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Desserts

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Once again, my friend Patty has outdone herself.  I’m not a fan of cheesecake, but I love anything red velvet so I thought I’d give this a try.  WOW was all I could say!  This would be a great dish to bring if you were assigned dessert for the holidays or if you just want to spoil yourself.

Thank you Patty for sharing this recipe from www.myrecipes.com

Red velvet cheese cake  - Copyright Christine Sternfels

Description: If you love both red velvet cake and cheesecake, this recipe is for you. A red velvet filling is spiked with cocoa, topped with a creamy cheesecake layer, and baked in a dark chocolate crust–making a wickedly delicious combination.

Servings: Makes 8 to 10 servings
Time: Recipe Time Prep Time: 20 Minutes Bake: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes Stand: 1 Hour Chill: 8 Hours Total: 10 Hours, 45 Minutes

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
2 (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Directions:

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.

Credit: myrecipes.com
Reviews: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/red-velvet-cheesecake-10000001023804/ratings/

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Fudge Squares

Why wait til the holidays for fudge squares?  Yes, this is the original Fantasy Fudge recipe from the back of the Kraft Marshmallow Creme jar. We’ll never know why they changed the recipe on us, but we’ve preserved the recipe for you right here.

Makes about 117

3 cups sugar
3/4 cup margarine
2/3 cup evaporated milk
1 12-oz. (340 g) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 7-oz. (198 g) jar Kraft Marshmallow creme
1 cup chopped nuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Traditional method:
Combine sugar, margarine and milk in heavy 2-1/2 quart saucepan; bring to full rolling bail, stirring constantly. Continue boiling 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring. Remove from heat, stir in chocolate till melted. Add marshmallow creme, nuts & vanilla beat till blended. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Let cool and cut into 1-inch squares.

Microwave method:
Microwave margarine in 4-quart microwave-safe bowl on HIGH (100%) 1 minute or until melted. Add sugar and milk; mix well. Microwave on HIGH 5 minutes or until mixture begins to boil, stirring after 3 minutes. Mix well; scrape bowl. Continue microwaving on HIGH 5-1/2 minutes; stir after 3 minutes. Stir in chips until melted. Add remaining ingredients; mix well. Pour into greased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Cool at room temperature; cut into squares. Makes 3 pounds.

Note: Can be made in a smaller pan for thicker squares (yield will be reduced).

Thank you christmas-cookies.com for the recipe.


Buttercream Cheese Icing

A few weeks ago, I made red velvet cup cakes with buttercream icing for a surprise baby shower for my sister.  I attempted to make blue velvet because she was having a boy.  The cake batter looked like something I would rather not describe here, but when they were baked, it looked just like a chocolate cupcake.  Using the buttercream icing recipe, I decided to change it up a bit and added whipped cream cheese.  It was a successful experiment.  It was light, fluffy, a bit buttery with a hint of cheese.  You can use this with any boxed chocolate cupcake mix and even on brownies.  Enjoy!

Buttercream Cheese Icing

Servings: 36

Ingredients:
1 & 1/2 cup butter, softened
1 vanilla bean OR 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups confectioners’ sugar (add a 3rd cup if you like it sweet)
2 tablespoons milk
1  8oz tub whipped cream cheese

Directions:  In a large bowl, cream together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy.  Taste if sweet enough and add the 3rd cup of confectioner’s sugar if desired.  Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.


Red velvet cupcakes with buttercream icing

I made few dozen red velvet cupcakes for a surprise baby shower for my baby sister and thought I might share the recipe, since it was very much liked.  The hardest part was refusing to dip my fingers in the batter while mixing the ingredients and sampling them after.  Thank goodness for my daughter and her friend for being my victims testers, although eventually I gave in and had some myself.  I know traditionally, the preferred icing for red velvet is cream cheese.  I paired it with my favorite buttercream and it actually turned out great.  Enjoy!

I got this recipe from a good friend of mine, which she found on www.allrecipes.com

————————————-

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 160 | Total Fat: 5.5g | Cholesterol: 34mg (By ESHA Nutrient Database)

Servings: 20.  Prep Time: 30 Min.  Cook Time: 20 Min.  Ready In: 50 Min

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1 fluid ounce red food coloring
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease two 12 cup muffin pans or line with 20 paper baking cups.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, buttermilk, red food coloring and vanilla. Stir in the baking soda and vinegar. Combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.

Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter and frost with desired frosting.

Link: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/red-velvet-cupcakes/detail.aspx

Buttercream Icing

Amount Per Serving  Calories: 181 | Total Fat: 9.8g | Cholesterol: 12mg (By ESHA Nutrient Database)

Servings: 20.  Prep Time: 15 Min.  Ready In: 15 Min

Ingredients:
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons milk

Directions:  In a large bowl, cream together the butter, shortening, and vanilla. Blend in the sugar, one cup at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the milk, and continue mixing until light and fluffy. Keep icing covered until ready to decorate.

Link: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/buttercream-icing/detail.aspx


Chocolate cake in 5 minutes

The most dangerous cake recipe!

I got this recipe from my former boss.  I’ve made it several times since with my kids for a midnight snack while giggling over boys and nail polish colors.  I’ve served it on occasion while entertaining… making the cake was the main event.  I must say it is good with some coffee ice cream with a drizzle of Bailey’s or with some old-fashioned vanilla ice cream and a dallop of whipped cream.  You can have fun with it, use your imagination!

Ingredients: 
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons real cocoa – not hot chocolate mix
1 egg 3 tablespoons half & half – or milk
3 tablespoons butter – melted
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
a small splash of vanilla extract

You’ll need a large coffee mug.

Add dry ingredients in the coffee mug and mix well.   Add the egg and mix thoroughly.  Pour in the half & half and melted-butter, mix well.

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, mix again.  Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 5 minutes at 1000 watts (high).  The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don’t be alarmed!   Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.   EAT! (this can serve 2).

“A recipe everyone should know!”

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?   Because now, we’re only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time.  Enjoy!


Flourless Chocolate Cake aka “The Black Beast”

A friend of mine (Great baker by hobby) brought this to one of my cocktail parties and after my first bite melted in my mouth… it was love at first taste.  I was always partial to milk or white chocolate, as I found dark chocolate to be too bitter for me.  There have been two other exceptions, this would make the third.  Thank you Patti for this yummy dessert.  Please make me more!

This recipe was found on Epicurious.  It went great with red wine for me in the evening, strong coffee with a heavy cream in the morning and a glass of cold milk in the afternoon.  Yes, I had to sacrifice my diet to make sure I experimented well to be able to share with you what drinks go well with this delicious beast.  Enjoy!

Makes 16 servings

La Bete Noire

Bon Appétit  | September 2006
by Jason Aronen
Wilde Roast Café

INGREDIENTS
Cake
•1 cup water
•3/4 cup sugar
•9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter,
diced
•18 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet
chocolate, chopped
•6 large eggs

Ganache
•1 cup heavy whipping cream
•8 ounces bittersweet (not unsweetened) or semisweet
chocolate, chopped
•Lightly sweetened whipped cream

PREPARATION
For cake:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter
10-inch-diameter springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment round; butter
parchment. Wrap 3 layers of heavy-duty foil around outside of pan, bringing foil
to top of rim. Combine 1 cup water and sugar in small saucepan. Bring to boil
over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from
heat.

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat. Add chocolate
and whisk until smooth. Whisk sugar syrup into chocolate; cool slightly. Add
eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until well blended. Pour batter into
prepared pan. Place cake pan in large roasting pan. Add enough hot water to
roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.

Bake cake until center no longer moves when pan is gently
shaken, about 50 minutes. Remove from water bath; transfer to rack. Cool
completely in pan.

For ganache:
Bring whipping cream to
simmer in small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat. Add chocolate and
whisk until smooth. Pour over top of cake still in pan. Gently shake pan to
distribute ganache evenly over top of cake. Refrigerate cake in pan until
ganache is set, about 2 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and
keep refrigerated.

Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake; release sides.
Cut cake into wedges and serve with whipped cream.


Chocolate Trifle

Once again, my friend Patti came through with an awesome dessert for last week’s cocktail party.  It was more like a dance party since that’s what we did most of the evening besides drinking and devouring this yummy treat.  With “Make it yourself” personal pizzas in the oven, wine in our glasses and Disco on Pandora, this was icing on the cake for a fun-filled evening with the girls.

Here is the recipe she sent me:

Servings: 12
Prep Time: 30 Min
Cook Time: 25 Min
Ready In: 8 Hrs 55 Min

Ingredients:

1 (19.8 ounce) package brownie mix
1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix 1/2 cup water
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce)container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (12 ounce)container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 (1.5 ounce) bar chocolate candy

Directions:

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions and cool completely. Cut into 1 inch squares.

In a large bowl,combine pudding mix, water and sweetened condensed milk.  Mix until smooth, then fold in 8 ounces whipped topping until no streaks remain.

In a trifle bowl or glass serving dish, place half of the brownies, half of the pudding mixture and half of the 12 ounce container of whipped topping.  Repeat layers. Shave chocolate onto top layer for garnish. Refrigerate 8 hours before serving.

For a smaller size, maybe try in martini, brandy glasses or shot glasses.  Have fun!


Chocolate Peanut butter balls

This is so easy to make even your kids can do this themselves!  Makes approximately 100 1 inch PB balls.

Ingredients:
2 cups smooth peanut butter,  1 cup butter or margarine, softened 5 cups confectioners’ sugar.

Mix all together. Shape into 1 inch balls, place on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt 24 ounces of chocolate chips.  They usually come in 12 ounce packages.  Follow the package’s instructions on how to melt this down.  Dip peanut butter balls in melted chocolate using a fork (scoop from the bottom), toothpick (insert toothpick on top of the frozen PB ball to pick up)  or easter egg dipping wire.  After dipping, place the chocolate covered PB ball on wax paper lined plate and refrigerate for 10 minutes to cool.

You can also melt white chocolate and drizzle on the already dipped ball for design or sprinkle powdered graham cracker or drizzle melted caramel and sprinkle with some sea salt.  Get creative… the worst part about messing up is eating the evidence and with chocolate covered PB balls, all your mistakes will be delicious!  Great for gifts and even wedding give-aways for those brides & grooms crazy for chocolate covered PB!

Enjoy!


Home Made Ghirardelli Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups!

Christine Sternfels:

Found this on http://parttimehousewife.com/and HAD to share it. Can’t wait to make them!

Originally posted on Part Time House Wife:

WHY WHY WHY Haven’t I thought of this before!?! I was perusing the aisles of the grocery store this morning picking up a few things for later posts and found myself wandering down the Valentine’s Day aisle. I picked up a few boxes of my husband’s favorite candy and set it right back down. I’m not paying extra because it’s a heart shaped chocolate peanut butter stuffed candy. Then a light bulb went off and I pushed my little cart right on over to the baking aisle and grabbed two 4 oz. Bars and one 12 oz. bag of Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate. Rushed home and my version of Home Made Ghirardelli Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups were born. I know I’m not an original in this, I’m sure there were hundreds even millions who beat me the punch on this one but I’m still really excited. A perfect Valentine’s Day Treat!

View original 654 more words


A Simple Recipe for Moist Banana Bread

For 1 loaf 

Ingredients:
1 cup white sugar 
½ cup butter
2 eggs
4 bananas
1½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

Preparation:
Cream sugar and butter then add eggs and fruit.  Beat until blended.  Add dry ingredients and bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 for 55-60 min.  You can add nuts or craisins.  If you do, mix a cup of your favorite nuts and raisin mixture.  Sprinkle on top of the batter before baking.


Chocolate Truffles

Makes about 3 1/2 dozen

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces best-quality bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon liqueur, such as triple sec or framboise (optional)
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for rolling

Directions

  1. Put chocolate into a large heatproof bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; pour over chocolate in bowl. Stir in liqueur, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap; let stand 10 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let stand until thick, about 15 minutes.
  2. Pour chocolate mixture into a shallow 8-inch dish or pie plate. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until mixture is very cold and set but still pliable, about 30 minutes.
  3. Using a teaspoon or a 1/2-inch melon baller, scoop balls of chocolate mixture, transferring them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper as you work. Refrigerate truffles 10 minutes.
  4. Using hands dusted with cocoa powder, dip each truffle in cocoa powder to coat, then quickly shape truffle into a rough round. Refrigerate truffles in an airtight container until ready to serve, up to 2 weeks; before serving, reshape into rounds, and roll each truffle in cocoa powder, if desired.

Thank you Martha Stewart for this simple recipe!


Tres Leches Cake Recipes – A traditional version and a simple version

Here are two versions of this recipe.  A traditional version and a quick and easy recipe.  If you’ve had this before, first of all you know what a treat it is.  Secondly, you know that it is going to be the same consistency as tiramisu, a bit wet at the bottom but not soggy.  I hope you try one of these or both if you have a big party for Cinco De mayo!  Happy cooking!  

Recipe credits to:
www.foodnetwork.com
www.cooking-mexican-recipes.com 

 Both recipes serve 14 to 16 conservative slices  

TRADITIONAL RECIPE
Recipe courtesy www.cooking-mexican-recipes.com

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 teaspoons Mexican vanilla extract
  • 1 – 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 – 13 ounce can evaporated milk
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Fresh mangoes, strawberries, blackberries, or other fresh fruit, sliced

 Directions: 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 by 3 inch springform pan with a vegetable spray like Pam.   Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium size bowl.   I like to use a kitchenaid mixer for this recipe or any stand mixer will do. Mix the eggs and sugar in the mixer bowl and beat on high-speed for about 5 minutes or until the volume has doubled. Reduce the speed to low and add one teaspoon vanilla and water. Mix well. 

 Gently fold the flour ingredients into the egg mixture. You can use the mixer on the slowest setting or fold the flour in with a spatula.  Pour the batter into the springform pan and bake for 35 to 45 minutes. I placed the cake in the center of my oven and it took closer to 45 minutes.  You can tell when it’s done when the center is firm and the cake starts to pull away from the sides of the pan. 

Cool the cake on a rack for 15 minutes. Place a plate over the cake and turn upside down.  Release the springform pan. I found that the bottom stuck a bit so use a knife to cut along and release the cake.  Place your hand over what is now the bottom of the cake and turn the cake over onto your hand. Gently place the cake right side up onto your serving dish. 

Serving It Up

Make sure to serve your tres leches cake on a platter that has a lip to hold in the milk.   Set the cake aside to cool completely. Use a serrated knife to slice and/or peel off the top skin of the cake. You can toss this part away or if you are like me you will probably want to see how it tastes. 

When the cake is cool, whisk together in a bowl the evaporated milk, the condensed milk, 1 cup of the heavy cream, and 2 teaspoons of the vanilla.  Using a long tooth pick, ice pick or whatever you have available, poke holes all over the cake. The holes will allow the cake to absorb more of the milk.  Pour or spoon the milk mixture slowly all over the cake and allow it time to soak in before adding more milk. Refrigerate. 

When you are ready to serve the cake, place the 2 cups whipping cream in a chilled mixing bowl and begin mixing on medium. Add one teaspoon vanilla and the sugar, a tablespoon at a time, and beat on high until stiff peaks form.   Spread whipping cream generously on the top of cake. I garnished mine with sliced strawberries the first time and blackberries the second time.   What a special treat this delicious dessert is. I assure you I will be making this again. Be sure to refrigerate leftovers, if there are any.  I hope you enjoy this tres leches cake as much as I do.  

QUICK & EASY RECIPE
Recipe courtesy Ben Plastina
Show: Melting PotEpisode: A Melting Pot Holiday

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow cake mix (with pudding) baked as directed in 13 by 9-inch pan

For topping mixture:

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup rum (or to taste)

To finish:

  • Whipped cream, to cover cake
  • 5 ounces sweetened coconut

Directions

Poke holes in the cake with a fork all over. Pour topping mixture over cake. Let mixture absorb completely in refrigerator.  Cover with whipped cream or cool whip and sprinkle sweetened coconut over top of cake.  OPTIONAL: Add macadamia nuts, cherries and/or pineapple.

Well there you have it!  Two completely different ways of making this treat.


Caramel Nut Popcorn

Serves: About 1 ¾ pounds (12 cups)

Ingredients

 8 cups freshly popped popcorn (from about 1/3 cup kernels)
1 1/3 cups pecan hales, toasted
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 teaspoons vanillas extract
1/8-teaspoon salt

Directions

Toss the popcorn, pecans, and almonds in a large bowl and set aside.

Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.  Melt the butter in a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Whisk in the sugar and corn syrup.  Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking constantly.  Boil until the caramel sauce is pale golden and a candy thermometer inserted into the caramel sauce registers 300°F, stirring often, about 6 minutes. 

Remove the pan from the heat.  Whisk in the vanilla and salt.  Immediately pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and nuts.  Using two large oiled wooden spoons, toss the popcorn and nuts to coat with the caramel sauce.  Transfer the caramel corn to the prepared baking sheet, spreading in an even layer.  Set aside to cool completely (the caramel will harden as the mixture cools).  Break the caramel corn into desired pieces.

Cook’s Notes: The caramel popcorn can be made 1 week ahead.  Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

You’ll need a candy thermometer to make sure the caramel sauce reached the “hard-ball” stage (300°F).  It’s at the stage that the sauce will harden once cool.

Credits: Thanks to hostesswiththemostess.com for the recipe


JELLO COOKIES

CB0056563/4 c. shortening (part butter) 1/2 c. sugar 1 (3 oz.) pkg. fruit flavored Jello 2 eggs 1 tsp. vanilla 2 1/2 c. flour 1 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. salt Mix thoroughly first 5 ingredients. Blend in dry ingredients. Roll dough in 3/4 inch balls. Place 3 inches apart on cookie sheet (ungreased). Flatten each cookie with bottom of glass dipped in sugar or roll balls of dough in sugar, then use fork. Bake 10 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees.


Fruit Salad

Ingredients: 12 cups fruit cocktail (4 medium cans). 2 cups heavy whipping cream. 1/2 cup condensed milk. 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Preparation: Drain all the juice from the fruit cocktail, put in a large bowl. In a blender, frappe 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. Once whipped (Consistency like hair mousse) , mix in with the fruit cocktail. Drizzle 1/2 cup of condensed milk over the fruit cocktail, mix. Sprinkle shredded cheese over fruit cocktail, mix well. Freeze over night. Thaw 4-5 hours before serving (DO NOT MICROWAVE TO THAW). Serve & enjoy!


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