S’mores Cheesecake

Cheesecake is a versatile dessert. It tastes delicious with its simplest ingredients but can be easily transformed into something more with different variations. Have you seen the cheesecake menu at The Cheesecake Factory? To celebrate National S’mores Day today I am sharing with you a S’mores Cheesecake. A cheesecake with all the flavors and components of your favorite campfire treat. A graham cracker crust, a filling made with mini chocolate chips and marshmallows and finally a topping of toasted marshmallows with a drizzle of melted chocolate… Yum!

Up first, I made the crust. In my food processor I processed 2 sleeves of graham crackers into fine crumbs and then added in sugar and melted butter. Once everything was well combined, I transferred the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and pressed it along the bottom and up the sides of the pan. I used a 1 cup measuring cup to press the crumbs into the bottom in an even layer. While some recipes call for you to pre-bake your crust, I opted not to do that. I sometimes find that the crust gets a little too hard to slice then.

Next, I made the filling. After beating together cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, eggs and vanilla extract with a hand mixer I folded in mini marshmallows and mini semi-sweet chocolate chips with a rubber spatula. I then poured the filling into the prepared crust. I find that springform pans always seem to leak a little when baking so I placed it on a baking sheet before baking the cheesecake in a 325 F preheated oven for about 50 minutes.

I removed the cheesecake from the oven and sprinkled mini marshmallows on top and placed it back in the oven for an additional 5 minutes. At this point my marshmallows had puffed, but I wanted them to be toasted on top, so I switched my oven to broil for about 30 seconds. Even that was pushing it, marshmallows can go from toasted to burnt very quickly so it’s important to keep an eye on them if you opt to broil them.

Finally, I melted some semi-sweet chocolate chips and drizzled it on top of the marshmallows. I don’t know if it was because of the humidity in the air, or the chocolate chips themselves, but the melted chocolate was on the thicker side. In other words, it was going to be hard to drizzle it. So, I stirred in a little vegetable oil to thin it out. If you do this, you may notice that it will take longer for your chocolate to harden when left at room temperature. No need to fear, once you place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to cool the chocolate will harden.  

I let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes and then I carefully removed the ring (only to put it back on again.) I basically didn’t want the melted marshmallows to get too stuck to the pan. So, before removing the ring I ran a small knife under hot water and carefully ran it along the sides of the pan to separate the crust and marshmallows from it. I wiped the knife and ran it under the hot water as necessary to repeat. Once I was able to easily remove the ring, I put it back on and allowed the cheesecake to cool for another hour before covering and refrigerating it overnight.

And to serve, since I removed the ring the day before it was a cinch to remove it prior to serving. Also, since I didn’t prebake my crust, it wasn’t a struggle to cut thru it. The cheesecake came out delicious and all the flavors of a S’more were there. And you might think that the cheesecake would be rich or overly sweet due to all the components, but it will satisfy your sweet tooth just perfectly! And you don’t have to worry about burning your fingers or mouth on a hot S’more!

Looking for some other ideas for Cheesecake or S’mores. Check out one of the recipes below.

Cherry Amaretto Cheesecake

Tiramisu Cheesecake

Mini Pumpkin Spice Latter Cheesecakes

S’mores Cupcakes

S’mores Icebox Cake

Malted S’mores Ice Cream

S’mores Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Crust:

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (2 sleeves of graham crackers)

1/3 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:

3 8oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup miniature semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup mini marshmallows

Topping:

1 1/4 cup mini marshmallows

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted*

*If you find the chocolate is too thick to drizzle add in a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil until you reach your desired consistency

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

In a medium bowl stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan and press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place on a baking sheet and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with a hand mixer on medium speed until combined. Add in the sour cream and vanilla extract and beat until smooth. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat on low until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes. Until the center is almost set.

Remove from the oven and top with the mini marshmallows. Return to the oven and bake an additional 4-6 minutes, or until the marshmallows are puffed. To get the marshmallows toasted on top switch your oven to broil for about a minute. Drizzle with the melted chocolate and allow to cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula

No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Pie

I came across the recipe for this no-bake pie at the perfect time. I was randomly watching an episode of Michael Symon’s Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out on the Food Network and it looked and sounded delicious and the following weekend it was one of those scorchers where turning on the oven was out of the question, so I decided to make this for Sunday dessert. If you have read some of my recent posts, you will see that this has been a theme as of late… me avoiding the oven!

While the recipe called for making the blueberry puree on a grill, I opted to make it on my stovetop. I combined fresh blueberries, sugar, fresh lemon juice and salt in a small saucepan and heated it over medium heat to bring it to a boil. I then lowered the heat to low so the mixture could simmer. Ultimately the blueberries began to burst, and the mixture began to thicken. I then transferred the mixture to my food processor and processed it until it was smooth. Finally, I transferred it to a container and let it cool to room temperature before covering it and refrigerating it. Since the puree needs to be completely chilled before using it, I opted to make the puree early in the day so it could be ready by the time I made the pie.

Next, I made the crust. While you can buy graham cracker crumbs, I opted to crush graham crackers into crumbs. I placed them in a resealable bag and used a rolling pin to crush them. I used two full sleeves of crackers. After combining the crumbs with melted butter, sugar and salt I pressed them on the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

And finally, I made the filling. I started by whipping heavy cream until stiff peaks formed. Next, I whisk together warm milk and unflavored gelatin and let it sit for a few minutes so it could bloom. With a hand mixer I beat together cream cheese, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice until it was smooth. I then added in the milk mixture and half of the whipped cream and continued beating until it was smooth. I then folded in the remaining whipped cream with a rubber spatula. Next, I poured it into the prepared crust and smoothed the top. I spooned the chilled blueberry puree in thin lines on top of the cake and then used a toothpick to drag the puree in the opposite direction of the lines.

I let it chill in the refrigerator overnight. The next day when it came time to slice it it held together perfectly.  And the flavor was refreshing for these hot summer days! The lemon flavor was spot on and it wasn’t overly sweet. And thanks to the whipped cream the pie has a much lighter texture than cheesecake even though cream cheese was used to make it. If you have some of the blueberry puree leftover it would be perfect to drizzle on each plate before serving.

No-Bake Blueberry Lemon Pie

 

Ingredients:

Blueberry Puree:

1 cup fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons sugar

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Pinch of salt

Graham Cracker Crust:

2 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs*

1/4 cup sugar

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Pinch of salt

Filling:
2 cups heavy cream

1/2 cup whole milk, warmed

1 .25oz. packet unflavored powdered gelatin

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

2/3 cup sugar

Zest and juice of 2 lemons

* Approximately 2 sleeves of graham crackers.

Directions:

Blueberry Puree: In a small saucepan combine the blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and salt. Stir together and then heat over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer the mixture until the blueberries begin to burst and the mixture thickens. Transfer to a food processor (or blend) and puree until smooth. Pour into a bowl and allow to cool to room temperature before covering and refrigerating until completely cold.

Graham Cracker Crust: In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and pinch of salt. Stir together to combines and then pour into a 9-inch springform pan and press the mixture in the bottom and up the sides of the pan evenly to make the crust. Use the bottom of a measuring cup or glass to smooth the bottom.

Filling: In a large bowl beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream into another bowl.

In a measuring cup whisk together the milk and unflavored gelatin. Let stand for 3-5 minutes so the mixture can bloom.

In the large bowl combine the cream cheese, sugar and zest and juice of lemons. Beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Add in half of the whipped cream and the milk mixture and continue mixing until smooth. Fold in the remaining whipped cream with a rubber spatula until both are incorporated. Transfer the mixture to the prepared crust and smooth the surface. Spoon the chilled blueberry puree in the lines across the surface of the filling. Using a toothpick or wooden skewer drag the puree in the opposite direction of the lines to create a swirled pattern. Chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight before slicing and enjoying.

Recipe from Food Network

No Churn Peppermint Chip Ice Cream

When it comes to the weather this past week has been a brutal one by me. Days over 90’s with the feel like temperature even higher. Ugh! Needless to say, I have been avoiding turning on my oven at all costs. I was going to skip making something to celebrate Christmas in July this year, but then I decided to make something perfect for this time of year… ice cream. A No-Churn Peppermint Chip Ice Cream. Peppermint, the flavor synonymous with the holidays and one that is quite refreshing for these hot days.

I began by whipping heavy cream until stiff peaks formed. I then beat in sweetened condensed milk, the all-important peppermint extract and a few drops of red food coloring to give it a nice, but somewhat subtle, pink hue. The red food coloring is completely optional. Once everything was incorporated well, I folded in mini chocolate chips and then transferred the mixture to a loaf pan I lined with wax paper. I topped the ice cream with a few crushed peppermint candies. This is completely optional as well. You could also fold in some crushed peppermint candies into the ice cream along with the chocolate chips. I then covered the pan with a piece of wax paper and then aluminum foil and placed it in the freezer overnight.

And the next day I had a delicious (and cold) treat to help me beat the heat and celebrate Christmas in July!

No-Churn Peppermint Ice Cream

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 teaspoon peppermint extract

5-6 drops red liquid food coloring, optional

3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

1/4 cup crushed peppermint candies, optional

Directions:

Line a 9 x 5 -inch loaf pan with wax paper, leaving an overhang, and set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the heavy cream with a hand mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Add in the sweetened condensed milk, the peppermint extract and food coloring (if using) and continue beating on medium speed until well incorporated. Fold in the mini chocolate chips and then transfer the mixture to the prepared pan.

If desired, sprinkle crushed peppermint candies on top and then cover with a piece of wax paper and aluminum foil and freeze for 8 hours or overnight.

Strawberry Tiramisu

It’s the dog days of summer which usually means you will do anything to avoid turning on your oven. Thankfully there are many delicious recipes out there that can prevent you from doing just that and today I am sharing one, a Strawberry Tiramisu. This spin on tiramisu is perfect for the summer with the abundance of perfectly ripened strawberries available this time of year.

To begin, you will make the strawberry sauce. In a large bowl combine sliced strawberries with orange liqueur, balsamic vinegar, salt and sugar. After letting it sit for about 15 minutes puree half of it along with seedless strawberry jam in a food processor until smooth and then return the mixture to the strawberries and stir together. It may seem like the mixture is a tad watery, but it will be absorbed by the ladyfingers. No need to fear, your dessert will not be a runny mess when sliced.

Next you will make the mascarpone – whipped cream mixture. Beat heavy cream with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Next, fold in mascarpone cheese & orange zest until the whipped cream and mascarpone cheese are well incorporated and no streaks of either remain.

Now it’s time to assemble. Begin by spreading some of the strawberry mixture in the bottom of your dish. Then add a layer of ladyfingers on top and then spread half of the mascarpone cheese mixture over them. Repeat the layers ending with the remaining half of the mascarpone cheese mixture. Decorate the top with sliced strawberries and then cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours before slicing and serving.

This is a light and refreshing dessert that isn’t overly sweet… Perfect for these warmer days!

Strawberry Tiramisu

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons orange liqueur*

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 cups sliced strawberries, divided**

1/4 cup seedless strawberry jam

1 1/2 cups heavy cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 8oz. container mascarpone cheese

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1 7oz. package ladyfingers

*I used Cointreau

**About 1.5 lbs

Directions:

In a large bowl stir together 3 cups of the sliced strawberries, the liqueur, balsamic vinegar, salt and granulated sugar. Let stand for 15 minutes, stirring a few times. Transfer half of the mixture to a food processor (or blender) along with the strawberry jam and blend until smooth. Pour the pureed mixture back into the bowl with the remaining marinated strawberries and stir together. Set aside.

In a medium bowl beat the heavy cream with the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract with a hand mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form. Fold in the mascarpone cheese and orange zest until both are incorporated well and no streaks of either remain.

To assemble: Spread 3/4 cup of the of the strawberry mixture in the bottom of an 8×8 square baking dish. Top with a single layer of ladyfingers. Spread half of the mascarpone cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Top the ladyfingers with the remaining strawberry mixture and then top with another layer of ladyfingers. And finally, spread the remaining mascarpone cheese mixture over the ladyfingers. Top with the remaining cup of sliced strawberries. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before slicing and serving.

Recipe modified from Food and Wine

No-Knead Olive Bread

I love bread recipes that don’t require too much work. And if you agree with me, then No-Knead Bread recipes are perfect for you as well. Instead of having to knead the dough to form the gluten strands that give the bread its texture, you allow the dough to rest for 12-18 hours. And for someone who is never quite sure if they have kneaded their dough too long or too short this is the perfect method. Today I am sharing with you a No-Knead Olive Bread. Don’t like olives, read on to get ideas on other No-Knead Breads you can try instead.

To start, in a large bowl I mixed all the ingredients – flour, sea salt, yeast, oregano, garlic powder, chopped olives and water – together using a wooded spoon and then shaped the dough into a ball before covering it with a piece of plastic wrap and aluminum foil.

I let the dough rest on my counter for about 18 hours, I did peak at it a few times during those hours to make sure it was rising. Hence using a piece of plastic wrap and then aluminum foil on top. And I happy to say that it did rise considerably, although it didn’t have many air bubbles.

After shaping it again into a ball and letting it rest for an additional 30 minutes I baked it in my Dutch oven. And after letting it cool I had a delicious bread to slice into.

What’s great about this recipe is that it can easily be switched up. The base of it is the flour, sea salt & water. And from there you could add in anything to satisfy your taste buds. Think a Cranberry Walnut Bread, a Jalapeno Cheddar version, or maybe a Sun-Dried Tomato & Pesto one… The possibilities are endless.  

No-Knead Olive Bread

Ingredients:

3 cups + 2 tablespoons flour

2 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 cup chopped olives*

1 1/2 cups warm water (95 F)

*I used 1/2 cup black olives and 1/2 cup pimento stuffed Manzanilla olives

Directions:

In a large bowl stir together the flour, sea salt, yeast, oregano, garlic powder and chopped olives. Add in the warm water and stir. The dough will be sticky. Shape into a ball and cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Let it sit on the counter at room temperature for 12-18 hours. The dough will double in size and be covered in air bubbles.

Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 450 F.

Lightly dust your work space with flour and turn out the dough. Using lightly floured hands shape the dough into a ball and then transfer to a large piece of parchment paper*. You want your piece of parchment paper to be large enough to fit in your Dutch oven**.  Score an “X” into the top of the dough with a sharp knife and then cover loosely with a piece of plastic wrap for 30 minutes. During these 30 minutes, place your Dutch oven in the preheated oven.

After the 30 minutes carefully remove your pot from the oven. Remove the plastic wrap from the top of your dough and place the dough, along with the parchment paper, into your Dutch oven. Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for an additional 10 minutes, until the bread is golden brown on top. Remove the pot from the oven and transfer the bread, along with the parchment paper, to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Make sure to check your parchment paper to see what the highest and safest temperature it can be used at.

**If you don’t have a Dutch oven you could also use a heavy-duty pot.

Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins

Not sure why, but, I had two bags of dried cranberries in my pantry that were quickly approaching their expiration date. They were probably on sale or I was planning on eating more salads than I have been. Either way, I decided it was time to start using them before they did expire. Cranberries are always a good add in for baked goods since they offer a pop of sweetness and do have health benefits. I like to think they are still healthy even after they are baked into something sweet. I was debating between cookies or muffins, but, I opted to go with the muffins… A Cranberry-Orange Walnut Muffin.

The recipe for these is pretty straight forward. Next time I make them though I will cut the sugar in half (1/2 cup as opposed to a 1 cup). They were delicious, but, I just found them to be a tad bit sweet and since I normally eat muffins for breakfast and I am not big into sweets for breakfast I think I would enjoy them more with less sugar. Also, since you are using freshly squeezed orange juice and if your orange is sweet and then you add sugar and dried cranberries on top of that you are getting sugar from all sides so it’s best to cut back on the actual sugar you are adding in. They will still be delicious and even a bit better for you. And while the original recipe called to make these in a 12-cup cupcake tin, I opted to bake them in 6-cup muffin tin instead. I prefer bakery sized muffins than cupcake sized ones. To accommodate the extra batter, I placed my muffin liners in ramekins on a baking sheet and baked them as normal.

Cranberry Orange Walnut Muffins

  • Servings: 8 Large Muffins / 12 Small Muffins
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Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest

3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice*

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

*I used 3 large navel oranges

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a muffin/cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder & soda together. Set aside.

In a small bowl stir together the orange juice & zest. Set aside.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar using a handheld mixer on medium speed. Add the egg and continue beating until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture in three parts alternating with the orange juice mixture. Stir in the cranberries and walnuts.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-25 minutes for smaller muffins and 30-35 minutes for larger muffins. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes before removing muffins from pans and cooling completely on a wire rack.

Recipe from Fisher Nuts

Baked Peach Crumb Donuts

It’s the first Friday in June which means it’s National Donut Day! It’s been a while since I have shared a donut recipe on here. And to be honest, they are not something I bake all that often. My favorite donut that I have made are the Rainbow Cookie Donuts I posted a little over 4 years ago. I have made those a few times since then. And these Baked Peach Crumb Donuts I am sharing today are a very close second. If you are not a fan of peaches, you can swap out the peaches for blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, etc. The base of the donut would work well with any of those fruits and crumb topping works well with any of those fruits and is always delish!

A few things to note… Whatever fruit you choose to use you don’t want to add it to the batter of your donuts. After making the batter pipe or spoon it into your donut pan and then sprinkle the fruit on top lightly pressing it into the batter.

Once your fruit is placed then sprinkle the top with the crumb topping and once again lightly press it into the batter to make sure it sticks while your donuts are baking and doesn’t end up falling off. 

And finally, once your donuts have cooled dust the top of them with Confectioners’ sugar. The added sweetness of the sugar is just what these donuts need since they aren’t too sweet to begin with. Which is perfect by me.

Baked Peach Crumb Donuts

For the donuts:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1/2 cup buttermilk*

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup diced peaches (can use fresh or frozen)

For the crumb topping:

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 cup flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cubed

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

*Make your own by combining 1/2 cup whole milk with 3 teaspoons of white vinegar. Stir together and let sit for 15 minutes.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease 2 6-welled donut pans with butter, or spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and baking powder.

In a large bowl whisk together the melted butter, buttermilk, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until well combined.

Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.

Spoon the batter into the prepared donut pans until 2/3 fill. You can also transfer the batter to a large piping bag or Ziploc bag and pipe the batter into the pan.

To make the crumb topping whisk together both sugars, cinnamon and flour. Using a fork, pastry cutter or your hands, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it’s pea sized and looks like coarse sand.

Divide the diced peaches among the donut batter, pressing it lightly into the batter. Sprinkle the crumb topping over each donut, once again pressing it lightly into the batter.

Bake in the preheated oven 10-11 minutes. Let the donuts cool in the pan for 2 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled dust the donuts with confectioners’ sugar.

Recipe from Katie Bird Bakes

Cherry Amaretto Cheesecake

The idea for this cheesecake came to me after making the Almond Tiramisu I posted about last month. I had another package of Amaretti cookies and while the Almond Tiramisu was delicious I didn’t want to make another one so soon and while I could have just eaten the cookies I thought to myself that there had to be something yummy I could make with them. Initially I was thinking raspberries instead of cherries for this cheesecake, but, I thought cherries would be a better complement to the almond flavors in the cheesecake. And I was right! Since cherries aren’t currently in season I opted to use frozen ones, but, with summer just around the corner you could make this with a fresh batch of cherries that are sure to be hitting the produce department of your local supermarkets in no time.

I started off by making the crust. In the bowl of my food processor I processed 7oz. of Amaretti cookies into fine crumbs. I then added in melted butter and pulsed everything together a few times. Finally, I pressed the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish I sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

I set the crust aside and made the filling for the cheesecake. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer on medium speed, I beat together cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, almond & vanilla extract and Amaretto liqueur until it was well combined. I then added in 2 eggs and continued to beat the mixture until it was smooth. Once the cheesecake mixture was ready I poured it into the prepared crust and placed it in a 325 F preheated oven for about 45 minutes. I knew the cheesecake was done once the center was just about set. I let the cheesecake cool on a wire rack before refrigerating it overnight.

While the cheesecake was cooling on the wire rack I made the cherry topping. In a medium saucepan I whisked together water, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar (a slurry). I then heated the mixture over medium heat and stirred it until it started to thicken. Once it did, I added in the cherries. I stirred the mixture occasionally. You may think that your cornstarch mixture isn’t enough for the cherries, but, as the cherries cook they will let out their own juices. If you opt to use frozen cherries as I did, do not defrost them beforehand. Once the sauce begins to boil and thickens remove it from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature. Make sure to taste the mixture. If your cherries aren’t very sweet you may need to add more sugar to bring out their flavor. Once the mixture was cool, I transferred it to a resealable container and refrigerated it overnight.

The following day, before serving the cheesecake I spooned the cherry mixture over it. This was a hit with everyone who tried it.

And I must say, that it tasted even better a day or two afterwards. I think the almond flavor from the cheesecake seeped into the cherry topping and it really brought all the flavors together!

Cherry Amaretto Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Crust:

7oz. package Amaretti cookies

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

Cheesecake:

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon almond extract

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon Amaretto liqueur

2 large eggs, at room temperature

Cherry Topping:

3 cups frozen (or fresh) cherries

1/4 cup water

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons sugar*

*You may need to add additional sugar if your cherries aren’t sweet

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 F.

For the crust: In the bowl of a food processor process the cookies into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie dish sprayed with non-stick spray.

For the cheesecake: In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, almond & vanilla extracts and the Amaretto and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue beating until the mixture is smooth.

Transfer the cheesecake batter to the prepared pie crust and bake in the preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

For the cherry topping: While the cheesecake is cooling, whisk together the water, cornstarch, lemon juice and sugar in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium heat and stir until the mixture begins to thicken. Add the cherries and stir occasionally until the sauce begins to boil and has thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use. The mixture will continue to thicken as it cools.

To serve, spoon the cherry mixture over the cheesecake and slice. Store leftovers in the refrigerator.

Recipe first appeared on Bead Yarn & Spatula

Chocolate & Banana Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

While these cookies may sound like they have a lot going on they are essentially just a peanut butter chocolate chip cookie. And we all know that peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven. I honestly didn’t get any banana flavor from the banana chips (nor did anyone else who tried them). What the banana chips did offer was an extra crunch to the cookie, which you also get from the peanuts added. If you are looking for that banana flavor though you could add a mashed banana to the dough. Next time I make these though I will be omitting the banana altogether. I honestly don’t think they need that extra layer of flavor.

Chocolate & Banana Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

  • Servings: 12 Large Cookies
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Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup roasted & lightly salted peanuts, chopped (plus more for topping)

1/3 cup banana chips, chopped or 1 banana cut into 1/4-inch pieces*

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (plus more for topping)

*Can omit to make a Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In large bowl, using a hand mixer on medium speed, cream together the peanut butter, both sugars and the butter until smooth. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue beat until well combined. With the mixer on low add in the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda until just combined. Add in the peanuts, banana chips / banana (if using) and chocolate chips and beat on low until combined.

Using an ice cream scoop (or 1/4 cup measuring cup) drop the dough on the prepared cookie sheets. Pat down the cookies to create 2-inch disks. The dough may be a little sticky. Sprinkle the tops of each cookie with additional chopped peanuts and semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Bake for 10-11, or until the edges are golden but the centers still soft. Let cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Recipe from Christina Tosi

Tres Leches Bundt Cake

Happy Cinco de Mayo! To celebrate the day, I’m sharing a recipe that’s a slight twist on the traditional Tres Leches Cake, a Tres Leches Bundt Cake. I love a good Tres Leches Cake, but I thought that a Bundt version would absorb the tres leches topping a little better so that the cake wouldn’t be as wet. And I was right! One thing though, since the Bundt cake is a bit denser than a regular cake it’s best to pour the tres leches topping over the Bundt cake while it’s still warm and the crumb of the cake is soft. If you wait until the cake is room temperature or cooler the cake will still absorb the topping, but, it will just take a bit longer and it might not spread throughout the cake as well. If that does happen it’s all good as you can use some of the reserved tres leches topping to drizzle over your slice. And while the recipe didn’t call for it, I decided to spruce up the top of the Bundt cake with a little whipped cream and sliced strawberries. It was also a good way to hide the holes I poked in the cake for the topping.

Tres Leches Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

For the cake:

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 large eggs, at room temperature

3 cups flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1 cup whole milk

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

For the Tres Leches topping:

1 14oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1 12oz. can evaporated milk

1/4 cup whole milk

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a Bundt pan with baking spray and set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and Kosher salt. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer (or a stand mixer) on medium speed beat the butter and sugar together on medium speed until it is light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Add the eggs, one at a time, to the butter mixture, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract.

With the mixer on low speed add the flour mixture to the butter mixture in three parts alternating with the milk.

Transfer the batter to the prepared Bundt pan and bake in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted come out clean.

Cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes before inverting onto a serving dish. While the cake is still warm poke holes into it using a fork or a skewer. Make sure to poke the holes all the way thru the cake.

In a small bowl whisk together the condensed, evaporated and whole milk until well combined. Pour about 3/4 of the mixture over the cake. Make sure you pace pouring the milk mixture over the cake to give it time to be absorbed by the cake. Once the cake has absorbed the milk mixture cover it and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours. Reserve the remaining milk mixture to drizzle over slices of the cake.

Recipe from A Classic Twist

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