Reindeer Peanut Butter Cookies

Light and airy peanut butter cookies shaped just like Santa’s reindeer!

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a peanut butter cookie! Growing up, we always made peanut butter cookies because it is my brother’s favorite. This year, I decided to spice up our peanut butter cookies and make them look like Rudolph! These cookies are so fun and festive AND they are full of delicious peanut buttery flavor.

You may recognize this recipe from my Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms recipe. My peanut butter blossom recipe can be made throughout the year, but during the holidays, you can make them more festive by shaping them into reindeer! Every week leading up to Christmas, I will be sharing some of my favorite cookie recipes! Last time, I shared my Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookie and Pastel Christmas Sugar Cookie Pinwheels! Don’t forget to also check out my Christmas cookie recipes from last year under the Christmas Cookie tab on my blog!

For this recipe, you make the dough just as you would the Perfect Peanut Butter Blossoms recipe. Instead of just rolling balls of dough, you are going to shape balls of dough into an upside-down triangle like this:

Make sure the dough is not too thin, it should be around 3/4-inch thick. Then, coat the dough in granulated sugar and place it on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. While the cookies are baking, gather the reindeer’s ears, eyes, and nose. For the ears, it is easiest to buy the Snyder’s of Hanover itty bitty mini pretzels. This will avoid the hassle of trying to break larger pretzels in half for the ears. For the eyes, I like to use mini chocolate chips, and for the nose, I went to my local Party City to get red M&Ms. Set out all of these ingredients so you are ready to turn these triangles into reindeer when the dough comes out of the oven.

Once the dough comes out, immediately place two pretzels on the top for ears, two mini chocolate chips for eyes, and one red M&M for the nose. Next thing you know, you’re going to have a tray full of little reindeer! Have fun decorating (and eating) these deliciously cute cookies!

I would love to see your little reindeer too! Tag me in your pictures @beyondbakingwithamandajane on Instagram and use the #beyondbakingwithamandajane! I hope you enjoy these cookies!

Reindeer Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 25 Cookies
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter (do not use chunky)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons milk
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup granulated sugar for rolling (optional)
  • about 70 Snyder’s of Hanover Itty Bitty Mini pretzels
  • 2 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips
  • 25-30 red M&M’s

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and line cookies sheets with parchment paper or a silicone mat.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the softened butter, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla. Mix until combined.
  4. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix until just combined.
  5. Scoop 1 1/2 inch dough balls and shape them into upside-down triangles, making sure the cookie is about 3/4-inch thick. Roll the dough in granulated sugar. Place on a prepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 8-10 minutes. While the cookies are baking, prepare the ears, eyes, and nose.
  7. Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately, gently push the reindeer facial features into the dough. Let sit for 5 minutes for the cookie to cool.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

A Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

Super rich and chocolatey chocolate cookies with a cracked dusting of powder sugar.

Today, I am sharing my second cookie recipe for this Christmas cookie season, A Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Crinkle Cookies! I always have an eye out for chocolatey cookies because my family loves chocolate everything and anything! These cookies remind me of an upgraded brookie (brownie + cookie): rich and cakey. The powder sugar dusting adds a pretty crackling effect and an extra sweetness to each bite. This is my favorite part of the cookie!

Last week, I posted my Pastel Christmas Sugar Cookie Pinwheels, click the link to check that recipe out! I also did a weekly Christmas cookie countdown last year, so don’t forget to check those recipes out under the Christmas Cookies category of my blog!

This recipe is quick and easy to whip up for a last-minute occasion. It is a one-bowl recipe, and the chill time is very minimal. When you are making this recipe, use dark cocoa powder because it will make the cookie even more rich and delicious. It is necessary to chill the dough so it is easier to work with when rolling the dough in powder sugar. I like to chill it in the freezer for 45-60 minutes. Then, using a cookie scoop, scoop balls of dough and roll each ball in a generous amount of powder sugar. Don’t be shy to add more powder sugar because this is what makes the beautiful cracking effect.

I hope you enjoy and have fun making these festive chocolate crinkle cookies! I would love to see your cookies on Instagram! Tag me @beyondbakingwithamandajane and use the #beyondbakingwithamandajane.

A Chocolate Lover's Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  • Servings: 3 dozen cookies
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cocoa, sugar, and oil until well combined.
  2. Beat in eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined.
  4. Cover the dough and chill in the freezer for 45-60 minutes, or in the refrigerator for 4 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scoop 1 inch balls using a cookie scoop. Roll each dough ball in powder sugar and place it on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 9-11 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Pastel Christmas Sugar Cookie Pinwheels

It’s finally December and you know what that means, Christmas cookie season is here! This is my favorite time of year! So, every week until Christmas, I will be sharing some of my favorite Christmas cookie recipes with you! To kick things off, I want to share my Pastel Christmas Sugar Cookie Pinwheels. Every year, when I plan out my cookie list, I never have enough color in my cookie assortment to make the platter look holly and jolly. BUT these cookies do just the job; they are bright and colorful and pop out on a plate full of cookies. AND they are absolutely delicious!

You may recognize this pastel sugar cookie recipe from my Pumpkin Shaped Pastel Cookies that my mom and I make together every Halloween. Instead of making orange pumpkins, we are going to make pinwheels!

Once you make the dough, divide it into 3 equal portions. You can dye these portions any color you may like, to suit any holiday you may celebrate, but for the spirit of Christmas, I dye one portion red, the other green, and leave the last portion as it is.

Once you dye your dough, roll each portion of dough until it is 1/4-inch thick between two pieces of parchment paper (roll each portion of dough out between their own two sheets of parchment paper). Once you have rolled each portion out, place everything on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 2 hours. This dough will be so much easier to work with when it is very chilled.

When the dough is chilled, it is time to layer the sheets of dough. I like to layer my colors with green at the bottom, then white, then red. I like to have the red on the outside of the cookie, but it doesn’t matter what order you choose to do! To start, leave the bottom sheet of parchment paper on the bottom layer of dough. For the next layer, remove the top sheet of parchment paper, line up the edges of dough, and slowly lay the top layer down. Repeat with the final layer of dough.

Gently press all of the layers together so they stick. Using the very bottom piece of parchment paper, begin to tightly roll the dough starting at the long edge. Freeze the roll for 1 hour.

When the roll is very cold, take a very sharp knife and cut 1/4-inch thick slices of dough. Place them on a cookie sheet, about 1 inch apart, and bake for 7 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Enjoy these colorful cookies!

I would love to see your version of my Pinwheel Cookies! Tag me in your pictures on Instagram @beyondbakingwithamandajane and use the #beyondbakingwithamandajane!

Pastel Christmas Sugar Cookie Pinwheels

  • Servings: 3 dozen cookies
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 6 Tablespoons milk
  • Red food coloring
  • Green food coloring

Directions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the egg yolks. Beat in the milk.
  4. Gradually add in the dry ingredients until dough is formed.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 pieces and dye. (one red, one green, and one with no dye)
  6. Roll each piece between two sheets of parchment paper until 1/4 inch thick. Place all 3 sheets of dough on a tray and chill for 3-4 hours.
  7. Stack each layer on top of each other, gently pressing down to make sure the layers are stuck together.
  8. Roll the dough, beginning on the long edge, into a tight cylinder. Freeze for 1 hour.
  9. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  10. Once chilled, cut 1/4-inch thick discs of dough and place on a baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. (note: if the dough begins to soften, put in the freezer for another 30 minutes)
  11. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Maple Butter Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Decadent, moist cake with a maple simple syrup and a butter pecan crunch. This cake is paired with a delicious cream cheese frosting, perfect for a fall dessert!

Maple butter pecan is the perfect cake flavor for any fall event, especially during the holiday season! The deliciousness of the cake starts with the pecans that are toasted in browned butter. These butter-roasted pecans are then folded into the cake batter. Each cake layer is doused with maple-flavored simple syrup for a hint of maple flavor. It gets even better when it is paired with cream cheese frosting which adds a little bit of tang to the overall flavors. This cake is definitely a hit with my family, and it can be a hit for yours too!

The process for making this cake is pretty simple. You begin by roasting your chopped pecans in browned butter. I find that when you buy chopped pecans, the pieces are still too large for the cake. I like to put the pecans in a food processor and pulse until they are about pea-sized. While I process the pecans, I have the butter browning on a skillet, so when the pecans are chopped, the butter is almost ready. Roast the pecans in the browned butter until fragrant and slightly brown. This should take about 4 minutes. Spread them out on a baking sheet to cool.

The batter uses whipped sour cream to add moisture and airiness to the cake. I whip the sour cream until medium-stiff peaks form and then gently fold it into the milk. It’s important not to skip out on the sour cream, opt for the full-fat version of sour cream and whole milk for the best results.

Once the cakes are done baking, let them cool completely. This is a good time to wrap your cakes very well in plastic wrap and refrigerate them overnight if this cake is going to be a two-day project.

When you are ready to assemble your cake, make your maple simple syrup, and let it cool completely before brushing the cake layers with the syrup. Be sure to level off your cake layers because it will not only keep your stacked cake straight, it will also expose the pores of the cake, allowing the syrup to better absorb into the whole layer. I add about 4 Tablespoons to each 9-inch cake. Finally, when frosting the cake, sprinkle some roasted pecans between each layer for added texture. Have fun decorating this cake!

I would love to see your Maple Butter Pecan Cakes! Tag me in your pictures @beyondbakingwithamandajane and use the #beyondbakingwithamandajane! I look forward to seeing your creations!

Maple Butter Pecan Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Servings: 3-9 inch round cakes
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Ingredients

    For The Cake:
  • 2 cups pecans, chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sour cream, whipped
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • For The Maple Simple Syrup:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple extract
  • For The Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped, for layering

Directions

    For The Cake:
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and line 3 9-inch round cake pans, and dust with a little flour.
  2. Melt 3 Tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is slightly browned, toss chopped pecans in the brown butter until fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Toss frequently to avoid burning. Pour out onto a parchment lined baking sheet to cool.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the sour cream until medium peaks form. Add the milk and set aside.
  4. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and mix well.
  6. Mix in the flour alternating with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Be sure to not overmix during these steps, or the cake will be very dry.
  7. Fold in the cooled roasted pecans. Divide the batter among the 3 prepared pans.
  8. Bake for 20-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cakes cool completely.
  9. For The Maple Simple Syrup:
  10. In a small sauce pan, combine the water and sugar. Melt over medium-low heat until the sugar has completely dissolved.
  11. Stir in the maple extract and remove from heat. Let cool.
  12. For The Cream Cheese Frosting:
  13. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip together the butter and cream cheese until very smooth.
  14. Stir in the vanilla and powdered sugar.
  15. Assembly Notes: – Level off each layer of cake to create a flat top, and brush about 4 Tablespoons of syrup onto each layer. – Between each layer, sprinkle about 1/3 cup chopped pecans. – You can also use the remaining chopped pecans for decorating the outside of the cake!

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

One Pot Chocolate Gooey Brownies

Fudgy yet cakey, rich chocolate brownies. Perfect for every type of brownie lover.

Over the years, I have started to perfect my brownie recipe. I have to admit, I used box brownie mix for a while because I thought that the box mix was comparable to homemade. Oh how very wrong I was. I liked the box mix because it was easy and fast, but I finally made a simple homemade brownie recipe that made me not want to use the box ever again.

This is a one-pot recipe that you do not want to miss. This brownie is neither 100% fudgy nor 100% cakey. It is a perfect mix of both and will satisfy all preferences, perfect for the holidays! I just recently perfected my recipe, and it was by accident. I was making brownies for my friends and me to snack on while we were catching up, but I did not have enough chocolate chips to stir into the batter like I used to do. So, I chopped up 4 oz. of milk chocolate and folded that into the batter. Something about it made these brownies to. die. for. The chopped chocolate bar is better than plain old chocolate chips because when you chop chocolate the chunks are all going to be different sizes. The small pieces melt throughout the brownie adding more richness while the larger chunks are large pockets of gooey chocolate. This chocolate adds a little bit of a fudgy texture to the cakey brownies. This is why it is so perfect.

It doesn’t matter what type of chocolate bar you decide to chop up. I just use whatever is around the house. I prefer to use milk chocolate because it adds a little more sweetness, and I have a huge sweet tooth. I also like to spice things up with flavored chocolate like milk chocolate hazelnut bars, caramel milk chocolate, and dark chocolate almond.

Overall, this brownie recipe is super easy and basic, but the chopped chocolate brought this recipe to a whole new level. You only use one pot and mix everything together. It takes less than 20 minutes to make the batter and you bake it for another 20. I can’t wait for you all to try it!

I would love to see your brownies! Tag me in your pictures @beyondbakingwithamandajane on Instagram and use the hashtag #beyondbakingwithamandajane!

One Pot Chocolate Gooey Brownies

  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces chocolate bar of choice
  • Chocolate chips to top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, grease an 8 x 8 in. pan. Place your 4 ounces of chocolate in the freezer.
  2. In a medium-large size sauce pan, melt butter until just melted (if butter is hot, let it cool before adding ingredients).
  3. Mix in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Add the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking soda. Mix until just combined.
  5. Remove the chocolate bars from the freezer and chop into small chunks. Fold into the batter.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle top with chocolate chips, If desired. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Taste tested by friends and family with love.

Ruby Red, Red Velvet Cupcakes

Vibrant red, moist, and delicious cupcakes, just like the famous Magnolia Bakery’s in NYC.

July 4th was just last week, and what better way to celebrate than with red white and blue cupcakes? Every year, I make my famous Ruby Red, Red Velvet Cupcakes! They’re perfectly festive, and they’re also a huge hit with the crowd for any occasion.

I’ve been making this recipe for as long as I can remember. It’s a copycat recipe for the delicious Magnolia Bakery red velvet cupcakes. My mom clipped the recipe from a newspaper a while back, and there’s no better recipe. These cupcakes are so perfect. They’re light and fluffy, yet so moist. And even better, they’re so simple to make!

The most important part of this recipe is to not over mix otherwise the cupcakes will be too dry. To help with this, it’s important to make sure all of the ingredients are at room temperature. I would also suggest using real buttermilk as opposed to making your own with vinegar or lemon juice and milk.

For this recipe, you will need several bowls: a bowl of a stand mixer, two small bowls, one medium bowl, and a liquid measuring cup.

Begin by sifting the cake flour in a medium-size bowl and set it aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter until smooth then gradually add the sugar and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the liquid food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. This will appear to not come together at first, but keep whisking, it will come together. In a liquid measuring cup, mix the buttermilk and salt together.

Beginning with the buttermilk, add in three parts, alternating with the flour. Be sure not to over mix. Lastly, in a small bowl, stir together vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well.

Fill lined cupcake tins for 3/4 of the way full and bake for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Make sure you don’t over bake these cupcakes or they will be dry. Keep a close eye on them while they bake as every oven bakes differently.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, you can frost these cupcakes with anything you like ermine frosting, cream cheese frosting, or American buttercream. I personally top my cupcakes with American buttercream because my family and I are not big fans of cream cheese frosting, but you can cater these cupcakes to what your friends and family like! I like to decorate my cupcakes with blueberries so there can be red, white, and blue which makes it more festive!

I would love to see how you decorate your Ruby Red, Red Velvet Cupcakes! Share your creations on Instagram and tag me @beyondbakingwithamandajane and use the #beyondbakingwithamandajane!

Ruby Red, Red Velvet Cupcakes

  • Servings: 36 Cupcakes
  • Rating: ★★★★★
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Ingredients

  • 3 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 Tablespoons liquid red food coloring
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F and line 36 cupcake tins.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift cake flour. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add the sugar and beat until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk the food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. In a liquid measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add this to the batter in three parts, alternating with the cake flour. Do not overbeat.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Stir into the batter until combined.
  8. Fill cupcake tins 3/4 full and bake for 18-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  9. Let cool completely on wire racks. Frost with the frosting of your choice.

John’s Classic New York Style Cheesecake

Creamy, smooth, and delicious New York Style Cheesecake with a sweet, buttery graham cracker crust.

When I was younger, I had always thought cheesecake was only an adult dessert. So, it was never my “Go-To” dessert when the dessert menu came around at restaurants. However, whenever my mom made this cheesecake, I would have seconds and thirds. This is the best cheesecake I have ever had! Like my Dad’s Apple Pecan Crumb Bread recipe, this is another recipe that my Dad had given my mom when they were dating. This recipe was given to my Dad and his family a long time ago from their old Italian neighbor when they were growing up in New York’s Little Italy.

Since I was young, this cheesecake has been a huge hit at every party we brought it to. There are normally little to no left overs because people keep going back for more! This cheesecake is so creamy and smooth with the perfect amount of sweetness. It is very light and rich with flavor. Not only is the filling absolutely delicious, but the graham cracker crust perfectly ties the cake together with its texture and sweet and buttery flavor.

Making this cheesecake is very straight forward. Begin by crushing the graham crackers into small crumbs. When I was younger, my mom liked to put the graham crackers into a heavy duty zip lock bag and let me pound on the bag to crush up the crackers. This was always so fun to me and I felt like I was being a big help! Now that I am older, it is easier and faster for me to just put the crackers in a food processor to make crumbs. Then, mix in the brown sugar and cinnamon. Once mixed in, add the butter and combine all the ingredients together for the crust and pour it out into a 9-inch spring form pan. Use the bottom of a glass to compress the crust evenly throughout the bottom of the pan. Don’t forget to reserve a tablespoon or two of crust so you can do a little taste test ;)! Next, make the batter. Begin by whipping the cream cheese. It is very important to whip the cream cheese to make the batter lighter. Then, add the sugar, and then eggs one at a time. Make sure to beat well after the addition of each egg. Next, add everything else and beat well. Pour all the batter on top of the crust and put the cheesecake in the refrigerator while the oven is pre-heating.

Baking the cake is a little different. It is very important to set up a water bath for the cake to bake in to prevent the cheesecake from cracking. The water should be about a 1/4-inch high. Bake for 60 minutes. The cheesecake will not change much in color, but 60 minutes will be long enough for the cake to bake. After the hour, do not open the oven door! Turn off the oven and let the cake sit in the oven for another hour. This is when the top of the cheesecake will become a nice golden brown.

I like to refrigerate the cake and serve it cold, but it can also be served at room temperature. This cheesecake is perfect to eat as is or with fresh berries! Enjoy!

I would love to see your cheesecakes! Tag me in your creations on Instagram @beyondbakingwithamandajane and use the #beyondbakingwithamandajane !

John's Classic New York Style Cheesecake

  • Servings: 1- 9-inch Cheesecake
  • Rating: ★★★★★
  • Print

Ingredients

    For the crust:
  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs (about 15 crackers)
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • For the Filling:

  • 3 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. heavy cream
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. For the crust, mix graham cracker crumbs with brown sugar and cinnamon. Blend in the softened butter.
  2. Using the bottom of a glass or your hands, press the crust over the bottom of the buttered 9-inch spring form pan. Set aside.
  3. For the filling, place softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip the cream cheese for 3-4 minutes. Beat in the sugar. Then beat in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Add the sour cream, heavy cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat well.
  5. Pour the batter overtop the crust and place in the refrigerator while the oven is preheating.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  7. When the oven is preheated, place the spring form pan into a water bath (about 1/4 inch of water). Bake on the middle rack for 60 minutes.
  8. After 60 minutes, turn off the oven and leave in the oven for 1 hour, do not open the oven door.

Taste tested with love by friends and family.

Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Cupcake

Soft and rich chocolate cake with a light, whipped peanut butter buttercream.

Welcome to my first recipe, I am so excited you are here! Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts to make because there is so much room for creativity when decorating. The majority of the time, in my opinion, the way cupcakes are decorated either make or break the whole thing. Today, I decided to decorate half of my cupcakes with just mini chocolate chips and the other half with chocolate ganache and mini chocolate chips.

This chocolate cake recipe is my favorite. It is rich with chocolatey flavor, yet very light and moist at the same time. A key ingredient to make the cake rich in chocolate is adding strong, hot coffee. As someone who doesn’t like coffee, I have found that adding just a half cup of hot coffee and hot milk strengthens the chocolate flavor without making the overall cake have a coffee flavor. Using plant milk doesn’t have much of an effect on the cake, so if you are like me and my family and don’t have regular dairy milk, use what you have- almond milk, oat milk, or soy milk, all work just fine!

I was having trouble with my foil liners sticking to the bottom of my cupcake tin because of two reasons:

  • In the hot oven, the coloring on the outside of the liner had a tendency to stick
  • Small drips of batter got between the liner and the cupcake tin

To fix the first problem, put a small square of parchment paper at the bottom of each cupcake tin. This made it so much easier to remove from the tray. As for the second reason, since the batter is really thin, it is easy for the batter to drip, so I like to let the batter sit on the counter for about 5 minutes so it thickens up slightly, then I fill the cupcake liners. This will make it easier for you to scoop batter into each cupcake liner.

Don’t worry about the parchment squares being even, nobody but you is seeing it!

The frosting has a strong peanut butter flavor to pair with the chocolatey flavor of the cupcakes. It is important that the butter and the creamy peanut butter are whipped together before the confectioners sugar is added and after it is added. This will ensure that the frosting is lighter and more airy. Before the buttercream sets, feel free to decorate your cupcakes however you like! I used a 2D Wilton tip and mini chocolate chips! Comment below how you decided to decorate your cupcakes!

I’d love to see your cupcake creations! Tag me on Instagram with your pictures!

Peanut Butter Lover’s Chocolate Cupcake

Yield: 24 cupcakes

Rating: 5 out of 5.

For the cake:

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk*
  • 1/2 cup flavorless oil (I used vegetable oil)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup very hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup very hot milk*

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and line 24 large cupcake tins with a paper liner.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  3. In a small bowl or large measuring cup, whisk together the eggs, 1 cup milk, oil, and vanilla.
  4. Make a small well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently mix until just combined. Don’t over mix.
  5. Mix together the hot coffee and hot milk. Slowly pour the hot liquid into the batter and stir until it is well combined. The batter will be very thin.
  6. Let the batter sit for 5-10 minutes, then fill the cupcake liners 2/3 of the way full. Clean any excess batter around the pan. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Let cool to room temperature, then put the cupcakes in the refrigerator while making the frosting.

For the frosting:

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 1/2- 3 cups of powered sugar
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 Tablespoons milk*
Directions:
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together the butter and peanut butter, then whip on medium-high speed for 1 minute.
  2. Slowly add the powdered sugar and 2 Tablespoon of milk. Mix until combined.
  3. Add another Tablespoon of milk (if needed) with the vanilla and salt, until the desired consistency. Whip for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Put the frosting in a large piping bag fitted with your desired tip, and decorate!
*Plant milk can also be used. I used almond milk.

Taste tested by family and friends with love