The Confectionary Arts Guild of New Jersey

Because it's not "just cake!" 

Chocolate Cheesecake Bites

From karen craig



  • 2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (15 oz. box)

*Note: I have never found a box of chocolate cookie crumbs in any grocery store. Buy a package of Oreo cookies and scrape out the white filling with a knife. I crus the cookies until a fine crumb. Approx. 3/4 of the package will work just fine


  • 2 packages (8oz.) cream cheese, softened (Philly Brand)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract


  • Chocolate candy wafers (2 large bags)
  • Vanilla candy wafers (1 small bag)

These wafers can be found in any craft store in the candy  making aisle


Purchase at craft store in candying making aisle:  

  • dipping utensil
  • small squeeze bottle


  1. Heat ivan to 300 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking pan with heavy duty aluminum foil (extend foil over the sides of the pan). Spray foil with non-stick spray. In small bowl mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press in the bottom of the pan. Make sure layer is even.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract. Pour evenly over crust.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes (center will be soft but will set when cool). Cool on cooling rack 1 hours. Cover, and refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Cover 2 cookie sheets with wax paper. Remove cheesecake from pan by lifting foil. Cut into 8 rows by 6 rows, making 48 cheesecake bites.
  5. Melt the chocolate wafers in either the microwave, a pan  on the stove over low heat. Do not burn the chocolate, melt slowly. Make sure water does not touch the melted chocolate, th is will cause the chocolate to seize and not set properly.
  6. Work with half of the bites (refrigerate the other half). Dip in melted chocolate using a dipping utensil. Lift fork from chocolate and allow excess chocolate to drain off. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet. Refrigerate to set.
  7. Melt vanilla candy wafers in either a small saucepan or microwave. Pour melted mixture into a small squeeze bottle. Remove chocolate covered cheesecake bites from refrigerator. Squeeze melted vanilla candy over the cheesecakes. If you do not have a small squeeze bottle, you can use a fork. Dip the fork into the melted candy mixture and drizzle over the top of the cheesecakes.
  8. Store covered in refrigerator. 

White Chocolate Cassis Cheesecake

From Toni Hartman


1 ½ sticks butter
1-½ ounces grated white chocolate
3 cups finely ground cookies (Nilla wafers) 12 ounce box
3/8 cup sugar


2 pounds (four 8-ounce pkgs.) cream cheese
1 ¼ cups sugar
4 ounces white chocolate
3 Tbsp. Cassis
Pinch salt
4 large eggs


2 cups sour cream
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. almond extract
White chocolate as needed


Melt butter over very low heat. Combine butter with white chocolate, crumbs, and sugar in a food processor or with a fork until thoroughly blended. Press small amounts of crumb mix all the way up the sides of three un-greased 6” pans (or one 10” pan) (OR a 6inch and an 8inch pan- to accommodate the 3 cups of cheesecake batter from the recipe) and then press remaining crumb mix over bottom of springform pan. Note: For three 6” cheesecakes make one and a half times the crust mixture instead of just one crust recipe. Otherwise leftover filling can be baked in a Pyrex bowl

In a mixer, whip cream cheese on the highest speed for 5 minute, then add sugar and beat for 2 minutes more. Shave or slice white chocolate very thin (or place in food processor), then add to batter with Cassis and salt and blend together thoroughly. Add the eggs, one at a time, keeping the mixer on the lowest speed in order to prevent too much air from destroying the proper consistency of the batter; mix just until each egg has been incorporated into the batter. Bake at 350º for 50 minutes with a pan or large sheet of aluminum foil underneath to catch drips. Let stand for 10 minutes while preparing glaze.

Combine sour cream, sugar and extract with a rubber spatula in a plastic bowl. Spread evenly and smoothly over top of baked filling and return to oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately place in refrigerator to cool to prevent cracks from forming in the cake. Shave white chocolate very thin and decorate top before serving (chocolate can also be finely grated in food processor).

Pumpkin Bars

From Karen Craig



2 cups of all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. ground cloves, optional

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

One 15 oz. can of plain pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling

1 cup vegetable oil


One 8 oz. bar of cream cheese (Philly Brand), softened

1/2 cup of butter, softened

1 or 2 tsp. vanilla extract

5 or 6 cups of powdered sugar


In a large bowl stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves. Next stir in the eggs, pumpkin, and oil until combined.

Pour into ungreased 15 X 10 X 1 inch baking pan and spread mixture evenly.

In your mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract on medium high until fluffy. Gradually beat in powdered sugar. Spread over cooled pumpkin bars. Cut into bars (approximately makes 32 to 36 bars). Cover and refrigerate bars.

Note: Instead of frosting with cream cheese, pipe a rosette of buttercream on each bar.

Strawberry-Orange Muffins

Active time: 30 Mins || Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes


• 3 tablespoons almonds 

• 2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup all- purpose flour, divided 
• 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided 
• 3 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest, divided (see Variation) 
• 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 
• 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup canola oil, divided 
• 1 cup white whole- wheat flour 
• 2 teaspoons baking powder 
• 1 teaspoon baking soda 
• 3/4 cup nonfat or low- fat buttermilk 
• 1/4 cup orange juice 
• 1 large egg 
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 
• 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh or frozen (not thawed) strawberries, (about 8 ounces)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 12- cup muffin pan with cooking spray. 

2. Process almonds, 2 tablespoons all- purpose flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon orange zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl, drizzle with 2 tablespoons oil and stir to combine. 
3. Whisk the remaining 3/4 cup all- purpose flour, whole- wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons orange zest, and 1/4 cup oil in a medium bowl with buttermilk, orange juice, egg, and vanilla extract until well combined. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients; stir until just combined. Add strawberries; stir just to combine. Divide the batter among the prepared muffins cups. Sprinkle with the almond topping, gently pressing into the batter. 
4. Bake the muffins until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool for at least 5 minutes more before serving. 
Variation: For strawberry- Basil Muffins, omit orange zest and use 1/4 cup additional buttermilk in place of orange juice. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil with the berries in Step 3.


Per muffin: 203 calories; 9 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 5 g Mono; 18 mg Cholesterol; 28 g Carbohydrates; 4 g Protein; 2 g Fiber; 314 mg Sodium; 88 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 carbohydrate (other), 2 fat

Creamy Rice Pudding

From Toni Hartman


3/4 cup white rice

1 1/2 quarts milk

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 large eggs

1 pint heavy cream

2 Tbsp. vanilla, (not teaspoon, yes tablespoons)


  • Rinse rice and drain (to prevent lumping). Mix together the milk, sugar, and salt in a heavy pan
  • Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Be sure to stir frequently. 
  • Add rice and stir thoroughly. 
  • Cook over medium heat until the liquid boils down and rice shows through top of liquid (approximately 1 hour). Stir frequently. Be sure it is thick before adding cream and egg mixture. Mix eggs, cream, and vanilla. 
  • Add this to the milk and rice mixture. As soon as this mixture comes to a slow boil, remove from heat and pour into a bowl. 
  • Sprinkle with cinnamon and nutmeg. 
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours. 

This recipe takes time to prepare but it makes one of the creamiest and tastiest rice puddings. Serves 8.

Peanut Butter Monster Candy Cookies

From Toni Hartman


1 ½ cups super chunky peanut butter

1 ½ cups packed dark brown sugar

9 Tbsp. unsalted butter, room temperature

2 small eggs (or 1 ½  large eggs: beat second egg and use ½)

3 Tbsp. dark corn syrup

1 Tbsp. vanilla

½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats

1 ½ cups all purpose flour

¼ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. baking soda

7 Reese’s cups, cut up into ¾ inch chunks

3 bars Nut Rageous, cut in thin slices

1  6.5 ounce container Macadamia Nuts, cut in half

12 to 13 ounces white chocolate OR 1 bag Hershey’s Hugs

or any other combination of candy and chocolate desired


Prepare two large cookie sheets by covering with foil or parchment paper. Using electric mixer, beat first six ingredients in a large bowl until well blended. Break up rolled oats by rubbing between fingers, or by pulsing in food processor if needed. Stir in oats, flour, salt and baking soda in a small bowl and blend into peanut butter mixture. Remove bowl from mixer and gently mix in candy bar cubes OR press candy in after cookies are slightly flattened on baking tray. Using ¼ cup measuring cup take some dough out of the bowl and place on cookie sheet. Flatten slightly and press cut-up candy and chocolate into cookies. Freeze cookies on baking sheets for 15 minutes (if cookie sheets do not fit in freezer, freeze on a plate or smaller sheet and transfer cookies to baking sheet when ready to bake). Bake at 325º for 10 minutes. Reverse sheet and bake until golden and cracks begin to form on the tops, about 8 to 10 minutes longer. Allow cookies to cool until they begin to firm up, about 5 minutes. Using a metal spatula, transfer cookies to racks and cool completely. Makes about 16 cookies depending on size desired.

Carrot/Pecan Spice Cake

From Karen Craig


10inch tube pan, lightly oiled. Bake in a slow oven 325 degrees

1 ¼ cup vegetable oil

2 cups sugar

2 cups sifted flour

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

4 eggs

3 cups grated raw carrots

1 cup finely chopped pecans


Combine oil and sugar; mix well.

Sift together remaining dry ingredients. Sift half of dry ingredients into sugar mixture; blend. Sift in remaining dry ingredients alternately with eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add carrots and mix well; then mix in pecans.

Pour into a lightly oiled 10” tube pan. Bake in a slow oven @ 325 about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan upright on rack. Remove from pan. Split cake into 3 horizontal layers. Spread Orange Glaze between layers and top and sides.

Orange Glaze

Combine 1 cup sugar and ¼ cup cornstarch in a saucepan.

Slowly add 1 cup orange juice and 1 tsp. lemon juice and stir until smooth.

Add 2 Tblsp. Butter, 2 Tblsp. Grated fresh orange peel and ½ tsp. salt.

Cook over low heat until thick and glossy. Cool glaze before spreading on the cake.

Note* You can bake the cake, cool, wrap and freeze for 2 months.

To serve, thaw cake in wrapper for 2 hours at room temperature. Split in 3 horizontal layers and put together with Orange Glaze. Spread glaze between on top and sides of cake.

Active time: 15 Mins || Total Time: 1 1/4 hours


• 1/2 cup dry roasted salted peanuts 

• 1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds, or other chopped nuts 
• 2 cups raisins, or other chopped dried fruit 
• 2 cups rolled or instant oats 
• 2 cups toasted rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies 
• 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ, (optional) 
• 1/2 cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter 
• 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 
• 1/2 cup light corn syrup, or honey 
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1. Coat an 9-by-14-inch baking pan with cooking spray. 

2. Combine peanuts, sunflower seeds (or other nuts), raisins (or other dried fruit), oats, rice cereal, and what germ (if using) in a large bowl. 
3. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup (or honey) in a large microwaveable bowl; microwave on High until bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. Add vanilla and stir until blended. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until coated. 
4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down firmly. (It helps to coat your fingers with cooking spray.) Let stand for about 1 hour to harden. Cut into bars.


Per serving: 255 Calories; 9 g Fat; 1 g Sat; 2 g Mono; 0 mg Cholesterol; 42 g Carbohydrates; 5 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 95 mg Sodium; 242 mg Potassium

2 Carbohydrate Serving

Exchanges: 2 carbohydrate (other), 1 1/2 fat

Make Ahead Tip

Individually wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature.

Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake

From Toni Hartman


Cookie Crumb Crust:

1 1/4 cups gingersnap crumbs, about 2/3’s of 14 ounce bag

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1/4 cup brown sugar

5 Tbsp. butter, melted


4 (8 ounce) pkgs. cream cheese, softened

1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar

1/4 cup flour

5 eggs

1 can pumpkin (2 cups), 17 ounces

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. allspice

1/2 tsp. salt

Sweetened whipping cream, if desired (I use it to pipe a top border)

Pecan halves, for decoration in between the border


Praline Topping:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

5 Tbsp. butter, softened

1 cup chopped pecans


Grease a 10 inch springform pan. Prepare mixture for Cookie Crumb Crust by combining all ingredients in a bowl or food processor. Firmly press mixture one third of mixture over bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 375° for 10 minutes. Cool. Press remaining mixture around sides of pan.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, brown sugar and flour until perfectly smooth and fluffy. Add eggs, pumpkin, spices and salt; beat until blended. Turn into cooled crust. Place pan on a large sheet of foil to catch any drippings; position rack in the center of the oven and bake the cheesecake at 350° for 1 hour.

While cheesecake is baking, make Praline Topping by combining brown sugar, cinnamon and butter in the food processor fitted with a metal blade (or in a bowl using pastry blender to mix); pulse on and off until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in nuts.

After removing cheesecake from oven, gently sprinkle Praline Topping over the surface. Return to oven; bake 15 to 30 minutes longer or until cheesecake is set. Cool on rack to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. To loosen sides of springform pan, run a knife carefully around the inside edge; remove sides and place on a serving plate. Decorate with whipped cream placed in a pastry bag with a serrated (star) tip to make a border. Finish by placing whole pecans in between that border.

White Christmas Crunch Squares

From Toni Hartman


32 PREMIUM Hint of Salt Saltine Crackers

1/2 cup butter

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 pkg. (6 squares) BAKER'S White Chocolate, coarsely chopped, used 14 ounce bag of white candy melts

1/4 cup crushed candy canes

HEAT oven to 350°F


ARRANGE crackers in single layer in foil-lined 15x10x1-inch pan.

COOK butter and sugar in saucepan on medium-high heat 3 to 4 min. or until butter is melted and mixture is well blended, stirring occasionally. Bring to boil; cook 3 min. (Do not stir.) Spread onto crackers.

BAKE 4 to 6 min. or until golden brown. Immediately top with chocolate; bake 1 to 2 min. or until melted. Spread chocolate to completely cover crackers; top with crushed candy. Cool completely. Break into squares.