Pecan Praline Cheesecake

Here we go y’all.

I’m back and I’m motivated.

The reason I started this blog was out of sure passion.

Passion for food, passion for writing, passion for story-telling, passion for life, passion for family…I guess you could say I’m a passionate person 😉

This past year has been kind of crazy/interesting/a roller coaster ride is how I would describe it.

Earlier in the year, I had my heart ripped out of my chest, stomped on, and broken by a guy whose name doesn’t even matter to me now.

Typical.

I started dating someone a few weeks ago.

This past Sunday wasn’t the best day if ya know what I mean.

I’m not going to go into details.

I really, really, really like this guy.

I mean, EXTREMELY.

See those all caps? Mhhhhm I don’t mess around 😉

And no, I don’t fall fast and hard for every guy I meet.

In fact, it was super hard for me to open up to anyone for the longest time.

This time though…this time was different.

I’ve never felt so comfortable with someone in my life…dating wise.

I know, i know, dating can be scary, nerve-wrecking, especially when you start to really like someone.

But not for me. I get super excited.

I truly have to say, I am sooooooooo proud of the woman that I have become.

I have a huge heart.

Especially when it comes to respecting another person’s life situation/feelings/what they have been or are going through.

I’ve learned that sometimes someone may be going through something in their life that they are struggling with.

So, I don’t judge. I’ve been through my hell.

Not to say it doesn’t hurt when things crumble, I mean…I’m human.

Butttttttttttt I can’t fault that person.

Unfortunately, I spent my time chasing the wrong guy last time and now I don’t have the energy left to chase the absolutely, without a doubt, right one. It’s also my turn for someone to come after me.

I deserve it. I’m worth it. I can also make a killer cheesecake 😉

Anyway, y’all know I’m a dessert person and one date night, we shared this amazing pecan praline cheesecake.

Y’all…pralines are my fave and let me tell you…there were chunks of sweet pecans inside of this cheesecake.

I died.

Project!

Y’all know I’m a crust type of gal.

Y’all…this crust. Well…this crust is 100!

I just can’t even begin to tell you.

And then there is this perfect creamy cheesecake filling.

 Now, I didn’t put pecans inside this cheesecake but….the topping.

Oh my TEXAS!

It’s over the top…basically everything you love about a chewy pecan praline.

I mean, I have absolutely no words.

I believe this is what dreams are made of.

I’m also pretty sure this is what heaven tastes like.

I think I really channeled all of my emotions into this damn cheesecake.

I don’t have any regrets about this cheesecake…none at all.

I think I’m in love.

I’m also 100% positive that if someone were to marry me based on my ability to make cheesecake…I’m a shoe in. 😉

Pecan Praline Cheesecake
Author: 
Recipe type: cheesecake
Cuisine: dessert, sweets
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
A perfectly crispy honey graham cracker crust with a sweet, smooth cream cheese filling, topped with a pecan praline sauce that is out of this world!
Ingredients
  • For the crust:
  • 2 c. honey graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ c. melted coconut oil
  • For the filling:
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ c. coconut milk (or regular milk, coconut milk is all I had on hand)
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 T. mexican vanilla extract
  • For the pecan praline topping:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar
  • ½ c. heavy whipping cream
  • ½ t. salt
  • 1¼ c. pecans, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 2 t. mexican vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a large pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mix the crust ingredients together until full moistened and combined.
  3. Press the crust mixture into the pie plate.
  4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until set and golden brown around the edges.
  5. Remove the crust from the oven and let cool. Lower the temperature to 300 degrees F.
  6. For the filling, beat together the brown sugar and cream cheese until smooth.
  7. Add in the milk, eggs, and vanilla and mix well. Spread the filling evenly into the baked crust.
  8. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the middle is no long jiggly. Let the cheesecake cool completely.
  9. For the pecan praline topping, combine the butter, brown sugar, heavy whipping cream, and salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
  10. Bring the mixture to a slow boil and cook for 3 minutes until the sugar is dissolved and a smooth caramel sauce forms.
  11. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the toasted pecans and vanilla.
  12. Let cool for about 10 minutes and then pour the warm pecan praline mixture over the cooled cheesecake.
  13. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight if preferred before cutting slices with a sharp knife.
  14. Enjoy!

 MANGIA!!!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap: Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bites

Fah, la, la, la, la.

It’s that time of year again where the cookies come out in full force.

Not just for Christmas, but for a great cause that I am super passionate about.

This is my third year participating in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and all of the proceeds go to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.

This year I wanted to gift my fellow food bloggers with my favorite combo of all time…peanut butter and chocolate.

Enter my Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bites.

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Oh, I threw in a touch of cinnamon for a holiday twist.

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Plus, I hear cinnamon speeds up your metabolism, soooo…we can just assume that we are losing weight as we eat these.

These little peanut butter cookie dough balls get dunked in a vat of chocolate.

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Plus, the cinnamon flavor adds a nice little holiday spice.

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Is there anything else you need to know?

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I’m thinking not.

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🙂

A big shout out to the three lovely lady food bloggers that I received cookies from: Christina at Body Rebooted, Lindsey at Cafe Johnsonia, and Brianna at Flippin’ Delicious. All of your cookies were delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookie Bites
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
 
No bake peanut butter balls spiced with a touch of cinnamon and dipped in a cocoa powder glaze. Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan.
Ingredients
  • ½ c. natural peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut flour
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
  • ¼ tsp. pure vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. To make the peanut butter balls, combine the peanut butter,1 Tbsp of maple syrup, and ½ tsp. of ground cinnamon until combined.
  2. Stir in the coconut flour until a firm dough forms.
  3. Roll into balls the size of one tablespoon. Place the balls on a large plate and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  4. For the chocolate coating, place the coconut oil in a smell bowl and melt in the microwave.
  5. Add in the cocoa powder, remaining 1 Tbsp. of maple syrup, and vanilla until smooth.
  6. Remove the peanut butter balls from the freezer and dip the balls one-by-one into the chocolate coating.
  7. Place the balls back on the plate and place back in the freezer until set.
  8. Devour!

 MANGIA!!!

Rocky Road Brownies

Y’all.

I got sick at the end of last week through the weekend.

For reallllllz.

Like omg I never get sick.

This was the kind of sick that happens when the weather changes, you start sneezing 25 times a day, cough up stuff you never imagined was possible, and take a total of 14 antihistamines in two days that do nothing except knock you out for a goodnights sleep.

I was super bummed.

I had to miss my Tacolandia event on Saturday and declined to go with my best fraannnnd to the Nutcracker Market, which is basically Santa’s Wonderland for adults.

No bueno.

By Sunday I was feeling better and finally decided to look at my Secret Recipe Club assignment.

After living off bland foods for the past 3 days, I wanted something comforting and rich.

Luckily, my secret blogger was Stephanie, the sci-fi loving, moscow mule drinking, loving wife, and cat lover behind the food blog Dessert before Dinner.

Obviously, her blog spoke to me since I am allllllll about dessert.

Enter Stephanie’s Rocky Road Brownies.

It’s like a freaking s’more brownie with gooey chocolate chunks and your choice of walnuts or pecans.

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Is this real life?

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These things hit the spot.

All I need is a big scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Of course, I made them paleo.

Thank you Stephanie for this amazing recipe.

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🙂

5.0 from 2 reviews
Rocky Road Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert, Brownies
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
Rich, chocolate brownies packed with melted chocolate chunks, crunchy walnuts/pecans, and gooey marshmallows. Gluten-free, paleo.
Ingredients
  • 8 T. coconut oil, melted
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
  • ⅓ c. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 c. coconut sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ c. coconut flour
  • ¼ t. salt
  • ½ c. chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ½ c. dark chocolate chunks
  • ½ c. of marshmallows, plus more for topping
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Melt the coconut oil, dark chocolate, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large mixing bowl in the microwave.
  3. Let cool slightly and whisk in the eggs.
  4. Stir in the flour and salt.
  5. Fold in the walnuts/pecans, chocolate chunks, and marshmallows.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes.
  7. Top the brownies with extra marshmallows and let bake for an additional 10 minutes or until golden.
  8. Let cool slightly and slice into bars.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Happy Secret Recipe Club Monday!

I have been super busy with school and life lately.

Yesterday I was finally able to relax with family and enjoy endless amounts of pasta over great conversation.

Even though life is busy right now, I still make time for baking and cooking.

It calms me down.

For realz.

So, I was super excited to find out that my secret recipe blogger this month was from Jenna, the creative voice behind the The Painted Apron. I loved reading about Jenna’s love for all things family and design. With her amazing recipe list, it was difficult to not want to make everything!

But then…I saw it…Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake.

I put my own spin on things.

Y’all…

this cake.

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I’m not sure I even want to share it with you.

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It’s just that good.

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I mean, it’s chocolate on chocolate…

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enough said.

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🙂

 

Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake

Servings: 8

A rich, cocoa based gluten-free/paleo chocolate cake topped with a creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting for double the chocolate fun!

Ingredients:

For the cake:

2 large eggs

1/2 c. coconut sugar

1/2 c. full-fat coconut milk

1/4 c. walnut butter (or any other nut/seed butter)

1/4 c. unsweetened, cocoa powder

1/4 c. coconut flour

1/2 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

For the chocolate frosting:

8 oz. package cream cheese, at room temperature

2 T. unsweetened cocoa, powder

1/4 c. pure maple syrup

1/2 t. pure vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a round cake pan with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs, coconut sugar, coconut milk, and walnut butter until smooth. Stir in the cocoa powder, coconut flour, baking soda, and salt until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely.

For the frosting, beat all of the ingredients on high using a stand mixer until smooth.

Top the cake evenly with the frosting and slice.

MANGIA!!!

Coconut Tres Leches

Y’all.

It’s time for Secret Recipe Club.

This month I actually noticed my secret food blogger, because ya know…she’s only a current contestant on Master Chef!

I know, get excited.

If you frequently watch Master Chef like me (and secretly wish to get yelled at by Gordon Ramsay), you would have recognized this lady right off the bat.

Yep, it’s Hetal, the food blogger behind Pretty Polymath.

I have been pretty glued to the television as I see Hetal, week after week, rock out dishes in the kitchen.

Oh ya, not to mention, she’s a vegetarian and can cook a tasty piece of meat.

That’s talent.

I was ecstatic to learn that Hetal is a food blogger, just like all of us.

Plus, her recipe index is an absolute dream, with  both sweet and savory dishes, as well as traditional Indian dishes representative of Hetal’s cultural background.

Of course, I chose a dish that spoke to my heart.

I’m sure that I’ve mentioned that I’m absolutely crazy over coconut.

Enter my all-time favorite dessert to make…Coconut Tres Leches.

I love how the cake has this “melt in your mouth” texture after it has been left to seep up the flavors of the three milk combination.

I make this all of the time for my older cousin and I who share a love of coconut.

He’s a model, but we don’t eat on the model diet.

However, for his birthday last year, I made a paleo version.

It was the best paleo thing I have ever made…he had no idea!

Then I told him and he was amazed.

So, here we go y’all.

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This cake is absolutely sinful.

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In all the right ways.

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The cake is tender and soaks up the flavors of the three milks, vanilla, and maple syrup evenly.

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Not to mention, because the cake if refrigerated, it is almost like an ice cream cake, perfect for these hot summer days.

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The coconut whipped cream is cool and creamy.

The cinnamon, well…you can’t have tres leches without cinnamon.

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Plus, trust me on the toasted coconut…it adds the perfect little crunchy to all of those creamy, cool factors.

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Do the macarena, say ole, and dive in.

Coconut Tres Leches
Author: 
Recipe type: Cake, Dessert
Cuisine: Mexican
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 9
 
A fluffy coconut flour cake soaked in "3 milks" and topped with a coconut whipped cream. Gluten-free, paleo, nut-free.
Ingredients
  • For the cake:
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 c. unsweetened, vanilla coconut milk
  • ⅓ c. pure maple syrup
  • 1 T. pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. coconut flour
  • 2 t. baking powder
  • ½ t. baking soda
  • ½ t. salt
  • For the "3 milk" mixture:
  • ¼ c. full-fat coconut milk
  • ¼ c. unsweetened, vanilla coconut milk
  • ¼ c. fat-free evaporated milk (I used more full-fat coconut milk for paleo)
  • 2 T. pure maple syrup
  • For the coconut whipped cream:
  • 11 oz. carton full-fat coconut milk, refrigerated over night
  • 1 t. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 T. Truvia or granulated stevia
  • For topping:
  • ground cinnamon, as needed
  • toasted unsweetened flaked coconut, as needed
Instructions
  1. For the cake, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8 in. baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg white, eggs, coconut milk maple syrup, and vanilla until frothy.
  3. Stir in the coconut flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until smooth.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-35 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  5. Let the cake cool and use a fork to prick the top of the cake, making tiny holes for the 3 milk soak.
  6. For the 3 milks mixture, combine all ingredients until smooth.
  7. Pour the mixture over the cake and let the mixture seep through the cake.
  8. Refrigerate the cake overnight.
  9. For the coconut whipped cream, combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl until smooth.
  10. Remove the cake from the refrigerator and top with the coconut whipped cream.
  11. Slice into 9 even squares and dust with cinnamon and top with toasted coconut if desired.

MANGIA!!!