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.

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.  

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.

Recipe: Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Drizzle

It’s starting to feel really cozy in Philadelphia these days. I can tell because not only is it chilly out, but I’m making and craving soups, drinking bold (+ sometimes funky) wines at night, and spending most of my days underneath our heated blanket wondering how I lived life without a heated blanket. PLUS I’m bringing you back-to-back pumpkin recipes because it’s the best time of year (baking-wise).

Recently I’ve found myself revisiting some of my favorite recipes, making an Apple Crisp the last weekend, as well as my favorite I’m-spending-Friday-night-in cookies: Funfetti Cookies. But I didn’t want my favorite baking season to fly by without another pumpkin recipe. I don’t usually share a recipe that I found someplace else, but this Pumpkin Bread recipe is just too good not to share. You can find it below, or on the Bon Appetit website.

Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Drizzle

Adapted from this recipe

Pumpkin Bread

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • ½ tsp. baking soda

  • ½ tsp. grated nutmeg

  • ⅛ tsp. ground cloves

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 15-oz. can pumpkin purée

  • 1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp finely grated ginger (from about one 3" piece fresh ginger)

  • 1½ cups plus 1 Tbsp. sugar

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Cream Cheese Drizzle

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened

  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 2-3 tablespoons milk

Make your bread: Preheat oven to 325°. Lightly coat a 9x5" loaf pan with nonstick spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment, leaving a generous overhang on both long sides.

Whisk flour, cinnamon, kosher salt, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and cloves in a medium bowl.

Whisk eggs, pumpkin purée, ginger, and 1½ cups sugar in a large bowl. Stream in oil, whisking constantly until mixture is homogeneous. Gently fold half of dry ingredients into egg mixture until no dry spots remain. Repeat with remaining dry ingredients, stirring to combine but being careful not to overmix.

Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top with a spatula. Bake bread, rotating pan once halfway through, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, for me, this took more like 90mins to 2 hours to cook thoroughly (even though you can tell from the photos that I could have left it in a few minutes longer…)

Let cool slightly. Using overhang, transfer bread to a wire rack and let cool.

While your bread cools, make your drizzle. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons on milk. Add more milk until glaze is slightly pourable. Once bread has cooled, drizzle the glaze over the cake and serve.

Bread can be kept for several days. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap. A note, I know this bread looks a little undercooked in my photos. In our house, we lean for towards undercooked than overcooked. The cooking time in the recipe leaves room for your perfect doneness.

pumpkin cake 4.jpg

Recipe: Pumpkin Monster Cookies

What do you do when you make a batch of D E L I C I O U S L Y pumpkin cookies but they are looking a little boring and lackluster? Throw candy eyes on them and make them Halloween cookies! These cookies are simple to throw together and honestly I can’t stop laughing at how silly they came out. Perfect to throw into a treat bag for your loved ones on Halloween, or for you to eat the entire batch while giving out candy to trick or treaters. I’m not here to judge.

MORE ABOUT THESE COOKIES…These cookies are pillowy pumpkin goodness inside with just the right about of cinnamon and a little extra salt to get the flavors going. Originally, I thought of topping these pumpkin babies with cream cheese buttercream, but after tasting how wonderfully soft they were, I ended up doing an easy, breezy cinnamon drizzle. But try them with a little cream cheese glaze and let me know how it thrills you!

Happy Halloween 🎃

Pumpkin Monster Cookies

Yields 3 dozen

Adapted from this recipe

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup brown sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin

  • 2 cups AP flour

  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

Cinnamon Drizzle

  • 1 cup powdered sugar (plus more if needed for thickness)

  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

  • 2 tablespoon milk

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • pinch of salt

  • Candy eyes (optional, but recommended)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add in vanilla extract and egg. Add in pumpkin and mix well.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add this to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, but careful not to over mix. Fold in walnuts by hand. Place dough in the fridge for 5 minutes to harden slightly.

Drop rounded tablespoons on a baking sheet about 2 inches apart. This is a very soft dough so do not try to roll this into balls in your hand. Place tablespoon-sized dough babies onto the baking sheet and shape slightly with your fingers to make them rounded. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly golden on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to cool rack to cool completely.

While your cookies are cooling, whisk together all the ingredients for the cinnamon glaze. Using a spoon, drizzle the glaze over the cookies and stick on candy eyes. Because these are soft cookies, they need to be eaten within a day or two. Make sure they are completely cool before storing them in an airtight container or they will sweat out their moisture.

Hot tip: you need to place the eyes when the glaze is still setting. If you miss that timeframe, mix a little powdered sugar with milk to get a paste and glue each one on.