It is almost Thanksgiving and I have an easy 3 ingredient dip/dessert for you to have on hand if you’re worried about what you’ve planned to make. Or maybe you need one more thing to keep the masses fed.
I saw this apple cheesecake dip on pinterest and thought it sounded awesome. It is one of those foods that just can’t LOOK as good as it tastes. I added it to a dinner of appetizers and it was awesome.
Apple Cheesecake Dip
Adapted from Cooking Classy
8oz cream cheese
¼ cup caramel ice cream topping
¼ cup toffee pieces
apples for dipping
Allow the cream cheese to soften slightly.
Beat cream cheese, caramel sauce, and toffee bits.
Serve with sliced apples.
This has such great flavor for just a few ingredients. I liked the apple dippers but graham crackers would be good, or animal crackers.
The original recipe has the apples dipped into the cream cheese dip and then into crushed graham crackers. I added the toffee in the dip instead for a pop of crunch.
This is a crowd pleaser and a super easy one to whip up. Something about it says fall to me, but apples are available all the time so I’m not sure where my season-ness is coming from. I definitely recommend this dip for an easy appetizer or light dessert. I love to be sure there are a few simple items when I’m hosting for an easy check mark on your list.
Tip: a few drips of lemon juice will help the apples not to brown. Prep the dip and refrigerate until you serve it. Slice the apples when you’re ready to eat!
(Plus, this one got Mr. J eating some fruit. Shhh! Don’t tell him!)
Something Pumpkin had a natural spot on on my fall list but I thought I needed to go beyond pumpkin muffins or pumpkin bread.
I made super easy pumpkin muffins but these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream definitely step it up. Keep in mind, I’m not a big baker. I relied on a whoopie pie cookbook I fully recommend. I made oatmeal whoopie pies a while ago and they were amazing!
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
adapted from Whoopie Pies
2 ¼ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbs ground cinnamon
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp salt
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 350-degrees and line baking sheets with parchment or spray whoopie pan.
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, giner, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
In a stand mixer, mix brown sugar and butter on low.
Add pumpkin, and egg, beating well.
Add vanilla and beat until combined.
Mix in flour mixture.
Scoop out equal patties and bake about 15 minutes each.
These guys were a bit cake-y for my liking. The flavor was great and they were pretty easy. If you like cake-y (versus gooey) desserts, then this one will be perfect. The pumpkin adds a textural element which I love, but think it works better as muffins.
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tbs milk
2 tbs maple syrup
In a mixing bowl beat butter, add sugar, milk, and syrup.
Mix 5 minutes until well mixed.
The maple cream was good but wasn’t as thick as it looks. Cream cheese frosting would be really good and might hold up to the pies better. Here’s to next time!
Awhile back I made a dip that was sooo easy it made me think kids would have fun making it. The original source on Pinterest was a blog that seems MIA or maybe they’re just under construction.
1 box white chocolate pudding (I used instant)
2 cups milk
8 oz cool whip (aka frozen non-dairy whipped topping)
½ package Oreos (or about 25 oreos)
1 box chocolate graham crackers
Mix pudding and milk until thickened (about 2 minutes)
Add cool whip and crushed oreos mixing well.
Refrigerate for at least and hour before serving.
I liked this for a twist on a regular dip. It was an easy one that didn’t require any baking. Serve it with chocolate graham crackers.
Mr. J thought this was great. It made a ton so I took half to a small meeting and we enjoyed the other half at home. The photo above is half of what I made! This stayed good for a few days, after that, the oreos were a bit soggy. I thought it was a bit loose or soupy but the original post included mini marshmallows too so that would change the consistency.
I was thinking these would be great as chocolate graham cracker “ice cream” sandwiches. Maybe next time I’ll whip in some cream cheese to thicken it and I’ll freeze graham sandwiches filled with it.
1 pkg chocolate sandwich cookie: $2.75
1 pkg white chocolate pudding mix: $1.00
1 pkg cool whip: $2.49
1 pkg chocolate graham crackers: $3.49
total: $9.73/10 servings = $0.97 per person (with graham crackers and oreos leftover!)
I skimped on the cookies and bought the cheapest ones I could find, and went “high end” on the dippers but this whole thing could be made for even less.
So you know that I’m not a great baker, right? I’m trying more often. I recently made lemon squares which came out pretty decent and now I made these Chess Squares or Gooey Butter Cake and it was 50% successful.
If I was only 50% successful then why are you still reading? I’m sure you want to know which half worked Well! Tricky, tricky, I split it into 2 pans and brought one to a weekend with the fam in Maine and left one home. Unfortunately I brought the over-done-one to Maine (not pictured) and Mr. J demolished the successful one at home (pictured below).
It didn’t look like it was going to set so I baked one longer (as in too long) and they weren’t as gooey. I think that’s my baking problem. I deviate from the recipe. I need to follow the instructions exactly. I need to trust the system. They were totally edible though and definitely the easiest baked good ever.
Cheese Danish Squares
(Chess Squares by Kevin and Amanda, Gooey Butter Cake by Paula Deen, & anyone else who makes this)
1 (18 1/4-ounce) box yellow cake mix
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 16-ounce box powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 300 and spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray.
Mix cake mix, melted butter and one egg to a soft dough.
Press into the bottom of the pan.
Mix powdered sugar, softened cream cheese and remaining two eggs until smooth, about 1-2 mins.
Pour on top of crust.
Bake at 300 for 40-50 minutes until top is golden brown.
They reminded me of a cheese danish so I’m throwing one more name into the mix. I like them as a sweet brunch item but call it another name and you’ve got a dessert.
They were suuuuper easy and would be great to throw together last minute…I mean. ehh. you totally planned ahead. and had everything you needed. and looked as organized as Martha Stewart. and didn’t arrive empty handed like Emily Post taught you.
I haven’t shared anything sweet in a while. I made some lemon squares for my dad’s bday. He’s a sucker for lemon squares…get it? Hahaha!
They were good, but quite tart. He’s a healthy guy so I thought he would appreciate that Cooking Light had paired down the sugar and butter in this one. Without futher ado, I give you
3 2/5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 3/4 cup)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chilled unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
Directions by cooking light:
Preheat oven to 350°.
Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Place flour, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, pine nuts, and salt in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine.
Add butter and canola oil. Pulse 3 to 5 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. Place mixture into the bottom of an 8-inch square glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray; press into bottom of pan.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
Combine granulated sugar and next 5 ingredients (through egg white) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Pour mixture over crust. Bake at 325° for 20 minutes or until set. Remove from oven, and cool completely in pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. Sprinkle squares evenly with 2 tablespoons powdered sugar.
These are their words, not mine. I was a nincompoop (why yes, spellcheck does knows that word and corrected it for me) and didn’t read through the whole recipe carefully first. This means I missed the memo that I was to toast the pine nuts. It was fine but the squares would have had 10x the nuttiness if I toasted the pine nuts.
Also ½ cup of fresh lemon juice doesn’t help. I juiced 2 large lemons and didn’t quite get ½ cup. Go with 3 lemons or have some bottled lemon juice to top it off. Do you know the trick to roll them around with some pressure to get the most possible juice? Roll with the meat of your hand while admiring your edgy nail polish and while applying pressure. (It is prob not edgy anymore now that I said that, right?)
If I haven’t given enough credit where credit was due, this recipe (in it’s entirety came from Cooking Light just like the prior 3 links)
More vacation fun! I wanted to get this amazing meal recap out before I spill the beans of my next vacays scheduled! You can check out what else I loved eating on vacation here.
I eat at this restaurant (Sauce) every year when I travel to San Fran for work and I fell in love the first time. They had me at mushroom jenga.
Sauce serves this ap of lightly breaded mushroom “fries” stacked like jenga or lincoln logs. It comes with ranch dipping sauce. Even people who don’t like mushrooms like these.
After another crazy-filled day of sightseeing Mr. J and I were starving (as in this was the day we didn’t have Ghirardelli sundaes for lunch). We also had endured a somewhat impromptu hike. I don’t mean the regular crazy hills, I mean up the side of a peak.
I mentioned this spot and the menu caught Mr. J’s eye too. Sold! It was near our hotel and I was pretty jazzed at the prospect of splitting a bunch of small plates.
Needless to say, I got the portabello fries. Mr. J got bacon wrapped mini meatloaves served on mashed potatoes with gravy. What a fun idea for a potluck or dinner party?! Then we split everything else. Put your fat pants on, there was a lot of food.
We got Dungeness crab rangoons. It was pretty much all crab, no filler. Swoon. They were really good. I kind of changed my tune when we calculated the cost per Rangoon. Whatever, we were on vacation.
Next up was a side of Mac & Cheese. It was baked with a delightful cheese and cracker topping. I’m pretty sure the deliciousness came from a good quantity of butter.
And then the server asked us about dessert. Mr. J felt like we had to get the mini doughnut holes with vanilla bourbon dipping sauce. I wasn’t impressed with them earlier in the week because they weren’t warm and soft. Same story this time. Womp womp. We did a good job at them nonetheless.
I was really interested in the PB&J cake with strawberry perserves, chunky peanut butter layer, and vanilla ice cream center.
That’s when it went downhill. There was a sampler and we went for it. You can see above that it had the doughnuts, the PB&J cake. It also came with rum raisin cookie dough ice cream sandwiches.
They put some strawberries dipped in whipped cream and brown sugar on for good measure too. Why? Probably because these are full servings and intended for 4 people.
Mr. J was adamant that we finish. We were laughing so hard about how stuffed we were that we gave it a good shot but it was a doozy. I had a serious case of the giggles and Mr. J was doing some Lamaze breathing. Our waitress kind of thought we were insane.
It was such a fun meal. I kind of love the last night of vacation. Do you? I means it is almost time to go home and by the end I’m ready. It was such a fun dinner of sharing and there was PLENTY of food. Mr. J and I truly got to just enjoy ourselves and relish the moments.
I saw some homemade peanut butter cups on pinterest and knew I had to make them for my dad. He loves peanut butter cups (and passed that love to me). I made these for Father’s Day and they were amazing, if I do say so myself.
They were way easier than I thought they’d be. I will definitely make these again. The pb cups had the flavors everyone loves but there was more chocolate (which makes them better, duh). I made mini ones and used the leftovers to make just a few big ones.
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
1 cups creamy peanut butter
¼ cup unsalted butter
¼ cup light brown sugar
1¼ cups powdered sugar
4 cups milk chocolate chips
¼ cup vegetable shortening
In a medium saucepan, combine peanut butter, butter and brown sugar over medium heat. Heat until completely melted and starting to bubble, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, stirring until completely combined with the peanut butter mixture after each addition. Set aside and let cool.
Melt the chocolate chips and shortening together in a double-boiler until completely melted.
Using a small cookie scoop or a couple of teaspoons, spoon melted chocolate into the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
Place a peanut butter scoop on top of each chocolate-lined muffin tin. Then use a scoop or spoon to add more melted chocolate on top and around each peanut butter patty.
Refrigerate again for 30 minutes, then they’re ready to serve! Most of them looked good but this imperfect one seemed like a good one to
taste test I mean photograph and cut up.
I was afraid they might not come out of the wrappers, but that wasn’t a problem at all. My peanut butter sauce wasn’t as thick as Brown Eyed Baker’s was. The original recipe suggested rolling the peanut butter mixture into disks.
These were very good, and so worth it.
I got a copy of Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook but I kept it under wraps until I could make Cookie Dough Truffles for Mr. J’s Birthday. I’ve been making treats to accompany birthday and Christmas gifts lately and I figured this was definitely special enough! He got real gifts on his bday but I wanted him to have something to open at a family gathering too. Plus, I love excuses to make something unusual!
The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook is by Lindsay Landis. She also writes a blog Love and Olive Oil. Here’s her blog post for these cookie dough truffles! The cookbook is lovely and really has some good ideas. It is a fun one I think anyone would like. It is spiral bound which is a huuuuge help when following a recipe (it lays flat). I love the photography and I’m sure I’ll make something again. Here it is standing up but hiding behind my cookbook shield.
The cookbook has a ton of creative recipes I haven’t seen everywhere. I have my eye on Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Sandwich Cookies, and Cookie Dough-Stuffed French Toast.
I made the truffles and they came out ok. They were somewhat messy but tasted good (as was the case for some oreo truffles I made with Mrs. E way back when). Anything that has to be dipped in chocolate is going to be good but messy. I made them on a warm day and couldn’t come up with a good technique.
The dough is super sticky since there aren’t any eggs in the recipe, but otherwise it is standard cookie dough dipped into melted chocolate. First I made the dough.
Then the chips are mixed in and it is left to refrigerate for 30 minutes. I’m a lucky duck that my Mum gave me a mixing bowl cover for opportunities such as these!
Then the dough is rolled and dipped.
I liked that there weren’t a million ingredients. I overlooked that the chips were supposed to be mini (makes sense). That might have allowed them to form more uniform balls, rather than the large and lumpy ones mine were.
My trouble was dipping. I think the tines of my forks are kind of close together to allow the chocolate to drip through. I tried a bamboo skewer and that seemed to go ok. They were tough to get off though. It meant that getting off the skewer left an undipped hole. I did my best to cover it and I definitely recommend sprinkles to hide any imperfections.
He liked them. I thought they looked cute once they were done and I could breathe again. Dipping was time consuming so I might make them as cups…that’s just a hint to what I made in cups that worked so well.
I wish I could send some fun sweet treats to Biloxi this weekend. Something tells me 95-degree weather would wreak havoc on some cookie dough deliciousness but should be great for a beachy bachelorette party! Enjoy ladies!
Full 3 Bite Rule Disclosure: My copy of Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook was completely complimentary but my thoughts, opinions, and words are entirely my own.