I am stuck in traffic on my way home from work, I feel my pulse begin to beat a bit faster and the frown on my face tighten as I glance at the time on my dashboard, and think ok running late so that means a faster run but, still have time. Wait, time - time for what? Just a few weeks prior I was training for Boston. Rushing home after work, frantically dropping everything on the counter, greet the dogs, quickly change and go for an 8 to 13 mile run. Then, shower, prepare dinner, make smoothies, pack lunches for the next day and go to bed. This was my life for 3-4 days out of the work week for months.
But, now that Boston is over my miles and miles of running has cut back. The warmer weather is here and I can focus on new adventures and new goals, time for a biking, kickboxing, more weight lifting, relax in a yoga stretch class, walking the dogs, do a little shopping and cooking more delicious food. As I ease up the grip on my steering wheel and take a deep breath, I think to myself ok what I am doing when I get home.
Once I am through the traffic, I stop at the grocery store grabbing some ingredients to make a sweet treat. While walking down the hall to my apt carrying my bags of things I stop to say hello to a neighbor and having a quick chat, walk in the door and calmly put all my dirty lunch dishes in the dish washer, greet the dogs and take them for short walk. Now that I am doing most of my training in the morning and some biking, light running or kickboxing a couple nights a week, I can do a little baking.
I love baking and making delicious treats for everyone else to eat and is one of my other passions. Oh I have my share of licking the spoons, scraping the bowls with my fingers, eating chocolate chips here and there, grabbing a bite or eating a piece that just wasn’t perfect looking. My favorite is seeing the looks on people faces when the take those first bites into a moist strawberry cupcake with creamy vanilla frosting, a double chocolate super gooey fudgie brownie with chunks of chocolate and walnuts, some creamy peanut butter cookies, warm banana bread with raisins and nuts. That look of pleasure and satisfaction when indulging into something so delicious.
So with the ingredients I just bought I decided to make a cheese cake, a raspberry cheesecake with a twist. The base is a chocolate chip cookie and on top is a blueberry, nut, raspberry bark. The results, well I have only 2 words, simply mouthwatering deliciously amazing (ok 4 words). It was super fun and easy to make with simply good ingredients.
The sun was out and the windows were open and fresh warm spring air was coming in. I put on my music playing some classic 70’s rock, preheated the oven and went to baking town. I started with the base making my giant cookie crust, while that was cooking I put together the decadent smooth “cheese cake”. Once the cookie was done I popped that in the freezer to cool down quickly and to keep it moist. Then I melted the extra chocolate chips and poured it over some mixed nuts, fresh blueberries and raspberries over a baking sheet, sprinkled it with a little sea salt and put that in the freezer to set. Once the cookie was done I poured the raspberry cake mix on that, broke apart the bark and put the pieces on top then put it all back in the freezer to set for the rest of the day.
Now that I was done making my cheesecake, I still had all the baking stuff out and thought why stop there so I made some blueberry cake bars with lemon glaze and peanut butter chocolate chip bars. These recipes are on my recipe page so be sure to check those out.
Ridiculous Raspberry Cheese Cake
Time: About 1 hour not including pie set time (up to 2-24 hours to set)
The chocolate chip cookie base:
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ apple sauce
¼ cup coconut sugar
¼ cup organic brown sugar
2 tbsp. coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ - ½ chocolate chips (depending how many you like, I used more)
2 cups raw cashews
1 ½ cups raspberries (I used frozen and thawed them out)
1/3 plus 1 tbsp coconut oil room temperature (ok if its melted)
½ cup good quality maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener, can use agave but its highly processed)
3 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp sea salt
I came up with this to put on top when I had left over chocolate chips and raspberries
Half cup mixed nuts (any kind that you like)
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup remaining raspberries (thawed out otherwise melted chocolate will seize up quickly when poured on)
Remaining bag of chocolate