I blog to you from my ginormous studio apartment in Manhattan. That is a joke. This place, though it feels more spacious than any other place I’ve lived in NYC, is tiny. Like, my closet at home in Wisconsin (almost) is larger. But Manhattan being Manhattan, for some reason many of us endure crammed living environments, pests, no cars, carrying groceries up a million stairs to our 5th floor walk-ups, no washing machines, and garbage on the sidewalks all for astronomical monthly rents just to live here. Sometimes I wonder why anyone is here. Other times I wonder why anyone would want to be anywhere else.
I almost started this post “I blog to you from my Manhattan kitchen…” and then I almost started it “I blog to you from my Manhattan bed…” but like, truly I guess being in my bed is also sort of being in my kitchen because there is *zero* separation so I went with the general word “apartment.” I can even see my toilet from here. That said, I will never be sadder to leave a space than this studio apartment. It is magical, quite, and on the most enchanting street surrounded by all of my favorite desserts. I’m really going to miss this space and this neighborhood. So is Millie btw.
As I’m in the middle of a move, and have very minimal counter space and pantry access, as well as cooking equipment that isn’t packed already or covered in goo, I wanted something fast, simple, with few ingredients that didn’t require much prep work or clean up. No dishwasher really does that to a girl.
At the same time, I really really wanted TEDDY GRAHAMS. I kid you not for days and days I was having an overwhelming desire to put semi-sweet bears into my mouth and all over my body [not really for all over my body but I'm hyperbolizing to make my point so go with it]. Specifically, I wanted Chocolate Teddy Grahams. To dip in peanut butter. I went to Key Foods. I went to bodega after bodega (does anyone know how to pronounce that word btw? tbh I’ve never really known so I just call them all “delis”). I went to Walgreens. Duane Reade. Food Emporium. Cinnamon and chocolate chip bears smiled back at me from the shelves, teasing me with their sweet smiles, but no where could I find chocolate.
Then my friend Shawn (hi Shawn, if you’re reading) reminded me about the Whole Foods 365 brand. And I was like omg duh. So I went to Whole Foods the next morning and bought a bag. And at that moment also wanted chocolate chip and cinnamon so I left with like 8 bags of animal shaped cracker things.
Anyways, I really wanted something cool and creamy and no-bake because I’ve had lots of problems with my NYC oven leaking gas (#nycproblems) so I decided to go the cheesecake route. Lately my body is truly not handling dairy well, so I opted for Vegan Cream Cheese from my good bro friend Trader Joe. TBH it’s freakin’ delicious. Honestly better than the herbed tofu cream cheese that went on my bagel at Black Seed (although overall that sandwich was DANK and somehow got posted on Infatuation #instafame). I’ve been eating it nonstop on toasted English Muffins and/or plain. And also in these little dudes. If you are not vegan feel free to use regular cream cheese. That will work too.
All you need for these is either a food processor or blender or a large bowl and spoon and a little ambition. There are 5 ingredients, no bake, minimal mess, maximum yum. Cool, creamy, crunchy and fun. They will make you feel like a wee one again. Which is a feeling I personally, am always after. The combine the *~*classic*~* pb + chocolate combo, both in the crust and in the filling.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes (but need a few hours in the fridge or freezer to set)
Ingredients – Crust:
- 3/4 cup chocolate graham crackers or Teddy Grahams (yes, they are non-dairy) or 365 Whole Foods Brand Chocolate Bear cookies or Annie’s. just something chocolatey and graham-y !
- 2 tablespoons peanut butter
- 3-4 tablespoons sugar
Ingredients – Filling:
- 6 oz cream cheese or non-dairy cream cheese
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
- 1/2 cup powder sugar or granulated sugar first run through a food processor to make finer
1. Whirl the little teddy cookies, peanut butter, and sugar in a food processor or blender until fine or crumbly. If you don’t have this equipment, place the cookies in a bag and smash with the back of a spoon until crumbly, then transfer to a bowl and mix with peanut butter and sugar until sticky.
2. Pack crust into 6 lined muffin tins or a lightly greased muffin tray.
3. In a food processor, blender, or bowl using a large spoon and some ambition, mix cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar until combined and fluffy.
4. Spoon filling on top of crust in muffin tins. In some of the bites, I added an additional layer of teddy grahams for extra crunch and an almost ice-boxy affect. This is totally up to you. But I like texture and layer so I did it. I also gently pushed some teddies into the tops of the bites b/c why wouldn’t you.
5. Please in fridge and allow to set overnight or at least 3 hours. You can also do this in your freezer. Or, in your Manhattan mini-fridge, the tiny ice box that isn’t really a freezer but you pretend is.
6. Remove from tins and eat. Allow pup to taste filling, but not crust. No chocolate for nuggets, silly girl.
7. Go eat all the desserts in your neighborhood after, justifying this because you have limited time left here. YOLO.