Oreo Cheesecake Bars

So I have this coworker. Her office is next to mine, which is across the hall from the staff kitchen.

Which is where I stash my treats when I bake something for the office.

For either of us to get anywhere in the building, we have to walk by the corner of the counter where I put the treats I made, and am depending on my coworkers to eat up so I don’t gain 300 pounds. A day.

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Since I am giving away the treats, it’s easy enough for me to deny grabbing one or two, or 10, throughout the course of the day. And chances are good that I spent the previous evening sampling one or two, or 10, for quality control purposes.

I mean, I work with these people Monday-Friday. I can’t get a reputation for brining in substandard goodies, now can I?

So while, for me, the proximity to the kitchen, and my treats, is no big deal, I’ve slowly come to realize something about my coworker.

I’ve become her food drug dealer. Continue reading

Carrot Cake with Perfect Cream Cheese Frosting

Want to know why people love carrot cake?

Cream cheese frosting.

Let’s be honest with ourselves now. Carrot cake is a great idea. A cake that gets its moist texture from vegetables? Genius! But would you eat it without cream cheese frosting?

Would you really? Continue reading

Apple Upside Down Cake

I am a huge fan of unexpected delights when it comes to food. A new twist on a traditional dish brings out the nerd in me, and gets me thinking about new flavor combinations to try.

So when I came across this recipe for apple upside down cake, I had to try it. I adore pineapple upside down cake, with it’s gooey, sweet pineapple top, what’s not to love, right?

Well, before you whip out your old standby upside down cake recipe, seriously consider switching it up.

Because this cake is fantastic. Continue reading

Pumpkin Parmesan Puffs

Yum. That’s all I have to say about these.

Y.U.M. YUM!

Seriously, I taste tested one (cook’s privilege you know), and quickly devoured 2 more as soon as they were cool enough to handle.

Could anything cheesy, garlicky, and wrapped in puff pastry every be a bad idea? Nope. And the best part? They’re so simple to make. Continue reading

Banana Bread with Pecan and Brown Sugar Crust

My mom didn’t bake much when I was growing up. She wasn’t the type who got the urge to bake chocolate chip cookies one afternoon, then whip up a pie the next.

But when she did bake, it was only the good stuff. Like this banana bread. This remains, in all my 26 years of life, my favorite banana bread recipe. And trust me, I’ve tasted my fair share.

I’m not sure what her secret is. It could be that the recipe comes from a book that’s older than I am. That would explain the equally amazing Christmas cookies she’s also known for.

But whatever her trick, it taught me from a young age, that quality is always better than quantity. Continue reading