Biscoff Cheesecake

A few weeks ago, the folks over at Biscoff were kind enough to send me a free package of their amazing cookies.  I, in turn, created a cheesecake from the cookies.

As you know, I have a list of ten things I want to learn to cook before I’m forty, and cheesecake was on of the things on the list.

So, when  Biscoff emailed me offering a package of cookies, the cheesecake immediately came to mind.  These cookies give the crust a little something more than graham crackers do…and it makes me want to experiment more with different crusts.

Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes

cheesecake

Crust

  • 20 Biscoff cookies
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • Pinch salt
  • 5 Tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter (if using salted butter, omit the pinch of salt), melted

Filling

  • 2 pounds cream cheese (900 g), room temperature
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar (270 g)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup sour cream (160 ml)
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream (160 ml)

Special equipment needed

  • 9-inch, 2 3/4-inch high spring-form pan
  • Heavy-duty, 18-inch wide aluminum foil
  • A large, high-sided roasting pan
  1. Prepare the spring-form pan so that no water leaks into it while cooking.* Place a large 18-inch by 18-inch square of aluminum foil on a flat surface. Place the spring-form pan in the middle of the foil. Gently fold up the sides of the foil around the pan. Make sure to do this gently so that you don’t create any holes in the foil. If there are any holes, water will get into the pan and ruin the crust. Press the foil around the edges of the pan. Place a second large square of foil underneath the pan, and repeat, gently folding up the sides of the foil around the pan and pressing the foil against the pan. Gently crimp the top of the foil sheets around the top edge of the pan.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F, with rack in lower third of oven. Pulse the graham crackers in a food processor or blender until finely ground. Put in a large bowl, and stir in the sugar and salt. Use your (clean) hands to stir in the melted butter.
  3. Put all but 1/4 cup of the graham cracker crumbs in the bottom of the spring-form pan. (Save the remaining 1/4 cup for if you happen to have any holes that need to be filled in, either while you are making the crust, or after the cake has cooked and you’ve unmolded it.) Gently press down on the crumbs using your fingers, until the crumbs are a nice even layer at the bottom of the pan, with maybe just a slight rise along the inside edges of the pan. Be careful as you do this, as not to tear the aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
  4. Cut the cream cheese into chunks and place in the bowl of an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment. Mix on medium speed for 4 minutes until smooth, soft and creamy. Add the sugar, beat for 4 minutes more. Add the salt and vanilla, beating after each addition. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Add the sour cream, beat until incorporated. Add the heavy cream, beat until incorporated. Remember to scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl, and scrape up any thicker bits of cream cheese that have stuck to the bottom of the mixer that paddle attachment has failed to incorporate.
  5. Place the foil-wrapped spring-form pan in a large, high-sided roasting pan. Prepare 2 quarts of boiling water. Pour the cream cheese filling into the spring-form pan, over the graham cracker bottom layer. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula. Place the roasting pan with the spring-form pan in it, in the oven, on the lower rack. Carefully pour the hot water into the roasting pan (without touching the hot oven), to create a water bath for the cheesecake, pouring until the water reaches halfway up the side of the spring-form pan, about 1 1/4 inches. (Alternatively you can add the water before putting the pan in the oven, whichever is easier for you.) Cook at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Turn off the heat of the oven. Crack open the oven door 1-inch, and let the cake cool in the oven, as the oven cools, for another hour. This gentle cooling will help prevent the cheesecake surface from cracking.
  7. Cover the top of the cheesecake with foil, so that it doesn’t actually touch the cheesecake. Chill in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours, or overnight.

cheesecakeslice

Pretzel Turtles

recipe from The Pioneer Woman

Image

  • 24 whole Mini-pretzel Twists
  • 24 whole Individually Wrapped Caramel Squares, Unwrapped
  • 8 ounces, weight Good Quality Milk Chocolate, Melted
  • 24 whole Pecan Halves
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Place the pecan halves in a single layer on a baking sheet and put in the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, shaking the pan once halfway through, until they’re lightly toasted. Remove them after they’re toasted and put them on a plate to cool.
  3. Line the baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Arrange the pretzels neatly on the pan, then top each pretzel with an unwrapped caramel. Place the pan into the oven for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the caramels are softened (but definitely not melting.) Remove the pan from the oven.
  4. Gently press a pecan half onto each caramel, just enough for the caramel to fill the pretzel. Set them aside to cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, melt the chocolate. When the pretzel/caramels are cooled, remove them from the baking sheet. Spoon small dollops (1 1/2 teaspoon helpings) of chocolate all over the baking mat, then lightly drop each pretzel onto the middle of each dollop, making sure they’re centered.
  6. Allow them to cool completely before serving (you can hasten this along in the fridge.)
  7. Variation: Spoon a little melted chocolate all over the tops of the turtles to cover the whole thing in chocolate.

5 Minute Jello Cake

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Kahlua Pecan Pie

This a family favorite.  You’ll never want regular pecan pie again.

(And please, it’s “puh-con”, not “pee-can”.)

pie

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Kahlua
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup pecan halves or pieces
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, unbaked
  • whipped cream, (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, vanilla and flour. Mix well. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Stir in Kahlua, corn syrup, evaporated milk and pecans. Mix well and pour into crust.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 325 degrees F and bake until firm, about 40 minutes. Refrigerate. If desired, serve with whipped cream.

Hummingbird Cake

My mother-in-law made this for Easter and it was fabulous.  It’s a beautiful cake and quite tasty.

  

from MyRecipes.com

©sarafinaskitchen.com, 2012

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) can crushed pineapple, undrained
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 cups chopped bananas
  • Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; add eggs and oil, stirring until dry ingredients are moistened. (Do not beat.) Stir in vanilla, pineapple, 1 cup pecans, and bananas.
  2. Pour batter into three greased and floured 9-inch round cakepans. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.
  3. Spread Cream Cheese Frosting between layers and on top and sides of cake; sprinkle 1/2 cup chopped pecans on top. Store in refrigerator.

Mango Soufflé

This is from one of my co-workers.  She always makes amazing dishes.  This is one you should keep handy for a summer dessert…or make it for Easter!
Ingredients
  • 1 cup mango pulp
  • 3 oz cream cheese(softened)
  • 1 cup cool whip
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1 sachet of unflavored gelatin dissolved in 3/4 cup of boiling water.

Directions

Mix all the above ingredients and refrigerate.
You can add this to a pie crust as well.

Crispix Mix

  • 1 1/2 sticks butter
  • 1 1/2 c brown sugar (1 c for Cheerios)
  • 1/3 c white syrup
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 12 oz box Crispix cereal (or Cheerios)
  1. Combine the first three ingredients together in a pan, stirring until it boils.
  2. Add 1/2 t baking soda to mixture, stir, and remove from heat.
  3. Immediately pour over cereal in a large bowl.  Stir to coat cereal.
  4. Microwave 5 minutes, stirring every minute.
  5. Cool, eat, and enjoy!

Banana-Blueberry Dream Pie

Recipe #5 for Forster-Bazzano Week, and by far, my favorite.  This was also my Grandma’s recipe, and it’s my mom’s favorite pie.  Grandma (her mother-in-law) made it for her every year for her birthday.

  • 1 container Cool Whip (4.5 oz)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 pkg cream cheese (8 oz package) @ room temperature
  • 3 bananas, medium
  • 1/2 can blueberry pie filling (1 lb can)
  • 1 baked pie shell

Mix together in a bowl whipped topping, cream cheese and sugar.  Beat at medium speed until smooth and creamy.  Set aside.  Next, slice 1 1/2 bananas and arrange in the bottom of the pie shell.  Spread half of the blueberry pie filling over sliced bananas, then spread half of the whipped topping over the filling.  Repeat the layers again, ending with the whipped topping.  Chill for about one hour before cutting.

La Vista Hyatt Regency’s Chocolate Rum Balls

3 9-inch layers cooked German chocolate cakes without frosting
1/2 cup fudge sauce (Smuckers Chocolate Fudge Sauce will do)
3/4 cup 151-proof rum
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
24 ounces semisweet dark chocolate
Chocolate sprinkles to garnish

Crumble the cake layers into a large mixing bowl. Add fudge sauce, rum, and chopped nuts. Mix into a paste. Roll into small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and freeze until hard. Melt dark chocolate over very low heat in a double boiler. Quickly dip a ball into the melted chocolate then immediately dip the ball into the chocolate sprinkles. Makes about 50 chocolate rum balls.

My notes: I used a German chocolate cake mix, which made one 9×13 cake. I omitted the nuts this time and used green sugar to sprinkle on top instead of rolling in chocolate sprinkles.

Creamy Pumpkin Pie

From ReadyCrust.com

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients

1/2 cup cold milk
1 package (6-serving size) vanilla flavor instant pudding & pie filling
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1 cup canned pumpkin
2 1/2 cups frozen non-dairy whipped topping, thawed
1 Keebler® Ready Crust® Graham Pie Crust

Directions

1. In large bowl beat milk, pudding mix and spice with wire whisk for 1 minute. (Mixture will be very thick.) Whisk in pumpkin. Stir in whipped topping. Spread in crust. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until set.
2. Garnish as desired. Store in refrigerator.

* *NOTE: May substitute 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves in place of pumpkin pie spice.

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