Strawberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo crust

Sweet Strawberry compote on creamy cheesecake with a crunchy Oreo cookie base! you’ll love these dessert bars just as much as you’ll love designing them with those swirls!

About this recipe:

do you ever just want to make cheesecake but dont want to buy roughly 30 oz of creamcheese? or do you crave cheesecake but know you do not need an entire ceesecake? Well, this recipe give you the best of both worlds! Cheesecake sraving solved (check) and a managable serving size that you’ll actually be able to finsh (check)

Cheesecake bars are for that cheesecake craving without having to make an entire cake size! portion control handled

What you will need:

cream cheese and only one package! 8 0z (~226 g)

yogurt: plain, strawberry, or greek all work well and about 1/2 is all that is needed. This ingredient allows us to use less cream cheese and make a creamier/smooth consistency

-granulated sugar: sugar is needed because cream cheese is quite tart and this addition will contour that taste! also it compliments the strawberry compote

flour: with all this talk of creaminess we need a binding agent, thats where about 1/4 -1/2 cup flour comes in

strawberries (fresh or frozen): for that delicious swirl!

cornstarch/sugar : used to thicken that strawberries in the compote for the swirl

vanilla extract: to sweeten the compote!

Oreo cookies (in crumbs) / melted butter: to make that chocolatey cookie base for our cheesecake bars

To bake or not to bake? This recipe can be baked cheesecake or no bake. Your choice!

There are different flavours in baked cheesecake vs. no-bake. The cream cheese taste more sweet when it is a no bake recipe and that is why a lot of recipes are often “no- bake”. However, some like a subtle “New York style” cheesecake and that is where a baked option come in. This recipe can be either baked or none baked; your choice!

How Do I Get That Swirl?

Quite simply it just requires the compote to be placed in parallel lines which get swirled with a knife by dragging it in the opposite (perpendicular ) direction.

Tips for Success

-Use parchment paper to easily remove the bars. Otherwise the bars may burn and it may be challenging to cut them.

-Cream the cream cheese until fluffy and air incorporated do not skip this step!

-When baking the base it is okay if it seem under-baked, it will harder as it cools.

-Strain the compote to make sure the swirls are smooth not chunky with pulp

The Recipe:

Prep timebake or chill timeTotal time
15 mins2 hours2 hrs 15 mins
yields one 8×8 inch pan

Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake bars with Oreo Base

Ingredients:

the base:

  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups crumbs of crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar

the cake

  • 8 0z cream cheese (~226 g)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt (vanilla) *greek works too*
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

the compote

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen or fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Procedure:

preheat oven to 350 Degrees f and line a 8×8 inch pan with parchment. set aside.

if you have whole Oreo cookies place in a plastic bag and hit with a rolling pin or with a sauce pan until into crumbs. you will need 1 1/3 cups worth.

in a saucepan or in the microwave melt the butter. in a medium bowl combine the Oreo cookie crumbs and sugar then add the melted butter and mix well.

press the cookie mix into the parchment pan and try your best to make sure it is even. Bake for 8-10 mins. Let cool completely.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese using an electric mixer. beat until fluffy and smooth~ 5 mins.

Add the yogurt, sugar, vanilla and mix well until all are incorporated equally. add the flour and mix in completely. The batter is now complete!

Pour the batter onto of the cookie base once it is completely cooled. spread it around equally.

For the compote start by simmering the strawberries with about 1/4 cup of water (just enough to cover them) in a saucepan and shimmer on medium until soft. Using a fork or a masher, mash the strawberries until all their juice is extracted. Add the sugar and cornstarch and simmer for 5 minutes on low. Strain into a bowl and only use the strained (smooth) compote. the filling is now complete.

Now for the Swirl! firstly make rivets in parallel lines in the spots where you think the compote will go. Next pour the compote in to fill those small rivets. Perpendicular to those lines swirl with a knife. The patter is complete.

For No-Bake: place in freezer for 25 mins and the cheescake is complete!

For baked: place in the 350 Degrees F oven for 35-40 minutes or until the centre is only slightly soft to touch.

slice. eat. enjoy.

Happy Baking

Mixed Berry mini Galettes

Buttery crunchy crust with soft sweet Berries

About the Galettes:

A galette is a french dessert that traditionally involves some form of a flat pastry topped with fruit. Often galettes are one large pastry which gets cut like a pie in slices. However, this recipe makes mini rounds instead of one large one!

The galette dough/crust is similar to that of a pie; flaky, buttery, and perfect with an egg wash and sugar coated:)

The fruit is as simple as it gets. It tastes just like a compote. The fruit is left simple to keep its natural flavour the star. All it requires is a bit of sugar and cornstarch added with some acidity from a lemon or orange and then it’s done!

Topped with ice cream or whipping cream eaten with a fork/knife or by hand (easier with these mini ones) and the galette is a fresh french dessert!

The Method:

The dough: 5 ingredients for this dough! consisting of flour, salt, sugar, cold unsalted butter, and sour cream. Well mixed until it forms a ball and that’s all it takes.

Freezing: The dough then gets separated into 8 mini balls and wrapped in plastic wrap to be refrigerated for about 1 hour or 30 mins in the freezer. This will help the gluten relax, make it easier to roll out, and ultimately make sure the galettes come out of the oven roughly the same size/shape as they go in.

Rolling discs: Once out of the fridge/freezer the balls get rolled into mini discs about 1/4 inch thick.

The fruit: the mixed berries fresh or frozen get lightly tossed in a bowl with a small amount of sugar, cornstarch, and acidity. Either lemon or orange juice works. The fruit gets placed in the middle of the discs and the edges get rolled up and pinched so the fruit has a border and will not slide away.

The egg-wash: to make these galettes crunchy an egg is brushed on the outsides and course sugar is topped.

Bake and top: the galettes are then baked at 375 degrees F for ~ 30-40 minutes and topped with powdered sugar and ice cream!

Crucial ingredients:

Sour cream: this adds ample fat to the dough as sour cream is one of the fattiest diary ingredients among milk, cream, buttermilk etc. This fat allows the gluten strands from the flour in the dough to stay short. Essentially making the dough tender and flaky!

Unsalted butter cold: refrigerating or freezing should not be skipped! it is so important for the butter to be cold. This helps retain shape making the outcome look similar to the pre-baked shape.

Cornstarch/acidity: In order to make sure the fruit does not become a soupy liquid mess the cornstarch absorbs that liquid. The acidity of lemon or orange also adds great flavour.

The Recipe:

Mini Mixed Berry Galettes

Prep timeBake timeTotal time
1 hour~30-40 mins~1 40 mins
yields: 8 mini galettes

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cups unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg *for egg wash*
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh mixed berries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon orange or lemon juice

Procedure:

Prepare the dough: in a medium bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and sugar. Once well combined add in the unsalted butter in cubes and the sour cream. Use two knives, a pastry blender, a fork, or your fingers to mix in the butter until small pea clumps are left and it appears incorporated. use the sour cream to help the butter mix in easier. Once done the dough should be a large ball.

Separate the dough into 8 equal balls the best you can. Wrap each in plastic wrap. Chill the dough for 1 hour in the fridge or 30 mins in the freezer.

Once it is getting closer to the end time of the chilling process for the dough, start making the filling and preheat the oven to 375 Degrees F.

For the filling: in a medium bowl add the frozen or fresh berries and add the cornstarch and acidity. gently mix with a fork and set aside.

On a lightly floured flat surface roll out each ball of dough into 8 separate discs about 1/4 inch thick. Place these discs on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Place about 2 tablespoons of the fruit in the centre of the dough disc. fold the edges up and pinch them as you would for pie crust. Brush with egg wash and top with course sugar!

Bake the galettes at 375 Degrees F for 30-40 mins until golden!

Enjoy!

Happy Baking

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Peanut Butter Dreams

These cookies are what Peanut Butter dreams are made of !

This is what you’ll love

  • Chewy cookies without getting stuck
  • Simplest ingredients/steps
  • Rich & Strong PB flavour *for all my fellow PB lovers !
  • Even cookie size

Steps: Your soon to be “go to” cookie recipe:

  1. The dry mix:

whisk the flour, baking powder , salt to make the dry mix.

2.The creamed butter:

whipping the butter until softened and creamy then adding the sugar, eggs, vanilla and of course the Peanut Butter!

3. Combining the flour & peanut butter mixtures

4.Rolling out balls and freezing for 15 mins

5.Coating in granulated sugar

6.Bake & devour!

A cookies multiple ways:

dipped, sandwiched, jam/jelly filled or plain these cookies are a hit!

Chocolate Dipped

Ice Cream Sandwiched

The Recipe

Prep timeBake timeTotal time
15 mins10 mins~25 mins
Yields 2 dozen medium cookies

Chewy Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter *softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups smooth peanut butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • *sugar for rolling*

Procedure:

Step 1)

In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until all are evenly combined. Set aside.

Step 2)

In another, medium sized bowl cream the *room temperature* butter and sugar for 2-5 mins until it appears fluffy and whipped.

I recommend using an electric mixer. But, by hand works just as well.

Add the vanilla and eggs -one at a time and precede to mix them on medium with an electric mixer or by hand.

Step 3)

Combine the dry flour mixture and the butter mixture by folding the dry into the wet with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. Mix the two until a thick cookie dough texture forms without any visible flour un-mixed.

Step 4)

Use a medium cookie scoop, a tablespoon, or regular spoon to make balls about a tablespoon in size. Roll the balls in your hands and then, roll in granulated sugar. place on a parchment or silicon lined cookie sheet. Freeze for 15 mins.

Step 5)

Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees F (177 C).

With a fork press down to imprint the cookies. Press in one direction, then in the opposite to form a hashtag (#) imprint.

Bake the cookies for 10-12 mins. They will be soft once done, but they will firm up upon cooling.

Enjoy!

Happy Baking!

Classic Glazed Cinnamon Rolls

Your mouth will start to drool as these Cinnamon Rolls bake ! Truly a classic recipe that will impress the picky eaters as well as the sweet tooth eaters! Cinnamon, Browns sugar, butter, and that sweet sweet glaze, What’s not to love! So, Thrown on that apron and let’s get baking ๐Ÿ™‚

The Method:

This recipe has a few crucial steps that are simply enough to master and create Classic Cinnamon buns just as you like them!

  1. The dough. It is so very important to allow the dough time to to rise and “set up” before you roll, spread, and cut into it. Moreover, please do not cut the time allotted for the dough to rise.

2. Kneading the dough. You will be amazed to see how the feeling of the dough will transform in only a few minutes of kneading, or allowing the stand mix to knead for you ๐Ÿ™‚ The elasticity rebounds and the dough becomes a more smooth and workable dough after kneading. The key word: workable. We will be rolling the dough out, and therefore want it to become easy to maneuver. Kneading is your friend.

3.Roll and sprinkle. Here comes the fun! After all the rest and prep the dough is ready to be rolled, buttered, and cinnamon sugared. While rolling out the dough, it is at it’s largest once you can no longer roll and it starts to slink back. Note: The butter spread on the rolled out dough will see a lot. I assure you, the tase is worth the absorbent amount!

4.The slice. The part is pure magic! Seeing those cinnamon brown sugar swirls is just lovely. Tip: If you prefer larger rolls roll up the dough starting from the shorter end. (Ex) if it is ~14×9 inch larger rolls would be starting the roll up from the 9 inch side) Or more but smaller rolls would be starting the roll from the (14 inch side)

5. The last rise. Once cut and placed in the baking dish/pan, it is wise to let the rolls rise fro a further 20 mins. I have done this in the past and other times not, but find there is only slight difference. If you have the patience it is best, but not absolutely crucial !

6. Bake. Glaze. Enjoy

The Recipe:

Classic Cinnamon Rolls

Prep timeBake time Total Time
2 hrs~30-35 mins~2 30 mins
Yields 12 Medium or 8 Large rolls

Ingredients:

For The Dough:

  • 3/4 cup Warm milk (whole milk 2%)
  • 2 1/4 tsp quick rise or active yeast
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 cups flour + extra for dusting and rolling
  • 3/4 tsp salt

For the Filling:

  • 2/3 light or dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter softened

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 0z cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

OR Glaze Icing

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1-2 Tbsp water

Procedure:

Step 1)

Warm the milk so that it is warm but not too hot. This can be done in the microwave for ~40-45 seconds. This can also be done in a saucepan. The milk is perfect when small bubbles form, but it is not foamy over. Add the warm milk to a large bowl ( or stand mixer bowl if you have one) with the yeast. Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and melted butter. Mix until combined. Once done, add the flour and salt and mix until Dough starts to take a ball like shape.

Step 2)

Kneading the dough: Using a stand mixer you can add the attachment and knead for 8 minutes on medium. Or use your hands and knead for 8-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. You will need to add flour as you knead ( It will be sticky). Do not fear adding flour as you knead.

Step 3)

Let it rise: Place the dough into a large bowl and cover with a tea towel. It will need 1 1/2 – 2 hours to rise (or once doubled in size) however, it can sit longer. A nice humid place for it to rise is in the oven on a super low temperature such as “keep Warm” or 150-175 degrees.

Step 4)

Now, Roll the dough on a floured surface into a ~14×9 inch rectangle. Spread the butter on the rectangle like spreading butter on bread. Leave a smaller un-butter frame around the edges. Sprinkle the cinnamon filling evenly all over in the same spots as the butter.

Step 5)

Roll up the dough: Start from the longer side (14 inch) if you want more but smaller rolls. Or start from the smaller (9inch) side if you want less but larger rolls ๐Ÿ™‚ Slice and place in greased or parchment lined pan.

Step 6)

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden as you desire ๐Ÿ™‚ Let cool for 5 mins . Enjoy!

The Cream Cheese Frosting or Glaze

Steps)

For either recipe mix all ingredients in the order they are listed. mix until clumps are gone.

*note: icing often has different consistencies based on preference. More or less water may be needed for desired thicknesses*

Simple Scones: Perfect for afternoon Tea

Pour a cuppa and enjoy your Scones: buttery soft inside and crunchy golden outside. Compliments any Brew…

THE SIMPLEST RECIPE with few Ingredients

A fool proof recipe for a foolproof dessert! truly one of my “go to” favourite treats to make. They can be buttery and plain or doused with toppings; and yet, they are taste just splendid. This recipe has just 7 ingredients but feel free to add in anything you wish. Some great add-ins include: Chocolate chips/chunks, cranberry orange, lemon blueberry, raspberry white chocolate, cinnamon brown sugar etc. truly any flavour you’re looking for and Scones will make a perfect base!

The Method: Procedure Tip Below!

Three most important steps: The butter, buttermilk and Refrigeration

The butter: In order to get the most fluffy/ soft inside of the scone it is crucial to use Unsalted Butter that is Very Cold or close to frozen. Yes, frozen! it is also a great trick to grate this butter into the flour mixture. This way it will create even/uniform chunks of butter! which is better for baking an even consistency ๐Ÿ™‚

The Buttermilk: This adds more acidity than regular whole milk (2%) and reacts with the leaving agents such as baking powder and baking soda. It creates a fluffier/lighter Scone. However, ultimately just adds a great flavour!

Refrigeration: To further ensure the butter is very cold once it hits the oven, I like to preheat the oven, and while waiting let the scones sit on the lined and ready baking sheet in the freezer. This just really ensures the butter is cold, and can melt as soon as it hits the heat of the oven.

Not Everyone Enjoys Them Plain…

I understand that add- ins are everyones friends in terms of flavour. Here are some add in tips to watch out for:

Blueberry Scones

*when using berries add about 1/2 cup for this recipe. too many can add too much moisture* If using frozen blueberries do not let them thaw. Take them-out of the freezer just before use!

Chocolate Chip/chunk Scones

*add ~3/4 chocolate chips or ~1/2 cup chunks*

Cranberry Orange Scones

*add 3/4 cup frozen or fresh cranberries and 1 Tbsp orange zest / 1 Tbsp orange juice*

Raisin Cinnamon Scones

*add 3/4-1 cup raisins and 2 tsp cinnamon or 3 if you prefer stronger*

Mixed berry Scones

*once again be aware if using frozen berries to not let them thaw. Use about 1/2-3/4 cup berries*

Double Chocolate Scones

reduce flour from 2 cups to 1 3/4 cups and add 2 Tbsp of cocoa powder. Add 1/2 cup chocolate chips/chunks*

The Recipe:

Prep timeBake timeTotal time
15 mins20-25 mins35-40 mins
Yields 8 Scones

Simple Scones: Perfect for Tea

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour + extra for working the dough
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter *very cold*
  • 1/2 buttermilk + little for brushing
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • * Add-ins* see above note for guides

Procedure:

Step 1)

Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. The flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Once well combined, grate the *frozen or very cold* butter into the flour mixture. pictured below.

Using your fingers, a pastry blender, forks, or a couple butter knifes. Combine the butter into the flour mixture until there are still small clumps but they are roughly the same sizes. Like peas of butter within the flour mixture.

Step 2)

In a small bowl or measuring cup combine the buttermilk, egg and vanilla. Once combined together, pour them into the flour/butter mixture and mix everything together well. This would now be the time to fold in any add-ins with a spatula should you desire them ๐Ÿ™‚

Step 3)

Shaping the scones. Place your dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a circle with floured hands as well. The dough is sticky but rest assured this is ok! Slice the circle into four pieces, then each piece in half. Resulting in 8 triangles. pictures below.

Step 4)

preheat the oven to 400 Degrees F or and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the Scones spread out on the sheet and store in the freezer while waiting for the oven to reach its temperature. Just before baking brush with a little bit of buttermilk for crisp outsides!

Step 5)

Bake for 20-25 mins! let cool 5 mins and enjoy with some sweet tea ๐Ÿ™‚

*note that added berries will add moisture and may take longer*