Every once in a while, a truly remarkable event happens that reminds you appreciate in life. The day I met K was one such moment. In reality, the first time we met was at the Edible Book Festival at our school’s library, though I wouldn’t have recognized her face with all the nice folks streaming in and out of the rotunda. We reconnected after K entered my From My Kitchen to Yours care package giveaway–she found my blog through cards I had been giving out at the festival and, by some crazy chance, decided to start reading. Who says that serendipity can only happen to John Cusack and Kate Beckinsale? For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you might have seen the photo and story I posted. I hope you don’t mind if I repeat myself here, but this is definitely a story worth sharing. Continue reading
Tag Archives: cheesecake
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.
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?
Don’t forget to pin/share/print/like!
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with liners and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, cream together cream cheese and white sugar until nice and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- In a separate small bowl, combine Kahlua and vanilla. Mix in 2 tablespoons coffee granules and stir until dissolved.
- Add Kahlua mixture, egg, and remaining finely-crushed coffee granules to cream cheese mixture. Beat in until completely smooth.
- Divide cheesecake batter equally between 12 tins.
- 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.
- 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!
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!
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!
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?
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.
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:
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.)
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.)
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
It was the best of climes, it was the worst of climes,
it was the age of scrubs, it was the age of dishwashers,
it was the epoch of eyeballing, it was the epoch of measuring-out-to-the-grain,
it was the season of nuts, it was the season of chocolate,
it was the spring of ovens, it was the winter of stovetops,
we had the whole tray of brownies and nuts before us, we had no trace of brownies and nuts before us,
we were all going to put on our brand spanking new stretchy pants, we were all going to fit into our size 1 jea–
nope, just stretchy pants–
–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.
It was the age of brownies and nuts.
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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!).
- 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.
- 1 cup almonds
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 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.
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
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.
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.)
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:
- 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.)
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.