No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

I’d like to apologize.

I don’t know where my manners went.

How could I have forgotten to wish you a Happy National Coffee Day?

How selfish of me. And rude. And mean.

Okay, I’m just being dramatic here. But, seriously, Happy Belated National Coffee Day.

How belated exactly? Fourteen days. National Coffee Day was on September 29th. Better late than never, right?

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If it makes you feel better, I didn’t really celebrate. In fact, I only had one cup of coffee that day, which is much smaller than my usual amount. Saddening, I know.

This is why we (yes, you and I…no one wants to celebrate alone) need to sit down, clink are forks together, and dig into some No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake.

Or, should I say some No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake with a Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust topped generously with homemade whipped cream and mocha syrup.

Try saying that five times fast. It’s a mouthful. A delicious mouthful. A coffee infused mouthful. But, still, a little long. Hence the shorter name for this dessert.

Let’s break this down.

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

Starting from the bottom, we have a Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust. Sounds like a lot of work to make, huh? It’s not. Trader Joe’s has these amazingggg Kona Coffee Creamy Half-dipped Shortbread Cookies, which you simply have to crush up and bam snap clap (just go with it) you have a crust for your cheesecake.

Next up, we have the Mocha Cheesecake. The mocha flavoring is very subtle and doesn’t overpower the creamy taste of the cheesecake in any way. In fact, you don’t taste the mocha until you swallow your first bite. The flavor is easily adaptable too—want more mocha? Add more of the mocha coffee. Need it to be sweeter? Add more sugar. Want a hint of vanilla? Add some vanilla extract. Play with the taste of the cheesecake until you love it.

Lastly, we have the optional, but highly recommended toppings of homemade whipped cream and mocha syrup. This isn’t a very sweet dessert, so adding the whipped cream definitely kicks up the sweetness a little bit. The syrup tastes exactly like mocha—a little chocolate, a little coffee, and a little bit bitter—and adds the perfect final touch to this dessert.
No-Bake Mocha CheesecakeAs a whole, you definitely taste the coffee in this sweet treat. Which, if you think about it, is the ideal way to honor National Coffee Day…no matter how belated we may be.

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake
Yields: 5-6 servings

Ingredients:
Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust
9 Kona Coffee Shortbread Cookies (I bought these at Trader Joe’s)

Mocha Cheesecake
1 (8 oz.) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3-1/2 cup Starbucks Bottled Mocha Frappuccino Coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla, optional

Mocha Syrup & Whipped Cream (optional)
1/2 cup Starbucks Bottled Mocha Frappuccino Coffee
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
whipped cream, for garnish

Directions:
Kona Coffee Shortbread Crust & Mocha Cheesecake
In a food processor, pulse the Kona Coffee Shortbread Cookies until finely crumbled–I added butter to help combine the crust, but it ended up getting a little hard (still delicious, but you had to stab it with your spoon for it to crumble) after the cheesecakes chilled in the fridge, so I suggest not to use butter, or if the crust needs help combining, add just a little bit of melted unsalted butter to help.
Divide the crumbles into each mason jar equally and press into the bottom. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with a whip attachment, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Scrape into a separate bowl (you can reserve half a cup to use as a garnish on the cheesecakes or you can make fresh whipped cream after the cheesecakes have chilled, up to you!) and set aside.
Using the same bowl you whipped the heavy cream in, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the sugar, mocha, and vanilla (if you decide to use it) until combined–the taste is up to you, if you want it to be more mocha flavored add more of the mocha coffee, if you want it to be sweeter add more sugar, or if you want a hint of vanilla add some vanilla extract. Using a spatula fold the whipped cream into the cheesecake mixture until just incorporated.
Spoon or pipe the cheesecake mixture evenly into the mason jars, make sure to smooth the tops. Let chill for two hours in the fridge.

Mocha Syrup & Whipped Cream
While the cheesecakes are chilling, make the mocha syrup. In a small saucepan, whisk together the mocha coffee, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Bring mixture to a simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly until syrup begins to thicken.
Once thickened, remove saucepan from heat and stir in the vanilla. Let mixture cool down before pouring over the cheesecakes.
Top cheesecakes with reserved or fresh whipped cream and drizzle generously with mocha syrup.

*Mocha Syrup recipe adapted from Pastry Affair

 

No-Bake Mocha Cheesecake

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Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsHello Friends.

I know I’ve gone a little pumpkin crazy on you. I’m sorrrry. I couldn’t help it. Honest.

I swear I’ll stop now. After I share this recipe. Pinky Promise.

I had to leave you with one last kick butt pumpkin recipe. It’s my duty. Or, I made it my duty. Either way. Feel free to thank me. Perhaps even a round of applause? I know, I’m asking for too much.

But, seriously, prepare yourself.

Take a deep breath.

Get ready to grab a fork. And, a napkin. A bigggg napkin.

I give you the wonderful, the sticky, the gooey ooey, delicious Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Bun. Or, in other words, the perfect way to start your Thanksgiving (that is, if you aren’t pumpkin-ed out).
Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsHellllllo Thanksgiving Breakfast. Why shouldn’t you start and end the day with scrumptious food? Who decided Thanksgiving should only be about dinner and dessert? A crazy person who never tried these buns, that’s who.

These Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns are like cinnamon rolls on crack with a whole bunch more flavor and a lot more sticky. The buns are made from a pumpkin dough that bakes up into a chewy, spice filled, soft bun that pairs perfectly with the brown sugar filling, giving it that perfect pumpkiny taste we all loveeee. The top side of the bun is covered in a gooey caramel syrup, that gives the bun a more sugary flavor, as well as crunchy pecans that bring together this spice & sugar filled breakfast treat.

Want to know my favorite part about Thanksgiving? It’s the moment right before dinner, when my entire family sits down at the table (usually a few tables put together) and starts passing around all the yummy dishes. It’s not my favorite because we spent the whole day cooking and the feast is finally done. Or, because I’m moments away from entering a joyous food coma either. It’s my favorite because it’s the first time all day that my family (including relatives I don’t see on a daily basis) is together, in the same spot, enjoying themselves, smiling from ear to ear. That’s why I like it. And that’s why I wanted to make it happen for breakfast too.

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky BunsWhat can I say? I love me some family time. And, I’m beyond thankful for the wonderful people in my life. And, the fact that they let me plump them up with baked goods. You know what else I’m thankful for? Good health, supportive friends, smiling faces, dessert, and you.

Yes, you. You, reading this post, thank you. Thank you for making my baking blog dreams a reality. Thank you for supporting me in my endeavors in the kitchen. And thank you for using my recipes to make your family and friend’s stomach’s happy.

So, Happy {Early} Thanksgiving. Hope you have an amazing day that starts with your breakfast :)

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns
Yields: About 12 buns

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Dough
½ cup milk (I’m using 2%, but whole milk would work too!)
½ cup (one stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 packet (2 ¼ teaspoons) active dry yeast
¼ cup golden (or light) brown sugar
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon cloves
4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling out dough
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
Oil for coating the bowl

Filling
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup sugar

Caramel Syrup
1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
1/2 cup (1 stick) light corn syrup

Directions:
Making the Pumpkin Dough
Warm milk and butter together in the microwave or over the stove. Set aside to cool slightly (the mixture should be warm, but not scalding hot). Depending on the type of yeast you are using, you can use a thermometer to measure the exact temperature needed for that yeast.
Sprinkle yeast on the surface of the milk and butter mixture and let rest for about 2 minutes before gently stirring together. Let sit for another 5 minutes.
In bowl of a stand mixer, combine 3 cups of flour, sugars, salt, and spices. Whisk until well-combined.
Add the yeast-milk-butter mixture to the flour mixture. Mix on low until combined.
Add egg and pumpkin puree. Stir until incorporated.
Switch to the dough hook for mixing, and add the remaining cup of flour. Combine until the dough separates from the sides of the bowl.
Coat the inside of a large bowl with oil and scrape the dough mixture into it. Cover with plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Set aside for about 1 ½ to 2 hours (or until double in size) in a warm, draft free place.

Making the Caramel Syrup
Grease the 12 tin cups of a muffin pan. Set aside.
Combine butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently until sugar has dissolved completely.
Remove from heat and spoon 1 ½ tablespoons into the tin cups of the greased muffin pan.
Evenly sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the syrup. Set aside.

Making the Filling & the Buns
In a small bowl, combine sugars and pumpkin pie spice.
On a floured surface, roll the dough into a 16×19-inch rectangle (or as close as you can get to a rectangle). Flour your rolling pin as necessary.
Brush melted butter all over the rolled dough and then sprinkle evenly with the sugar mixture.
Starting with the long side, tightly (and gently) roll up the dough into a spiral—it’s okay if some of the filling falls out.
Using a sharp serrated knife, gently move the knife back and forth, applying no pressure, until the dough spiral is cut into 12 buns—I cut off the ‘butts’ (the not so rolled up ends) of the dough spiral, and then baked them in a separate tin…no need to waste pumpkin goodness.
Place each roll in the muffin pan on top of the syrup. Cover the pan with greased plastic wrap and let rise for about another 45 to 60 minutes (until double in size).
*If you want to prepare these in advance, place the plastic wrap covered muffin pan in the fridge over night. In the morning, let the buns sit at room temperature for 15 minutes before baking them.

Baking the Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake buns for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes and then invert rolls onto a cooling rack. Make sure you have a piece of wax paper under the cooling rack to catch any dripping caramel.
Serve warm and ENJOY :)

 

Pumpkin Pecan Sticky Buns