Wednesday, April 30, 2008

If I had a $25 Gift Certificate to

Then I could have bought 2 of the cookbook I bought today, and it would have cost me nothing. and are my favorite places to buy cookbooks, so I am having an Amazon give-away.

Just comment on this post. Make any (appropriate) comment and you'll be entered in a drawing to win. Then you could get this book I've been wishing for

Or maybe this pan, if you like brownie edges.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

I approve of the union.

That's what my dad said when my husband asked for his approval before proposing to me. Dear Chocolate and Cheesecake, I feel the same way about you.

These chocolate-coated cheesecake lollipops are as delicious as they sound! Plus, look how cute they would be for a party! Especially if your wall color matches them as adorably as mine does! I knew my mac n' cheese walls would be good for something.

They're kid tested and approved. Also husband-tested. Ryan REALLY liked them, and he thought they were the perfect size for an after-dinner treat. I thought they were the perfect size to go back for seconds and thirds.

Thank you, Elle – Feeding My Enthusiasms and Deborah – Taste and Tell, for hosting this lovely Daring Bakers challenge. It was right up my alley. Click here to see other Daring Bakers Posts about this challenge.

Here are the adjustments I made:

I baked it without a waterbath because I needed to use a springform pan. So I put a ban of boiling water on the lower oven rack while my cake baked above it. Then I baked it more gradually, at 325 degrees for 15 minutes, then 225 for 2 hours. Then left it in the oven to cool for about 20 minutes. I chose this method because some daring bakers were having trouble with the stated baking method.

Also- I would now recommend dipping them so as to cover the entire cheesecake part with the chocolate- that way if you need to refrigerate them for a few days the cheesecake part won't dry out

Cheesecake Pops
Makes 30 – 40
5 8-oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
2 cups sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
5 large eggs
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
¼ cup heavy cream
Boiling water as
Thirty to forty 8-inch lollipop sticks
1 pound chocolate, finely
chopped – you can use all one kind or half and half of dark, milk, or white
(Alternately, you can use 1 pound of flavored coatings, also known as summer
coating, confectionary coating or wafer chocolate – candy supply stores carry
colors, as well as the three kinds of chocolate.)
2 tablespoons vegetable
(Note: White chocolate is harder to use this way, but not
Assorted decorations such as chopped nuts, colored jimmies,
crushed peppermints, mini chocolate chips, sanding sugars, dragees) - Optional
Position oven rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.
Set some water to boil.
In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese,
sugar, flour, and salt until smooth. If using a mixer, mix on low speed. Add the
whole eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well (but still at low
speed) after each addition. Beat in the vanilla and cream.
Grease a 10-inch
cake pan (not a springform pan), and pour the batter into the cake pan. Place
the pan in a larger roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with the boiling water
until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the cheesecake
is firm and slightly golden on top, 35 to 45 minutes.
Remove the cheesecake
from the water bath and cool to room temperature. Cover the cheesecake with
plastic wrap and refrigerate until very cold, at least 3 hours or up to
When the cheesecake is cold and very firm, scoop the cheesecake
into 2-ounce balls and place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Carefully
insert a lollipop stick into each cheesecake ball. Freeze the cheesecake pops,
uncovered, until very hard, at least 1 – 2 hours.
When the cheesecake pops
are frozen and ready for dipping, prepare the chocolate. In the top of a double
boiler, set over simmering water, or in a heatproof bowl set over a pot of
simmering water, heat half the chocolate and half the shortening, stirring
often, until chocolate is melted and chocolate and shortening are combined. Stir
until completely smooth. Do not heat the chocolate too much or your chocolate
will lose it’s shine after it has dried. Save the rest of the chocolate and
shortening for later dipping, or use another type of chocolate for variety.
Alternately, you can microwave the same amount of chocolate coating pieces
on high at 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth.
Quickly dip a frozen
cheesecake pop in the melted chocolate, swirling quickly to coat it completely.
Shake off any excess into the melted chocolate. If you like, you can now roll
the pops quickly in optional decorations. You can also drizzle them with a
contrasting color of melted chocolate (dark chocolate drizzled over milk
chocolate or white chocolate over dark chocolate, etc.) Place the pop on a clean
parchment paper-lined baking sheet to set. Repeat with remaining pops, melting
more chocolate and shortening (or confectionary chocolate pieces) as needed.
Refrigerate the pops for up to 24 hours, until ready to serve.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Easy Peasy

The baby is squirming around on a blanket on the floor next to me. The toddler is sleeping. This post will have to be too quick to be any good. But do you know what is really good despite being ridiculously quick and easy? Peanut butter squares. Easy enough even for a mom with a 3-week old baby to make.

They are pretty much Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but prettier. Isn't there something alluring about the sharp, contrasting layers of chocolate and peanut butter? It's just so graphical, and you know how hungry graphics make me.

I got the recipe from, and my only suggestion is in the cutting. The first time I made them, they looked horrible because I tried to speed up the setting by refrigerating them. Then the chocolate cracked when I cut them. So don't refrigerate, just let it set on the counter. If the chocolate is too hard to make those pretty, sharp layers, then dump them chocolate side down on a cutting board and then cut them.

Peanut Butter Squares

for the base:
quarter cup brown sugar
1 and three quarter cups powdered

half stick unsalted butter
three quarters cup smooth peanut

for the topping:
7oz milk chocolate
3oz semi-sweet chocolate
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 x 9 inch square brownie tin, lined, preferably,
with Silpat

Stir all the ingredients for the base
together until smooth. I use the paddle attachment to my mixer. Press the sandy
mixture into the lined brownie tin and make the surface as even as possible.To
make the topping, melt the chocolates and butter together (in a microwave for
ease, for a minute or two on medium) and spread on the base. Put the tin in the
fridge to set. When the chocolate has hardened, cut into small squares –
because, more-ish as it undeniably is, it is also very rich.Makes approximately

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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Reason for Delay

Haven't been cooking or baking anything lately. Just enjoying this sweet little face! I will be back soon with a new recipe!
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