Desserts · Hospitality Food | Meal Trains · Recipes

Sopapilla Style Cheesecake Squares | Meal Train & Comfort Food

Okay, so I say lots of things are my favorite… but these really are my favorite. If you’ve been to ANY holiday that we have hosted at our home, I will have made these. I LOVE them, because I always have cream cheese, and I always have crescent rolls. And they’re CHEAP. A couple bucks for crescent rolls, a couple bucks for cream cheese, and you have yourself a $4 – $5 dessert.

cheesecake pin real

 

They’re also my favorite to make for meal trains, because they are so easy to make right alongside a main dish. As a very low-investment dessert, that’s always what I want when I am trying to multi-task.

 

I have tweaked my recipe over the past 4-5 years, and have decided this one is my favorite.

Tip: You can use different sized dishes to create different thickness levels of cream cheese. Personally, I like a very thick layer of cream cheese, but Drew likes them when there is more flaky parts. You can play around and decide what size works best for you (and also how many squares you will need.)

Sopapilla Cheesecake Squares

  • Servings: 15-20
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

2 packages of 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 cans crescent rolls
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter, unsalted
1/2 cup sugar, mixed with 2 tablespoons cinnamon (if using unsalted butter, I add a couple pinches of salt to the mixture)

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
2. Grease your baking dish. (13×9 is recommended.)
3. Unroll one can of crescent rolls, and spread it across the entire bottom of the pan. Pinch any seams, and make sure all areas are covered.
4. (Optional) Bake for a few minutes (usually 4-5) or until layer is just starting to rise and look less doughy. I let them get slightly golden, then remove them from the heat.
5. In a stand mixer (or by hand) mix together cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Scrape the bottom at least once.
6. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the baked crescent roll. There most likely will be some lumps of cream cheese left- that is fine.
7. Roll the second crescent roll over top of the mixture, and pinch any seams together.
8. Pour melted butter over the top, and spread evenly with a brush or spoon.
9. Mix together sugar-cinnamon mixture in a bowl.
10. Sprinkle sugar-cinnamon mixture evenly over the top of the butter. Some parts will still be gooey, some will just look like sugar.
11. Bake 24-25 minutes, or until the top begins to brown.
12. Let cool first in the fridge, or eat warm. It is highly debated on which is better, but I think they are better cold!

Enjoy!


 

1. Gather your ingredients, and preheat your oven to 350°F. Make SURE that you leave out your cream cheese to come to room temperature. I typically take it out of the fridge 1-2 hours before prepping. This makes your cheesecake mixture blend SO much easier.

2. Grease your baking dish. I make sure to spray my dishes really well, because the squares just really seem to come out better when cooking spray has been used.

I usually use a 13×9″ glass pyrex or cake pan. I do occasionally make these in my round pyrex deep-dish, but to get a nice, even layer of cheesecake, I recommend a 13×9″.

3. Spread your first layer of crescent rolls over the bottom of the pan. Pinch together any seams.
4. Bake the first layer of crescent rolls until just barely brown. This is optional, but personally I think it makes them SO much better. I like to give the bottom a little extra baking time, just because I like these to have a fully baked bottom. If you don’t choose to prebake, they will still be baked in the regular cooking, but will likely be bit more doughy.
Thus, this isn’t 100% necessary, but I think it makes them so much better.

5. Mix together your cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer. You can beat by hand, but cream cheese is rather hard to get lumps out of- so my KitchenAid really comes to the rescue for this recipe.

One of my favorite things about this recipe (and Henry’s) is that there are no eggs- so licking the spoon & bowl as much as you want is TOTALLY fine.
He knows every time that I make these that he will get to lick the bowl, and he stands and watches me as I make the mixture every single time.

6. Spread the mixture evenly over the baked crescent roll layer. There will still be small lumps of cream cheese- that is perfectly fine, they will bake well.

7. Roll the last crescent roll evenly over your cream cheese mixture. Pinch together any open seams. I like to try to pinch the corners to the pan a little bit too- it keeps the butter from rolling down the sides when you pour it on.

8. Spread your butter evenly over the crescent roll. I choose to use unsalted butter, and add a pinch of salt to my cinnamon sugar. You can use salted butter, but in my experience I feel it gives the squares too salty of a taste.

9. Mix your cinnamon and sugar together, and sprinkle evenly over top of the butter. There will be dry places and wet & gooey places.

10. Bake for 24-25 minutes, or until the top begins to brown and feels more firm to the touch. If you prefer a more chewy/gooey style, you can shave off 3-4 minutes. There isn’t really a way to underbake these, as long as you make sure the top layer of crescent rolls are fully baked.

And voila! I could eat an entire pan of these in one day, and full disclosure: I have. They’re addicting and SO good for sharing with friends.

Enjoy!

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Desserts · Hospitality Food | Meal Trains · Recipes

Homemade Classic Chocolate Crinkle Cookies | Kid-Friendly Baking

Ah, these are one of my very favorite treats to make. I’m a dark chocolate fan, and love using real cocoa to bake with. There’s just something about the richness of homemade chocolate recipes that doesn’t compare to boxed mixes.

They are Henry-approved, and a definite Henry favorite, too. So addicting, and even when I double the recipe, we eat them all within two-three days.

These are also included in my “hospitality food/meal train ideas,” because these are one of my favorites to bring to families when I am making food through a meal train. They are very easy to make simultaneously with other food, and I usually make a double batch when baking them for others so our fam can enjoy them, too.

pin cookies.jpg

Because I hate blogs that make you scroll through 400,000 photos of the recipe being made before ACTUALLY giving you the written recipe, here is the simplified recipe, followed by my kid and baking photo spam. Ha.

I love making these cookies with Henry, because the rolling of the cookies in the powdered sugar is a super fun way to incorporate even toddlers into the baking process. It’s a bit messy to do with kids, but doesn’t that make it even more fun?

Classic Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

  • Servings: 20-30cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder – (1/2 dark, 1/2 regular is my favorite to use.)
1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups granulated sugar
3 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup powdered sugar 

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
    2. Beat together cocoa powder, oilgranulated sugar, and salt until well combined. The dough will look like a gritty soil. Only mix until ingredients are fully incorporated.
    3. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Beat until fully combined after each egg.
    4. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
    5. In a separate bowl, combine flourbaking powder. 
    6. Take the dry mixture, and combine it to the dough slowly. Mix until combined, but do not over-mix.
    7. Roll dough into approximately 1″ balls. If you find the dough is too sticky, you may refrigerate it for a few hours, or simply coat your hands in powdered sugar before rolling.
    8. Pour 1/4 cup of powdered sugar in a bowl, and roll balls in the sugar until they are fully coated.
    9. Place them on a greased baking sheet at least 1-2″ apart, and bake at 350°F for 8-10 minutes. The cookies do not spread out much, so I fit more on a sheet than I usually do for other cookies.
      DO NOT OVERBAKE!
    10. When the tops begin to crack, they are ready to remove from the heat. Centers will likely still be gooey.
      (You can bake them for around 10-13 minutes if you do not like a chewy center and want them to be crunchier- just not my preference for these.)
    11. Let cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or so before moving them to a cooling rack. With the gooey center, the extra time on the sheet keeps them from falling apart.
    12. Enjoy! They are 100% enjoyed best with a cold glass of milk!


  1. Beat together cocoa powder, granulated sugarsalt, and oil until well combined. I prefer to use my KitchenAid, because the dough is very sticky. Usually I stop mixing, scrape the edges of the bowl once, and mix for a few more seconds to make sure everything is combined well. The dough will be gooey, gritty, and dark, and somewhat resemble muddy soil.
  2. Mix in eggs, one at a time. Beat until fully combined for each egg. Make sure not to over-beat the eggs. 
  3. Add vanilla and beat until combined.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine flourbaking powder.
  5. Take the dry mixture, and combine it to the dough slowly. Mix until combined, but do not over-mix. I usually combine about a cup at a time and mix until no flour is visible each time. I will scrape the sides of the bowl once, then mix for a few more seconds before rolling the dough into balls.
  6. Roll into approximately 1″ balls. I sometimes make them a tiny bit bigger, because I prefer gooey and thick cookies.
    If you find the dough is too sticky, you may refrigerate it for a few hours. I adapted a couple of my favorite recipes to make this one so that it normally does not require chilling, though! This one sticks together better, and doesn’t seem to stick to your hands nearly as bad as a few other recipes I have tried.
  7. I start with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar, then add more if I run out.
    I wipe out the inside of the previous dry ingredients bowl, and dump the powered sugar into it, because I hate making more dirty dishes.Henry LOVES rolling the cookies in the powdered sugar. He does a really good job at age two, and even places them on the cookie sheet himself.
  8. Coat your cookies completely in the powdered sugar.
  9. Place them on a greased baking sheet (I linked my favorite air bake sheet that is HUGE and allows for less batches in the oven) and bake at 350°F for 10 minutes.
    DO NOT OVERBAKE!
    When the tops begin to crack, they are usually ready to take out. They will be very gooey, and I find they are not really able to be effectively moved from the baking sheet for several minutes.
    (You can bake them for around 11-12 minutes if you do not like a chewy center and want them to be crunchier, just not my style. I think they lose a lot of their chocolatey richness if they aren’t chewy.)
  10. Let them cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes or so before moving them to a drying rack.

    This girl can’t wait until she’s big enough to eat everything Henry eats.
No fun is possible without making messes, right?

11. And finally, ENJOY!

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Desserts · Recipes

Maple & Apple Blondies

Any time I have a get-together that requires comfort food, any time I have a couple apples that are nearing the end of their shelf life, or any time I just want to use my KitchenAid again, (seriously how did I survive without it??) I pull out this recipe for maple iced apple blondies!

Fun fact: eggs come out of vending machines in Japan!! And they are way more fresh than the ones you buy at the grocery store. Who would have guessed?!

Originally I found the recipe on Pinterest, sourced from “A Latte Food.” Can’t forget to give her credit for the original deliciousness, though the recipe below is definitely my tweaked version of the original. As Michelle says on her blog, these taste like warm apple pie in bite-sized form.

Everyone always asks for my recipe, so I figured I would finally share it! Plus we got some absolutely GORGEOUS apples at the local market the other day, and I had to document their deliciousness in photo form.

You won’t regret making these.

Maple & Apple Blondies

  • Servings: 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients
Blondies

    • 2 cups flour
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup softened butter
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup brown sugar (I pack mine)
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1-2 tablespoon vanilla extract (I love vanilla, so I use 2 whole tablespoons)
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Apple Filling
    • 2 large finely chopped apples
    • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
    • 1 tablespoon butter
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Maple Glaze
    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 1/4 cup maple syrup
    • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray an 11×7 pan. I typically use a deep cookie sheet that we have, and it works perfectly!
Apple Filling
    1. On med-low heat, cook apple filling mixture for about 3-4 minutes. Pull off heat and allow to cool. I prefer to melt my butter completely before adding in the brown sugar- this keeps the brown sugar from hardening.
Blondies
    1. Cream butter until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add sugar and brown sugar and mix until combined.
    2. Add in eggs and mix until well combined.
    3. Add in vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
    4. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together. Add to the wet ingredients and stir until combined.
    5. In the bottom of the pan, spread half the blondie batter evenly. (Batter is typically VERY sticky- I like to keep a little flower on the counter to dip my fingers in. This making spreading MUCH easier.)
    6. Spread cooked apple filling evenly over the batter.
    7. Top with remaining batter and spread evenly. (Sometimes apple pieces show through, this is ok!)
    8. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
Maple Glaze
  1. Melt butter, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and cinnamon over low heat. Once melted together, pull off the heat. Sift in powdered sugar, and whisk until fully combined.
    **I often keep the mixture on low heat while mixing in the powdered sugar- this helps it combine a little easier.**
  2. Allow bars to cool for about 10 minutes, then pour the glaze over the bars and allow it to set.
    I prefer to pour the glaze while it is still warm, but after the blondies have cooled! I think this makes for the best consistency of both.
  3. Slice into squares and enjoy!