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: 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.

Recipe: Banana Bread Donuts with Cinnamon Buttercream

As you can tell by my lack of recipes lately, my balance skills have seriously fallen to the wayside this summer. I've been actual months since I've turned my oven to actually bake something for fun that didn't turn out a disaster. but what can I say? Sometimes you're good at balancing everything and sometimes you're busy every weekend for 3 months and that's that.

But I do have to say that today's recipe is certainly worth the wait. We're using up brown bananas. We're covering it in cinnamon buttercream. We're not making your average run-of-the-mill banana bread anymore. Break out the donut pan, because we're making banana bread donuts!

Banana Bread Donuts with Cinnamon Buttercream

Yields 18 donuts

Donuts
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 stick unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 medium very ripe bananas

Cinnamon Buttercream
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons milk
3 tablespoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a donut baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Make your donuts: In a large bowl, whisk together both flours, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg to combine and aerate the flours. Add the cubes of butter and using a pastry blender (or your hands), cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture is crumbly and sand-like. You'll want the texture to be sand-like with tiny pieces of butter throughout the mixture.

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs until fluffy. Add in sour cream/yogurt and vanilla and whisk until combined. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together with a rubber spatula. Once dough comes together, mash the bananas with a fork in a separate bowl and mix in until combined.

Spoon the batter evenly into the wells of the greased pan. Before placing into the oven, lightly tap the donut pan on a flat countertop to remove any air bubbles. Bake for 9-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then let cool completely on a cooling rack.

Make your buttercream: In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip your butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Scrap down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add in 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix for 4-5 minutes, beginning on slow and increasing the speed as the buttercream comes together. Add in vanilla extract, milk, and cinnamon, and the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix again. Using an off-set spatula, frost your donuts and top with a dusting of cinnamon and coarse decorating sugar.

Keep donuts in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Recipe: Chai Snickerdoodles

It's 90 degrees this week in Philadelphia but we are jumping into Fall head first. I'm looking forward to breaking out that cinnamon and nutmeg and getting back into the kitchen. I've got a lot of ideas bouncing around in my brain for Fall recipes—pumpkin ice cream cake, pear galette, chai white russians—but let me know if there's anything you would like to see this season!

We're kicking off Fall recipes with these Chai Snickerdoodles because we're not quite ready for pumpkin everything yet and I haven't made it to the apple picking yet.

On an unrelated note, every time I've typed "chai" during this blog post, I've most definitely typed "chia" and had to go back and fix it. But we're pushing through!

Chai Snickerdoodles

Makes a dozen to a dozen and a half cookies 

1 1/2 sticks butter, unsalted and room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon cardamon (separated)
2 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
3 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking liner.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add in eggs one at a time and mix until combined. 

In a separate bowl, combine flour, cream of tartar, salt, and 1 teaspoon of cardamon. Add dry ingredients to the butter and mix until dough is formed. Chill dough in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. 

In a small bowl, mix together 2 1/2 tablespoons of cinnamon, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and 1 teaspoon of cardamon. Once dough is chilled, begin forming balls of dough that are 1 tablespoon in size. Roll each dough ball in the cinnamon, sugar, and cardamon mixture and place 1 inch apart on the baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the bottoms just begin to turn golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before cooling completely on a cooling rack. Store in an airtight container.