~ Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bars ~
This summer break has been very enjoyable so far. I spent most of May at home having fun with family and friends before packing again to come back on campus for research opportunities and workshops. While I was packing, my parents were already shocked at how many things I was bringing with me (I just can’t pack light even if I try …) that I made up my mind to leave my baking supplies at home. I thought I could just brainstorm recipes while I was away just like I did when I was out of the country for Spring Break.
Surprisingly though, I was lucky enough to run into my friend Bailey, whom I had the pleasure to meet during my freshman year. Coincidentally we live just a few doors away from each other in the same building! While we were talking and catching up, the subject of baking soon came up in the conversation. She mentioned that she brought some pans and kitchen supplies with her and that she even has essential baking ingredients such as flour and sugar. Since we both love to bake, we ended up setting a date and time to meet up ASAP and prepare a homemade dessert together!
For the past two weeks, my schedule has been subjected to unpredictable changes of plans due to snowstorms followed by cancelled classes/activities. I don’t think I’ve ever modified and re-modified my calendar this often before!
In spite of a few inconveniences, I really enjoyed getting 2 days off and numerous delays. I also loved how beautiful the college campus looked under the white blanket of snow. I was completely spellbound one night as I was walking around while it was snowing and even forgot how cold I was!
This is the College of William and Mary covered in snow! ❤
One of the clubs I recently joined this year called UAID (United Against Inequities in Disease) was organizing a Valentine’s Benefit Concert the week after Valentine’s Day featuring lots of performances by talented students and lots of Valentine’s Day themed desserts. The goal of the event was to raise money to donate to Fan Free Clinic. However, because of the snow storm and the 7 inches of snow that accumulated on the day of the concert, we had to postpone it to later in the semester. Prior to its cancellation, I made two types of desserts in order to help out with the preparations. I chose chocolate desserts in honor of the Valentine’s Day theme and tried to highlight flavors that were most likely going to be crowd-pleasers. (such as cream cheese and Oreo cookies). Continue reading
I’ve always marveled at pictures of cheesecakes from the Cheesecake Factory and other fancy restaurants. A cheesecake always seemed like a complicated and daunting dessert to make which is why I often refrained from attempting it when I initially got into baking.
Nonetheless, as my Aunt’s annual Thanksgiving dinner approached last year, I felt drawn to the idea of finally giving it a try.
I had a can of pumpkin puree conveniently waiting in the pantry at home so I first planned to bake a classic pumpkin pie like those that are always found on the Thanksgiving dessert table. However, while I love pumpkin pie and look forward to it every fall to accompany my usual Chai Tea Latte from Starbucks, I wanted to make something more versatile and challenging for a change. I debated between a spiced pumpkin cake, a pumpkin roll, or a pumpkin cheesecake…
I love baking so much that I truly considered making all three! I probably would have but I knew there was already going to be a lot of wonderful desserts offered (mainly, very generous amounts of pumpkin/apple pie and scoops of vanilla ice cream). I realized that it would be better to try and complement those treats by making a dessert that’s slightly less sweet but still rich, fancy, and fall-themed.