Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Cheesecake!

It's been a long time since I blogged about baking.  I haven't done as much baking since my husband was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes.  But, my daughter needed a dessert for a Christmas party they were invited to. She had "pinned" a picture of a Pecan Pie Cheesecake to her Pinterest board that looked to-die-for.  So when I volunteered to bake a dessert for her, it was a no brainer as to what I was going to bake.  

This is the photo my daughter pinned to her board.  I did not take this photo.
But doesn't it look yummy!!

I altered the recipe for the cheesecake filling from the original recipe.  I've baked a lot of cheesecakes, and it just seemed like it had too much liquid in it.  

          Pecan Pie Cheesecake

1 ¾  cups vanilla wafer crumbs
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
⅓ cup butter, melted

Pecan Filling:
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup dark corn syrup
⅓ cup butter, melted
2 eggs
1 ½ cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake Filling: 
3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese (room temperature)
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine wafer crumbs and brown sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press into bottom and up sides of a 9″ springform pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Pecan Filling: 
Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8-10 minutes, stirring constantly. Pour into crust and set aside.

Cheesecake Filling: 
Turn oven temp up to 425°.  Beat cream cheese on medium speed until creamy.  Add brown sugar and vanilla - mix until fluffy.  Add eggs, one at a time, on low speed and mix just until incorporated.  Pour batter over pecan filling.  Bake for 10 minutes at 425°.  Reduce temp to 225° and continue baking until center is almost set.  It took mine 50 minutes.    

 I saved some of the gooey goodness from the filling to drizzle over some pecan halves for the garnish. 

Yeah, it was as good as it looks!

Yes, part of the deal when I told her I would bake her this wonderful looking cheesecake, was that she had to save me a small slice.  How would I know if I wanted to bake it again if I didn't know how it tasted.
I'll be baking this again for our family Christmas!! 

I probably won't make it back here to blog about any more desserts before Christmas, so I want to wish you all very blessed one!!   

Thursday, July 14, 2011


I love looking at the desserts on the front of those magazines in the check-out lanes, but I'm too tight to spend the money on them.  I would only buy it for that one recipe and then the rest would be tossed.  I don't read magazines, and I'm not one to sit and leaf through one as a way to relax.  SO, when I see a picture of a dessert that I would like to make, I make note of the name of the dessert and the magazine in which I saw it, then I go home and GOOGLE it.  (I know the magazine companies don't like to hear that, so please don't tell on me.)

I usually luck out and find what I'm looking for.  This cheesecake is near the top of the list of my personal favorites.  It has a chocolate layer, a coffee layer, and then it is covered in a chocolate glaze - YUMMY!!!   I saw it on the front of Taste of Home magazine.  I lucked out and found the recipe online when I got home from drooling over it in the check-out line.  
If you are a mocha lover you will have to give it a try!!  

This recipe called for using cream filled cookies for the crust.  I NEVER use cream filled cookies for a crust.  I did that once and that was enough.  The cream filling melted and oozed out of my spring-form pan and coated the bottom of my oven.  When I ran the self-cleaning cycle on my oven the smell was almost enough to asphyxiate everyone in the house!  And getting the cheesecake crust off of the spring-form pan bottom was nearly impossible.  So now I use chocolate graham crackers whenever a recipe calls for cream filled cookies.  

Here is a link to the original recipe - Layered Mocha Cheesecake.

(with my revisions)

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 5 Tbsp. melted butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. instant coffee granules
  • 1 1/2 tsp. instant coffee granules
  • 1 Tbsp. boiling water
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • (4) 8 oz. packages of cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips 
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • chocolate covered coffee beans (optional)
  1. Combine crumbs, sugar and butter; press onto the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the coffee granules, water and cinnamon; set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour until smooth.
  4. Add eggs one at a time; beat on low speed just until combined. 
  5. Stir in vanilla.
  6. Divide batter in half.
  7. Stir melted chocolate into one portion; pour over crust.
  8. Stir coffee mixture into the remaining batter.
  9. Spoon coffee mixture over chocolate layer.
  10. Bake at 325 for 45-50 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.  Watch carefully – everyone’s oven is a little different!!  
  11. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
  12. Refrigerate overnight.
  13. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate chips and butter; stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with coffee beans if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

 You can almost taste the mocha goodness, can't you?  

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

More Cupcakes!

Just a quick post to show you the cupcakes I baked for the 4th of July. 

I got the recipe for Cafe Mocha Cupcakes from My Baking Addiction.  Since there were going to be children at our cook-out, I thought I should give them an option other than the coffee flavor.  So I frosted half of the cupcakes with Peanut Butter Butter Cream.  After I made the decision to make peanut butter butter cream, I realized I didn't have very much peanut butter.  I used 1 stick of softened butter, 1/2 cup peanut butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, and a few tablespoons of milk.  It was yummy!!  

Friday, July 1, 2011

Mmmmm ~ Cheesecake!

I love to bake cheesecakes.  If you would ask me how to bake a good cheesecake, I would tell you three things:  1) Make sure your cream cheese is a room temperature.  2) Don't beat in your eggs, just mix in one at a time on low until blended into the batter.  If you over beat the eggs, too much air will incorporate into the batter and your cheesecake will puff up when baking and then fall while cooling.  This will cause a big ridge around your cheesecake.  3) Don't over bake. Remove your cheesecake when the center 3" is still jiggly.  If you over bake your cheesecake, it will crack.      

The thing about cheesecake is, you can turn almost anything into a cheesecake flavor.  I've done Snickers, Robin Egg (malted milk balls), black berries,  German Chocolate, Twix, Oreo - and the list goes on.  

I don't always remember to take pictures of my cheesecakes, but I have a few.  Today I'm going to share my German Chocolate cheesecake recipe with you.  I can't even remember the occasion I baked it for.  It may have been something to do with my husband, because he loves German Chocolate Cake.  I remember searching the net for recipes and taking a little of this one and a little of that one until I thought I had one that I would like.  Here is what I came up with.


For the crust:
  • 2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup cocoa
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted 
In a nine-inch spring form pan, mix the cracker crumbs and the melted butter.  Press the crumb mixture into a crust across the bottom and about one inch up the sides.  Bake the crust for 8 minutes at 425°.

For the filling:
  • 4 bars (4oz.) Hershey’s semisweet baking chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 eggs
In a microwave bowl, melt chocolate until smooth.  Set aside.  In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, and vanilla; beat with a mixer until smooth.  Add flour 1 tablespoon at a time, blending well after each addition.  Add eggs and melted chocolate; blend well.  Pour into crust.  Bake 10 minutes without opening oven door.  Reduce oven to 225° (250° if using a light colored springform pan) and continue baking 35 minutes or until center is set.  Remove from oven.  With knife loosen sides and cool completely.  Remove from pan.  Spread topping on top and refrigerate until firm.  Store uneaten portion covered, in refrigerator.

For the topping:
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
In small microwave-safe bowl, beat egg yolks. Stir in sugar, butter and whipping cream. Microwave on HIGH power 4 minutes, stirring every minute. Remove from microwave and stir in vanilla extract. Stir in coconut and pecans until well blended. Refrigerate until mixture is of spreading consistency. Spread on top of the cheesecake.  

I then melted some chocolate chips with a little butter and drizzled over the topping.  Here's the finish product! 

Try it!  You will be glad you did! 


Monday, June 20, 2011


Yesterday Bill's family came over for a cookout to celebrate Father's Day with him.  I made some delicious cupcakes from My Baking Addiction....Heath Bar Cupcakes

They are so good and very impressive looking!!  This recipe is a keeper!  Thanks to My Baking Addiction for Heath Bar Cupcakes! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Cheesecake Pops

Five years ago my best friend and her husband moved to Florida.  I didn't want to see her move, but they were moving to be near their son and daughter in-law, and they were anticipating grandchildren in the future.  At that time, I already had one grandchild, so I totally understood. We stay in touch through email, phone, and texts.  Their parents and siblings are still here, so they do come back home from time to time.  And, occasionally I get to visit her.

When I get to visit her we love to spend time on the beach.  On one of my visits we stopped at a sandwich shop to eat lunch before heading out to the beach.  I had my first Cuban sandwich that day - and it was good!  But what I remember most was in dessert cooler. Cheesecake on a stick.  I love to make desserts, so I was very intrigued by these scrumptious looking creations.  I had to ask how they were made.  The proprietor said one day she baked a cheesecake and had forgotten to put a crust in the pan.  I don't know why she didn't just cut up the cheesecake and eat it crust free, but she said she decided to make something out of it.  She took the cheesecake and put it in a bowl and mixed it up with a mixer.  Then she used a small scoop to make dollops of cheesecakes.  She froze them and then dipped them in chocolate or white chocolate.  Yummy!!  

Ever since that visit I have wanted to make cheesecake pops.  Recently my daughter asked me to make something for a Style Night she was having at the salon where she works.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make these yummy treats.

This is more of a technique than a recipe.  I baked a cheesecake without a crust.  Put it in my Kitchenaid and mixed it up.  I used a small cookie scoop and made dollops of cheesecake on top of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  I took a small measuring spoon and made an indent in the top of each one.  I then filled the indent with different fillings.  I used raspberry jam, toasted coconut, crushed Heath bars, and chocolate ganache.  I put lollipop sticks in each one and then placed them in the freezer for one hour.  I melted 1 cup of chocolate chips with 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil to dip them in (I did the same with white chocolate chips).  When the "cheesecake pops" were frozen I dipped them in the chocolate.   You want to make sure when you cover them in chocolate to have the chocolate all around and touching the stick.  It will help make sure the stick doesn't come out of the cheesecake.   And only take a few out of the freezer at a time to prevent them from thawing before you get a chance to dip them - you don't want the sticks to come out.  After dipping, I sprinkled a little more of the same filling that was in the pop on top.  For the ones that had the ganache in them, I just drizzled some more of the dipping chocolate on top after they set up.

They are awesome, and they look so impressive!  

Have fun and enjoy!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Carrot Cake - Yum!!

My husband loves cake.  I wouldn't say that carrot cake is his favorite, but he does love it.  I've tried several recipes and I thought I had found the one that I would keep and use forever.  That is, until we invited some friends over for a cookout and she offered to bring some carrot cake.  Agreeing to let her bring dessert was hard for me, since making dessert is one of my favorite things to do.  However, I am learning that I don't have to do everything.  And this is one time that I'm really glad I accepted her offer.   Her carrot cake was better than mine.  I really liked the texture better.  So, of course, I asked her for her recipe and she willingly gave it to me (Thanks, Jean!).  It had been given to her by her mother in-law.  There were only a couple of differences between her recipe and mine.  Her recipe didn't have any coconut (which I will continue to add because we like it that way), and instead of the 1 1/2 cups of oil that mine called for, her recipe called for 3/4 cup oil and 3/4 cup apple sauce. 

Last week I was asked if I would be willing to bake a carrot cake for a graduation party.  Without telling them I used this recipe instead of my old one.  I'm guessing no one will complain.


I would love to post a series of photos showing you the different steps and a picture of the ingredients, but that would require me to be much more organized that I am.  So I will post the recipe and and a picture of the finished product.  I'm sure you will be able to figure out the rest on your own.   

Carrot Cake

Beat well:
2 c white sugar
3/4 c canola oil
3/4 c applesauce

Sift together and add to above:
2 c flour
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt

4 eggs, one at a time and beat well after each
3 c grated carrots
1 20-oz can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c chopped walnuts
1 c flaked coconut

Divide the batter between (3) prepared 9" cake pans (I like using parchment paper on the bottoms so the cakes come out perfectly).  Bake at 325ยบ for 30 minutes - perform toothpick test!  Cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream together:

(2)  8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter

2 # powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla

If necessary add a tablespoon or two of milk to get frosting to the desired consistency for spreading. 

Frost between the layers and sides of the cake.  I like to sprinkle the top with more chopped walnuts.