Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies
Hey, serious question time.

Out of all the smells on earth, which is your absolute favorite?

I know, this is kind of personal for a Wednesday, but I feel like we’ve reached that level in our friendship.

And, also, I can’t decide for myself.

I’ve been over the question, in my head, mostly, for the past few days and I can’t settle on one answer. There is too many smells that I love. Seriously, though, like the Juicy perfume I wear, or fresh laundry, or Thanksgiving dinner, or that manly man smell—you know the one I’m talking about—or baby smell, or even the smell when you open a brand new book. How is one supposed to settle on a favorite?

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

You just can’t. It’s impossible. Or, I should say, it’s impossible for me.

What I can do though, is settle on two. I can’t tell you which is first or second, but I can tell you, without hesitation, these are my absolute favorite smells on earth. PERIOD.

You ready?

My two favorite smells are….

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Freshly brewed pot of coffee AND cookies baking in the oven.

I know, kind of predictable considering I consume rant about coffee more than your average person, and have a baking blog that quite often features cookies. But, it’s the truth, predictable or not. Those two smells are absolute heaven to me. Really, they need to be bottled and sold. Don’t you agree?

I’d buy it in bulk. And then I’d send you a bottle of each. Okay, fine, two. But, only because I like you.

The problem is, like I said, I can’t narrow it down to one smell.

I just can’t. 

Or, can I?

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Oh hi Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies.

What’s that you say? You have coffee in you? And when you bake you leave a faint smell of coffee in the air?

Oh my. How wonderful.

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Toasted coconut shreds, mini chocolate chips, and coconut coffee grinds all combined into a soft and doughy cookie. Oh, and I stuffed the cookies with coffee cheesecake, because…well, because why not?

It’s coffee + cookie + coconut + cheesecake. 

I mean, get in my belly, right?

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies
Yields: about 21 cookies

Ingredients:
Toasted Coconut Mocha Cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 3/4 teaspoon fine or coarse coffee grounds, coconut or mocha or coconut mocha flavored
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon coconut extract
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup sweetened coconut shreds, toasted
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Mocha Cheesecake Filling
4 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 (.07 oz) packet instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

Directions:
Toasted Coconut Mocha Cookies
In a large bowl combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda,salt, and coffee grinds. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl whisk together melted butter and sugars until no clumps remain. Whisk in the egg, and then the egg yolk. Add coconut and vanilla extracts, whisking until incorporated.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix together with a rubber spatula until just combined. The dough will be soft, but very thick to work with. Using the spatula fold in the toasted coconut shreds and the mini chocolate chips. Cover the dough and let chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 3 days–I let mine sit overnight.

Mocha Cheesecake Filling
While the cookie dough is chilling, make the mocha cheesecake filling. Using a mixer combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1/2 of the instant coffee mixture. Mix until smooth–it’ll have the consistency of a no-bake cheesecake. Place bowl in the freezer and freeze for at least 3 hours–I let mine sit overnight.

Assembling the Cookies
Once dough and cheesecake filling have chilled, start assembling the cookies. Roll about a tablespoon and half of cookie dough into a ball. Make a deep thumbprint in the middle of each dough ball, sort of like a well. Place a teaspoon of the coffee cheesecake in the center of the well and fold the edges of the dough over, using your fingers to enclose the cheesecake in the dough ball. Bake cookies for 11-12 minutes–the cookies will look soft and underbaked. Allow cookies to cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

NOTE: I had extra coffee cheesecake, which I dipped these cookies into and ate, but if you don’t want extra, I suggest cutting the cheesecake portion in half.

Cookie Dough recipe adapted from this chocolate chip cookie recipe.

 

Wait, don’t think I forgot, I told you my favorite smells and now it’s your turn to share. That’s how this friendship thing works. I think.

Toasted Coconut Mocha Cheesecake Cookies

Peanut Butter & Nutella Pastry Puffs

Peanut Butter & Nutella Pastry Puffs

Guys, I’m going to make this short and sweet.

Cause, really, there is only a few things I need to say. And, I’m pretty sure you have better, more romantic, things to do then listen to me on this Saturday. Don’t worry, I won’t hold that against you. How could I?

However, if you don’t have anything better to do then stay tuned, cause I have a very, VERY, important question to ask you. Seriously, it’s like one of the top 5 important questions in the world.

Pretty serious sounding, huh?

Peanut Butter & Nutella Pastry Puffs

Oh. Crap. I almost forgot.

Happy Valentine’s Day you beautiful little person, you.

I feel like today’s the perfect day to tell you how I feel about you. Basically, I adore you to the moon and back. Too corny? Oh well, I’m a hopeless romantic after all, so you’re just going to have to deal with it.

Acceptable? Good, I’m glad we agree. But, really, I love you guys. This blog would be so boring without you. Not to mention, I’d have way less friends if you weren’t around.

So, about that question, I was wondering if maybe you would want to sort of kind of be…

Peanut Butter & Nutella Pastry Puffs

WAIT.

I haven’t told you about the delicious love affair taking place in these pastry puffs.

And, it’s pretty delicious.

Peanut Butter meets Nutella who meets Pastry who meets White Chocolate, and the world was never the same.

Peanut Butter & Nutella Pastry Puffs

Did I mention they are easy to make? Cause they totally are.

Did I mention that I only want to eat peanut butter and nutella now? Cause I totally do.

Oh, and did I ask you to be my Valentine? Cause I totally love you.

Well, you and the pastry puffs. If you’re cool with that then we should hang out. If you’re not there may be something wrong with you. Just saying.

Peanut Butter And Nutella Pastry Puffs
Yields: 18 pastry puffs

Ingredients:
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/4 to 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1/4 to 1/3 cup nutella
about 2 tablespoons water
granulated sugar & heavy cream (or half and half) for brushing the tops of the pastry
1/4 cup white chocolate chips, melted

Directions:
Thaw puff pastry according to instructions on the box–either let it sit in the fridge over night or at room temperature the day of for about two hours. Once thawed, preheat oven to 400 degrees and gently roll out puff pastry, extending it about an inch on each side, on a well floured surface.
Using a pizza cutter (or, sharp knife) cut the pastry dough in half (vertically or long wise). Stack the two halves on top of each other and cut into 18 squares–I did six strips, cut horizontally, and then cut each strip twice to make three squares total. Remove the top squares from the bottom squares and set aside.
Using 1/4 teaspoon (or, baby spoon) dollop a small amount of peanut butter into the center of each square. Once each square has peanut butter, dollop an equal amount of nutella into the center of each square. Gently swirl the two dollops together. Alternatively, you could mix the nutella and peanut butter together from the start and then dollop a heaping 1/2 teaspoon of the combined mixture into the center of each squares (if I made these again I’d use this method).
Using your finger dampen the edges of each square with a little bit of water, this helps with the sealing. Top each filled square with another pastry square and using your fingers gently seal the square on each side, it’ll look like a ravioli. Use a fork to crimp the edges of the pastry puffs, making sure each one is completely sealed. Brush each square with a little heavy cream and sprinkle with sugar.Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.
Allow pastry puffs to cool slightly before drizzling with white chocolate. Best served immediately while filling is still warm.

 

Peanut Butter & Nutella Pastry Puffs

Caramel Blondie Bites

Caramel Blondie Bites
I’m embarrassed. Actually, maybe that’s not the right word to describe it.

I don’t know if you saw my Super Bowl Sunday post (it was a last-minute, 2 hours before kick off, mainly just pictures kind of post), but these delicious little bites were in the post. Well, not exactly these bites, cause I made more. Like the next day. The other ones were devoured.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m a recipe repeater.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Can we all agree that’s perfectly acceptable? If you say no, I’ll just have to force feed you these bites until it is. Yeah, I know, I’m just the nicest.

I also liked the toothpick idea so much that I had to copy that too. Sorry I’m not sorry for that one. There is one difference though, I didn’t make these toothpicks. I bought them.You know what that means right?

More time to pop these into my mouth.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Let me just tell you, these little bites are ADDICTING. And yes, all caps and bold letters are necessary. Seriously, though, they’re like Oreos or popcorn or chips, you can’t just eat one.

I dare you to try. No, really, I triple dog dare you.

Anddd, I’ve reverted back to my five year old self with that comment.

Caramel Blondie Bites
Yeah, that was a lie. Just last week I triple dog dared someone to sing Taylor Swift songs over the loud-speaker. She didn’t do it. I, for one, was disappointed.

You know what hasn’t disappointed me? These Caramel Blondie Bites. Cause, seriously, they are little squares of utter heaven. I repeat, heaven.

This is the kind of dessert that literally melts away all will power. I’m not kidding here. You start off thinking, “I’ll just have one”, but after your sixth bite is done, the only thoughts in your head are: “How can I hoard these?”, “Why is that guy over there eating yet another bite?”, “I need another one, right now!”…those may or may not be direct thoughts of the people who ate these bites.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Caramel Blondie Bites

Why all the fuss over these little guys? Simple. They are gooey, fudgy, buttery, brown-sugary, caramel blondies. Each bite has a crisp exterior, ridiculously gooey moist center, and a sort of caramelized caramel bottom layer—the caramel bits decided to huddle at the bottom of the blondie while baking, but I didn’t mind in the slightest.

I highly doubt you’ll mind either.

Caramel Blondie Bites
Recipe adapted from these Almond Joy Blondies
Yields: 64 bites

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)
2 cups dark brown sugar
2 eggs
3 to 3 ½ teaspoons vanilla
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 heaping cup caramel bits

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and prepare a 9×13-inch pan by lining it with foil and spraying generously with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk together melted butter and brown sugar, until no clumps of brown sugar remain.Add eggs, one at a time, and then whisk in vanilla. Whisk in flour and salt, until just combined—try not to over stir the batter or it will become tough to work with.Using a spatula, fold in the caramel bits.
Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top, if needed, lightly with a spatula. Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick, stuck in the middle, comes out clean.Let cool completely before slicing into bites.

 

Caramel Blondie Bites

Super Bowl Sunday

T-minus 2-ish hours until the big game.

You could say I’m a little excited. Actually scratch that. More than a little excited.

I bet you can guess why. If not, just look at the pictures that follow. I’m pretty sure that will clear it up.

Super Bowl Sunday

Cleared up for you? You see I’m kind of sort of totally into football (who knew, right?). And, I rather enjoy being apart of the 12th man. One could say that picture above is the epitome of 12th-manning it. I mean, my Hustle Like Russell Shirt, that chipped glitter blue polish, the large Seahawks helmet ring, and lets not forget the star of the picture, that cupcake.

My oh my what a good-looking cupcake. Blue and Green never looked better on something.

Super Bowl Sunday

I give you Super Bowl Sunday Chocolate Cupcakes with Blue and Green Swirl Vanilla Frosting and Football Sprinkles. Could it get any better than that?

Why yes, yes it can, with these Shortbread Chocolate Dipped Football Cookies.

Super Bowl Sunday

That right there is the bomb.com

But, don’t worry, it gets better. Much MUCH better.

Super Bowl Sunday

What are those you ask? Caramel Blondies with Seahawk flag toothpicks (courtesy of Emerald City Sisters Design). I’m dying at how yummy they are (no, seriously) and at how stickin adorbs these toothpicks are. I mean come on, tell me you don’t just love them.

Super Bowl Sunday

I’ll stop now. I just couldn’t let the day go by without you seeing the dessert spread I put out for the game. I mean, I totally maybe value your opinion. No big deal or anything.

Super Bowl Sunday

Wait, I lied. One more thing. LETS GO SEAHAWKS.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

I like to think I have some self-control when it comes to desserts.

As in, I don’t typically pig out on what I bake. I’m more of a taste-as-I-go kind of gal, sampling my way through the making and baking process, and taking a bite (or, three) of the final goodie before sharing with whoever wants some. If I’m not baking, then I’m what’s called a dessert nibbler-yes, I did just make that up. I prefer to nibble on all available dessert options rather than commit to eating a single sweet. I’m just not ready to settle down with just one dessert. I like to give everyone their fair chance to win over my heart.

Notice I said typically.

I’m going to openly admit, all self-control went out the window with this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And, when I say all, I mean every single little ounce of self-control, completely gone.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

For starters, I couldn’t stop eating the batter. Why? I have no idea. It tastes like fluffy vanilla-yellow-cake yumminess and I was all but, sticking my face in the bowl, to eat it. No joke. I even scolded myself to stop while baking. Who does that?

Crazy baking ladies, that’s who.

Did I tell you that I not only made Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake in a cake pan, but also Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake donuts baked in a mini donut pan?

Yup. No self-control.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

You see, I really really really wanted to make coffee cake donuts. So, I did. But, I got a little too excited while filling each donut well, and ended up with muffin top mini donuts that didn’t really come out of the pan in one piece.  I blame the moistness of the cake. Seriously, it’s so ridiculously moist that it practically melts in your mouth. It’s an 11 out of 10 on the moistness scale. True Story.

So, I have a whole cake and a baker’s dozen of deliciously edible but, not super pretty Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake(s) in my kitchen.

Betcha wanna be my best friend now, huh?

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Want to hear how much I’ve pigged out? I’ve eaten four donuts (and counting). One before they had even cooled. Two before the cake had even finished baking. And my last one just because the cake looked so good, that I felt the need to eat another. Did I mention that was all in a matter of 30 or so minutes? Yeah, don’t judge me. I can’t help it. Really, I tried too. I offered some up to my mom, who like me, ate four donuts, and then simultaneously said we wouldn’t be sharing these with anyone, and that I was never allowed to make this coffee cake again.

And then we ate a slice of cake, because, well, what else do mothers and daughters do when they are faced with deliciousness? 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

The best part is, once the donuts are gone, I have a whole damn cake left. That tastes just as good, if not better, than the donuts. Insert delighted school girl squeal. And, a happy dance, which I just did around the kitchen. See, crazy baking lady in the house. Don’t worry, I know you love my craziness. Because without it, you wouldn’t get this Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake.

And without this cake, your mornings will be the worst.

And when I say the worst, I mean worse than the worst.

Doesn’t that sound bad? Cause it is. And, you don’t want that. So, do me a solid and make this. Or, better yet, come visit me so I can make you your own share coffee cake with you.

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake
Yields: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:
Pecan Topping
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 coarsely chopped pecan pieces

Cinnamon Filling
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Coffee Cake
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sour cream

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together all pecan topping ingredients–brown sugar, cinnamon, cocoa powder, salt, flour, pecans–except the butter, until combined. Cut in the butter using a pastry knife or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbles. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together all cinnamon filling ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla until mixture is smooth. Add remaining dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Scrape the bowl as needed. Mix in sour cream until incorporated.
Pour half of the batter into the prepared springform pan. Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon filling, using a spatula to evenly spread. Top off with the remaining batter.
Sprinkle the pecan topping over the batter, pressing lightly for it to stick.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top of the cake starts browning too much, cover the top with foil and place back in the oven to continue baking.
Let cake cool completely before serving.

 

Cinnamon Pecan Streusel Coffee Cake