Category Archives: oreo

Cookies & Cream Blondies

Cookies & Cream Blondies

We all know cookies & cream as an ice cream flavor, but have you ever tried it in blondies? You should—it’s outrageously good. Like, I love a good Basic Blondie in all it’s butterscotch glory, but I think I might be a Cookies & Cream Blondie person now.

Cookies & Cream Blondies

These chewy, vanilla-scented squares are filled with big chunks of Oreo, along with some white chocolate chips for good measure. And when I say “filled,” I do mean filled—there might be more mix-ins than batter!

The batch comes together in one bowl, bakes up in half an hour, and slices like a dream once cooled. You’ll notice that the base for these blondies is lighter in color than the usual brown sugar batter. That’s because I only used granulated sugar in this recipe—because of their lighter color and flavor, I think of these as “platinum” blondies. This flavor profile is more in line with traditional cookies & cream, but feel free to swap the base for the brown sugary original, if that’s more your style.

Cookies & Cream Blondies

I cannot overstate how delicious these are. The blondie batter is basically only there to hold the ample amount of Oreos and white chocolate together, so every bite is filled with cookies & cream! There are so many textures here: soft blondie, crispy cookie, smooth white chocolate—these are proof positive that you can have it all. Or at least you can when it comes to dessert.

Cookies & Cream Blondies
Cookies & Cream Blondies
makes one 8- or 9-inch pan, about 16 bars

1/2 cup (1 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
16 Oreos (or other chocolate sandwich cookies), sliced into quarters + more for topping
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8- or 9-inch square pan and line with parchment, leaving overhang for bar-removal. Set aside.

Make the blondie base. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and vanilla, followed by flour and salt. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold in Oreos and white chocolate chips.

Spread the blondie batter in prepared pan. Top within more Oreos, if desired. Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (no raw batter). Let blondies cool in the pan on a rack until they reach room temperature.

Run a small, thin knife around the edge of the pan, then use parchment to lift them onto a cutting board. Discard parchment. Slice blondies with a large, sharp chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Serve.

Blondies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Cookies & Cream Blondies
Cookies & Cream Blondies

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

It is far too hot to bake today, but that’s okay because Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake requires no baking at all.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

We’re talking all the rich, creamy, irresistible texture of a classic cheesecake with none of the dairy and exactly zero reasons to crank your oven. Oh, and more deep dark chocolate-hazelnut flavor than you can shake a stick at. (What does that even mean?)

This take on vegan cheesecake is made with toasted hazelnuts for flavor and raw cashews for creamy texture. They’re soaked together overnight for maximum tenderness, then combined in a blender with coconut cream, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, salt, and—oh yeah—half a pound of melted dark chocolate. Put on the lid and then blitz-blitz-blitz until smooth.

This is the part where I get on my soapbox:

Please get yourself a good blender. You deserve a good blender. Good doesn’t necessarily mean expensive—it means a blender that actually blends things until smooth. Whether that’s a fifty year-old Oster (my parents’ amazing blender) or a Vitamix, a solid blender is crucial to vegan cheesecake success, and a million other things. I have a Ninja that I bought for $100 five years ago and it rules. Get a good blender!!!

*steps off soapbox*

Ahem…the batter is then poured over an Oreo crust—yes, Oreos are vegan!—and chilled until firm. Then it’s released from the springform and finished off with some Homemade Chocolate Shell and easy candied hazelnuts before being sliced and served. You can use a plate and fork if you’re fancy (or taking pictures) or just eat ice cold slices with your fingers like a wild animal, as I did.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

I’m pretty sure that’s what hot girl summer is all about.

Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake 
makes one 9-inch cheesecake

Filling:
1 cup whole raw hazelnuts
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 14-ounce can coconut cream (not cream of coconut)
4 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
6 tablespoons coconut oil (preferably refined), melted and cooled
8 ounces dark chocolate, melted

Crust:
24 Oreos (or other chocolate sandwich cookies)
5 tablespoons coconut oil or melted vegan butter

Candied Hazelnut Garnish:
1/3 cup whole raw hazelnuts
3 teaspoons granulated sugar
Homemade Chocolate Shell

The night before you want to make the cheesecake, toast and peel the hazelnuts. Place hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium heat. Stir frequently until fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Immediately transfer hazelnuts to a clean, dry hand towel. Fold towel around the hazelnuts and then rub the towel with the palm of your hand. This will allow the hazelnut skins to loosen. This step does not have to be done perfectly.

Place peeled hazelnuts in a 3-4 cup container that has a lid. Add cashews. Cover with water. Refrigerate for 4-12 hours.

Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan with coconut oil.

Make the crust. Place Oreos in a high-powered blender and blitz until they are crumbs. Add coconut oil or melted vegan butter, and pulse until the mixture can be pinched together. Transfer crust mixture to prepared pan, and press it to the edges to form an even layer. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.

Very carefully wipe it out the blender with a paper towel.

Make the filling. Drain soaked hazelnuts and cashews and place them in the blender. Add half of the coconut cream (~2/3 cup), maple syrup, vanilla, and salt. Process until the mixture is smooth. Add remaining coconut cream & coconut oil, followed by melted chocolate. Continue processing until everything is fully combined and smooth.

Pour filling mixture over crust and smooth with an offset spatula. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours (or freeze for 1 hour).

Make the candied hazelnut garnish. Line a plate with parchment and set aside. Place hazelnuts in a dry skillet over medium-low heat. Toast for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, until fragrant and shiny. Add sugar by the teaspoon, stirring until it dissolves (it may smoke up a bit). When all sugar has dissolved, remove hazelnuts to prepared plate. Let cool completely. Place on a cutting board and give them a rough chop with a large, sharp chef’s knife.

Run a thin, flexible knife around the edge of the pan. Release the cheesecake from the springform pan, and allow it to sit at room temperature for 10 minutes. Drizzle with chocolate shell, then immediately scatter on the candied hazelnuts. Slice with a large, sharp chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Serve.

Leftovers will keep covered in the refrigerator for a few days. Filling may slump slightly in very hot weather.
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake
Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cheesecake

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie​

If you can’t tell, I am all about baking with berries right now. Or no-baking with them, in this case.

That’s right! This lush pink strawberry pie is a completely oven-free operation. It’s cold and creamy with huge strawberry flavor, and just enough chocolate to please anyone who says they don’t like fruit desserts. This is a recipe you’ll be delighted to have in the warmer months. Anything to keep the oven off, right?

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie​

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie starts with an Oreo crumb crust filled with dark chocolate ganache AKA a “black bottom.” Fresh strawberries are pressed into the chocolate for flavor an texture, though you can skip this particular adornment if you need to make the pie more than a day in advance.

Next up is the titular strawberry cream. I’m sure there are plenty of ways to do this by reducing fresh strawberries, but I took the easy way out and opted for freeze-dried. They’re my go-to for strawberry-flavored desserts; they’re always excellent quality, and I love that they can be crushed and added to anything for a hefty hit of fresh berry flavor. Here, they’re pulverized and mixed with cream cheese, confectioner’s sugar and vanilla before being lightened with fresh whipped cream. In addition to providing the flavor in the filling, the freeze-dried berries also give our pie the most vibrant pink color! I just love it.

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie​

As with many no-bake pies, this one needs a chill to set up properly. I prefer to plan ahead and chill overnight, but you can get away with three hours if you’re in a bind. Once the chill time is up, spoon or pipe whipped cream over the top and finish with fresh strawberries. ‘Tis the season after all.

No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie​
No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie
makes one 9-inch pie

Oreo Crust:
24 Oreos
5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Ganache Layer:
4 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup heavy cream
~8 ounces (1/2 box) fresh strawberries, trimmed & quartered

Filling:
2 1.2 ounce packages freeze dried strawberries
1 1/3 cup heavy cream, very cold
8 ounces (1 brick) full-fat brick-style cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream, very cold
2-3 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5-6 fresh strawberries, thinly sliced

Place Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they are crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until the mixture can be pinched together. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to set.

Make the ganache. Combine chopped chocolate and heavy cream in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 15 second increments, stirring in between, until a smooth even ganache forms (about 45 seconds total). Pour it into the crust and use the back of a spoon to carefully spread it into an even layer on the bottom. Top with quartered fresh strawberries. Refrigerate crust and ganache while you prepare the filling. If making the pie more than a day in advance, skip adding the fresh strawberries. They may lose their freshness over a long period.

Place freeze dried strawberries in a food processor and process until they are powder, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Do not overwhip. Set aside.

In a separate large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat strawberry powder, cream cheese, and confectioner’s sugar until combined and fluffy. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to stir in 1/3 of the whipped cream. Working in 2 installments, carefully fold in remaining whipped cream until combined. Transfer to chilled pie crust and use a silicone spatula to spread to the edges. Press plastic wrap to the top. Chill for 3 hours or overnight.

Make whipped cream topping. In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla. Use an electric mixer to whip cream until stiff peaks form. If you want to pipe, load it into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Remove pie from the refrigerator and discard plastic wrap. Spoon or pie whipped cream over the top. Finish with sliced fresh strawberries.

Slice and serve. Leftover pie will keep covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie​
No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie​
No-Bake Strawberry Cream Pie​

Grapefruit Pie with Oreo Crust

Grapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustLast Pi Day (March 14th aka 3.14 aka π), I posted a recipe for Pecan Pie Kolaches that was mostly just me saying “What is happening? What is happening? Here’s a recipe, I guess,” and trying not to have a full-scale meltdown while the world closed up. Needless to say, this year’s post is a little less dramatic.

Except for the pie. It’s bringing all the drama in the best possible way. The colors, the textures, the slightly unusual flavor combination–it’s everything I want these days.Grapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustGrapefruit Pie with Oreo Crust is out of this world delicious and a stunner to boot. Crumbly Oreo crust is filled with a soft and tangy Grapefruit filling and finished with whipped cream, chocolate curls and thin strips of grapefruit zest.Grapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustIf you think I’ve lost my mind combining grapefruit and chocolate, know that I would have turned my nose up at this just a few years ago. However, after trying key lime and chocolate together, I am sold. The tang of citrus and the bitterness of chocolate are a perfect pairing. Try it—you’ll love it.Grapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustThis pie is pretty simple to make, but as with most simple things, it does require some preparation. The filling is a play on my Lemon Meringue Pie, wherein the structure mostly comes from egg yolks and cornstarch. It’s a lot like making homemade pudding, which is really no big deal.

Cornstarch, sugar, salt and water are whisked together over medium heat until thick. This mixture is used to temper (warm) the egg yolks, before it’s all simmered with a grapefruit reduction and a hint of lemon juice. Whisk in a little butter, pour it through a sieve and voila! Grapefruit pie filling.

(I think I may have accidentally made it sound complicated by laying the method out like that, but I promise you it’s simple and comes together quickly.)Grapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustOnce the filling and crust are prepared, it’s just a matter of pouring one into the other and letting them get nice and cold together. This cannot be rushed, so plan ahead. Grapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustGrapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustWhen Grapefruit Pie with Oreo Crust is completely chilled, it will still be a little on the jiggly side, like a citrus curd with a little more body. After you add a flourish of whipped cream and the garnishes of your choosing, you’ll be treated to a tart, sweet, creamy, crumbly confluence of goodness. The cream offsets the tanginess of the filling, and the buttery chocolate crumb crust rounds it all out. This pie is rich and refreshing–the perfect way to start what will hopefully be a much simpler twelve months for us all.

Happy Pi Day, y’all. Grapefruit Pie with Oreo Crust

Grapefruit Pie with Oreo Crust
makes one 9-inch pie

Oreo Crust:
24 Oreos
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Grapefruit Filling:
2 cups fresh grapefruit juice (from about 3 medium-large grapefruits)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 1/3 cup water
5 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon fresh grapefruit zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 drop red liquid food coloring (optional)

Whipped Cream & Garnish:
1 cup heavy cream, very cold
4 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
grapefruit zest (strips or grated)
chocolate curls

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate.

Make the crust. Place Oreos in the bowl of a food processor and blitz until they are crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse until the mixture can be pinched together. Press it into the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate (I find that a 1/4 cup measuring cup helps with this). Bake the crust for 10 minutes and then let it cool while you make the filling.

Pour grapefruit juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 10-12 minutes). Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.

In a small mixing bowl, use a fork to beat egg yolks. Set aside.

In a large saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Whisk in water. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture reaches a simmer and thickens. Turn heat to low.

Whisking constantly, pour 1/3 cup of the mixture into the bowl of egg yolks until fully combined. Whisking constantly, add egg yolk mixture back to the pan. Return heat to medium. Stir in grapefruit zest, followed by grapefruit reduction and lemon juice. Continue whisking until the mixture has boiled for 1 full minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in butter, vanilla and optional red food coloring. Push filling through a sieve to remove solids.

Pour filling into crust. Gently tap the pan on the counter a few times to help air bubbles disperse. Pop any surface bubbles with a toothpick as needed. Let pie cool to room temperature, then chill for at least 4 hours. Filling will be set, but jiggly, when ready.

Just before serving, make whipped cream. Combine heavy cream and confectioner’s sugar in a large mixing bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip the mixture on low for 30 seconds before whipping on high for 1-2 minutes, or until stiff peaks form.

Load whipped cream into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe as desired over the top of the pie. Garnish with grapefruit zest strips and/or chocolate curls, if desired.

Slice pie with a large, sharp chef’s knife, wiping it clean between cuts. Serve immediately.

Pie is best upon assembly, but leftovers may be kept in the refrigerator for a day. The filling may weep a tiny bit over time.

Grapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustGrapefruit Pie with Oreo CrustGrapefruit Pie with Oreo Crust

Mini Mason Jar Chocolate Cheesecakes

Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesIt has been documented on here that I fear making cheesecakes, but that’s not exactly true. I don’t fear cheesecake, I fear a leaking springform pan in a water bath (bain marie). Yes, I know you are supposed to wrap it in foil, but I’ve never seen anyone explain in exacting, painstaking, borderline-dull detail how you should do that so that there is absolutely no risk of leakage. And so, I have still (!!!) never made a traditional baked-in-a-springform cheesecake.

I have, however, made cheescake bars, cheesecake thumbprints, cheesecake brownies, cheesecake blondies, vegan cheesecakes, and now two different kinds of Mini Mason Jar Cheesecakes, because while I may not be super brave, I am nothing if not a problem solver.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesThese Mini Mason Jar Chocolate Cheesecakes are SO good, y’all. So. Good. And they come in very cute, water tight, social distancing-approved serving vessels. Super rich, chocolaty filling, Oreo crust *and* no fiddling with a springform pan? Sign me up!Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesThe crusts for these little cheesecakes are just Oreos and melted butter blitzed together in a food processor. Spoon a couple tablespoons into each of your mason jars and give them a few minutes in the oven before adding your filling.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesThis chocolate cheesecake filling is super chocolaty from melted dark chocolate and cocoa powder, and has a little extra depth from light brown sugar (though granulated works too). The rest of the ingredients are standard cheesecake fare: cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla and an egg.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesBy far, the most important advice I can give you about making cheesecake is to make absolutely sure that your ingredients are at room temperature. If you’re more organized than I am, you can set your cream cheese out the night before. If you’re like me, just let it hang out (in its packaging) in a bowl of lukewarm tap water for 15 minutes. Throw your egg in there for maximum efficiency.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesMini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesYou can make the filling in your food processor (just wipe it out) or use a mixer. Either way, make sure to give the bowl some taps on the counter and let it rest a few minutes to release any large air bubbles before baking. Then spoon it onto your crusts and bake for about 25 minutes. Let the baked cheesecakes hang out in their water bath for five more minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. This brief step helps them transition from the hot oven to your cooler counters more seamlessly. Cheesecakes are divas, in case you couldn’t already tell.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesOnce your chocolate cheesecakes hit room temperature, throw them in the fridge for a few hours to get nice and cold. This will seem endless, but will give you plenty of time to dream up toppings. I went for my new favorite Chocolate Whipped Cream and chocolate sprinkles, but you could do chocolate shell, chopped candy bars, fresh fruit or anything else your heart desires.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesI won’t lie to you, Mini Mason Jar Chocolate Cheesecakes are a commitment, but take one bite and I promise you’ll agree that theyre entirely worth the effort. They’re super smooth and tangy with a big hit of chocolate, and that Oreo crust…well, I think we can all agree that Oreo crust should probably run for president.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesAnd on that note, enjoy this unofficial last weird weekend of this extremely weird summer. It’ll be two more weeks before I break out the pumpkin, and while that seems like eternity, I hope these chocolate cheesecakes soften the blow.Mini Mason Jar Chocolate Cheesecakes

Mini Mason Jar Chocolate Cheesecakes
makes 6 small cheesecakes

Crust:
12 Oreos
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake Filling:
1 8 ounce brick full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 teaspoons natural unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup full-fat sour cream (or Greek yogurt), room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2.5 ounces dark chocolate, melted and cooled
1 large egg, room temperature

For Garnish:
Chocolate Whipped Cream
chocolate sprinkles (hagelslag)
Homemade Chocolate Shell

Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 6 4-ounce mason jars.

Make the crust. Place Oreos and melted butter in the bowl of a food processor and process until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the crust mixture into eat prepared mason jar. Press down to form a crust. Place mason jar crusts in a high-rimmed dish. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool on a rack while you prepare the filling.

Make cheesecake filling. You have two options:

If using a food processor: Wipe out any errant crust pieces. Add cream cheese, brown sugar and cocoa powder to the bowl of the food processor and process until smooth, stopping and scraping down the sides as necessary. Add sour cream and vanilla and process until smooth. Whirl in melted chocolate. Add egg and process just until combined. Tap bowl on the counter 10 times and let batter rest 10 minutes.

If using a mixer: In a medium mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese until fluffy. Mix in brown sugar and cocoa powder, followed by sour cream and vanilla, until mixture is smooth. Mix in chocolate. Add egg and mix just until combined. Tap bowl on the counter 10 times and let batter rest 10 minutes.

Once your batter is rested, divide the cheesecake mixture into the mason jars, about 1/4 cup each. Use the back of a spoon to lightly smooth out the tops, then tap each one on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Return jars to the high-rimmed pan, and place the pan on a counter near the oven.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Remove from heat. Carefully pour water into the baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the cheesecakes. Do not get water in the mason jars. Carefully move pan into the oven. Bake 25 minutes, or until puffed and *barely* jiggly in the centers. Let cheesecakes stay in their water bath for 5 more minutes.

Use tongs to carefully remove mason jar cheesecakes to a rack. Do not get water in the mason jars.

Let cheesecakes cool completely on a rack; the centers will collapse a bit. Transfer to the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or until thoroughly chilled. If not serving immediately, cover with plastic wrap. Garnish with chocolate whipped cream, chocolate sprinkles, homemade chocolate shell, or other desired topping before serving.

Store leftover cheesecakes in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. To freeze, press plastic wrap to the surfaces of the cheesecakes and screw on mason jar lids. Freeze for up to one month. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in a dish of lukewarm water at room temperature for an hour.

Mini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesMini Mason Jar Chocolate CheesecakesMini Mason Jar Chocolate Cheesecakes