Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Recipe

These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful.

A combination of pumpkin puree and virgin coconut oil, blended with a healthy helping of cinnamon, give these muffins a layered dimension of flavor in every bite.

And, really, these mini muffins can function as one giant bite apiece, but I suggest savoring them.

Especially with coffee.

I’ve been wanting to create a pumpkin muffin recipe for a while, and I wanted to incorporate coconut oil.  I’m really glad I did, because I feel that the coconut oil was what pushed these over the edge of awesomeness and made them totally irresistible.

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Above are of some of the ingredients.

The cream cheese goes towards the cheesecake filling that is used to top these muffins with a deep swirl of melt-in-your-mouth smoothness.

I used more cinnamon that I find is called for in similar recipes.  I like to taste my spices.

But there’s no nutmeg.  I know people often put it in pumpkin recipes, but I do NOT eat nutmeg.  It’s too strong and, at least for me, it distracts from the other flavors.  I find that cinnamon is a wonderful compliment for pumpkin, but if you really, really love nutmeg, then you can toss in a smidgen.  If you must.  But it’s unnecessary.  (Don’t do it.)

Plus, you can use vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil handy, but the coconut oil adds so much flavor that it’s worth the effort to pick some up if you don’t already have it on hand.  Like I said, it’s the turning point for intense flavor and moisture.

Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil will have a stronger coconut taste and aroma, so that’s the best to use.

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And you do lose some health benefits by melting the oil (which is solid at room temperature) in the microwave, but when I’m baking while heating something for dinner after working a full day… I take shortcuts.  Didn’t feel like washing a saucepan.

Just make sure if you melt the oil in the microwave, that you do it on 50% and for no longer than necessary.  About 30 seconds at a time.

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Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a fork or whisk until the colors are completely combined and the cinnamon is evenly distributed.

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Mix together the sugars and wet ingredients.

I just used a fork.  (Shortcuts means not pulling out the mixer.)

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This time, I actually blended the sugars and pumpkin first, then added the oil and eggs, but you could throw all of it together at the same time, too.

As long as it’s all well blended.

Then you’ll gradually add in the flour mixture.  Do not overmix it, though.  It should be smooth, but if you beat it too much the muffins may be tough.

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Here are the filling ingredients.

Again:  just mixed it with a fork.

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I had considered layering the pumpkin mix, then cream cheese mix, and then more pumpkin, but I’m glad I decided against it.  This method was easier and, as long as you swirl it, the cream cheese mixture still makes it into the center of the muffin.

Fill the mini cupcake liners about 3/4 full with pumpkin batter, then dollop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mix on top.

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Next, you’ll swirl a toothpick through the muffins, which will drag the cheesecake portion over the top and mix it into the center, too.

Don’t over do it.  You’ll want some large chunks of cheesecake, so don’t swirl it to the point of thinning it out so much you can barely see the cream cheese any more.

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Doesn’t that look AMAZING???

And they taste even better.

You can eat them right out of the oven, but I prefer them at room temperature.  They should be stored in the refrigerator, because of the cream cheese, but can be left our for a while without spoiling.  (I ate a few of the ones I’d brought into work and left out in the break room all afternoon, before putting them back in the fridge at the end of the day.  They were fine.)

I suggest serving them at room temperature, but they’re also good cold right out of the fridge.

I haven’t tried freezing them.  They were gone in a few days!  ;)

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).  Prepare mini muffin pans with 5 dozen mini cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt with a whisk or fork.  In a large bowl, use a mixer or a fork to cream together pumpkin, granulated and brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Gradually incorporate the flour into the pumpkin mixture until batter is smooth.  Do not overmix.

Make the cheesecake filling by creaming together the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.

Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with pumpkin batter.  Top each with approximately a teaspoon of cheesecake filling.  Combine by gently swirling a toothpick through the batter.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let sit in pan for two minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Store covered in the refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature.

[Note:  I use virgin coconut oil because it has wonderful taste and aroma of coconut that compliments the muffins, but you can substitute vegetable oil if you need to.]

Here is the free printable PDF:

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Recipe

Happy Baking!

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Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

I’ve been wanting to make cinnamon cookies for awhile.  And, apparently, my new obsession is dipping things in chocolate.

This particular recipe is a thick, cake-like cookie with a strong hint of cinnamon and an emphasis on brown sugar.

And the chocolate just makes it incredibly amazing.

Plus – and this is my favorite part – that thick cookie soaks up warm coffee like it was born for it.  It’s like the perfect breakfast.  (And dessert.  And snack.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

All the good stuff.

Theoretically you could use light brown sugar … but then you’d be missing out on the extra oomph of molasses.

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We’re getting there…

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Coming together…

(I’m getting excited.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Not that I promote eating raw cookie dough or anything but… ohmygosh this stuff is like a gooey pile of heaven.

But it’s a little sticky too, so use nonstick cooking spray to coat your hands before spreading it in the pan.

It will be thin, but that’s okay – it’s gonna rise.  Just make sure there are no holes allowing the pan to show through.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Yum!  Good stuff right here.

Don’t overbake it, though.  I probably could have cooked this one right here about a minute less, since it’s going to keep cooking just a little when you pull it out.  The cookie needs to cool completely in the pan.

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

When you cut your cookies, they will present a nicer display if you trim off the crispy edges.

You can see my “edges” in the photo above.  They were a little larger than necessary, but, you know, those were the parts that didn’t make it to the pot luck.  ;)

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You could dip them into chocolate any way you want, but I certainly recommend using dark chocolate.  It has a nice deep flavor that complements the cookie.

I like the way it looks when you dip the corner, but technically you could dip just the bottoms or a full half of the cookie instead.

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Or drizzle the chocolate over it.

Were you still thinking about those “edges” I mentioned?  Here they are (above).  I drizzled the leftover chocolate over them.  For parties I think the dipped corners are gorgeous, but the drizzle does the job too.

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Did I mention these were amazing with coffee?

Did I only mention it once?  ‘Cause these are uh-mazing with coffee.

(Even if you accidentally put too much creamer in your coffee.  Still amazing.)

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoons sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
10 oz. dark chocolate (I used Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate Melting Wafers)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).  Line a 15 by 10-inch jelly roll pan, or baking sheet with sides, with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars.  Stir in the vanilla and the eggs, one at a time.  Add in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined.

Spread the dough onto the baking sheet.  It is easier to work with if you lightly coat the parchment paper and your hands (or spoon) with nonstick cooking spray.  The dough will be a little wet and it will be very thin in the pan.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes.  Place pan on a cooling rack and allow cookies to cool fully in pan.

Slice the cookies into bars by first trimming off the crispy edges.  Cut three rows lengthwise, then slice those pieces about an inch thick.  You’ll have about 4 dozen cookies that measure about 1 by 3 inches.

Melt the chocolate according to the package directions.  Dip each cookie into the chocolate then place the cookie onto parchment or waxed paper to allow chocolate to set.  Store covered.

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Click below for the free printable PDF recipe with photos:

Dark Chocolate Dipped Brown Sugar Cinnamon Cookie Bars

Happy Baking!

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Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ginger Cookie Truffles 1

So the other day I was sitting there thinking:  if people make Oreo Truffles all the time, can I make truffles out of other cookies too?

The answer is OH VERY YES.

And the more specific answer would be DUDE IF YOU LIKE SPICE COOKIES/CAKE AT ALL YOU TOTALLY HAVE TO TRY THESE RIGHT NOW.

I chose these ingredients because I’m a big fan of spice cakes and gingerbread cookies and things like that.  My mom can practically live off of ginger snaps.  And fall is on its way.  (Or maybe it’s already here.  I’m not sure:  I live in Florida.)

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Anyway, these truffles are basically a combination of cookie crumbs and cream cheese smushed together and dipped into white chocolate.

Then, for a fun touch, drizzled with a little cinnamon chocolate.  Just ’cause.

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It took me a little bit of forever to crush up all the cookies because my food processor broke, but it wasn’t difficult.

I like these ginger thins because they’re pretty crispy, which made for great crumbs.

I’m sure you could substitute a different cookie, but you might have to adjust your amounts, and – you know – these ginger thin cookies are incredible so why would you??

Unless you come up with something better – then please let me know.  Food is my favorite type of experiment.  ;)

Oh, and if you’re wondering, I picked up all of my ingredients at Walmart.  But you can also get them online if you can’t find these things locally.  I totally swear by those Ghirardelli wafers.  They seriously rock both in the ease-of-use and taste categories.

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The end result?

A silky smooth creamy center exploding with spice and encased in a mildly sweet chocolate that’s decorated with just a hint of cinnamon.

They look good and taste even better.

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Ginger Cookie Truffles

Ingredients:

10.5 oz. (2 boxes) Anna’s Swedish Thins or other ginger cookies
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
10 oz. white chocolate (I used Ghirardelli White Melting Wafers)
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (optional)

Crumble the ginger cookies in a food processor or by hand until finely ground.

Mix the cream cheese into the cookie crumbs until well combined and smooth.

Scoop out large teaspoonfuls of the cookie mix and shape into balls.  Place the balls on a tray lined with parchment paper or tin foil.  Freeze for 10 to 15 minutes.

Melt the white chocolate according to the package directions, stirring until smooth.  Take out the cookie balls and dip them into the chocolate using a fork, one at a time, until fully coated.  Shake the fork to allow excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl.  Set the truffles on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper until chocolate hardens, using the side of a second fork to push the truffle off the first fork.

When all the truffles are done, sprinkle a teaspoon or two of cinnamon into the remaining chocolate, depending on how much chocolate is left, and stir to combine. Then use a clean fork to drizzle the cinnamon chocolate over the truffles.

Allow to fully set, then store in the refrigerator.

Makes about 2 dozen.

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Click here to print the free PDF of the recipe:

Ginger Cookie Truffles

Happy Eating!

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Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies {take two}

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

These Easter Bunny Spiced Sandwich Cookies were a lot of fun to hand out on Easter!

They were HUGE, though.

I totally didn’t realize how big the Wilton Comfort-Grip Bunny Cookie Cutter was when I bought it.

Still cute.  Just huge.

And since I used the same recipe I made last year, you can see how I also used a smaller cookie cutter the last time I made these Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

There are only a few ingredients, and you’re really just mixing everything together in a big bowl, so you wind up with something that looks like you spent a TON of time in the kitchen even though it’s easy to put together.

And I looooooooove making these with the spice cake mix.

Makes the finished cookie taste kind of like gingerbread men.  But not exactly.  More cinnamon-y.

Which is also why I add cinnamon to the cream cheese icing that goes in the middle of the cookies.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

Here is the butter and cream cheese all mixed together {above}.

It’s best if these are at room temperature before you start mixing them, to ensure creaminess.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

The cookie dough will be a little soft, so you need to form it into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap, and keep it in the fridge for at least a half hour before rolling it out.

You could keep it in the fridge overnight, but it may need to sit on a counter for a few minutes before rolling, if that’s the case.

And you need plenty of flour on your prep space and on the rolling pin.  So the dough doesn’t stick.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

The cookies should be baked on parchment paper.

I use textured aluminum pans that cookies don’t stick to, so I don’t always bother with the paper if I’m feeling lazy.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

I usually mix the icing while the cookies are cooling.  But you could do it earlier if you wanted to.

The important part is to make sure the cookies are fully cooled before you add the icing.

Otherwise it’ll melt.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

You’ll want to add plenty of icing to the inside of the cookies.

Don’t be stingy!  ;)

And press down the top cookie over the icing, firmly but gently, to be sure it will stick.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

Don’t those look gorgeous?

I drew on some whiskers with melted white chocolate and added a pink M&M for a nose.

I guess I could have gone further and done eyes and ears, too, but what I was looking for was simplicity.

You don’t even really need to add the extra decoration if you don’t want to.

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

And in case you missed where I posted it earlier, here’s the link to my recipe:

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

Spiced Easter Bunny Sandwich Cookies

Enjoy!

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Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns

Flower Shaped Cinnamon Buns at RoamingRosie.com

These flower shaped cinnamon buns make breakfast a little extra special.  :)

And it’s pretty quick to do with the help of store bought cinnamon rolls.

I popped those babies out of the can, formed a flower near the top of the pan {one roll in the center and 5 around it to act as petals} and then cut the remaining 2 rolls in half to use for the stem and leaf.

I was pretty happy about how much it actually resembled a flower even before I added the colored sprinkles.

Once you pull the buns out of the oven, add some colored sugar sprinkles right after spreading on the icing – otherwise the icing will start to harden just enough for the sprinkles to not stick.  You have to be kind of quick about this step, so pick out your colors ahead of time.

Now, I made these for my mom on her birthday because she is a gardener and she likes flowers…. but while I was sprinkling on the bright colors, I realized it would also make an impressive centerpiece for any springtime or Easter breakfast or brunch.

Well, that is, it would make an impressive centerpiece if you transferred the buns to a platter instead of being all lazy like me and serving it right on the cookie sheet…..

Either way:  enjoy!

And if you’re a big fan of sprinkles, check these out:

Jack O' Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Milk Sprinkles

Milk Sprinkles

Sprinkle Cookies

Sprinkles Cookies

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How To Make Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments … with Glitter!

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

I wanted to make some homemade Christmas ornaments with my kids this year, and I LOVE cinnamon, so these were kind of a no-brainer.

But… something seemed missing from the traditional cinnamon ornament recipe… OH!  I know:  glitter!!

Yup.  Glitter makes everything better.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

I love the smell of these things.  And not all recipes use cloves, but it helps enhance the scent, so I totally used them.

I even used cinnamon applesauce instead of regular applesauce.  Don’t know if it made much difference, but, you know, they’re the same price and all, so why not?

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

It’s great because you just mix everything together.  Super quick.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Admittedly, they were a tad bit difficult to roll out.  I would suggest that this is a job for an adult and not a young child.  The dough is a bit stiff and you have to be careful not to roll it so quickly or roughly that you end up with too make cracks.

This isn’t like cookie dough where you can smooth it out easily.  If there are big ol’ cracks in your ornaments when you put them in the oven, there will be big ol’ cracks when you take them out.  Cracks that will probably make your ornament snap in half when you pick it up.

You’re only using the oven to dry these and not to bake them, so make sure that when you put them in they look how you’ll want them to look when they come out.

You could actually air dry them….. probably.  But I live in Florida.  Hello, humidity.

We used the oven.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter
Also be sure to be GENTLE when removing the ornament dough from the cookie cutters.

Let your Little Ones cut out their shapes, but make sure either you or a kid with LOTS of patience slowly pushes the ornament out.  Or it will break before you even get it to the pan.

And – another warning – ovens + these guys = STEAM.

So when you open your oven door to check on the ornaments, please, please, please stand back so that you are not hit with a face full of cinnamon-and-clove-laden steam.  TRUST ME.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

You can decorate them before baking them, too.

I only did a couple:  you can see the star that I traced with a dotted pattern I made with a toothpick, and also in a couple of ornaments, I used the end of the wooden skewer to draw my daughters’ initials.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Oh, and don’t forget to make a hole in the ornaments before you bake them.  So you’ll have somewhere to hang the string.

We used “metallic tinsel cord” but you could use kitchen twine or ribbon or a thin hemp cord.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Aren’t they adorable?

They’re even better in person.  The glitter is much more prominent, and the aroma – ah, the cinnamon!

*sigh*

Christmas bliss.  :)

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cup ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon glitter
1 cup cinnamon applesauce

Preheat your oven to 200°F.

Mix the cinnamon, cloves, and glitter in a bowl. Stir in the applesauce.

Knead gently to make sure everything is incorporated. Sprinkle some extra cinnamon on the counter (like you would flour before rolling out cookie dough) and roll out the cinnamon dough to about 1/2 inch thick.

Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters and gently transfer ornaments to baking pans lined with parchment paper. Use a wooden skewer to very gently make a hole in the ornaments for hanging.

Gently reroll and knead scraps of dough. Roll out and cut more shapes, being careful there are no large cracks in the dough.

Bake for 2 hours, flip and bake for another hour. Allow to cool on pan.

Thread pieces of twine or ribbon through the holes to hang ornaments.

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And click here to print the PDF version:  Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments with Glitter

 

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Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns

Jack O Lantern Cinnamon Buns

We had these Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns for breakfast the morning after Halloween.

I know, I know… didn’t we get enough sugar from trick or treating??

Well, yes, but Halloween was on a Friday and darned if I was going to let an entire weekend go by without continuing the celebration.

However, I was looking for something very easy.  Not “oh, that wasn’t too bad.”  EASY.

I mean, I could have gone all out and made the dough from scratch, taking the time to dye it orange, and mix in some real pumpkins, and to dye the icing as well, but – really – I couldn’t be bothered.

Not while dealing with a candy hangover, anyway.

Jack O Lantern Cinnamon Buns

One of the reasons this was easy was because nothing was homemade.

Except the faces.

But those I did when I was making chocolate covered marshmallow ghosts a few days earlier.

Either way, you should do these ahead of time.  There’s no reason not to:  they keep well.

What I did was freehand some jack o’ lantern faces on some waxed paper with some melted dark cocoa candy melts.  You could try to use regular chocolate chips, but I don’t suggest it.

At first, I tried to make two eyes, a nose, and a mouth {see the faces in the upper right hand corner of the above photo} but they just looked strange.  Instead, I switched to just making two eyes and a mouth.

Just make sure that the mouth touches both of the eyes so that the face is all one piece.  Otherwise you’ll be pulling a bunch of little pieces off of the waxed paper and puzzling it together waaaaaaay too early in the morning.  This way it’s just peel-and-stick.

I stored my faces, along with the waxed paper cut into smaller pieces, in a baggy in the fridge.  When I stuck the buns in the oven, I stuck the faces in the freezer.  This made them easier to remove from the waxed paper and less likely to start melting in my hand.

Jack O Lantern Cinnamon Buns

To Make the Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns: 

As I mentioned, the buns and icing were just regular store bought cinnamon rolls.  So cook them according to the package directions, then remove them to a serving platter and add the icing.

Before the icing starts to dry and harden, sprinkle them generously with the orange sugar sprinkles.

Then place the chocolate faces on top.  Press ever so gently to make sure it’s stuck to the icing, but don’t press down too hard.  Pressing down roughly will cause the faces to break, and after a few minutes they’ll melt slightly, adhering to the icing all by themselves.

Then just serve and relax!

Here are the sprinkles and candy melts I used:

Wilton Orange Sugar Sprinkles Wilton Dark Cocoa Candy Melts

Orange sprinkles can be more difficult to find when it’s not fall, but then, you probably won’t be making these for any occasion but Halloween anyway.

Enjoy!

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