Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blueberry Cheesecake Bites



Here's the twist...an oat crumble crust.

Crazy, I know! Quite the risk taker, huh?

This oat crumble recipe has topped many a pie and fruit crisp in my kitchen. And, most recently, has become a favorite crust as well.

Disclaimer:
The baking and enjoyment of the aforementioned oat crusted cheesecake bites will in no way be conceived as an attempt to abandon the delicious combination of cheesecake and traditional graham cracker crust.


Blueberry Cheesecake Cups
*The following recipe is for standard size cupcakes, minis require half the baking time.

Oat Crumble Crust
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
6 tbsp butter

Stir together brown sugar, oats, flour, and cinnamon. Using fork, cut in butter. Mix until crumbly consistency.

Graham Cracker Crust
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup white sugar (ever try it with brown...mmm)
5 tbsp butter

Mix graham cracker and sugar. Melt butter and mix with crumbs.

Cheesecake
3 packages (8 oz) cream cheese
5 eggs
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup sour cream
fruit topping or fresh fruit

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare pie crust of choice.
Cream the cream cheese. Incorporate eggs one at a time. Slowly add vanilla and 1 cup of sugar. Beat until creamy, scraping sides of bowl regularly.

Press crust of choice in to bottom of each cupcake liner. Fill liners with cheesecake mixture (approx 3/4 full). Bake at 325 degrees for approximately 45 minutes.

Mix sour cream with remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Remove cupcakes from oven with 5 mins of baking time remaining, add 1 heaping tsp of sour cream mixture to top of each and return to oven for the last 5 mins. Cool completely. Add fruit topping. Makes approximately 24.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bear With Me...

If you happen to check in regularly, you may see that the blog has taken on a few different looks in the last couple of days. I've been playing around with some different ideas. Nothing fancy, keeping it basic.

So if you're wondering...

YES, you're in the right place!

Enjoy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Crumb Coat Cakes: Is It Happy Hour Yet?


Sure is!
  
What could be better than a martini glass cake to celebrate the much anticipated 21st birthday? Hmmm....how about a chocolate expresso martini to enjoy along with the cake! Or, a shot and beer for that matter.
  
Aaah, to be 21 again...

NO THANKS! Have fun kids! I'm perfectly happy with my couch, a glass of wine, and a good movie (or Prison Break episode ;)...I'm obsessed).

Now, back to the cake...

Confetti cake (birthday girl's favorite), vanilla buttercream, covered in Satin Ice this time. But only because they were out of my favorite, Fondarific. It's 100% edible as usual, except for the "toothpick" of course. To get the shape I cut a 12" square in half diagonally and stacked it, carved the stem out of the center of a 10" round, and used the curved side of the round for the base. As for the olives, I thought about making a couple of cake balls, but decided to carve them out of some cake scraps instead.
  
I always have the best intentions when it comes to step by step photo instructions, but when it comes down to it...I just forget. Maybe next time?!
  
Happy 21st Birthday Jamie! Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too!
  
Enjoy!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Crumb Coat Cakes: Good Ole 45s


My latest...a 60th birthday cake modeled after a portable record player for some good ole 45s.
  
Who we spinnin'? Elvis of course!
  
This was a fun little cake to do. All chocolate. Chocolate cake, chocolate buttercream, covered in buttercream flavored Fondarific. Yum, yum, yum!

In the midst of the organized chaos, otherwise known as my life, I do tend to forget how much I love the creative escape of my cakes. But once I get a taste of it (literally), I just can't get enough. So off I go, got another cake in the works. Stay tuned...
  
Enjoy!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Milk & Cookie Balls


Inspired by the coveted Oreo ball, made popular in our circle by a dear friend of mine (still waiting on that guest post), and looking at a tupperware container filled with chocolate chip cookies nearing the end of their shelf life, I came up with the Milk & Cookie Ball. 

Chocolate chip cookie crumbs, sweetened condensed milk, and melted chocolate...oh so rich, oh so simple, and oh so good!! 

The concept of crumbling up leftover desserts, binding them with something yummy, and dipping them in chocolate has become quite the rage. I mean, look at what Bakerella can do with a cake ball! Love her! 

So empty your cookie jars and get to it!

Milk & Cookie Balls
Chocolate chip cookies
Sweetened condensed milk
Chocolate chips or melting discs

Crush cookies using a food processor (or a good old fashioned rolling pin). Slowly add condensed milk to cookie crumbs until mixture becomes sticky and can be rolled into balls. Melt chocolate in microwave in 30 second increments, mixing regularly until smooth. Dip balls in melted chocolate and place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Allow chocolate to set. If you choose to place balls in refrigerator to set, bring back to room temp before serving. 





Enjoy!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Homemade Vanilla Extract


Homemade vanilla extract, something I wanted to try and had to share. The credit, however, goes to Sprinkles of Parsley who originally saw the idea on The Italian Dish.

A couple of days before Christmas I found this fabulous post by Sprinkles of Parsley on the Foodbuzz Top 9. What a great little favor to send home with the moms on Christmas Day! But, bottles and vanilla beans were special ordered, if only there were more time...

Where there's a will, there's a way!

Along with all of my other last minute preparations, the search began. Vodka (had it), vanilla beans, and 4 oz glass bottles, how hard could it be?

Well, it was harder then I thought. So, here's a link to the Sprinkles of Parsley post. She has wonderful instructions with beautiful pictures, and all of the links to get everything you'll need.

But as I said before...where there's a will, there's a way!

I found these cute little spice jars with a rubber seal and latch on the clearance table at Wegmans. They were so cute, I had to make them work.


While at Wegmans, I picked up some organic vanilla beans (not the bourbon as suggested) and decided to give it a go.

Cutting the vanilla beans in half and then cutting the halves lengthwise to expose the seeds, I dropped 6 pieces into each jar filled with just under 2/3 cups of vodka (Grey Goose). Sealed the jars, and labeled with the use after date (I gave it 8 weeks to steep). Now, I did find 4 oz plastic bottles with screw on lids at a local craft store (definitely not as cute as the glass ones though), which I also gave to the moms. Reason being, if they like the finished product, the extract can be funneled into the plastic bottle and more vodka can be added to the spice jar with the original vanilla beans to begin steeping a second batch.

For now we wait...

Enjoy!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Cheesecake In A Cookie

1st post of the new year, and here I am, self proclaimed non-cookie maker, blogging about yet another cookie. Have I turned over a new leaf? Could be! 


Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies

How about blueberry, cherry, or even a turtle cheesecake cookie...imagine the possibilities! 

Kiffles are a tradition, Snickers Surprise were fun, but these and the Banana Bread Cookies are my fave. It seems wrapping the flavors of a larger treat into the few bites of a cookie has really caught my fancy.

With an abundance of cream cheese in my fridge, I referenced a simple cheesecake cookie recipe that I had bookmarked on Cooks.com. A few minor adjustments to increase the cheesecake factor, and VIOLA!



Raspberry Cheesecake Cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup flour
4 oz of cream cheese, softened 
1 cup sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese. Slowly add sugar, beat until light and fluffy. Add flour, mix well.
  
Using small ice cream scoop, scoop soft dough into balls and roll in graham cracker crumbs.


Place balls on cookie sheet and flatten. Make indention with thumb and fill with raspberry filling.
    

Bake at 375 degrees for 12-13 minutes. Makes approx 18 cookies.


Enjoy!