Category Archives: Dessert

I Wanna Marry You

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

 choco_caramel_cheesecake

Welcome to #15Cheesecakes – an anniversary celebration for Camilla and her husband.  Like Joe and I, Camilla and her husband also celebrated their vows with a delicious cheesecake in place of the standard wedding fare.  So when I saw her call for 15 bloggers to make a cheesecake to help them celebrate I KNEW I had to be involved.  My first plan was to recreate our wedding cake, a fantastic Dulce de Leche creation but that didn’t exactly work out due to poor dulce de leche making skills on my side – thankfully I had back-up ingredients.  One of the biggest take-aways from doing all these blog challenges is to always, always, always have a back-up plan in place.  Sometimes the recipe just won’t cooperate while other times it will be life in general.   Thankfully my back-up cheesecake worked out perfectly!  The real trick is to gradually lower the temperature of the cake to prevent it from cracking – or at least that’s what I heard many moons ago and so far the “trick” works.

I Wanna Marry You

Ingredients

  • 2 cups honey graham crackers (or honey Teddy Grahams in a pinch)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 tsp caramel syrup, divided (I use Monin)
  • 2 oz blocks of cream cheese, one reduced and one regular
  • 1 8oz tub of plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp grated dark chocolate

Instructions

  1. In a food processor, blend together the melted butter. 1/2 tsp of caramel, and graham crackers. Pulse until pieces are pea sized. Remove from processor and gently press in to an 8 inch springform pan - working from the middle and up the sides. Set Aside
  2. Cream together the sugar and cream cheese for 6 minutes. Then add the eggs one at a time, continue to cream then add the yogurt and caramel and cream for a final 6 minutes, or until mixture is creamy. Fold in half of the grated chocolate
  3. Preheat oven to 375
  4. Pour the cream cheese mixture in to the crust and spread out evenly, then top with the remaining chocolate. Bake for 35 minutes, then turn oven to 250 and bake for a final 15 minutes. Turn the oven off but keep cheesecake inside with the door slightly propped open. Once cool cover and place in the fridge for at least two hours.
  5. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/i-wanna-marry-you.html

Happy 15th Anniversary Camilla and!  May you have dozens and dozens and dozens of more cheesecakes together!  Also a happy early anniversary to my husband – 5 years together tomorrow and 3 years married (!!!) next month :-)

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Don’t We Go

Banana Cream Pie

banana_cream_pie

A bit late, but finally have my post from Pi Day!  Since Pi Day was also game day I knew I had to make something, and it had to be something awesome.  Thankfully /r/52weeksofcooking pointed me in the right direction with their banana theme.  I had never made/had a banana cream pie but figured it couldn’t be too hard – just a more solid version of banana pudding.  I searched the internet for inspiration but most of them involved ingredients I didn’t have on hand, and since I was doing this last minute the day after an embryo transfer going to the store just wasn’t going to happen.  So I decided to use a custard recipe I acquired many moons ago and just modify it as needed.  For the crust I went with my standard push-in-pan using vanilla wafers.  One day I’ll figure out how to roll a pie crust but until then push-in-pan it is!

 

Banana Cream Pie

Serves: Serves 9 - 12

Ingredients

  • 2 very well ripened bananas
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • favorite crust

Instructions

  1. Puree the bananas with the greek yogurt and set aside.
  2. Heat a large sauce pan over medium heat, add the milk and sugar and bring to a low simmer. Meanwhile beat the eggs and vanilla together in a separate bowl.
  3. Slowly whisk the eggs and vanilla into the milk and continue to simmer for 5 minutes before mixing in the banana mixture. Continue cooking for 10 minutes, being sure to not let the mixture bowl.
  4. Meanwhile prepare your favorite crust.
  5. Remove custard mixture from burner and allow to cool for 30 minutes (or move to a freezer for 10)
  6. Preheat oven to 375. Pour the custard into the prepared crust and bake for 30 minutes. Turn heat to 250 and bake for a final 10 minutes or until custard is solid.
  7. Allow to cool then Serve topped with whipped cream!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/dont-we-go.html

Hope your sweet tooth is ready for this week as I’ll have another dessert recipe on Wednesday as part of #15Cheesecakes!

Thinking Outloud

Sugar Cookies

sugar_cookies

Not a surprise to anybody who knows me in real life, but I’m a HUGE fan of reading – and have been from a very young age.  Reading was a way to escape to a different time or place or both and whether it be a galaxy “far far away” or a war between cousins, I’ve always had an appetite for expanding my world via the written word. Which is why I was BEYOND thrill to see /52weeksofcooking was doing a challenge based on book inspiration.  The hard part was finding a book to pick from the hundreds on my shelves, but in end I had to go with one of my favorite “YA” books.  Eleanor & Park is technically a YA book, but it’s also a great “remember when” book for anyone that grew up in the 80s – or anyone still bitter about the cancellation of My So Called Life (or Freaks and Geeks) during the 90s.  Without giving too much away, we’ll just say that Eleanor’s home life is bit rough and while she loves her mom things aren’t always the best between them.  However one happy moment between the two takes place in the kitchen when her mom dabs vanilla extract behind her ears as a cheaper perfume option.

'I do it,' her mom said, 'because it's cheaper 
than perfume, but it smells just as good.'

This smell is the one Park remembers, lingering while they are on the school bus – causing him to think of sugar cookies and other vanilla treats.  However, I knew that I couldn’t just make any sugar cookie to represent Eleanor & Park, it needed to have some sort of a twist.  So I decided to merge my favorite snickerdoodle recipe with my favorite sugar cookie recipe in order to create and sugar cookie with a bit of added texture and just slightly cracked.

Sugar Cookies

Serves: Yields 48 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Cream the butter and add the sugar gradually - then blend for 10 minutes. Add eggs one at time, mixing well between additions, then add in the vanilla.
  2. Add the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt gradually to the creamed mixture, and combine until just mixed. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or baking sheets.
  4. Roll dough in to two inch balls then place on the sheet - do not flatten!
  5. Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 8 -10 minutes or until cookie has a golden appearance
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/thinking-outloud.html

These cookies didn’t last long, becoming a treat for my co-workers to celebrate a recent achievement for one of then.  Before anyone gets concerned. I did allow Joe to have the ones in the photo as it’s only right to pay the photographer!

#WinePW Clear to See

Boozy Berry Pie

pie

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!!  Today’s post is part of WinePW #9 – an awesome event that pairs delicious foods with fantastic wines that was started by David last June.  Since today is Valentine’s day I decided to go with something super sweet and sum what red.  Once upon a time I could drink red wines, and then I hit my early 20s and that ability went away.  So I started exploring white wines and with that the amazing world of Reislings.  From California to Australia to Germany to Maryland – these sweet whites are fantastic for pairing with spicy foods or for enhancing the sweetness of fresh fruit!  For this event I went with a local Reisling from Basignani winery which is just up the road from me in Sparks, MD.  I tend towards Reislings that are more on the fruity side than the floral side, and this one certainly falls in that arena!  With that, I knew I wanted to do a dessert featuring the berries that have started popping up at the local markets, thanks to greenhouses and high tunnels.   This pies features three awesome fruits who have the right amount of subtle tartness to go perfectly with my peach influenced wine.   Using the white wine also means no added sugar – and depending on the crust being used this dish can be gluten free and/or vegan.  I went with a press-in-pan graham cracker crust, skipping the cinnamon tho this time and using a honey graham cracker.

#WinePW Clear to See

Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • Favorite Pie Crust (bottom only)
  • 2 tbsp Riesling
  • 3 cups mixed berries
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a 9inch pie pan with your favorite crust (I used a press-in-pan graham cracker crust) and set aside.
  2. Heat the wine over low heat in a deep saute dish for a few minutes, then add the berries and continue cooking for 10 minutes - stirring frequently but being careful to not break too many of the berries. Turn heat to low and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour in to pie crust.
  3. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from oven and sit for 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/winepw-clear-to-see.html

Make sure to check out what everyone else came up with as part of this awesome challenge!  Looking forward to seeing all sorts of tasting wine pairings – and even more so looking forward to next month!!!

I’ve always been a fan of mixed berry pies, but generally the costs associated with three (or more!) types of berries have kept me from making them at home.  However, this past weekend I had a eureka moment and picked up a “berry fruit salad” container from the ready made department.  So instead of spending $10 or more, it was closer to $4 – much better!  The mixture I grabbed included strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries which made it the perfect combo for my boozy creation!

I Need Your Love

Mini Ginger Cheesecakes

cheese_cake

Welcome to the last post of TripleSBites – oh what a week this has been!  From Brussel Sprouts to Caribbean Rice and Beans to VooDoo Fries, so many incredible recipes thanks to so many incredible products from our sponsors.   With that another HUGE thank you to the incredible sponsors from this event, it has been a pleasure working with all your amazing products.

For my final post I knew it needed to be something BIG and something sweet!  When it comes to dishes that say I love you to my valentine, there is only one sweet treat that can come close to Creme Brulee: Cheesecake!  In place of the standard wedding cake, we had a three tiered Dulce de Leche Cheesecake which is why I knew making my own version was the perfect way to end the challenge.  This cheesecake is a twist on the standard and not just in the size department with a bit of ginger to spice things up!

Mini Cheesecakes

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 8oz containers of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ginger, shredded
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tbsp melted butter

Instructions

  1. Cream together the sugar and cream cheese for 10 minutes, then add the eggs one at a time before adding the vanilla, ginger, and Greek yogurt.
  2. Continue creaming together for 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 325
  4. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter then press in to the bottom of a cupcake tin or other small tin, then go half way up the sides. Spoon in the cheesecake mixture and fill to the top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to cool in the oven for 10 minutes before removing. Place cheesecakes in fridge, uncovered, and allow to cool for at least 3hrs.
  6. Top with fresh fruit and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/i-need-your-love.html

The cute little containers came from Ikea, an awesome find in their “last chance” section!  The best part is that they can unfold for those who want to enjoy their treat outside of the wrapping.  I topped these mini-treats with fresh berries that I heated up a bit in order to create a bit of a sauce.  No need for sugar!

This has been such a fun week, I’m so beyond thankful that I was able to participate in this!  These recipes have been sexy, saucy, and spicy – and filled with love.  Thanks to everyone who has stopped by, and for anyone that hasn’t signed up for the giveaway go and do it NOW!!!!