Skinny Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Good Morning! I am still alive, I’m just swamped with work! 8 weeks left until I’m finally free and can get back to blogging. 8 weeks and counting…

It’s time for Secret Recipe Club again!

This month I was assigned Mallory’s blog Because I Like Chocolate. Being a self confessed chocoholic, I was excited to go and check out her recipes!

Skinny Cheesecake Brownie Bites

After reading all about Mallory, I really found I could relate to her. You’re all aware of my difficulties with food and the line that really hit home with me was:

“Diet and exercise are important, but they can only go so far if you don’t have a fulfilling relationship with food.”

I realised that this is sooooo true! I’m working hard everyday on my relationship with food, I still have a long way to go, but it really made me think!

Onto more positive things, I found so many recipes I wanted to make: Brioche Buns, Chocolate Overnight Oats, or how about Chocolate Crinkle Cookies?

Skinny Cheesecake Brownie Bites

I finally decided on these Skinny Cheesecake Brownie Bites and I am so glad I did :)

One thing I really love about so many of Mallory’s recipes, are the fact they substitute oil and applesauce for butter. I have to admit, this is the first time I’ve made something substituting butter out and I was nervous as to how they’d turn out!

I needn’t have worried though, these surpassed all of my expectations! You really cannot tell there’s no butter! They are so moist and fudgy and don’t taste “skinny” at all!

Skinny Brownie Cheesecake Bites

Just look at that richness!! These bite size pieces are just perfect as a little treat without any of the guilt! And testament to how soft and moist these are just look what happened when I tried to pile them up… Whoops hahaha!!

Skinny Brownie Cheesecake Bites

So, seriously go and make these!! The cheesecake topping just tops them off perfectly! It’s light and sweet and in perfect contrast to the rich chocolate flavour of the brownies. I’m off to eat another one. (or five) :)

Skinny Cheesecake Brownie Bites

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 16

Amazingly moist and fudgy brownies bites with a cheesecake topping and NO BUTTER!! A light way to enjoy chocolate brownies!

Ingredients

  • For the brownie batter:
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste if you have it)
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • For the cheesecake layer:
  • 4oz light cream cheese (I used Philly)
  • 2tbsp light brown sugar
  • 1/2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg yolk

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease 16 holes of a mini muffin tin either with butter or PAM (I used Wilton Bake Easy).
  2. Place the sugars, egg, applesauce, oil and vanilla extract into a large bowl and whisk until combined. Don't be tempted to beat until smooth otherwise they will turn out rubbery!
  3. Add in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and bicarb and whisk until just combined.
  4. Leave to one side whilst you make the cheesecake layer: Place all cheesecake ingredients into a medium sized bowl and beat with a hand mixer until smooth and light, about 1 minute on mediu, speed.
  5. Place around 1tbsp of brownie batter in each greased muffin hole, you want them about 3/4 full.
  6. Divide the cheesecake batter between the brownies, around 1tsp per brownie bite.
  7. Take a toothpick or skewer and swirl the cheesecake batter into the brownie batter slightly.
  8. Place in the oven for 12-15 minutes (mine took 12) until risen and an inserted skewer into the centre comes out clean.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  10. Once cool, brownie bites will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature, for 3 days.

Notes

Recipe from: http://www.becauseilikechocolate.com/2013/09/lowfat-cheesecake-brownie-bites.html#.UjpUXBbvyAI

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http://www.anniesnoms.com/2014/03/24/skinny-cheesecake-brownie-bites/

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I may be almost 23, but I just cannot get to grips with February. It’s just so short, it seems like it’s over before it’s begun???!!

It’s quite scary actually, I can’t fathom that it will be March in a few weeks and that will mean I only have 2 months left at Uni.

I mean, that’s great because I can’t wait to be done, but equally I’m thinking “Whaaaaaaat the hell?! How am I going to get this project done?”

Anyways, it’s time for Secret Recipe Club (that came round fast!).

White Chocolate Chunk Cookie Butter Blondies | Annie's Noms

This month I was assigned Sara’s blog, Cook with Sara. Sara, like me likes to cook AND eat. So I already knew I was in for lots of deliberating over what to make!

And boy was I right! There are sooo many great recipes on Sara’s blog! Soy glazed Salmon anyone? Or maybe Caramel Chocolate Pumpkin Blondies?

Personally I want to make her Asian Meatballs – they sound delicious!!

I settled on these Cookie Butter Blondies with white chocolate chunks. Why?

Because look at these beauties :O

White Chocolate Chunk Cookie Butter Blondies | Annie's Noms

Layers of blondie, cookie butter and white chocolate all baked up into a wonderful sweet treat! As soon as I saw the words “cookie butter” I just knew I had to make them, I just love the stuff. I’m that person who just dips her finger right in the jar… No shame.

White Chocolate Chunk Cookie Butter Blondies | Annie's Noms

The blondie layers are lovely and chewy, just how blondies should be, and then the cookie butter sits in the middle, slightly swirled into the blondies, but still adding a soft and gooey layer all of its own. And then there’s white chocolate to top it all off! Just bliss.

These are not for the faint hearted, they are SWEET! If you’re not overly keen on sweet things then maybe these aren’t for you, BUT, if you love sweet treats then sink your teeth right into these delicious blondies, you’ll love them!

White Chocolate Chunk Cookie Butter Blondies | Annie's Noms

My OH had to take these to work to stop me from devouring the whole pan :)

Enjoy!

White Chocolate Chunk Cookie Butter Blondies

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: One 8x8 pan

Chewy blondies, with layers of cookie butter and white chocolate which add gorgeous sweet flavours and gooey-ness! Anyone with a sweet tooth will just love these sweeter than sweet blondies!!

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4tsp ground ginger
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter (I used Biscoff)
  • 2/3 cup white chocolate chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F and grease and line an 8x8 inch square pan.
  2. Place the butter and brown sugar into a medium sized saucepan and melt over a low heat, stirring occasionally.
  3. Once melted, leave to cool for 5-10 minutes. Once the mixture has cooled a little, tip it into a large bowl and add in the eggs and vanilla.
  4. Stir until well combined and smooth.
  5. Add in the baking powder, cinnamon and ginger and stir until combined.
  6. Add in the flour and fold until just combined.
  7. Spread half of the batter into your greased pan and smooth over.
  8. Place the cookie butter into a small heatproof bowl and microwave for 15-20 seconds. Spoon half of the cookie butter onto the blondie batter and, using a skewer, swirl the cookie butter into the batter.
  9. Sprinkle half of the white chocolate chunks on top of the cookie butter.
  10. Spread the rest of the blondie batter over the white chocolate and then the rest of the cookie butter. Swirl the two together and finish off with a final sprinkle of white chocolate chunks.
  11. Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes* until slightly risen and an inserted skewer into the centre comes out with a few crumbs on. (Be sure to get the blondie batter, rather than the cookie butter when you check!)
  12. Leave to cool in the pan completely.
  13. Once cooled, remove from pan and slice into 12-16 bars. Bars will keep in an airtight container, at room temperature for 4 days.

Notes

*My oven runs a little hot - after 20 minutes, I turned the oven down to 160C/325F so that the edges didn't dry out.

Recipe from Cook with Sara - http://cookwithsara.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/cookie-butter-blondies-with-white.html

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http://www.anniesnoms.com/2014/02/17/secret-recipe-club-white-chocolate-chunk-cookie-butter-blondies/

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cranberryblissbars1

How is January almost over already??? I was walking through a shop the other day and they still had some old Christmas stuff on clearance. I actually did a double take and was like “Seriously, it feels like Christmas was agessssssssss ago!”

Anyways, it’s Secret Recipe Club time again! :)

cranberryblissbars2

This month, I was assigned Karen’s blog, Cinnamon Freud. I found Karen’s about me page fascinating!

I’m also currently studying and love to cook from scratch as much as I can. Time restraints, mean although I cook from scratch every day, I don’t blog all my dinners, but, like Karen, the whole cooking/baking interest just sort of hit me one Summer.

cranberryblissbars4

I had such a hard time picking out this recipe! There were so many great recipes to make and I’ve still got a few I’m going to make just for us in the near future! I ummed and erred between Black and White BarsBaked Chicken Parmesan and Italian Meatball Burgers before finally deciding on these Cranberry Bliss Bars.

cranberryblissbars6

I am SOOOOO glad I made these bars. They are just fabulous! Chewy and filled with cranberries and white chocolate chunks and then topped with this amazing cream cheese frosting.

cranberryblissbars3

I admit, as they came out of the oven, before they’d even cooled a tiny bit, I got out a spoon and had a taste…. then maybe ate a corner… oops.

Seriously, you guys have to make these! My OH had to hide them so I wouldn’t eat the whole pan before photographing them haha!!

I love cranberries and white chocolate together, but really don’t bake with them enough. Now I feel a phase coming on… I may become a bit obsessed. Rest assured, that whilst I might not blog them really quickly, I’ll save all the recipes to blog when I finish Uni.

FYI only have about 15 weeks left until my last hand in!! We’re about to start our last term, which is where we have to do our major project… I’m feeling calm at the moment, determined not to let it make me ill like last year, but I’m a little worried about just how the heck I’m going to get everything done. Mostly, whenever thoughts like that come in, I just mentally slap myself back into line – “It will be OK, I can do this”

Yea… I’ll keep you posted if I stay sane!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 19 minutes

Total Time: 34 minutes

Yield: One 9x11 pan

Chewy bars with cranberries and white chocolate chunks, topped with light and fluffy cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

  • For the base:
  • 2 and 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 and 1/2tsp baking powder
  • 1/2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 sticks (170g) unsalted butter
  • 1 and 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 6oz white chocolate chunks
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)
  • For the frosting:
  • 12oz full fat cream cheese, at room temp (I used Philly)
  • 2oz white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 and 1/2 cups icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
  • 1/2tsp freshly grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and grease and line a 9x11 inch pan. I think mine was 9x12, but it didn't make too much difference.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder and ground cinnamon into a large bowl and briefly stir until combined.
  3. Place the butter into a large heatproof dish and microwave in 30 second bursts until melted. Once melted, add in the light brown sugar and stir until you have a thick paste like consistency.
  4. Leave the melted butter to cool for 5 minutes.
  5. Add the vanilla extract and eggs to the melted butter mixture and stir until combined.
  6. Tip the butter mixture into the flour mix and stir until just combined.
  7. Add in the white chocolate chunks and dried cranberries and stir until they are evenly distributed.
  8. Bake for 19-21 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and it looks slightly puffy.
  9. Leave to cool in the pan completely.
  10. Once cool, it's time to make the frosting! Place the cream cheese and icing sugar into a large bowl and beat on low in your stand mixer or with a hand mixer, once the sugar starts to incorporate you can turn the beater up (nobody wants to be covered in icing sugar!).
  11. Add in the melted chocolate and orange zest. Beat on high until light and fluffy.
  12. Tip onto the cooled bars and spread with a spatula or spoon until smooth and level.
  13. Sprinkle the 1/2 cup of dried cranberries on top, then slice into 12-15 bars. I cut mine into thirds and then into triangles, but you can cut them however you like. Once cut, store in an airtight container, in the fridge for 2 days.

Notes

Recipe from: http://cinnamonfreud.wordpress.com/2012/12/21/cranberry-bliss-bars/

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http://www.anniesnoms.com/2014/01/20/cranberry-bliss-bars/

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loadedcookiebars1

Happy New Year guys!!

If like me, you have chocolate coming out of ears then head on over to where I’m contributing today at Reasons To Skip The Housework to check out my recipe for using up leftover Christmas chocolate!

These bars are just divine! Fudgy and chewy and full of chocolate, you really don’t want to miss them! :)

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