A delicious fall recipe: pumpkin bars

Hello, my friends!

I have a delicious post for you in honor of being yesterday the first day of fall and just ’cause this is one of my favorite treats and I wanted to share it with you–Here’s my favorite recipe for pumpkin bars. These bars are quick and easy to make, plus absolutely yummy.

(And I’m currently munching on one right now while I’m writing this post.)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour 
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (240ml) vegetable oil*
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) pure maple syrup
  • 1 (15 ounces) can pumpkin puree
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups chocolate chips

*I prefer melted butter over oil, but it’s up to you and your preference!

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 10×15 inch baking pan. Or line the pan with parchment paper with enough overhang on the sides to easily lift the bars (as a whole) out.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice together in a large bowl. Set aside. Whisk the oil, eggs, brown sugar, granulated sugar, maple syrup, pumpkin, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and use a mixer or whisk until completely combined. The batter will be thick.

Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 28-35 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The bars are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top or edges of the bars browning too quickly, loosely tent with aluminum foil.

Remove the bars from the oven and set the pan on a wire rack. Cool bars completely. (After about 45 minutes of cooling, you can place the bars in the refrigerator to speed things up!)

Enjoy with or without a fork, but definitely grab a napkin!

Cover and store pumpkin bars at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

*Credit for this recipe goes to Sally’s Baking Addiction.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe and have a chance to try it out for yourself! (And if you do, do make sure to let me know in the comments.)

What’s your favorite fall recipe? Have you ever tried pumpkin bars? Do you like cinnamon or pumpkin better? Or some other flavor entirely?

Have a wonderful day!

Birthday Goods {2022}

Hello, my friends!

Today, I’m super excited to FINALLY show you all the wonderful gifts I got for my birthday in July!

Anyhow, first the obligatory disclaimer about how this is the obligatory disclaimer that no, for those of you who have a nagging doubt, I am not trying to brag about my gifts (I never saw any posts like these that were, but alas), I am simply making one of the practically useless but quite entertaining birthday posts that I enjoy reading for some reason. XD So, hopefully you enjoy it too!

Also, these gifts are in no particular order and the background is a black and white checkered table cloth that my mom got off Amazon and tube confetti that I found somewhere which I very quickly regretted using because it literally gets ALL OVER and sticks to everything. 😛

(Oh yes, one more thing: For some strange reason, the term “haul” bothers me, so I looked up synomns for haul, and “goods” came up, which I like much better.)

All righty, onwards!

I got this lovely devotional from Levi! The devotions are amazing and it’s so pretty on the inside with lots of flowers and pretty designs. I read one every morning during my devotions. 🙂

Meet George, my very fun succulent from my grandparents! (And yes, I name my plants. 😛 :)) His leaves are really soft and I love the pink on the edges of them.

I got this awesome journal from my other grandparents! I’ve been wanting to start an art journal for a while, and now I finally have a journal. The paper is SO thick – I can’t wait to get started with it!

I got this super cute sign from my cousin, Liv, it’s the shelves above my desk and I like it a lot.

Sticky notes!! I love sticky notes and use them all the time. I’m so excited to have all of these to use. 🤪

This gorgeous stationary set was a gift from Mercy! All of the stationary is so pretty and I’ve already written lots of letters with it.

I’ve wanted these two books for a while now, and after entering multiple writing book giveaways in hopes of winning them, I finally decided just to add them to my wishlist. They were from Luke, I think. 😀

I got this beautiful necklace from my dear friend, Chloe! ❤ It has a beautiful charm on the inside, and there’s a bracelet too. Such a thoughtful gift. ❤

I got this notebook from my friend, Katherine–She also decorated most of the pages with lots of pretty washi tape and stickers.

My grandma and grandpa gave me this brown notebook! It’s so much fun to use, especially with my white gel pens.

More organization and planning things! The clipboard opens and has a notebook inside, along with a pocket to store loose papers, too. I use the planner for days when I have a ton to do and the small list in my bullet journal isn’t enough space. Both of them are so helpful! These were from Jewel!

I’ve seen people use wax kits for snail mail a lot and I thought it’d be fun to use it! It is just as awesome as I thought it would be, and the stamp (pictured below) is so pretty! This was also from my grandma and grandpa. (All the colors are a bit jumbled in the picture from when I opened it, but it’s back and each color is in the correct space now.)

And the stamp, along with a tealight candle to melt the wax, and metal spoon to hold the wax.

I got this candle from my aunt. It smells amazing (A coastal wind + lavender) and the wicks are made of wood, which I find neat.

A friend of mine, Kate, made me these positively gorgeous handlettered cards. They’re all so pretty! ❤

I got these handmade keycains from my lovely writing and blogging friend, Vi. They’re all amazing!

All of this washi tape was from Grace. I love it all SO much and it’s so pretty! (I got more (about 40 rolls. o.O) but was only able to squeeze these ones into the picture.)

I got this wonderful mug from my cousin, Liv, too. I don’t drink coffee much, and when I do, it’s usually iced, but I do drink tea A LOT. I can’t wait to try it out!

And lastly, one of my favorite gifts yet, a sunflower plant!! I was so excited to get it. I immideitaly name the her Georgia. 😂 🤣 My grandma knew I wanted some sunflowers, especially after all of the ones I planted either died or didn’t bother to grow (we have no idea why, still) and now I have one! Grandma said she got it from Walmart and had to nurse it back to life, but now it’s alive and there are tons of new blooms on it.

I love it so much! ❤

Welp, that’s it! ❤

So many other people gave me the sweetest cards, envelopes and little birthday packages, but I didn’t have enough space in this already very long post to show everything. If I didn’t show something you gave, please know that I still truly and honestly loved it and you made my day by sending it.  THANK YOU SO MUCH, EVERYONE, for a great birthday! ❤ I felt incredibly loved – my family, and my friends online and offline were so, so sweet!

What is one thing on your birthday list? Did you find anything here to add? What do you think about Georgia, the sunflower? Do you name your plants?

Thank you so much for reading and please have a lovely day, friends!

How to make your own cheesecake

Hello, my friends!

Here’s a fact you probably didn’t know about me. . .cheesecake is my favorite dessert! And it’s one of the few sweets I can eat. It’s perfect for the summer when you want something cool since there are plenty of no-bake cheesecakes out there. But today, I’m sharing one recipe that I love and have used plenty of times!

It’s creamy, easy to make, looks wonderful, and best of all, tastes delicious! Now, after that long introduction, let’s get onto the real post, shall we?

How to Make your own Cheesecake

One of the lovely things about this cheesecake is that it’s very simple and doesn’t require many ingredients. Here’s what you need to make your own delicious cake.

Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (150g) graham cracker crumbs (about 10 full sheet graham crackers)
  • 5 Tablespoons (70g) of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar

Cheesecake

  • four 8-ounce blocks (904g) of full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240g) full-fat sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice (optional, but recommended)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • Fun toppings (We use a thick layer of chocolate ganache and chocolate chips sprinkled across it, or drizzle salted caramel sauce over it.

Instructions

Step One

Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).

Step Two

Make the crust: Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Pour into a medium bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter until combined. (You can also pulse it all together in the food processor.) Mixture will be sandy. Press firmly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch or 10-inch springform pan. No need to grease the pan first. I use the bottom of a measuring cup to pack the crust down tightly. Pre-bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the hot pan on a large piece of aluminum foil. The foil will wrap around the pan for the water bath in step 4. Allow crust to slightly cool as you prepare the filling.

STEP THREE

Make the filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sour cream, vanilla extract, and lemon juice then beat until fully combined. On medium speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. After the final egg is incorporated into the batter, stop mixing. To help prevent the cheesecake from deflating and cracking as it cools, avoid over-mixing the batter as best you can. You will have close to 6 cups of batter.

STEP FOUR

Prepare the simple water bath: Boil a pot of water. You need 1 inch of water in your roasting pan for the water bath, so make sure you boil enough. I use an entire kettle of hot water. As the water is heating up, wrap the aluminum foil around the springform pan. Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the crust. Use a rubber spatula or spoon to smooth it into an even layer. Place the pan inside of a large roasting pan. Carefully pour the hot water inside of the pan and place in the oven. (Or you can place the roasting pan in the oven first, then pour the hot water in. Whichever is easier for you.)

Step FIVE

Bake cheesecake for 55-70 minutes or until the center is almost set. If you notice the cheesecake browning too quickly on top, tent it with aluminum foil halfway through baking. When it’s done, the center of the cheesecake will slightly wobble if you gently shake the pan. Turn the oven off and open the oven door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven in the water bath as it cools down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and water bath, then cool cheesecake completely uncovered at room temperature. Then cover and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Use a knife to loosen the chilled cheesecake from the rim of the springform pan, then remove the rim. Using a clean sharp knife, cut into slices for serving. For neat slices, wipe the knife clean and dip into warm water between each slice.

Serve cheesecake with desired toppings. Cover and store leftover cheesecake in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

4 TIps to make your cheesecake amazing

Before you go, I want to share three tips to make sure that your cheesecake turns out well.

  1. Do not over-mix the cheesecake batter
  2. Bake in a water bath
  3. Leave cheesecake in the cooling oven for 1 hour
  4. Cool completely at room temperature
*Credit for this recipe goes to Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Have you ever eaten cheesecake before? Have you ever made it? Which picture looks the most delicious?

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and give cheesecake-making a try! Have a lovely day!