Muddy Paws: Vegetarian Cheesecake for a Cause

MuddyPaws Cheesecake | KaleAndAle.com

So many good flavors and presentations.

Recently, I noticed a retweet from a Twin Cities vegan Twitter account that mentioned @MPCheesecake. I love cheesecake (it’s my cake of choice) and love anything sweet that can be made vegan. And the logo/mascot/name were a great combo, so I contacted Tami, the brains/face/leader of Muddy Paws Cheesecake.

I was very intrigued when I saw it was a shop that could do vegan and gluten-free cheesecakes, has 222 flavors and has been open about two decades. How did it take me nine months of living in the Twin Cities before I heard about such a place, and in the west suburbs near where I live, no less!?!? Tami invited me to Muddy Paws, and I quickly accepted.

Muddy Paws Menu | KaleAndAle.com

Look at this menu!

I arrived at the St. Louis Park, Minnesota, store and Tami gave me a tour. Right away she mentioned how there was just a tasting for a wedding, saying that events and serving local restaurants is where a lot of her business comes from. With all the unique flavors and presentation and love and attention put behind each cheesecake, I can see why. When looking at the kitchen, she mentioned there is a separate mixer for the vegan and gluten-free cakes, which have been around since 2003, and beyond a mixer and oven, everything else is made from scratch without preservatives and with local ingredients when possible. She said it takes 40 hours for one cake from start to finish.

Tami says Muddy Paws is one of five cheesecake bakeries in the nation that crafts cheesecake from scratch, artisan style, just like you’d make at home. She describes the process and results as “kind of like being an artist or musician, making a product you feel passionate about.”

And it’s great she has that passion, as she makes on average 50 cakes a day, with the most popular being raspberry swirl and turtle. The 36 “traditional cheesecake” flavors are always available by the slice or cake to take home. I tried a few different cakes, and I can vouch they all taste exactly like the flavor, without fillers or artificial ingredients. The turtle was good, but they key lime was exactly as key lime should be, and took me straight back to South Florida.

MuddyPawsSign | KaleAndAle.comThe unique name comes from Tami’s four years of veterinary school and love of animals through rescues. Muddy Paws is very active in volunteering, as Tami donates all proceeds to charities. And this Tuesday, Dec. 2, with a donation of a toy or pet food, you can sample some cheesecake while you are helping local charities. Muddy Paws will host the 22nd annual event, which will include live music, a photo booth, local crafts for sale and of course cheesecake!

Dessert for breakfast

Who doesn’t love breakfast for dinner? Well, what about dessert for breakfast?!?

I must admit, I’m not one for sweets, but this can be customized based on your taste and pantry. And you can’t argue the protein, fiber, iron and magnesium in this dish. And it takes about 90 seconds to make this filling, tart-yet-sweet, smooth-yet-crunchy breakfast (or midday snack).

Greek yogurt sundae - KaleAndAle.com

Greek yogurt sundae

Greek yogurt sundae

Serves 1

Spoon Greek yogurt into a bowl. I use about 6 ounces a serving.

Squeeze a little agave/maple syrup/honey to taste.

Sprinkle lightly toppings to give flavor and texture. Ideas include:

  • oatmeal
  • nuts (I love sliced almonds)
  • cacao nibs
  • hemp seeds
  • berries, pomegranate seeds, banana slices, dried fruits or other fruit
  • spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg
  • oatmeal or (my favorite) granola

What would you top your yogurt sundae with?

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

Pumpkin cookies KaleAndAle.com

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

Who else is with me right now and just can’t get enough pumpkin? I am craving it in every way. Beer (obvs), sweets I usually stay away from, coffee, carbs, you name it. I love this time of year for so many reasons, and pumpkin is a big part of my excitement. Now if the temperature would drop a little in South Florida so it would feel like fall, things would be great.

I love experimenting with adding pumpkin in different ways during this eight- to 10-week window where it’s not only accepted but encouraged and possibly even obligated to have pumpkin touch everything. Since I had some overripe bananas to use, I thought I would work them into a cookie. A natural, vegan, gluten free sweet treat is totally my kind of comfort food. And this recipe is a snap to make with just a few ingredients.

Pumpkin cookie ingredients KaleAndAle.com

Banana, pumpkin, oatmeal and cinnamon. That’s it!

Bananas and pumpkin is a lot of moisture, so I added some oats and cinnamon for flavor. Because of the moisture, it creates a soft cookie, almost breakfast cookie/bar like, but still sweet and satisfying. Add a handful of walnuts, and you have some great texture. If you prefer something a little sweeter, I think these pumpkin snickerdoodles with their cinnamon or pumpkin chocolate chip cookies would be perf.

What pumpkin foods are you eating now? I think I might need to make a parfait, so you might be seeing that in this spot soon!

Pumpkin oatmeal cookies

Makes about 8 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 overripe banana
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Optional: A handful of chocolate chips or walnuts, maybe some shredded coconut

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°.
  2. In a large bowl, mash the banana.
  3. Mix in the rest of the ingredients until combined. If the mixture seems too wet, add some more oats. If it seems too dry, add more pumpkin or banana.
  4. Form the mix into eight cookies.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. If the cookies are still sticky, bake for 5-10 more minutes.

Friday links: Sweets

This week I had to share some of the amazing desserts I’ve seen recently. Not much for sweets, I appreciate a good treat now and again. But these treats just look so good, I have to share. Seriously, how cute and creative are all these treats?!? I love the cookie monster treats and have similar cupcakes on my Pinterest because to this day I still love the cookie monster cake I had for my fourth birthday. I got a tricycle that year, too. Pretty solid birthday.

What’s the coolest treat you have made or eaten?

Cookie Monster cupcakes my friend made, inspired by Pinterest

Cookie Monster cupcakes my friend made, inspired by Pinterest

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse red velvet cake treats, modeled after the red lighthouse

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse red velvet cake treats, modeled after the red lighthouse

Cap'n Crunch Cheesecake from Big Bear Brewing Company

Cap’n Crunch Cheesecake from Big Bear Brewing Company