Peanut Butter Cup Brownie Cheesecake

I can't really take credit for this recipe. At all. I didn't make a single part of it. It wasn't even my idea. I'm pretty sure my only contribution was taking pictures. And eating. But it's so good that whether I had a hand in it or not, I've got to share it.

So my friends and I like the show Supernatural on the CW. And by like I mean completely and utterly obsessed. Show quoting, marathon watching, convention going (DallasCon!) obsessed. When Kelli suggested that we have a Supernatural Marathon weekend, I was totally game. Especially when we decided that dessert was most definitely involved. My vote was for pie (if you watch the show, you understand), while Tommy voted for cheesecake. So, of course, we made both. Sorry Sam and Dean (and Cas. And pie.), you might be the stars of the show, but this cheesecake was the star of the weekend.

Since Kelli doesn't do much in the way of baking, Tommy and I packed up half our kitchens (mixers, waffle irons, ingredients, and all), and took our baking and cooking shows on the road. Pretty sure the neighbors thought I was moving out with the amount of stuff I was hauling to the car. But it was so worth it. We fired up the mixer and the DVR and set off on a Supernatural baking adventure, with Tommy leading the charge, Kelli as sous chef, and me just playing paparazzi.

Layer upon layer of deliciousness. We're talking 8 layers here. EIGHT! In all their peanut butter and chocolate glory. 

Mountains of peanut butter cups. And surprisingly we only sacrificed 3. For quality control purposes only, of course. 

Oh the unveiling anticipation! Pretty sure we opened the fridge to check on it about 85 times in the 4 hours it took to chill.

Brownies + hot fudge + peanut butter cheesecake + brownies + peanut butter cheesecake + whipped cream + peanut butter cups + hot fudge = HOLY MOTHER OF YUM. And don't even try to calculate how many calories are in this. It's probably about a week's worth of the recommended daily amount. So we just won't talk about that.

We ate our slices standing at the counter. If no one was watching, I might not have even bothered with slices. I probably would have just taken a fork and dove in. But I'm a bit more civilized in the presence of company. (Well, that is if you can overlook me standing on a chair like a crazy person taking pictures.. That's just what happens when you invite a food blogger to a party.)

So, whether you're reveling in your fandom with good friends, or celebrating the upcoming Valentine's Day (with company or alone--either way works), this cheesecake is not to be missed! It's easy to throw together, practically no-bake, and honestly, we're probably not still going on that whole New Year's resolution thing, so what are you waiting for? You NEED this cheesecake.
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Molasses Crinkles

It's crunch time. We're down to the last few days before Christmas. Have you gotten all your shopping done? The presents all wrapped? The Christmas dinner menu planned out? Yes? Good! You want to help me out with mine then?

I realized the other day that we'd gotten almost all the way through the 12 cookies of Christmas and only had 2 cookies, the biscotti and the bourbon molasses cookies, that were filled with molasses and spices. That just won't do. Anything gingerbread-like is my favorite! It's just so Christmasy! So I had to remedy the situation. There can never been too many molasses cookies in my life.

Slightly crunchy on the outside with a sweet sugary coating, but soft and chewy on the inside, they're the quintessential Christmas cookie plate staple.And because there's no butter to cream, you can make them without a mixer. You'll need a bit of elbow grease to fold it all together, but if my little marshmallow arms can do it, yours can too.

So go ahead and whip some up and be sure to stash a couple in your purse to munch on while you're waiting in those impossibly long lines for those last minute gifts. It's hard to be stressed when there's cookies around.

Cookie # 11! Can you believe it? We've almost made it! Click on the pictures to get any of the past recipes you might have missed!

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Classic Snickerdoodles

Sometimes I feel the pressure as a food blogger to constantly come up with some new exciting twist on old recipes. Whether it’s a new ingredient or just a new way to make an old favorite, I’m always trying to find a way to present something that hasn’t been done a billion times before.

As an avid blog reader as well as writer, I know I’m not alone in this quest. I’ve seen a lot of creatively delicious spins on the standards, but I’ve also seen a few that leave me wondering if perhaps we’ve strayed a bit too far off the beaten path in our pursuit of originality. Maybe we should take a step back and remind ourselves just how delicious the classics can be in all their simplistic glory.

Oh Snickerdoodles. You’re the most basic of cookies—a buttery dough enrobed in a coating of sweet cinnamony goodness. But despite your relatively plain appearance, you’re oh so good. And you’ve got a totally fun name. Snickerdoodle. Or as Boyfriend calls then, Doodle-Snicks! (with an emphasis on the exclamation point at the end. You can’t just say Doodle-Snicks. It must be yelled.)

Some might call you boring, but I think you’re perfect just the way you are. You don’t need to be messed with (although I do have some ideas to dress you up a bit). Thanks for reminding me that not every recipe has to have 7 words in its name. (I’m looking at you Brown Butter Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookies.)

I can't believe we're almost done! Only 2 more left to go!

And go on. You know you want to. I won't tell anyone that you yelled "Doodle-Snicks!"
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Jam Treasures

There are only 9 days left before Christmas. Are you panicking yet?

If you’ve ever worked in retail during the holidays, then you know that this past weekend and heading into next weekend is the part of the season you dread the most. Armed with lists that usually include rather vague notions of what they’re after, the last minute shoppers are out in full force. The clock is winding down and the sense of urgency and desperation is kicking in, which typically means the idea of manners and civility, and that cheerful holiday spirit we’re all supposed to be filled with, goes quickly by the wayside.

Manners are the first things to go. The amount of people that just blatantly interrupt because they think their request is more important than the person you’re already helping (and the other five in line ahead of them) always baffles me. Some days I just want to scream, “How about you wait your turn like everyone else, cause guess what. You’re not the only one shopping. See all these other people around us? They’re all trying to do the exact. same. thing. WE’RE ALL IN THE SAME BOAT HERE!” But, of course, I don’t.

As it gets closer to Christmas, even the civility towards others declines right along with the manners. Every year there are fist fights in the parking lot (with a few instances of the police having to be called). Come on people. Let’s not let the holidays stress us out so much we end up hauling off and hitting someone over a parking spot. Let’s just eat cookies and be friends. Isn’t that what Christmas is supposed to be about?

I think some might call these cookies Kolache, but I’m not really sure what an authentic, traditional kolache entails, so we’ll just stick with calling them Jam Treasures. They’re made with a tender cream cheese dough and a hefty helping of delicious jam to make them perfectly sweet. I used homemade blackberry, but fill them with whatever you love. And yes it’s true—there’s no sugar in the dough. (Which I totally freaked out about when I taste tested it. I thought I forgot to add it and had to double check the original recipe and compare it to similar recipes to make sure that was how it was really supposed to be!)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go curl up in the fetal position in a corner somewhere and stress eat cookies until next Monday when people are so desperate for a gift they’ll take just about anything you hand them.

Up to Cookie #9! We're almost there!

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