Sweet Treats

Recipe—Individual Blueberry Cheesecakes

Individual Blueberry Cheesecakes

Last weekend we went to another summer BBQ. This one was about two hours away and would be a long windy drive. I needed a dessert that would transport well. Pies seem to always end up squished and most of my Pyrex dishes wont fit in my ice chest. I have seen individual desserts in mason jars trending on Pinterest and I thought to myself, “I bet something like that would transport wonderfully.” And they did! Now what to put in them? Hmm…

If you have been following my blog for a while now then you may know that I love my cheesecake. I am not picky about my desserts but if it has the word “cheesecake” in the name I will lack all self control. So I knew I wanted some sort of cheesecake in a jar. (I know, pretty self-serving right?) Blueberries were on sale at the grocery store and so my decision was made. I would be taking individual blueberry cheesecakes in mason jars. They made a great presentation, were out of this world good, could not have been easier to serve, and they were fun to eat. In other words, they were amazing!

Note: I was able to fill six 8 ounce mason jars. You can get also get 4 ounce jars for smaller servings.

BLUEBERRY FILLING INGREDIENTS
2 tbsp butter
4 c blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 c sugar
1/2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp water

CHEESECAKE INGREDIENTS
1 c graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c butter, melted
1 1/4 c sugar, divided
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c milk
8 oz tub of Cool Whip
mason jars (see note above regarding sizes)

BLUEBERRY FILLING STEPS

  • Melt the 2 tbsp of butter in a saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add in the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice.
  • Whisk together the cornstarch and water in a small bowl and pour into the pot.
  • Lightly mash the blueberries with a hand held masher making sure to leave about half of the berries in tact.
  • Bring the blueberry filling to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
  • Cook the filling for 6–8 minutes stirring frequently.
  • Remove from heat.

CHEESECAKE STEPS

  • While the blueberry filling is cooling, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1/4 c of the sugar.
  • Distribute the graham cracker crumb mixture into the bottom of each jar saving a couple of spoonfuls for garnish.
  • Using a hand held mixer, beat together the cream cheese and remaining cup of sugar until well combined. Gradually add in the milk until it is nice and creamy.
  • Distribute the cream cheese filling among the jars. (I transferred my filling into a Ziploc bag, cut of the corner, and piped it into each jar.)
  • Add a layer of the blueberry filling to each jar.
  • Fill the rest of the jar with Cool Whip and sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs.
  • Add lids if you will be transporting your dessert.
  • Chill for at least one hour before serving.
  • Enjoy!
Appetizers, Snacks, Sweet Treats

Recipe—Toffee Apple Dip

I love it when I can find festive after school snacks for my little munchkin. While this isn’t the healthiest snack, we sure had fun making it together. We had it “whipped” up in less than 5 minutes and eaten in almost the same amount of time. Just kidding, I demonstrated some self-control and saved a little for my husband to enjoy for dessert that night. This was so good that when we ran out of apples I was just using my fingers to scoop it out. I know, I’m ashamed, but I couldn’t help it! It was really yummy! A better name for this is probably “Apple Crack”. After we finished the dip off we were trying to think about what else would go well with it and we think some graham crackers or Nilla wafers would make great dippers too. Enjoy! (And I know you will!)

Note: This is the perfect amount for 3–5 people but if you want to make it for a group definitely double or triple the recipe.

INGREDIENTS
1 Heath bar
8 oz cream cheese (1 block)
1/3 c brown sugar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3–5 apples sliced

STEPS

  • Using a very sharp knife cut the Heath bar up into small bits. Set a tablespoon of the bits aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl beat together the cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla,
  • Stir in the majority of the Heath bits.
  • Transfer to a small serving bowl.
  • Top with reserved Heath bits.
  • Serve with sliced apples.
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Balls

These no-bake caramel pecan cheesecake balls are the type of dessert that make your teeth hurt just looking at them. And I mean that in the best way possible. There is a reason these are bite size servings. They are so rich that you really will only want to eat one, but will probably devour a couple. You just wont be able to resist. They are dangerous like that so beware! I made these for a recent birthday party and had at least half the people ask for the recipe. I’m pretty sure that’s a good thing. These are the perfect party dessert if you are looking for something that is absolutely delicious and bite size.

Note: I ate these frozen as well as refrigerated and they were delicious both ways.

INGREDIENTS
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
1 c powder sugar
1 bag semi sweet chocolate chips
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c pecans, chopped
1/4 cup caramel sauce

STEPS

  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, graham cracker crumbs, and powdered sugar. Beat using a mixer until well combined and smooth.
  • Add in more powdered sugar and graham cracker crumbs as needed to make the consistency of a cookie dough so that it is easy to work with.
  • Place bowl in the fridge for a half hour to allow “dough” to set.
  • Using a tablespoon or melon baller scoop up balls and roll in your hand until round in shape.
  • Place each ball on a wax paper lined baking sheet.
  • Place the baking sheet in the freezer for an hour so that the cheesecake balls harden and don’t melt when you are dipping them in the hot chocolate.Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler whisking with a fork until smooth. (The step can also be done in the microwave just be sure to check on it and stir every 30 seconds. The chocolate can burn easily.)
  • Dip each ball into the melted chocolate and turn until evenly coated. (I find using a fork works great to remove the balls from the chocolate so that the excess can drip off between the prongs.)
  • Place the chocolate-coated cheesecake balls back on the wax paper covered baking sheet.
  • When you are done dipping each ball drizzle with the caramel sauce. (I find using a zip loc bag with the corner cut off works great. And it is a breeze to clean up, just throw the bag away!)
  • Sprinkle the cheesecake balls with crushed nuts and place in the fridge for at least one hour before consuming.
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Oreo Truffles

This year for my birthday a very fabulous friend of mine made these for me after she heard me mention that Oreos were my favorite cookies. They were delicious! Eating these is like eating Oreos dipped in milk. They are rich, creamy, and addictive! They are incredibly easy to make and best of all require no baking! Be sure to keep them refrigerated since they have the cream cheese mixed in. If you are an Oreo addict like me, you will love these! Heck, even if you aren’t, you will still probably love them. Best of luck trying to only eat one!

Note: I used candy wafers for dipping because I think they harden up nicely. If you are unable to find the candy wafers at the store try white chocolate chips. Chocolate chips can be melted in a double boiler or in the microwave. If melting in the microwave heat in 30 second increments stirring with a fork between each heating session until smooth. If the chocolate is too thick for coating add a teaspoon of melted butter and mix in.

INGREDIENTS
1 package Double Stuffed Oreos
4 oz cream cheese, softened
12 oz vanilla flavored white candy wafers

STEPS

  • Using a blender or food processor chop the Oreos adding a handful at a time until the entire package is finely crumbled.
  • Set aside about 4 tablespoons of the finely chopped Oreos to be sprinkled on top for garnish.
  • In a medium bowl mix the cream cheese and Oreos until thoroughly combined. (Add more cream cheese if the dough isn’t sticking together.)
  • Roll the dough into balls about 1” in diameter and place on a wax paper covered baking sheet.
  • Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for 15 minutes allowing the truffles to chill.
  • After the balls are firm melt the wafers according to the package instructions.
  • Dip each ball into the melted wafers and turn until evenly coated and place back on the wax paper covered baking sheet. (I find using a fork works great to remove the balls from the melted wafers so that the extra chocolate can drip off between the prongs.)
  • Sprinkle the dipped truffles with the extra crushed Oreos that you set aside before the coating hardens.
  • Place the cookie sheet in the fridge to set.
  • Pour yourself a big glass if milk and enjoy!
Sweet Treats

Recipe—Banana Split Pie

This may be one of my best desserts yet! A banana split in the form of a pie. How can one go wrong?!? You can’t with this combination of ingredients. When I think of my childhood summers, banana splits come to mind. This dessert screams fun and it is an absolutely perfect dessert for all ages. It is cool, refreshing, and just looks beautiful!

This dessert is a no-bake pie so your kitchen won’t get hot when you are making it this summer. There are several steps which make it a little time consuming, but that is what is required to get all the scrumptious layers. Trust me though, it is really easy and comes together nicely. I wish I could have gotten a side photo of a slice so that you could see the layers. Next time. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

Note: I recommend using chocolate fudge for sundaes rather than chocolate syrup. Syrup is soupy and doesn’t give you the fudgy quality needed. Just my two cents.

INGREDIENTS
2 c crushed graham crackers
1/2 c butter
1 1/4 c sugar divided
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 tsp vanilla
1 (8 oz) can crushed pineapple, undrained
3 bananas
1 (3.4 oz) package instant vanilla Jell-O pudding
1 c milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
chocolate fudge sundae topping
1/2 c chopped pecans
small jar maraschino cherries

STEPS

  • In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and a 1/2 cup of the sugar.
  • Press graham cracker mixture into bottom and up sides of a pie dish using the backside of a large spoon or rubber spatula.
  • Put in the freezer for a couple of minutes to set.
  • While your piecrust is setting beat together the cream cheese, vanilla, and a 1/2 cup of the sugar using an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture into the bottom of your piecrust.
  • Drain your pineapple juice into a bowl.
  • Put the drained pineapple in an even layer on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  • Slice your bananas into the bowl with the pineapple juice and gently toss. (The acid from the pineapple juice keeps your bananas from browning. This is a great trick for fruit salads too!)
  • Drain the remaining juice from the bananas and arrange the slices over the pineapple.
  • Place pie back in freezer.
  • In a large mixing bowl prepare your whip cream by mixing the whipping cream and remaining 1/4 cup of sugar using a hand mixer. Mix on high speed for 2–3 minutes or until nice and thick. Set aside.
  • In another bowl mix the dry Jell-O pudding and the milk using a wire whisk until smooth.
  • Add about half of your whip cream into the pudding mixture and stir.
  • Spread your pudding mixture over the banana layer.
  • Top your pie with the remaining whip cream.
  • Drizzle chocolate fudge over whip cream layer.
  • Top with chopped pecans and cherries.
  • Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or preferably overnight.

Enjoy!

Sweet Treats

Recipe—Leprechaun Pie

This is a pie my mom used to make on St Patty’s day. There is nothing Irish about it but it’s green and it is darn tasty! This no-bake pie literally takes minutes to make and just a couple of hours to chill. It is so easy I even recruited my own little leprechaun to help me out in the kitchen. Gather the kiddos and make preparing this leprechaun pie a family affair. Keep this recipe in mind during the hot summer months since it is so cool and refreshing.

It freezes great so feel free to make an extra one for later and you will have any easy desert next time you have company over. Wellah!

Note: While I normally advocate for making whip cream from scratch the cool whip really does work best with this pie. It does not separate and will hold up for several days. If you freeze your pie take it out about 45–60 minutes before serving. For a healthier alternative use sugar free Jello, fat free Cool Whip, and a premade graham cracker crust.

INGREDIENTS
2 c graham crackers
1/2 c butter, melted
2/3 c sugar
16 oz tub Cool Whip, thawed and divided
3.4 oz box Jello pistachio pudding
8 oz can crushed pineapple (undrained)

STEPS

  • Mix together graham crackers, butter, and sugar.
  • Press graham cracker mixture into bottom and up sides of a pie dish using the backside of a large spoon or rubber spatula.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine half of the Cool Whip, the box of dry pudding powder, and your can of crushed pineapple (juices included).
  • Pour pie mixture into crust.
  • Top with remaining Cool Whip.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours before serving.
  • For added flare, garnish with extra graham crackers crumbs or chopped pistachios.

Happy St. Patty’s day!