No-Bake Nutella Cheesecake with a Peanut Butter Cookie Crust

No-bake Nutella Cheesecake

Umm, guys, I can’t stop eating dreaming  wanting nutella. Well, nutella and peanut butter that is. I can’t have one without the other. I use to just eat spoonfuls of peanut butter, and be perfectly happy, but now my peanut-butter-smothered spoon demands to be dunked into nutella. I don’t know if you’ve ever dealt with peanut butter smothered spoons, but they can be quite persuasive when they want to be. Real sweet talkers. You just can’t say no to them.

It could also be that I don’t want to say no. Fine, I’ll admit it. I’m a peanutbutternutellaaholic.

And, as a pbnaholic, I accept a few things to be true. The first being that peanut butter and nutella are having their moment and I shouldn’t try to stop them. The second thing is that I accept that my spoon will now have to be dunked in both creamy substances before I can eat it. And, lastly, I accept the fact that both my jar of peanut butter and nutella are cross contaminated with each other. Surprise surprise, I can’t really find it in me to be bothered by this fact either. Really, it means less mixing for me, which means, more spoonfuls finding their way into my mouth.

Tell me how that sounds like a problem?

Exactly, my wonderful friends, it doesn’t.

No-bake Nutella Cheesecake

I know, I know, I’m fashionably late to the nutella party. My bad. I just wasn’t into it before. At all. I didn’t even want to try it. How ridiculous of me, right? But, then I finally bought a jar, had a tentative spoonful, decided it needed some peanut butter, and the rest is history. Well, maybe not, considering I can’t forget it.

Like I can’t forget these Peanut Butter & Nutella Pastry Puffs I made last week.

Like I won’t forget to buy a new nutella jar at target.

Like I’ll never forget about this cheesecake.

No-bake Nutella Cheesecake

This cheesecake. I. LITERALLY. CAN’T. EVEN.

Let me explain.

A homemade peanut butter cookie crust. I won’t even deny the fact that I made peanut butter cookies for the sole purpose of crumbling them up and using them as a crust. Or, that I made three different batches of varying sizes (large, small, and mini) just so that I would have the perfect sized peanut butter cookie as a topping for my cheesecake. What, you don’t think that’s normal? Awkward.

The peanut butter cookie crust is then topped with the most decadent and velvety no-bake nutella cheesecake in the world. Two words here people: rich and nutellaly—let’s pretend that’s a real word. Can I say one more word? Creamy. So, so, creamy. The ricotta cheese is to thank for that one. Yes, you heard right, ricotta cheese. Funny story, I had intended to add mascarpone cheese to this cheesecake, but accidentally grabbed ricotta instead. I got distracted by samples at Trader Joe’s. Can you blame me? It turned out to be a glorious mistake anyways. And, then of course, there’s whipped cream and the {perfect sized} mini peanut butter cookie on top.

No-bake Nutella Cheesecake

I repeat, I. CAN’T. EVEN.

No-bake Nutella Cheesecake with a Peanut Butter Cookie Crust
Yields: 4 large servings

Ingredients:
20 mini (or, about 9 larger) peanut butter cookie crumbs (I used this cookie recipe)
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 (8 oz.) blocks of cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar, sifted
1 1/2 cups Nutella
4 to 5 tablespoons ricotta cheese (depending on texture and taste use more or less)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1-2 tablespoons sugar
1/2-1 teaspoon vanilla
whipped cream & mini peanut butter cookies, for garnish

Directions:
Combine melted butter and cookie crumbs, until just combined. Divide the crumb mixture equally between serving glasses, lightly pressing into the bottom of the glass. Set aside.
In the bowl of the stand mixer with whisk attachment whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Add sugar and vanilla, to taste, beating until just combined. Scrape into a separate bowl and set aside.
Using the same bowl you whipped the heavy cream in, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the powdered sugar, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add nutella, mixing until incorporated, and then the ricotta cheese–add more or less depending on how velvety you want it. Using a spatula fold in the whipped cream mixture until just incorporate. Taste your cheesecake as you go and alter the taste for your preference, if you think its to rich add more whipped cream to lighten it up.
Spoon or pipe nutella cheesecake evenly into serving glasses, making sure to smooth the tops. Let chill for about two hours in the fridge.
Top cheesecakes with fresh whipped cream and a mini peanut butter cookie. Enjoy!

 

No-bake Nutella Cheesecake

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Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

I know what you’re thinking.

Believe me, I do.

“Of course she posted another Oreo recipe, they just came out with a new flavor.”

Pretty spot on, huh?

I’d like to think I’m unpredictable, but I’m beginning to realize, I’m not. Not even close. And, you know what, that’s really not a bad thing. At least you know what you’re getting from me. Right? It’s not like I’m giving you the same recipe though. I’ve done lemon bars, cookies, and cupcakes. All with Oreos. Now, that’s variety. Some may even go as far as saying I’m unpredictable with my Oreo baking. Ah ha, unpredictability.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Yeah, I don’t know why all of a sudden it’s important for me to be unpredictable. Maybe I’ve gone crazy? Or, maybe, just maybe, I’m slightly tired, under caffeinated, and really like typing the word unpredictable for some reason. Seriously, it has so many letters.

But, enough of my nonsense.

Lets talk about the other main ingredient in this recipe. Drumroll please.

The pumpkin.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Guys, this is my first pumpkin recipe of the year. Aren’t you proud that I waited until the end of October to share it with you? For those of you that are new to Hint of Nutmegg, let me briefly share the story of the pumpkin craze of 2013.

I went a little overboard on the pumpkin. How overboard? Let’s just say I posted 5 pumpkin recipes in a row. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it totally was. I over-killed the pumpkin. And, even I, the biggest pumpkin fan in the world, was tired of it. It was pretty bad.

Don’t worry though. There won’t be a pumpkin craze of 2014. I’ll be better. But, I hope you know, by being better, I don’t mean this will be my only pumpkin post. I’m planning on at least two more. I think that’s reasonable. Don’t you?

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

So, lets talk about these Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting.

In three words, to die for.

The cupcakes are super moist and have a subtle pumpkin taste, thanks to the Pumpkin Spice Oreo crumbles that are baked into the cupcake. Each cupcake is then topped with a creamy, pumpkin packed frosting that is out of this world. I repeat, out of this world. I’ll admit I was eating it out of the bowl. It’s the perfect balance between cream cheese and pumpkin spice, and really brings this cupcake to a whole new level of pumpkin yumminess. For a topper, I crumbled some of the Oreos on top of the cupcake to add a little crunch—keep in mind, when putting the cupcakes in the refrigerator though, the Oreo crumbles on top will get soggy.

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes With Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
16 Pumpkin Spice Latte Oreos, roughly chopped

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
1 (8 oz.) block of cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup pumpkin puree (I used the Organic Pumpkin Puree from Trader Joe’s)
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Directions:
Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside.
In a medium microwave safe bowl, melt the butter. Whisk in the sugar–the mixture will be very thick…use those muscles!
Add the egg whites, whisking until incorporated, and then add the sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Whisk until mixture is smooth and uniform in texture.
Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined and no lumps remain.
Using a spatula, gently fold in the chopped Oreo pieces.
Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners–about 3 tablespoons per each tin–and bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting
While the cupcakes are cooling, start making the pumpkin cream cheese frosting. Using a handheld electric mixer or a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, butter, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, and spices on medium speed until creamy and combined.
Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, and then mix in the flour.
Frost the cupcakes as desired and top with crumbled up Pumpkin Spice Oreos.

*Cupcake batter adapted from this recipe, which was adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

 

Pumpkin Spice Oreo Cupcakes

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese IcingWe are officially 27 days into the New Year. Twenty-Seven Days. Geesh. It’s going quickly, isn’t it? I haven’t even wished you a Happy New Year. Or, posted anything yummy on my blog. Oops.

Let me tell you what I have done (or, what has happened to me) so far in 2014.

I have been sick. Roll-up-in-ball, never-leave-your-room-again, sick. I’ll spare you the gory details and just say it was the worst.
I started drinking something new at Starbucks (courtesy of the bestie). Iced Green Tea Latte with Soy milk. In one word I would describe it as amazingggg. It tastes like green tea ice cream or those green tea flavored mochis. You should really try it.
I have also been brutally attacked by allergies. Itchy eyes. Headache. Really, just the works. Lucky me, huh?
I started working. Well, volunteering. But still, it’s kind of like work. I’m volunteering at a psychiatric hospital, which I’m ridiculously excited about. I’m even starting to feel more excited than nervous about my future. Maybe this grown-up thing isn’t as scary as I thought.

Oh, I also self-appointed myself best auntie around town. You see, I recently became an aunt to two of the most beautiful little things ever. Meet Archer (the lighter one) and Meeka.
IMG_78711I don’t mean to brag or anything, but my niece and nephew are pretty stinkin adorable. Don’t ya think?

Let’s switch this up. What haven’t I done?

Simple. I haven’t started dieting or made losing weight a New Year’s resolution. Everyone I know wants to shed a few pounds and eat healthier. And, that’s great. Except, it’s really not. You see, when everyone diets, they don’t eat baked goods. And, when they don’t eat baked goods, I have no one to bake for. And, when I have no one to bake for I either eat it myself (not good) or don’t bake (also, not good). Do you see my problem?

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing I’m all in for shedding a few pounds and eating healthy—I’m a huge fan of using cauliflower as a carb substitute these days—but, I believe in the concept of moderation. In my opinion, a little bit of dessert every once in a while isn’t going to kill you. You with me? My sister, Alana, (technically, my cousin, but who really pays attention to those technicalities) is one of those people who’s trying to eat healthier this year. And, I fully, one-hundred percent, support her. But, when she mentioned she was craving cinnamon rolls, I couldn’t help but get into the kitchen and start baking.

I’m calling these ‘healthy’ cinnamon rolls. Before you laugh and ask if that’s a joke, hear me out. Compared to normal cinnamon rolls these are smaller, less doughy, and not as sweet. Healthy, right? Okay, maybe not entirely, but definitely healthier than normal cinnamon rolls. One could even say these are cinnamon rolls in moderation. At least that’s what Alana and I are saying. Wanna join us?

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing Let’s talk flavor profile. These Cinnamon Roll Twists are crunchy on the outside from the cinnamon-sugar filling that caramelizes onto the dough while baking, and soft, flaky, and bursting with cinnamon flavor on the inside. The twists are then drizzled with Cream Cheese Icing and sprinkled lightly with cinnamon and sugar. Have I mentioned how easy and quick they are to make? Because they totally are. Almost embarrassingly easy. But, hey, sometimes easy is good, really good.

Cinnamon Roll Twists with Cream Cheese Icing
Yields: about 30 twists

Ingredients:
Cinnamon Roll Twists
1 package puff pastry (2 sheets)
¾ cup golden brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter
all-purpose flour for dusting

Cream Cheese Icing
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup powdered sugar
3-5 tablespoons milk (use as needed)

Directions:
Cinnamon Roll Twists
Thaw puff pastry according to directions on the package.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line two cookies sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
In a small bowl, combine sugars and cinnamon. Mix until combined, and then set aside.
Dust your work surface generously with flour and lightly dust your rolling-pin.
Roll out puff pastry about 2 inches larger on each side—the dough will be thin—and cut crosswise into two rectangles.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and brush generously over one of the puff pastry rectangles—once you feel that piece is buttered up, lightly brush the remainder of the melted butter on the other rectangle.
Sprinkle about half of the cinnamon-sugar mixture on the buttered up puff pastry piece.
Cover the cinnamon-sugar coated piece with the remaining lightly buttered piece of puff pastry and gently roll them together with a rolling-pin.
Cut into long strips (I used a pizza cutter and it worked wonderfully!) and twist. Place on lined pan and bake for 12-14 minutes or until golden brown—the thinner your strips are the less time they will need to cook.
Let cinnamon roll twists cool slightly before removing from pan, and then place them on a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Repeat process with the second sheet of puff pastry—make sure to keep just a little bit of the cinnamon-sugar mixture to sprinkle on the twists once they are iced.

Cream Cheese Icing
In a medium bowl, beat together cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth and combined.
Depending on your desired icing consistency, add a tablespoon of milk at a time—if you don’t want to add more milk and the icing still isn’t of drizzling consistency, warm up the icing in the microwave for 5-10 seconds.
Once the cinnamon roll twists are iced, sprinkle with remaining cinnamon-sugar.

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

Pumpkin Ice Cream CupcakesI spent the last week in Seattle.

And, I’m fairly certain I fell in love.

I want to live there someday. It’s absolutely beautiful.

I’d never been to Seattle before, but it had always been a place I wanted to visit. Partly because I Love (yes, with a capital L) the rain. I’m a huge fan of cloudy days, cold weather, and jumping around in rain puddles (with rain boots on, of course). The other part, which you may have already guessed, is that Seattle is the birthplace of Starbucks. And, we all know, how much I love my coffee.

I spent most of my time walking the streets in downtown Seattle. Window shopping with my mom. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee. Site seeing with my family. Jumping around in the fall leaves (don’t judge me…we don’t quite get all, or really any, of the fall changes in California. In fact, it’s still in the eighties where I live.). Watching the Seahawks’ fans proudly wear bright green and blue. And, eating more than my fair share of desserts.

There was one bakery, in particular, that I would gladly live in. It’s called Cupcake Royale, and it may just be the cutest little bakery I’ve ever seen. They have coffee, homemade ice cream, and adorably decorated cupcakes. Can you see why I want to live there?

They had Pumpkin Cardamom ice cream, which I obviously had to try, and I can’t even begin to explain how good it was. It had chunks of soft pumpkin bread swirled with a cardamom cream cheese ice cream that was literally like eating pumpkin pie in ice cream form. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. That ice cream was the inspiration for these Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes. And can I just say, these little bad boys taste pretty darn good.

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

These Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes require a little bit more time and work than your normal cupcake, but trust me when I say, it’s soooo worth it. The cupcake portion, itself, is a graham cracker cupcake that is ridiculously moist and maintains that spicy graham cracker flavor that we all love. On top of the cupcake, is a thick layer of pumpkin ice cream, which is then covered in a cream cheese glaze. Finally, the cupcake is sprinkled generously with toasted pumpkin spice graham cracker crumbs. These cupcakes are a little messier than most (blame the delicious pumpkin ice cream), but I don’t think you’ll mind the sticky fingers after your first bite!

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is
Yields: About 22 cupcakes

Ingredients:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
½ cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ cups (about 13 graham cracker sheets) of graham cracker crumbs (I used honey graham crackers and a food processor to make my crumbs)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk

Ice Cream Layer
1 quart pumpkin cream (I used Trader’s Joe Pumpkin Ice Cream)

Cream Cheese Glaze
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
7 tablespoons powdered sugar
4 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
5 sheets of graham crackers, crumbled
1-1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin spice

NOTE: I had extra crumb topping at the end, so maybe try using 3 sheets of graham crackers instead of 5 and add pumpkin spice based off of taste.

Directions:
Graham Cracker Cupcakes
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake tin with liners. Set aside.
Cream butter in stand mixer until smooth. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each egg is incorporated.
In a small bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs.
Alternate between adding the flour mixture and milk to the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
Scoop 2 tablespoons of batter into each cupcake tin. Bake for 14-15 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cupcakes cool completely or put them in the freezer to speed up the process.

Ice Cream Layer
If you removed the cupcakes from the cupcake pan for cooling, return cupcakes to the pan once completely cooled.
Carefully and quickly spread a spoonful of pumpkin ice cream on top of the cupcakes—make sure to cover the whole cupcake and leave a little mound on the top of the cupcake so they aren’t flat.
If the ice cream becomes too soft to work with, return cupcakes and ice cream to the freezer until you can work again.
Freeze cupcakes for about 1-2 hours or until ice cream layer is frozen enough (I let mine sit over night).

Toasted Pumpkin Spice Graham Cracker Crumbs
Before making your cream cheese glaze, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with foil and set aside.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and pumpkin spice. Mix until well-combined.
Pour crumbs onto foiled cookie sheet and bake for 3-5 minutes or until golden brown—watch the crumbs carefully because they can quickly become burnt.

Cream Cheese Glaze
Once the ice cream layer has been set and the crumbs have been toasted make your glaze.
In a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth.
Add milk and vanilla. Mix until combined.

Assembly
Remove cupcakes from freezer and pour a heaping spoonful of cream cheese glaze over each cupcake—make sure to cover the whole thing.
Once the cupcakes have been glazed, sprinkle the toasted crumbs over the cupcake.
Place cupcakes back in the freezer for another 30 minutes, and then finalllllly you can eat them :)

 

Pumpkin Ice Cream Cupcakes

Peekaboo Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pound Cake

PeekabooPCCPCakeMy laptop decided to take a nap.

Really, a permanent nap. And it refused to be awaken. So, I took it to be repaired. And this little repair, left me computer less for about two weeks. This is partly to blame for my lack of posting recently.

The other part, you can blame, is a few failed dessert photo shoots and my need for every picture to be perfect. I admit it, I’m somewhat of a perfectionist. Especially when it comes to this blog and the recipes I provide you. I just want you all to be happy with the taste and look of the final product…Can you blame me?

The one good thing about taking this baking break is that I was able to prioritize my ‘To Bake’ list. Meaning, that I have some really good recipes in the works (a lot of which involve pumpkin…the season simply demands it) that I CANNOT wait to share. You have been warned of the future deliciousness. Prepare your kitchens, stock your cupboards, and be ready for your stomach to growl in happy anticipation.

Now, can we just talk about how cute this Peekaboo Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pound Cake is? Just look at it.

PeekabooPCCPCake

Aside from being ridiculously cute, this cake is extremely delicious. Did I mention it’s actually pretty easy to make too? The peekaboo pumpkin is made from a box mix of pumpkin bread and maintains the wonderfully warm and cinnamony undertones you would find in the bread. The surrounding cream cheese pound cake is a homemade cake that contains both regular and pumpkin flavored cream cheese, giving it a slightly pumpkiny aftertaste. As a whole, the cake is extremely moist and both the pumpkin and cream cheese flavors are present in every bite!

Peekaboo Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Cake concept from SheKnows
Yields: One 9×5-inch loaf (+ about 6 cupcakes)

Utensils:
Medium sized pumpkin silicon molds (if you don’t have molds, you can use a pumpkin shaped cookie cutter—see the SheKnows website for directions on how to proceed).

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Bread
1 box pumpkin bread (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
2 eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup water
food coloring

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
1 ½ cups (3 sticks) salted butter, at room temperature
4 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
4 oz. pumpkin spice cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups sugar
6 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla

Directions:
Pumpkin Bread
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine pumpkin bread mixture, eggs, vegetable oil, and water. Stir until combined.
Add food coloring (2 red drops + 3 yellow drops=orange) to the batter until you feel the pumpkin is orange enough.
If you are using pumpkin silicon molds, pour the batter into the mold, filling it only about 2/3 of the way, and bake for about 10 minutes—the pumpkin will still be doughy in the center, but should be slightly firm on the sides.
The bread requires about 7 medium sized pumpkins, which means you’ll have extra pumpkin batter (with my extra batter, I made mini pumpkin shaped cupcakes using the mini pumpkin silicone molds, but I suggest making extra medium sized pumpkins just in case one falls apart while pulling it out of the mold).
Let pumpkins cool completely before gently removing them from the mold. Place pumpkins in a container lined with wax paper.
Refrigerate for at least four hours (I let mine sit over night).

Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Cream together butter and both cream cheeses, until creamy.
Gradually add sugar, beating until combined.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating the mixture until each egg is incorporated.
In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture.
Add vanilla. Mix until combined. Set cake mixture aside.

Assembly
Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Remove the pumpkins from the fridge. Place pumpkins right side up (the bottom of the pumpkin touches the bottom of the loaf pan) in the middle of the pan in a line from one side of the pan to the other.
Pour the cream cheese pound cake mixture over the pumpkins, making sure to cover the pumpkins completely (there will be some left over cake batter, I made cupcakes with mine and placed the mini pumpkin cupcakes on top as a decoration).
Bake for about an hour and 50 minutes—if the top of the loaf is browning to quickly cover the pan with foil.
Let the cake cool completely (if you can) before cutting into it to reveal the inside.

 

PeekabooPCCPCake3