Category Archives: Food

Cream Cheese Stuffed Coffeecake with Cinnamon Streusel

If there’s one recipe I’ve been perfecting during quarantine, it’s coffee cake. Specifically this coffee cake.

cream cheese stuffed coffee cake with cinnamon streusel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

It’s been an adjustment having 3 square meals a day as a family of 4. We are very fortunate that my husband has been working from home & will continue to do so for some time. We’ve really loved all of the extra time we’re spending together as a family – praise the Lord for some of the good that has come out of a terrible situation. However, this has meant he’s home for breakfast & lunch every single day. Before all of this we’d only have breakfast together on the weekends. Cold cereal & breakfast bars get pretty old when we have a lot more time in the mornings. Hence this coffee cake.

cream cheese stuffed coffee cake with cinnamon streusel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I’ve mentioned before how sweetened cream cheese has become my new thing, & this recipe features it beautifully. The cake part itself is really simple; it’s the filling & the streusel that really make this recipe.

cream cheese stuffed coffee cake with cinnamon streusel - Mrs. Dessert Monster

If you prepare the cream cheese ahead of time, you can be eating warm coffee cake in the morning in about 45 minutes – most of that being bake time.  What I love about this recipe is that it’s perfectly delicious as written, but also totally customizable. Add more spices to the streusel. Use strawberry cream cheese. The sky is the limit.

Cream Cheese Stuffed Coffeecake with Cinnamon Streusel

Makes one 8″ x 8″ coffeecake

For the cake:

  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup any milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the streusel:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon (use up to 1 tbsp for more cinnamon flavor)
  • 3 tbsp salted butter, melted

For the filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8″ square pan with parchment paper, leaving two sides overhanging.
  2. First, make the streusel by combining all 4 streusel ingredients in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake: combine oil, egg, vanilla, & milk in a large mixing bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine sugar, flour, baking powder, & salt.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients & mix (by hand or by machine) until combined. Batter will be thick.
  6. Spread half of the batter into the lined square pan. Spread the sweetened cream cheese over the batter & then spread the rest of the batter on top. It is ok if some of the cream cheese is exposed.
  7. Spread the streusel over the batter & bake for 25-30 minutes. The streusel will not change color much, so test after 25 minutes & if a toothpick comes out with just a bit of cream cheese & moist crumbs it’s ready. Cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before carefully lifting out of the pan using parchment paper.
  8. Enjoy with a fresh cup of coffee, obviously 😉

 

Sweetened Cream Cheese

Lately I have been on a cream cheese kick. It’s become a new staple in my fridge. In fact, that reminds me I need to add some to my next grocery delivery.

sweetened cream cheese - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This sweetened cream cheese is super easy to put together & has tons of uses. It should last in your fridge the same length of time as the main ingredient: cream cheese.

I have been putting this recipe on & in all kinds of treats. The tangy sweetness is perfect. It goes especially well with my Banana Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins.

Sweetened Cream Cheese

Makes 8oz
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (one block)
  • 1/2 cup (60 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a bowl. I prefer to use an electric mixer to get a super smooth finish, but a regular ol’ spatula works, too.
  2. Store in the refrigerator. Spread on baked goods like muffins & cookies. Use in recipes such as coffee cake & brownies.

Banana Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins

It has taken me a while, but I have finally come around to sharing recipes on this blog that I make all the time. One of those, in my breastfeeding seasons of life, is this lactation muffin.

Banana Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This recipe has the big 3 galactagogues: oats, flax, & brewer’s yeast. My issue with other lactation muffin recipes out there is that they try so hard to mask the bitter brewer’s yeast flavor that they barely add any, or add loads of sugar, or sometimes both! This recipe, in my completely biased opinion, is the perfect balance between a sugary,  almost-cupcake & a bitter, too-healthy muffin. It is even vegan if you use vegan chocolate! I have not tried it with whole wheat flour, yet. When I do I will update!

Banana Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins - Mrs. Dessert Monster

These muffins are sweet but not too sweet. You can taste that there’s something different about them compared to ‘regular’ banana bread muffins – that’s the brewer’s yeast. If you *really* don’t like the taste, dial it back to 2 tbsp instead of 4 (1/4 cup = 4 tbsp). Flax & brewer’s yeast are very nutritious whether you are breastfeeding or not, so this is a great recipe to share with the whole family.

These muffins freeze very well, just individually wrap them. To thaw, unwrap & microwave for 30 seconds from frozen to enjoy warm. My personal favorite way to enjoy these muffins is with a schmear of sweetened cream cheese.

Banana Chocolate Chip Lactation Muffins

Makes 12 muffins
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted 
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1/2 cup of rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brewer’s yeast
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips (use vegan chips for vegan option)
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your muffin pan with either liners or baking spray.
  2. Microwave bananas for about 30 seconds so they are ultra mushy.
  3. In the bowl of your stand mixer, add bananas, coconut oil, & vanilla. Mix on medium low until well blended. (It’s ok to see small chunks of coconut oil that have solidified.)
  4. Add sugar and mix on medium until combined.
  5. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, oats, brewer’s yeast, & flax.
  6. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture & mix on medium until well combined.  Then add chocolate chips and mix just until the chips are evenly distributed.
  7. Divide the batter into your prepared muffin pan. You should get 12 muffins.
  8. Bake 25-30 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test.
  9. To freeze: completely cool muffins. Wrap each muffin individually in plastic wrap & then place in a plastic container or plastic bag.

Nutritional info: 262 cal, 35.7 g carbs, 11.5 g fat, 4.5 g protein

Whole Wheat & Flax Cheezy Crackers

Baking as a coping mechanism is in full effect over here. I have baked 11 times in the past 17 days. This recipe was #8. I’ve been making these crackers every now & then for a couple years. The original recipe from The Brown Eyed Baker was for homemade Cheez-its. I’ve put my own spin on it & the results are a cracker that is no longer really a Cheez-its copycat, but its own buttery cheesy cracker.

Whole Wheat & Flax Cheezy Crackers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

I wanted to make the original crackers a little healthier for myself, so I switched to whole wheat flour & added some nutritional ground flax. Flax is a galactagogue (milk promoter), so you can *almost* call these lactation crackers. Maybe if I added a little brewer’s yeast…

Extra sharp cheddar gives you the best bite, but mild works fine, too. Fresh shredded is the key, the pre-shredded packaged kind has anti-caking agents that will hinder your dough. After you mix all of the ingredients together (I do it all in my food processor – if you don’t have one, shred the cheese by hand & use the paddle attachment on your stand mixer) & chill your dough, the easiest way to get a nice thin dough is to roll it between 2 pieces of parchment paper.

 

To shape your crackers, use a pizza cutter or pastry wheel to make straight lines up & across. I did let Cupcake cut some out with a cookie cutter since she’s not quite old enough to use the pizza cutter well. Then sprinkle on some salt & bake.

Whole Wheat & Flax Cheezy Crackers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

You want the crackers to be crunchy, so err on the side of baking them slightly too dark. Trust me, they are delicious. Sometimes as I’m taking them off the pan I notice the ones in the very middle are soft. If that happens, I just take the done ones off of the tray & put the tray back in the oven a few more minutes.

 

Whole Wheat & Flax Cheezy Crackers - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This delicious homemade snack never lasts more than a few days in my house, but can last about a week in an airtight container.

Whole Wheat & Flax Cheezy Crackers

  • 8 oz cheddar cheese
  • 4 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 – 3 tbsp ice water
  1. Shred the cheddar cheese in a food processor (leave the blade in the processor along with the shredding disk).
  2. Add the butter & pulse together. Then add the flour & flax & pulse together until the mixture is crumbly.
  3. Add 2 tbsp of water & pulse until dough comes together, using the additional tbsp of water if needed.
  4. Divide dough in half & shape into disks. Wrap in plastic wrap & chill for 30-60 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Take one disk of dough out of the plastic wrap & roll between 2 sheets of parchment paper until dough is very thin (but not see-through – you’ve gone too far!) Take off the top parchment sheet & cut the dough into squares with a pizza cutter or pastry wheel. Place parchment sheet with cut dough onto a baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until browned.
  6. While the first disk is baking, repeat step 5 with the second disk. Cool & enjoy.

 

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

***This Covid-19 life is HEAVY. I don’t know quite how to address it with sensitivity, but I also can’t just be like “here’s a cookie recipe”. I love to bake, and find baking very satisfying (relaxing isn’t quite the right word for me, I get more of a sense of accomplishment.) So if baking is your thing, or you’re trying new things, and you have these ingredients on hand or in your next grocery delivery, here’s my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

There is almost nothing better than the combination of salt & chocolate. In general, I am a huge fan of recipes that call for salted butter. It’s pretty much the only butter I ever have on hand.

I got this recipe from Pinch Of Yum & it has been my go-to chocolate chip cookie for years now, using a slightly different method than she does. There are two tips/tricks to this recipe: don’t use too much flour (I’ve been weighing mine out) & let your cookies cool on the baking sheet. I made a huge batch of these cookies once, and in an effort to speed up the process I slid the parchment paper with cookies off of the baking sheet too soon & plopped them on the counter. The cookies were still tasty but just a tad too soft & pale – and this is from someone who loves a soft cookie! Leaving them on a tray continues to cook the bottom for a bit, so you have a still quite soft but just slightly browned and chewy on the bottom.

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Apparently these freeze well, but I have never had any left over to try that for myself 😂

Soft & Salty Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes 15-18 cookies

  • 8 tbsp (1 stick) salted butter
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 6.75 oz of all purpose flour (1 1/2 cups spooned & leveled)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Microwave the butter for about 40 seconds, until it is mostly melted but not hot.
  2. Beat the butter with the sugars until creamy using a stand or electric mixer.
  3. Add the egg & beat until just incorporated. Then add vanilla.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients on low. When fully incorporated, add chocolate chips.
  5. Scoop 15-18 cookies onto parchment paper or silicone mat lined cookie sheets. Bake for 10-11 minutes. Cool on cookie sheets.

 


I’m trying to remember the words Jesus said & not worry about tomorrow. We will all get through this, Lord willing.

Cream Cheese Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Cream Cheese Buttercream

Baby Blue is 6 months old!

We’re finally past the bleary eyed newborn stage & getting more sleep. And more sleep means more time for baking so hopefully I’ll be able to share regularly again!

Last weekend was his baptism. We are so happy to have him be the newest member of our church, which we’ve really grown to love here in GA. Our family came to celebrate with us, so naturally there was a small party at our house after church. I wanted to make a cake & decided not to reinvent the wheel & use the same design I did for Cupcake’s baptism 3 years ago (howwwww has it been that long? 😭).

This time, I made my own buttercream & that’s the recipe I’m sharing today.

Cream Cheese Buttercream - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This cream cheese buttercream is THE BEST! After trying several recipes recently, I find that you get more of that tangy cream cheese flavor by using slightly less than a stick of butter. Also, I almost always use salted butter in my buttercreams & that’s exactly what I use in this recipe, too.

Blame the Great British Bake Off, or call it laziness, but lately I have been weighing out my ingredients. One cup of powdered sugar is 120 grams, so when I make this recipe I use 480 grams (or 17 oz). It’s so much easier to put your bowl on a scale & dump the sugar in. No messing around with a measuring cup!

I used 1.5x the recipe to frost 24 cupcakes. The buttercream holds its shape nicely and ‘crusts’ – which I really enjoy. Everyone at the party really enjoyed it, too!

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He’s getting so big! It feels fast and slow at the same time.

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Blue’s baptism fell near his 1/2 birthday, so we celebrated that with cupcakes as well!

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This has become my go-to buttercream. I don’t think there’s a cake out there that wouldn’t go great with it!


Cream Cheese Buttercream

Recipe will frost about 18 cupcakes, or 1 small cake
  • 8 oz. (one pack) cream cheese, softened
  • 7 tbsp salted butter, softened
  • 4 cups (480 grams) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tbsp milk or cream
  1. Beat butter & cream cheese using a stand or electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 1 minute. Add vanilla extract & mix on low until just combined. Do not over mix the cream cheese.
  2. Slowly add powdered sugar, about 1 cup at a time, beating on low speed for a few seconds between each addition.
  3. Add 1-2 tbsp of milk or cream until desired consistency is reached. Increase mixer speed to medium/high & mix just until smooth.

 

Adapted from The Kitchen is My Playground

Due Date Cookies

I am doing everything in my power to get baby boy Blueberry out in a natural way. One of the things I’m doing is eating 6 dates a day. According to studies, women who eat 75 grams of dates (approximately 6 deglet noor dates, or 3-4 medjool dates) a day for the last month of pregnancy have shorter & easier labors. Dates are also packed with nutrients like potassium and magnesium which help with with swelling and blood pressure. You can read all that Mama Natural has to say about them here.

The only problem is that I am not a fan of the taste of a plain date. Therefore I have been finding creative ways to get them in without just forcing myself to eat them. I’ve been putting them in smoothies, eating Larabars, making them into peanut butter balls, and baking these cookies. I found this recipe and tweaked it to make it more date-y and also a little more simple for the 9 months pregnant mama. There’s no waiting or chilling in my recipe – just whip up & bake!

Due Date Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Cupcake loves making these cookies with me, or as she says it “mixa con Mami”. I love toddler speak! She really enjoys eating these cookies, too. My husband said they were ‘good, not great’. He’s more of a chocolate chip guy. I told them they weren’t for him – they were for me and the baby!

Due Date Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Dates and walnuts go really well together, but I have also made these with a mix of walnuts, almonds, and pecans. You can’t go wrong with any or all of those nuts.

Due Date Cookies - Mrs. Dessert Monster

This recipe contains 24 dates and makes 24 cookies. Therefore with this recipe you can be saying 6 cookies a day instead of dates!

Please say a prayer for me as I approach delivery day!

Due Date Cookies

  • 24 pitted deglet noor dates (or 12-15 medjool)
  • 1 cup walnuts (or your favorite nut)
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter (1 stick)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Using a food processor, chop the dates and walnuts together until they are broken up into very small pieces – a little bigger than a coarse meal. Alternatively, chop by hand to desired size. Set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar using stand or electric mixer.
  3. Add the egg & beat until incorporated. Then add vanilla.
  4. Mix in dry ingredients on low. When fully incorporated, add date/walnut mixture.
  5. Scoop 24 cookies onto parchment paper lined cookie sheets. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until bottoms just start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to cool completely. Enjoy!

Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate mousse is our tradition around here for New Year’s.  The only issue for New Year’s 2019 was that I had just found out about baby #2’s existence & my mousse recipe has raw eggs. This does not bother me one bit on a ‘normal’ day, but I do eat more carefully for my little ones. Inspired by my last pregnancy when I made pregnant tiramisu, I knew I could find a way to make this dessert pregnant-friendly, too. Turns out it was pretty easy!

The basic ingredients for my mousse are chocolate, butter, and a basic (French) meringue – just egg whites & sugar whipped together. Thanks to the Great British Bake Off, I have learned there are actually 3 types of meringues: French, Swiss, and Italian. French meringue is the only one where if you don’t bake it the eggs stay raw. Therefore I figured if I used one of the other types of meringue to make my mousse, the results should be similar to the original recipe while being pregnancy safe. I was right!

Mrs. Dessert Monster - Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

I chose to use an Italian meringue to make my New Year’s treat. The results were pretty close to my original! The consistency and flavor are about the same – maybe a touch sweeter. I enjoyed it so much that I made it again when my cousin & her family came to visit us for a few days in the spring. It’s one of her favorite desserts.

This was my first experience with Italian meringue. I was initially concerned that I didn’t do it properly because there was a good bit of sugar crusted in the sauce pan, but the meringue did fluff up nicely and was plenty sweet enough. I should probably invest in a candy thermometer instead of using my all purpose food thermometer. I should also mention that’s the only thing about Italian meringue – you really do need a thermometer to tell you when the sugar mixture is at the correct temperature. I haven’t played with it enough to know of any ‘hacks’ that will let you know when it’s ready without one. To be honest, getting burned is one of my biggest fears so I don’t think I’ll be playing around too much with molten sugar!

Mrs. Dessert Monster - Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

I am really happy with how this recipe turned out, and will consider making this one when I make mousse to share from now on!

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Baby #2 is just a few weeks away from coming out! Cupcake is so looking forward to finally holding her baby brother.

Pregnant Chocolate Mousse

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 12 oz semi sweet chocolate chips (one bag)
  • 1/2 lb butter (one stick)
  1. Combine sugar and water in a sauce pan. Heat over high heat until sugar syrup reaches 240°F on an instant read or candy thermometer. Brush down sides of sauce pan as necessary with a pastry brush dipped in water to minimize crusting.
  2. Combine egg whites and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Set mixer to medium speed and mix until soft peaks form, about 2 minutes.
  3. Slowly drizzle hot sugar syrup into mixer bowl while it’s running. Increase speed to high and whip until meringue forms stiff peaks. Add vanilla while mixer is whipping.
  4. Melt chocolate chips & butter in a hot water bath.
  5. Gently fold melted chocolate mixture into meringue until smooth & uniform in color. Let it set in the fridge overnight either in individual servings or one large container. Serve on its own, or with fresh fruit.

 

Homemade Big Mac Copycat Sauce

The other day, I was going to make my hubby’s famous salad for dinner when I realized that I did not have any 1,000 island dressing. It had been quite a while since we had fresh salad in this house, to be honest. Baby boy really hasn’t wanted many fresh veggies.

It's a boy Mrs. Dessert Monster

Baby boy Blueberry due in September!

I knew that 1,000 island dressing is basically what we Hispanics call ‘mayokechu’ (mayonnaise + ketchup) plus some other seasonings, so I looked up a homemade recipe. The only thing is that I didn’t exactly have all the ingredients on hand for this recipe, either. So I improvised. I made a dressing & it came out delicious and tasting familiar – and not just because I was going for 1,000 island. When my husband tried it, he pinpointed why.

He said, “this tastes just like Big Mac sauce.”

Aha, yes! Big Macs are something Blueberry definitely does enjoy, so I’ve had more than a couple this pregnancy. The dressing tasted great in the salad, but once we made that Big Mac connection, I knew burgers for dinner were definitely in our near future.

Homemade Big Mac Copycat Sauce - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Sure enough, a few days later we put the leftover dressing/sauce on some homemade Big Macs.

I didn’t seek out trying to make a Big Mac copycat sauce, so I don’t know if my recipe is similar to any others out there. I do know that whenever I’ve feeling like adding something more ‘special’ to burgers at home, I will be making this now! And I know it would taste great on cheeseburger lasagna rolls, too!

Homemade Big Mac Copycat Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 sandwich slice of pickle, or 1 pickle spear, or about 5-6 pickle chips finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced onion (I use red onion just like the original recipe, but use whatever you have!)
  • 1 small garlic clove minced or pressed.
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt to taste (a pinch or more)
  1. Dice/mince ingredients if necessary.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Stir & taste for salt.
  3. Use it as a burger sauce, salad dressing, or more!

My Favorite Hispanic Recipes

Hola amigos! Today marks the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. I hope you’ve had a good one!

Today I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Hispanic influenced recipes NOT from this blog. Some are traditional recipes & some are more like Tex-Mex or fusion like.

My Favorite Hispanic Recipes - Mrs. Dessert Monster

Food brings people together & introducing people to new flavors is a great way to introduce them to new cultures.

¡Buen provecho!

  1. Mexican Corn Dip from Well Plated – It’s like elote, but in dip form & not too heavy because of a few sneaky swaps! I made it for my mother in law, who loves all things corn, for her birthday & the whole family loved it.
  2. Black Bean Avocado Salad from Nancy C. – I make this often! Y’all know how I feel about tomatoes & this salsa-like salad checks all of the flavor boxes WITHOUT any tomatoes!
  3. Vaca Frita from Fabulous Fare Sisters – Vaca Frita is my favorite thing to order at Cuban restaurants, but you can totally make it at home! I’m making this tonight with some white rice & maduros.
  4. White Chicken Enchiladas from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen – Green chile & I are BFFs. This recipe, while not super authentically Mexican, delivers on the green chile front! This is one of the first foods I cooked for my husband while we were dating <3. It’s still a favorite!
  5. Churro Truffles from Pizzazzerie – For when you want that churro flavor without the choux pastry & deep frying.
  6. Merenguitos (Cuban meringue cookies) from Three Guys From Miami – This blog includes 2 authentic Cuban merenguitos recipes. Personally I only ever use the first one – sugar & NO cream of tartar. I love merenguitos that are super crunchy on the outside but still just the tiniest bit chewy on the inside. Yummmm!

What are your favorites from around the internet?