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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 🙂
- 24 whole Oreo cookies
- 6 tbsp. melted butter
- Pinch kosher salt
- 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
- 1 1/2 c. chocolate chips
- 3/4 c. heavy cream
- Chocolate shavings, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- 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)
- Combine the cinnamon and white sugar in a large ziplock bag, and shake to combine.
- Next drop the biscuit pieces 5 or 6 at a time, into the bag, seal and shake.
- Spray bundt pan with nonstick spray.
- Place all of the coated biscuit pieces into your bundt pan, sprinkling in pecans and apples as you go.
- In a medium sauce pan melt butter over medium heat, stir in brown sugar. Keep stirring until the two are completely combined.
- Pour the liquid over the biscuit pieces and place in the preheated oven.
- 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.
- 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.
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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.
Because 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.
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.