  2. Combine brownie mix, egg, water and oil in large bowl. Stir until well blended and soft dough forms. Drop by level measuring tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 ºF for 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies are set in center. Do not over bake. Cool for 1 minute before removing to cooling rack. Cool completely before assembling.
  4. Spread frosting on half the cookies. Top each frosted cookie with another cookie. Gently press together.

Red Velvet Cupcakes- Made with love for Mikey and Jenni

I just want to say, for the umpteenth time, how proud I am to be a part of the blog world.

I don’t know if you’ve read Jennie’s post yet, but it brought tears to my eyes.  Go to her page to read what she wrote, because there’s no way I can recreate her heartfelt words.

TasteSpotting has dedicated a whole page to Jenni and Mikey. There are posts all over foodgawker dedicated to them.  Food blogs are posting peanut butter posts dedicated to them.  Last but not least, the words of love, encouragement, support, and prayers are overwhelming on her blog.  It’s so reassuring to know how people come together to help someone in their time of need.

Jenni, I know these aren’t peanut butter, but they’re for you.  And for Mikey.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
Carrot Top Mom


  • 2 ¼ cups flour (I use all-purpose)
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • ½ cup buttermilk (or milk with 2 teaspoons lemon juice)
  • 1 teaspoon red food coloring
  • 4 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside.
  2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in Greek yogurt, milk, food coloring and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 24 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full.
  3. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Gently remove from oven (these are super-moist, and will collapse if you aren’t careful). Cool in pans on wire rack at least 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
  4. Frost the cupcakes generously, and serve at room temperature!

Quick and Easy Nutella “Candy Bars”


Kellen had a wonderful 21st birthday!

We were planning on leaving on Friday morning of last week, but ended up leaving at 11 p.m. and getting to his house at 3 a.m.!  Definitely worth it because I know Kellen wouldn’t have been able to wake up Friday morning. 😉 So we got there and obviously went straight to sleep!

We spent the next few days eating and laying around at the pool.  Soo relaxing not to have to worry about anything at all.  We ate at Kellen’s favorite place, China Palace, somewhere around 329042 million times.  Needless to say, I’m sick of Chinese food.  Luckily his mom made us some pretty good dinners in between.

We obviously both think we’re really cool…

…when we have sunglasses on.

On his actual birthday, we ate at China Palace for lunch (go figure) and some new Mexican restaurant for dinner.  Being the nice girlfriend that I am, I planned a surprise party with all of his friends, so Kellen’s mom and I spent most of the dinner stalling while everyone showed up.  We went to his friend’s house to “go pick her up on the way to the bars” and when we got there, everyone jumped out and surprised him.  It turned out perfectly!


That night we just hung out for a while and eventually ended up at the bar.  Kellen had a really good time:

The rest of the week was just takin’ it easy, eating, and hanging out with friends.  I had a lot of fun, but it’s nice to be home again.

So, I suppose you want a recipe?  Perfect!  I really missed baking while I was gone (isn’t that cheesy?) so I made something immediately when we got back.

The thing is, I’m not eating sweets this week.  I can’t even remember the last day I went without having some kind of dessert… probably since lent last year.  So, I’m doing a ‘cleanse’ and cutting them out… but only for a week.  So my mom and dad have the job of dessert tester this week. I’m just hoping you all will trust their judgement considering they love sweets just as much as I do.

The other thing is, it’s too freakin’ hot to be baking right now! So I made a no bake dessert… I’d love to tell you how great it is, but I have no idea.  What I do know is that my parents both gave it an A, it’s super easy to make, and it looks and smells delicious.

Help, please! I’ll be gone from this Thursday until Sunday the 31st and I’m in need of some guest posters.  If anyone would like to do one for me, I’ll love you forever. 🙂

Nutella “Candy Bars”
Gingerbread Bagels

1 cup Nutella
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (finely ground)
2 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 Tablespoons Nutella
1 ½ cups semi sweet chocolate chips.
Put 1 cup of Nutella in a large bowl.
In a food processor, grind up the graham crackers. Measure out 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs and add them to the Nutella.
Add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Mix everything together.
Pour in 1 cup of melted unsalted butter and stir to completely combined.
Spray the inside of the pan with non stick spray. This will help the wax paper/parchment paper stick to the pan. Line a 9 by 12 baking pan with wax paper or parchment paper.
Put the Nutella Candy Bar mixture in the pan and press it down evenly.
For the topping:
In a microwavable bowl, melt together 4 Tablespoons of Nutella and 1 ½ cups of semi sweet chocolate chips.
Pour of the Nutella Candy Bars and spread it out evenly.
Refrigerate the Nutella Candy Bars for 1 hour. Let the Nutella Candy Bars come to room temperature before you eat them!

White Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Are you guys excited for the 4th of July?

I am, and I’ve got lots of goodies for you from Edible Gifts Plus!


Oreo Stars and Stripes Cookies ($1.95 each) and Oreo Party Stars Cookies ($1.95 each) make for great treats as they are America’s favorite cookie dipped in chocolate and decorated with patriotic stars and stripes designs.
oreo stripes cookiesoreo stars cookies

Cake Pops($2 each)  are also an excellent and fun addition to any gathering, with a rich rudgy double chocolate cake mixed with just the right amount of cream cheese filling and drenched in white chocolate or milk chocolate coating. Beautiful designs top these mouthwatering treats off.

cake pops
The Big Patriotic Heart Cookie($35.50) and Patriotic Giant Fortune Cookie ($29.50) are larger than life goodies that everyone can share. The Big Patriotic Heart Cookie measures a memorable 9-10”. The Patriotic Giant Fortune Cookie weighs in at over one pound and is nearly the size of a football.
patriotic heart cookiegiantfortunecookie
Weighing over 1.5lbs, the Jumbo Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Apple with Patriotic Stripes ($25.95) is a sweet and delicious choice for sharing at gatherings or for sending to a loved one.
Whether they’re near or far, honor your favorite military member with the American Dream Lollipop Bouquet ($41.95) or the Happy 4th of July Patriotic Cookie Bouquet ($53.95). The American Dream Lollipop Bouquet features a festive collection of hard candy lollipops, while the Happy 4th of July Patriotic Cookie Bouquet features hand-decorated red, white and blue cookies with your personal message displayed on the center cookie.
american dream lollipop bouquet4th of july patriotic cookies bouquet
Don’t forget to thank the host! Do so with the Grill Master Cookie Bouquet ($53.95), featuring delicious cookies hand-decorated as everyone’s favorite barbecue items and with your personal message displayed on the center cookie.

grill master bouquet

While you’re waiting for your yummy gifts to arrive, you should make these brownies.  

Kellen was coming back from visiting home and I wanted to make him something special.  He’s been wanting brownies for the past couple of weeks and I wanted to make him brownies, but I’ve already put two brownie recipes on here, so I had to make them different.  That’s when I started brainstorming.  Since he loves cookie dough ice cream, why wouldn’t he love cookie dough brownies?

Well, I guess he did because he said they’re the “best brownies he’s ever had”.  Pretty tough to beat if you ask me!  They aren’t as time consuming as I thought either.  Perfect brownies.  

White Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies
Adapted from: One Ordinary Day

1 c. butter
¾ c. unsweetened cocoa
2  c. granulated sugar
½ tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ c. white chocolate chips
Prepare 13×9″ baking pan by laying a piece of foil in the bottom and up the sides.  Spray with cooking spray or butter the foil.
Melt 2 sticks of butter in a medium saucepan; add cocoa, stirring until smooth.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.  Add sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla; beat with a spoon until combined.  Add flour and baking powder; mix well.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread batter into pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow brownies to cool completely before moving on to the next step.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Filling
(adapted from Taste of Home)
1 c. butter, softened
1 c. packed light brown sugar  
½ c. granulated sugar
4 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. white chocolate chips
Combine first 5 ingredients in a mixing bowl and cream together.  Add flour and stir until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.  Spread in an even layer on top of cooled brownies.  Chill before adding chocolate glaze.
Chocolate Glaze:
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp. Crisco shortening
Melt chocolate with shortening and stir until smooth.  Spread over chilled cookie dough layer.
P.S. I got my hair done!

Guest Post: Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Oat Muffins (with Peanut Butter Surprise!)

First of all, I just want to say a HUGE thank you to beautiful Alaina for doing this post for me while I’m out of town.  She’s such a sweetheart and I love reading her blog.  If you haven’t read it yet, please do, I guarantee she’ll brighten your day. 🙂
Hi friends of Katie! I’m Alaina Rose and I blog over at Sweetness Of Life.
When Katie first contacted me about doing a guest post I was thinking, what?! Really? Are you sure? I’m a new blogger. I have NO idea what I’m doing! But, Katie assured me that she loves my blog and that’s why she asked me to do a guest post. So, here I am! I’m honored and excited to be here while Katie’s gone. Thanks so much Katie!
One thing I’ve learned during the short time I’ve been blogging is that the blogging community is so incredibly welcoming and friendly! There is an endless flow of inspiration, encouragement and support that is shared, and it’s beautiful to be a part of. I’ve met some amazing people that I now consider friends even though we’ve never actually physically met. I’ve also learned a lot about myself through blogging. It has given me the opportunity for reflection and has become a wonderful creative outlet for expressing myself and sharing. I feel that we ALL have gifts that can be used to inspire each other. Blogging is such a wonderful way to share those gifts and to connect and learn from yourself and others through the process. I encourage everyone to start a blog!
Even though I’ve been passionate about cooking and baking for years, it has reached a new level since I started blogging! Today I’m going to share with you one of my favorite muffin recipes. It’s actually one of the first recipes I posted on my blog! They are gluten-free, somewhat healthy, delicious and contain a lot of my favorite ingredients: coconut, pumpkin, peanut butter, oats and chocolate! I hope you like them!
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Oat Muffins (with Peanut Butter Surprise!)

·      1 ¼ cup Pamela’s Gluten-free Baking and Pancake Mix (I’m sure you could try any other gluten-free baking mix, but this one is my fave!)
·      ½ cup gluten-free oats
·      1 cup canned pumpkin
·      ¼ cup coconut oil
·      1/3 cup coconut milk (You can also use almond milk or soy milk. Whatever you like!)
·      1/3 cup maple syrup
·      1 tsp vanilla extract
·      1 tbsp cinnamon 
·      1/3 cup chocolate chips
Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl mix together the pumpkin, melted coconut oil, vanilla extract, coconut milk and maple syrup. In another bowl, combine the flour, oats, cinnamon and chocolate chips. Then pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix together. Lightly oil your muffin tins or you can use muffin tin liners. Fill up the muffin tins or liners about halfway full. THEN, (this is the fun part!) put a dollop of peanut butter on top of the batter. Then put additional batter on top. Pop in the oven and bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This recipe makes 8 muffins.

I really hope you try these and that you love them! Thank you so much for having me! If you like what you see, please feel free to stop by my blog Sweetness Of Life and take a look around! And please don’t hesitate to comment. Comments from readers truly make my day!
Thank you again and have a beautiful day! 

Fudgy, Gooey Brownies

Today, I’ve got a guest post from Women’s Health Magazine.  It talks about when you should save and when you should splurge, something I know I have problems deciding on at times!

Splurge vs. Save
The editors of Women’s Health dish on when it’s best to put your money where your mouth is for important kitchen staples.
Storage containers – Forget plastic tubs that can leak, stain and release harmful chemicals into food. Sturdy glass dishes with airtight lids will keep leftovers from spoiling.
Quality spices – Saffron, vanilla bean and fennel pollen are pricey for a reason—all can elevate any dish
Chef’s knife – The versatile, slightly curved blade allows you to slice and dice quickly
Corkscrew – A basic style like the “waiter’s friend” will totally do the job
Nonstick pan – It’s the workhorse of any kitchen, and even expensive ones wear out, so you shouldn’t pay top dollar
Mandoline – A durable plastic one can slice potatoes for gratin or cabbage for slaw just as well as a pricey stainless-steel version
For more tips on how to save in the kitchen, check out WomensHealthMag.com or pick up a copy of the May issue of Women’s Health magazine, on newsstands now!


That being said, these brownies are definitely something you should splurge on. 😉  (So they may not have anything to do with money…. but whateva.)  These are the best brownies I have ever made.  In my entire life.  Plus they’re adapted from one of my favorite blogger’s (Karly) recipe.

Fudgy, Gooey Brownies
Karly- Buns in My Oven

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup Hershey’s syrup
  • ¼ cup melted chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee, optional
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
1.Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.
3.  Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, Hershey’s syrup, melted chocolate (¼ cup), eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked.  Cool on a wire rack.

Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake

Dear my favorite bloggers ever,

It’s finals week… aka death.

I’m stressin’ and frettin’… bear with me, I’ll be done after this week.

Until then, enjoy some cheesecake. 🙂



Chocolate Cherry Cheesecake
*Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.  If they aren’t, the batter will be lumpy.


  • 1 cup crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ cup crushed nuts, toasted
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
  • 1 ½ cups white sugar
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup cherry topping (I used storebought… :/)
¼ cup chocolate mixture (recipe follows)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs and nuts with melted butter. Press onto bottom of springform pan.
  3. In a large bowl, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth. 
  4. Stir in milk with a wooden spoon (so you don’t overmix) and then stir in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate. 
  5. Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. Pour filling into prepared crust.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. 
  7. Turn the oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours. Chill in refrigerator until serving.

Chocolate mixture:  1/8 cup melted chocolate, 1/8th cup chocolate syrup

TIP:  If you don’t want your cheesecake to crack (like mine did), you can wrap your springform pan in foil 
and set it in a water bath.  That’ll create steam to keep the cheesecake moist, therefore no cracks.