Did you know that October is National Dessert Month? That pretty much makes October the best month ever, in my opinion… and it’s like they coordinated it perfectly with Halloween and the excess of candy coming my way. I cannot wait!!
As you know, as a baker I’m constantly working with a variety of products. But the one product I use the most would have to be dairy. Think about it: I can’t very well have successful cookies without butter, or moist banana bread with yogurt. And cheesecake without cream cheese? Forgettaboudit.
Is life really worth living without butter? That is the question.
For National Dessert Month I’m teaming up with two iconic and world-class California-based companies to bring you this delightful recipe today! The first is California Milk Advisory Board, which represents over 1500 dairy farms in California whose cows and farms make California the number one dairy state in the United States. No matter where you are in America, I guarantee you have some kind of dairy product in your fridge right now that has a Real California Milk Seal on it — meaning that dairy product, be it ice cream, cheese, yogurt, or butter, was made using Real California Milk.
The second is Tieks, the most versatile designer flat brand in the world! If you haven’t heard of Tieks, they’re a California-based company that makes gorgeous flats that are made of 100% premium, soft, full-grain leather that are made in Italy. Tieks are designed to add flexibility to your life with their brilliant construction. Their foldable split-sole design makes it compact and lightweight. The non-skid rubber patches and non-slip instep ensure comfort with each step, even for the flattest of feet (read: mine!). Not to mention, they’re stylish, expertly made, and my new favorite shoe in the world. Gotta love an awesome shoe company made in my home state!
Together, the California Milk Advisory Board, Tieks and myself are bringing you this fabulous dessert and shoe pairing to help celebrate and kick-off National Dessert Month. CMAB and Tieks challenged me to create a unique recipe that showcases California dairy and pairs with one of Tieks’ fabulous flats. As a natural leopard lover (seriously, it’s a neutral in my book!) I chose their Leopard Flat to pair perfectly with my Chocolate Cookie Cups with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting. Not only do these flats and cookie cups go hand-and-foot together, but I think the cookie cups are every bit as elegant as the flats themselves! Soft and chewy chocolate cookies are loaded with creamy California butter and topped with a luscious and light peanut butter cheesecake frosting. Lastly, they’re garnished with an adorable Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup”cake” to make these extra festive — it is National Dessert Month, after all!
Plus, it’s always fashionable to match your dessert to your shoes. Just sayin’ 🙂
- For the Cookie Cups:
- ¾ cup Real California Butter, softened to room temperature (I used unsalted butter)
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 & ¼ cups chocolate cake mix (the dry mix)
- 1 & ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking soda
- Pinch salt
- For the Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting:
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) Real California Butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 pkg (8 oz) Real California Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- 3-4 cups powdered sugar
- Chocolate sprinkles
- 12 Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Minis
- 12 Miniature M&M's (just the brown ones)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 12-cavity muffin tin with cooking spray and set aside. Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar on medium-speed, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Lastly, beat in the dry chocolate cake mix, the flour, baking soda and salt until a soft dough has formed.
- Using a cookie dough scoop, drop heaping Tablespoonfuls of cookie dough into the muffin tin, filling about ⅔ of the way full. Gently press the cookie dough into the tin so it's nestled in. Bake the cookie cups for about 12-15 minutes or until the tops are sunken in and the edges appear set. Do not over-bake! Remove from the oven and allow the cookie cups to cool mostly in the tin. Gently remove from the tin after about 20 minutes by carefully running a small knife around the edges of the cookie cups and lifting them from the muffin tin. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the frosting: In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium speed for about 1 minute. Beat in the vanilla and peanut butter until combined. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, about one cup at a time, until a softer frosting consistency has been achieved. You do not want it super stiff, but not so soft that the frosting will fall.
- Place ¾s of the cheesecake frosting into a disposable plastic piping bag affixed with a large open-star tip. Place the remaining cheesecake frosting into another disposable plastic piping bag affixed with a smaller open-star tip.
- Begin piping the cheesecake frosting high onto the cooled cookie cups using the large-tipped bag. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Using the smaller-tipped frosting bag, pipe little mounds of frosting onto the tops of the unwrapped Reese's Peanut Butter Cups to make little cupcakes. Top them with a brown miniature M&M candy, and garnish with a light sprinkle.
- Place the miniature "cupcakes" on top of the cookie cups and serve!
Delicious, adorable and stylish, these tasty Chocolate Cookie Cups with Peanut Butter Cheesecake Frosting are a great and fashionable way to celebrate National Dessert Month with Tieks and the California Milk Advisory Board! Nothing beats the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter, especially when they’re amped up with rich creamery California milk-based butter and cream cheese and eaten while rockin’ a totally gorgeous pair of leopard Tieks!
Thanks for stopping by! Have a delicious day!
In the interest of full disclosure, I am a proud brand ambassador for the California Milk Advisory Board and have been since May 2014. I have partnered with Tieks and CMAB on this campaign to bring you this original recipe. As always, all opinions are 100% my own.