The skinniest Oreo Cheesecake you’ll ever meet

Raise your hand if you like Oreo’s! Raise your hand if you like cheesecake! Ok, now raise your hand if you like eating healthy dessert! Uh oh.. did I lose a few hands there? Are you thinking “dessert isn’t healthy, that’s why it’s dessert”? Well, today I’m here to inform you that you can have your cake and eat it too. This delicious Oreo cheesecake recipe isn’t necessarily “healthy”, but it is “skinny“. Meaning its under 150 calories per piece. Oh and did I mention they taste just as good, if not better, than a super fattening piece of cheesecake? I think I’ve got your attention now! 

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Not only is this Oreo cheesecake recipe “skinnier”, it’s also easier and quicker to make! 

Skinny Oreo Cheesecake Bars
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Skinny Oreo Cheesecake Bars
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Servings Prep Time
20bars 20minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
25minutes 3hours
Ingredients
Servings: bars
Instructions
For the crust
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, crush about 30 Oreo cookies until fine. Add 3 tablespoons of melted butter to the crushed cookies and mix well. Line a 10 inch square pan with aluminum foil so that enough hangs over the edges of the pan. Spread cookie crumbs evenly in the pan and pat down firmly with your hand. Bake for 8 minutes. Let cool completely.
For the cheesecake filling
  1. Beat softened cream cheese for one minute with a hand or stand mixer on low. Add the yogurt, egg whites, sugar, and flour and beat on low for 3 minutes. Add lemon juice and vanilla and beat for one minute. Fold in Oreo's. Spread filling on crust evenly with a spatula and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, cover with aluminum foil, bake additional 5 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours. Remove from fridge, lift foil out of pan and cut into squares. Keep covered in fridge for up to a week, or freeze for up to a month. Serve and enjoy!
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Start off by setting your oven temperature to 350º and take all of your cold ingredients out of the fridge to cool to room temperature. Then, start crushing about 30 Oreo cookies in a food processor (I used a Magic Bullet, and it probably just fits 30 cookies, so I crush a handful of cookies at a time).  Once the crumbs are fine, dump them in a large bowl and add 3 tablespoons of melted butter. It’s easier to mix this with your hands, that way if you have any cookie chunks you can break them up with your fingers. For this recipe I used a 10 inch square pan, but essentially you can use whatever size you have (keep in mind you might have to adjust cooking times and servings size may vary so each piece might not be under 150 calories). Line your pan with aluminum foil so that enough hangs off the sides. This will help make removal of your bars a whole lot easier! Spread your cookie crumbs into the pan and pat down firmly with the palm of your hand. Pop the pan in the oven for 8 minutes to bake your crust. Once it’s done, let it cool completely while you mix together the best part: the filling. 

Your cream cheese should be softened by now, so start beating it in a medium size bowl with a hand or stand mixer on low speed for 1 minute. I used reduced fat cream cheese to lighten things up here. You don’t want to over-mix or mix on any speed, except low. Just be gentle with this cheesecake! ;) Add ¾ yogurt (nonfat plain greek yogurt), 2 egg whites, ¼ cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons all purpose flour, and beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Then, add in 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of vanilla and beat for less than one minute, just until everything is combined smoothly. 

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This next part you can do with your hands, break up about ¼ cup of Oreo cookies into chunks and then fold into the batter. 

 

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Your crust should be completely cool now, so go ahead and spread the cheesecake batter on top of the crust evenly with a spatula. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes on 350º. Remove from the oven, cover the top of the pan with aluminum foil (to ensure even cooking and prevent too much browning), and bake for an additional 5 minutes

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I know you probably want to dive right in and cut it now, don’t you? Well, you have to let it cool for about 30 minutes. 

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Sorry, but it’s not done yet! Cover it back with the aluminum foil and let it chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours. Yes, I know, such a tease, but I promise it will be worth it later! 

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After your cheesecake has chilled out, cut it into squares (makes 20), and ENJOY!  The best part about eating this dessert, it’s completely GUILT FREE! Feel free to share with your friends that it’s “skinny” or don’t and trick them into eating it first.  

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These are delicious and low in calories, but if you’re still sitting here thinking “I want the REAL DEAL“, check out my post on the best (not “skinny” by any means) Oreo cheesecake recipe here

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Happy Easter to all my Peeps

It’s that time of year! Easter is here! Bright colored eggs and pastel candies have officially filled every store in town! I saw Peeps on sale the other day and thought to myself, “wow, when was the last time I ate one of these?”. I started to reminisce to my childhood, when Easter meant waking up to an Easter egg hunt and a basket full of candy and stuffed animals! Those were the days! Well, I decided to treat myself this year with several boxes of Peeps and bags of chocolate bunnies and eggs (not like I need it or anything)! Then, it got me thinking.. I’ve never baked anything special for Easter. Of all the holidays, I think Easter has some of the cutest decorated treats too. So as I’m scrolling through Pinterest looking at cute Easter ideas, I came across several pictures of cookies that look just like Peeps! How genius! And EASY! If you’re not huge into decorating, trust me this is the recipe for you! Everyone will be impressed too because they’re so adorable. 

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Unfortunately, I won’t be giving out my recipe for my sugar cookies. I was sworn to secrecy by my boss when I worked at a bakery for my internship for Le Cordon Bleu in south Florida. The woman I worked for has the most amazing sugar cookie recipe and all of her customers always raved about them. I’ve made and tasted plenty of different sugar cookie recipes, some which have no flavor, others that don’t come out perfectly shaped, and then luckily hit the jackpot with discovering hers. So my advice here is, if you don’t happen to make sugar cookies on a regular basis and have a super amazing recipe like mine, go ahead and buy a sugar cookie mix at the store. I’ve never actually made a cookie mix, but I’m sure they will do the trick! In fact, that will make last minute decorating even faster! 

 

Don’t worry I’m still going to show you how to decorate these little Peeps cookies like a pro! ;) We’ll start with the icing. Which is actually Wilton’s royal icing recipe. Super easy and delicious! And it only has 3 ingredients! 

  • 4 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 5 tablespoons warm water

*If you don’t want to go out and buy meringue powder just for this (as it can be pretty expensive), substitute the water and meringue powder for half of one egg white at room temperature. If your icing is too thick, add water a little at a time until you achieve the consistency you need* 

First, sift the confectioner’s sugar in a large bowl. 

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Once the sugar is sifted and lump free, start scooping it into your mixer along with the meringue powder and water. (Or if you’re substituting the meringue powder and water, go ahead and add your egg white).

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Beat on low speed for 7 minutes, scraping down the bottom and sides halfway through. The consistency you are trying to achieve is almost the same as toothpaste. It’s best to make it more on the stiff side because you will be using this as an outline on your cookies. Therefore, it needs to hold up nicely when piped. If your icing is too thick, add water ½ teaspoon at a time. If your icing is too runny, add more sifted confectioner’s sugar. 

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(This is an example of icing that is too runny. You can see how its dripping in a stream down into the bowl. I had to add a few more tablespoons of sifted confectioner’s sugar.)

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(When you lift your whip and the icing holds shape and doesn’t drip down, thats a good indication that you’ve achieved the right consistency.)

Now separate the icing into different bowls (depending on how many different colors you are going to use). I use the gel food coloring from Michael’s, but they sell liquid pastel/neon food colors at Publix that will work just fine for this (anything bright and colorful is a good color for Easter)! Slowly add gel coloring with a tiny amount on a toothpick, or tiny drops, because a little goes a long way. 

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 Make sure you keep all of your icing covered with plastic wrap because it dries out very quickly!

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Now, once your cookies have baked and cooled completely, it’s time to decorate!

If you want to do this the professional way, scoop each colored icing into a piping bag with a coupler and set aside two different tips. I like to pipe the outline with a thin tip (Wilton #2 or #3) and fill it in with a wider tip (Wilton #10 or #12). If all of this mumbo jumbo sounds like too much work and you don’t have these supplies, have no fear! There is NO need to use them for this cookie. You’re going to throw sprinkles all over the top at the end anyway, so putting some icing in a plastic ziploc bag and cutting a small hole at the end will do the trick!! 

Start by outlining each bunny or chick Peep shaped cookie (cookie cutters found at Michael’s, which by the way has a 30% off coupon on their site good for this weekend) with each icing color. 

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Like I said before, none of this has to be perfect because it is going to be covered in sprinkles! 

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Once you’ve finished outlining the cookies, it’s safe to thin out the rest of the icing to fill them! Add water drops at a time with a ½ teaspoon spoon. Be very careful doing this, because if you add too much water you’ll need to add more stiff icing and then more food coloring to make sure you get the same color you already piped. So I literally add water in drops and mix with a spoon little by little until it drips off the spoon and melts into one uniform puddle in the bowl. 

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(Like this.) Now you can fill in the cookies with your thinner icing. 

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Again, doesn’t have to be perfect because it will be covered in sprinkles and nobody will even notice you did all of this work (sigh). If you wanted to, you could even spoon out the icing onto the cookie and smear it around with a spoon. Yup, that will work for this cookie. SEE HOW EASY, anyone can make these! 

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Once the cookie is covered in icing, sprinkle a matching color sprinkle on top while the icing is still wet. Then, shake off the excess sprinkles. These are not your average circle sprinkles, these are tiny square sprinkles you can find at Michael’s. For example, these blue ones are labeled “Blue Sugar” on the container (so I’m guessing these are formally called “Sugar Sprinkles”?).

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 *The best way to do this is on a separate baking tray with parchment paper on top. Place one set color of cookies on it at a time. That way, when you’re done sprinkling all the blue cookies you can lift each end of the parchment paper in half making a funnel and pour the extra sprinkles directly back into the blue sprinkle container. That way you don’t have to waste any sprinkles or make a big sprinkly mess all over the counter! Then repeat with each color! *

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Here’s all my Peeps! :) But they’re not Peeps just yet. They need those silly little brown eyes and noses! I melted a few (only about 5 to 10) chocolate chips in the microwave and then mixed the melted chocolate with a spoonful of white royal icing I set aside. (It’s hard to get a nice brown color, so the easiest way is adding melted chocolate.) I cut a teeny tiny hole in a plastic bag and piped these onto their cute little colorful faces. 

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Yay! Peeps, but cookie version! :) They’re so cute and fun for everyone and they taste great! Who doesn’t love a cookie covered in sprinkles anyways? 

I took a big box of these to work and I’m so sad I forgot to take a picture of them all wrapped up together! But they would make a cute little Easter basket for someone special! 

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Are those cookies or Peeps in there? ;) 

Or you can even individually wrap them and give them out to friends or family for Easter! 

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(Sent these to my son’s teachers at daycare yesterday!)

You can even eat them all up and treat yourself this Easter since you’re probably not receiving an easter basket like when you were a kid (and if you do, I’m jealous)! Whatever you choose to do with them I hope you enjoy making these Peeps cookies because they are really fun, cute, and they taste SO yummy! I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter with their families! God Bless :) 

 

In the theme of pretty Easter colors, here’s an easy dessert you can also make this weekend! I made this cookie cake for my mom’s birthday (and all of the April birthdays) at work! 

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Get the full recipe here!

 

 

 

Better than a Samoa cookie… it’s a cupcake!

“Oh what a girl can do”. This is the saying on the top of a Samoa’s Girl Scout cookie box in case you were wondering. How cute, right? “Oh what a girl can do”. Well, I’ll tell you what a girl can do! She can sit outside of every store you shop at while you’re trying to get in shape for bikini season with a bunch of mouthwatering, delicious, heaven in a box cookies! Then, she plays her little Jedi mind tricks on you and flashes a sweet innocent smile as she says “would you like to buy some cookies?”, leaving you powerless to say anything but yes! That is how these cupcakes came to life. So I guess in this case, thank you little girl scouts for manipulating me into buying one… two… ok fine, i bought THREE boxes of Samoa’s so that I could make this amazing Samoa Cupcake

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 This cupcake recipe took a lot of time and research to come up with. In other words, I ate a lot of Samoa’s cookies (hey it was for the research!). I decided to do a little tweaking to one of my classic vanilla cupcake recipes and came up with this TO DIE FOR cupcake! I’m not kidding… this may be the best cupcake I’ve ever had (and I’m not just saying that because I made it)! If you love Samoa’s cookies (everyone does, right?) then you’re going to absolutely love these!!! And on top of it all, it’s easy to make! 

Samoa cupcakes
A coconut, caramel, chocolate Samoa cookie turned into a cupcake!
Servings
14cupcakes
Servings
14cupcakes
Samoa cupcakes
A coconut, caramel, chocolate Samoa cookie turned into a cupcake!
Servings
14cupcakes
Servings
14cupcakes
Ingredients
Caramel Sauce:
Buttercream:
Servings: cupcakes
Instructions
  1. For the cupcakes: Sift dry ingredients together. Melt butter. Stir sugar into butter. Add egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla and mix. Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Stir in coconut, chocolate chips, and crushed cookies. Fill liners with 3 tbsp batter each. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
  2. For the Caramel Buttercream: Over medium heat, melt sugar until golden brown and smooth. While stirring, add butter (cut into chunks). Remove from heat and stir in cream. Measure out 1/2 cup caramel sauce into separate bowl and set aside for garnishing. Set aside and let cool. Meanwhile, mix butter on medium speed until fluffy. Stop mixer and add confectioner's sugar. Mix on low speed until smooth. Add vanilla. Beat on high for one minute. Turn speed down to low and slowly add half of the caramel sauce.
  3. For the garnish: Place coconut flakes onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 300 degrees for 5 minutes. Toss flakes. Bake for another 5 minutes or until desired golden brown color and crispness. Pipe buttercream on cupcakes. Sprinkle with toasted coconut flakes. Drizzle with melted chocolate and remaining caramel sauce.
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I know what you’re thinking… the ingredient list looks intimidating, but trust me it’s an easy recipe! I won’t lie though, this recipe may be easy, but it’s not quick. Fear not, it’s worth it! If you measure out all of your ingredients ahead of time it will make things go by quicker! Prep all the ingredients and start measuring everything out to save some time! You want to take all of your cold ingredients out of the fridge first to bring them to room temperature. It’s also a good idea to set your oven to 350º before you start baking to ensure even heating throughout. 

Let’s get started! First, crush up the Samoa’s cookies. I placed them in a plastic bag between a kitchen towel and beat with my rolling pin (it’s a great way to get out some aggression). Or you can just break them up with your hands! They don’t need to be fine crumbs. Break up the cookies into small chunks so you can really get the Samoa cookie flavor in every bite!

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In a medium-sized bowl, melt the butter and stir in the sugar. Then, add in the egg whites, yogurt, milk, and vanilla. 

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Slowly mix in the sifted dry ingredients. Once combined, add the crushed cookies, chocolate chips, and coconut flakes. 

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Fill each cupcake liner with about 3 to 3½ tablespoons of batter. 

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Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

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Now onto the most amazing caramel buttercream you’ll ever taste! Step number 1: make caramel sauce. Add the sugar to a small pot on the stove and cook over medium heat. Start stirring once the sugar turns a nice golden caramel color.

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Stir until smooth. Then, cut up the butter into chunks and add to the sugar. It will start to bubble, don’t worry that’s normal! 

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Once it’s smooth, take the pot off the heat and add the heavy cream. When it’s done it should look something like this…

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Measure out ½ cup of the caramel sauce and save that for garnishing. Pour the rest into a small bowl and let cool. 

Congratulations, you just made caramel sauce! See how easy!  Now let’s make the buttercream so we can combine the two together for some melt in your mouth amazingness (on here, that’s a word)! 

First, start off by whipping up your softened butter in a mixer on medium speed. Get it nice and fluffy! Then, turn off the mixer and start adding your sifted confectioner’s sugar. It’s very important to sift confectioner’s sugar when making buttercream to avoid lumps! Mix on low speed until combined and add the vanilla. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula. Then, beat on high speed for one minute. 

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Once the buttercream is nice and smooth, in a slow steady stream, add the cooled caramel sauce on low speed (remember to save the ½ cup of caramel sauce for later). 

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My mouth is already watering. Is yours? Now all you need to do is toast some coconut flakes on a single layer in a baking sheet at 300º for 5 minutes. Toss them around to ensure even cooking (not burning), and bake another 5 minutes until you get the desired golden toasty color you’re looking for.

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Melt some chocolate chips in the microwave and pour into a plastic ziploc bag with the tip cut. Pour the caramel sauce that you set aside into a ziploc bag and cut the tip as well. For the buttercream I used a piping bag with a star tip (Ateco #848). 

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Start assembling your cupcakes by piping the buttercream, sprinkling with toasted coconut flakes, drizzling your chocolate and caramel sauce, and top it all off with half of a Samoa cookie! If you thought Samoa cookies were good, just WAIT until you try this cupcake! 

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If it comes time when all the little sneaky girl scouts have disappeared and you can’t find these cookies anywhere, you can always make them! Here’s a link for homemade Samoa cookies. She has great step by step tutorials and pictures!  If that seems like too much work for you to make cookies and cupcakes, no worries! If you leave out the crushed cookies this cupcake will STILL taste like a Samoa! 

…I just realized I was getting on the girl scouts for seducing me with these cookies right before bikini season, but now I’m passing on the torture to all of you right as Spring has started! OOPS! Oh well, you’re going to love these anyways! Enjoy ;)