Tag Archives: Cooking

Decadent Mosaic Brownie Cheesecake

Are you ready for this?

I don’t know if you are.

I mean, really.

It’s that good.

Seriously.

That good!

And the pictures do not do it justice…not even one bit. But hey, I’ll show you ’em anyway.

So what is this “Decadent Mosaic Brownie Cheesecake?” Well, let’s start with the base. It’s a super thick chocolate wafer crust, filled with cheesecake. But, in the cheesecake filling are 1-inch pieces of brownie. And really delicious brownie pieces, at that. Then, it’s topped with a super dark ganache. If your mouth isn’t watering, there’s something wrong with you.

Madison and Rob loved it. Needless to say, I did too. If you need a dessert to bring to an event this holiday season, look no further – this is the one. If you need a pick-me-up, look no further – this is the one. If you just want to bake, look no further – this is the one. Get the picture? This is a must-try dessert!

(As far as easiness goes, this isn’t a beginners’ recipe, but it’s not too, too difficult. It’s definitely on the more time-consuming side though. I somehow, in a way I’m not quite sure of, misread the amount of eggs in the brownies, and only put one in…when they came out of the oven, I realized my mistake and mixed in the other two and rebaked the brownies for 10 more minutes. They came out perfectly, luckily!)

Decadent Mosaic Brownie Cheesecake
Altered ever so slightly from Smitten Kitchen

Part One: One Bowl Brownies

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 3/4cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease 13-by-9-inch baking pan.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in eggs and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minute or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan on wire rack.

Refrigerate brownies, then cut them into 3/4- to 1-inch squares for use in the cheesecake. You will have extra brownies left over. Add cubes to cake batter as directed below.

Part Two: Crumb Crust

3 cups or 10 ounces chocolate wafers (you could use another chocolate cookie if you want)

10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon teaspoon salt

In a food processor, blend the wafers until they are fine crumbs. Add the butter, sugar, and salt and mix well in the food processor. You may have to do the crust in two batches (if so, divide ingredients in half for each batch). Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

Part Three: Cheesecake

3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 cups brownie cubs (from recipe above)

Make crumb crust as directed above for 24-centimeter cheesecake. Preheat oven to 350°F.

Make filling and bake cake: Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy and add eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla and sugar, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

Fold brownie cubes in very gently and pour mixture into prepared pan. Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.

When completely cool, top with following glaze.

Part Four: Ganache Glaze

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, broken up, or 1/2 cup chocolate morsels
2 ounces butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon confectioners sugar

Grind the chocolate into powder in the food processor, scald the butter and cream in a saucepan. With the machine running, pour the hot cream/butter mixture slowly through the feed tube onto the chocolate. Blend until completely smooth, stopping machine to scrape down sides once or twice. Add the extract and sugar and process until smooth. Spread over cheesecake while ganache is still warm. Chill until ready to serve.

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Butterfinger Blondies

Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m not a huge Butterfinger fan at all. There, I said it. So why did I make these? Rob, Madison, and Rachel all love them, so I decided to make something for them. Nice, right?

Not so nice? When I loved these bars so much I wanted to steal them from them. True story. I mean, wow! These are great!

Sure, these might not look super duper impressive, but trust me…their taste is! And who ever said blondies were known for looking impressive?! They’re kind of a humble snack dessert, aren’t they?! And aren’t those types of desserts sometimes the best?!

I urge you to make these. Seriously. It doesn’t matter if you like Butterfingers or not…you will like these! Ooey-gooey-scrumptiousness!

Butterfinger Blondies

Adapted slightly from Natalie’s Killer Cuisine

2 1/4 cups all purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup butter, room temperature
2 1/2 cups dark brown sugar (I was low on dark, so I used some light as well)
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 11oz bag bite sized Butterfingers

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13 x 9 inch pan.

Unwrap all of the Butterfingers and place them in a food processor. Grind them up until you have pretty fine pieces (this could be a matter of preference though).

In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a second mixing bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to medium and beat in eggs and vanilla, mixing only until eggs are incorporated.

Fold in flour mixture followed by most of the butterfingers. Reserve some (about ½ cup-ish) for topping.

Pour into pan and spread to edges. Sprinkle remaining Butterfinger pieces over top and bake for 28-30 minutes.
Let cool completely, then cut into bars.

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares

Cheesecake? Yes, please! Dulce de leche? Um, YA! When I saw this recipe on Smitten Kitchen a few months back, I was smitten (aren’t I funny?!)! And I finally got around to making this recipe!

The bonus about these bars? They look gorgeous too!

Notes:

These aren’t too hard to make, but it’s by no means the easiest recipe I’ve featured either. Don’t let that scare you though!

While I definitely enjoyed these, I’m not sure they quite lived up to my expectations. I love cheesecake, and I love the dulce de leche flavor, so this seemed like a match made in heaven. However, the dulce de leche flavor was definitely not as pronounced as I would have liked, and the cheesecake factor didn’t make up for it (it was by no means the best cheesecake flavor I’ve had). If I had gone into making these bars with the knowledge they would be like so, I probably would have enjoyed them more. Nonetheless, they were still absolutely delicious! Madison really liked them, and I’m sure many people will. Why not give them a shot?!

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares
from Smitten Kitchen
3 1/2 oz graham crackers, crumbled (1cup)
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope, will be just about half an envelope)
1/4 cup whole milk
8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup dulce de leche (one 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk; follow directions in recipe)
3 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons light corn syrup

Make dulce de leche: Pour one can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk into top of double-boiler pan; cover. Place over boiling water. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 40 to 50 minutes, or until thick and light caramel-colored. Make sure you watch it carefully! Remove from heat. Whisk until smooth.

Make bars: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 325°F. Line bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with 2 sheets of foil (crisscrossed), leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Finely grind crackers with sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor. With motor running, add butter, blending until combined. Press mixture evenly onto bottom of baking pan. Bake 10 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes.

Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small bowl and let stand 2 minutes to soften. Beat together cream cheese, eggs, salt, and gelatin mixture in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until well combined, about 2 minutes, then stir in dulce de leche gently but thoroughly. Pour filling over crust, smoothing top, then bake in a hot water bath (using a 9×13-inch baking pan works well) in oven until center is just set, about 45 minutes. Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 2 hours. Chill, covered, at least 6 hours (I cheated here…I only did about 3 hours!).

Once chilled, heat all glaze ingredients in a double boiler or a small metal bowl set over a saucepan of barely simmering water, stirring until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilting baking pan to coat top evenly. Chill, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until set.

Lift cheesecake from pan using foil overhang and cut into squares with a thin knife, wiping off knife after each cut. A clean knife is essential for the gorgeous neat squares you’re after! Enjoy!

Milk and White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Have you heard of Magnolia Bakery in New York City (I’m hoping that’s rhetorical)? I’ve had the pleasure of going to the original and one of their newer sites, and man, it’s heaven. More specifically, their red velvet cheesecake is heavenly. It’s definitely on my list of things to recreate!

Anyway, I have one of the cookbooks from the creator, Allysa Torey. I found a recipe for oatmeal cookies with peanut butter chips, but the only problem was, I didn’t have any peanut butter chips on hand! So what’s a girl to do?! Improvise! I replaced the peanut butter chips with milk chocolate chips and white chocolate chips! The end result? Mmm…tasty.

Notes:

These are easy to whip up on a whim, as I did. If you want, you could follow the original recipe and use only peanut butter chips, but why not try this version?! It works!

Also, the cinnamon flavor is evident, so if you’re not a huge fan of this flavor profile, consider halving the amount.

Milk and White Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from More from Magnolia by Allysa Torey

Makes about 3 dozen cookies

 

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg, at room temperature

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ½ cups quick-cooking oats (not regular, old-fashioned rolled oats)

½ cup milk chocolate chips (if you can’t find, semi-sweet will do)

½ cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenehit.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter with the sugars until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat well. Add the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Stir in the oats and peanut butter chips. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until golden brown around the edges, and soft, but not too soft, in the center.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

My advice? Bake these. Then brag to all your friends that you have a little slice of the world famous Magnolia Bakery in your kitchen (and stomach!)!

Glitches Aside

I told you here about my baking bonanza I had last Friday…and how computer glitches prevented me from posting the recipes (with pictures). However, I’ve fixed the problem, even though it took some time, and I’m going to start posting the three recipes from the baking bonanza! But that’s not all! Yesterday, I got in even more baking, and have an additional two more recipes. Consequently, I’ll be running the five recipes, a post a day, this week. Ready? I’ll post the first one soon…

Baking Bonanza

Whew! I just had a baking bonanza! As I’ve mentioned before, my schedule is quite packed and doesn’t allow for as much baking as I’d like. When I got home today, I set my mind to baking, and now two and a half hours after I began searching for recipes, I’ve baked up not one, not two, but three items (and without even a trip to the store for ingredients!)! Because I made three recipes, I scaled back and halved/quartered/third-ed the recipes. In the following posts, I’ll go over what I made!

EDIT: And of course, as luck would have it, I’m having technical difficulties uploading my pictures of the goodies! Unfortunately, this means no posts until I can get this sorted out…hopefully by tomorrow!

Chocolate Salted Caramel Cake

As you can tell, I’ve switched my layout! I finally did so because I was hearing it was hard to know how to comment…and that wasn’t good! So, I sincerely hope you’ll start/continue to comment! And please keep in mind that as of now, I’m not totally satisfied with the look…I’ll be revising! On to today’s post…

I told you yesterday that yesterday was my birthday! Today I’m going to share my birthday cake with you! As I said, I didn’t make it, which unfortunately means no details on the process of making it or even a recipe (but, if you google the cake, I’m sure you could find a similar recipe!). Man, this cake was gooood! It was so dense, rich, and moist. As I said yesterday, I’m not a huge fan of frosting, except for cream cheese frosting. This was a cream cheese based frosting!

I had a great birthday yesterday and this cake was the perfect way to end it! A special thanks to Madison for making the cake!