Tag Archives: cheesecake

Monday Morning Mocha ‘n Chocolate Cheesecakes

  I have been productive lately. That means a lot of productibaking, which means wading through a really, really big pile of reading. Check.

I also have another photo-story for all of you. Did you see my last one for the very best chewy Biscoff blondies? I don’t have too much time these days to write, but I still want to share my stories with all of you.

I don’t drink coffee or mocha, but I love coffee-flavored anything. And since caffeine and productivity are the order of the day, these mocha ‘n chocolate cheesecakes were born–perfect for your Monday morning. Or Tuesday. Or every any day of the week, really.

I hope you all enjoy, pin, share, and love these quaint coffee banners!  These creamy mini cheesecake smell like you’re sitting in the middle of your favorite hipster cafe with a cuppa fresh brew–you won’t even know the difference.

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Which coffee saying describes you best?  (I’m definitely feeling the “productivity” one right now!)

OR What do you wake up to in the morning?

Ala

Don’t forget to pin/share/print/like! :)

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Monday Morning Mocha ‘n Chocolate Cheesecakes
Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes
Ingredients:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur, or espresso or strong brewed coffee)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons instant coffee granules, divided and finely crushed
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and white sugar until nice and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. In a separate small bowl, combine Kahlua and vanilla. Mix in 2 tablespoons coffee granules and stir until dissolved.
  4. Add Kahlua mixture, egg, and remaining finely-crushed coffee granules to cream cheese mixture. Beat in until completely smooth.
  5. Divide cheesecake batter equally between 12 tins.
  6. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips at 20-second intervals, stirring rapidly between each interval until chocolate is melted and smooth. (Be careful not to overheat your chocolate–you will want to remove the bowl from microwave and stir when the chocolate is just beginning to turn melty.) Pour a dollop of chocolate into each filled cheesecake tin and swirl using a toothpick.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 12-15 minutes, until just set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before transferring to fridge. Allow to chill in fridge for at least one hour–or you can let it sit overnight and wake up the next morning to a perfectly “brewed” Monday morn mocha cheesecake!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes, Cheesecakes

Creamy Dreamy Oreo Cheesecake Swirl Cookies

Hang on. Let’s talk about dreamy for a minute.

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The best thing about being a single gal is that you get to dream about dreamy all day long. That new Star Trek movie with Chris Pine? Saw it. That album cover with Hunter Hayes? Downloaded it. Google searches of a young Michael Vartan? Did it. Multiple times.

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But these cookies? Creamy AND dreamy. I mean, seriously. Because they’re filled with cream cheese, creamy Oreos, and–yes, you guessed it, more cream cheese. Cheesecake swirls, to be exact. And that incredibly soft, puffy height!

Sorry, Hunter babe.

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Granted, the only men I get to think about these days are William Wordsworth and occasionally the studly Lord Byron. As you can probably tell from the stack of critical texts that made it into my photoshoot today. I’ve basically read 5 critical texts in about a week, along with most of Don Juan.

Sexy. Yeahhh. (In Lord Byron’s case, I’m not kidding, either.)

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Fortunately, you don’t need to be amorously engaged to whirl up a batch of these cheesecake-swirled, unbelievably dreamy Oreo cookies. And that’s exactly what I did. Beating the eggs while reading about Byron’s sex-capades.

Sorry. It’s been a long last few days.

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Love the dreaminess? Print this!

Ala

Will Cook For Smiles
Creamy Dreamy Oreo Cheesecake Swirl Cookies
Slightly adapted from the lovely Sally’s Baking Addiction
Ingredients:
  • 10 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
  • 5 heaping tbsp full-fat cream cheese, softened, divided*
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar + 3 tbsp white sugar, divided
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract + 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, divided
  • 2 cups 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 15 crushed Oreos

* Note: Please make sure you use FULL-FAT cream cheese! As Sally points out, you’re subbing butter fats with cream cheese, so reduced-fat will not work in this recipe.

Directions:

  1. Cream together butter, 2 heaping tbsp cream cheese, and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Add flour and baking soda; mix until just incorporated. Fold in crushed Oreos,
  2. To make cheesecake swirl: In a small bowl, combine remaining 3 tbsp cream cheese, 3 tbsp white sugar, and 1/2 tsp vanilla. Gently drop blobs of remaining cream cheese swirl throughout batter and swirl in (make sure you don’t overmix, otherwise you won’t have any swirls left!).
  3. Chill dough in fridge for at least one hour (and up to 5 days) before baking.
  4. 30 minutes before baking, preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease cookie sheet and set aside.
  5. Roll cookies into balls about the size of a golf ball (you can make them bigger or smaller as preferred, but make sure you make them nice and tall so they get that lovely height!). Place on prepared cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Remove cookies from oven and allow to cool on baking sheet. The centers should appear soft, puffy, creamy, and dreamy :)

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Slutty Cheesecake Bars (from Bakers Royale)

Everybody loves watching a good action movie on the big screen. Everybody, except the two people sitting directly on either side of me, the unfortunate person in front of me whose chair gets pummeled every time a loud explosion occurs, and maybe anyone within shriek-audible range of me–which is basically everyone in the theater. I am not a dainty shrieker. I spent all of Star Trek: Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 doing weird spastic knee tucks in my seat and giving the front seat an extra-hard kick when its occupant turned around to glare at me.

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(Doesn’t this photo look like an adorable mini smiling wolf? Hehe, it makes me happy to look at it.)

That being said, I love watching action films in theater. If I have one weakness, though (aside from these “slutty cheesecake bars”–yes, we’ll get to these smexy bad boys and their seductive name in just a second), it’s an action film with plenty of eye candy. Speaking of which, have you seen Chris Pine in the new Star Trek movie? Never mind the fact that my Trekkie knowledge was limited to Spock’s horrendous haircut up until the first new movie in 2009. The hysterical prepubescent middle-school fan girl in me rares up every time young Captain Kirk flashes those sultry baby blues my way.

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As an added perk, he’s sweet-looking and smart. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s in English in 2002.

Oh heyyy. Guess who else has an English degree from the big Blue and Gold? Shall we discuss our shared literary interests over a cup of Free Trade tea and vegan pulled pork, Chris? Yes? Yes?

Slutty Cheesecake Bars gif

Or maybe over a panful of these?

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I was so excited when I first stumbled across these at Baker’s Royale. She is known for inventing some insane bar cookies, with zany names to boot (like Man Whore bars, which I still need to try–um, yes, please?) These are no exception. No, sireeee.

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Bake up a soft, chewy layer of perfect chocolate chip cookies (even from a package if you’re in a hurry–I used one of my favorite chewy CCC recipes). Layer up your Oreos–16 whole, creamy chocolatey onesthen smother them in a smooth and rich cheesecake filling. Chop up some more Oreos and Whoppers and sprinkle them over the whole shebang.

Bam. Slutty bar cookies for slutty perfectly innocuous, intelligent motives to meet Chris Pine.

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My coworkers and students thought I was insane when I brought a plate of these into the office last week. These reports can be neither confirmed nor denied. However, when I stepped back in half an hour later, these were completely gone. Completely.

These crazy-loaded treats (the only kinds I accept) make great conversation starters, apology/appeasement gifts, after-school sweet tooth snacks, and enticers of potential love interests. Slutty Cheesecake Bars 7--051913

I doubt even Chris Pine could resist them–but I’ll let you know after I test this theory out.

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Print this recipe and beam them up, Scotty!

Ala

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Slutty Cheesecake Bars (from Bakers Royale)
Yield: 1 8×8-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
For chocolate chip cookie base (original recipe from My Baking Addiction)–one of the chewiest, most satisfying CCC’s you’ll ever make!
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and both sugars until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  2. Set bowl aside and make cheesecake layer.
  3. If you’d like to make these as individual cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop prepared cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on hot cookie sheet for at least 3-5 minutes before removing to wire rack.

For cheesecake layer:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Cream together softened cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat in until completely smooth, but be sure not to overbeat.
  2. Set aside cheesecake layer as you assemble the slutty cheesecake bars.

To assemble slutty cheesecake bars:

Ingredients:

  • 21 Oreos (16 whole Oreos and 5 chopped Oreos, divided)
  • 5 oz. Whoppers, chopped

Directions for assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  2. Spread cookie dough evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking pan (or drop them by rounded tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet if making cookies). Your cookie dough layer should be about half an inch thick–if you have leftover dough, you can bake it immediately as individual cookies or simply toss it into the fridge for baking at a later time. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, until the dough is just cooked through and firm. Remove from oven.
  3. Layer 16 whole Oreos on baked cookie crust. Pour cheesecake filling evenly over Oreos. Sprinkle 5 chopped Oreos and 5 oz. chopped Whoppers over the cheesecake.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until cheesecake is pretty well set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan before cutting. Best served chilled from refrigerator (but make sure you store it in the fridge either way).
  5. Note: If you eat these warm straight out of the pan–as I did–you might be alarmed to find that the Whoppers are almost impossibly chewy! Don’t worry; if you wait like you’re (ahem) supposed to, they will regain their crunchy texture after chilling in the fridge. 

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates, Cheesecakes, Cookies

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

So sombody’s been listening to “I won’t say I’m in love” on repeat today!

I won’t say–er, who.

Happy Valentine’s/Galentine’s Day, folks!

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In honor of this lovely, commercial-saturated annual holiday, I am 1) sharing the recipe & photos for this gorgeous red velvet cheesecake bar recipe (in case you haven’t had enough red velvet to last you a bleeding lifetime this month! This is my only, I promise), and 2) sharing 10 things I will be doing to celebrate a day of love, single or otherwise.

But these bars really are the best. I actually had the honor of popping some virgin red-velvet cherries today, and if decorum had allowed, I’m sure said persons would have asked me out on a romantic date for tonight on the spot.

Alas, decorum stands, and Ala is still single. BUT. Here’s what I’m doing this week to enjoy, appreciate, and celebrate the wonders of being single in February this year!

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10. Watching Anastasia, the best animated film known to mankind featuring a sweet-hearted, slightly sarcastic singing love interest…while eating a melt-in-my-mouth scrumptious red velvet cheesecake brownie.

9. Sending V-day care packages to all my lovely friends and honorary valentines…containing red velvet cheesecake brownies, of course. Mwah!

8. Galentine’s Day picnic brunch under the sunny skies. And yes, there were red velvet cheesecake brownies. Are you seeing a pattern here?

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7. Scoping out the gym shamelessly on V-day night. Think about it: if they’re at the gym on Valentine’s night and working them rippling biceps, chances are that they’re single and ripped into the bargain. Who says romance can’t start on February the 14th? Eh?

6. Browsing lovely food blogs like Sally’s, where I first got the inspiration and recipe for these delicious brownies! I’ve loved everything you guys have posted leading up to this beautiful day, so feel free to link me up to your favorite posts and recipes!

5. Dropping by the farmer’s market! Picked up a sweet pack of strawberries–on discount, because my man (a.k.a. the vendor, with whom I’m on a first-name basis now!) tried some of these brownies. I’m serious.

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4. Dancing around my room singing “You Belong with Me” and Michael Buble’s “Haven’t Met You Yet” at the top of my lungs into a hairbrush, hoping all the while that this will happen to me. Again, February 14th. Chances are up, right??

3. Inflating an entire party pack’s worth of balloons and drawing silly faces on them, like this:

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Heartthrob J. Alfred B’lloon-frock says hi! He even wrote me a love song today.

2. Going to a Grease sing-along at the local theater tonight with my gal pals. SUMMER NIGHTS BABY. (Even though: BIG confession. I’ve never watched all of Grease in one sitting before. Shocker!! Bringing red velvet cheesecake brownies to make up for my lack in that department.)

And, finally….

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1. Wishing all of you the best Valentine’s Day you can have, whether you’re taken, single, or just a celebrator of life! Enjoy your day, folks!

(And whipping up a batch of these absolutely meltaway red velvet cheesecake bars wouldn’t hurt, either. Just saying.)

Ala

What are you doing to celebrate this season of love?

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies
Yield: 9×9-inch baking pan
From Sally’s Baking Addiction
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon red food coloring
  • 3/4 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan.
  2. Cream together melted butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Stir in vanilla; add cocoa powder and stir in until no clumps remain. Mix in food coloring and vinegar, then add eggs and mix in until batter is smooth. Finally, add flour and stir in until just incorporated. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. To make cheesecake batter: Beat cream cheese in a medium bowl until smooth. Mix in sugar and continue beating until mixture is smooth and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix in until no lumps remain.
  4. Drop cheesecake batter in large spoonfuls over the red velvet batter, taking care to leave some red spaces between each white dollop (this will make it easier to get a nice red contrast when you swirl in the cheesecake). Run a knife through the red and white batters to create a swirl pattern.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in brownie comes out clean. (I like to underbake mine just a tad and then set the bars out on top of the oven for a few minutes to finish cooking that way without drying them out too much.) Allow bars to cool completely before cutting into 25 squares. Serve and enjoy with your significant other, your friends, or just your lovely ol’ self!

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7 Days Until Christmas: Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies

Playful, chilly winds nip our ears and prick our exposed noses. Straggling students wrap scarves around their heads in the fashion of ancient, entombed Egyptians. And as the days dwindle into the single digits, you can almost hear the wintertime choirs burst out into song and chime…

Seven days until Christmas!

That, my friends, is the stocking that’s Santa’s going to fill with lots of nice goodies for a very nice girl this year (a.k.a. yours truly):

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies 5 (12.17.12)

Wait…seven days?! That’s exactly one week!

In honor of this momentous occasion, which occurs once every 364 1/4 days in a year–something it shares in common with Leprechaun’s Day, National Talk Like a Pirate Day, and your Auntie Mabel’s birthday–I’ve compiled a list of 7 holiday traditions that, for some reason or another, just never seemed to make the cut…

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies (12.17.12)

7. Naughty or Naughtier: Draw from a hat of “naughty” deeds and perform them in front of your friends! But it gets better–in order to win, your friends have to out-naughty your naughty deed. Do you have what it takes to get yourself in the top spot on Santa’s naughty list this year?

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies 3 (12.17.12)

6. Hot Space Heater: Want to turn up the heat this year on family & friends fun day? Play this season-appropriate version of “Hot Potato” with your closest enemies. All you need are some rockin’ Christmas tunes and a preheated warmer–toss the space heater around in a circle until it gets too hot to handle! For extra excitement, make sure to invite your in-laws and that second cousin, twice removed that you never really liked.

5. Turkey Deep-Frying Competition: Get your frying vats ready–this is one sizzling holiday game! See who can fry their turkies the fastest; the hotter the stove, the hotter the game! (In order to qualify, participants must fry their turkies whole, preferably in a crowded space where flying oil and raging tempers will be an issue.)

Zesty Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies 2 (12.17.12)

4. Santa Pause: Do nothing but stare at the fireplace for as long as you can stand. Good party game for up to 90 players, and particularly for those of 90+ years. Sleeping with eyes wide open permitted.

3. Rudolph the Red No’s-Brainer: It’s costume time! Get a nice rosy glow going on those wintry noses by roasting a whole tomato under the broiler. Then pass around the scorching-hot tomatoes and have every member of your party don one–you may find that your red nose will not be artificial for very long!

2. Elf’s Workshop: Gang up against the youngest (or smallest) member of your family and make them do all the holiday preparations around the house while the rest of you sip hot chocolate and sing “Deck the Halls” in cheery, obnoxious voices. Possible supplies include a giant nametag that reads “And to think I used to wish I could be Santa’s elf” for your house elf to wear, or giant marshmallows that you can command your elf to toast for you “in the name of Santa Claus.”

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1. S’mores Wars: Do you long to have a snowball fight but find it too cold to step outside? Never fear, marshmallows are here! Heat up marshmallows in the microwave for up to 5 seconds–they should expand like crazy Pillsbury dough-boys. Whip them out and chuck ‘em at whoever happens to pass by the kitchen–they’ll never know what hit them!

What is your number one favorite holiday game/activity? Leave your thoughts, and look out for some more Countdown to Christmas posts!

Ala

 
Orange Cheesecake Gingerbread Blondies
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • For gingerbread blondie:
  • 1/2 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • For orange cheesecake:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of 1/2 medium orange
  • Juice of 1/2 medium orange (or approximately 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, melted (for chocolate swirl)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl, cream together melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in one egg and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; stir until just combined. Fold in white chocolate chips. Pour into greased 9×9-inch baking pan. 
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and white sugar until fluffy. Beat in 1 egg, orange zest, and orange juice. Spread evenly over gingerbread blondie batter.
  3. Drop dollops of melted chocolate over cheesecake batter. Swirl in with tip of a knife.
  4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, until edges begin to turn slightly golden brown and cheesecake is fairly set. Allow to cool at room temperature before cutting into squares. Place in fridge and allow to firm up for at least an additional hour before removing from pan. Store leftover bars in fridge.
 

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LWOM: Extra Fudgy Cheesecake-Topped Brownies and Candied Almonds (A Tale of Two Recipes)

It was the best of climes, it was the worst of climes,

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Candied Almonds (12.8.12)

it was the age of scrubs, it was the age of dishwashers,

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies (12.8.12)

it was the epoch of eyeballing, it was the epoch of measuring-out-to-the-grain,

Candied Almonds 2 (12.8.12)

it was the season of nuts, it was the season of chocolate,

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 2 (12.8.12)

it was the spring of ovens, it was the winter of stovetops,

Candied Almonds 4 (12.8.12)

we had the whole tray of brownies and nuts before us, we had no trace of brownies and nuts before us,

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 3 (12.8.12)

we were all going to put on our brand spanking new stretchy pants, we were all going to fit into our size 1 jea–

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 4 (12.8.12)

nope, just stretchy pants–

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 7 (12.8.12)

–in short, the period was so masochistically like the kitchen of every avid cook, that nobody in their right mind could help licking the last drop of raw brownie batter from the bowl even though they are not supposed to, and then wistfully wishing they had not done so because they were supposed to be losing some chubs before the end of the world came on the 21st of December, 2012, and they wanted to look damn good when it did, for no real reason whatsoever other than that it would be a good note to end the world on, the neurotic crumb-sneaking baker and a poster of size 0 Jennifer Aniston hanging on the wall, in the most fanciful and unrealistic degree of comparison only.

Extra Fudgy Chunky Cheesecake-Topped Brownies 5 (12.8.12)

It was the age of brownies and nuts.

Candied Almonds 3 (12.8.12)

The holidays had come.

This post is part of the Lit, Wit, and an Oven Mitt (LWOM) series here at Wallflour Girl, where Ala takes a popular or classic literary character and uses him/her/it to tell a story about her recipes.  Ala is an English literature graduate student with a strong interest in children’s literature, Victorian lit, and everything in between, beyond, bubbly, or burgundy. Ala does not own the rights to any of these characters or original literary texts. This series is intended to offer you a glimpse into her world through our shared love for food. Please let Ala know what you think of these stories–she’d love to hear what you think!

The original text of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities:

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.

Extra Fudgy Cheesecake-Topped Brownies
Yield: 1 9×13-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon + 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks
  • For cheesecake layer:
  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Splash of vanilla
  • For fudgy ganache:
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup (+2 tablespoons, as needed) milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, beat together melted margarine, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until just incorporated. Fold in chocolate chunks. Pour batter evenly into greased pan.
  3. To make cheesecake layer: In a separate medium bowl, beat together cream cheese and white sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until smooth. Spread over brownie batter.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Prick brownies all over with a toothpick (this will allow your ganache to flow into the brownies and really get them moist!).
  5. To make ganache: Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a rolling boil. Allow to boil for one minute, then remove from heat and beat for about 1 minute, until mixture thickens slightly. Pour over slightly cooled brownies.

Candied Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 cup white sugar

Directions:

  1. Place almonds in a saucepan or pot. Over medium-low heat, add sugar to almonds. Stir constantly–the sugar should begin to clump together at first, but it should start to melt into a creamy brown liquid after the first minute or two. Continue to stir until most of the sugar has melted and clumps onto the almonds. (The process should take no more than 3-4 minutes total–avoid the temptation to turn up your heat too high, as you may scorch the sugar.) Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Serve as a party dish or package them tightly as gifts.
 

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Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes w/Coffee Cinnamon Frosting

It’s still Thursday already Friday somewhere in the world! Thank God.

I may or may not have been blasting some Rebecca Black as I started a new page for this post.

One of the best parts of having an entire two-room bedroom apartment to yourself is that anything goes the moment your pinky toe crosses that blessed threshold.

Rocking out to One Direction and Carly Rae Jepsen into the weest of the wee hours? Of course.

Staying up all night at Disney movie marathon sleepovers that would make fifth-grade girls emerald with envy? Uh, yeah.

Dunking your entire hand into the bowl of cake batter instead of reaching for a mixing spoon because it’s in a drawer that’s ten whole feet away from you? Now we’re talking, my friend.

Lounging on your couch like a boss on a Thursday night in nothing but what your momma gave you and with a glass of pinot noir in your well-manicured hand?

Okay, I haven’t tried that last one. Yet. Apparently maintenance has the key to every apartment in this building, meaning they are allowed to come in without so much as a “hello resident-on-whose-territory-we-are-totally-intruding, you should really put your fig leaves over whatever you don’t want exposed to these eyes.”

Of course, by the time I’m finished with this kamikaze quarter of teaching, coursework, and having a social life the size of a pea, I may just throw in (or rather, away) the towel, grab my fig leaves, and start lounging to my heart’s content. With my pinot noir. For which I will accordingly acquire a refined taste that I currently don’t possess.

As with most things that don’t involve legal persecution or intense self-reevaluation of my worth as a human being, I grossly exaggerate here. My social life has actually been moving along quite swimmingly as of late, thank you very much.

I can’t go into any details about it, though

They might be watching reading.

By “they,” I mean the incredibly attractive young men working as incredibly successful entrepreneurs at an incredibly well-established corporation that still manages to hang onto its good ol’ homey American values.

You know, the ones currently residing in…my head.

Or Storybrook, to be more precise.

Yeah, I’ve started watching Once Upon a Time.

It kind of sucks…

…that my life has been summarily sucked up by it.

Ha.

You know what else sucks?

Not these cupcakes.

We whipped up a batch of these for one of the guys in our department celebrating his birthday this week. If you like a) the idea of a steaming mug of hot chocolate dipped into your morning wake-up call with a hint of autumnal flair, or b) being awesome, you need to try these cupcakes.

(These filled cupcakes were made for Julie’s baking challenge over at Willow Bird Baking–she’s a fantastic gal, so this is something else you should definitely check out if you like, again, being awesome.)

HungryLittleGirl
Cheesecake-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes w/Coffee Cinnamon Frosting
Yield: 15 cupcakes
Cupcake recipe adapted from Allrecipes
Self-filled cupcake ingredients:
  • 1  cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/3 cups and 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup and 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a medium bowl, pour hot water over cocoa and whisk until smooth. Allow to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, then add to wet ingredients alternately with cooled cocoa liquid. Mix until all ingredients are all just incorporated and smooth; your mixture will be relatively thin, and this is perfect!
  3. To make cheesecake mix: In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy and smooth. Add egg, vanilla, and cinnamon; mix until well-incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Place cupcake liners in a muffin tin and fill each liner about 1/3 of the way with batter. Carefully pour a small teaspoonful of cheesecake batter in (recipe below). Pour additional cupcake batter on top until the liner is 2/3 full; the easiest way to make sure your cheesecake batter doesn’t leak is if you pour the cupcake batter over it in one smooth sweep. (A slow pour will give the cheesecake time to ooze outwards.) Bake in preheated oven for 14-17 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean. Allow to cool before frosting with coffee cinnamon frosting.

Ingredients for Cinnamon Coffee Frosting:

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons brewed coffee, cooled
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon instant ground coffee, crushed into fine powder (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon coffee, and cinnamon. Mix together, then add additional coffee as necessary to thin out your frosting and reach desired consistency. (Adding the crushed instant ground coffee adds additional coffee flavor without thinning out your frosting too much. Add more to taste if you like!)

Note: If you want to add a nice chocolate drizzle to your cupcakes, simply melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate with 1 tablespoon butter on the stovetop on medium-low heat. Make sure you watch your chocolate carefully and stir frequently to keep it from burning!

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Cakes & Cupcakes

“Sorry–It’s Still Summer!” Cinnamon Rolls (Raspberry Cheesecake Rolls with Lemon Icing)

With the plethora of pumpkin and autumnal recipes hitting the web these days, I thought we all needed a little reminding that it is not, in fact, autumn everywhere in the world. In some places, it’s legitimately springtime, and in others, it’s legitimately autumn but actually not because it doesn’t feel like autumn. It feels, in fact, like summertime. Still. In October.

So I say…

Why fight it? And if anyone says otherwise, you can just say what I say–

“Sorry–it’s still summer! And summer says I’m making these rolls.”

There are some bloggers who say, “Oh look, the calendar says it’s autumn–I guess it’s time to make autumn recipes! Hooray!” Don’t get me wrong–I love pumpkin and apple and cinnamon and pecan and the list could go on and on of recipes. I love them all; I’ve even posted my own fair share of them recently, like this pumpkin spiced granola or this delicious pumpkin pull-apart bread.

But if summer wants to overstay its equinox and beat me on the brow with high-90′s weather as I trudge to my classroom with enough brick-like books for a mason to build a house with, I say we fight back.

With…cinnamon rolls. Raspberry cheesecake ones, more specifically.

And tangy sweet lemon glaze. Very importanto.

Funflour Fact #6: Speaking of made-up sort-of-sounds-legit words (“importanto” is not, to my knowledge, a real word), did you know that the Spanish word for “pelican” is “pelicano,” and that words with the same etymological origins are called “cognates”?

What’s also very importanto is trying your hand at new things, like this fun challenge Julie is hosting over at Willow Bird Baking!

Flour Power: Feeling up for a challenge? Don’t forget to head on over to Julie’s blog and check out all the entries, and submit one of your own, too!

If you haven’t guessed it already, the theme is…da da da…autumn!

Just kidding. It’s cinnamon rolls. I haven’t reached that blessed pinnacle of ironic wit at which I could make that sort of a joke entry and get away with it yet. Soon. Soon.

Go wild, go crazy, or go summery, if you’re like me and clinging onto those last (blazing) streaks of sunshine.

And once you’re done being a wild child, bake a batch of these–because I guarantee you that they are “berry” blazing summery good!

Happy reading, and happy eatings!

“Sorry, Sir–Still Summer!” Cinnamon Rolls (Raspberry Cheesecake Rolls with Lemon Icing)
Yield: 6 cinnamon rolls
Base recipe adapted from Allrecipes
 
For the dough:
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons  (or half an average packet) dry active yeast
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

How to make the dough:

  1. Heat up milk in saucepan until warm enough that you can comfortably dip your finger in for a few seconds without scalding yourself. Transfer to a large bowl and dissolve white sugar. Stir in yeast and allow to sit in a warm spot for 10 minutes. This is the proofing step–your mixture should foam slightly and give off a “bread-y” smell. (If it doesn’t, your yeast is no longer active, so you might have to toss it out and try again.)
  2. Mix in melted margarine and salt. Add flour gradually and stir in until a dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured board and knead by pulling dough away from your body, then folding it back in on itself. Rotate dough a quarter of a turn after each pull. Knead until pressing two fingers gently into dough creates two indentations that hold their shape–then you’ll know that your dough is smooth, elastic, and ready to go!
  3. Place into a well-greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Place in a warm spot and allow dough to rise for about an hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Turn out onto lightly-floured board and punch down dough. Cover with a damp towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Roll out dough into a 9×13″ rectangle and spread filling evenly over dough (see below). Starting from one of the short ends, roll up dough until it forms a tight spiral. Be careful not to push too hard though, or your filling will spill out! Cut into six even pieces and place them seam-side up in a greased 9″ baking pan. Place in a warm place and allow dough to rise for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. Bake cinnamon rolls in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and immediately pour glaze over hot rolls so that it melts into the dough; allow rolls to cool slightly before spreading on frosting (see below).

For the filling:

  • 6 oz. cream cheese, softened (you’ll be using the other 2 oz. for the icing, so keep it handy)
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup raspberry preserves, adjusted to taste
  • Splash of vanilla

To make filling: Whip cream cheese in a medium bowl until creamy. Add preserves and vanilla, then stir until mixture is fluffy. Spread onto dough (step 4, above).

For the glaze (to pour over rolls while hot):

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Splash of vanilla extract

To make glaze: Combine all ingredients and stir until it forms a thinnish glaze. (Feel free to add more lemon juice or powdered sugar as necessary to adjust the consistency.) Pour over cinnamon rolls immediately after they come out of the oven to allow glaze to soak into dough.

For the frosting:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 2-3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Splash of vanilla extract

To make frosting: Whip cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla. Mix until your frosting is fluffy; add more sugar or lemon juice as necessary to reach desired consistency. Spread over warm rolls immediately before serving.

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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Fruit Desserts