Oreo Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars

Yesterday, I spend a considerable amount of time reviewing all 683 posts on this site, and discovered that I made a similar version of these bars back in February of 2013.

The only difference between the two recipes is the crust – this one uses Oreos, the other calls for graham crackers. Both versions are equally delicious, and as evidenced by the fact that I made them twice, they are definitely worth making again.

Which I most certainly will.


Oreo Cheesecake Cookie Dough Bars – adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

For the Oreo crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies
5 tbs. unsalted butter, melted

For the cookie dough:
5 tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbs granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose  flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips

For the cheesecake filling:
10 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper allowing a little overhang. Spray with cooking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix the Oreo crumbs and melted butter together until thoroughly combined. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 6-7 minutes. Remove pan to a cooling rack. Leave the oven on.

While the crust is cooling, prepare the cookie dough. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, and vanilla until smooth and combined, about 1 minute. Slowly mix in the flour and mix until just incorporated. Mix in the chocolate chips. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla just until incorporated. Pour the cheesecake batter into the prepared crust.

Use your hands to form clumps of cookie dough. Flatten the clumps of dough in the palm of your hands to flatten them out. Distribute the cookie dough evenly on top of the cheesecake batter. Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until the cookie dough top feels dry and firm and the pan is set. You can give it a little shake to see if it is set. Move bars to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Lift the cooled bars out by the overhang; cut into squares and store in the refrigerator. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Rice Krispie Treats

After dropping the posse off at school this morning, I paid another visit to the friendly doctors at our local ER. Today’s visit, however, was much more pleasant, for they removed the stitches from my hand. And then gave me the scissors and tweezers they used as a memento.

Like the inch-long scar isn’t enough? 


No matter though, I’m just happy that those prickly stitches are out and I can wear my ring again. It’s funny how I don’t feel completely dressed without it on. I mean, I haven’t worn anything on that finger in 5 years. And wasn’t sure I ever would again. Alas, fate intervened and my heart and soul found their other half.

It’s a wonderful love story, actually, comparable to the 51 years-and-still-going-strong story of my parents love and life. Thank you, Mom and Dad, for setting such an incredible example of unbreakable love and devotion ♥

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the kitchen to bake something, since I have full use of my left hand again….

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Rice Krispie Treats – adapted from Cookies and Cups

These bars are fun and different – a step up from a regular rice krispie treat and not difficult to make at all. Just make sure to keep the bars tightly covered, as the cookie dough dries out very quickly.

Krispie Treat Layer
  • 5 tbs. butter
  • 8 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups rice krispies cereal
Cookie Dough Layer
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Krispie Layer

Line a 9×13 pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt butter. Once melted add in marshmallows, stirring continuously until they are melted. Immediately remove from heat and stir in cereal.

Once the cereal is completely combined with the melted marshmallow, spread into pan and press evenly. Set aside while making the cookie dough.

Cookie Dough

Beat butter and both sugars until combined. Add in milk and vanilla, and mix until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.

Turn mixer to low and add in the flour until incorporated, then stir in the chocolate chips.

Spread the cookie dough evenly over the krispie layer. Cut into squares to serve. Keep the bars covered tightly with plastic wrap to avoid them becoming dried out.

Cinnamon Rice Krispie S’More’s

I would be hard-pressed to tell you the last time I made Rice Krispies Treats.

Several years, at least. Maybe more than several. Perhaps closer to a decade. I’m not sure.

The problem is twofold: first, they’re made with marshmallows, which aren’t my favorite to begin with. And second, with the posse being a bit “older’ now, they don’t seem too keen on them anytime they make an appearance.


Until now.  

I highly recommend that you try these. Because for someone that isn’t too big on marshmallow (i.e. me), these were fun and tasty.

And, I predict that given my current track record, I’ll probably make them again in the year 2024.

Cinnamon Rice Krispie S’More’s – adapted from Food52

  • 4 tbs. butter (half a stick)
  • cups mini marshmallows, almost one full 10-ounce bag 
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • cups puffed rice cereal
  • 10 regular-sized marshmallows
  • cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Melt butter in a pot over medium heat, and then add the mini marshmallows and cinnamon, stirring with a heat-proof spatula until the entire mixture is melted. Remove pot from heat and add cereal, folding in until the whole mess is coated and gooey and sticky.

Dump contents of pot into a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Flatten into one layer with your spatula, and then stick the dish into the freezer for at least 15 minutes.

Remove baking sheet from freezer and cut into 20 rectangles. Top half of the squares with a generous amount of chocolate chips.

Using a skewer, roast the big marshmallows over your stove burner until toasted and golden brown. Or, do what I did and spray a sheet of foil with nonstick spray, place the large marshmallows on the foil, and stick the sheet under the broiler for a moment till they’re done. Slide the toasted marshmallows carefully onto the squares with the chocolate. Smash the marshmallows with another squares, pressing together to form a sandwich. Repeat with remaining mallows and treats.


Stout Brown Butter Brownies

Happy October 1! Today marks the beginning of the last quarter of the year. And more importantly, the beginning of boot season.

I didn’t notice don’t give a flying fork don’t care that it’s still 89 degrees outside…...

Actually, what it really means is that the countdown to the holiday season is upon us. Let’s see, by my mathematical calculations (questionable as they may be..), Christmas is exactly 84 days away.

I know, I know, we still have to get through Columbus Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving…… but those are minor details… Christmas is my favorite pull-out-all-the-stops holiday that means two things:

Family and FOOD!!


Better crank up the workouts starting now…

Stout Brown Butter Brownies – adapted from Joy The Baker

I’ve never made brownies with browned butter before, and I can honestly tell you that they are phenomenal. These are everything you want in a brownie, with lots of flavor from the butter and stout beer. But just so you know, you don’t bite into one and say, oh, there’s beer in this. They just taste rich and chocolatety and delicious.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 1/2 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup stout or other dark beer (I used Guinness Stout)
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, and spray with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour and cocoa powder.

In a small pan over medium heat, melt the butter until it just turns golden brown, about 5 minutes. Pour the chocolate into the brown butter and stir until combined. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in the stout.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs and sugars until thick, about 2 minutes. Add the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all of the ingredients are well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until the edges are firm and the center is set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.

Slice into 12 large or 24 small brownies.

Skillet S’More’s

It’s the last day of June!

Which means……holy smokes…………. 82 days until MY birthday.

*** big grin ***

Yes, I’m going to start counting down, because this birthday is going to be really special. I mean, last year, I was in Italy on my birthday – which, by far, was the best birthday EVER!

Thank you Mom and Dad :)

But this year, I’m in a new state, with my posse and my beloved J……. all that’s missing are my parents, but hopefully I can persuade them to come out, because I think know we will all have an epic time.


I’m already planning my cake….. and you can bet your last dollar that it will contain mass quantities of chocolate :)

Skillet S’More’s – adapted from cookies and cups

  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows (Or cut large marshmallows in half, which is what I did)
  • 8-9 Giant Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350°
In bowl of stand mixer beat butter and sugar together for 2 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla and mix until evenly combined, scraping sides as needed. Add in baking soda, continue mixing until incorporated. Whisk together the baking soda, graham cricket crumbs and flour, then stir into the butter mixture.

Spread half of the dough into skillet, then sprinkle the chocolate chips over the dough. Top with mini marshmallows. Cover marshmallows completely with remaining dough. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes.

While cookie is baking cut your giant marshmallows into thirds. Remove cookie from oven and top with marshmallows. Return to oven for 10 more minutes. If the marshmallows aren’t browned enough, turn oven onto broil and toast for 15-20 seconds until golden brown.
Serve warm or at room temperature.

Malted Chocolate Chip Bars

Each morning when I wake up, the first thing I say to myself is, “Self, what are you going to do to make today memorable?” Because every day is memorable in some way or another, if you stop and think about it.

And some days, I don’t even have to try to be the one that makes it memorable. 

Why just yesterday, in fact, Dyna the Destroyer chewed up another pair of my shoes.


So innocent when she’s sleeping……

So the day was memorable, indeed it was.

Pleasant to have teeth marks in my shoes? Not in the least.

Dang dog….. of course she doesn’t touch J’s shoes…… only mine..……


Malted Chocolate Chip Bars – adapted from Picky Palate

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tbs. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Carnation Malted Milk Powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 10 ounce chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate 
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and line a 9×13″ baking pan with parchment paper.
Place butter and sugars into stand mixer and beat until well blended. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat to combine. In another bowl, whisk together flour, malt powder, and baking soda. Add to the mixer bowl along with the chopped chocolate and chips. Stir on low until just combined.
Spread the dough evenly into prepared baking pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and baked through. Let cool completely then cut into bars.

Some really great dinner recipes…and two desserts

If you remember (and I’m quite sure your memory is much better than mine these days), a few weeks ago I mentioned that I have been cooking and baking every.single.night, but also have been seriously lax in procuring photographs of the finished product.

And I just realized, seriously, that we have not eaten out in three weeks. I even asked the posse for verification.

They verified.


Well, I finally got my act together and made my list.

I even checked it twice :)

Vegetable Strata – gourmet magazine via epicurious

  • 1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1 cup finely chopped scallion (I used shallots)
  • 3/4 pound mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into thin strips (about 2 cups)
  • 2 green bell peppers, cut into thin strips (about 2 cups)
  • enough Italian bread cut into 1-inch cubes to measure 9 cups (about 1 1/2 loaves)
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated extra-sharp Cheddar (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 12 large eggs
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
  • Tabasco to taste

In a large skillet cook the onion, the scallion, and the mushrooms in the oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, add the bell peppers pepper to taste, and cook the mixture over moderate heat, stirring, for 10 to 15 minutes, or until all the liquid the mushrooms give off is evaporated and the peppers are tender. Arrange half the bread cubes in a buttered large shallow (4 1/2-quart) baking dish, spread half the vegetable mixture over them, and sprinkle half the Cheddar and half the Parmesan over the vegetables. Arrange the remaining bread cubes over the cheeses, top them with the remaining vegetables, and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, the milk, the mustard, the Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste, pour the egg mixture evenly over the strata, and chill the strata, covered, overnight. Let the strata stand at room temperature for 15 minutes and bake it in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until it is puffed and golden and cooked throug

Sesame Noodles with Chile Oil and Scallions – Bon Appetit

  • 4 scallions, whites and greens separated, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 2 tsp Sichuan pepper, coarsely chopped (I used regular black peppercorns)
  • 12 ounces spaghettini
  • 1/4 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 tbs. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp sugar

Cook scallion whites, vegetable oil, red pepper flakes, sesame seeds, and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until oil is sizzling and scallions are golden brown, 12-15 minutes; let chili oil cool in saucepan.

Meanwhile, cook noodles in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente; drain. Rinse under cold water and drain well.

Whisk tahini, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and 2-3 tablespoons chili oil (depending on desired heat) in a large bowl; season with salt. Add noodles and toss to coat. Top with scallion greens and drizzle with more chili oil.

Slow Cooker Ropa Vieja – serious eats

  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large red pepper, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 cup sliced, pimento-stuffed Spanish olives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive brine

Season meat generously with pepper. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat until shimmering. Add the meat in a single layer (working in batches if necessary) and cook until well browned, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook until second side is well browned, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer meat to slow cooker.Add broth, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, onion, red pepper, garlic, and cumin to slow cooker. Season with pepper and stir to combine. Cook on low until tender, about 8 hours. Shred meat using two forks. Add olives and olive brine and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with pinto beans and rice.

Mario Batali’s Chicken Saltimbocca – Food and Wine

  • Eight 3-ounce chicken cutlets, pounded 1/8-inch thick
  • Ground pepper
  • 16 sage leaves
  • 8 slices of prosciutto
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup vin santo (I used white wine)
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 4 tbs. butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Season the cutlets with pepper and place 2 sage leaves on each cutlet. Wrap each cutlet in a slice of prosciutto, pressing to adhere. Spread the flour in a shallow dish. Dredge the chicken in flour, dusting off the excess; transfer to a baking sheet.
Set a rack over a baking sheet. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add half of the chicken and cook over moderately high heat, turning once, until golden and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to the rack. Repeat with the remaining olive oil and chicken.
Add the vin santo, stock and lemon juice to the skillet and boil over moderately high heat until the liquid is reduced by half, 4 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Pour half of the sauce into a bowl. Add half of the chicken to the skillet and cook over moderate heat until hot, 2 minutes. Season with pepper; stir in half of the parsley. Transfer the chicken to plates and pour the sauce on top. Repeat with the remaining sauce, chicken, and parsley.

Dark Chocolate Brownies – Pioneer Woman
  • 1 cup butter
  • 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tbs. vanilla
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium-large saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over low heat, whisking occasionally until smooth and melted. Sprinkle in cocoa powder and whisk to combine. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.

Stir in sugar and vanilla until just combined. One at a time, stir in the eggs. Gently stir in the flour until halfway incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and stir just until combined. Pour batter into a greased 8 x 8 or 9 x 13 baking pan. (Square pan will result in thicker brownies.) Spread to even out the top and place in the oven.

Bake for 40 minutes, then check the brownies with a toothpick. If it is overly gooey/messy, return to the oven for 5 to 10 more minutes.Allow to cool completely, then sprinkle with powdered sugar and cut into small squares.


Lemon Buttermilk Bundt Cake – adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for pan
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 8 lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350°. Butter and flour Bundt pan; set aside. Whisk baking powder and 3 cups flour in a medium bowl. Combine sugar and lemon zest in a large bowl; using your fingertips, rub together until lemon sugar is well blended.
Add 1 cup butter to lemon sugar. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat until mixture is light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions and occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl with a rubber spatula, until mixture is light and very fluffy, about 4 minutes longer.
Reduce speed to low. Add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape batter into prepared pan; smooth top.
Bake cake until golden brown and beginning to pull away from sides of pan, 60-70 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes. Invert cake onto rack; remove pan and let cool completely.