One semester of grad school down and 29 more recipes to go; this year my 2013 foodie resolution was to try and/or make 200 new dishes. So far I have 171 under my belt. When I started out on this journey I thought it would be a cinch but somewhere along the way I just got exhausted. Not all these recipes were a success, in fact a few of them were scrapped right after I cooked them. With 52 weeks in a year my 2013 resolution meant I needed to try at least four recipes per week. Who has time for that when you are studying and working? So far, this weekend, I’ve made 10 new recipes Poutine, Chicken paprikash, brussels sprout casserole, nachos in a bag, Devils on horseback, toad in a hole, Cheez-its, butternut squash fried donuts (not a winner), gingerbread cookie cheesecake and sweet potato cookie bites. Not sure who is going to eat all that stuff, just kidding. I cut most of these recipes in half and shared much of my overflow with my neighbor and co-workers.
So here I am at the 29th hour of my countdown bringing you a few holiday treats I decided to test out for my company’s dessert exchange. I decided to go semi-homemade on these recipes, although I’m more of a make it from scratch kinda girl. Mainly, because I have so many things to cook and so little time. If I were to make them from scratch I would adjust the sugar level significantly. Otherwise they are pretty amazing and sure to amaze your holiday party guests. So without further ado I give you my semi-homemade versions of these two recipes.
Gingerbread Cookie Cheesecake Bites
1 packaged of premade Gingerbread Cookie Dough (dry or refrigerated section)
4 oz cream cheese
1 1/3 cups of powder sugar
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract
Mini muffin tin
Preheat oven to 350F. If using the dry cookie dough, mix per instructions on the package. Otherwise, roll the dough into balls and place in cups of mini-muffin tin. After all cups are filled bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile mix the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together by hand or with a food processor. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag (if you do not own one, just use a zip lock and snip the corner to get the same effect). Remove the cookie cups from the oven; with the back of a tablespoon or teaspoon create a well in each cookie cup. Fill the wells with the cream cheese mixture and place the pan back in the oven for 9 min or until cream cheese gets a slight brown ting. Makes about 30.
Sweet Potato Cookie Bites
1 package premade sugar cookie dough (dry or refrigerator section)
2 large sweet potatoes (or 4 small)
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup softened cream cheese
1/2 Tbsp Cinnamon
1/3 cup pecan meal
Food processor or emersion blender
Preheat oven for 350F. Peel, dice, and boil potatoes until easily pierced with a fork drain and set to the side. Mix cookie dough if necessary then roll dough into small balls and place in the cups of each mini-muffin cup. With the back of a rounded Tbsp or tsp create a well in the center of the cookie ball and bake for 15 minutes or until cookies are a light golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow time to cool before removing them from the pan. Meanwhile mix the brown sugar, sweet potatoes, cream cheese, and cinnamon together until it reaches a silky smooth consistency and spoon into the piping bag. Next toast the pecan meal in a shallow frying pan until you can just smell the nuttiness of the pecans, remove from the heat. Once the cookies have cooled, pipe the sweet potato mixture into the cookie cups and sprinkle with the pecan meal. Makes about 30.
This recipe was my absolute favorite out of the two and I hope you enjoy!