SUMMER IS HERE!!!!!!!!! (Insert High School Musical). It’s here, and I’m so excited! It hasn’t really hit me yet, though. Has it really been two years? Am I really halfway done? Am I really graduating soon?!?!
I’m still in shock, but I still remain thankful. Thankful for this past year because God has been faithful to me (as always!). I am thankful for my apartment, because a) where would I live and b) they are some of the craziest girls I’ve ever met who are always there to encourage me. I am thankful for J and my family, because who would I be without them, and they’re always the light at the end of a crazy week. I am thankful for brothers and sisters in Christ both at church and AACF because of our brotha and sista-hood, holla~! For reals though, they have been extremely encouraging this past year, caring for me, taking me home, asking me how I’m doing, loving me, playing with me, feeding me, and so on. I am thankful for my home church, for solid teaching and for helping me grow in my walk with Christ. I am thankful for work, and it’s always a blessing to be able to have a job and to have such wonderful coworkers and bosses. I am thankful for old hallmates and high school friends who are always a blast to be around–they’re great. I am thankful for school because it means I have an education. At the end of the day, life is good. I guess the underlying theme is thankfulness, which is something I’ve been trying to remind myself of recently. Because at the end of the day, you have Christ, you have your salvation, and that is always something to be thankful for.
My friend Aaron (aka musicgoon) recently covered a few hymns with the high school students at church. One of the songs is My Heart is Filled With Thankfulness, and it speaks so much truth about how we always have something to be thankful for because of Christ. I think this part of the song stands out the most:
For every day I have on earth
Is given by the King
So I will give my life my all
To love and follow Him
This is what I should strive for–to live and serve the one and only God. The rest of the lyrics are good too =). You can watch the videos here and download the album for free (called All To Jesus To Receive) here.
It’s funny that I mention Aaron, because the reason why I baked these Oreo cheesecake bars was to test out a recipe for Aaron’s wedding. I have to make 300 bars for the wedding, and I figured it’d probably be a good idea to at least test it out before the big day. This cheesecake is loaded with Oreos–it uses a whole package for 16 bars. Normally I don’t care for the crust in cheesecakes, but I really liked the thick Oreo crust in this one. The cheesecake is creamy, bursting with Oreo chunks, and the nice thing is that it’s not too sweet either. It’s good enough to make for a wedding, if that tells you anything =)!
Oreo Cheesecake Bars
Makes 16 bars
From Brown Eyed Baker
For the Crust:
23 Oreo cookies
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake:
12 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sour cream
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
12 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line an 8×8 square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing it to hang over two of the sides.
2. For the Crust: Place the Oreo cookies in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter over the top and pulse until the butter is evenly distributed and the crumbs are moist. They need to be moist to form a firm crust. Pour the crumbs into lined pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes; leave the oven on when done.
3. For the Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese until smooth; about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar; beat until incorporated. Slowly add the eggs, and beat well after each addition. Mix until it’s completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl; add the sour cream and vanilla. Beat until incorporated.
4. Fold in the chopped Oreos, and pour the batter over the prepared crust. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly, about 40 to 50 minutes.
5. Let the pan cool to room temperature, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least three hours before serving. To serve, lift the cheesecake out of the pan using the parchment or foil handles. Slice into bars and serve. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Until next time,
Soli Deo Gloria, and Happy reading, eating, and baking!