Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

The temperatures may not feel like it, but today, Labor Day, marks the end of the summer (albeit unofficially) for many. After the heat and humidity we’ve had this summer I say bring on Fall and the lower temperatures. The trees in my yard have been suffering from what I have coined “summer foliage.” The leaves are turning brown and falling due to a combination of a lack of rain and the heat. How can so many people really think that climate change doesn’t exist? Anyhoo… If you are looking to hold on to summer a bit longer and all the cold treats that come with it, then whip up a batch of these super simple Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches to enjoy on those days that are still unbearably warm.

While you could use your favorite brownie recipe to make these, I opted to use a box mix. Ideally you would like two 9-inch square pans to make these so that after you prep your brownie batter you can divide it amongst the two pans to bake. But, if you only have 1, after you prepare your batter divide it in half and bake the first half and let it cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing it to bake the other half. Either way, allow the brownie layers to cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Once the brownie layers had cooled, I lined one of the 9-inch square pans with plastic wrap leaving an overhang on all sides. I placed one of the brownie layers in the pan with the top side facing down and then spread ice cream over it in an even layer and then topped it with the other brownie layer, top side facing up. I covered it with plastic wrap and placed it in the freezer overnight. Truthfully, you only need to freeze it for a minimum of two hours.

The next day I inverted it onto a cutting board, removed the plastic wrap and sliced it into 9 brownie ice cream sandwiches with a serrated knife. To make slicing it easier, I ran the knife under hot water prior to slicing. Once they were sliced, I had to work fast as the ice cream was starting to melt a little. I decided to leave three of them as is, topped three of them with chocolate syrup and chopped walnuts and the last three I coated with sprinkles around the sides. I placed them on a baking sheet and put them back in the freezer for about 20 minutes so they could firm up.

And finally, I wrapped each in plastic wrap to store in my freezer to enjoy for the warmer days that I am sure will still come!

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients:

1 18 to 18.75 oz box brownie mix

1 qt. vanilla ice cream (or any flavor of ice cream, gelato or sorbet you like)

Chocolate Syrup, optional for decorating

Chopped Walnuts, optional for decorating

Rainbow Sprinkles, optional for decorating

Directions:

Preheat the oven to the temperature on your brownie mix.

Prepare the brownie batter per the directions on the box and divide in half. Bake in two 9-inch square pans or bake one half and then the other. If using only one pan, let the first brownie layer cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely and then bake the other half.  If using two pans, allow the brownie layers to cool completely in the pans before removing. Bake for 16 to 18 minutes, or until the edges are set and a tester inserted in the center comes out with crumbs.

Line a 9-inch square pan with plastic wrap, leaving an overhang on all sides. Place one of the brownie layers in the pan with the top side facing down. Spread the ice cream over the brownie and then top with the other brownie layer with the top side facing up. Gently press down the top brownie layer. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 2 hours.

Invert onto a large cutting board and remove the plastic wrap. Use a serrated knife to cut into 9 ice cream sandwiches. To make slicing easier, run the knife under hot water.

If decorating…

To top the brownies with walnuts, spread a teaspoon or two of the chocolate syrup on the top of the brownies and then sprinkle with some of the chopped walnuts, pressing them down lightly to adhere.

To add sprinkles to the sides, pour some sprinkles onto a plate and then press each side of the ice cream sandwich into the sprinkles.

Once the brownie ice cream sandwiches have been decorated (or just sliced if you are not decorating) place them on a baking sheet and back in the freezer for 15-20 minutes so they can set. Remove from the freezer and wrap each in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until ready to enjoy!

Peach Mango Pie

Summer is a great time to make pies with all kinds of fruit being in season. Although, if you prefer to enjoy your fruit as a snack and want to ensure that you are using the ripest fruit possible there’s nothing wrong with using frozen. That’s just what I did for this Peach Mango Pie. I happened to have frozen peaches (leftover from another recipe) and mangoes (I was planning on making smoothies) in my freezer so I decided to put them to good use.

While you can bake with frozen fruit, I opted to thaw out the peaches and mangoes beforehand. Once they were defrosted, I stirred together flour, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and then added in the peaches and mangoes. I gently folded everything together. I always opt to use refrigerated pie crust, it’s a great short-cut and foolproof. After rolling out 1 of the pie crust and extra inch or two I pressed it into a 9-inch pie plate and filled it with the peach mango filled and then drizzled it with fresh lime juice.

I then decided to get a little fancy and cut the other pie crusts into strips to make a lattice design. I used to be a bit intimated by making a lattice pie but after making a few of them I have the pattern down pat.  Finally, I brushed the top of the pie with an egg white wash, sprinkled turbinado sugar over it and placed it on a baking sheet to bake in a 375 F preheated oven. 

Once it cooled a bit it was time to slice into it. The peached and mangoes were a wonderful complement to each other and that squeeze of lime juice over the filling really brightened the flavors of the fruit.

Peach Mango Pie

Ingredients:

1 box refrigerated pie crusts (2 count)*

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups thinly sliced peeled peaches, fresh or frozen**

3 cups, peeled & sliced mangoes, fresh or frozen**

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

1 egg white

1 tablespoon water

Coarse sugar

*You can also make your crust from scratch

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375F. Whether you are using a store bought or homemade pie crust roll out one of the crusts into a 12-inch circle and then place in a 9-inch pie dish. Set aside.

If using frozen fruit, thaw the fruit and then drain. You can thaw the fruit in a colander in the sink to make it easier to drain.

In a large bowl whisk together the sugar, flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Add in the frost and toss to coat with the flour mixture. Transfer the mixture to the pie dish and drizzle with the lime juice.

Roll the other pie crust into a 12-inch circle as well and place on top of the filling. Cut slits into the top crust and then trim and crimp edges of the pie. Whisk together the egg white and water and then brush over pie. Sprinkle with the coarse sugar.

Place the pie on a baking and bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes. If the edges of the pie begin to brown too quickly cover with foil for the last 20 to 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens

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

Peach Crisp

When I saw this recipe in the most recent issue of Food Network Magazine I knew I wanted to try it before peaches where nowhere to be found at my local supermarket. Truth be told though, I’ve had more bad peaches this summer than good ones. What’s up with that? I found that while I brought them home from the supermarket rock hard so I could eat them over the course of a week, within a few days the skin was wrinkling on some of them and others were completely rotten. To make sure the peaches I used for this Peach Crisp were good I opted to buy tree ripe peaches that were quite enormous but thankfully perfectly ripe (hence the name) without being overly sweet.

To start I made the crisp topping by mixing together old-fashioned oats, almond flour, light brown sugar and salt in a bowl. I then added in melted butter and stirred everything together with a fork until the mixture began to form clumps. Now, I used almond flour, as that is what the recipe called for and I had some because I want to try my hand at making macarons, but, you easily swap the almond flour out for all-purpose flour. I placed this in the freezer as I worked on the peach portion of the dessert.

I sliced the peaches in half and then sliced each of the halves into halves (basically I quartered the peach) and then sliced each piece into thirds. In the end, each peach should give you 12 slices. The peaches I used were so large that I probably could have gotten away with just using 3.

I transferred the slices to a large bowl and added in brown sugar, flour, orange juice, vanilla extract and nutmeg. The original recipe called for lemon juice, brandy (optional) and orange zest. I had already decided I wasn’t going to use orange zest in the recipe. Truthfully, I didn’t feel like buying an orange for a teaspoon of zest, but, I ended up completely forgetting to get a lemon when I went food shopping. And while I did have brandy on hand, it was apple flavored and I just didn’t think the flavors would go well together. Thankfully though I did have orange juice which is a good substitute for lemon juice and gave me some of the orange flavor the zest would have. I decided to use 3 tablespoons of the orange juice since the original recipe call for 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of brandy and since I had so many peach slices I figured the extra liquid wouldn’t hurt.

Once the peaches and other ingredients were mixed together well – I made sure that the peaches were coated by the mixture – I transferred them to my dish along with any juices that remained.

I then topped the peaches with chopped pecans and the crisp topping. I used my hands to break up the slightly frozen topping into small pieces that I scattered on top of the peaches.  

After baking it in a 350 F preheated oven for about an hour I let it cool on a wire rack. Once cooled I covered it with aluminum foil and refrigerated it. To enjoy, I heated it up a spoonful or two and topped it with vanilla ice cream.

Peach Crisp

Ingredients:

Crisp Topping:

1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

1/2 cup almond flour*

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Peach Filling:

4 large peaches or 5 medium peaches (about 2.5 pounds)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons orange juice**

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped pecans***

* Could use all-purpose flour

** Original recipe called for 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon brandy (optional) and 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

*** Could use walnuts instead

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Make the crisp topping: In a medium bowl whisk together the oats, flour, sugar and Kosher salt. Pour in the melted butter and use a fork to stir everything together. Once the mixture begins to clump place in the freezer while working on the peach filling.

For the peach filling: Cut each peach in half and remove the pit. Cut each half in half and then slice each half into thirds. Place the peach slices in a large bowl and add in the sugar, flour, orange juice, vanilla and ground nutmeg. Give everything a few good stirs to make sure each peach slice is evenly coated.

Transfer the peaches to a 9-inch pie dish. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top.

Remove the crisp topping from the freezer and using your hands break the topping into small pieces and scatter on top of the peaches in an even layer.

Bake in the preheated oven for an hour. Until the crisp topping is lightly browned and you can easily slice into one of the peach slices.

Remove from the oven and enjoy right out of the oven or place on a cooling rack to cool. If you are planning on refrigerating it for later, cool to room temperature and cover with aluminum foil to refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Serve on its own or enjoy with ice cream!

Recipe from Vallery Lomas

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

No bake cheesecakes can either be a hit or a total miss. It all depends on whether the filling firms up enough while refrigerated. Unfortunately, they don’t sometimes and instead turn into a total mess when slicing into them. It’s happened to me! But since I am not one to give up, I am always willing try something again, just not the same recipe if it failed the first time, I decided to try my hands at a no bake cheesecake again. And I’m happy to say this recipe I tried for a No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake was a winner in all regards. The strawberry flavor was spot on, the texture was perfect and the crust was a combination of pretzels and graham crackers.

First up, I made the crust. In the bowl of my food processor I processed mini pretzels and graham crackers into crumbs. I then transferred the mixture to a medium bowl and stirred in sugar and melted butter. Once it was well incorporated I pressed the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. You could opt to use a 9-inch baking dish instead. I then baked the crust in a 350 F preheated oven for 15 minutes. And then placed it on a wire rack to cool completely.  

While the crust was in the oven and then cooling I prepped the strawberry puree. In the bowl of my food processor I added in 1 1/2 pounds of strawberries that I rinsed, hulled and sliced in half. Quick tip, I processed the pretzels and graham crackers first so I could give my bowl a quick rinse before using it for the strawberries.

I processed them for about a minute or so to turn the strawberries into a puree.

Next, I transferred the puree to a medium saucepan and simmered it on medium-low heat until it was reduced to about a 1/2 cup. I initially started this in a small saucepan, but, once it started to simmer I was scared that it was going to turn into a complete mess on my stovetop so I transferred it to a larger saucepan. This step took the longest, about a half hour. At one point, I thought I had reduced the mixture enough but when I transferred it to a measuring cup I had about 3/4 of a cup so I returned it to the saucepan for a few more minutes and it was finally reduced to a 1/2 cup. I then let it cool to room temperature.

Once the crust and puree was cooled it was time to make the filling. In a medium bowl I beat heavy cream using a hand mixer on medium-high speed until stiff peaks formed. In a large bowl I beat room temperature cream cheese on medium speed until it was smooth and creamy. I then added in the strawberry puree, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and beat it on medium-high speed until everything was well incorporated and the mixture was once again smooth and creamy.

Using a rubber spatula, I folded the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. I was careful to do this slowly as I didn’t want to deflate the air in the whipped cream. Once the two were mixed together I then spread the filling into the crust and smoothed the top with a small offset spatula. I then covered it tightly with a piece of plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and refrigerated it overnight.

The following day I sliced up strawberries and tossed them with sugar and whipped up another batch of whipped cream, this time sweetened with confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract, and topped the cheesecake. Since I opted to make mine in a springform pan I carefully removed the ring from it before spreading the strawberries in the center of the cheesecake and then piped dollops of whipped cream around the edge using a Wilton 1M tip. Since I was taking this cheesecake over to a friends’ house for dessert I carefully placed the ring back on the cake before covering again.

Final verdict… It was delicious. The strawberry flavor was spot on without being overly sweet. Also, the texture was perfect. Sometimes with cheesecakes they can be a bit dense, but the texture of this cheesecake was more smooth and fluffy. This was definitely attributed to gently folding the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

No Bake Strawberry Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

1 cup salted mini pretzels crumbs (from 1/2 cup whole mini pretzels)

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (6 full sheets of graham crackers)

3 tablespoons sugar

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the Filling:

1 1/2 lbs. fresh strawberries, rinsed and hulled

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 8oz. blocks of cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup confectioner’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Topping:

1 cup sliced strawberries

1 teaspoon sugar

1 cup heavy whupping cream

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

For the Crust:

Combine the ingredients for the crust in a medium bowl and mix together until well combined. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan or a 9-inch pie dish. Press into the bottom and up the sides of the pan/dish you use. Make sure it’s in an even layer. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-16 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes before filling.

For the Filling:

Puree the strawberries in a food processor or blender. You should have between 1 1/2 – 2 cups of puree. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds. Transfer the puree to a medium saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat until you are left with a 1/2 cup (or slightly more) of puree. This can take between 25-35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.

Using a hand mixer beat the whipped cream until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat the cream cheese using a hand mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add the cooled strawberry puree, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract beat on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Make sure the mixture is creamy and smooth, if there are any lumps in the mixture continue to beat until they incorporate into the mixture.

Using a rubber spatula fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Do this slowly as you don’t want to deflate the air from the whipped cream.

Spread the filling into the cooled crust and use a small offset spatula to smooth the top. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. The longer it stays in the refrigerator the better it will firm up.

For the Topping:

Before serving, prep the toppings and decorate. In a medium bowl stir the sliced strawberries with the sugar. Set aside. In another medium bowl combine the heavy whipping cream, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Transfer the whipped cream to a piping bag fitted with a large star tip (I used Wilton 1M). Remove the cheesecake from the fridge. If you made it in a springform pan, carefully remove the ring. Spread the strawberries in the center of the cheesecake and then pipe dollops of the whipped cream around the outer edge of the cheesecake. Serve or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction

A Quick, Easy & Creamy Cheesecake

Happy Memorial Day! The unofficial kickoff to the summer. Albeit, this summer will definitely look and feel different than summer’s past. One thing remains certain though, the days will be getting warmer. And with warmer days you’ll be wanting to spend less time in the kitchen but will probably still want something sweet that’s quick and easy to make, and this cheesecake is just that. Topped with some fresh berries that are soon to be in season it’s the perfect treat for the warmer days ahead.

Instead of using a springform pan and graham crackers crumbs for the crust you simple use a store-bought graham cracker crust. For the cheesecake filling beat room temperature cream cheese with sugar, vanilla extract and sour cream until well blended. Then add two room temperature eggs to the mixture and continue beating until all the ingredients are well combined and then pour the batter into the crust and bake for 40 – 45 minutes in a 325 F preheated oven.

After removing it from the oven I let it cool on a wire rack for an hour before refrigerating it overnight. I then topped it with sliced strawberries and blueberries. And to add a little extra sweetness and to ensure that the berries wouldn’t slide off the cheesecake I brushed them with an apricot glaze. To make the glaze I warmed apricot preserves with water in a small saucepan over medium heat until the preserves had melted. I then strained the mixture through a strainer.

And after letting the glaze cool for a few minutes I gently brushed it over the berries.

An as the title says, the cheesecake was super creamy and delicious!

 

Quick Easy & Creamy Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For The Cheesecake:

2 8oz. packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large eggs, at room temperature

9-inch graham cracker crust

For The Topping:

1 cup blueberries

1 cup strawberries, quartered

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1 tablespoon water

 

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

In a large bowl combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar and vanilla extract and beat with a hand mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs and continue beating until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake in the preheated oven for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the center is almost set.

Let cool on a wire rack for an hour and then refrigerate for at least three hours.

To make the glaze combine the apricot preserves and water in a small saucepan and whisk together over medium heat until the preserves have melted. Strain through a fine mesh sieve and let cool for a few minutes.

Arrange the sliced strawberries and blueberries on the chilled cheesecake and then brush the warm apricot glaze over them.

Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Lime Pudding Cups

The best desserts in the summer are of course no-bakes ones. No one wants to turn on their oven when it’s 90+ degrees outside, but, sometimes you can make a slight exception and light up your stove for a quick delicious treat like these Lime Pudding Cups. These came up on my Instagram feed a few weeks ago and I knew instantly that I wanted to make them – partially because it meant using up the last of some heavy whipping cream I had in my refrigerator that was expiring soon and more importantly because they reminded me of one of my favorite desserts… Key Lime Pie.

The prep and cooking time for these is less than an hour. That includes juicing and zesting the limes, cooking the pudding on the stove and then letting it cool before straining and dividing it. (Okay, maybe it’s more like less than 45 minutes). Once all that is done you place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours so the pudding can set. While they are in the refrigerator you whip up some homemade whipped cream to top them and refrigerate it until they are ready.

Once the pudding has set top each one with a dollop of whipped cream, crushed graham crackers (to crush, I placed 1 graham cracker in a Ziploc bag and then rolled with a rolling pin) and lime zest.

And as simple as that you have a refreshing summer dessert that’s sweet and citrusy!

Lime Pudding Cups

Ingredients:

2 cups heavy cream

2/3 cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon grated lime zest, plus more for topping

Pinch of kosher salt

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 4 medium-sized limes)

Crushed graham crackers, for topping

Sweetened whipped cream, for topping (use store-bought or follow recipe below to make your own)

 

Directions:

In a medium saucepan combine the heavy cream, sugar, lime zest and salt and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir the mixture often until it is reduced to 2 cups. About 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Let cool for 20 minutes and then strain the mixture through a sieve into a measuring cup, discarding the solids. Divide evenly (about 1/3 cup in each) among 6 ramekins. Place in the refrigerator until set, at least 2 hours.

To make the whipped cream: Combine 1 cup heavy cream, 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract in a chilled bowl. Beat on low speed until the mixture thickens and then beat on medium speed until soft peaks form.

Once the pudding is set, top each one with a dollop of whipped cream, some of the crushed graham cracker and lime zest.

Recipe from Martha Stewart

%d bloggers like this: