Archive | January, 2012

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake

27 Jan

This was the first cheesecake I’ve ever made.

I don’t count cheesecake bars, or cheesecake brownies, or whatever. I mean the real deal.
And it was great! Not hard at all, I’m pretty stoked!

I took the recipe from SugarPlum, but changed it a bit. I used lemon in the cheesecake batter, rather than making a lemon curd to swirl into it. I would have rather used the lemon curd, but alas I didn’t have the ingredients ūüė¶ .

Raspberry love

If anything, I found that the cake wasn’t deep enough. Does that make sense? I felt that my slices could have been taller and more handsome. Maybe i’ll increase the amount of batter by a little next time. Hm….

Lemon Raspberry Cheesecake 

 

Crust

  • 1/2 cup gingersnap cookies, crushed into crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted (then slightly cooled) butter
Filling
  • 2 1/2 x 8 oz cheesecake packages
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 6 egg yolks
  • juice of one lemon
Rasbperry Sauce
  • 2 1/2 pints raspberries (fresh)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
Directions:
Preheat oven to 320 degrees F.

For crust, mix butter and gingersnap crumbs together, and press into the bottom of a springfoam pan. Bake for 12 minutes, then set aside and cool for 15 minutes.

Hey good lookin'!

Beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in vanilla and egg yolks, one at a time. Add Lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Pour cheesecake batter into cooled crust. Cook in oven for 1 hour fifteen (check on yours at an hour and then every 5 minutes from there, just in case yours in ready early). Let cool for half an hour in the oven, then on a countertop for an hour. Finally, cool cheesecake for 3 hours in the fridge or overnight.

When cheesecake is ready to serve, make raspberry sauce. Blend berries together and strain juice from seeds and skin. Place juice in a small pot and set stovetop to high. Stir consistently. When raspberries are bubbling, add in vanilla, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Keep stirring until raspberry is reduced to a syrup. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour on top of cheesecake and garnish with raspberries.

Voila

Christmas plates still...damn

 

Happy baking!

xox

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cheesecake Bars

27 Jan

Hello hello hello.

I think it is mandatory to always bake when ya got company over. I feel obliged to. Almost like a tea party date, except it’s a surprise. No one has tea parties anymore…

I’ve been going through a big cheesecake phase these days. Some good stuff has been happening! These were easy and pretty good. Next time I would add peanut butter in the cheesecake batter to intensify the flavour. If you prefer light and delicate tasting cheesecake, these are for you.

I’m also really into gingersnap cookie crumb crusts. Such a perfect flavour combo and I’ve heard good feedback on it. Make these for your friends when they come over and have a surprise tea party. That’s what friends do for friends.

little bites o' love

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Chip Cheesecake Bars

Crust

  • 1/2 cup crushed gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup melted (then cooked slightly) butter
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp (or more to your taste) flour
Filling
  • 2 x 8 oz cream cheese packages
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt (I used honey flavoured)
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter chips
Glaze
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil.
Mix crust ingredients together, and press into bottom of pan on top of foil. Use a spoon to help. Bake in oven for 12 minutes. Remove and cool for 15 minutes.

Tea party time!

Meanwhile, beat together cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and yogurt. Add in cinnamon, chocolate, and peanut butter chips until all combined. When crust is cooled, pour in cheesecake batter and bake for 35-40 minutes. When finished, remove and let cool for an hour. Then cool in fridge for 3 hours or longer.

when cheesecake is cooled, heat up chocolate in microwave and spread evenly over cheesecake. slice into bars and stuff yo face.

Have a phenomenal weekend!

xox

 

Banana Bran Muffins with Glaze

20 Jan

Bran gets a bad rep.

For being such a super food, people usually look at bran and say, “Ha! Only old people eat that!” (With absolutely no offense to old people. They are the smart ones for eating the stuff in the first place. Respect your elders, yo. They are wise.)

These muffins are really really good. Yes they have bran. Yes you can taste it. And if that bugs you, you should try and learn to love it. Especially when the bran muffin has banana and is topped with a sweet, honey glaze.

Butter chillin' in the background

Banana Bran Muffins with Glaze

Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat bran
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
Honey Sugar Glaze
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tsp milk (more or less as you need it)
Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a muffin tin.Mix together flour, bran, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Bran-love

Beat butter, brown sugar, bananas and milk together. Add in vanilla and eggs and beat until combined. Incorporate dry ingredients. Pour batter into muffin compartments.

Bake for  20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with few moist crumbs (not dry though!). Cool muffins in tin for 5 minutes, and then on wire rack.

For glaze, beat together powdered sugar, milk, honey, and vanilla until combined. Pour over muffins when they are cooled.

Enjoy!

xox

Chocolate-Puddle Peanut Butter Cups

20 Jan

HI THERE!

So I have a lot of posts to put up; hopefully I can get it all done tonight. A random bunch of recipes but they are all so good. This will be the first of the lot.

If you are in Vancouver right this moment, you can probably agree with me that the weather outside is AWFUL! It is snow and then rain, and then snow, and then rain, and then SLUSH puddles form, and I have to try and run and jump over them, and I usually don’t succeed. ūüė•

Puddles O' Love ‚̧

I made these a while ago, and have been meaning to put them up. They are pretty rich and decadent, and though they look small, are actually HUGE. Think about it, a hollowed out peanut butter cookie-muffin, full of chocolate fudgey goodness. Damn. Also, the name I gave them is deceiving. These are the reverse of a peanut butter cup, where the chocolate is on the insider and peanut butter on the outside. INSANE I know.
Chocolate-Puddle Peanut Butter Cups

Peanut Butter Cup 

  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Chocolate Filling
  • ¬†1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Directions:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a mini-muffin tin.
Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Cream butter, Peanut butter, and sugars together. Mix in egg and vanilla, and then flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Roll batter into 1 inch-sized balls and place in muffin compartments.

Cute!

Bake 12-14 minutes. Remove form oven and indent wells into each puffed ball. Cool in pan for 5 minutes.
Mix sweetened condensed milk, chocolate, and vanilla together in a pot, placed over a pot of simmering water (or double boiler). Mix continuously, and when all contents and thoroughly combined, remove from heat.
Spoon small dollops of chocolate into peanut butter cups. Cool on wire rack, then place in refrigerator for a harder chocolate if you like!If you want to top the chocolate with pecan halves, coconut, or other toppings, go for it. Make them fancy.

Happy baking!

xox

Lemon Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Buns

14 Jan

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

I had the most uneventful Saturday. slept in, made these puppies, attempted to do homework, and fell asleep multiple times while trying to read Hobbes’¬†Leviathan. For the record, that guy was crazy. Angry, pessimistic, and just downright sad. Rough life.

These were so delightful and bright-tasting this morning! The lemon flavour really came through, and the cream cheese kept it just savoury enough to keep flavours balanced. The buns had a soft, chewy texture, and that distinct yeast aroma. Yum.

Lemon glaze for a sunny morning.

There is something about the process of making cinnamon buns that I just love. Or maybe it’s just working with yeast. I want to try making more complicated breads, using starters. If anyone knows of any good recipes let me know! I have been checking out some sourdough recipes….

Lemon Cream Cheese Glazed Cinnamon Buns

Buns

  • 1 tbsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Filling
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
Glaze
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tbsp milk (or as much as you like for consistency)
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • juice of half a lemon
Instructions:
Mix yeast, 1/4 cup milk, and 1/3 cup sugar together and let rise for 5 minutes until bubbly. Then add in rest of milk, butter, eggs, zest, and salt. Beat until thoroughly combined. Slowly add in flour until a large dough ball forms. Place dough ball in a greased bowl and cover. Let rise in a warm area (preheated then turned off oven) for an hour or until doubled in size.Punch down dough and roll out on a floured surface, in a large rectangle (the dimensions don’t really matter, unless you are specific about the size of your rolls). ¬†Spread 1/4 cup of butter over dough, then sprinkle cinnamon and sugar over top. Rolly up length-wise and cut into 3 inch pieces. Arrange in a greased dish so as all buns are touching. Let rise for 20 minutes.Preheat oven to 375 degrees and bake rolls for 30-35 minutes (watch that they don’t burn!). Removes and let cool in dish.For icing: beat cream cheese, milk, sugar, lemon, and vanilla together until smooth and creamy. Pour over buns.

Serve warm, gooey and oozing.

Daaammmmmnnnnnnnn…….

Feast my friends, Feast!

The snow up at Whistler is ridiculous. If anyone in Vancouver is going up tomorrow, wanna give me a ride?? Please?? I’ll give you one of these!!

xox

Chocolate Peanut Butter-Swirl Banana Bread

12 Jan

I love peanut butter. I have to eat it every day it’s that good. I even go so far as to put it in my oatmeal, smoothies, topped on pancakes, and in almost all my baking if a can. ¬†The other night I met a girl with the exact same birthday as me, and she confessed her love of peanut-butter-oatmeal.¬†Separated at birth or what?

I even order my peanut butter online. Yes. Crazy, I know. My online shopping consists of different flavours of nut butter, which for some reason are only made and sold in the US. Come on Canada, get your ass in gear! I want to buy chocolate, butter toffee, and coconut peanut butters at my grocery store.

The good stuff

I buy most of my nut butters from Naturally Nutty. The company was made by vegan momma Katie who wanted to feed her family a healthier version of the commercially made peanut butter sold almost everywhere. Searching for the same thing online, I came across Katie’s company site and fell in love. Her nut butters have a natural taste to them, and contain hemp and flax seeds for a little extra oomph. You must try some of her varieties! She even has non nut butter spreads.

After ordering a million jars of peanut butter, and panicking at what to do with them all, proceed to make this banana bread.¬†I love this swirly bread. Even before you sink your teeth in to it, it’s just beautiful to look at. Super easy to do, too! I snagged the idea from SugarPlum (what a surprise). That girl knows her stuff. Seriously. If you have never seen her blog, I suggest you take a little trip on over to her site and proceed with gawking at everything she makes.

I’m so happy to have roommates who will just eat anything I make. It ensure that I don’t just sit there and eat the whole thing. I also think eating together is the best way to bond. To LOVE experiencing yummy food together, and to be able to talk about it for hours- that’s when you know your friends are keepers. True story.

Chocolate Peanut Butter-Swirl Banana Bread

  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon bakind powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed (make sure they are nice and spotty!)
  • 3/4 cup Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk  flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a large mixing bowl, using a mixer, beat together bananas, peanut butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until creamy.  Beat in eggs, vanilla, oil, and milk. Slowly beat in flour mixture and then chocolate chips. Once combined, pour half the batter into another bowl, and beat in cocoa powder.

Spoon portions of each batter into pan. Try not to mix them into one ugly colour! You can swirl with a knife if feeling fancy.

Bake for 60-65 minutes or until bread pulls away from pan, is a deep golden brown, and a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour; run a knife around outer edges and invert onto wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

I then thawed left over peanut butter icing that I had froze. Damn…….

Everything is better with dribbly frosting. Especially peanut butter frosting.

Have a fantabulous day!!!!

xox

Chocolate Peanut Butter Espresso Cake

6 Jan

Hello Vancouver! I’m so happy to be back. Everyone everyone seems refreshed from the break, school work is still slack, and now is the time to ski and party as much as possible. I am trying to get back into my old (healthy) routine again, by eating healthier and staying organized. I have a hard semester coming up and I want to be as prepared and healthy for it as possible. I am also pretty curious and excited for new classes, though I know that this feeling will only last for a week or so.

Last night was the Ski and Board Clubs “Welcome Back” party at the Bourbon. I have to say, I am not a country girl, and never will be, but this place was pretty fun. I think I enjoyed it because there was a good crowd, but I just cant stand that whole honky-tonk, cowboy vibe. Weird considering I’m from Calgary…

Fudgy peanut butter icing. Ideal for tipsy crowds

To fuel up before going out, I made this Chocolate, Peanut Butter Espresso cake. I was really happy how moist the cake turned out, and loved the fudgy texture. I am not a big fan of those light, airy cakes that taste like you are eating nothing.

This cake is easy to make. I didn’t have two cake pans so I just used one big casserole dish. I adapted it from Megabite, and hers looked beautiful.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Espresso Cake

Cake

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 stick (8 T) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup espresso
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate flavoured peanut butter (or regular)
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Frosting

  • 2 sticks (16 T) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups confectioners‚Äô sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. good-quality unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup chocolate flavoured peanut butter (or regular peanut butter)
Directions:
 
Preheat your oven to 350¬į. Butter two 8 inch round cake pans ¬†and line bottoms with aluminum foil. Butter aluminum.
In a small bowl, whisk cocoa powder, flour, sugars, baking powder and baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat melted butter, espresso shot, and hot water. Slowly add eggs, then vanilla, and finally peanut butter. Pour dry mix slowly into wet, beating continuously.
When mixture is thoroughly incorporated, pour into cake pans. Bake for 35 minutes until skewer comes out just clean. Let cool in pan, then remove cake and cool on wire rack. When cooled completely, add frosting.
 For frosting, beat softened butter, sugar, and vanilla. Slowly add melted chocolate, and finally peanut butter. Cool is freezer for 15-20 minutes, then spread evenly over cake.Enjoy!

xox