OREO COOKIES & CREAM CHEESECAKES

OREO CHEESECAKESOREO COOKIES & CREAM CHEESECAKES adapted from Martha Stewart Makes 30

42 OREO cookies, 30 whole and 12 coarsely chopped
4-8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
Pinch of salt

  • Preheat oven to 275° degrees.
  • Line  muffin tins with paper liners.
  • Place 1 whole Oreo cookie in the bottom of each lined muffin cup.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, scraping down sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Gradually add the sugar, and beat until combined.
  • Beat in the vanilla.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, beating to combine and scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
  • Add in sour cream and salt, beat to combine.
  • Using a large spatula, fold in the chopped Oreo cookies.
  • Divide batter evenly among the cookie-filled muffin cups, fill each cup almost to the top.
  • Bake, rotating muffin tins halfway through, until the filling is set, about 22 to 28 minutes.
  • Transfer the muffins tins to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Refrigerate (in the muffin tins) at least 4 hours (or overnight).
  • Remove from tins just before serving.
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CARAMEL GLAZED APPLES

Caramel Glazed ApplesGLAZED APPLES IN CARAMEL SAUCE

4 large Granny Smith apples (I used Honey Crisp, but they’re only available for such a short window of time)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons Kahlua’
4 tablespoons golden raisins

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Peel and core apples.
  • Slice each apple horizontally into 5 or 6 slices.
  • Place apples in a 9×9 baking dish.
  • Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of raisins into each apple.
  • Melt butter and whisk in the Kahlua’.
  • Drizzle over the apples.
  • Bake uncovered 45-60 minutes until fork tender.
  • Baste every 15 minutes.

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup heavy cream
pinch of salt

  • In a heavy saucepan whisk together the water, sugar, corn syrup and a pinch of salt.
  • Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Boil without stirring until mixture turns golden.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Slowly stir in the cream.
  • Let cool.
  • To serve, plate apples in their stack, pour caramel sauce down the center of each apple and top with a scoop of french vanilla ice cream.

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ROLLS OF SHARON aka CINNAMON RAISIN ROLLS

ROLLS OF SHARON aka CINNAMON RAISIN BUNS
ROLLS
2 packages Fleischman’s Rapid Rise Yeast
1/2 cup + 2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup WARM water
1 cup scalded milk (2 minutes in the microwave)
1/2 cup Crisco stick
5 cups flour, divided
2 large eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt

  • In a small bowl combine the warm water, 2 teaspoons of sugar and both packages of yeast until well blended. Set aside.
  • In a mixing bowl combine the scalded milk, Crisco stick, 1/2 cup sugar and salt. Blend well.
  • Add yeast mixture and blend well.
  • Add the well beaten eggs and half the flour. Mix until well blended.
  • Add the remaining flour (a little more if too sticky) and mix well until dough leaves the sides of the bowl and is elastic.
  • With vegetable oil, wipe the inside of another bowl.
  • Place dough in bowl and turn once.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rest in a warm place until double in size.
  • Punch down and divide into 2 balls.
  • Put one on the pastry board and one back in the bowl.
  • Let rest 10 minutes.
  • While resting prepare the filling ingredients.
  • Roll the dough to 1/8 inch thickness in a rectangle about 18×24 inches.
  • Spread half the melted butter over the dough and sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar.
  • Spread half the raisins over that.
  • Roll tightly jelly roll style and cut into 18 rolls.
  • Place rolls in greased pans 1/4 to 1/2 inches apart.
  • Cover with wax paper and a towel.
  • Let rise again until double in size.
  • Bake 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees.
  • While baking prepare the icing.
  • When rolls come out the oven, put globs of icing on each one. Return to the oven for a minute or two to melt icing all over the rolls.

FILLING
1 stick melted butter
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 cup golden raisins

  • Whisk together the sugar and cinnamon until well blended.

ICING
1 stick butter, softened
3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon powdered vanilla
4-6 tablespoons milk

  • Mix all together until smooth.

When re-heating rolls, put a pad of butter on top of roll before microwaving.

These freeze really well.

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UPSIDE DOWN APPLE PIE

UPSIDE DOWN APPLE PIEYield: 8 servings.
original recipe from Taste of Home

CRUST:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons shortening (Crisco stick)
2 tablespoons cold butter
5 to 7 tablespoons orange juice

FILLING:
6 tablespoons butter, melted, divided
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1 cup Imperial Sugar
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (sifted)
1/2 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
1/2 teaspoon maple extract (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (I like honey crisp or Granny Smith) (about 1/8-inch thick)

GLAZE:
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons orange juice

  • In a large bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in shortening and butter until crumbly.
  • Gradually add orange juice, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
  • Divide dough into two balls. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
  • Line a 9-in. deep-dish pie plate with heavy-duty foil, leaving 1-1/2 in. beyond edge; coat the foil with cooking spray.
  • Combine 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and nuts; spoon into prepared pie plate.
  • In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining butter; toss gently.
  • Combine 4 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and nuts; spoon into prepared pie plate.
  • In a large bowl, combine the apples, sugar, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and remaining butter; toss gently.
  • On waxed paper, roll out one ball of pastry to fit pie plate.
  • Place pastry over nut mixture, pressing firmly against mixture and sides of plate; trim to 1 in. beyond plate edge.
  • Fill with apple mixture.
  • Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim to 1/4 in. beyond plate edge.
  • Fold bottom pastry over top pastry; seal and flute edges. Cut four 1-in. slits in top pastry.
  • Bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until apples are tender and crust is golden brown (cover edges with foil during the last 20 minutes to prevent over browning).
  • Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack. Invert onto a serving platter; carefully remove foil. Combine glaze ingredients; drizzle over pie. 
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LEMON CHEESECAKE BARS ~ LEMON LIME CHEESECAKE BARS ~ BLOOD ORANGE CHEESECAKE BARS

I found this recipe in an issue of Fine Cooking, just can’t remember which one LOL. I tweaked it very little and it is one of our new favorites!
I’ve also made it using Limes, Lemons & Limes and Bloody Oranges.  We liked them all, but by far, the Lemon Lime combo was our favorite.
You’ll notice in the picture with the pan that there is a very strange looking apparatus in the curd.  That is an AS SEEN ON TV automatic stirrer that I picked up at Big Lots.  I really thought it was going to be like so many other gadgets and go by the wayside, but I was wrong!  This is the best gadget I ever indulged in.  It’s battery operated and is like a second pair of hands in the kitchen.  All those recipes that call for “stirring constantly”are now handled by this gadget and turn out beautifully!

LEMON CHEESECAKE SQUARES

8×8 straight edge pan
2 pieces of parchment paper 8 inches wide x 16 inches long

  • Alternately overlap the parchment pieces so that they cross each other and fold over all 4 sides.
  • Push the parchment into the edges and the corners making a straight crease.

CRUST
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Graham cracker crumbs

  • Using a fork add graham cracker crumbs until mixture resembles wet sand.
  • Press into the bottom of prepared pan.

CHEESECAKE
1 pound cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 LARGE eggs

  • Combine the cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice until well blended.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition until completely smooth.
  • Pour into prepared pan.

CURD
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, strained twice
1/2 cup sugar
2 LARGE eggs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

  • Whisk together the sugar, eggs and lemon juice until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • In a small non-reactive sauce pan cook mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until steaming, but not boiling. The mixture will have thickened.
  • Remove from heat and add butter, stirring until butter is melted.
  • Pour through a sieve to remove any lumps.

ASSEMBLY

  • Preheat oven to 325˚
  • Prepare crust.
  • Prepare cheesecake portion.
  • Bake 40 minutes or until sides are slightly puffed, cake is not too jiggly and center is dry to the touch.
  • While baking, prepare the curd.
  • Remove cheesecake from oven.
  • Pour hot curd on top of cheesecake and lightly spread to even out.
  • Cool 20 minutes on rack.
  • Move to the refrigerator and chill 5-6 hours or overnight before serving.
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CHOCOLATE CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS

CHOCOLATE CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE BARS

CRUST
2 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 sticks butter, softened and cubed

FILLING
2-8 ounce bars cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 JUMBO eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste

FRUIT LAYER
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

STREUSEL
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 stick butter, melted

 TOPPING
12 KRAFT caramels, melted in double boiler
4 ounces milk chocolate chips, melted in double boiler

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Line a 9×13 pan with heavy duty foil.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar.  Cut in butter with pastry blender until crumbly.
  • Press firmly and evenly into pan.
  • Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until blended.
  • Add eggs, one at a time, on medium speed until smooth.
  • Add vanilla. Stir to combine.
  • Pour over crust.
  • In a small bowl combine the apples, 3 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Toss to coat.
  • Spoon evenly over cream cheese layer.
  • In a medium mixing bowl toss together the streusel ingredients until well blended.
  • Sprinkle over apple layer.
  • Bake 30 minutes or until filling is set.
  • Drizzle with caramel and chocolate.
  • Cool completely!
  • After cooling lift the foil out of the pan.  Fold foil out flat to cut the bars.
  • Store bars covered in the refrigerator.
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BAKING PARTNERS #5 – SHAPED DINNER ROLLS & HOLIDAY CAKES

We are a group of home bakers helping each other to achieve baking perfection.  Baking partners was begun by Swathi at Zesty South Indian Kitchen.

Baking a homemade bread, cake or cookies will give the best outcome. However in order to achieve the best results, a  perfect recipe and the right techniques are required.

We are a small group of home baker friends, who love to bake and want to learn more about the nook and corners of baking.  We are planning to try out recipes from books/magazines and cooking shows.  Every member gets a chance to present their choice of recipe and share important points with the rest of the group. The main purpose of this group is to learn the techniques, critic procedures if there are ways to improve and to eat delicious food.

I’m making up for last month, which was shaped dinner rolls and we had to choose 3 shapes, and I failed to post during the move.  This month’s theme is holiday cakes and I chose the Brazil Nut cake. 

For the dinner rolls I chose Lion House, Clover Leaf and small braid knots.  I loved the Lion house and small braid knots, but my clover leafs were embarrassing.

Loved the Brazil Nut Cake!

Faye Levy Chocolate Sensations, HP Books Inc., USA, 1986, p.22-23
Chocolate –Brazil Nut Cake
1-1/2 cups Brazilian nuts (about 7 oz)
6 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
¾ cup Sugar
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup (6 oz) unsalted butter slightly softened
6 eggs separated, room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Chocolate Honey Frosting
½ cup whipping cream
6 oz. semisweet chocolate, very finely chopped
6 tablespoons (3 oz.) unsalted butter, slightly softened but still cool
3 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon honey
Garnish
¼ cup Brazil nuts chopped
  • Preheat oven to 350F(175C). 
  • Toast nuts in a shallow baking pan in the oven for 10 minutes. Transfer nuts into large strainer. Rub nuts against the strainer with a towel and remove most of the skin and keep aside.
  • Melt chocolate in double boiler or heatproof medium bowl over hot, not simmering, water over low heat, stirring occasionally until smooth, remove and set aside to cool.
  • Butter 9”x3” springform pan, line base with parchment paper and grease and flour the sides of the pan.
  • Grind the nuts with 2 tablespoons sugar into a fine powder. Transfer into a bowl and sift flour and baking powder and mix thoroughly.
  • Cream butter and 6 tablespoons of sugar and beat until smooth and fluffy. Add one egg yolk at a time and beat till all 6 are blended and pale. Stir in the melted chocolate.
  • In another bowl beat egg white and cream of tartar in medium speed until it forms soft peaks. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat till white are stiff and shiny but not dry.
  • Gently fold in 1/3 of the white into the chocolate flour mixture, repeat folding in batches until batter is blended.
  • Transfer batter into prepared pans and bake for 40 minutes or till the tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Using a spatula go around the cake gently and invert onto a cake rack and allow cooling completely.
Frosting
  • Bring cream to a full boil in a small saucepan remove from heat and immediately.
  • Add the chopped chocolate. Stir quickly till the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature. 
  • Whip this at high speed till it thickens and becomes pale.
  • Cream butter in a medium bowl until it is soft and smooth, gradually add the chocolate mixture and honey and beat well
  • Using a long spatula spread frosting evenly on the side and top of the cake. 
  • Fill the center with chopped Brazil nuts.
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HOT CHICKEN SALAD

serves 8-10
HOT CHICKEN SALAD
4 cups cubed cooked chicken 1 Costco rotisserie chicken torn into pieces
2 celery ribs sliced 4 celery ribs, chopped
2-8 ounce cans sliced water chestnuts, drained (I only had one can and it was great)
1 can cream of chicken soup 1 can green enchilada sauce
1 1/2 cups mayonnaise 3/4 cup REGULAR mayonnaise (do NOT use lowfat)*
1 1/2 cups sour cream 1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup fresh sliced mushrooms
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons lemon juice Juice of 1 lemon (it was a large lemon – closer to 1/4 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup bread crumbs 1/2 cup Panko crumbs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used finely grated SHARP cheddar) 
1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted, 1/2 cup Almond Accents honey roasted sliced almonds**

  • In a large bowl combine the mayonnaise, yogurt, enchilada sauce, lemon juice, salt and pepper until well blended.
  • Add chicken pieces, celery, water chestnuts, almonds and onions until well combined.
  • Turn into a greased casserole.
  • Top with bread crumbs and then cheese.
  • Bake uncovered for 35-45 minutes or until heated through.

NOTES:
*I cut this in half for continuity because the enchilada sauce was much thinner than the cream of chicken soup
**from the produce section – a salad topper

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BANANA / BLUEBERRY COBBLER

I found this recipe over at Frugal Antics of a Harried Housewife and instantly fell in love.  I made it and it was instantly all gone. 

BANANA COBBLER

Author: 
1 cup self rising flour
¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted (next time I’ll use 6 tablespoons)
3 small or 2 medium bananas
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened (next time I’ll use 6 tablespoons)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added)
½ cup self rising flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I added)
  • In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and milk until smooth.
  • Add the melted butter.
  • Spread the batter into a greased 11X7 pan.
  • Slice bananas evenly over batter.
  • In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  • Sprinkle over bananas.
  • Bake at 375 ˚ for 40 minutes or until filling bubbles.
  • Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
We loved it.  But what I personally loved was the basic template of the recipe.  So I tried the same base recipe, but traded out BANANAS for BLUEBERRIES and you know what? It was awesome.  But what was really awesome was that even though the base was the same, the flavor was unique!

BLUEBERRY COBBLER

1 cup self rising flour
¾ cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 stick butter, melted
1 BAG FROZEN BLUEBERRIES OR 2 BOXES FRESH
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 stick butter, softened (next time I’ll use 6 tablespoons)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I added)
½ cup self rising flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I added)
  • In a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar and milk until smooth.
  • Add the melted butter.
  • Spread the batter into a greased 11X7 pan.
  • Slice bananas evenly over batter.
  • In another bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
  • Sprinkle over bananas.
  • Bake at 375 ˚ for 40 minutes or until filling bubbles.
  • Serve with whipped cream or ice cream.
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BLUEBERRY LEMON SAUCE CAKE

This is another recipe from crazy aunt Louise – loved that lady! Remember the Corn Flake Wreaths she made us for Christmas, well she always made this Blueberry Lemon Sauce Cake for 4th of July. She was a serious creature of habit. Thanksgiving always brought her cheesy garlic grits, but I’m still working on perfecting that one – maybe I’ll have it ready for Thanksgiving. I make this in an 8×8 baking dish, but it easily doubles for a 9×13. My sauce turned out quite pale today so I added a little yellow food coloring. LOL I say a little, but from the looks of that picture I added a little too much.

BLUEBERRY LEMON SAUCE CAKE
CAKE
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
Juice of 1 small lemon
scant 1 cup flour
scant 1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 Jumbo egg
1/4 cup milk
1+ cup fresh or frozen blueberries

  • Preheat oven to 350˚.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt.
  • In a mixing bowl cream together the butter, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice until well blended.
  • Add egg and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Add the flour mixture alternately with the milk and blend until smooth.  Batter will be thicker, like a coffee cake consistency.
  • Fold in blueberries.

SAUCE
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup water
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
Juice of 2 lemons

  • Over a medium-high heat whisk together the water and cornstarch in a saucepan until smooth.
  • Add the butter and allow to melt.
  • Add the sugars and salt, stirring until dissolved.
  • Add lemon juice and rind.
  • Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until desired sauce consistency.
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