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For the Cake:

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup hot coffee
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    1. Adjust
      oven rack to the middle position. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter
      and line 2, 8-inch baking pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. In
      the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the dry ingredients & mix.
    3. Add in the buttermilk, hot coffee, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Mix on medium speed until well combined 1-2 mins.
    4. Divide
      batter among cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted comes out
      almost clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Let cake cool in pans about 10
      minutes then remove from pans and cool on a cooling rack until
      completely cooled. I froze mine at this point, overnight.
    For the Cheesecake Layer:

Two 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
7 coarsely crushed chocolate sandwich cookies
Preheat oven to 325°.  Beat cream cheese on
medium.  Add sugar until fluffy.   Add vanilla & salt. Add eggs,
one at a time.  Add sour cream.  Fold in crushed Oreos. 

Line bottom of an 8 inch springform
pan with parchment paper and pour batter in.  Smooth the top and bake until center is set,  about 45-50 minutes.  Let cool 20 minutes and run a knife
around the edge.  Cool completely.  Remove outside sprinform ring and refrigerate overnight-covered. 

6 oz. white chocolate chips
1 cup room temp. butter
2 tsp. vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream, plus more to thin it out as needed
Melt white chocolate in the microwave at 60% power until smooth.  Let cool slightly.  In a mixer, cream butter.  Add the cooled chocolate to the mixer with the vanilla.  Add the powdered sugar, alternating with the cream until it reaches a good spreading consistency. 

To assemble, crush 8 additional Oreos and have mini Oreos ready for decoration.
Place one chocolate cake on your cake platter.  Spread on a thin layer of frosting and some crushed Oreos.  Top with the cheesecake.  Thinly frost and add the rest of the crushed Oreos.  Add the final chocolate cake layer.  Thinly coat the cake with frosting and chill 30 mins as a crumb coat. Frost the cake with the remaining frosting and decorate with mini oreos.

Adapted from Rebekah’s Family Food & Fun

Skinny Blackberry Coconut Oat Bars

I’m not generally a fan of coconut, but one manner in which I will tolerate it… is toasted and baked in a tasty sweet treat.

I had some major thoughts of making some oatmeal for breakfast this week, and then I got the notion to try something a little different. …Something I could grab and go as I’m running around like a mad woman this week.

I used blackberry preserves here, but you could probably get away with any flavor that strikes your fancy… Cherry, raspberry, or maybe if you’re feeling naughty you could even try Nutella.

Yeah, I went there. 

Mmm… needless to say, this is a great guilt-free breakfast of which I am more than happy to pair with my morning cup of joe.

I only can’t wait to try out some other flavors in the very near future. 

 Skinny Blackberry Coconut Oat Bars

The Skinny:
Servings: 18 • Size: 1 Bar • Calories: 154.7 • Fat: 4.9 g • Carb: 26.7 g • Fiber: 2.2 g • Protein: 2.3 g • Sugar: 13.2 g • Sodium: 48.8 mg

1 1/2 C. Unsweetened Coconut, Shredded
1 1/4 C. Whole Wheat White Flour
1/2 C. Light Brown Sugar
1/4 C. Stevia in the Raw (Or other C. for C. Sweetener)
6 Tbsp. Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
1 1/2 C. Dry Old Fashioned Oatmeal
6 Oz. Blackberry Spreadable Fruit (Smucker’s Simply Fruit)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly coat with some non-stick cooking spray.

You could also go ahead and line a 13×9 baking dish with parchment paper and give it a light coat of non-stick cooking spray as well.  Set aside.

Place 3/4 C. of the cocout onto the prepared baking sheet and place in the oven for 6-8 minutes, checking ever 1-2 minutes.

Remove once toasted and set aside to cool.

While you’re waiting, toss the flour, brown sugar, and sweetener into a food processor. Blend together until well combined, then add in the butter and yogurt.

Blend together until crumbled dough starts to form. 

I pulsed mine in the food processor off and on for a minute to get to the consistency that I was looking for. 

Place the mixture into a bowl and add in the toasted coconut and oatmeal. Fold in until well combined.

Reserve 3/4 c. of the oat mixture.

Press the rest of the oat mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.

Carefully top with the blackberry preserves. 

Crumble the reserved oat mixture over the top of the blackberry preserves and then sprinkle the rest of the coconut (3/4 c. untoasted) over the top. 

Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until the coconut on top is starting to brown. 

Carefully remove to a wire rack to cool. 

Once cool, cut evenly into 18 bars. 

Serve warm or cold for a healthy ‘on the go’ breakfast or light snack.

They are even great cold!

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. 

Good Morning Sunshine Bars

Germany’s climate is killing me… even though I technically ‘lived’ in Germany last year, I spent the summer in Upstate NY with my family while my Husband was deployed. I had a beautiful Summer full of lots of warm weather and sunshine. Well, was I in for a surprise this Summer when I actually decided to reside in Germany for the season.

It has been almost like Fall. I even find myself having to wear my little fleece ear band thing when I walk Scarlett to school sometimes. Yes, I own one of those. I’m that cool.

But last week there were 5 days were it was probably 90° out. It was so hot that on these mornings when I walked Scarlett to school (even though I was wearing as little clothing as decently possible), sweat was dripping off my chin like a faucet and my sunglasses wouldn’t even stay on my nose. That last part is probably a little gross to think about. I mean, my face most have been pretty slippery for my sunglasses to refuse to adhere to my nose…

Immediately after this 5 day period we had rain and a very upsetting thunderstorm (okay, so I’m a scare-dy cat). It’s been 60° and gray ever since.

Oh well, I guess it’s back to my fleece head band.

All weather conversation aside, my point is that on one of these gorgeous yet overwhelmingly hot days, I felt the need to make these fantastic “Sunshine” Bars. Appropriate, right?

They are almost identical to the 4 ingredient Peanut Butter Cornflake Balls I made last Summer. Except these are even better. Let me just tell you that when I made the cornflake balls I went on about how delicious they were to everybody I knew for about 2 weeks… I’ll probably talk about these bars the rest of the Summer. That’s how amazing they were.

Absolutely my favorite thing I have made so far this Summer for sure.

Sweet. Peanut Buttery. Salty. Caramelly. Crunchy.

I think they hit on every one of my taste buds accept for spicy. Oh and I guess the newly accepted and popularized flavor “umami” (savory)…

And they are SUPER easy to make! Always a plus in my book.

Good Morning Sunshine Bars
Author: Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito
  • 6 cups crunchy, plain cereal (Rice Chex or something similar works best)
  • 1¼ cups salted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 Tb pure vanilla extract
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 6 ounces good-quality milk chocolate, chopped
  1. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line the pan with parchment paper so that the paper overhangs the pan on two sides. Butter the parchment.
  2. Place the cereal and peanuts in a large bowl and use your hands to toss together until mixed well.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar and corn syrup. Bring the mixture to a boil for one full minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the peanut butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until the mixture is combined.
  4. Pour the sugar mixture over the cereal mixture and use a spatula to toss until cereal is completely coated with the sugar mixture.
  5. Turn the mixture out onto prepared pan. Grease your hands and press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, being careful not to crush the cereal. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature (if you wish to speed this process, you may place the entire pan in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes.)
  6. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler. Use a spoon or piping bag to decorate the tops of the bars in a stripe or zig zag pattern. Allow the chocolate to set.
  7. Lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment paper overhang, cut them into 24 pieces.
  8. The bars can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container, for up to 3 days. If the weather is hot and humid, you might want to keep them in the refrigerator instead.


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