• Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:

    4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    FOR THE FILLING:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon flour
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon maple extract
    1 large egg

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon maple extract

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Cook the bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned. Pour off the bacon fat and set aside. Sprinkle the sugar over the bacon and cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a resealable container and set aside.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter along with 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    FOR THE FILLING:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and flour and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    Once chilled, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle each cheesecake with the glaze. Top with the reserved candied bacon. Serve.

    Inspired by The Food Network

  • How to Make Butterscotch Sauce

    How to make Butterscotch Sauce

    Yield: about 3/4 cup

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Cook: 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter
    3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
    3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1 to 2 tablespoons dark liquor, optional

    Directions

    In a medium heavy saucepan or skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the sugar, salt, and cream and stir with a rubber spatula until combined. Without stirring, let the mixture cook at a bubbling simmer for three minutes. Be careful not to boil too long, or you’ll end up with chewy butterscotch candies instead of a sauce.

    Remove from heat and let cool slightly before stirring in the vanilla extract. Pour into a resalable container, preferably glass. Don’t scrape the sides of the pan into the container or you may end up with gritty pieces of undissolved sugar.

    Serving and Storage: The sauce should be served warm. It can be stored in a jar, in the refrigerator, for up to two weeks. Reheat the butterscotch sauce in a saucepan over low heat.

  • Brown Butter Dulce de Leche Cookie Cups

    How to make Brown Butter Dulce de Leche Cookie Cups

    Yield: 48 mini cookie cups

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 25 minutes

    Find prepared Dulce de Leche in the Latin section of most grocery stores.

    Ingredients

    1 1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1 1/2 cups (6.6 ounces) bread flour
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon fine sea salt
    2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk at room temperature
    1 13.4-ounce can prepared Dulce de Leche
    Flaked sea salt, for finishing

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 24 mini-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

    In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

    In a small saucepan set over medium heat, melt the butter. Swirling the pan occasionally, continue to cook the butter. It should become foamy with audible cracking and popping noises. Once the crackling stops, continue to swirl the pan until the butter develops a nutty aroma and brown bits start to form at the bottom. Once the bits are amber in color, about 2 to 3 minutes after the popping stops, remove from heat and pour into a mixing bowl.

    While the butter is still hot, stir in the granulated sugar and brown sugar. Let cool before adding in the vanilla and the eggs and yolk, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.

    Press a 1-tablespoon sized ball of dough into each muffin cup. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and using the end of a wooden spoon, make 1-inch wide indentations into the center of each cookie.

    Spoon a teaspoon of dulce de leche into each indentation. Sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool completely before serving.

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

    How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

    Yield: 12 muffins

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 20 minutes

    Ingredients

    3 large ripe bananas
    3/4 cup (5.3 ounces) granulated sugar
    1 large egg
    1/3 cup (3 ounces) unsweetened applesauce
    1/2 cup (4.75 ounces) peanut butter
    1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) white whole-wheat flour
    1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup (1.75 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 375°F and position a rack in the center. Line a muffin tin with baking cups and set it aside.

    In a large bowl mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher then mix in the sugar, egg, applesauce, and peanut butter until combined. Stir in the flours, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder over the banana mixture. Mix lightly with a rubber spatula to combine. Fold in chocolate chips. The batter should be just moistened but still a little clumpy. Don’t overmix!

    Using a spring-loaded ice cream scoop or spoons, divide the batter between the prepared muffin cups and bake them for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer them to a rack to cool. Store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

  • diy Cookie Butter

    How to make diy Cookie Butter

    Yield: about 14 ounces

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 0 minutes

    Grind cookies in a food processor or high powered blender until very fine ground. Remove any fillings (such as Oreo crème) before processing.

    Ingredients

    Method 1:

    2 cups (8 ounces) cookie crumbs
    2 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar
    1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more if desired
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

    Method 2:

    2 cups (8 ounces) cookie crumbs
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
    1/4 cup evaporated milk
    Cookie filling (such as Oreo crème), if any

    Directions

    Method 1

    Stir together the cookie crumbs, sugar, cream, and butter until well combined. This can be done in the bowl of your food processor or blender. Add more cream for a thinner, more pourable or dippable consistency.

    FOR CRUNCHY BUTTER: At this time feel free to add in larger chunks of cookie crumbs for a crunchier texture.

    At this point you can remove the cookie butter to a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 14 days. Let sit at room temperature until softened.

    Method 2

    Place the cookie crumbs in a large heat-safe bowl.

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the butter, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and cookie filling, if any. Cook until melted. Remove from heat and pour about 1/2 cup into the cookie crumbs. Stir with a rubber spatula. Continue adding the liquid mixture very gradually to the cookie crumbs just until it is wet enough to hold its shape.

    At this point you can remove the cookie butter to a mason jar and store in the fridge for up to 14 days. Let sit at room temperature until softened.

  • Gingerbread Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    How to make Gingerbread Doughnut Waffles with Maple Glaze

    Yield: 18 doughnut waffles

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the doughnut waffles:

    1/3 cup dark brown sugar sugar
    2 teaspoons baking powder
    3/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    1/4 teapsoon ground nutmeg
    1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    1/2 cup milk
    1/4 cup molasses
    1 1/2 cups (6.8 ounces) all-purpose flour

    For the maple glaze:

    4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
    3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
    8 tablespoons pure maple syrup

    Directions

    To make the waffles:

    In a large bowl, whisk the sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg together. Add the egg and yolk, melted butter, milk, and molasses until just combined. The batter will be thick.

    Preheat your waffle iron. Place a tablespoon of batter in each waffle cavity and cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to a wire rack and repeat for the remaining batter.

    To glaze:

    In a small bowl whisk together all the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle or dunk the slightly cool doughnut into the glaze. Let sit until set. Doughnut waffles are best served the day they are made.

  • Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

    How to make Hot Chocolate Cupcakes

    Yield: 18

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 35 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the Cupcakes:

    1 3/4 cup flour
    3/4 cup cocoa powder
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
    1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup buttermilk
    2 eggs
    1/3 cup vegetable oil
    1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
    1/2 cup hot water

    For the Icing:

    5 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons cocoa powder
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

    For the Topping:

    1/4 cup Mallow Bits
    Whipped cream

    Directions

    For the Cupcakes:

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line muffin tin with baking cups.

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix flour, cocoa, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the buttermilk, eggs, vegetalbe oil, and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Scrape bowl as needed. With the mixer on slow speed, add the hot water and mix until combined.

    Use an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measuring cup to fill baking cups 2/3 full. Bake for 16-18 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then move to a cooling rack to cool completely.

    For the Icing:

    Place butter, cocoa powder, and milk in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the powdered sugar until smooth.

    Working one at a time, dip the tops of each cupcakes into the icing and immeiately sprinkle half the cupcake with Mallow Bits. (If the icing in the pot starts to dry and set up, just set it back on the stove for about 20 seconds while whisking until it thins again.) Let the icing set before adding the whipped cream. Serve immediately. (Wait to add the whipped cream until ready to serve. If you pipe the whipped cream on you’ll need to store the cupcakes in the fridge.)

  • Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Mousse Pie

    How to make Chocolate Peanut Butter Caramel Mousse Pie

    Yield: 1 9-inch pie

    Prep Time: 25 minutes

    Cook: 10 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    20 Oreo cookies (regular-stuffed, filling intact)
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
    1 cup heavy cream
    1/2 cup salted caramel sauce, store-bought or homemade

    For the peanut butter whipped cream:

    1 1/2 cups heavy cream
    1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
    2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    Additional caramel sauce, for drizzling
    Additional peanut butter, melted, for drizzling
    Additional semisweet chocolate, melted, for drizzling

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pie dish with cooking spray.

    Place the Oreo cookies in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie dish. Bake for 10 minutes, or until fragrant and set. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

    Make the filling:

    In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate on high in 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted and smooth. Let cool.

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream until soft peaks form. On medium speed, gradually add the caramel and continue whipping until medium-stiff peaks form. Gently fold in the cooled melted chocolate until combined. Pour into cookie crust and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

    Make the topping:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment to beat the cream until thickened. Add the peanut butter, sugar, and vanilla and beat on high speed until soft peaks form.

    Spread the cream evenly over the mousse layer. At this point you can refrigerate overnight if desired.

    Just before serving, drizzle with caramel sauce.

  • Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    How to make Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 18 minutes

    Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium-high heat or in a 325°F oven until aromatic and slightly darkened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 large egg

    For the topping:

    Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, cream, salt, and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. At this point the cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Make the topping:

    Once chilled, top each cheesecake with a spoonful of caramel sauce, just enough to cover but not too much that it completely overflows. Press pecans into the caramel.

    Place the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Transfer to a small ziptop bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Return to the fridge to chill until ready to serve.