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

Advertisements

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

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

Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Pecan Shortbread CookiesYou know what I was just thinking?

It feels like it’s been forever since I made cookies. Like, I can’t even remember the last cookie I made. Eek.

Oh God, when was the last time I ate a cookie?

I. Can’t. Even. Remember.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Is it sad that I’m sort of maybe totally kind of panicking? Cause I am. You gotta understand, it’s a pretty sad day when you realize you haven’t made or eaten a cookie in what seems like a million years.

A. Million. Years.

So, as we can see, when I panic I apparently like to over exaggerate. It hasn’t been a million years, but it has been about seven months since I shared a cookie recipe. You have to admit, that’s kind of a long time. I don’t even know how that happened. Definitely not intentional either. I wouldn’t deprive you like that on purpose. That would just be cruel.

Funny enough, the last recipe I posted was also a chocolate dipped cookie. I really don’t know how that slipped my mind considering it was the beginning of my obsession with dipping the bottoms of cookies. I find it unfair for the top of the cookie to have all the fun. Fair point, huh? The dipped bottom, to me, is like putting a big fat shiny bow on top of a present; it just makes it that much better.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

These cookies almost didn’t make it up on the blog. Why you ask? Oh, let me just tell you. For those that don’t know or don’t remember, my brother has two huskies, (Ms.) Meeka and (Mr.) Archer (look here for their picture). They are the cutest things on the planet. And, that is in no way an exaggeration. Scouts honor on that one. As a rule we don’t feed them human food, mainly because they have super sensitive stomachs and can’t seem to handle it. That doesn’t mean, however, that they don’t try to eat human food whenever they get a chance. Adorable troublemakers. That’s what they are.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

I’m sure you noticed these cookies require some work–I swear the end product is so totally worth it though. The dining room table became my work station, or at least half of the table did. It’s a pretty big table. Decent height. Lined with chairs on each side. I had rows of finished cookies just sitting on wax paper as I finished up with the caramel outlining. There was about five cookies left when it happened.

Meeka, my lovely little niece, came running in and quite literally face dived into a row of completed cookies. I repeat face dived. She tasted licked about two rows worth of cookies before I could pull her away. TWO. ROWS. WORTH. That’s a lot of deliciousness (and hard work, I might add) that went straight into the trash. Oh, and the kicker, in the panic I forgot to finishing filling in the trees with caramel on the cookie I had been working on when the face dive occurred. Ask me when I realized this? When I was opening the container filled with cookies to give to one of my coworkers. I was completely embarrassed. Like, blushing hardcore red. I gave someone an unfinished cookie. Poor under-decorated cookie. Poor person eating the cookie. Sad. Sad. Sad. Luckily, my coworker didn’t seem too mind at all. Thank the Baker God’s on that one.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Anyways, I should probably tell you a little about these cookies. It’s a buttery, melt in your mouth, shortbread cookie packed with chopped up pecan pieces dipped in milk chocolate and then outlined with some caramel. Oh, and it’s stamped with a Merry Christmas cookie stamp to make it festively beautiful. This is probably the first cookie I’ve made that I received equal amounts of compliments on taste and looks. Seriously, people love these cookies. I ate more than half of love these cookies. And, clearly, dogs love them too.

You know what that all adds up to, right?

Winning.

And, the fact, that I absolutely insist that you go make them. If you don’t, I may or may not have to force feed you to eat them. You don’t want that. You just don’t.

Pecan Shortbread Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Pecan Shortbread Cookies
Yields: about 30 large cookies

Utensils:
Merry Christmas Cookie Stamp
Large circle cookie cutter

Ingredients:
2 cup (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups finely chopped pecans
3 cups milk chocolate candy melts
1/2 cup of caramel

Directions:
In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, cream butter until light and fluffy.
Beat in powdered sugar until creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add salt and cornstarch. Mix until incorporated. Gradually beat in the flour until combined.
Using a spatula, fold in the chopped pecans.
Gather the dough as best you can into a ball and place on a piece of parchment paper. Cover the top of the dough with another piece of parchment paper and roll to ½ inch thick. Slide the parchment-covered dough onto a cutting board and place in the fridge. Let chill for about 50-60 minutes.
After the dough is finished chilling, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a large circular cookie cutter (or, cup that is slightly larger than the stamp), cut your cookies into circles. Firmly press the cookie stamp into each cookie-if the dough becomes too sticky or tough to work with place back in the fridge until it’s easier to handle.
Bake for 6 minutes, reverse tray (this will ensure an even color on the cookies!), and bake for another 5 more minutes or until lightly brown.
Let cookies cool for about a minute on the cookie sheet, and then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Once cookies have completely cooled, melt the milk chocolate candy melts in a microwave safe bowl, in 15 second intervals, until of drizzling consistency. Dip the bottoms of each cookie in the melted chocolate. Place cookie upside down on parchment paper until the chocolate has hardened.
Once chocolate has hardened, flip the cookie around. Using a piping bag with a very small tip or simply dipping a toothpick in the caramel (I used the toothpick method, it takes more time, but it ensures that the ‘Merry Christmas’ stays legible), fill in the stamped part of each cookie with caramel.

 

Pecan Shortbread Cookies