Funfetti Cheesecake Bites

The past few weeks have been super busy with family events, work and work events, and this whole training for a marathon thing (which is on SUNDAY!). So, my time in the kitchen has been rather sparse – I think my husband has spent more time cooking for himself while I’ve been gone!

So this past Sunday after a successful last “long” run of 8 miles and a trip to get race day supplies, I spent the rest of the afternoon in the kitchen. I started with slow-cooker lasagna, going off of a recipe I saw posted on YumSugar. Growing up I remember my mom always bemoaning lasagna and how labor intensive it was (as you can guess we didn’t have it very often). So after seeing a recipe were I didn’t have to precook the noodles, I was all over it.

While dinner was cooking away, I got to work on my next project – Funfetti cheesecake bites. After the success of the Funfetti fudge I made for Halloween, I figured I could work Funfetti into more things. I had made Mini Oreo Cheesecakes before and they were awesome, so I took the same base recipe but instead used Golden Oreos, some Funfetti cake mix, and sprinkles. Not only was the recipe straight forward, but they are pretty darn tasty. The combination of cheesecake and Funfetti may sound weird, but it works – I promise.

This got me thinking – cheesecake is one of those vehicles that can really take on a whole bunch of different flavors. It might be time to branch out in the cheesecake world and try some different combinations. Or I can just stick to what I know and love – Oreos and Funfetti. Either way, these would be a perfect bite-sized treat to bring to a Holiday party… and you know that’s where you will be spending most of your weekends between now and the new year.

Funfetti Cheesecake Bites
– Makes 20 –

20 golden Oreo’s
1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 Tbsp Funfetti cake mix
2 Tbsp sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 275°F. Line your cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners and place one Oreo into the bottom of each lined cup.
2. With a stand or hand mixer on medium-high, beat cream cheese until creamy and smooth, then gradually beat in sugar until combined. Beat in vanilla.
3. Drizzle in the eggs a little bit at a time until combined, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and Funfetti mix. Add sprinkles at the very end (or the colors start to run).
4. Divide the batter evenly among the cookie-filled cups, filling each one almost to the top. Bake until the cakes are set (about 22 minutes), rotating the pans halfway through.
5. Remove from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, chill the cakes in the pans for at least four hours (or up to overnight).

Weekly Baking: Take One

The month of weekly baking started a bit early, since Monday was Halloween. My office decided to have some Halloween related festivities at the end of the day, including trick-or-treating to one another’s cubicles. So, instead of handing out store-bought candy, I thought it would be nice to make something since there are only about 25 employees in my office. Because one dessert just isn’t enough, I made two.

The whole purpose of this month’s attempt to bake something every weekend is because I enjoy the act of baking, but more importantly myself and my husband enjoy the fruits of my labor. It’s true that baking can be time consuming, scientific, and tedious, but it’s almost always worth it. Plus, who doesn’t like taking homemade treats to work as snacks?

I’ve been eyeing this Funfetti fudge from Little Bitty Bakes for quite some time now and finally remembered to pick up white chocolate chips at the store. I’ve had Funfetti mix and cans of condensed milk for weeks, but have somehow always managed to forget the chocolate. I know they aren’t Halloween related, and are instead much more fun and whimsical looking than scary, but I thought the idea was just so cool, and the recipe seemed easy enough. This was my first attempt at “fudge,” and considering how easy it was, I definitely need to make it more frequently.

Next up were homemade Oreos, or as Eat, Drink, and Run called them, Fauxreos. Either way, I was able to make them a little more festive by using some food coloring for the centers, and these were pretty simple to make. This recipe also gave me the opportunity to use my beloved KitchenAid stand mixer twice. My husband likes to make note that I don’t use it nearly enough (his way of trying to get more dessert from me), so this recipe let me really put it to work. I can’t believe not that long ago I used to try and make buttercream by hand. No wonder I couldn’t write for days.

These two treats weren’t particularly daunting or required much baking, so that is why I chose them both together, and as my first weekend baking project. I figured I could get more involved and creative from here. Who knows, maybe by the end of the month I’ll be making macaroons! Well, at least a girl can dream, right? I’m thinking next week might be a pie – since I just recently purchased and subsequently gave away as a birthday gift a cookbook simply called Pie. Of course before wrapping it I flipped through, and had a serious craving for chocolate pecan pie. We’ll see. I’ve got a week to decide!

A Cake Ball Attempt

I’ve been following Bakerella’s blog for about a year and a half, and have finally gotten around to trying my hand at cake balls. She seriously makes the cutest edible designs on sticks I’ve ever seen! Since my decoration abilities are nearly nonexistent, I decided to keep it simple for my first try. I let the fiancé pick out the flavors, and then got to work.

The actual making of the cake balls themselves is really easy. It’s when you try and get snazzy and decorate them that you actually need some skill. The fiancé decided on a white funfetti cake, with chocolate fudge icing. I was a little skeptical at first with the combination, but it came out really yummy, a little like a marble cake with some extra fudge. I ran into my first problem when it was time to prepare the ingredients to coat them, though.

I thought I had plenty of chocolate chips at home, but it turns out I didn’t. So, I wound up only being able to coat about 8 of them with chocolate. My second issue was actually coating them. I need to do some more research on Bakerella’s blog for some tips and techniques, because this was a disaster! I couldn’t fully coat them (probably because there really wasn’t enough chocolate), so it kind of became a mess. But that’s okay, because they were just for my fiancé and I to enjoy ourselves.

They tasted like really gooey munchkins, if I had to compare them to something. And let me tell you, they’re delicious! I’ve been looking around the past few days to maybe get some proper tools to make some of the adorable cake balls I’ve seen. I did buy that $20 for $10 on Amazon deal from Living Social last week that I think everyone got, and of course it’s burning a hole in my pocket!

So even if you’re like me and aren’t exactly cake decorating savvy, I would suggest making these just to eat as-is because they are awesome. But, if you’re creative I’d suggest checking out Bakerella and trying some of her adorable designs! I’m going to leave out any decoration instructions, just because I’m still working on trying to make that a success. But you can simply melt some chocolate and coat them. I’ll keep you posted on my next attempt!

Cake Balls
– makes about 30-40 balls, depending on how big you make them –

1 box of cake mix and ingredients to make (any flavor – I used yellow funfetti)
1 container of frosting (any flavor – I used chocolate fudge)

1. Bake cake according to box directions
2. Let cake cool completely, then crumble into a big bowl
3. Add icing to crumbled cake, coating completely
4. Form cake and icing mixture into balls (I rolled them, similar to how you’d form a meatball) and place on parchment paper, or sprayed foil on a baking sheet
5. Place in the freezer to harden about 1-2 hours