Tag Archives: cream cheese

Chocolate Blackberry Cream Cookies

chocolate-blackberry-cream-cookies (4 of 5)

It is just not that difficult to come up with a reason to purchase berries.  I’m never quite sure what to do with them, but it never takes me long to figure it out.

When I found this recipe, I was excited to have a good reason to purchase blackberries.  They sat in the fridge for a couple days before I got around to baking with them, and the kids kept asking me about them.  My son, the “fruitarian,” was going crazy with blackberry-desire!

The cookie itself is deceptively delicious.  Even if you don’t want to top your cookie with berries, consider making this cookie plain.  It is a super simple version of a chocolate crinkle, made with a devils food cake mix.  It can be mixed up very quickly, and comes out soft and fudgy and almost brownie-like.  YUM.  Since the dough was quite soft, I used my scoop to drop dough into a bowl of powdered sugar, and I was quite generous in coating it, so my fingers wouldn’t get too sticky.

chocolate-blackberry-cream-cookies-1Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem licking chocolate cookie dough off my fingers.  I just wanted to save myself for the blackberry cream frosting.

Sometimes I make this cookie without the powdered sugar, and that works great too. Either way, you’ll have a soft chocolatey cookie that makes a great base for the frosting.

chocolate-blackberry-cream-cookies (1 of 5)

I have honestly not baked with berries much.  The recipe on Your Cup of Cake calls for a blackberry puree, without actually mentioning how to make the puree, so I guessed.  I know there are other ways to make a puree, but this worked just fine and it was really easy.

I dumped a bunch of berries in a bowl, and  I used a fork to smash them a bit, and then I let them sit and macerate for maybe 10 minutes while I rolled the cookies in sugar and put them in the oven.

I then came back and smashed them some more.  The truth is, I am just way to lazy to strain this.  Plus, I don’t have a good strainer.  The only strainer I own has been used to clean the fish bowl, so I don’t have much desire to use it on my berries.

True story.  I figured it would be fine if my frosting had berry chunks in it.  Fine and dandy.

By the way, you won’t need nearly the berries you see pictured above. A small handful is enough, since you only need 3 tablespoons of puree. If you do end up with extra puree, cook it with sugar and water for a really delicious blackberry syrup!

chocolate-blackberry-cream-cookies-2I measured about 3 tablespoons of the non-strained berry puree, and mixed into my softened cream cheese and butter, and added powdered sugar until it was a nice, thick, frosting consistency.  I gently frosted my soft chocolate cookies, and topped them with a leftover berry, to make them look extra pretty.

And actually, if you’re into making things pretty, use a piping bag to pipe the frosting on. I was mostly into stuffing these in my face as fast a possible, so I used a knife to give the frosting a quick smear.

I think these would really impress at a gathering, so I definitely recommend them for entertaining!  Plus, since the cookies are made with a cake mix, they are one of the simpler recipes on this humble blog.  The only real problem was cleaning up all that powdered sugar!

My friends have some amazing berry-themed cookies this month too!  Check these out…

Raspberry Tarts by Tastes of Lizzy T
Olive Sables by Kelli’s Kitchen
Blueberry Lemon Cookies from Bake or Break
Chocolate Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies from Posed Perfection
Chocolate Blackberry Cream Cookies from Jen’s Favorite Cookies

chocolate-blackberry-cream-cookies (4 of 5)

Chocolate Blackberry Cream Cookies

A recipe for a fudgy chocolate crinkle cookie topped with blackberry frosting.

Cook Time 8 minutes
Servings 2 dozen



  • 1 box devils food cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • powdered sugar for rolling


  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons blackberry puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • about 2 cups powdered sugar



  1. Mix together cake mix, eggs, oil, and vanilla, mixing just until combined.

  2. Roll dough into balls, coat with powdered sugar. Place on baking sheet.

  3. Bake at 350F for 8-10 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool.


  1. Mix all frosting ingredients together. Adjust consistency by adding more powdered sugar to thicken, or more puree to thin.

  2. Generously frost cooled cookies. Top with a blackberry.

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Frosting

 This original carrot cake recipe uses fresh carrots and cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese FrostingOne difference I have noticed between my beloved sister and myself, is that when we are baking, I really prefer to make cookies and bars, while Em tends to bake a lot of cakes.

The real problem with this is that she and I live in different states, so if I want a sample, I have to make it myself.  I’m turning it over to Em now, to tell you about her latest genius cake creation.


Whenever I’m thinking about recipes that I could underwrite to this blog, I have to do my homework to make sure I’m not repeating something Jen has already done.

This week I decided to make a carrot cake as a homecoming surprise for my sister-in-law who has been out of town caring for her 94-year-old grandmother for two weeks because, let’s be honest, she’s kind of a saint.  My husband requested carrot cake.

I figured, of course Jen has already done a carrot cake recipe, but then I checked, and then I double-checked.  Then I triple-checked only to find that no such recipe existed on that pages of Jen’s Favorite Cookies.  Upon a little introspection, I’ve decided both to right this wrong and disown my sister for having a baking blog without this obvious and amazing staple.

(See related post: Hummingbird Cake)

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting from JensFavoriteCookies.com

Add this to your Cake Recipes board on Pinterest!

I discovered not too long ago that people either love or loathe carrot cake, which I find surprising since carrot is one of the few cakes that I actually enjoy.  Having said that, I ordered a slice of carrot cake from a bakery once and I learned that day how painful and cruel life can sometimes be because I bit into it and found a raisin.

Maybe people who dislike carrot cake have only tasted the ones riddled with superfluous garbage like raisins and walnuts.  “Yuck!” said the woman who is posting a recipe with ginger and lemon zest in a cream cheese frosting.

Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting from JensFavoriteCookies.comCarrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting from JensFavoriteCookies.com

I guess I get it though, putting vegetables in cake sounds a little off-putting, albeit markedly less offensive than the time my Mom put vegetables in Jell-O (true story).

Another possibility is that none of these carrot cake haters has had a carrot cake made specifically for them…a really fun gesture when you’re not trying to take photos of your creation afterword to make it look like you know what you’re doing, which I never do.

So, you know, ignore the smears of orange frosting where there used to be lettering because the welcome home gesture was both hilarious and well-deserved.


Want more?  Try these made-from-scratch cakes!



Carrot Cake with Lemon Ginger Frosting
Cook time
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A fresh carrot cake from scratch with lemon ginger cream cheese frosting.
Recipe type: Cake
  • 1½ Cups flour
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ½ Cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ Cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ Cup grated carrots
  • drizzle of honey
  • 1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • ¼ powdered sugar
  • ¼ milk
  • 1 tsp. fresh ginger, grated finely
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. For the cake: . Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan; line bottom of pan with parchment paper (trust me).
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add eggs and vegetable oil until well mixed. Add carrots and mix.
  3. Pour into pan. Drizzle with honey. Bake for approximately 40 minutes (or until a cake test comes out clean). Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely before frosting.
  4. For frosting: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until smooth.
  5. Add more powdered sugar and/or milk to get a consistency you like.


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles


cookie-dough-truffles (5 of 1)I have a confession to make.  I kind of hate dipping things in chocolate.

I don’t hate eating things that have been dipped in chocolate, just to clarify.  But I do hate dipping them.  It’s always a mess and they never come out looking beautiful and professional.  It’s just very unsatisfying.

So for these cookie dough truffles, I experimented with rolling them in all kinds of things, and yes, dipping them too, to give you and I lots of options.  Variety is the spice of life, right?

The kids were all over these little dough-like balls.  They thought they were cheesecake balls, because I made them with cream cheese.  Cream cheese is one of my favorite things ever.  I’ve never made a recipe with cream cheese that I didn’t like.  Even things I don’t like taste better with cream cheese.  Like crab.  (I’m not much of a seafood lover.  But cream cheese crab dip is to die for.)


In my attempt to give some non-dipping options to these little truffles, I came up with the following options.

1. Sprinkles.  Sprinkles are always good.  But… they don’t cover entirely, they fall off, and it takes a lot of sprinkles to cover an entire batch of cookie dough truffles.  But if you are a sprinkles lover, I say go for it.

2. Cocoa powder.  I’ve seen other kinds of truffles rolled in cocoa powder, so it definitely deserved a try.  It’s much easier than the sprinkles, but the taste of unsweetened cocoa is something less than desirable, to say the least.  This was my least favorite option.

3. Sugar.  The sugar was super duper easy to work with, but I didn’t really think it got the job done.  It didn’t have the coverage to really make them look like nice, perfectly round little truffle balls, even though the taste was obviously awesome.

4. Cocoa powder + sugar.  This was by far my favorite option.  I mixed some sugar and cocoa powder together to roll them in.  It gave a nice coverage that made them look coated in something, and tasted far better than the plain cocoa powder.


And let’s not forget the obvious dipping option.  I used almond bark to dip mine.  It melts easy and chills into a nice hard crust.  I used 4 oz. and did about a quarter of my batch, so if this is what you’re using for all of them, you’ll need about 16 oz.

Any way you make them, you are going to end up with a safe (egg-free) cookie dough bite that is totally to die for!

Want more?  Try these easy candies!

almond balls featuredcoconut-trufflestruffles recipebuckeye recipe


Recipe adapted from Shugary Sweets, via Food Fanatic

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles
Prep time
Total time
Cream cheese cookie dough truffles, rolled in cocoa or dipped in chocolate.
Recipe type: Candy
Serves: 3 dozen
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • ½ cup chocolate chips (or mini chocolate chips)
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder + 3 tablespoons sugar, for rolling *(optional) OR
  • 16 oz. almond bark or candy melts, melted *(optional)
  1. Place cream cheese and butter in a large mixing bowl. Use a hand mixer to beat until smooth.
  2. Add brown sugar, vanilla, and salt, and mix until smooth. Add flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Chill mixture for 30-60 minutes.
  5. Use a cookie scoop or spoon to form small balls of the dough. Roll dough in a mixture of sugar and cocoa powder, or dip in melted chocolate.
  6. Set balls on a lined baking sheet, and chill for 1-2 hours in the fridge, or 20-30 minutes in the freezer before serving.


Hummingbird Cake

This easy hummingbird cake is made with bananas and pineapple.  It’s one of the most delicious hummingbird cake recipes you’ll find!

Hummingbird Cake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a delicious layer cake with cream cheese frosting perfect for Easter or anytime!My friends are starting to wonder about my actual baking and food blogging skills.  Not that I blame them.

I invited them over for a night of games and prizes and snacks, and then spent the entire day sick in bed.  Of course.  It meant I couldn’t make the cake I had planned to impress them all with.

Then, to make matters worse, my so-simple-a-monkey-could-make-it dessert didn’t set up.  At all.  I ended up sending Robb to the grocery store for cupcakes at the last minute.  It was pretty humiliating, actually.

This, after I brought store-bought donuts to the last get-together.

I have GOT to find a way to redeem myself.

Hummingbird Cake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a delicious layer cake with cream cheese frosting perfect for Easter or anytime!

Pin this to your Cake Recipes board!

On the bright side, this cake was as tasty as I imagined it to be.  Our son, The Lizard, can’t get enough of it.  He had a slice for breakfast, and he brought a friend over to impress him with the cake I made.

I think it might have worked.

If you’re wondering what it tastes like, it’s basically a banana nut cake, but with pineapple, which gives it this sweet, slightly tangy edge to it that is surprising and very tasty.  No one expects to find pineapple in their banana cake.

Hummingbird Cake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a delicious layer cake with cream cheese frosting perfect for Easter or anytime!Hummingbird Cake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - a delicious layer cake with cream cheese frosting perfect for Easter or anytime!

I went pretty heavy on the cream cheese frosting (I ended up with a fair amount more than I needed.  Not that I’m complaining.) because cream cheese frosting is the bomb-diggety.  It might be the real reason cream cheese exists in the first place.

This recipe makes 3 layers, so it is a substantial cake.

Which is perfect if you’re hoping to eat last night’s cake leftovers for breakfast today!


Want more? Here are some more recipes using ripe bananas!

muffin-tin-recipeschocolate chip banana bread cookieschocolate-banana-bread-7

 Recipe from Bakerella

Hummingbird Cake
Cook time
Total time
A lightly spiced fruit and nut cake with cream cheese frosting.
Recipe type: Cake
Serves: 12 slices
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, liquid included
  • 3 cups all purposed flour
  • 1½ cups chopped pecans
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz. butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 lbs. powdered sugar (about 7½ cups)
  1. Combine oil and sugar. Add sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt, soda, bananas and pineapple and mix well. Add flour and mix until combined. Fold in nuts.
  3. Divide batter evenly between three well greased 9-inch layer pans, and bake at 350F for 22-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Let layers cool.
  4. For frosting, combine all ingredients, beating until smooth. Frost cooled layers.



Chocolate Cheesecake

Cake; Chocolate cheese cake that is a rich and creamy cake. Chocolate cheese cake recipe.

Chocolate Cheesecake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - Rich, decadent, and chocolatey!Some days I think I should turn this blog into a chocolate-only blog.  I mean, I love coconut and peanut butter, and caramel and nuts, and all the rest, but when it comes right down to it, chocolate is my first love.

I know, I know, it’s so cliche.  Roses are my favorite flower, and Christmas is my favorite holiday, and chocolate is my favorite sweet flavor.

Does that make me boring?  I hope not.  Because this cheesecake is anything but.

I really don’t make honest-to-goodness real baked cheesecake much.  They are time consuming and fussy, but oh, so amazingly rich and delicious.  I don’t even own a springform pan.  I had to borrow one from a friend.

Although, after making this cheesecake I think I’m going to need to get one right away.

Chocolate Cheesecake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - Rich, decadent, and chocolatey!

To make this cheesecake, I started with my great-grandfather’s recipe.  He used to love to experiment in the kitchen, and as he lived alone and next door to us for many years, we were often the grateful recipients of the results of those experiments.

He made all kinds of things.  He grew his own dill and cucumbers and made homemade dill pickles, a process that took about three days.  And I remember him giving me peanut butter and bacon on toast.  (He was kind of a bacon fiend.)  But the cheesecake was kind of his signature piece.

We knew him as Grandpa Chuck, but when he was cooking, he preferred Chowhound Charlie, making the official title of this recipe “Chowhound Charlie’s New York Cheesecake.”

Chocolate Cheesecake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - Rich, decadent, and chocolatey!Chocolate Cheesecake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - Rich, decadent, and chocolatey!

Don’t skimp on the ingredients here.  You’ll need three bricks of cream cheese and 4 bars of chocolate.

It’s so rich and creamy, a small slice is probably plenty.  In the recipe below, I listed the yield as 8 slices, but we cut it into 10 and it would be totally acceptable to even make it 12 small slices.

A small slice is enough to make you remember that chocolate really is the best!


Want more?  Try these decadent chocolate desserts!


brownie recipe from scratch



5.0 from 3 reviews
Chocolate Cheesecake
Cook time
Total time
A rich chocolate cheesecake with chocolate cookie crumb crust and ganache topping.
Recipe type: Cheesecake
Serves: 8
  • 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I used crushed Oreos, with the filling removed)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons corn starch
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  • ½ cup whipping cream
  • 4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
  1. For crust, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into a 9-inch springform pan, and chill in the fridge or freezer while you make the cheesecake filling.
  2. For cheesecake, beat soft cream cheese with eggs and sugar until creamy. Add sugar, vanilla, sour cream, and cornstarch, and mix well.
  3. Roughly chop the chocolate and place in a small bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted. Add melted chocolate to cheesecake mixture, and mix well, until chocolate is completely incorporated.
  4. Pour filling into chilled crust. Bake at 325F for 1 hour. Then, turn off oven and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for an additional 1 hour before removing. DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR or disturb cheesecake in any way during this time.
  5. For ganache topping: Roughly chop 4 oz. chocolate. Place chocolate and cream in a double boiler or heat proof bowl over boiling water. Heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is well combined and smooth, stirring constantly.
  6. Pour ganache over cheesecake. Let chill several hours in the fridge.
  7. Before serving, use a knife to loosen edges from the pan, undo the spring and remove the ring. Slice into 8-12 slices, and top with sweetened whipped cream, if desired.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip

This cookie dough dip recipe is easy to make!  Cream cheese makes the best cookie dough dip recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip from JensFavoriteCookiesI’ve gotten sort of obsessed with chocolate chips over the years.  I mean really, adding chocolate chips to almost any cookie makes it better.  Admit it.

We put chocolate chips in muffins, and waffles, and ice cream, and brownies, and just about anything else we can.

Also, chocolate chip cookie dough is one of the best things ever.  Who needs the cookies?  We’ll just eat the dip.

Wait, what am I saying?  I need the cookies too.

At any rate, it’s why the idea of this cookie dough dip really appeals to me.  It’s all about the chocolate chips.  The dip, and whatever you dip in it, is just a delivery system for the chocolate chips.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip from JensFavoriteCookies

I recently hosted a little family get-together, and this dip sat out on the tables.  For about 5 minutes, until it disappeared.  Half the family didn’t even know it was there.

Remind me to make a double batch next time.

It’s awesome with vanilla wafers, or graham crackers, or animal crackers.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip from JensFavoriteCookiesChocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip from JensFavoriteCookies

The key to a good dip, besides chocolate chips of course, is cream cheese.  Nice, soft, sweet, creamy cream cheese.  The food of the Gods.  Mix that with brown sugar, or dry jello, or just about anything else, and you have one fantastic dip.

If you decide to mix in some extra chocolate chips, no one will blame you.


Want more?  Check out these fantastic dips!

red-velvet-cake-batter-dip-4Red Velvet Cake
Batter Dip
fruit dipBrown Butter Cream
Cheese Dip

Recipe from: Laura’s Sweet Spot

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip
A sweet cream cheese chocolate chip dip, that is reminiscent of cookie dough.
Recipe type: Dip
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl, beating until smooth.
  2. Serve at room temperature with cookies or crackers. Store leftover dip in refrigerator.


Red Velvet Waffle Iron Cookies

These waffle iron cookies are quick and simple to make, with a red velvet cake mix.  Waffle iron cookies are best eaten warm!

Red Velvet Waffle Iron Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - SO fast and easy to make, with a red velvet cake mix!Some days I like baking complicated desserts that require long amounts of time to prepare.  I like the love that goes into a good dessert like that.

And other days, I just don’t want to mess with it.  You know?

These are the days I love cake mix cookies.  Simple, delicious, very customizeable… cake mix cookies save the day.

And, as long as we are talking about baking heroes, I may as well bring up the waffle iron.  The waffle iron has been gaining ground in recent months, as a tool that is great for more than just waffles.  Did you know you can bake cinnamon rolls in that thing?

Upsides to using a waffle iron: you don’t have to heat up the oven and consequently the whole kitchen, and stuff cooks in half the time.  Downsides:  You can only cook a few at a time.

Even heroes have their flaws.

Red Velvet Waffle Iron Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - SO fast and easy to make, with a red velvet cake mix!

I always think waffle iron cookies are best eaten warm.  I like to let the icing melt onto the cookie.  That combination of warm cookie + cool icing is heavenly. Mmmmmm.

These cookies required some extra flour to make them stiff enough to bake in the waffle iron, but that same combination makes them turn rock solid within a day or so.  Trust me, you’re going to want to eat them warm.

Red Velvet Waffle Iron Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com - SO fast and easy to make, with a red velvet cake mix!

There are lots of great waffle cookie recipes out there.  I love this one for Molasses Waffle Iron Cookies with Chocolate Frosting.  They are a delicious winter-flavor option.

But basically, waffle iron cookies are fabulous any time of year!

More red velvet treats you’ll love!

red-velvet-sandwich-hearts-5Red Velvet
Sandwich Cookies
red-velvet-cake-batter-dip-4Red Velvet Cake
Batter Dip
Red Velvet Cookie RecipeRed Velvet
Sugar Cookies

5.0 from 2 reviews
Red Velvet Waffle Iron Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A heavy cake mix cookie that can be baked in a waffle iron.
Recipe type: Cookies
Serves: 24
  • 1 box red velvet cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  1. Combine cake mix with butter and eggs, mix well.
  2. Add flour and mix until combined.
  3. Roll dough into balls, about 1.5 inches in diameter. Place balls in a heated waffle iron, and cook according to waffle iron instructions. (Usually about 3-4 minutes.)
  4. To prepare icing, combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth.
  5. Spread a small amount of icing onto warm cookies. Serve immediately. (These cookies don't keep well, they are best eaten right away.)


Chocolate Dipped Cream Cheese Mints

Cream cheese butter mints recipe;  You’ll love this cream cheese butter mints recipe, it’s an instant classic!

Chocolate Dipped Cream Cheese Mints from JensFavoriteCookies.com  -  These homemade cream cheese mints are a cinch to make and will really impress your friends!When Robb leaves town for one of his week-long business trips, the eating habits of this family have a tendency to change.

For example, we are less apt to sit together and eat a decent meal.  This past week, I think we had zero family meals.  It was a big dinner fail for sure.

Of course, all three of my kids ended up being either busy or sick on their assigned night to cook dinner.  Figures.  Kids have the most convenient timing.

I didn’t have any trouble making some treats, though.  {I never do.}

This week, I figured it would be a good time to revisit the cream cheese mints.  There’s something about the mint flavor that is so refreshing, don’t you think?

And, I made them green, because it’s March.


Once a month, I share one of my favorite recipes with My Cooking Spot.

In past months, I have shared recipes for Kentucky Derby Pie, Oreo Truffles, Chocolate Cake Batter Dip, and Giant Peanut Butter Swirled Chocolate Chip Cookies, just to name a few.

This month?  I’m sharing these Cream Cheese Mints.

Chocolate Dipped Cream Cheese Mints from JensFavoriteCookies.com  -  These homemade cream cheese mints are a cinch to make and will really impress your friends!

To get the recipe for these incredible, delicious mint candies, head over to My Cooking Spot!  Besides this one, you’ll find all kinds of great recipes there.

Click here to get the recipe

More minty candies you’ll love!

fudge with candy canesChocolate
Peppermint Fudge

Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Eggs

Chocolate chip cookies without eggs; You’ll love the secret ingredient that makes these chocolate chip cookies without eggs so creamy and delicious!

Chocolate Chip Cookies without Eggs! from JensFavoriteCookies.com You won't even miss the eggs when you use this secret ingredient! It’s funny, no matter how many cookies I make, no matter how many fun flavors I introduce my kids to, when they feel like making cookies, they always make plain old chocolate chip.

I guess you just can’t beat a classic.

I figure, if I’m going to make chocolate chip cookies again, I need a good reason.  A twist.  Something new, some reason you would choose this cookie over, say, this one, or this one, or even this one.

And, I have it.  Because these are chocolate chip cookies without eggs.  Which means two things:

1- If you have an egg allergy, you can still have crazy awesome cookies.
2- Even if you don’t have an egg allergy, you might want these anyway, because the substitute ingredient makes these so soft, so rich, and so flavorful, you literally will not miss the eggs.

Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com, You won't even miss the eggs when you use this secret ingredient!

My evidence is completely anecdotal, as usual.  I made these at midnight, while waiting for Robb to come home from a very late night at work.  He probably ate 6 of them before he went to bed.  Before I even photographed them, if you can believe it!

I probably ate 6 of them without noticing it the following morning.  Seriously, they’re all creamy and delicious.

The secret is the ingredient you use instead of the eggs.  The gorgeous, creamy, heavenly, gift-from-God ingredient.  Do we need a drumroll here?  {I think so.} It’s cream cheese.

Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com You won't even miss the eggs when you use this secret ingredient instead! Egg-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies from JensFavoriteCookies.com You won't even miss the eggs when you use this secret ingredient instead!

Once you’ve had chocolate chip cookies with cream cheese in them, you’ll never want to go back to the regular kind.  I swear.

I should thank the egg-allergy people for forcing us into such a wonderful invention as chocolate chip cookies without eggs.

Chocolate Chip Cookies without Eggs! from JensFavoriteCookies.com You won't even miss the eggs when you use this secret ingredient!
5 from 3 votes

Chocolate Chip Cookies Without Eggs

A delicious, soft, allergy-friendly cookie that is made without eggs.

Cook Time 9 minutes
Servings 3 dozen
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


  1. Cream butter, cream cheese, sugars, and vanilla. Add salt, soda, and flour, and mix until combined. Mix in chocolate chips.

  2. Drop spoonfuls onto a baking sheet, and bake at 350F for 9-11 minutes.

  3. Let cookies rest on the baking sheet 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

Red Velvet dip;  This easy to make dip tastes just like red velvet cake batter!

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip from Jen's Favorite CookiesEver since we got Netflix, I’m getting hooked on one series after another.

Murder mysteries, mostly.  I watch one series from beginning to end, then spend a few days wishing there were more episodes, then I start over with a new series.

I was sort of devastated when I came to the end of “Dexter.”  That one will be hard to replace.

Lately, I’ve been watching old episodes of “Columbo.”  Peter Falk is classic.  I even found a few episodes I hadn’t seen before.

It’s a terrible habit.  I should space them out, I would probably enjoy them more if I didn’t watch one right after another.

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip from Jen's Favorite Cookies- this easy cream cheese dip tastes just like red velvet cake batter!

I am the same way with food.  A couple weeks ago, I made some chicken salad for lunch, and enjoyed it so much I made it three more times within the next week and a half.

I’m a little sick of chicken salad now.

But my latest obsession is cake batter dip.  Lawd have mercy, I can’t stop myself.

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip from Jen's Favorite Cookies- this easy cream cheese dip tastes just like red velvet cake batter!

Seeing as how February is right around the corner, I decided to try a red velvet version of this treat.

The kids LOVE when I make this stuff.  LOVE it.  They basically fight over it, and I have to threaten bodily harm to get them to share.

The Fruitarian: “This dip is so good!!”
Me: “Of course it is.  Never doubt me.”

Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip from Jen's Favorite Cookies- this easy cream cheese dip tastes just like red velvet cake batter! Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip from Jen's Favorite Cookies- this easy cream cheese dip tastes just like red velvet cake batter!

Since our Valentines Day celebrations basically center around the kids, I think this dip might need to be part of it.

Knowing me, I’ll probably make it four times between now and then.

Maybe I’ll eat it while watching old episodes of “Columbo.”


Red Velvet Cake Batter Dip

An easy cake batter dip, perfect for dipping crackers or fruit. Try it at Valentines Day!


  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 3/4 cup dry red velvet cake mix
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons milk


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix until smooth and creamy.

  2. Serve at room temperature with crackers or fruit.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Recipe for chocolate cream cheese cake;  A layer of cheesecake atop a layer of dark chocolate cake is what makes this chocolate cream cheese cake recipe special.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars from Jen's Favorite CookiesMy friend says all her actions fall into one of two categories: the math test or the good book.

The math test is stuff we have to do.  The good book is something we want to do.

The problem with food blogging is that sometimes the stuff I love and enjoy doing turns into something I have to do.  Stuff like social media, and writing, and of course, baking.

Today the sun came out, I woke up in a good mood, and it was time to bake something fun… just for fun.

Which doesn’t stop me from sharing it with you.  Because, honestly?  That’s my favorite part.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars from Jen's Favorite Cookies

So here’s what I did.  I made a super delicious dark chocolate sheet cake.  It would have been enough by itself.  I didn’t used to like dark chocolate, but these days I can’t get enough.

But I can’t leave well enough alone.  Not me.

I found some cream cheese in the fridge just begging to be baked with, and I figured my chocolate cake would taste amazing with a little cheesecake on top.

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars from Jen's Favorite Cookiesblack-white-cheesecake-bars-6

I was right, by the way.  Cheesecake and dark chocolate cake is a winning combination.  Winning.

It’ll make you feel like you’re reading a good book.

More chocolate treats you’ll love!

chocolate cookie recipeSalted Dark
Chocolate Cookies
dark-chocolate-whoopie-pies-6Dark Chocolate
Whoopie Pies
Twix-Cheesecake-Bars-4Twix Cheescake
5.0 from 1 reviews
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A layer of dark chocolate cake topped with a layer of chocolate chip cheesecake.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
  • 10 T. butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup dark cocoa powder
  • ¾ cup boiling water
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 2 cups flour
  • 12 T. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅔ cup chocolate chips
  1. Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and vanilla and mix well.
  2. Add salt and soda. Mix well.
  3. In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder and boiling water. Add cocoa mixture to dough and mix well.
  4. Add milk and flour alternately. Mix until combined.
  5. Pour batter into a jelly roll pan, which has been greased or lined. Bake at 350F for about 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare cheesecake layer by mixing cream cheese, egg, and sugar until smooth. Mix in half of the chocolate chips.
  7. Pour cream cheese mixture over cake, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with remaining chips, then return to oven and bake for an additional 30 minutes.
  8. Let cool before cutting into bars.

If you enjoy this recipe, you might also enjoy:

 Plum Glazed Black & White Cheesecakes from Baking Chic
Black White & Red Cheesecake from Ooh-Look
Mini Red Velvet Cheesecakes from Baked by Rachel

chocolate cream cheese cake

How to Make Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies

How make sugar cookies;  The best sugar cookies recipes use this secret ingredient!  Learn how make sugar cookies perfectly.

How to Make the Perfect Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite CookiesThese cookies are my all-time fav for basically every single holiday.  Seriously, they’re like your favorite pair of black pumps, they go with everything.

Valentines Day?  Heart shaped cutter and pink frosting.
St. Patricks Day?  Shamrock cutter and green frosting.
4th of July?  Star shaped cutter and white frosting with red and blue sprinkles.
Your dog’s birthday?  Bone shaped cutter and make the frosting your dog’s favorite color.

Wait, dog’s don’t see in color.  Or is that horses?

While these are popular at any holiday, at our house, they are an inarguable MUST at Christmas.

Over the years, I have taken my mother’s long-time favorite sugar cookie recipe, and perfected the details.  These cookies are soft, never crumbly, and the cream cheese frosting is decadent, creamy, but never too oily.  While the recipe itself is heavenly, it is the process that makes them absolutely perfect.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

And so, it is the process I’ll be discussing today.  Below are your rules for making the perfect soft sugar cookies, the ones your friends will remember for years and years.  (Mine do.)

RULE #1: Follow the recipe exactly.

Those of you who do more cooking than baking may need to be reminded that when baking, you must measure.  You must be precise.  You don’t add flour until it looks about right, you add the exact amount of flour called for.

While normally I respect the choice of anyone to use butter or shortening more or less interchangeably, in this case, I strongly strongly recommend you use the shortening.  My apologies to the Europeans who can’t find the stuff.  Butter melts easier, which means your cookies will spread more, the consistency will change, and they may not turn out as well as hoped.  If you absolutely must use butter, honestly, you might want to scour the interwebs for a recipe that calls for butter.

My very favorite thing about this recipe, the secret ingredient if you will, is the sour cream.  It is the secret to success.  Sour cream makes these cookies so soft and creamy, they are even amazing to eat frozen.

RULE #2:  Chill the dough for 8 hours or more.

If you ever get impatient and think you’re going to chill for only 2-3 hours, you are going to regret it.  This particular recipe needs, NEEDS, the full 8-10 hours of chill time.  Personally, I chill the dough overnight before cutting.

Chilling the dough does two things.  One is that it gives the ingredients time to combine, time to become one, time to taste even more amazing.  The second is that it changes the texture of the dough.  The dough needs to be cold when you roll it out, and cold when it goes in the oven.  This will make the cutting clean and keep the cookies from spreading too far.

Plus, once you see the finished dough, you’ll know there is no way you can roll this dough without chilling it first.

RULE #3:  Roll the dough on a non-stick surface.

I’m hoping this one goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway.

If you are really passionate about preserving the softness of your cookies, you can roll the dough between two layers of wax paper.  However, I normally roll them on a floured countertop.  A WELL floured countertop.  It’s imperative the dough doesn’t stick to your rolling surface, because the cookies will not maintain their shape or thickness otherwise.


RULE #4:  Roll the dough to the correct thickness.

If this post only had one rule, it would be this one.  This is the absolute, total, and complete secret to well-made sugar cookies.  Do not, I repeat, DO NOT roll them too thin!  I find it’s a tendency of most people to roll the dough thinner than it needs to be.  The dough should be thicker than 1/4 inch.  Mine is generally somewhere between 1/4 – 1/2 inch.  Let’s call it 3/8 inch.

If the cookies are too thin, they will be crispy.  The edges will be brown, and have a tendency to break off.  They will lose all of the gorgeous softness that makes these cookies great.

Of course, if they are too thick, they can have different problems, like spreading too much and not being cooked through in the center.

If you are going to take care during just one step of the process, make it this step.  Dough thickness is key.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

RULE #5:  Don’t overwork the dough.

Get as many cookies as you can out of each roll.  You can gather and re-roll the leftover dough pieces, but be aware that the more you do this, the chewier the cookies will be.  The added flour (from the floured countertop) and the added working activates the gluten and turns your cookies into bread.  Which no one wants.  Trust me on this.

Instead of more rolling, I like to use up the little scraps with little cookie cutters like these.  I love these cute little 1-inch cutters!  And instead of frosting a bunch of little cookies, you can make the frosting a little thin (by adding more milk or using less powdered sugar) and just dip the cookies in it.  It’s fun, and kids love it.

Normally, I roll half the dough, and re-roll it once.  Then I start with the second half, and re-roll it once.  What is left from both halves is combined for a third and final roll.  Any dough left after that is eaten raw.  Because this might be the best raw cookie dough in the history of humanity.

RULE #6:  Trust the timer.

This one is actually a little tough, because altitude and some other factors can affect baking time.  I live in Utah, at an altitude of about 4500 feet.  Technically, this is a high altitude environment.  You may have to experiment just a little to get your baking time right.  Mine bake for 10 minutes exactly.  (Unless they’re tiny, then they bake for 8 minutes) Once you’re certain of the baking time, stick with it.

The reason I’m telling you this is that these bake slightly differently than an average cookie.  When I make chocolate chip cookies, I make sure the edges and tops are just ever-so-slighly browned before I take them out of the oven.  But sugar cookies are a different story.  If they get brown, in my opinion, they’re overdone.  There’s really no clear visual cue to when the cookies are done.  Trust your timer, pull them out at the right time, and don’t let them get brown.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

RULE #7:  Make the frosting soft and creamy.

First of all, the cream cheese and butter both need to be soft when you make the frosting.  Plan accordingly.  Maybe when you put the dough in the fridge, it’s a good time to take the cream cheese and butter out, and set the on the countertop to soften.

As much as I love mixing things simply, in a glass bowl with a wooden spoon, to make this frosting smooth, I recommend using beaters.  The small hand held electric beaters work great for this, much better than a spoon could ever do.

You can also adjust the texture of your frosting quite easily by adding more powdered sugar or more milk.  I like the frosting a little on the soft side to match the softness in the cookies.  I find that when I use a piping bag, I tend to use much more frosting than if I just spread it on with a knife, so if you’re planning to pipe the frosting, you may want to double the recipe.

RULE #8:  Store in an airtight container.

Once the cookies cool, you can frost them right away.  If you’re not going to frost them within an hour or so, though, put them in an airtight container, and make sure they are sealed up tight.  Even large plastic zipper bags will do.

After frosting, if you want to use sprinkles, do it quickly.  After you’re done frosting, let the cookies sit out for an hour or so, to let the frosting sit and harden a little.  After that, there are a couple choices.

CHOICE #1: Place the cookies on a baking sheet or tray, in a single layer, (I can fit about 14-15 cookies on a baking sheet) and freeze them.  Once frozen, put them in your airtight box with wax paper between layers.  Then keep the box in the fridge or freezer.  These cookies are fantastic frozen, but if you prefer them at room temperature, take them out of the freezer 60-90 minutes before serving.

CHOICE #2: (The faster choice)  Skip the freezing, and just layer your cookies in your airtight box with wax paper between each layer.  The down side here is that without freezing first, the wax paper will smush the frosting and all the work you did to make them pretty will go to waste.

If you’re going to eat your cookies within a day or two, you can leave them on the countertop with no problems.  If they need to last longer, keep them in the fridge or freezer.

How to Make the Perfect Soft Sugar Cookies from Jen's Favorite Cookies

Is that enough rules?  Honestly, it seems like a lot of rules, but these cookies are sooooo worth it.  They’re just so soft and creamy and wonderful.  I know a lot of people use royal icing or a simple glaze on their cookies (my mom uses a lemon juice and powdered sugar glaze) but there is just nothing that can compare to cream cheese frosting.

I hope you enjoy these cookies, and please feel free to leave questions or comments below.  I will try to answer all questions!

Soft Sugar Cookies
5 from 4 votes

Soft Sugar Cookies

A simple soft sugar cookies with cream cheese frosting.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 dozen
Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies



  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups flour (+ more for rolling)


  • 4 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter softened
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 drops food coloring (optional)


For Cookies:

  1. Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and vanilla and mix well.

  2. Add salt, soda, and baking powder, and mix well. Add flour, and mix just until combined.

  3. Wrap dough tightly in plastic, or place in a plastic zipper bag, and chill 8-10 hours or overnight.

  4. Roll dough to ⅜-inch thickness and cut out shapes. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350F for 10-12 minutes.

For Frosting:

  1. Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth. Frost cooled cookies.

  2. Store in an airtight container between layers of wax paper. Will keep best if refrigerated or frozen.


Pumpkin Roll Bars

Easy Pumpkin Bars;  These bars taste just like a pumpkin roll, but without the rolling!  Try these easy pumpkin bars.

easy-pumpkin-barsI love a good pumpkin roll.

My sister-in-law and I usually make 2 every year for Christmas.  We store them in the freezer, bring them out all frozen and wonderful, cut a few slices, plop a big spoonful of fresh whipped cream on top, and savor slowly.

Then we get another slice.

This is one of my favorite Christmas traditions.

The problem is that pumpkin rolls are not particularly easy to make, and they are certainly not easy to make look good.  The cake always cracks, or the frosting squishes out, or our rolling technique fails us, or some other disaster happens to make our pumpkin rolls really not beautiful.

Tasty still, but not beautiful.

I decided it was time I make life easier on myself.  This year, I’m making my pumpkin roll into bars.  This way, I can still get all the pumpkin-and-cream-cheese goodness without the rolling.


One thing I will say for these bars, they are a touch on the sticky side.  Which isn’t a huge problem for me, because I prefer them frozen anyway. Continue reading “Pumpkin Roll Bars” »

Fruit Pizza

Fresh fruit pizza; This fruit pizza recipe uses a sugar cookie crust, cream cheese, and of course, fresh fruit!  You’ll love this fruit pizza dessert!

fruit-pizzaWe eat a lot of popcorn at our house.  Sometimes I think our dog was born to be part of this family, because he also loves popcorn.


At least, that’s what I thought.  Then, the other day, I dropped some popcorn on the floor before I got it all buttered and salted.  The dog walked over, sniffed it, and walked away.  Turns out, popcorn is just a great delivery system for what he really loves… butter.

Stinkin’ dog.

I guess you have to give everyone what they want, especially on their birthday.  This month, our son The Fruitarian turned 15.  And despite the fact that the dog was really hoping for a cake made from peanut butter, bacon, cheese, and of course, butter, I went a different direction for the birthday boy.

I couldn’t think of anything more fitting for The Fruitarian than this fruit pizza.

Fruit Pizza | Jen's Favorite Cookies

By the way, whose big idea was it to have cake for every single birthday party ever?  Nothing against cake, but I can think of about a dozen things I’d rather have.

I’m just not one of those traditionalists that thinks we have to have cake all the time.  I don’t think there’s a single thing wrong with a birthday brownie, pie, cobbler, krispie treat, or fruit covered cookie.

A fruit covered cookie is basically all this is, anyway.


The base of this fruit pizza is a giant sugar cookie.  You could make your sugar cookie dough from scratch, using my favorite sugar cookie ever, or you could just cheat and use packaged sugar cookie dough.

I’m not going to tell you which one I used.

But it was the packaged stuff.

The only downside to a fruit pizza birthday cake is where to put the candles.  But I think we’ll get over it.

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Key Lime Fruit Dip

Fruit Dip made with key lime yogurt and lime juice; recipe for Cream Cheese Dip with lime juice for fruit and crackers.

key lime dip thumbI know I should feel flattered when my family says, “Wow, this is good!” with surprise in their voices, after trying my latest dessert/snack concoction.

But I don’t.  I feel kind of offended that they would be surprised.

Like, by now you still don’t expect it to be amazing?  I know I’m pretty much just making this stuff up, but still.

This was one of those days.  I whipped up this Key Lime Dip pretty quickly, having never made anything like it before, and I dipped some vanilla wafers in it, and gently forced everyone in the house to try it.

They were pleasantly surprised.  Jerks.

The Fruitarian was, as expected, happiest of all.  There was fresh fruit and sweet fruity dip in the house, and he was allowed to eat it all.  It was like heaven for that kid.

key lime dip tall2a

He then came up with these brilliant ideas:  “We should grow strawberries.  We should have fruit trees, like apples, and peaches, and cherries.  Can we have a banana tree?”

It’s not exactly banana weather here in Utah, but we did end up having quite a discussion about having a vegetable garden this year.  I think the Fruitarian will be the official family gardener this year.

Wish us all luck with that.

key lime dip diptych

This dip came together so fast and easy, even I couldn’t believe it.  It is really delicious, and would be perfect for just about any kind of fruit, cookies, graham crackers, etc.  It did turn out a little thin, but I thought if I added powdered sugar it would be too sweet, so if you don’t mind your dip a little drippy, the flavor is best this way.

Also, it makes a pretty big batch, so don’t be afraid to halve this one.  Or just keep leftovers in the fridge.

Of course, if you have a lot of fruit and fruit dip around, I could just lend you the Fruitarian for a day or so.  That skinny kid will take care of it for you!

key lime dip thumb

Key Lime Fruit Dip

A lime flavored fruit and cracker dip.

Author Jen @ Jen's Favorite Cookies


  • 2 6-ounce containers lime flavored yogurt
  • 8 ounces pineapple flavored whipped cream cheese
  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • zest and juice of one lime


  1. Combine all ingredients, mixing until smooth.

  2. Serve cold with fruit, crackers, or cookies.

Recipe Notes

I used Yoplait brand light key lime yogurt and Philadelphia brand pineapple whipped cream cheese.


Easy Cheesecake {Guest Post}

This easy no bake cheesecake recipe is quick and easy to make, with only 4 ingredients! This is one of the best cheesecake recipes I have found.

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - All you need is 10 minutes, 3 ingredients, and a graham cracker crust!Parenting is such a bear sometimes, isn’t it?  I mean, you just never know what kind of problem you’ll be dealing with until it slaps you in the face.

Then, just as soon as you start getting the hang of how to deal with some of these common issues, the kids up and grow, and bring you a whole new batch of issues.  And here I am, pining away for the diaper days.

I remember when my son was 4 years old, and one of our “big” issues was his proclivity for nudity, which always came in unexpected moments.  I would leave him for 5 minutes, and come back to find him naked.  I solved this problem by having a quick and quiet little chat about how great nudity is, and how it’s only appropriate in certain places, namely the bathroom and the bedroom.  With the door closed.

I then game him a little alone time in his bedroom, and he decided to stay naked for over THREE HOURS.

The payoff was well worth the investment.

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - All you need is 10 minutes, 3 ingredients, and a graham cracker crust!

Having teenagers is far more complicated.  Now we’re getting them prepared for driving (yikes!) and dealing with teachers and grades, and working on financial responsibility, and self-discipline around video games, just to name a few.  Every day is a new challenge, and one I frequently feel unprepared for.

I hate feeling unprepared.  I much prefer to plan ahead.

Easy No-Bake Cheesecake from JensFavoriteCookies.com - All you need is 10 minutes, 3 ingredients, and a graham cracker crust!

I learned a lesson from this cheesecake.  If I keep a few items on hand, I can always have a quick and easy dessert, no matter how unprepared I feel.  Having just a little foresight can save you a ton of worry and stress.

I try to keep just THREE ingredients plus a graham cracker crust on hand, and I can literally mix this up and have it ready to eat in 15 minutes.

Because when you are using every bit of your energy and emotion to get your kids through high school Biology, a no-fuss dessert is a Godsend.

And speaking of parenting, I’m guest posting on Parent Palace today!  I’ve posted the recipe here and also on their site, so feel free to click over there and check out what they have going!

chocolate cake recipe9 Minute Cake trifleChocolate Cherry Trifle SweetsCream Cheese Mints


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Cream Cheese Mints

Sweets recipes, this recipe for Cream Cheese Mints is both simple and delicious.

SweetsThis batch of cream cheese mints caused me to exercise a vast amount of self control.

Vast, people.

And I did okay at exercising all this self control.  Not amazing, but okay.

In other words, I only ate half the batch by myself before I shared with anyone.

These little mints are not unlike the Butter Mints over at Averie Cooks, or these Cream Cheese Mints from Kelley Highway.  I’ve been drooling over both of these little confections for weeks.

I was self-controlling right and left so I could share these little goodies with my friends, who were obviously impressed.

I might be reading too much into their compliments and snacking.

But I don’t think so.

Cream Cheese Mints

Here’s the thing.  Once you mix these up, and form them into whatever shape you’re going to use, you have to lay them out on a tray and let them dry for a long time, overnight at least, but preferably 24-36 hours.

I had this really great idea to put them in a container, so I would Stop. Eating. Them., but, of course, I couldn’t do that.  Because the texture is ever so much better with a few more hours of drying.

Just a few more hours.

sweetscream cheese mints

I’m really not quite as pathetic as I’m making it sound here.  But the mints are really that fantastic.  My kids were distraught that I shared them all with my friends instead of with them.  I tried to explain to them that they get the benefit of my weekly cookie and dessert making, and the friends ought to have a turn once in a while.

But next time, I’m making a double batch.

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Stuffed Mushroom Cups

Stuffed mushrooms are one of my favorite appetizers.  Since I kind of love appetizer recipes, I decided to remake this old classic with a new twist.

stuffed mushroomsI can’t remember where I learned to make stuffed mushrooms, if that tells you how long I’ve been making them.  I have a vague sense that this tradition began when I was in college.

At least, I remember being kind of mean and nasty to my college friends, and making them eat the stuffed mushrooms, even if they were mushroom-averse.

I’m nicer than that now, just so we’re clear.  And if any of my mushroom-phobic college friends are reading this, I’m sorry.

These days, if you don’t like the stuffed mushrooms, it just means there’s more for me.  And now whenever I make them, people get really happy and excited about it.  They never last long.

By the way, what is the story with people disliking mushrooms, anyway?  I used to kind of understand this, but the older I get, the less I understand it.  Mushrooms are SO amazing.

stuffed mushrooms

I remember my junior high French teacher, when we were learning fruits and vegetables vocabulary, telling us quite animatedly about her love of mushrooms.  “J’aime les champignons!!,” she said.

I did think it was a little weird to love mushrooms as much as she claimed.  Now I dream of Stroganoff with fresh mushrooms, and garlic sauteed mushrooms on my steak, and mushroom bisque with crusty bread for lunch.

Madame Baigue was totally right.

appetizer recipes

I don’t have that many occasions to make appetizers, to tell you the truth.  I wish I did, because they are so fun to eat.  When I had some friends over this week, and needed some appetizers, I wanted to fall back on my old standby.

However, I had these cute-as-heck fillo cups in my pantry, and these babies were calling my name.  Now I had a decision to make.

Stuffed Mushrooms?…  Fillo cups?…  Stuffed Mushrooms?…  Fillo cups?…

And the answer is: Both.  Obviously.

appetizer recipes

Normally, I fill the mushrooms with sausage and cream cheese.  To make them suitable for fillo cup filling, I added some finely diced shrooms.  You could throw in a little onion if you wanted, too.

Another nice thing about this appetizer recipe is that you can make it a few hours ahead of time, and pop it in the oven right before everyone comes to the door.  Then they walk in to the lovely aroma of sausage and mushrooms, and see you pulling them out of the oven, all ready to eat, like you’re Holly Homemaker or something.

They’ll never know how totally easy that was to do.

They don’t need to know.

P.S.  These fillo cups are not always easy to find.  I did find them at my local grocery store, but when I went back for more, they were nowhere to be found.  It might take a little hunting to come up with them.  Or you could just grab them from Amazon.
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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake

birthday cakeWith cake.  I mean, that’s how everyone celebrates birthdays and anniversaries, isn’t it?

The Hippie Chick said to me, “It’s your blog-iversary?  It’s been one year?”

No.  It’s been three years.  Three amazing years.

Scratch that.  It’s been two boring, hobby-ish, I’ll-do-it-when-I-feel-like-it years, and one stunning, indescribably mind-blowing, crazy exciting year.

Shall I demonstrate?
Three years ago:  Giant Ginger Cookies
Two years ago: Chocolate Waffle Iron Cookies
One year ago: Cranberry Orange Chocolate Chip Muffins

I probably shouldn’t even link to that old stuff, it’s so embarrassingly bad.

Oatmeal chocolate cake

But since this last year has been so much fun, I figured it was only fitting to celebrate with my favorite cake of all time.  And let me tell you, it takes a lot to eclipse the wonders of Red Velvet Cake.

When my Mom found this recipe several years ago, it became an instant classic in our family.  We eat this for about half of the years birthday celebrations.

Maybe more.

chocolate oat cake recipe

My kids were obviously thrilled that I baked this cake for no apparent reason at all.  I told them they could have a piece, and they rewarded me by turning the cake into dog bait.  That’s code for they left the cake on the table and the dog jumped up and licked the frosting off.

I’m not sure whether to be more angry at the kids or the dog.

Here’s to more years of growth, and friendships, and baked goods with chocolate chips. Continue reading “Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake” »

Eggnog Bars

eggnog cheesecakeIt’s a winter wonderland here today.

Two days ago, it was 65 degrees and sunny, then the wind started blowing (hard!) and it began snowing.  It snowed for a day and a half, solid.

I am neither joking nor exaggerating when I tell you that this weather is completely normal for Utah.  I’m pretty sure Utah is bi-polar.  Can we get the state of Utah some prescription drugs, people?  Please?

I will tell you that when I look out the window and watch it snow and snow, I really feel like baking.  I want to reach for molasses and butter and cinnamon and cream.

And Diet Coke.  Just being honest, here.

eggnog bars

I bought my first jug of eggnog today, too.  Robb really prefers the thinner, homemade variety, but alas, my blender is broken.  And, let’s just say, the next blender I’m planning to own is the type you save up for.   Continue reading “Eggnog Bars” »