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Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 2

Holy. Cow.  These chocolate cheesecake bars are incredible.

My go-to dessert lately has been cookies.  I’ve made SO MANY cookies lately that I quit taking pictures of them to post on here because I didn’t want to bore you all.

As I was visiting my parents this weekend, I looked in their cabinets to see what they had.  I like to play a little “game” where I pick an ingredient, then Google “{Insert ingredient here} dessert recipes.”  So, after I spotted some evaporated milk in the cabinet, I Googled “Evaporated Milk desserts,” ignored all of the fudge recipes, and stumbled upon these delicious little bars.

I am all about pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving, but I would totally forego the pie for these bars.  That’s how good they are.  They’re very decadent and you’ll probably need some milk to go with them. Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 4

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from: Very Best Baking



  • 1/2 cup finely chopped nuts
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, (1/2 a stick) melted
  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips


    1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease 8×8 inch baking pan.
    2. Combine flour, nuts, brown sugar and butter in medium bowl; reserve 1/2 cup mixture for topping. Press remaining mixture onto bottom of prepared baking pan.
    3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or just until light golden brown.
    4. Make the filling:  beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Beat in eggs. Gradually beat in evaporated milk.
    5. Microwave 1 cup of the chocolate chips in medium, uncovered, microwave-safe bowl for 1 minute; stir. If necessary, microwave at additional 10 to 15-second intervals, stirring just until chocolate chips are melted. Beat into cream cheese mixture. Gently stir in the remaining 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips.
    6. Pour over hot crust. Sprinkle with reserved topping mixture.
    7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until center is set. Cool in pan to room temperature. Refrigerate for about 1 hour, then serve.

Chocolate Cheesecake Bars 3

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies

Happy National Dessert Day!

I made some pretty delicious Pumpkin Gingersnap Blondies…. but, then I forgot to take pictures of them.  So, here are some awesome pumpkin spice cookies instead! 

I’m obsessed with Target’s seasonal candy.  They always have all the good stuff.  I actually never end up really loving any of the candy, but they make for great desserts!  These Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses aren’t great on their own, but they are wonderful in these cookies!

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Cookies



½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
½ cup packed brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 ½ cups All-Purpose Flour
1 packet (4.2 oz) Pumpkin Spice Pudding
24 Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses

½ cup chocolate chips
¼ tablespoons milk or heavy cream


1. Preheat oven to 375.
2. Place the very soft butter in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the sugars, salt, vanilla, and stir well. Add the egg and stir until well blended.
3. Add the baking soda, flour, and Pumpkin Spice pudding, mixing until blended.
4. Scoop rounded tablespoons of dough onto light-colored baking sheets. Flatten into disks, using gentle pressure from your fingers.
5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned; the tops shouldn’t brown, they should still be slightly gooey.
6. Remove the cookies from the oven. Press the Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses into each cookie while the cookies are still warm. Slide the cookies onto a rack to cool completely.
7. Make the glaze by warming the milk until it starts to bubble; either by stove or by microwave.  Add the chocolate chips until they are melted. Mix together until the consistency is smooth.  Drizzle over cookies. Let cool and eat!

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

I received the most amazing pumpkin kit from Sprouts Farmer’s Market.  To see what all was in it, check out my Instagram (whatkatiesbaking).  

One of the the items included was canned Organic Pumpkin. 

The options for pumpkin puree are pretty limitless.  When I grabbed this can of pumpkin to make something with, it was a crisp, chilly evening and I was craving something warm, salty, spicy and comforting. I think the most comforting food on a fall-like evening is soup.  Not thin, watery soup, but thick, hearty soup.  So, I found a recipe for spicy pumpkin soup.

Oh. My. Gosh. This soup is amazing and incredibly easy to make.  It’s perfect for cozy fall nights or Sunday football parties.  I highly recommend it!

Spicy Pumpkin Soup
Recipe from: All Recipes


2 ½ cups vegetable or chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) Sprouts Organic Pumpkin (canned) 
½ an onion, cut into small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced or 1 tsp garlic salt
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
½ cup heavy cream (or whole milk)


1. Heat chicken broth, pumpkin puree, onion, garlic, and Cajun seasoning to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
2. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.
3. Stir in heavy cream before serving.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Happy September!  It’s still so hot out, but I can’t hold off any longer on the pumpkin recipes.

I love the fall season. Pretty sure there’s nothing better than fall colors and decorations, the smell of crisp air, comfy sweaters/scarves/socks, changing leaves, autumn scented candles, and pumpkin everything.

I’m very excited because I’ve got a pumpkin basket coming in the mail!  I’ll be recipe testing soon.  :)

Pumpkin Banana Bread
Recipe from: Skinny Taste


  • 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
  • ½ cup pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, unpacked
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with baking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, pumpkin spice and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, egg, bananas, pumpkin and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of the bowl.
  4. Add flour mixture and nuts (if using), then blend at low speed until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake on the center rack for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  6. Let the pan cool at least 20 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.
  7. Spread with pumpkin cream cheese.  Enjoy.

Blackberry Crisp

I can’t wait to start bombarding you all with fall recipes, but I thought I’d give a few more summer recipes before that.  I’m trying really hard to hold off on everything fall related, but it’s been hard with the cooler weather and school starting.  Plus, Bath & Bodyworks just got its fall collection in and I’m a huge sucker for candles.  

Anyway, summer recipe: blackberry crisp.  I loove crisps.  They’re my favorite…and this one is basically healthy enough to eat for breakfast. I mean, I wouldn’t do it every day, but I also wouldn’t judge you if you did. ;)

Healthy Blackberry Crisp
Recipe from: In it for the Long Run 


3 ½ cups blackberries
¼ cup cane sugar
1 cup old fashioned oats
¼ cup melted coconut oil
¼ cup honey
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a medium sized bowl, mix together berries and sugar.  
2.  In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, coconut oil, and honey until combined.  Mix half of this mixture in with the berries.  
3.  Lightly grease a 9×5 inch pan with oil.  Place the berry mixture in the greased pan and sprinkle the remaining oat mixture on top.
4.  Bake for 45 minutes.  Then let cool and serve with ice cream!

Back-to-School Breakfast Burrito

Who has time to make a super tedious breakfast when you’re rushing out the door?  Nobody.  But, who still wants a healthy, delicious breakfast?  Me!  It’s possible!  

Whether your time is limited because you’re trying to get your kids ready for school or because you have to get to work on time or both, this breakfast is for you.  It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s healthy!  What more could you ask for? :) You might even laugh at me for posting the recipe because it’s that easy.  

What’s your go-to quick breakfast?

Breakfast Burrito
Serves: 1


1 (or 2, depending on how hungry you are) egg
1 oz. shredded cheese 
½ an avocado, smashed
1 tomato, cut into slices
1 tortilla
salt, pepper, and garlic to taste


1.  Melt a small amount of butter in a skillet on the stove on medium-high heat.  Scramble the egg and cheese together in the skillet.
2.  Place the egg mixture on a plate and place the tortilla in the skillet.  
3.  Layer the avocado, spices, sliced tomato, and egg on top of the tortilla.
4.  Roll the tortilla into a burrito and allow the outside to get golden brown.  Enjoy!

Healthy No-Bake Cookies

I love no-bake cookies, but, they’re not exactly healthy…duh.  But, the ingredients are so easy to substitute with healthy ones, I’m not sure why I’ve never done it before!

These turned out really well, I just suggest keeping them in the refrigerator so they stay hard.  The coconut oil softens at room temperature.  I also suggest eating these with milk. ;)

Healthy No-Bake Cookies


1 cup oats
¼ cup coconut oil
½ cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon Stevia


1.  Mix together coconut oil and peanut butter in a pot on the stove at medium-high heat.  Once melted, add in the remaining ingredients and mix until thoroughly combined.
2.  Place heaping tablespoons on a plate and refrigerate.  Once they’ve hardened, eat them! :)

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a cookie recipe!  

Have you tried Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Frappuccino?  I loooove them. If you haven’t tried one, now is the perfect time since it’s finally starting to get hot out.  It’s been such a mild summer and I’m not complaining (I pay the air bill at our house).  Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to transform their drink into a cookie.

If you love sweet and salty combinations, you’ll definitely love these cookies.  I suggest freezing the caramels first and really oiling your parchment paper/silpat/pan before baking.  The caramel gets stuck to the pan easily.

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter, very soft
1 cup (7 ½ ounces) packed brown sugar
¾ cup (5 ¼ ounces) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1 large egg
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ¾ cups (11 5/8 ounces) All-Purpose Flour
1 ½ cups (9 ounces) chocolate chips
1 ½ cups chopped caramels
sea salt

1. Place the very soft butter in a medium-large mixing bowl. Add the sugars, salt, vanilla, and stir well.
2. Add the egg and stir until well blended.
3. Add the baking soda and flour, mixing until blended.
4. Stir in the chocolate chips and caramels.
5. Scoop rounded teaspoons of dough onto light-colored baking sheets (the light color will prevent the caramel from burning).
6. Flatten into disks, using gentle pressure from your fingers.  You can also flatten with the bottom of a cup or something.  
7. Sprinkle a little pinch of sea salt on each of the cookies.
8. Bake the cookies in a preheated 375°F oven for 10-12 minutes, until the bottoms and edges are lightly browned; the tops shouldn’t brown, they should still be slightly gooey.
9. Remove the cookies from the oven, let them rest on the pan for 5 minutes, then slide them onto a rack to cool completely.  

Red, White and Blue(ish) Kettle Corn

It was just like an episode of Chopped in my kitchen today.  I wanted to make something for the 4th of July, but coming up with creative red, white and blue desserts isn’t as easy as it sounds.  

I thought, “Okay, what can I make without going to the store?” because I’m lazy.  The only red and blue edible things in my house right now are food coloring (which is questionably edible) and blueberries.  I went with food coloring. I ended up making 3 pots of kettle corn, each a different color… pink, green and tan.  Good enough.

Red, White and Blue Kettle Corn
Recipe from: AllRecipes

6 tablespoons butter (divided into 3, 2-tablespoon segments)
6 tablespoons (¼ + 1/8 cup) sugar
¾ cup popcorn kernels
food coloring

1.  Place 3 pots on 3 burners on the stove (or you can do this one color at a time).   Place 2 tablespoons of butter in each pot and heat the butter in the pots over medium heat. Once hot, stir in the sugar and popcorn.
2. In one pot, place a couple of drops red food coloring, in another, a couple drops blue food coloring, and leave the other pot alone.
3. Cover, and shake the pot constantly to keep the sugar from burning. Once the popping has slowed to once every 2 to 3 seconds, remove the pot from the heat immediately and continue to shake for a few minutes until the popping has stopped. Pour popcorn from all 3 pots into a large bowl, and allow to cool, stirring occasionally to break up large clumps. Garnish with M&Ms.

Crumble Topped Brownies

I’ve been infatuated with crumble topping since I started baking.  You can’t beat sugar, butter, flour, and salt.  That’s all a crumble is, but it’s baked and turns a little crunchy.  

It turns out, you can top anything with it.  I thought it was exclusively for pies and muffins, but that’s just limited thinking.  I added cocoa powder (yeah, chocolate crumble!!) and put it on top of these brownies and created my new favorite brownie.  Ooey and gooey is no longer good enough for me; I need the crunch on top now, too.  

If you’re a fan of amazing chocolatey flavor and varying textures in a dessert, you’ll love these.

Crumble Topped Brownies
These fabulous brownies are from Life Made Simple Bakes


Crumble Topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
8 tbsp butter, cubed and very cold


½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ cup sugar
11 tbsp butter
2 eggs, cold
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extra
½ cup chocolate chips


For the crumble:
1.  Place all of the crumble topping ingredients in a bowl and combine with hands or a fork until the mixture resembles sand.  Place in the fridge until ready to use.

For the brownies:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a 9×13 inch pan or line it with parchment. Set aside.
3. In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and sugar. Heat until melted.
4. Remove, stir, and cool on the counter for 5 minutes, then stir in the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the warm butter/sugar mixture. With mixing speed on low add one egg at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add dry ingredients to wet.
7. Mix until no flour pockets remain, but don’t overmix.
8. Remove bowl from stand and fold in the chocolate chips.Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.
9. Evenly sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
10. Place in the oven and bake for 24-25 minutes or until you can place a toothpick in the middle of the brownies and it comes out clean.
11. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before cutting and serving.