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Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake is a simple vanilla buttermilk-based cake studded with cranberries and fresh orange zest throughout. Perfect for holiday gatherings, afternoon tea, or any time! Thank you to Lipton for sponsoring this post.

Cranberry Orange Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

It is no secret that I love a good bundt cake recipe, especially for entertaining during the holiday season. They are easy to make (usually prepared in minutes!), look pretty right out of the pan, and can get away with a simple dusting of powdered sugar over the top.  …

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Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts | alidaskitchen.com

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts #SundaySupper

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts are an elegant yet simplified version of a fruit tart made with a sugar cookie base. Perfect for Mother’s Day, to celebrate National Moscato Day or any time!

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts | alidaskitchen.com

Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts are an easier version of a classic favorite dessert –fruit tarts.  In lieu of a traditional pastry shell, a sugar cookie (or cookie cup) forms the base of the Sugar Cookie Fruit Tart. Spread on top of the sugar cookie is a sweetened cream cheese mixture. Then simply decorate with your favorite fruits.  Sugar Cookie Fruit Tarts are so easy and so delicious!…

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Frosted Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes: chocolate cake filled with chocolate chip cheesecake topped with chocolate frosting and a chocolate candy square. Decadent, delicious and easy! | alidaskitchen.com

Frosted Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes


These Frosted Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes are made with chocolate cake, chocolate chip cheesecake, chocolate frosting and topped with chocolate candy. They are decadent, delicious and easy to make!

Frosted Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes: chocolate cake filled with chocolate chip cheesecake topped with chocolate frosting and a chocolate candy square. Decadent, delicious and easy! | alidaskitchen.com

These Frosted Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes are the ultimate dessert to celebrate Valentine’s Day or any occasion where you want something a little extra special.  These cupcakes have it all – chocolate cake, chocolate chip cheesecake, chocolate frosting and chocolate candy. And while they may appear semi-complicated, these cupcakes are actually very easy to make….

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Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Frozen Food Foundation for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake is a sweet, tangy vanilla cake bursting with juicy blueberries throughout. So simple, delicious and easy!

Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake | alidaskitchen.com

All summer, I was planning to make a blueberry buttermilk cake, however my family eats through containers of blueberries so quickly, I never had enough to make the cake. Fast forward to a few weeks ago, I ran across this recipe for a Lemon Blueberry Cake. With a few modifications, I thought this recipe could become a perfect Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake. I became obsessed with making this recipe, despite our love for everything pumpkin this time of year. Mid-fall is not really blueberry season.

Then I was at the grocery store, picking up the usual frozen peas and corn for the kids, and it hit me…frozen blueberries! Frozen blueberries (and fruits and vegetables in general) are a much more affordable, convenient and easy to serve option. I tossed a bag in my basket and looked forward to creating a Blueberry Buttermilk Bundt Cake!…

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Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #brownies #SundaySupper

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies #SundaySupper

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies are an easy recipe for a fudgy brownie mixed with chocolate sandwich cookies topped with cheesecake and then more cookies!

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #brownies #SundaySupper

I can’t believe Labor Day is just around the corner!  While much of our menu is typically centered around the grill, I love to make special desserts to share.  Last year I made S’mores Brownies. What could possibly top those?  Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Brownies of course!

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Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper

Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl #SundaySupper

Nothing says Springtime (or Easter) quite like a carrot cake, and this Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl is no exception.  The cake is a classic, moist and delicious carrot cake, and inside is a beautiful swirl of sweetened cream cheese.

Carrot Bundt Cake with Cream Cheese Swirl | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper

I wanted to make a new carrot cake-inspired recipe this year and was deciding between waffles and this cake.  Then Adam chimed in with a suggestion for carrot muffins. He claimed to have a good recipe and assured me ‘they are very easy to make.’   I was definitely intrigued by this good and easy recipe by my 4 year old, so asked how to make them.  Here is his recipe:

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Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #lemon #cookies #SundaySupper

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies #SundaySupper

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies are the ultimate chewy sugar cookie with a lemon twist.  These are a perfect Springtime treat to welcome the season!   

Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #cookies #SundaySupper

While it may technically be spring, Minnesota temperatures remain chilly (think single digits, brr!)  It is this time of year, the transition from winter to spring, that lemon desserts are wonderful.  Berries are not quite in season, and lemon is like a bite of sunshine, all bright and cheery.  Add lemon to the ultimate chewy sugar cookie, and it’s Springtime perfection in cookie form….

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Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper #brunch

Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast #SundaySupper

Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast | alidaskitchen.com #recipes #SundaySupper #brunch

Overnight Blueberry Baked French Toast is made with custard soaked French bread cubes and studded with juicy fresh blueberries and cream cheese throughout.  This dish is perfect for brunch, but I love it for breakfast for dinner because it is so easy.  It takes minutes to prepare, can be made ahead, and then just bake in the oven until golden and delicious.  The result is decadent, yet made on the lighter side using a ‘secret’ ingredient….

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Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding for Two | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding #SundaySupper

Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding for Two | alidaskitchen.com

Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding is studded with chopped Whoppers candies, chocolate chips, drizzled with chocolate syrup and drenched in a  light custard.  This fun dessert for two takes minutes to mix together and then  bakes for about 30 minutes.

One of Mike’s favorite treats are Triple Chocolate Malted Cookies.  He also loves Whoppers candies.  Actually, he is pretty much crazy for anything chocolate malt, so I thought it would be fun to make a special dessert with this favorite in mind.  I wanted to make a dessert for two, and Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding jumped to the top of the list…for obvious reasons….

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Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls

OREO disclosure

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls | alidaskitchen.com

Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls are a delicious yet simple chocolate truffle made with only 4 ingredients.  These are one of the easiest desserts you will ever make and also one of the tastiest!

This recipe starts with the classic Oreo Cookie Ball with a pretzel twist.  The pretzels add a subtle salty component to the truffle, giving it the salty-sweet combination that is always so popular.  This recipe makes plenty, which is good because they will disappear quickly.  Pretzel Oreo Cookie Balls will make a wonderful addition to any Holiday treat platter, or for any occasion….

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Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars #SundaySupper

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars | alidaskitchen.com

Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake Bars are a decadent dessert made on the lighter side that is simple to make.  If you’re intimidated by making a full cheesecake, or just looking for a quick and easy recipe for a cheesecake fix, then these bars are you for you!  In 30 minutes you make the crust, the cheesecake filling, and even a fresh raspberry sauce….

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Over 30 Perfect Party Dips and Desserts | alidaskitchen.com

30+ Perfect Party Dips and Desserts #HolidayHelper

NRFA Disclosure

Over 30 recipes for Perfect Party Dips and Desserts made using cream cheese, yogurt or sour cream that are easy to make and great for a crowd.  For all of these recipes and more, be sure to visit my Perfect Party Dips and Dessert board on Pinterest!

Over 30 Perfect Party Dips and Desserts | alidaskitchen.com

Lately I have been receiving many requests for party menu ideas, as people begin planning their Holiday festivities.  I thought it would be fun to share some recipes from my favorite bloggers.  I gathered the most amazing appetizer and dessert recipes ~ think savory dips and spreads, as well as dessert dips and simple cheesecakes.   They are all easy to make, many require no cooking or baking, which is all very welcome when it comes to planning a party!

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Tortellini Primavera - a quick and healthy pasta dish made on the lighter side!

Tortellini Primavera #WeekdaySupper


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Tortellini Primavera is a creamy, cheesy pasta dish made with with lots of vegetables.  It is quick, easy and healthy ~ perfect for a weeknight!

Like most people, we are always looking for quick and easy recipes for weeknight dinners.  While frozen pizza or takeout seem like a quick fix for those busy nights, we always prefer something healthier, tastier, and homemade.  But like I said, it has to be easy, right?  This Tortellini Primavera is all that, plus it’s super tasty!  With all the vegetables, the cheese, the creaminess, the cheese-filled tortellini, and being easy to make, you really can’t go wrong.  …

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Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta {Alida's Kitchen}

Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta

Cheesy  Broccoli Penne Pasta...made on the lighter side!  {Alida's Kitchen}

Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta dish is made on the lighter side with a light cheddar and Parmesan sauce and fresh broccoli.  A quick and healthy stove top meal, this is a great weeknight dinner! 

We love cheesy pasta dishes, and generally the more cheese the better, right?   In summer months we tend to gravitate to lighter meals, leaving our beloved cheesy baked pasta dishes by the wayside.  They can be a bit heavy, and while I love baked pasta, I don’t always love to turn on the oven when the temperatures rise.   That’s where this Cheesy Broccoli Penne Pasta dish is perfect.  It has a light cheddar and Parmesan cheese sauce ~ just enough to coat the pasta and broccoli.  And it’s all made on the stove top in under 30 minutes.  You can’t beat that!…

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Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies

 Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies add M&M chocolate candies to the best chewy sugar cookie recipe, resulting in one of my favorite cookies of all time. These are also fun for holidays!
Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

When I first saw a recipe for Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies, and realized it used the same base recipe as my Chewy Sugar Cookies I knew they were going to be good.  Since those cookies are one of my favorites of all time, I figured M&Ms could only make them better, right?  Right!  The sugar cookie base is deliciously chewy and the cream cheese adds a little tang. Chocolate bursts of M&Ms are studded throughout. Chewy sugar cookies made with M&Ms. Genius idea.

I love how cute these look and that they can be made festive for any occasion.  Truth be told, I have been trying to make these cookies for months. I have M&Ms for every holiday stocked in my treat drawer that were intended to be used for Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies.  While I used Easter “Bunny Mix” M&Ms, these are made in honor of Spring (since there won’t be any left for Easter…Oops!).

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies
 
Yields: 24 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar, plus ⅓ cup for rolling
  • 2 ounces cream cheese, cut into 12 pieces (I used ⅓ less fat cream cheese)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and hot
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1⅓ cup M&M chocolate candies
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper. Place ⅓ cup sugar in a shallow bowl and set aside (this will be used for rolling).
  2. In a medium bowl, whick the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, add 1½ cups sugar and cream cheese. Pour butter over sugar and cream cheese and whisk to combine (some small lumps may remain). Whisk in oil until incorporated. Add egg, milk and vanilla; continue to whisk until smooth.
  4. Add flour mixture and mix with rubber spatula. Add 1 cup of M&Ms and continue mixing until dough forms.
  5. Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Using hands, roll dough into balls. Roll balls in reserved sugar to coat and place on prepared baking sheets, 12 balls per sheet. Using bottom of drinking glass, flatten balls until 2 inches in diameter. Using remaining M&Ms, gently press 2-3 candies onto tops of cookies.
  6. Bake 1 tray at a time until edges are set and beginning to brown, about 9 to 12 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets for 5 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack and let cool completely before serving.

Source:  as seen on Carrie’s Sweet Life, originally fromTracey’s Culinary Adventures

Chewy M&M Sugar Cookies | alidaskitchen.com

cream cheese cookies with lemon glaze

Cream Cheese Meltaways

cream cheese meltaways with lemon glaze

Cream Cheese Meltaways with Lemon Glaze are little bite-sized cookies that are a light and delicious addition to any holiday cookie platter.  These cookies were a new addition this year, and they were an instant favorite!  The lemon glaze gives just a hint of lemony sweetness to the cream cheesy butter cookies.  The recipe for glaze makes plenty.  You could probably get by with using half the glaze recipe, or better yet – double the cookie recipe…these will go fast!

Cream Cheese Meltaways
 
Yields: 36 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened (I used light butter)
  • 2 ounces block-style Neufachtel cream cheese (1/3 less fat/light)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Glaze:
  • 1¾ cups powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • assorted sprinkles, for decorating (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cornstarch and salt until combined.
  3. In a large bowl, add powdered sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until combined. (Note: dough will be dry and crumbly).
  5. Shape dough into 1-inch balls (be careful not to overwork dough) and place on prepared cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes of pan and then move to wire rack to cool completely.
  7. GLAZE: In a medium bowl, whisk powdered sugar and lemon juice until smooth. Dip the tops of cooled cookies into glaze and place on wire rack. Decorate with sprinkles, as desired. Let cookies stand until glaze is set.

Source:  Cooking Light

cream cheese meltaways from Alida's Kitchen

pumpkin cream cheese filled cupcakes

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes

So I couldn’t help myself…I had to share one last pumpkin recipe with you.  It’s a good one.  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes are a moist, delicious pumpkin cake with a cream cheese surprise in the middle.  A little sprinkling of powdered sugar on top is all these cupcakes need before presenting, which makes them ideal for travel or eating at a gathering since they won’t get all messy.  While these cupcakes can hold their own without any frosting, they would also be really good with a little Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting if you want to get fancy.  Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes are an easy, portable and fun little pumpkin alternative to tomorrow’s traditional pie.

 

By the way, can you believe we’re already in Week #9 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  Due to the Thanksgiving holiday this Thursday, many of us are posting starting today through the rest of the week, so be sure to check out all of the yummy treats by clicking on the thumbnails at the bottom of this post.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!!

Pumpkin Surprise Cupcakes
 
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pure pumpkin
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 8 ounces light cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Powdered sugar, for topping (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, beat pumpkin, sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla until combined. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, gently folding until well-blended.
  4. FILLING: In a separate small bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add egg and beat on low until just combined.
  5. Fill muffin cups approximately one-third full. Distribute evenly among cupcakes, dropping a generous tablespoonful in the enter of each cupcake. Cover with remaining batter.
  6. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the pumpkin cake portion comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar just before serving (or frost as desired).

Source: Taste of Home


Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars...made on the lighter side!  from Alida's Kitchen

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars combine pumpkin and cheesecake into a beautiful layered bar that are as delicious as they are simple to make.  First you make a graham cracker crust.  While that cools completely, you make the cheesecake filling, reserving a portion to add in some pumpkin.  Pour the plain cheesecake layer over the crust.  Dollop the pumpkin layer over the cheesecake layer and try for a swirl effect, if you desire, by running a knife through the batter.  I was liking the simple layered look, so left it as is.  Either way, they taste like a decadent cheesecake with a pumpkin twist.

With the holidays coming up, these Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars are a light alternative to those heavier desserts (or in addition to…I don’t judge!!)  You would never guess it, but they are made on the lighter side, coming in around 115 calories per bar.

If you’re looking for other lighter dessert options, this Crustless Pumpkin Pie is my favorite pie of all time!

 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
 
Yields: 16 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (approx 9 sheets)
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons light butter, melted (regular butter would work too)
  • Cooking spray
  • 11 ounces light cream cheese (Neufchatel, ⅓ less fat)
  • ⅓ cup light sour cream
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9" square baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. CRUST: In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and sugar; add butter and stir until moistened. Press mixture into prepared baking pan. Bake for 7 to 10 minutes or until set. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. FILLING: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, flour and vanilla until smooth. Add egg, and beat on low until just combined.
  4. Pour ¾ cup batter into a small bowl. Add pumpkin, brown sugar and cinnamon, stirring until well blended.
  5. Pour plain batter over cooled crust. Drop dollops of pumpkin batter over the plain batter. Cut through batter with knife to swirl.
  6. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours to overnight.

 

Source:  Taste of Home

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.

easy chocolate sandwich cookies from Alida's Kitchen

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies are a simplified version of a chewy homemade Oreo cookie.  The chocolate cookies are soft, yet sturdy and the filling is a sweetened cream cheese frosting.  The dough literally took me 5 minutes minutes to whip together.  I feared the dough would be gooey and messy to work with, but it was quite firm and rolled into balls by hand without a huge sticky mess.

These cookies are fun any holiday or celebration because you can color the filling to suit any occasion or simply roll the sides in sprinkles for a cute, colorful decoration.  The recipe yields a generous amount of cookies, which is perfect if you’re looking to share.  It also halves easily, which is what I did…(I still shared though) 🙂

I am sharing these delicious yet super easy cookies as part of Week 4 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While this recipe makes plenty and these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I made them pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Week hosted by Erin of Dinners, Dishes and DessertsTo conclude Breast Cancer Awareness Week, tomorrow Erin is hosting a giveaway, so be sure to visit Dinners, Dishes and Desserts on Friday for a chance to win!

Be sure to check out the thumbnails at the bottom of this post and visit the other bloggers who are posting amazing recipes today in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, and also for the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!

Easy Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
 
Yields: approximately 4 dozen sandwich cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 packages devil's food cake mix
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ⅔ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened - (I used Neufachtel / ⅓ less fat)
  • 3 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • food coloring or sprinkles for decorating, if desired
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cake mixes, eggs and oil until combined (Note: I used a hand mixer; batter will be very stiff).
  3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Using the side of a silicone spatula, press to flatten the balls slightly.
  4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool completely before filling. (Note: I baked the cookies the night before and did the filling the next day).
  5. For the filling: In a medium mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Add food coloring, if desired.
  6. Spread filling on bottom of half of the cookies. Top with remaining cookies. Finish decorating, as desired.

Source:  Taste of Home: Best Loved Cookies and Bars

Be sure to check out the bloggers who are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Week for some delicious pink and/or healthy recipes! 

Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us

chocolate cream cheese chocolate chips cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes

Black Bottom Cupcakes are one of my favorite desserts to make (and eat!).  They are chocolate cake and chocolate chip cheesecake at its finest, and they are so quick and easy to make.  The chocolate cake is a nice and light basic chocolate cake, which pairs nicely with the rich chocolate chip cheesecake filling.  The cheesecake filling takes the place of buttery frosting, which makes these cupcakes a lighter option.  They’re also less messy, making these one of my go-tos when I’m in charge of bringing a dessert.  Everybody always loves them.  Black Bottom Cupcakes are made with simple ingredients that can be kept on hand at all times, making them perfect for parties, travel, potlucks, or simply when the craving strikes.


Black Bottom Cupcakes
 
Yields: 18-24 cupcakes
Ingredients
FILLING:
  • 8-ounce block Neufachtel cream cheese (1/3 less fat), room temperature
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used miniature chips)
CAKE:
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • ⅓ cup canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin cups with paper liners or spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. First make the filling: In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and egg until combined and fluffy. Stir in chocolate chips and set aside.
  3. Then make then cake: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt (if using). Make a well in the center.
  4. In a small bowl, stir water, oil, vinegar and vanilla until combined. (Note: I just mix everything in my liquid measuring cup...one less dish to wash).
  5. Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients, pouring into the well. Fold gently until well blended.
  6. Divide cake batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Then divide the filling evenly over cake batter by spooning a dollop of the cream cheese filling over the cake batter.
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cake is set. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Adapted from allrecipes.com

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Last Saturday was a special anniversary.  An anniversary worthy of these Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes made with chocolate cake, filled with peanut butter and topped with a fluffy chocolate frosting.  These cupcakes are light, decadent and perfect to celebrate this milestone anniversary.  This anniversary in question, or blog-o-versary as some call it, marks the 1 year anniversary of Alida’s Kitchen!

The chocolate/peanut butter combination is always a winner for any celebration.  I doubled the amount of peanut butter filling from the original recipe, which resulted in a generous amount of peanut butter.  It had a good peanut butter to chocolate ratio, which is key.  I used my go-to chocolate frosting, which is a classic and pipes really nicely. 

These Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes were super easy to make and the result was the perfect treat to celebrate the 1 year blog-o-versary of Alida’s Kitchen.  I want to thank you all so much for visiting and for cooking and baking with me this past year! 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting
Yields 24 cupcakes

Ingredients
FILLING:
6 ounces Neufchatel cream cheese (the 1/3 less fat kind), at room temperature
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons skim milk

CAKE:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup water
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

FROSTING:
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Make Filling:  In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, and milk until combined.  Set aside.
  2. Make Cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, water, milk, oil and vanilla.  Fold into dry ingredients until just moistened.  (note: batter will be thin).
  5. Fill prepared muffin cups half full with batter. 
  6. Divide filling evenly amongst the 24 cups, dropping spoonfuls of filling in the center of each cup (Tip: using a scale is handy for measuring and even distribution.  If you don’t have a scale, The filling amounts to approx. a generous rounded tablespoon per cupcake). 
  7. Cover each cup with remaining batter.
  8. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into cake comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan and the move cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
  9. Once cooled, frost with chocolate frosting and decorate as desired.  
  10. Make Frosting:  Melt the butter. Whisk in the cocoa powder, whisking until smooth.
  11. Stir in vanilla and alternately add powdered sugar and milk, using a hand mixer (or stand mixer) to beat to spreading consistency. Add small amount additional milk, if needed.

Source for cake and filling: Taste of Home; frosting: Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

no-bake peanut butter pie

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie

My initial impression of this No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie was that it’s a perfect pie for summer. While I still believe that to be true, let’s be honest. This pie is so amazingly delicious (and easy!) it should not be limited to any single season or occasion.  This pie is the perfect any time pie!

We all know, some of the best desserts are quick and easy.  This No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie is no exception.  It can be whipped together in a matter of minutes, and then just popped in the freezer until time to serve.  The texture is smooth and creamy, almost like an ice cream pie. The peanut butter flavor is nicely balanced with the COOL WHIP whipped topping and cream cheese. I halved the amount sugar from the original recipe, and the result was just the right amount of sweetness.

The recipe makes two pies, one for now, one to share, or to simply make ahead for later.  It’s great for a holiday, potluck or really any day.  The ingredients will soon become pantry staples in my house (thanks to Mike!), so we can enjoy this any time pie…any time!

No-Bake Peanut Butter Pie
 
Yields: 2 pies, 8-10 servings per pie
Ingredients
  • 1 block (8 ounces) ⅓ less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 can (14 ounces) fat free sweetened condensed milk
  • 12 ounces COOL WHIP Whipped Topping (I used COOL WHIP FREE Whipped Topping)
  • 2 ready made pie crusts (graham cracker or chocolate cookie)
  • additional COOL WHIP Whipped Topping, for topping
  • chocolate syrup, for topping
  • peanut butter cup candies, chopped, for topping
Instructions
  1. Put cream cheese, peanut butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Beat on medium for about 3 minutes, or until combined and fluffy. Gradually add milk, beating until well-blended.
  2. Fold in COOL WHIP until combined.
  3. Divided mixture evenly between 2 pie crusts.
  4. Freeze pies until set (at least 2 hours hour to overnight).
  5. Before serving, remove from freezer and (if solid) let sit for 10 minutes before cutting. In the meantime, decorate as desired using COOL WHIP whipped topping, chocolate syrup, peanut butter cup candies or whatever inspires you. Then slice, serve and enjoy!

Adapted from Cooking Light

Disclaimer:  As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker Program, I received coupons for free COOL WHIP Whipped Topping and a stipend. Sponsored posts are purely editorial content that we are pleased to have presented by a participating sponsor. Advertisers do not produce the content.

What you add makes it. #coolwhipmoms

oreo cookies and cream cupcakes

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cupcakes

As I’m sure you’ve heard, the Oreo cookie has been celebrating a big birthday.  As a result, our local grocery store was giving away a free package of Oreos.  That’s my kind of celebration!  I never buy Oreos, so wanted to make something special.  In the keeping with the festive spirit, I decided Oreo Cupcakes were definitely in order.

These Oreo Cupcakes were an indulgence, and an absolute treat.  The vanilla cake and the cream cheese frosting complement each other perfectly, while letting the Oreo cookies shine through in all their glory.  It doesn’t hurt there is half a cookie (the cream-filled half at that!) resting at the bottom of the cupcake, there are big cookie chunks studded throughout the cakes, and there is a dusting of chocolate cookie crumbs on the top.  These are the ultimate cupcakes for cookies and cream lovers!

So, back to birthdays…it just so happens today is my brother’s birthday. It’s a big birthday too ~ the kind with a 0 at the end. We can’t let a day like that go under-celebrated. He lives on the West coast, which makes an in-person cake celebration a bit tricky. So instead, we can celebrate with a virtual birthday cake, and these Oreo Cupcakes are posted in his honor!  Happy Birthday!

Oreo Cookies and Cream Cupcakes
 
Yields: 24 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • Cupcake:
  • 24 Oreo cookies, separated (carefully twist for 1 side with filling intact, 1 side just cookie)
  • 24 Oreo cookies, quartered
  • 2¼ cups all-purpose flour, plus 2 tablespoons for quartered Oreos
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1⅔ cups sugar
  • Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (I used the ⅓ less fat variety), at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 cups powdered sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. With the Oreos that have been separated: 1) Place each cream-filled half of the separated Oreos at the bottom of each paper liner. 2) With the chocolate cookie halves, cut 12 in half and crush the remaining 12, and set aside for garnish.
  3. Toss the quartered Oreos in flour and set aside.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt.
  5. In a large bowl, cream butter until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Add milk, sugar and vanilla, and beat until combined.
  6. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, mixing until well-blended. Add the egg whites, and beat for 2 minutes. Fold in quartered Oreos.
  7. Divide batter evenly among cupcake liners. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
  8. To make the frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and vanilla until smooth. Add butter, and cream until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until you reach desired consistency.
  9. Frost cupcakes as desired. Sprinkle with crushed Oreos and top with a half of the chocolate cookie halves.
Notes
There were a few comments on the original recipe that reported occasional cake sticking to the cupcake liners. While I did not experience this issue, I wanted to bring this to your attention so you carefully peel your liners. Also, I stored my cupcakes in the refrigerator, but do not know if that helped the paper liners release. They're good...enjoy!

Source:  Beantown Baker

easy peanut butter butterfinger cheesecake pie

Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie

Today is March 14th, which means it’s National Pi(e) Day!  So in honor of this day, I am sharing with you Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie.  I am not lying when I tell you this is one of the best desserts I have ever had.  Plus, it is super easy to make, making it an ideal make-ahead dessert for a party, potluck, or simply to celebrate Pi!

The hands-on time takes less than 15 minutes, and the bulk of that time is in chopping the candy.  The pie is baked to set the cheesecake filling and then chilled for several hours (overnight works great).  I used a premade graham cracker pie crust.  A from-scratch crust is pretty easy to make though.  It all works.

The result is a delicious slice of cheesecake filled with chunks of Butterfinger – so good.  I love this recipe because you can easily swap out the Butterfinger for the same amounts of whatever candy or cookie mix-ins strikes you.  You can also mix up the crust, using a chocolate cookie crust, graham cracker, or whatever you like.  The possibilities are endless, though I am quite happy to celebrate this day with a piece of Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie.  Happy Pi Day!

Butterfinger Cheesecake Pie
 
Yields: 8 servings
Ingredients
  • 9-inch graham cracker pie crust
  • 2 8-ounce packages Neufchâtel cream cheese (the ⅓ less fat variety), room temperature
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2¾ cups Butterfinger candy, chopped - separated (I used an entire 12.5 ounce bag of 'fun size')
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  • whipped cream (not pictured, optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Using an electric mixer (or hand mixer) set to medium-high, beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until well-blended.
  3. Fold in 2 cups candy, mixing until combined.
  4. Pour cream cheese mixture into pie crust (it will be very full!). Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until filling has set. Remove from oven and let cool for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle remaining candy over the top (or save some to use as garnish) and chill in the refrigerator for 8 to 10 hours (or overnight).
  5. Garnish with crushed candy, chocolate syrup and/or whipped cream, as desired, before serving.
Notes
Adapted from Real Simple

 

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes with Pink Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes with Pink Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting

It seems we save cupcakes for a special occasion – to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, an accomplishment, etc.  When I made these cupcakes, I didn’t have any particular occasion in mind.  I decided to make these Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes ‘just because.’  Just because it’s been a while since I last made cupcakes.  Just because there is always a reason to celebrate something.  Just because citrus is aplenty right now,…let’s try something new!

These cupcakes are really easy to make and a unique way to enjoy grapefruit.  The cake alone has a subtle citrus flavor – just enough grapefruit flavor without being overpowering.  When topped with the grapefruit cream cheese frosting, it becomes dangerouly good.  The cream cheese gives the right amount of tang to balance the grapefruit flavor and brings it all together into a sweet and delicious cupcake.

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes were fun to make, fun to eat, and fun to share…all just because. 😉

Pink Grapefruit Cupcakes with Pink Grapefruit Cream Cheese Frosting
 
Yields: 12 cupcakes
Ingredients
  • Cupcakes:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅔ cup granulates sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt (nonfat or 2% reduced-fat)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons pink grapefruit zest (1 softball-sized grapefruit yielded approximately 1 tablespoon)
  • Frosting:
  • 4 ounces ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, chilled (block)
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pink grapefruit zest
  • 2 teaspoons pink grapefruit juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs; mix until smooth.
  4. To the butter mixture, add half of flour mixture, and combine; repeat with remaining flour mixture. Add yogurt and vanilla, blending with a rubber spatula. Fold in zest, mixing until just combined.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups (about ⅔ full). Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer cupcakes to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
  6. To make the frosting, place cream cheese in a medium bowl and baet on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla zest and juice, beating until smooth. Frost cupcakes as desired.
Notes
If not serving immediately, cupcakes/frosting should be refrigerated, otherwise, the frosting gets too soft. When serving, let cupcake sit out for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.

Adapted from Health

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Layered Pumpkin Loaf

Layered Pumpkin Loaf is a delicious and easy recipe for pumpkin bread with a cream cheese swirl in the middle.

For the longest time, Mike and I would get ‘Pumpkin Loaf’ from everybody’s favorite coffee shop (you know, the one with the green logo).  While that bread is good, I dare say that I prefer this Layered Pumpkin Loaf.  Perhaps it’s the moist and flavorful bread, or perhaps it’s the cream cheese layer resting in the middle.  Regardless of the reason, this is just plain good.

I substituted buttermilk for the skim milk in the original recipe, and I added extra cinnamon in addition to the pumpkin pie spice.  I also added the chopped pepitas on top.  Pepitas are tasty, add some crunch, look pretty, and go perfectly with this bread.

If you will be hosting out of town guests over the holidays, or simply hosting a breakfast/brunch, Layered Pumpkin Loaf would make a lovely addition to your table.

Not sure if you noticed, but I like pumpkin just a little bit. 🙂 This bread is certainly no exception.

Layered Pumpkin Loaf
 
Yields: 9x5 loaf, approximately 16 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 egg whites, divided
  • ½ cup low fat buttermilk
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese (1/3 reduced fat), softened
  • ¼ cup pepitas, chopped (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, stir pumpkin, 1 cup granulated sugar, brown sugar, 3 egg whites, buttermilk and oil, until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Add to pumpkin mixture and fold gently just until moistened.
  4. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, remaining granulated sugar and remaining egg white until well blended.
  5. Spoon half the pumpkin batter into a 9x5-inch loaf pan sprayed with cooking spray. Spread the cream cheese mixture in a layer over that batter. Top cream cheese layer with remaining pumpkin batter (You will want to spread the top pumpkin layer a little bit with a silicone spatula, but it is ok if a little cream cheese is still visible).
  6. Sprinkle the top layer with chopped pepitas, if desired. It helps to gently pat the pepitas into the batter
  7. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 5 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Loosen bread from sides of pan; cool in pan for 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Adapted from Kraft

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Pineapple Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my favorite things about birthdays is birthday cake. Especially making birthday cakes! The birthday person chooses a cake or simply gives me inspiration.  Then I try to make the best cake I can.  When it came time to choose my birthday cake, believe me, it was a tough decision. My head was still in zucchini-mode. I love pineapple, and I love cream cheese. So I was on zucchini, pineapple, and cream cheese mission. Seems easy enough, right? 

I researched a few recipes until deciding on this one, and made a few changes, reflected below.  The frosting is a nice balance of cinnamon and cream cheese and the perfect complement to the cupcakes.  There are chunks of pineapple and hints of coconut and zucchini in the cake.  They are healthy and come in under 200 calories.  Pineapple Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting made the perfect birthday treat!

* REMINDER:  MAGAZINE GIVEAWAY ENDS TONIGHT!  GO HERE TO ENTER!  *

Pineapple Zucchini Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
Yields 18 cupcakes

Cake:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sweetened flaked coconut
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt  (optional)
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini (squeeze out some of the moisture)
20 ounce can of pineapple tidbits or crushed in juice, drained (I used tidbits for chunkier pieces)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 18 standard muffin cups with paper liners (fill the empty cups halfway with water). 
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, coconut, baking soda, salt (if using) and cinnamon.  Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, stir together oil, eggs and vanilla until well blended.  Add zucchini and pineapple and mix until combined.
  4. Add zucchini mixture to dry ingredients and gently fold until combined.  (Note: Batter will be thick).
  5. Divide batter evenly among 18 muffin cups.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely on a wire rack.

Frosting:

8 ounces Neufchâtel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon. 
  2. Pipe or spread frosting on cupcakes, as desired. 

Note:  If not serving immediately, cupcakes/frosting should be refrigerated.  Otherwise, the frosting gets too soft.  When serving after refrigeration, let cupcake sit out for 10-15 minutes at room temperature.  (They are good straight from the fridge, however…if you can’t wait like me!)  🙂

Nutrition Information per Serving (1 cupcake and 1/18 frosting)
Calories: 190 ~ Fat: 6g ~ Carbs: 33.6g ~ Fiber 2.9g ~ Protein: 3.2g

Adapted from Skinny Taste

raspberry white chocolate cream cheese muffins

Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins

Raspberry season is upon us with a plethera of delicious berries to do with as we wish.

And I wish for Raspberry White Chocolate muffins.  Seriously.  I have been waiting all year for raspberry season just so I could make them.

These muffins are definitely one of those muffins.  The kind of muffins that feel like dessert for breakfast…and well….it kind of is.  But there’s fruit, so it’s totally legit.

Raspberry and white chocolate are such a classic combination.  The juicy raspberries burst in your mouth and the white chocolate chips provide a nice texture.  The cream cheese gives the batter a sticky consistency, resulting in beautiful, rustic-looking muffins.  Enjoy!
Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins
 
Yields: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • 1 package (8 oz) light cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well.
  3. Combine the flour and baking powder.
  4. Add dry ingredients to the cream cheese mixture until just blended. Stir in chips. Gently fold in raspberries.
  5. Distribute batter evenly amongst 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan to wire rack.

 

Slightly adapted from Taste of Home: Cupcakes & Muffins