Friday, March 27, 2009

Banana Cream Cheesecake

I made this for my boyfriend's birthday because he loves cheesecake and banana cream pie, so I found a recipe that combined the two.  I used an 8" springform pan, so I had extra batter.  I filled the pan almost to the rim and used the leftover batter in a pre-made Nilla Wafer crust to make a mini-cheesecake.
Here is a picture of the mini-cake:


Banana Cream Cheesecake
(Cheesecake Factory copycat)
from Robbie's Recipe Collection


20 vanilla cream sandwich cookies - chopped (I used Uh-Oh Oreos)
1/4 cup melted butter 
2 lbs. cream cheese - softened
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbls. cornstarch
3 eggs
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract

-Combine butter and cookie crumbs; press evenly into the bottom of a greased 10" springform pan; refrigerate.
-Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
-Beat in sugar and cornstarch, then eggs, then bananas, whipping cream, and vanilla.
-Pour mixture over prepared crust.
-Place pan on a cookie sheet and bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
-Reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and bake an additional 75 minutes, or until center is almost set.
-Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 6 hours.

the edges were a little ugly, after I had a problem with my mistake tipping the cake over in the oven.  I served it with the outer edge lined with whipped cream.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Make-ahead Tiramisu

(p.s. my pictures are horrible because I don't have my camera and have to use my cellphone camera)
This recipe is extremely easy and tastes delicious. It doesn't require ladyfingers or marscapone, just nilla wafers and cream cheese.

Make-Ahead Tiramisu
adapted from Kraft Foods

2 Tbsp. MAXWELL HOUSE Instant Coffee
1/4 cup  boiling water
32 Nilla Wafers
1 tub  (8 oz.) Cream Cheese
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tub  (8 oz.) Cool Whip, thawed
1 tsp.  unsweetened cocoa powder


STIR coffee granules into boiling water until dissolved. Cover bottom of 8-inch square dish with 16 wafers. Drizzle with 2 Tbsp. coffee.

ADD remaining coffee gradually to cream cheese in medium bowl, beating with whisk until blended. Add powdered sugar; mix well. Stir in COOL WHIP; spoon 1/2 over wafers in dish. Cover with remaining wafers. Drizzle with 2 tbsp. more coffee mixture; top with remaining cream cheese mixture.

REFRIGERATE overnight. Sprinkle with cocoa powder just before serving.

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

I made this cake 2 years ago during Christmas time with my aunt and grandma, and decided to make it again for my mom's birthday.  It's really moist and has a similar concept to a jello-poke cake.

1 box white cake mix
2 C. coconut, shredded
14 ounces coconut milk
1 large container Cool Whip
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Prepare cake mix as directed on box.  Bake in a 9x13 in pan.  Cool for 15 minutes, then poke holes over the entire top with chopsticks, or a similar instrument that will provide holes that will stay open.
Combine coconut milk, sugar, 1/2 C. coconut and vanilla in a sauce pan.  Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute.  Spoon over top of cake letting the liquid soak through the holes.  Cool completely.
Fold 1/2 to 3/4 coconut in Cool whip and spread over cake, sprinkling additional coconut on top.  Refrigerate until serving time.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Levain Cookie Clone

Levain Chocolate Chip Cookie Clone
from vanilla sugar
2 sticks unsalted butter, cold
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups all purpose flour 
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used sea salt)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
12 ounces (2 cups) good quality semisweet chocolate chips or chopped chocolate (I used 12 squares of chopped Baker's chocolate)
1 cup nuts (pecans or walnuts) (I didn't use any)

If using dough right away, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. 

In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars just until creamy. Don’t overbeat. Add the egg and vanilla and beat just until incorporated.

Stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. When thoroughly mixed, add to batter and stir just until blended. Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide dough into 12 big 4 oz lumps. Bake on ungreased cookies sheets (one sheet at a time). 

Bake times:

Put the cookies in a 375 degree oven and set timer for 8 minutes. When timer rings, without opening oven or removing cookies, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake for another 8-10 minutes or until cookies appear set.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Thick and Chewy

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is a different chocolate chip cookie recipe from what I normally used.  These cookies hold up well after a couple of days. The chocolate chips maintain their shape but are definitely gooey when you break them apart!

from Sugar & Spice

Makes about 18 large cookies.

These oversized cookies are chewy and thick, like many of the chocolate chip cookies sold in gourmet shops and cookie stores. They rely on melted butter and an extra egg yolk to keep their texture soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but will retain their texture even when cooled. To ensure the proper texture, cool the cookies on the baking sheet. Oversized baking sheets allow you to get all the dough into the oven at one time. If you’re using smaller baking sheets, put fewer cookies on each sheet and bake them in batches.

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (10 5/8 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
1 cup packed (7 ounces) light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

3. Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips to taste.

4. Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

5. Bake until the cookies are light golden grown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.