Chocolate Covered Chip Crispy Treats

Happy Easter everyone! Part of me wishes this post was a little more festive, but the other part just couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you all. I love rice crispy treats. I love how easy they are to make, and the way your fingers get all sticky when you’re eating them, and I especially love their versatility. YouIMG_3626 can use virtually any cereal to make these sweet treats. The thing is, I always feel like I’ve had a sugar overload every time I so much as think about indulging. Honestly, I’m way more of a salt addict than a sugar fiend. Is it possible that I can have both? The answer to that – I am very happy to say – is absolutely. I’ve found my new favorite treat. The recipe I modified was originally from Lauren (click the link, she’s wonderful!).

The ingredients are simple:

  • 5 1/2 c Mini marshmallows
  • 4 Tbsp. Butter
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla
  • 4 c Thick-cut potato chips (I used Kettle Cooked Lays), crushed
  • 3 c Rice Krispies cereal
  • 2 c Mini dark chocolate chips

Usually I like to do things the old-fashioned way, but when it comes to Rice Crispy treats, I’d rather be able to eat them sooner. If you have the time (and the patience), melt your marshmallows and butter on the stovetop! In my case, however, I lack the patience – and the microwave is my friend!

I had a baking buddy during this little experiment. My little sister and I couldn’t wait to break out our aprons and get to baking.

IMG_3612Combine the crushed chips and the cereal. Melt the butter, then add the marshmallows. Stir constantly if you’re cooking on the stovetop to avoid burning, or stir after 30 second bursts in the microwave. Once everything is all melted, combine the cereal-chip mixture with the marshmallows. You may want to use a wooden spoon, the marshmallows are extremely hot. As soon as everything is incorporated, press the mixture in a pre-buttered 9×13 inch pan. Melt the chocolate chips until they are a thick liquid-esque consistency . Use a spoon to ladle chocolate onto the treats. Now, they just have to set (my least favorite part). I waited about an hour and they still weren’t completely set. I ate one anyway. Okay, I ate 3.  I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did. They’d make an egg-cellent last minute easter treat! Happy baking!IMG_3646

Ooey Gooey S’mores Cheesecake

I HAVE NOW MADE TWO CHEESECAKES IN LESS THAN 24 HOURS. Well, three if you count my first feeble attempt at my strawberry swirl. I was way more excited about this one than I was about the first one – and only about half as nervous.

When I was younger, my Girl Scout troop would go on camping trips. Nothing too extravagant, just tents poorly assembled by a few 10 year olds and a few troop parents. Some of the best memories from my childhood were made during those outings. I often find myself reminiscing about all of us surrounding a fire; telling stories, playing games, and laughing until way past our bedtime. Naturally, all of these memories are accompanied by the sweet, sweet desire for everyone’s favorite camping treat – s’mores. This morning I found myself in need of something – anything – s’mores related. But just making s’mores was far too easy. I wanted something a little bit more challenging. And that is the story of how this Ooey Gooey S’mores Cheesecake came to be.

Honestly, I was a little worried before I made this cheesecake. What if it doesn’t come out the way I wanted it to? Would the possible failure of this cake ruin my memories of  graham crackery, chocolately, marshmallowy goodness? Am I being way too dramatic? Probably. But I’m doing it anyways.

For the crust

  • 1 1/2 cup graham cracker, crushed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, crushed
  • 4 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar

For the filling

  • 3 packages (24 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 cup full fat sour cream
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 chocolate sauce
  • 50 jumbo marshmallows (for topping)

Preheat oven to 375°F. In a  small bowl, combine nuts, graham crackers, butter, and sugar. Butter the bottom of a 10″ springform pan, and press the crust firmly into the pan. Bake for 10 minutes. In a standing mixer with a paddle, beat cream cheese for 4 minutes on medium – high, scraping the sides often. Reduce the speed to the lowest setting, add cocoa powder, flour, and sugar; each in steady streams. Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping the sides after each addition. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until just incorporated. IMG_3571Lay the mini marshmallows across the crust, and drizzle with chocolate sauce. Pour filling mixture over the top, and spread with a spatula. The filling will be a little thick.

Marshmallows might seep to the top, don’t worry! the top will be covered with jumbo marshmallows!

Place on the top rack of the oven with a large pot of water underneath. Bake at 375°F for 20 minutes and immediately lower the heat to 200°F and bake for  60 minutes. The cake should be firm at the edges but wiggly in the center. Let it cool completely on a rack. Once cool, cover lightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. When the cake is set, top with jumbo marshmallows. Place in oven at 250°F until  marshmallows are slightly browned. Drizzle with chocolate sauce. To serve, run a cold, damp knife around the edges and remove the springform ring.   This cheesecake is so tasty, it’ll have everyone asking for S’MORE! 😉 Happy baking!IMG_3581

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

I have baked a lot of goodies.  Cakes, brownies, cookies – you name it, I’ve probably made it (or at least tried).   But the one thing that terrifies me is cheesecake.  I don’t know what it is about making a cheesecake that I find so frightening.  Maybe it’s the fact I have never really taken a liking to it, maybe I’ve just never found a recipe I’ve liked enough to try, but it’s more than likely my perfectionist brain is scared of bringing forth a dry or over-beaten cake.

Today is the day.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous, but there’s no better day than the present right? So here’s my take on a strawberry swirl cheesecake.

For the crust

  • 1 cup finely ground Nilla wafers
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar

For the purée

  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 cups strawberries

For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 packages (32 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 eggs

*You will also need a pot of water to use as a boiling pan.

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter the bottom of a 9″ springform pan. Set aside.


Combine the wafers, butter, and sugar in a medium sized bowl, and firmly press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan.  Bake for roughly 10 minutes to set the crust, and allow it to cool on a wire rack.

Bring the oven temperature to 375°F.

Purée the strawberries, strain out the seeds or any solid parts.  Pour into a medium saucepan and add sugar. Bring to a low simmer over medium-IMG_3559

Beat cream cheese on medium for three minutes. It should look smooth and fluffy. Bring the speed down to low, and steadily pour in the sugar. Beat in the salt and vanilla. Beat in the eggs one at a time.  It is important to fully incorporate one egg before adding another. BE CAREFUL NOT TO OVER MIX. Note: When I made this the second time around, I added 3 Tbsp. of flour to keep the center from rising and then falling once it is out of the oven. It doesn’t affect the flavor at all. 

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a picture of the marbling before I put it in the oven. 😦

Butter the sides of the springform pan. Once the last egg is incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared crust. Dot some of the purée onto the top of the cake, and swirl them to create a marbled effect. Set the remainder of the purée aside to use when serving.

Bake for 20 minutes at 375°F and then at 200°F for 60 minutes or until the outside edges are firm but the center is still wiggly.

Allow the cake to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool, put the cake into the fridge to cool overnight. (It must chill for at least 6 hours in order for it to be the right consistency)

Once it’s ready to serve, run a knife around the edges and remove the springform collar. Serve with some raspberry sauce and pat yourself on the back. You’ve made yourself a cheesecake! 👍

*Notes: I’ll be honest, the first cheesecake turned out so ugly I could cry. It tasted fantastic though. So I will be trying again tomorrow, and hopefully round two will supply me with some nice “finished product” pictures. Happy baking!

Second cake came out great! And it tastes SO good!