For those of you who purchased my calendar, here is the one I know you have been waiting for….the perfect cheesecake. Enjoy!!!
In a skillet over medium high heat, toast pecans until slightly golden, about 2-3 minutes. Place Oreo’s in a food processor and process until finely crumbled. Add toasted pecan pieces and process for a few seconds. Combine melted butter and Oreo mixture. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9” spring form pan. Bake in a preheated 325° oven for 7 minutes.
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup Bailey’s Coffee Liquor
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/4 cup flour
In the bowl of a stand mixer cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add Bailey’s and mix untiled blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add sour cream, vanilla and flour and mix until smooth.
2 oz. semi sweet chocolate, melted
Pour 1/2 of the cheesecake mixture into the prepared pan. Drizzle 1/2 of the melted chocolate over the cheesecake. Using a knife, swirl the chocolate over the top. Repeat with the remaining cheesecake mixture and melted chocolate.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 hour 20 minutes. Let cake cool in the oven for one hour with the door closed to prevent cracking. Refrigerate overnight…best made one or two days before serving.
What a great way to begin 2015, bananas and chocolate, perhaps a little Mimosa or a Bloody Mary to go along with this New Year’s Breakfast? This quick and easy dish is certainly to be a favorite amongst any household members.
Banana Chocolate French Toast
Yield: 4-6 Servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5-10 minutes
12 slices of your favorite bread
1¼ cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons hazelnut-chocolate spread (such as Nutella)
1 banana, sliced thinly
1-2 teaspoons Canola Oil
Powdered sugar, maple syrup & butter, for garnish, if desired
Combine milk and eggs in a shallow dish.
Top 6 slices of bread with one tablespoon chocolate spread; arrange banana slices on top of chocolate. Top sandwiches with remaining 6 bread slices.
Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Working with one sandwich at a time, place sandwich into milk mixture, turning gently to coat both sides. Place coated sandwiches into pan. Cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Buon Appetito and Happy New Year!
White Chocolate Covered Strawberry Ghoulish Ghosts
1 (16-ounce) package fresh strawberries
6 ounces vanilla bark coating
¼ cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
To melt chocolate bark:
Chop chocolate into small pieces. Place in a small glass or stainless steel bowl. Place bowl in a saucepan with 2 inches of water in it. Over medium high heat, stir chocolate until melted. Remove pan from stove.
Working rapidly, dip strawberries into chocolate covering ½ of the berries surface. Place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Immediately press chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze 5-10 minutes.
In a small microwavable bowl, add remaining chocolate chips. Heat chips in microwave until melted and smooth, about 10-15 seconds. Dip a toothpick into melted chocolate and draw a mouth on each ghost.
1 Package Fleishmann’s® Simply Homemade® Country White Bread Mix
1 cup 115° – 120° water
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon water
2 to 3 drops liquid green food coloring
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1 small pimento-stuffed green olive
2 whole cloves
1 (1-inch long) strip roasted red bell pepper
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly spray a cooking pan with pan spray.
Place dough onto a lightly floured surface. Shape bread into a 16-18 inch log. Pinch one end of the log to form a tail shape. Form the other end into a head shape. Transfer the log onto prepared baking sheet. Cure the log into an S-shape.
Whisk together the beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl to make an egg wash. Add 2-3 drops of green food coloring to egg wash. Brush the surface of the dough with the green egg wash. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese evenly over the dough.
Bake 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese has turned golden brown. Transfer the baked bread onto a wire rack to cool.
Cut the olives in half widthwise to form two eyes. Attach the eyes to the head of the snake with toothpicks. Use the whole cloves to make the snake’s nostrils. Cut the strip of pepper into a forked tongue. Place the snake on a serving platter or large cutting board. Position the tongue just under the head.
Use a serrated knife to cut the snake into slices; serve warm or at room temperature.
Spider Web Guacamole Dip
3 fresh avocado, halved, seeded and peeled
juice of 1 lime
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
½ onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 jalapeño, finely diced
3 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced, divided
1-2cups shredded lettuce
¼ cup chopped black olives
½ cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
½ cup sour cream
1 bag tortilla chips
In a medium mixing bowl, place the scooped avocado pulp and lime juice, toss to coat. Add the salt, pepper, and oil and using a potato masher, mash. Then, fold in the onions, garlic, 1 chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeños. If not using right away, add the seed of the avocado to help prevent browning of the guacamole.
In a large serving tray spread the edges with shredded lettuce, black olives, remaining 2 tomatoes, and Mexican cheese blend. Place guacamole in center of tray.
Place sour cream in a quart size ziplock bag. Cut the corner off. Squeeze sour cream on top of guacamole in several concentric circles. You can either use ziplock bag to pipe on the rest of the sour cream to form web or you can use a knife and run lines lightly through the sour cream circles to make the web shape. Place a creep spider on the web. Serve with tortilla chips for dipping.
Green Ghoul Punch
½ (12-ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 liter ginger ale
1 pint lime sherbet
gummy worms or gummy spiders, frozen
dry ice cubes, about 2 pounds
Pour the limeade concentrate and gingerly in a large, clear glass, punch bowl. Stir it gently to combine. Add lime sherbet, gummy worms and dry ice. Replace dry ice as smoke disappears.
¼ cup KARO® Corn Syrup
3-4 drops red food coloring
Combine above ingredients. Dip rim of cup into syrup, dripping syrup will resemble
Happy Halloween and Buon Appetite!
Once a week I have the opportunity to teach an hour long “spin” class at Lifetime Fitness. Our members are very loyal to attending our classes. As a little “perk” once and a while I will bring them a “treat” to eat after class is over. This past Saturday we celebrated a 2 hour special Valentine cycle (spin) class. As a little healthy and fruity (did I say delicious) treat I decided to make them filled strawberries. There are a few recipes for this on the internet, however I wanted to put my take on the original. What goes better with strawberries than chocolate (and of course some champagne, but I can’t bring that to class). Hope you enjoy my version!
1 quart fresh strawberries
1 package cream cheese, room temperature (you can also use fat free)
1/3 cup confectioners’ powder sugar
1-2 tablespoons Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur
Cut a very thin slice from the top of the strawberries and stand upright on the cut side. Make a criss-cross cut on the opposite side of the berry cutting down almost to the bottom. Gently with your fingertip, spread each strawberry apart to make “pedals”, or room for the filling.
Beat together the cream cheese, powder sugar and liqueur until smooth in a mixer or a food processor. Place filling into a piping bag with a star tip. Pipe filling into each strawberry and arrange on a serving platter.
Optional: Garnish with fresh mint, shaved chocolate, blueberries or powdered sugar.
Note: You can also use 8 ounces mascarpone cheese and different flavors of liqueur.
I also added “Chocolate Dipped Orange Segments” topped with sea salt….Enjoy!!!
With Valentines Day just around the corner, time to start thinking about some chocolate delicacies. One of my all time favorites is Chocolate Mousse….I guarantee this recipe is very easy and very quick…did I mention also very very yummy?????
Start out with a few basic ingredients….you can find the “flavorless gelatin” in the “jello” isle of your favorite grocery store.
Place mixing bowl and beaters in the freezer for at least 15 minutes. Add chocolate, butter, expresso (or coffee), and rum (or extract) to a double boiler pan (or a small metal bowl).
Stir until almost melted, its fine if you have a few chunks of chocolate. Remove from heat and set aside. Add 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin to ¼ cup of heavy cream. Let sit for 10 minutes. Heat by swirling the cup over a low gas flame or a candle.
You just want to heat this, do not boil it. Stir mixture into melted chocolate and set aside. Remove your chilled bowl and beaters from the freezer and add remaining heavy cream. Whip cream until soft peaks form when beaters are removed from cream.
Fold large dollop of cream into chocolate mixture. Continue adding cream until incorporated into the chocolate mixture.
Spoon mouse into chocolate tulip cups or mini fillo shells. Chill mousse for 1 hour. Garnish with additional cream, cinnamon sticks and or fresh mint.
2 cups whipping cream, divided
12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup expresso (or strong coffee)
2 tablespoons dark rum, or 1 tablespoon rum extract
4 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon flavorless granulated gelatin
1 package Athens Mini Fillo Shells or 12 Chocolate Tulip Cups
Chill metal mixing bowl and mixer beaters in freezer.
In top of a double boiler, combine chocolate chips, expresso, rum and butter over medium heat. Stir until almost melted, remove from heat. Let stand, whisking occasionally, until room temperature.
Pour 1/4 cup whipping cream into a metal measuring cup or small pan. Sprinkle in the gelatin. Let gelatin “bloom” in pan for about 10 minutes. Heat by swirling the measuring cup or pan over a low gas flame (or candle). Do not boil or gelatin will be broken. Stir gelatin mixture into cooled chocolate and set aside.
Remove chilled mixing bowl and beaters from freezer. Add remaining whipping cream (1 3/4 cups) and beat to medium peaks. Stir 1/4 of the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in remaining cream. Do not over mix the mousse, its fine if the chocolate is streaked with the cream.
Spoon mousse into chocolate tulip cups or mini fillo cup shells (cooked according to package directions). Chill for one hour, garnish with additional whipped cream, cinnamon sticks and or fresh mint, if desired.
Yield: 15 Fillo Shells or 12 Tulip Cups
I know at this time of the year I should really be posting a good old Irish recipe, but since Jen’s birthday was the week before St. Patty’s day, thought I would post her favorite “Triple Chocolate Cake” recipe….this is definitely a chocolate lovers decant cake, especially good with ice cream….yum…
1 package chocolate cake mix
1 package chocolate instant pudding mix
1 ¾ cups milk
1 package chocolate chunks
¼ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups sifted powdered sugar
¼ cup cream peanut butter
1 ½ tbsp. Milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 package instant chocolate mix
½ pint heavy cream
Combine cake mix, pudding mix, milk, and eggs in a large bowl and mix until well blended. Beat with an electric beater for about 2 minutes. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Pour batter into a well-greased Bundt pan or two layer cake pans. Bake at 350 for 50 – 55 minutes for Bundt pan or 25 – 30 minutes for 9” round pans. Do not over bake. Cool 15 minutes in pan; remove from pan and continue cooling on rack.
When cooled, beat filling ingredients together until creamy. Cut cake in half. Layer filling on top of cake and place the other half on top. Beat frosting until creamy. Frost cake and refrigerate or serve immediately.