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Posts Tagged ‘Baking’

One of my co-workers had a birthday back in February when it was absolutely frigid.  We usually get ice cream cakes for office birthdays, but the weather just would not allow it.  Knowing we all loved cheesecake, I volunteered to make one for her birthday and I knew just the one I wanted to try. 

The sweet tartness of the berries along with the sweet tart of the cream cheese really put this cake over the top flavor wise.  We loved it!! I found the recipe at recipetips.com

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

2 pkgs. frozen strawberries, 10 oz. each (I still had frozen homegrown berries.)

1 tbsp. cornstarch

24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup lemon juice

3 eggs, room temperature

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Combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar. Press this mixture in the bottom of a spring form pan and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

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Blend the strawberries and cornstarch together until smooth.  Pour this into a saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Boil and stir for 2 minutes.  Allow the sauce to cool.

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Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with an electric mixer.  Gradually beat in the sweetened condensed milk.  Add the lemon juice and mix well.  Add eggs and beat on low until just combined.

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Pour half of the cream cheese mixture over the cooled crust and drop half of the strawberry sauce over the cream cheese.

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Carefully spoon remaining cream cheese mixture over the top of the strawberries and drop the remaining strawberry sauce on top of the second layer of cream cheese.  Use a knife to swirl the strawberry sauce through the cream cheese to make a pretty design on top.

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Bake at 300 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake.  Cool for an additional hour then refrigerate over night.

Remove the side of the pan.  Slice and eat up!  This cake keeps well in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days.

Strawberry Swirled Cheesecake

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Don’t you just love it when a new fabulous recipe just drops into your lap?  I know I sure do.  My co-worker, K, brought this to work a couple of months ago and I knew then and there that this would be my Easter dessert.  The meringue crust is so light and airy and the creamy filling is wonderful with the peaches. 

I do need to tell you that this is not one of those recipes that you can just decide to make on a whim and have it ready in 30 minutes.  Make sure and read the complete recipe because there is a time commitment to it, but it is so worth it.  I wish I had a piece of this right now.

Peaches On A Cloud 2

 

Below is the photo for the entire ingredient list, but I am breaking down the recipe into three steps.

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 For the crust:

6 egg whites, room temperature

1/2 tsp. cream of tartar

1/4 tsp. salt

1 3/4 cups granulated sugar

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg whites with the cream of tartar and salt until foamy.  It should look like this:

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Gradually add the granulated sugar, beating on high until stiff peaks form.  Tis will probably take at least 5 minutes.  Then it should look like this:
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Spread evenly into a 9×13” greased baking dish.  Bake at 275 degrees for 1 hour.  Turn off the oven after the hour but DO NOT open the door.  Allow the crust to cool in the oven for at least 12 hours.  Again, do not open that oven door! 

Before baking and cooling:

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After baking and cooling:

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For the filling:

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups whipping cream, whipped into stiff peaks

2 cups mini marshmallows

Beat the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.  Gently fold in the whipped cream and marshmallows. (Note: I forgot the mix in the marshmallows so I just sprinkled them on top.)  Chill for 4 hours.

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For the topping:

2 cans peach pie filling (21 oz. each)

Spread the pie filling over the cream cheese layer.  Chill and enjoy!  I know this is a long recipe but it is so delicious that it is worth every second.

Peaches On A Cloud 1

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I needed to bake a treat for someone as a thank you gift, but couldn’t make my mind up on what I wanted to fix.  You can never go wrong with one of Bakerella’s recipes, so I decided that these cookies were the perfect thing.  Oh, my goodness…these are little pillows of chocolate heaven. The recipient loved them and so did I!  Thank you, Bakerella!!!!

Chocolate Chip Comfort Cookies

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cocoa

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup butter, slightly softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

10 oz. semi sweet chocolate chips (The original recipe calls for dark, but I didn’t have any.)

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare 2 cookie sheets.  In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk and set aside.

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In another bowl, cream the butter, sugar and peanut butter until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and vanilla; stir until combined.

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Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined.  Add the chips.

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Roll the dough into about 1 1/4 inch balls.  I used a cookie scoop to measure the dough and then rolled the scoop into a ball.  Bake for 10 minutes and allow to cool before devouring!!  This recipe made about 36 cookies.

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Chocolate Chip Comfort Cookies 1

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I wanted to make something different for one of our Christmas dinners and I knew that several people there were cheesecake fans.  This was my first cheesecake so off to the internet I went in search for a recipe to try and found this one on Pinterest (of course) from Kraft. 

It ended up being a simple recipe and oh, so tasty.  C’s cousin’s little boy who is one and a half years old kept sneaking a bite while the adults were playing a game.  Needless to say, there wasn’t much left at the end of the night and that’s exactly how I like it.

Praline Cheesecake

66 Nilla wafers, divided

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

3 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

3 eggs

25 Kraft caramels

3 tbsp. milk

1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted

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Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Completely crush 50 of the Nilla wafers.  Mix the crushed cookies with 1/4 cup sugar and butter.  Press onto the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.  Stand the remaining wafers around the edge of the pan, pressing gently into the crust.

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Beat the cream cheese and remaining sugar with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add the sour cream and vanilla.  Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each until just blended.  Pour the batter over the crust.

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Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center is almost set.(I baked mine for 55 because my oven cooks a little slow and I was scared the center wasn’t done.)  Run a small knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake.  Cool before removing the outer ring of the pan.  Refrigerate for 4 hours.

When you are ready to serve the cake, microwave the caramels and milk on high for 1 minute or until caramels are completely melted.  It took about 1 1/2 minutes for mine.  Cool slightly then pour over the cheesecake and sprinkle with the toasted pecans.

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Praline Cheesecake

This finishes up my Sweet Treat month here at Picture Perfect Cooking, but I am sure there will be plenty more to come in the future.

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How’s that for a recipe name?  Let me tell you, it is dead on because these cookies are chocked full of chocolate!  Bless you heart, Pioneer Woman, for coming up with this recipe that went straight to this chocoholic’s heart. These are amazing!!!  I really need to stop with the exclamation points, but these deserve all of them and more.

Pioneer Woman Chocolate Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened

2 cups granulated sugar

2 whole eggs

3 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 cups white chocolate chips

(Get good quality white chocolate chips.  Kroger’s Private Selection chips are wonderful.)

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or a baking mat.  Using a mixer, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, scraping the sides once.

Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition.  Mix in vanilla.

Sift the dry ingredients together then slowly add to the butter mixture.  Gently blend in the chips.

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Using a cookie scoop, dollop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet.  Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until the cookies are done, but still soft and chewy.  Let cool before snarfing them all down!  (Insert Cookie Monster noises here.  Nom, Nom, Nom!) Makes approximately 36 cookies.

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Pioneer Woman Chocolate Chocolate White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Another month has flown right by and it is time for February’s dessert challenge hosted by The Lady Behind The Curtain.  This month’s ingredients are Coca Cola and cherries.  Hmmm..I had a little difficulty coming up with an idea, but this recipe hits the mark. I used one of my all-time favorite cake recipes and altered it to fit my needs.

The base of this recipe is the Coca Cola Fudge Cake that I wrote about back in 2011.  I left out the pecans and baked the cake in two 8 inch pans instead of a 9×13 inch dish.  This is a very dense fudgy cake and the glaze hardens just perfectly over the layers.

One little word of warning regarding the glaze:  Let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before pouring it over the cake or you will have a chocolate sauce river like I did.  I just kept spooning it over the cake until it started to set up, but some of the glaze was still lost off the cake plate. It was just a little bit sad.

Black Forest Coca Cola Cake Slice

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

3 sticks unsalted butter, divided

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

1 1/2 cup Coca-cola, divided

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 can cherry pie filling

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare two 8” baking pans.  Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.  Set aside.  In a saucepan over medium heat, melt 2 sticks of butter with 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1 cup Coca-cola and 1/2 cup buttermilk.  Cook until it boils.

Add the boiled mixture to the flour mixture and combine.  Then add eggs and vanilla extract.  Pour the batter into the baking pans and cook for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 10 minutes then remove and cool completely.

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In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the remaining 1 stick of butter with 1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/2 cup Coca-cola. Let this come to a boil and then remove from heat. Beat in the 4 cups of powdered sugar.  Let the glaze cool for about 10 minutes or until thickened but still pourable.

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Place the first layer on a cake plate, pour about 1/3 of the glaze onto the layer and then pour half of a can of cherry pie filling.  Try to keep the cherry filling from running over the edge of the layer.  Place the second layer on top and pour the remaining glaze over the cake.  You may need to spoon the glaze from the cake plate back on to the cake if it is still too warm and liquid-y.  Let the glaze set until firm and enjoy!

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Black Forest Coca Cola Cake

Black Forest Coca Cola Cake Slice

 


Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge

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It is sweet treat month here at Picture Perfect Cooking!  I tried so many new tasty treats over the Christmas holidays, I decided to make all of the February posts extra sweet.  Make these for your sweetie or yourself!

I found these little beauties on the Taste of Home website and I think they are so pretty with the crushed peppermint candies on top.

Peppermint Meltaways

For the cookies:

1 cup butter, softened

1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 tsp. peppermint extract

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup cornstarch

For the frosting:

2 tbsp. butter, softened

1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar

2 tbsp. 2% milk

1/4 tsp. peppermint extract

1/2 cup crushed peppermint candies

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For the cookies:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a baking sheet. Sift the flour and cornstarch together onto a paper plate and set aside. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioner’s sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Add extract.

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Gradually add the dry ingredients to the butter/sugar mixture and mix well.

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Shape the dough into 1 inch balls and place 2 inches apart on the baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned.  Move the cookies to wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

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For the frosting:

In a small bowl, beat the butter until fluffy.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and extract.  Beat until smooth.  Spread the frosting over the completely cooled cookies and sprinkle with crushed peppermints. Store in an airtight container.  This recipes makes about 3 1/2 dozen cookies.

Peppermint Meltaways

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