Tag Archives: sweet

Death by Chocolate Cheesecake

I love watching recipe videos; I can spend hours on sites like Tasty or Delish. I think about how I could rediscover my passion for cooking, become the next Martha Steward and make all the things. This ambition inevitably gets derailed somewhere between watching the video and getting up to go to the grocery store. Christmas day my brother in law and his girlfriend came down to stay with Andy and I for a few days, and we agreed that we’d all enjoy a bit of holiday baking. When the idea of cheesecake came up, I hit Pinterest and quickly located the Death by Chocolate¬†recipe I had pinned and Facebooked a couple of weeks ago. After watching the video, they agreed to give it a shot, and spoiler, we kind of killed it ūüôā

Ingredients

Cookie Crust
  • 24 whole Oreo cookies
  • 6 tbsp. melted butter
  • Pinch kosher salt
Chocolate Cheesecake
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 1/2 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 9 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped and melted
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
Chocolate Ganache
  • 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
  • 3/4 c. heavy cream
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
  2. Make crust: In a large Ziploc bag or a food processor fitted with a metal blade, crush or blend Oreos until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl and pour in melted butter. Add salt and stir until crumbs are completely coated and moist.
  3. Make cheesecake: In a large bowl using a hand mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment), beat cream cheese, sugars, cocoa powder and salt until smooth. Add eggs one a time, beating well between each addition. Fold in melted chocolate.
  4. Coat a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray and press Oreo mixture into pan and 1/3 of the way up the sides, packing tightly. Pour cheesecake filling over crust.
  5. Bake until cheesecake is only slightly jiggly in the center, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. (If you want to use a water bath to ensure cheesecake top does not crack, wrap the outside of the pan in aluminum foil and place in a baking dish. Place on oven rack and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Follow baking instructions.) If using a water bath, remove pan from water and unwrap foil. Refrigerate cheesecake until totally chilled, at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  6. Make ganache: Place chocolate chips in a medium, heatproof bowl and set aside. Heat heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. When bubbles begin to break the surface around the edges of the pan, turn off the heat. Pour the hot cream over chocolate chips, whisking constantly until the sauce is smooth.
  7. Pour ganache on top of the cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate shavings. Return to the refrigerate for about 10 more minutes to let the ganache set.

Notes:

  • I neglected to really read the actual recipe until after we’d already started baking, but I was a little annoyed with the “refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to overnight” part. The video implies immediate cheesecake gratification, and we had to wait: so lame. Other than that, this is a really great recipe and I can’t think of a single thing I’d do differently. 9 out of 10 to be sure.

Monkey Bread: Modified Recipe

Monkey bread is one of my favorite things to make for holiday guests. I have yet to find someone who isn’t drawn in by the gloriously rich sugary morsels. ¬†This year I decided to modify version of this recipe¬†I posted a few years ago. Here’s how things turned out.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • Bundt Cake Pan
  • 4 Tablespoons of Cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 cans of Southern Style or Buttermilk¬†Biscuits (the non-flaky ones)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 medium granny smith apple diced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove biscuits from their tubes, and cut each biscuit into four pieces. (I baked off the rest of the unused tube and gave them to the husband to munch on while I was baking)
  3. Combine the cinnamon and white sugar in a large ziplock bag, and shake to combine.
  4. Next drop the biscuit pieces 5 or 6 at a time, into the bag, seal and shake.
  5. Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray.
  6. Place all of the coated biscuit pieces into your bundt pan, sprinkling in pecans and apples as you go.
  7. In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat, stir in brown sugar. Keep stirring until the two are completely combined.
  8. Pour the liquid over the biscuit pieces and place in the preheated oven.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until it looks like this.  Allow to cool for 15-20 minutes then turn out onto a plate. A few taps might be required to get everything to shake loose.

Notes:

  • I added the apples to this recipe because I like the bits of tart fruitiness that they impart to what can sometimes be a cloyingly sweet dish.
  • If you have a deep bundt pan you can attempt to use three full cans of biscuits, just be wary of overfilling because you do not want that stuff to overflow into the bottom of your oven. I’d even recommend placing a cookie sheet on the rack underneath, just in case.
  • Keep an eye on your bottom biscuits through out the baking time, if your oven is a little temperamental, as mine is, the exposed biscuits at the bottom may start to get excessively brown before the ones in the center are baked. If this happens, loosely wrap tin foil across the pan and shift the bundt pan to a lower rack in the oven.

Don’t forget to enter the holiday giveaway!!!!


Orange Spice Cookies

Not to brag, but I have been pretty pleased with the status of my 30 before 31 list lately. Never before have I had some many items crossed off at this point in the year; usually it’s a mad scramble to get things done come about January. I still have a long way to go, but it feels good to be checking things off regularly. My current push is to cross off #8 –¬†Make 12 recipes from cookbooks I already own, before the end of the year. So far all the recipes have been good, and with the slightest tinge of Fall in the air, I felt it was a good time to try out the recipe for Orange Spice Cookies.

cookies5 cookies2 cookies1¬†Since I lacked not only the fluted pastry wheel, but any pastry wheel at all, I decided to cut these out the way I do most of the cookies I make. With one of the glasses from my cabinet ūüôācookies3 cookies6 cookies4

Notes:

  • I had the worst time with this recipe. I couldn’t get the dough to hold together; it was too soft to roll out even after throwing it in the freezer for five minutes to help it set up. There was some very unladylike cursing and general railing about the folks at Southern Living and whether or not they even bother to try their own recipes before endorsing them. I finally ended up adding extra flour, and everything was peachy, though I sill planned a scathing review…¬†then I realized that I made a teeny tiny error when putting these cookies together. And by teeny tiny, I mean I accidentally doubled the amount of butter called for. So yeah, it was all on me, and I am really glad I didn’t write anything unkind before I figured out my mistake.
  • The only real criticism I have for the final product is that it is really sweet. The cookies are pretty sweet on their own, and adding the icing just takes it a little too far for me. After rolling it around in my mind a bit, I think I’ll probably trade the the icing for a dark chocolate drizzle or dipping the cookies in dark chocolate next time I make them.

Chocolate Quick & Easy: Easy Chocolate Fudge

As you aware, I am largely a cupcake girl when it comes to making something sweet. However, now that I am making an effort to utilize the recipes in cookbooks I already own, I am realizing how many other wonderful treats I have been missing out on. So that brings us to today’s recipe: Easy Chocolate Fudge.

BB1 BB6 BB3 BB5Because I am me, and I just can’t seem to leave well enough alone, I opted to do a variation suggested in the notes at the bottom of the recipe page. To make this Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge, I replaced the called for 1/3 cup butter with 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons of regular unsalted butter. I also chopped up two handfuls of mini Reese’s cups and sprinkled them on top of the fudge after I hand smoothed it into the prepared pan. BB4 BB2

This turned out really well. I loved it, my taste tester loved it, and there wasn’t a single bite of it to be found 24 hours after it’s creation. For me, the big selling point was the dark chocolate. A lot of times fudge can taste like straight up sugar, but the higher cocoa content made it have a darker more rich flavor that, when paired with the salty-ness of the peanut butter, created a really nice balance of flavors. I am going to keep this recipe tucked away for some holiday baking later this year.


Dark Chocolate Drizzled Orange Cinnamon Spritz Cookies

My mom bought me a cookie press when she came down to visit around Christmas last year. I was so excited! I was worried that it might get damaged in the impending holiday culinary insanity, so I put it safely away in the pantry and forgot about it until my mom and I started our Christmas baking this year. We wanted to try one of the more complex spritz cookie recipes for our very first batch, and this recipe for Dark Chocolate Drizzled Orange Cinnamon Spritz Cookies was just what we were looking for.

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon shortening

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In medium bowl, combine flour, cinnamon and salt; blend well with wire whisk or fork. Set aside.
  3. In large bowl, combine butter and sugar; beat on low to medium speed until well blended. Add flour mixture, orange extract, vanilla, grated orange zest and egg; beat on low speed until well blended.
  4. Place dough in cookie press with desired disk. Press dough out onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  5. Bake 7 to 9 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from cookie sheets to wire rack to cool.
  6. In small microwave bowl, microwave chocolate chips and shortening uncovered on High for 45 seconds; stir. Microwave another 10-15 seconds and stir until melted and smooth. Spoon into small resealable freezer plastic bag. Cut small tip off one corner of bag and drizzle over cookies. Let cookies stand until chocolate is set or place in refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to quickly set.

Notes:

  • Overall, I feel like spritz cookies are cookies that have to be enjoyed with something. Tea, coffee, warm holiday beverage of choice, but they need a little help getting the flavor party started. This recipe was a lot more flavorful than the spritz recipes I’ve tasted in the past; the chocolate, orange and spice made for a pretty delicious bite, but it was even better with a mug of spice tea.
  • The recipe claimed to make 84 cookies, but my press only produced 57 so go into the baking process aware that you may need a double depending on your equipment.
  • If you aren’t feeling up to the work involved in creating the pretty chocolate drizzle, I think the application of a semi-sweet chocolate chip to the center of each cookie (think¬†tiny¬†peanut butter blossoms)¬†as they come out of the oven will work just as well.