When I was a kid my parents had a set of glass-topped coffee tables with brass accents. Oh, they were fancy and cutting-edge chic. So modern. They sat nestled there in our formal living room next to vanilla ice cream colored couches, speckled with peach, pink and sea foam green. On the wall hung a large painting of fish, abstract and watery. My favorite addition to the room was an oversized green vase dripping with glass that looked like shiny, purple candle wax and stuffed with fake plastic reeds.
That room was early 90s decorating at it’s best. Magazine perfect. Now? A time warp.
In the mid-90s, I insisted on wearing huge pants. I bought jeans that I had to cinch at my waist with a belt on the last notch to hold in place. They bagged around my (non-existent) hips and bunched at my ankles. Five seconds after I cut off the tags, I was using the same scissors to cut a slit up the side of the leg so they would drag on the ground under my chunky Doc Martin shoes. On top, assorted plaids. Maybe a vest. Or spaghetti strap tanks over baby doll tees. Hair long, loose and flat, parted down the middle, wispy bangs curled under.
EVERYONE dressed like that. Now? People would take one look at that getup and wonder if you were headed to a costume party dressed as Angela Chase. Maybe Jordan Catalano will be there. *90s swoon*
And then there are things that never go out style. Like red nail polish. No woman in history, from victory gardens and rivets to cosmos and clubs, has has ever stepped out into the world with a swash of crimson across her fingertips without feeling knock-your-socks-off beautiful. It’s confidence in a tiny glass bottle. Confidence is totally timeless.
You know what else is timeless? Oreos. Oreos look and taste the same as they did when my parents had a pastel living room. Not that I was allowed to EAT Oreos in there. Or anything for that matter. They taste just the same as they did when a handful of friends sat around in too-big pants listening to grunge rock and scraping the middles out of them. There’s something comforting about that. In a world where as quickly as it’s in, it’s out, it is kind of nice to know that humble little cookie is still getting dunked in milk and tumbling crumbs down the front of shirts everywhere and probably always will.
I tend to forget about Oreos. They are not a usual addition to my grocery list and I rarely even take my shopping cart down the cookie aisle. But as I was wandering the grocery store last week picking up a few things for the weekend guests we were to be hosting, I tossed a bag into my cart on a whim. Eric loves Oreos though he rarely gets them. And since it was his friends that were coming to stay, I figured they probably loved them too. I’d find some way to jazz them up.
I decided to turn my bag of Oreos into these Cookies and Cream Cheesecakes for two reasons. 1). I’ve made them before and they are insanely easy to throw together. Ten minutes tops. 2). They are quite the tasty little treat! The whole Oreo as a crust at the bottom of the cupcake really makes that classic cookie taste shine through. The smooth, sweet creamy filling studded with chocolatey chunks of chopped Oreos takes a timeless classic and kicks it up a notch.
I’ll be making these when I need a quick dessert for years to come. Even as pastel living rooms and super baggy pants come and go again. Oreos are forever.
COOKIES AND CREAM CHEESECAKES (Recipe Source: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
- 42 chocolate/cream cookies, such as Oreos – 30 left whole and 12 coarsely chopped
- 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature and slightly beaten
- 1 cup sour cream
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners and place one whole cookie into the bottom of each cup.
- Beat cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Gradually add sugar and beat until fully combined. Add vanilla and beat to combine.
- Drizzle in the eggs, a little at a time, beating until incorporated and scraping down the bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream and salt. Gently fold into chopped cookies by hand.
- Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each one nearly to the top. Bake, rotating the tins halfway through, until the filling is set, about 22 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely. Refrigerate in the tins at least 4 hours before serving. Makes 30 cheesecakes.
*Note:* I halved the recipe with no problems. Got exactly 15 cheesecakes!