Happiness Project Recipe #27: Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cheesecake Cups!

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With only 3 weeks to go before I hit 40 weeks in my pregnancy, I have this unexplainable feeling that next week might be THE week! Within this past week, I’ve been a bundle of nervous, anxious, excited energy & this unexpected onslaught of emotions has left me feeling a bit off balance. All of a sudden, something akin to fear hits me. All predominately based on very normal parenting uncertainties. Will I be a good Mother? Do I have what it takes to be everything that my little girl truly needs? Fortunately, I’m sensible enough to know that most first time, new moms feel like this, to various degrees. That’s simply how life is when embarking on a mementos new adventure. The most important adventure a person can possible begin: that of becoming a parent. So in lieu of all of my jumpy emotions, I wanted to squeeze in one more recipe before what I suspect might be THE big week. And since one of my very first pregnancy cravings was for a classic vanilla bean cheesecake, I decided to end (temporarily) on a similar note. With cheesecake, in my favorite dessert form: a cupcake. Although I had originally planned on using mini chocolate chips within the recipe, I ended up settling for standard sized chocolate chips instead, after discovering a sadly diminished lack of mini chocolate chips in my baking cabinet (tis a sad day, indeed). Overall, using a standard sized chocolate chip certainly did not take anything away from the desired taste. If anything it packed an even heftier punch of chocolate, which isn’t actually a bad thing, right? So here it is…

Crust:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons brown sugar

pinch of kosher salt

3 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Cheesecake:

8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened at room temperature

2 tablespoons sour cream

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line 12 cupcake tins with paper baking liners.

In bowl #1, mix together the graham cracker crumbs with the brown sugar and salt until well combined. Pour in the melted butter and mix with your fingers until evenly coated and crumbly.

In a 2nd large bowl, on a stand mixer, cream together the cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl to prevent any lumps in the batter from forming. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract until well combined. Set aside.

In your cupcake pan, scoop up about 1-1/2 tablespoons of the graham cracker crust into each paper liner, pressing the crumbs down into a nice, even layer. Now, evenly divide the cheesecake batter between the cupcake liners, pouring the batter over the graham cracker bottom, filling each liner nearly to the brim. Sprinkle however many mini chocolate chips over the top of the cheesecake batter as you desire.

Bake for 18-21 minutes until the tops are nearly completely firm to the touch. Remove the cupcake pan from the oven and cool on a wire rack for about an hour before popping them into the refrigerator for another 2 hours to let them set up correctly. When not serving immediately, store in a airtight container in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Happiness Project Recipe #26: Funfetti Birthday Cookies!

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Oh birthdays! For the most part, I’m usually quite apathetic towards birthdays. To me, age is just a number, nothing more, nothing less. I don’t live my life by my age, I live my life by my heart, as corny or sappy as that may sound. So whenever February comes around, turning one year older doesn’t usually inspire an overwhelming need for any unnecessary personal validation. However, there is one thing that I truly love about birthdays. Dessert. Be it in the form of a cake, cookie or cupcake, I MUST have my birthday dessert. Nothing else matters more to me than that one, sugary, bite-full of yummy, blissful sweetness. Seriously, nothing. So to celebrate turning 35, I decided that pudding and sprinkles was exactly what I needed most. And since lately the cookie monster within me has been consuming nearly everything in sight, funfetti cookies seemed perfect for the occasion. And what a fun and easy recipe this is!

3/4 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 (3/4 oz) package instant vanilla pudding mix

3/4 cup yellow cake mix, dry

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

2-1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Handful of sprinkles

Preheat your oven to 350F.

In a medium sized bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

On a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy.

Add in the cake mix and package of dry, vanilla pudding until well blended.

Add in the eggs and vanilla and mix well.

Slowly add in the flour mixture, scraping down the sides of the mixing bowl to eliminate any lumps from forming in the batter.

Mix in that handful (or two) of sprinkles.

Using either a cookie scoop or rolling by hand, drop 1-1/2 inch dough balls onto a sprayed or Silpat lined baking sheet.

Bake for 10-12 minutes before removing from the oven and cooling on a wire rack.

See? Very quick, easy recipe! Kid friendly too *wink*

 

 

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