Tag Archives: caramel

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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Been Waiting

Poached Cinnamon Caramel Apples

Poached Apples

Poaching is nothing to new to me, at least not anymore.  Which is why when I first saw poaching as the theme for /52weeksofcooking I really wasn’t that worried.  Until I tried to figure out something to poach that: 1) was vegetarian and 2) I hadn’t poached before.  This eliminated a fair amount of things, so I started checking out my cook books to see if any of them could offer insight.  In doing so I found more than a few recipes for poached pears, which I’m not a fan of, but realized I could use that same concept on apples.  Unsure of how they would turn out I grabbed three varieties at the store: granny smith, honeycrisps, and pink ladies – figuring I would test them all and see what worked the best.

Been Waiting

Serves 2-4

Ingredients

2 Pink Lady Apples (or Granny Smith), cored and sliced

1 cup water

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tbsp caramel syrup (I used torani)

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cinnamon stick

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large pot and bring the liquid to a low simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until the flesh of the apple is soft.
  2. Remove the apples using a slotted spoon (or pasta scoop) and place over (or in) your desired meal.
  3. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2014/02/been-waiting.html

In the end the pink ladies won for me – the skin stayed crisp while the flesh was moist and delicious.  Plus it still had the same tart/sweet contrast as the granny smiths, which become all soft.  The honeycrisps were just a disaster, falling apart in the pan and having to be skimmed out…which was a total pain. I served the pink ladies over oatmeal (pictured), while the granny smiths topped a mini-dutch baby.

Know That

Apple Caramel Muffin

 Apple Caramel Muffin

I’ve never been a big muffin fan, no matter how delicious the first bite is they aren’t interesting enough to hold my attention.  However that is also the reason why I’m constantly experimenting with muffins in an attempt to find a combination that will keep me interesting.  Part of it is in the texture, there has to be some bite to the muffin, while the other is the repetition in taste.   So with those “issues” in mind I set out to create a muffin that I would want to finish and not save for later or hand off to the husband.  I had some leftover caramel left along with an apple that was threatening to turn on me.  With those two ingredients I figured I stood a chance at creating the perfect (for me) muffin.  I made a few muffins each time before finally figuring out the right proportions and the right time to add the caramel – too soon and it blended in while adding it too late resulted in a sticky mess.

Know That

Serves: yields 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups flour

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 cup white sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

3/4 cup milk

1 tbsp caramel

1 pink lady apple, diced (1 cup)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 and line 12 muffins tins with baking cups, or spray with cooking oil
  2. In a small bowl mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and sugars - set aside,
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat together the milk and eggs until well blended. Add in the dry ingredients until flour is just moistened.
  4. Fold in the apples and fill the muffin tins around half way, then add 1/4 tsp of caramel, before filling then tin about 3/4 full.
  5. Bake for 22-25 minutes, or until olden brown. Remove from pan and cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes - the serve and ENJOY!
http://dancingveggies.com/2013/03/know-that-2.html

These muffins were perfection!  They have enough sweetness that they can work as a dessert, but no so sweet that they can’t be served at breakfast or with dinner.  The real trick was putting the caramel in the middle allowing for it to bubble up but reducing the chance of it sticking (or burning) on the liners.

Here to Make

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie

I’ve been trying to be good, honestly I have, however the theme this week for /52weeks is guilty pleasures – which just screams for being bad.  I debated between the large range of foods I’m suppose to be avoiding right now: espresso brownies, 5 cheese manicotti, double fudge cupcakes, donuts, essentially the shopping list of every kid.  In the end I did decide to go with something sweet, but not as decadent as the Molten Lava cake that was the first runner-up.   I also decided to make my own caramel sauce in order to take things to the next level.  I had seen the caramel in slow-cooker recipe on Pinterest for months now, but had a feeling it was going to be more of a Pinfail so had blown it off.  Yesterday however I decided to finally give it a try, figuring that if it failed I had plenty of time to buy some caramel.  Success!  Total and complete success!  In order to avoid the rust rings a few people seemed to encounter I poured the sweetened condensed milk into an empty jam jar with a very secure lid.  Just popped that in the slow cooker with enough water to cover and let it go for 8hrs on low.  Once I let the caramel cool it was time to get to work on the cookie dough!

Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

Serves: makes 6 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 sticks butter, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

3 tbsp vanilla

1/2 tsp salt

2 cups chocolate chips

1/4 cup caramel

Instructions

  1. Mix together the flour and baking soda in a small bowl, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, continue to mix well and add the vanilla and salt. Slowly add in the flour mixture and mix well.
  3. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Preheat oven to 375
  5. Use parchment paper to roll out the caramel in to multiple long snake like shapes. Cut into 72 pieces, each smaller than a pencil eraser. Form the cookies into 2 inch round balls, then push the caramel in to the center, then cover with dough.
  6. Bake for 11 minutes. Enjoy!

Notes

If the caramel starts to melt from handling place in the freezer for 2 minutes, then re-roll.

http://dancingveggies.com/2013/02/here-to-make.html

I have a feel this caramel sauce would also go great with a dark chocolate cookie or turned in to a variation of a toffee cookie.  I’m going to have to forget how easy it was to make the caramel, otherwise it will become a regular occurrence which is just not a healthy thing.  These were a great treat at the end of my Downton Abbey viewing party – now just need dates for Season 4!

Throw Back

Rabbi Cookies

 

I apologize for the lack of posts this past week, I was getting my Geek on at GenCon Indy 2012.  This was my 5th year as a Captain and hopefully I’ll be a Captain for many years to come.  In my visit to Indy I was able to follow-up at a few of the restaurants I visited last year, and for the most part was pleased at what I saw.  However this post is not about the Indy food scene, this post is about a new version of an old favorite.  Once upon a time I could not bake to save my life and had to rely on roommates to make cookies in order to fulfill any cookie cravings.  There was one exception to the cookie rule: no-bake cookies!  I started with the standard “preacher” cookie recipe involving oatmeal, peanut butter, butter, and vanilla.  I then started experimenting with other combinations based on what was available finally settling with the following crazy combination.

Throw Back

Serves: 36 cookies

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter

4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups quick cooking oats

1/4 cup nutella

1/4 cup peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

1 tsp caramel syrup (I use Monin)

Instructions

  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, then add the cocoa, sugar, milk, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Quickly stir in the oats, nutella, peanut butter, and vanilla.
  3. To form the cookies drop 2tbsp of dough on wax or parchment paper, and allow to sit until firm. Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2012/08/throw-back.html

If you can’t find the caramel syrup, vanilla extract can also be substituted.  I find there is something about the caramel that goes amazingly well with the nuttiness of these cookies.

I am also submitting this to Maison Cupcake’s Zero Baking Required Link-Up, which is all about oven free baking.

Zero-Baking-Required