Rainbow Cheesecake Bars

Hello, friends!

I have made quite a few delights for Pride Month but wanted to make sure I ended the last week pride month with a NuNaturals recipe! This is a modified version of these cheesecake bars. I made them for Jon’s birthday and he enjoyed them immensely. I replaced the sugar with NuNaturals Monk Fruit 1:1 sweetener. This would have been keto, but I decided to use leftover mint girl scout cookies for the crust. 🙂

I pulsed the cookies in my food processor and added melted butter. Then I smushed it onto a parchment paper-lined square pan and baked it for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. The rest of the ingredients in the first picture made the filling (I only used the egg whites in this recipe and used the yolks for brunch later).

I have seen rainbow cheesecakes where there’s a layer of white cheesecake and then a layer of swirled rainbow cheesecake on top as a second layer. This recipe is lighter in part because they are cheesecake BARS, not a full cheesecake. So I did not use a white layer below and split all of the cheesecake batter into 6 cups to color.

One trick to lifting cheesecake bars is to have parchment paper to pull up. I have seen people bake with metal clips on and I plan to eventually. I don’t have any so these adorable chip clips from my mom helped keep things in place while I added the colors. I have seen people do blobs and swirl them. I wanted to make the rainbow colors stripes, but not in ROYGBIV order (they are in order, but they don’t start with red. Which is pretty pink. I digress…). Then I used a knife to swirl the edges of the colors to make it sort of tie-dyed. I think it looked pretty dope:

See that top piece of parchment that wants to fold in? It did while baking and ruined (what would have been) the perfect shot of the baked cheesecake. Here’s the full pic (followed by a cropped pic to soothe my ego):

You know what fixes blemishes like that? Whipped cream. And I just happened to have some leftover whipping cream in the fridge. I painted the inside of a pastry bag with rainbow colors then filled it with the whipped cream. Boom. Magic.

I should also add that this painting technique for piping also is shown off in this Instagram reel when I made these adorbs meringues. I used this recipe and once again subbed sugar for NuNaturals Monk Fruit 1:1 sweetener. You might say this post is full of monk fruit, food coloring, and merriment.

Happy Pride, y’all! I hope you enjoyed these recipes. I also wanted to share a little highlight of some of the treats I made this month (I didn’t share the Transgender pride flag cookies because I assembled them wrong for the picture. I did make sure to use the flag colors in the unicorns seen on the bottom left though):

As NuNaturals often inquires, Isn’t Life Sweet?


Galentine’s Day

For those of you who are unaware, Galentine’s Day is traditionally celebrated on February 13th. Leslie Knope (from Parks and Recreation) holds a brunch to have fun with her female friends. It is a day where ladies get together to celebrate friendship.

Generally speaking, I like to give gifts to pals… mostly made of sugar. Here’s an example of the copious amounts of sugar I shoved toward my peeps in mid-February days of yore:

Sadly, this year is socially distanced. Austin has been at Stage 5 for a while, but we recently moved to Stage 4. Once we are in Stage 3 I plan on mailing some pink and red sugary treats to my friends (where gender is not important- friendship is).

Until then, I wrote this post with a few ideas for your Galentine’s Day. Or any day, really. These are mostly breakfast foods, as Leslie Knope loves breakfast foods, especially waffles!


I made a video about this waffle, which is the KEY Galentine’s Day brunch item:

My family used to chop up Easter candies and add them to pancakes. I did something similar here. I chopped up a candy bar (shown in the next section) and added it to the waffle batter. Delicious.

If you do not have a waffle iron, you could make Galentine pancakes instead! Here’s a pile of mini pancakes with sprinkles and a chocolate-covered strawberry. Still festive and no extra appliance required:

Pancakes seem too “every day?” How about some cinnamon rolls topped with pink cream cheese icing and sprinkles?!

Last Minute Ideas (No Oven Needed)

Are you reading this on February 13th? Happy Galentine’s Day if you are! I have provided two ideas. One uses store bought cookies and the other requires only a microwave in this video (okay, fine… a microwave IS an oven, but it is the oven for people who don’t like to bake).

Chocolate Bars

Candy bar molds are cheap and I am obsessed. Yes, you can use any mold (I am sure some people have spheres from the great cocoa bomb experiment of December 2020). However, making an ACTUAL candy bar made of smaller squares makes me feel like Willy Wonka. You can learn more of these in the video, but if you have no interest in motion pictures, know some of these have M&Ms and some have leftover cake crumbles from last week’s post (I froze them for this purpose).

“Store Bought is Fine.”

As Ina Garten has said many times, you can TOTALLY buy delish food from stores and use that instead. We received a gargantuan bucket of Cheryl’s Cookies from my husband’s work. So I put some in the cute handmade heart I made. BOOM. Magic. Also, I kept these wrapped because they’d be fresh whenever my Galentine eats them AND Cheryl doesn’t think I’m trying to start a turf war.

What if my Valentine/Galentine has a favorite recipe that doesn’t make sense as pink/red/heart shaped?

Great question, self! I completely understand this query and think that people should get what they WANT as gifts, especially if it is a recipe you’ve made them before and they like them. For example, one of my Galentines Jeca likes my Molasses Cookies, which are not pink. They could potentially be heart shaped, but they are crackle-top cookies and a broken heart seems a bit to emo for a gift. So, I made the damned Molasses Cookies. End of Story.

Enjoy your February, friend!

However you choose to celebrate Galentine’s Day, remember you deserve a delicious treat. So make yourself a waffle. Or pancake. Or PB&J. We all deserve one- 2020 was weird and 2021 is kinda cray fillet as well.

And, since we are close friends, please don’t tell Leslie Knope that I like my waffles the NORMAL way… with three gallons of syrup and 2 gargantuan pats of butter:


Quit Playing Games with my Heart (of Chocolates)

Well, we all know the DELIGHT of Valentine’s Day chocolates. Really, any sweet. However, I am partial to the foil heart of chocolates. It is old school and classic. Sadly, nowadays these hearts are mostly packaging. I’m glad I am not married to Russell Stover, because check out this crap:

Also, you probably cannot tell, but the top center chocolate was cracked. Like REALLY, Russell?!
You couldn’t ensure each of the like 9 chocolates in this gargantuan heart were unscathed???

If I am being fully honest, I prefer my baked goods to most candies. So I decided to spend the past two weeks filling this Russell Stover heart with BETTER options. It does not take two weeks to make ANY of the recipes below. I just spaced out the making of them so I did not go into a sugar coma while testing these. I’m selfless, y’all.

First up? Merengue Cookies (arguably the healthiest one since they are mostly Egg Whites…. basically a Rocky Balboa type of gift).

Merengue Cookies

Now, I LOVE a merengue cookie. I love pavlovas. I am obsessed with ALL the magic whipped egg whites have to offer. They are majestic. How in the world did FOUR egg whites make all of these treasures?! Answer: They were whipped with sugar and cream of tartar, then piped by yours truly. Obviously.

Also, can we talk about how FULL this heart shaped box looks now? The one with nine socially distant chocolates is depressing. Get with it, Russell. We have emotional eating to do. 🙂

Since this recipe was so bountiful (you truly have no idea what treasures await when those four room-temp egg whites are waiting in the mixer to do their thing), I had some extra fun styling some photos. In fact- this was the first recipe where I was able to use that sweet canister from West Elm (on the left). It reminds me of the estimation jar from elementary school, but in a fashionable Greg Brady kind of way.

Craft Break

I did these cookies and put them in the heart-shaped box. Welp… real talk? I did not like Russel stealing my Thunder. I put the open box on top of the branding to hide it, but that would be boring for several shots. SO… I rebranded it… I love a craft, okay?

This will be the box featured for the rest of the baked goods:

(Can you hear me saying “ta-dahhh” while making jazz hands at the computer? I totally did)

Cake Truffles

I LOVE Milk Bar’s birthday cake truffles. They. Are. Amazing. I decided it would be fun to make cake truffles using a mug cake. So, I microwaved three mug cakes individually and cooled them in a shallow bowl (see below- they are in the teal bowl on the top right). I mixed this with the icing packets and rolled them into tiny cake balls.

Christina Tosi, aka my goddess and savior, suggests rolling them in a thin layer of white chocolate and her confetti cake crumbs. I omitted the white chocolate step by rolling the truffles in the crumbs while they were still warm out of the oven. They stuck and I put them in the freezer. I included a close up of the crumbs below because OMG look at them!

The leftover birthday cake crumbs were frozen so they could be part of a Galentine’s Day post for next week.

Stay tuned. 🙂

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

I decided to actually use the insert of the Russell Stover chocolate heart for these darlings. I know the typical chocolate-covered strawberries have stems and are full. These are strawberry halves with no tops/stems, which I think fit nicely in the box insert. I also do not like how you have to awkwardly put the stem somewhere when eating a full strawberry. The stem is great for dipping and for holding the finished product. But at what cost??? Since there’s no weird stem leftovers on mine, these little dudes can be the star of an espresso-filled Fika Friday or chill on top of an adorbs pudding snack.

Oh no- I forgot!

Did you forget a Valentine’s Day treat for your babe/dude/soulmate and still want to spread some sugary cheer? Welp, call on your local Girl Scout to order a box of cookies. Then put said cookies in a heart-shaped box. No heart-shaped box? Slap a sticker on that bad boy.

Did we just become best friends?


Sidebar: you can support Girl Scouts living in the NYC shelter system here. Realize it five minutes from your soulmate’s house? Buy the cookies, explain this AMAZING cause, and then cuddle. 🙂


It is not normal to retract something before publishing it. However, I enjoyed giving Russell Stover candies crap because of the exponentially disappointing candy to heart-box ratio. When I googled ol’ Russ to make sure I spelled his name right I found out he was a chemist that discovered how to ensconce ice cream with a chocolate shell.

Due to this, mea culpa Russ. Love you.



Snail Mail Cookies

I did not go home last year for Christmas. I was working in Montana and flights out of there on a normal day were astronomical. I did not dare book one with holiday markups! The plan was to have a chill Christmas at the apartment, then travel to visit family on Spring Break or at summer break. Then Covid happened and stopped those plans.

So, for the second Christmas, my partner and I are chillin at home. This one, though during Covid times, has to be INFINITELY better than last year. We had the flu and I made a pancake with chocolate chips and watched Susperia hopped up on cold meds. Do not recommend.

I mailed gifts to friends and family last year. This year I mailed cookies because baking is my love language. It is how I show people I appreciate them. I also craft, but I only finished two of my planned projects. Any crafter will tell you this is a yearly ordeal where we say “next year I’ll start earlier.” Then we don’t. This cycle continues until we die and our family/partners stare in horror at the stash of craft supplies we never used. I don’t make the rules- this is just what happens.

I digress.

Cookies! Here’s a fun video of the cookies I made. There were three items I mailed: holiday scones, roll out cookies, and iced sugar cookies. Generally I make a few iced sugar cookies, but this year was summed up with one large cookie. You’ll see.

Holiday Scones

My holiday scones were a modified version of the funfetti scones from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I use her recipes a lot, as they are user friendly and from scratch. The mods in this recipe were pretty straight forward: I replaced half of the white chocolate chips with peppermint chips and regular sprinkles with holiday sprinkles. I also did not put much glaze on the top because the peppermint sprinkles were very sweet. These were great with coffee. I finally got to use my mini scone pan and will mos def be making another version of these for my next mail call.

Butter Cookies

I bought this sweet rolling pin on etsy! It actually embosses nordic designs onto cookie dough! It worked well, though it took me a bit to figure out the best pressure to use when rolling and dough temperature. I assumed the butter cookie dough* had to be SUPER cold to roll out, but it turned out it worked better mostly cold so it had some give when the rolling pin did its thing. Here is a shot of some of the all-star cookies:

After this photo shoot I let them cool, then dipped them in chocolate and sprinkled them with ground pistachios or red jimmies. I had leftover chocolate and pistachio, so I made some pistachio bark. And by “make pistachio bark” I mean I used a spatula to pour the chocolate on top of the pistachios and waited for it to harden. It looked fancy though:

*I did not add all spice to this recipe as suggested. I wanted the buttery flavor to be the star. Just an aside in case you were really invested in this…

Dumpster Fire Sugar Cookies

The last cookie is my iced sugar cookie. I have used the cut out cookie recipe from Make it Sweet since I first started perfecting my sugar cookies. If you follow the steps and chill the dough as suggested, the shapes hold up PERFECTLY in the oven. You could put the cutter over the cookie and then faint at the accuracy. Make sure you put some pillows down first or have a fainting couch at the ready.

This cutter is from etsy and had an embossed piece with it. I used it, but I iced them so you cannot actually see the embossing on the finished products. It was nice though because it acted as a guide for the flames and the dumpster outline.

2020 Snail Mail

As with all USPS packages, some have arrived to family and friends and some are hiding in piles waiting to be delivered. I am glad I heat seal the bags. Hopefully these bad boys hold up. If not, it is the thought that counts? Do we get a re-do next year? Asking for a friend.

Shout out to the USPS and all of the people busting ass this holiday season. It has been a weird one and we appreciate you.