Tuesday, March 31, 2015

PHILADELPHIA EASTER MINI CHEESECAKES

1
cup  graham cracker crumbs
3/4
cup  plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
3
Tbsp.  butter or margarine, melted
3
pkg.  (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1
tsp.  vanilla
3
 eggs
1
cup  plus 2 Tbsp. BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE Coconut, toasted
54
 speckled malted milk eggs (about 9 oz.)

HEAT oven to 325°F.
MIX graham crumbs, 2 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottoms of 18 paper-lined muffin cups.
BEAT cream cheese, vanilla and remaining sugar with mixer until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Spoon over crusts.
BAKE 25 to 30 min. or until centers are almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 2 hours.
TOP each cheesecake with 1 Tbsp. coconut; shape to resemble bird's nest. Fill with malted milk eggs.
Source: Kraft Foods

FRESH APPLE CINNAMON SCONES

Great scones recipe from the bakers at King Arthur Flour.

  • 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice or ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) cold butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh apple, in 1/2" pieces (about half a medium apple); leave the skin on, if you like
  • 3/4 cup cinnamon chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup applesauce, unsweetened preferred

topping


  • 3 tablespoons coarse white sparkling sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1) In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and spice.
2) Work in the butter just until the mixture is unevenly crumbly; it's OK for some larger chunks of butter to remain unincorporated.
3) Stir in the chopped apple and cinnamon chips.
4) In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, and applesauce.
5) Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until all is moistened and holds together.
6) Line a baking sheet with parchment; if you don't have parchment, just use it without greasing it. Sprinkle a bit of flour atop the parchment or pan.
7) Scrape the dough onto the floured parchment or pan, and divide it in half. Gently pat and round each half into a 5" to 5 1/2" circle about 3/4" thick.
8) To make the topping: Stir together the coarse sugar and cinnamon. Brush each circle with milk, and sprinkle with the topping.
9) Using a knife or bench knife that you've run under cold water, slice each circle into 6 wedges.
10) Carefully pull the wedges away from the center to separate them just a bit; there should be about 1/2" space between them, at their outer edges.
11) For best texture and highest rise, place the pan of scones in the freezer for 30 minutes, uncovered. While the scones are chilling, preheat the oven to 425°F.
12) Bake the scones for 18 to 22 minutes, or until they're golden brown. When you pull one away from the others, it should look baked all the say through; the edge shouldn't look wet or unbaked.
13) Remove the scones from the oven, and cool briefly on the pan. Serve warm. When they're completely cool, wrap in plastic and store at room temperature for up to several days.
Yield: 12 scones.

nutrition informationServing Size: 1 scone (82g) Servings Per Batch: 12Amount Per Serving: Calories: 280 Calories from Fat:110 Total Fat: 12g Saturated Fat: 7g Trans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 50mg Sodium: 270mg Total Carbohydrate:38g Dietary Fiber: 1g Sugars: 17g Protein: 4g









Monday, March 30, 2015

STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE CHEESECAKE

Cheesecake Filling and Whipped Topping

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 packages (16 ounces each) Driscoll's Strawberries
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, divided
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
Strawberry Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 package (16 ounces) Driscoll's Strawberries, about 7-9 strawberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
Shortcake
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream

Shortcake
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place a circle of parchment paper into the bottom of a 9 inch springform cake pan and grease the sides.
    Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a food processor.
    Add butter and mix in food processor until combined and mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
    Slowly add heavy cream and pulse in food processor until just moistened.
    Gather dough into a ball. Mixture will still be crumbly and loose.
    Gently knead dough on a non-stick surface until just smooth, about five turns.
    Press dough into an even layer in the springform pan.
    Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are golden.
    Remove cake from oven and remove from cake pan. Allow to cool on cooling rack.
  2. Cheesecake filling and Whipped Topping

    1. Freeze metal bowl and whisk for 15 minutes.
      Remove bowl and whisk from freezer and add 1 cup of heavy cream.
      Whip on medium-high speed for a few minutes. Cream will initially bubble a little bit, then start to thicken.
      As the cream starts to thicken, add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.
      Whip until soft peaks form, for a total whipping time of about 5-7 minutes. Make sure not to over mix. Set whipped cream aside.
      Add cream cheese to a large bowl and beat until smooth.
      Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and sugar and beat until smooth.
      Fold in whipping cream made in steps 1-5. Set aside.
      Freeze metal bowl and whisk for 15 minutes.
      Remove bowl and whisk from freezer and add remaining 1/2 cup of heavy cream.
      Whip on medium-high speed for a few minutes. Cream will initially bubble a little bit, then start to thicken.
      As the cream starts to thicken, add remaining 1/4 cup of powdered sugar and 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract.
      Whip until soft peaks form, for a total whipping time of about 5-7 minutes. Make sure not to over mix. Set whipped cream aside.
    2. Strawberry Sauce

      1. Add water to pureed strawberries.
        Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in strawberry puree.
        Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and come to a boil.
        Allow to boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat.
      2. Allow to cool while you put everything together.
    3. Assembly

      1. Wash and dry strawberries.
        Slice about 6 strawberries into thin strawberries to use around the outside edge.
        Cut the tops off of about 3 cups of small to medium sized strawberries (about 18-20 strawberries).
        Line the same 9 inch springform pan used for the shortcake with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. The parchment paper should stick above the edges of the pan about an inch or two.
        Place shortcake in the bottom of the pan.
        Line the sides of the pan with the sliced strawberries, using the prettiest slices.
        Add about 1/2 cup of the cheesecake filling on top of the shortcake and spread into a thin layer, filling any gaps around the shortcake and sliced berries.
        Place the strawberries, thick side down, on top of the cheesecake. Leave some space between each of the strawberries so that they aren't touching and cheesecake can be added to fill in the space.
        Drop remaining cheesecake filling on top of the strawberries in spoonfuls, making sure it fills in all the spaces. Spread the remaining cheesecake evenly over the strawberries. Depending on the size of the berries, they might poke through the top of the cheesecake a bit.
        Spread whipped cream topping on top of the cheesecake.
        Cover loosely and refrigerate until firm, about 4-5 hours.
        Once firm, remove cheesecake from spring form pan and top with remaining strawberries, but into quarters.
        Drizzle with strawberry sauce and refrigerate or serve.
      2. Source: Driscoll's 


Saturday, March 28, 2015

COCONUT TOPPED / CREAM CHEESE SHEET CAKE

I got this recipe from a friend who got it from Just a Pinch. It makes a dense cake. There is no baking soda or baking powder used in this cake.


1 cup butter, softened
2 pkgs (3-oz each) cream cheese, softened
6 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract (or 1/2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp coconut extract)
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1/4 cup coconut milk or cream of coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and sugar; beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla then mix in the flour. Stir in the coconut milk if using.

Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Note: As this cake cools it will fall. That is normal.

Frosting:
Note: Doubling this frosting is recommended.

1/4 cup butter, softened
4 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla or coconut extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup coconut, toasted, for sprinkling over the top
Note: A few drops of milk, cream, or coconut milk may be added if you prefer a thinner frosting.

Beat the butter, cream cheese, extract, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top.

Cut cake into 24 squares for serving.


Friday, March 27, 2015

STRAWBERRY PRETZEL ICE BOX PIE

2 cups finely crushed pretzel sticks
3/4 cup butter, melted 
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries 
(14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 pkg (8-oz size) cream cheese, softened
4 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. strawberry gelatin (1/2 [3-oz.] package)
2 cups whipping cream, divided
1/3 cup granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Stir together first 3 ingredients; firmly press on bottom, up sides, and onto lip of a lightly greased 10-inch pie plate. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from oven to a wire rack, and cool completely (about 30 minutes).
2. Process strawberries in a food processor until finely chopped, stopping to scrape down sides as needed.
3. Beat condensed milk and next 2 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. (Use the whisk attachment if using a stand mixer.) Add strawberries; beat at low speed just until blended. Transfer to a large bowl.
4. Beat 3/4 cup whipping cream at high speed until soft peaks form; gently fold whipped cream into strawberry mixture. Spoon into prepared crust. Cover and freeze 8 to 12 hours or until firm.
5. Beat remaining 1 1/4 cups whipping cream at high speed until foamy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Spread over pie. Freeze 1 hour or until whipped cream is firm.


Source: An old Southern Living Magazine.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

CARAMEL PRETZEL BITES

2 tsp butter, softened
4 cups pretzel sticks
2 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted
2 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, cubed
1 cup corn syrup
1 can (14-oz) sweetened condensed milk
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 pkg (11.5-oz) milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp + 1 tsp shortening, divided
1/3 cup white baking chips

Line a 13 x 9-inch pan with foil (allowing extra for handles over the ends); grease foil with butter.
Spread the pecan halves and pretzels on bottom of the prepared pan; set side.

In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, cubed butter, corn syrup, milk, and salt; cook, stirring, over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Gently pour mixture over the pecans and pretzels.

In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips and 1 tablespoon of shortening; stir until smooth. Spread over the caramel layer.

In the microwave, melt the white chips with the teaspoon of shortening and stir until smooth. Drizzle over the chocolate layer.

Let stand until set.

Using the foil handles, lift the candy out of the pan and remove the foil. Using a buttered knife cut the candy into 72 bite-size pieces.

Each piece = 146 calories

Note: I got this recipe last year from Taste of Home.

Monday, March 23, 2015

CHERRY PINEAPPLE DUMP CAKE

A friend sent me this recipe.

1 can cherry pie filling (20 oz)
1 can crushed pineapple (16 oz)
1 box Yellow Cake mix
1/2 - 2/3 cup Chopped Walnuts
1/2 cup of butter (1 stick)
Instructions
1) Lightly spray a bundt pan, or pan of choice.
2) Layer the bottom with the entire can of cherry pie filling
3) On top of the cherries, layer the crushed pineapple, juice and all.
4) Sprinkle the (dry) cake mix over the cherries/pineapple evenly.
5) Cut a stick of butter and place pats of butter on top of the dry cake mix
6) Sprinkle walnuts over butter (as much as you want)
7) Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. Ovens may vary. You know it is done when the top is a nice golden brown.
8) Serve warm with whip cream or ice cream on the side.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

CREAMY PASTEL MINTS

1 pkg (3-oz) cream cheese
1/4 to 1/2 tsp peppermint extract
food coloring of your choice
3 cups powdered sugar, divided

Place the cream cheese in a bowl to slightly soften at room temperature.

Stir the extract into the softened cream cheese until blended.

Add the food coloring to tint as desired.

Gradually mix in half of the powdered sugar.

On a clean flat work surface, knead in the remaining half of the powdered sugar until smooth. Divide the mixture into 3 portions and roll each portion to a 1/4-inch thickness. (Do not use flour or more powdered sugar for rolling.)

Cut out the candies with a 1-inch cookie cutter, rerolling and cutting until scraps are used.

Store mints between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Yield: Approximately 5 dozen 1-inch mints.

Note: File Photo

Saturday, March 21, 2015

POTATO CHIP COOKIES

1 cup butter-flavored shortening
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole-wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups crushed plain potato chips
1 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cream the shortening, granulated and brown sugars in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy; beat in the eggs.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flours and baking soda together; gradually beat into the sugar mixture. Stir in the crushed potato chips and the butterscotch chips.

Drop by tablespoon 2-inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.

Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Cool on the pans for a minute then remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield: 4 dozen cookies

Note: File Photo

Thursday, March 19, 2015

LEMON CHEESECAKE COOKIES

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (one 8-ounce package) cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
For the icing:1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add sugar gradually, and mix until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add zest, vanilla, and egg. Beat to combine. On low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not overmix. If batter seems loose or warm, chill in the refrigerator until firm.
Drop tablespoonfuls of batter onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2-inches apart. Use a small ice cream scooper for uniform cookies (and to make it easy).
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until barely golden on the bottom. Do not overbake! Let cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Once the cookies are cool, whisk together the powdered sugar and lemon in a small bowl. Use a spoon to drizzle the icing over the cookies.
These cookies are best eaten the same day they are baked.
Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies
Note: Source - The Kitchn

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

RED VELVET BROWNIES with WHITE CHOCOLATE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING

Sharing this recipe from Sweet Pea's Kitchen -

For the Brownies:
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons red food coloring
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2/3 cups chocolate chips (optional)
For the White Chocolate Buttercream Frosting:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup white chocolate, melted
1-2 tablespoons heavy cream (or more if needed)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 8x8 inch metal baking pan. Put a long piece of parchment paper in the bottom of the pan, letting the parchment extend up two sides of the pan and overhang slightly on both ends. (This will make it easy to remove the bars from the pan after they have baked.) Butter the parchment.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt; set aside.
3. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and red food coloring together until it becomes a smooth paste; Set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the remaining 1 tsp vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add in the cocoa powder mixture and beat until batter is uniformly red. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl as needed. Do not over mix! Fold in chocolate chips if using.
5. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners, and level surface with rubber spatula; bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours.
6. To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter in until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix well. Decrease the speed to low and slowly beat in the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time. Add in the melted white chocolate and beat until well incorporated. To reach desired consistency, add in heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time with mixer on low speed. If frosting becomes too liquidy, simple add additional sugar. Using parchment overhang, lift brownies from pan. Cut into 2-inch squares and frost.
Source: How Sweet It Is




Sunday, March 15, 2015

IMPOSSIBLY EASY GRASSHOPPER CHEESECAKE

This easy cheesecake recipe is one I got from Bisquick.

3/4
cup Original Bisquick™ mix
3/4
cup sugar
1/4
cup green crème de menthe
3
eggs
2
packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/4
cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

Chocolate Ganache
1/2
cup whipping cream
1
cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch glass pie plate with cooking spray.
  • 2In large bowl, beat all cheesecake ingredients except chocolate chips with electric mixer on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in chocolate chips. Pour into pie plate.
  • 3Bake about 35 minutes or until center is firm and puffed. Cool 45 minutes (cheesecake top will be cracked).
  • 4In 1-quart saucepan, heat ganache ingredients over medium heat, stirring constantly, until smooth; remove from heat. Carefully spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours until chilled. Store covered in refrigerator.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

MOLTEN-MIDDLE TRUFFLE COOKIES

As you can tell from the ingredient list, I got this recipe from Kraft. These are good cookies.


3
pkg.  (4 oz. each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces

1/4
cup  (1/2 stick) butter

1
can  (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk

1
tsp.  vanilla

2
cups  flour

1/2
cup  finely chopped PLANTERS Walnuts

24
 KRAFT Caramels, cut in half

1/4
cup  sugar

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Microwave semi-sweet chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted, stirring after 30 sec. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Blend in milk and vanilla. Add flour and walnuts; mix well. (Dough will be stiff.)
SHAPE 1 level tablespoonful of dough around each caramel half, enclosing caramel completely. Roll in sugar. Place, 1 inch apart, on ungreased baking sheets.
BAKE 6 to 8 min. or cookies are until soft and shiny. Let stand 5 min. on baking sheet. Transfer to wire racks. Cool completely. (Cookies will firm up as they cool.)

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER BARS

My friend sent me this recipe and it looks so good I thought I would share it.

1 (16 ounce) package peanut butter sandwich cookies, divided
4 tbsp (1/2 stick) butter, melted
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed and divided
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup milk chocolate & peanut butter chips OR 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips + 1/4 peanut butter chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a blender or food processor, finely crush 24 of the cookies.

In a medium bowl, mix together the melted butter and finely crushed cookies until well moistened. 
Press mixture into an ungreased 8 X 8-inch baking dish.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Allow crust to cool completely before proceeding.

In the meantime, mix the package of pudding with the 1 1/2 cups of milk in a small bowl.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, and peanut butter together.
Fold in 1 cup of the Cool Whip and mix until well blended.

Spread the chocolate pudding over the cooled crust.

Place dollops of cream cheese mixture over the pudding layer and with an offset spatula, gently spread to completely cover.

Spread remaining Cool Whip over the cream cheese.

Refrigerate two hours.

In a plastic bag, break up the 8 remaining cookies.

Sprinkle the cookies and chocolate / peanut butter chips over the top just before serving.