Recipe: Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Truffles

Do you ever just need a weekend to fully reset? Mostly no social plans, just a few items on a to-do list and a lot of time to hang by yourself, get stuff done, and go to bed early? As much as I love an action-packed weekend with endless plans and dance-until-3am nights, I treasure a reset weekend wayyyyy more and my body and mind thanks me for it over and over again.

Over this reset weekend, I was able to spend some time in the kitchen working on a few treats for y’all and photographing them, cleaned the house up, getting laundry done, catching up with a friend, hanging out with my parents and getting rid of an extra bed that was clogging up our spare bedroom, and mainly just hanging in the house, eating pizza on the deck and getting into bed before 9PM. I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I’m currently loving being home and that love affair continues, which is helping me save money and stay on top of things.

BUT today we’re talking about these little pops of sugary-cinnamony sunshine: Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Truffles!

These no-bake treats are incredibly simple and there’s just something about them (I’ve previously shared a recipe for regular White Chocolate Cheesecake Truffles) that seems so much more special than just white chocolate and cream cheese blended together. The flavors melt together into a sweet, creamy cheesecakey center that can be liken to truffles purchased at a fancy candy shop. All from your own kitchen with no baking and minimal effort. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Cinnamon Bun Cheesecake Bites

Yields 2 dozen

  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

  • 24 oz white chocolate chips, separated into 8 oz and 16 oz

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 tablespoon cake seasoning (if you don’t have this, replace with 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon)

In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip cream cheese until smooth. Melt 8 oz of white chocolate chips in the microwave and add into the cream cheese, along with the vanilla extract and spices. Mix until combined and refrigerate for 1 hour or until filling is stiff.

Remove from the refrigerator and roll your filling into small balls about the size of a large marble. Place on a plate and freeze for 30 minutes to hardened slightly.

Melt the rest of the white chocolate and begin dipping your filling into the white chocolate. Remove each ball with a fork, slightly shake off some of the extra chocolate and place each truffle on a piece of wax paper or a nonstick baking mat to dry. You want to make sure the entire filling ball is coated in chocolate. Decorate with a dusting of cinnamon and let the chocolate set completely before enjoying. Store in the fridge or eat quickly.

Spring 2019 Checklist

It’s amazing that at 29 years old, I’m still surprised every spring when the cold, gray days subside and I start to feel AMAZINGLY better on a daily basis. My mood is more stable and uplifted, it’s easier to get up every (most) mornings, and I just feel better. Better about life. Better about situations that are less-than perfect. Better about pretty much everything. Even if you don’t have seasonal depression, the winter blues are very real and it’s amazing what sitting at home with the windows open or taking a walk can do for you.

I don’t really want to set any monthly goals or anything like that, but more these seasonal intentions where I just give myself a list of things to keep in mind for the season.

Bake more: I wrote about this in a recent post, but getting back into baking was such a struggle for me for a little bit. But I think I’ve gotten myself over that hump and am feelin’ inspired y’all! I got a list of recipes I want to test and perfect, I got a new camera so I’m excited to shoot those recipes and I’m stoked to just get this little piece of the interweb going again. It gives me lifeeeee.

Plant herbs on the deck: As much as I want to grow tomatoes and peppers on the deck, I’m disappointed every year because the squirrels and cats eat everything off of them. This year I’m just going to stick to potted herbs and see how that goes. Definitely not as exciting as veggies, but I’m still looking forward to it!

Spend more time out and about in the city: I LOVE spending my Saturdays bouncing around the city with my friends on foot, eating cheap snacks, shopping, and people watching. It’s honestly one of my favorite things to do during the warmer months and I’m stoked to get that going again. Horchata latte in hand, converse sneaks on my feet.

Continue cooking more: For once in my life, I feel like I’m improving in my cooking ability. It’s finally fun to cook and I don’t feel so scared of messing up. I’m hoping this isn’t just a phase and I can keep up cooking at home a couple nights a week!

Deal with my adult things: This one is super boring. I have a list of adult things that need to be taken care of and I keep putting off. I need to get those things done. Being an adult is hard sometimes.

Buy myself more flowers: you know, just because

Work on a reoccurring Philly ice cream post: This is something my friend Kate and I have been talking about for YEARS and I want to hammer it out this spring. Just a reoccurring feature highlighting some of the city’s best ice cream places.

Recipe: Pistachio and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

So as it turns out, it’s HARD to dig back into baking. As much as I love baking and I feel fairly good at it, it’s never been something that I’ve been supremely confident about. I generally like to bake things that make me, or the people around me, happy. I’m a 100% self-taught baker with a dream of taking some night classes in pastry or cooking. So when I bake something 3, 4, 5, times and can’t seem to figure out the problem, it’s extremely frustrating. I just feel like I lack the tools to learn and grow.

I’ve been recipe testing these lemon shortbread cookies for weeks and can’t get them to behave correctly. And as you can clearly see, I’m not bringing your lemon shortbread cookies today at all. Because the recipe still isn’t right. But it’s sometimes in those situations when I get creative and think up sometime else to get myself out of that rut. And these cookies are BOMB. Lightly crisp around the outside and bottom, chewy and soft on the inside and filled sweet and salty bits.

So that’s what we’re making today. And maybe there will be lemon shortbread cookies down the line, but in the meantime, I’ll be shoveling these oatmeal gems into my mouth in full force.

Pistachio and Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

Yields 2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/2 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

  • 1 egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 2 1/2 cups oats

  • 1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add in egg and vanilla and mix until combined. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Add the dry ingredient to the butter mixture, until just combined. Using a rubber spatula, mix in oats by hand. Once combined, add in chopped pistachios and dried cranberries and mix until they are evenly distributed throughout the dough.

Place rounded tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheet about an inch and a half apart. Bake 8-10 minutes until the edges and bottom are golden brown. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before cooling fully on a cooling rack.  

5 Things I'm Loving Right Now (+ A Life Update)

I could start this post with an apology for being absent over the past year, or the details of what went on, but I don’t really want to dwell on all that. I’ll just say that working at a job that’s a bad fit, one that sucks all of your creative energy and constantly causes you stress and anxiety, is not a way to live your life (or at least for me). It took me a while to realize this; I felt very much like a failure and harbored guilt of misguiding my own life. Now that I’m on the other side of it, I know that it’s all apart of my journey and has made me even stronger and more confident (but it’s hard to see that when you’re in the middle of it, ya know?).

With that all behind me, I’ve been back in the kitchen. It’s been recipe testing a few things that are almost there. Plus, I’m pricing out cameras so I can bring you new delicious and beautiful recipes (I’m pretty stoked about this one 📷).

But even with everything in order, it’s still been hard for me to bounce back into blogging. I feel like I’ve lost some of the spark that this blog once had, and I’m at a loss for how to get that back. But I wanted to touch base regardless and let you know that I’m figuring it out. Because we’re friends and you deserve that. And because I want to hold myself accountable for actually showing up and creating something that I’m proud of, something that reflects what I’m into at this moment.

So that’s where I’m at this Monday. Tea in hand, snugged up under the heated blanket on my couch. I thought I would start all this with something easy, something fun. Here’s a few things I’ve been loving lately.

Reading: So, adding “reading” to a list of favorite things probably sounds bizarre but I haven’t been able to focus on reading an entire book in years (and unfortunately, that not even an exaggeration). Since kicking off 2019 with more free time, I’ve been making it a prioritize to read. So far, I’ve finished Abbi Jacobson’s I Might Regret This, This Will Only Hurt A Little by Busy Phillips, My Friend Dahmer, and I’m currently working on An Edited Life by Anna Newton (who’s maybe my fav beauty/lifestyle blogger). Hopefully more book recs to come!

New jeans: After searching and searching for the perfect dupes for Everlane jeans, I finally broke down and purchased a pair of the Kick Crop Jeans when they were on sale and I’m never looking back. They’re the perfect shape for me, feel high-quality enough but still comfortable. I have 2 pairs of them and it’s hard for me to not wear them every single day. Definitely worth the money and I get a ton of compliments when I wear them.

Thrifting: Thrifting is something I have always gone through stages of, and for the past few months or so I’ve been loving it. Living in a major city, most thrift stores here are pretty picked through or overpriced, so my girlfriend and I usually make a day out of driving to the suburbs, hitting some thrift stores and other stores that are annoyingly busy to visit in the city (Trader Joe’s) and it’s become something I look forward to immensely. Plus, as someone who loves a little bit of retail therapy, it’s helping me not burn all my money on clothes.

New bras! I recently purchased a slew of the same bras (which really shows you how much I love them) from Aerie of all places. Now, to purchase these in person in Philly you need to hit the American Eagle in Center City, which if you’re anything like me makes you feel incredibly old and is a store definitely run by children. BUT these Chill Cotton Bralettes are exactly what I was looking for. Simple, decent support and a great price for the quality.

Being Home: I’m currently having a love affair with being home. I’ve been staying in on the weekend, cleaning and purging our home, and just feeling incredibly content with spending my nights melting into the couch. We’ve been cooking a lot and (I think) getting better at it! Painting our downstairs was one of the best decisions we’ve made and when the light streams in, I just look around and can’t help but feel happy and content. We still have more work to do, more plants to buy, we need a new bed and mattress, but all in all this house feels like home and I’m into it big time.

Wishing you an easy Monday!

Cocktail: Blood Orange Mule

Can we just forget about last year? Ok great. Thank you!

All in all, last year sucked. Like really sucked. The kind of sucked where you can’t do anything but buckle down, try and get as much done as you can, and try your hardest to enjoy the little moments of peace and stress-free calm you have. So that doesn’t leave a lot of time for personal growth or baking (let alone styling, photographing + writing blog posts). I’m trying to inch back into it. Little by little until this piece of the internet fits back into my life.

In the meantime, I’ve brought you booze. This is valentine’s day week (which doesn’t really mean that much to me, tbh) so I wanted to throw together a simple, fruity and delicious cocktail perfect for a valentine’s day dinner at home. Because who’s really got time for overly crowded restaurants and prix fixe menus.

Welcome back to my little corner of the internet. I hope we get to spend a little more time together this year.

Blood Orange Mule

Makes one drink

  • 2 oz vodka

  • 2 oz fresh-squeezed blood orange juice

  • 1-2 oz ginger beer

  • squeeze of lime juice

  • gummy candies for garnish

In a glass with ice, add vodka and blood orange juice. Stir and top with ginger beer and a squeeze of lime juice.