Monday, December 30, 2013

Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars

"If this fell on the ground; I would pick it up and eat it and never regret it." This was told to me by a fellow co-worker after he inhaled one of these scrumptious cheesecake bars. There's your answer whether or not these little devils are good or not. This was the second recipe I used from Sallys Baking Addiction to include in my cookie bag. They have a velvety, nutellay (made up word), and cheesy taste. The graham cracker crust gives it a nice little crunch and help hold everything together. This recipe was quite simple to make, and as you can see from the above quote very much loved. Enjoy!

12 full-sheet graham crackers (or 1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs)
6 Tablespoons (90 grams) melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar

16 ounces cream cheese (2 standard packages or 450g), softened to room temperature
1 large egg
1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup (100g) Nutella, slightly warmed*

First, pre-heat your oven to 350 and get out an 8x8 baking dish. Place parchment paper in the baking dish so enough hangs over the edge. Set aside.

If you're using graham crackers then you will need to take out your food processor and place the crackers in the processor and pulse until it's a fine crumb. Get out a medium bowl and pour in the graham cracker crumbs, add in the melted butter, and sugar. Stir well, and pour into the baking dish and press down gently. Bake for 5 minutes, and then take out and set aside.

Now, in your standing mixer add in your cream cheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla and beat on medium speed until smooth and creamy; about 3 minutes. Pour the mixture on top of the graham cracker crust. Gently spread evenly. Take the warmed nutella and dump in batches onto the cream cheese mixture. Take a knife and make swirls. Then, bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the cheesecake has set and the edges are a golden brown. Allow to cool for about 30 minutes, and then place in the fridge to further cool for about 3 hours. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Oreo Truffles

If there's one thing you have to make this year (okay, maybe next year) it's these oreo truffles. OMG! They are so heavenly. What do I mean by heavenly, you ask? Try rich, chocolaty, smooth, delicious. Your friends will think you're a gourmet chef. And, you know the best part of this; it's so friggin' easy!!!!! Seriously, all you do is dump a package of oreos into a food processor. Then, dump that along with one package of cream cheese into a standing mixer, and stir it all up. Roll it into balls and dip in chocolate, refrigerate, and wa-la you're done!!!!!!! I've basically just told you the recipe. I received a ton of compliments on these little truffles, and you will too! Enjoy!

36 OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided (Just use one package of oreos, which equals 36 cookies)
1 pkg.(8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
4 pkg.(4 oz. each) BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, broken into pieces, melted

Like I said above; take out your food process and toss in the oreos. Process until the cookies are a fine crumb. Pour into your standing mixer, and add in the cream cheese. Stir until well blended. Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. This makes about 48 truffles. Take out a medium bowl and put the chocolate in it. Then, microwave for 2 minutes, but be sure you stir the chocolate every 30 seconds. Working in batches of about 4 truffles; place in the chocolate and coat well while using a fork to take the truffles out of the chocolate. Place the truffle on a cookie sheet. Toss some sprinkles on top and then refrigerate for a couple hours. Enjoy!

Candy Cane Kiss Cookies

Every year I bake cookies for those co-workers who are lucky enough to get a batch from me. I have a lot of fun perusing various food blogs trying to figure out what I'm going to bake. This year I settled on 2 cookies, an oreo truffle, and a nutella cheesecake brownie thing. Sally's Baking Addiction is my new favorite food blog. I was salivating looking at her pictures. 2 of the recipes that I made for my co-workers were courteous of her website. Funny enough I had just tried Hershey Peppermint Kisses at a Stella and Dot Trunk show. I knew I had to make these cookies after devouring those kisses. I was right; these cookies are heavenly. They're not real sweet, but I thought they had a nice flavor especially when you bite into the velvety hershey kiss. And, then the mini candy cane pieces in the hershey kiss give it a bit of a crunch. I definitely agree with Sally; do not over-bake these cookies. Bake them at the allotted 8 to 11 minutes, and you'll be fine. Give these a whirl; your co-workers will thank you. Enjoy!

10 Tablespoons (145g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 and 1/2 cups (190g) King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
24 Candy Cane Hershey Kisses

Go ahead and set your oven to 350 degrees to pre-heat. I only needed one baking sheet as I was able to fit 24 of the cookies on it. Be sure you line the baking sheet with parchment paper. Take out a medium sized bowl and add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Meanwhile, cream your butter and sugar using a standing mixer for about 5 minutes. Next, add in the egg yolks, your vanilla, and scrape down the sides if necessary. Then, slowly add in the flour mixture with the speed on low. I added it a little at a time. The dough will come out pretty thick. Take out a couple bowls and add in the sprinkles. I used two different kinds as you can see from the picture above. Roll the dough into 1 inch balls, and then dip into the sprinkles. Place on the cookie sheet. Continue doing this until you've filled up the cookie sheet. Place in the oven and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. The cookies will look slightly underbake. Trust me; this is fine. I over-baked a batch of mine, and they were pretty crunchy. Remove the cookies from the oven, and let rest for 5 minutes. Then, add the hershey kisses into the center of the cookie and gently press down. Sally gave a great tip to place the cookie sheet in the oven for a couple minutes, which will help the kisses maintain their "kiss" shape. This worked great for me. Enjoy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Holiday Dinner Rolls

For any holiday dinner the one thing I can't do without are rolls. Rolls not only are great as a side for dinner, but they're great the next day for turkey or ham sandwiches. I found this recipe from Sprinkle Some Sunshine, and they turned out perfectly. Unfortunately, I didn't have much left-over as I only made enough for lunch and dinner on Thanksgiving. But, I will definitely make them again and save a couple for left-overs. Everyone really enjoyed them, and I know you will, too. Enjoy!

1 package regular dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup milk, scalded
1/4 cup butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
3 1/2 cups flour (approximately)

Set your oven to about 100 degrees. Take out a large bowl, and dissolve the yeast in warm water. The water should be about 105 to 110 degrees. Set aside for 10 minutes or until the yeast dissolves and puffs up. Next, pour milk in a medium bowl and microwave for a couple minutes. While the milk is hot; stir in the butter. Once the milk and butter has cooled some stir the egg, salt, and milk mixture into the yeast. Using a fork stir in sugar and 2 cups of the flour. This should form a batter. Now, add in enough flour to make dough easy to handle. I probably used an additional 2-3 cups of flour. Pour the dough onto a floured surface, and knead for several minutes. Place dough in a large greased bowl, and cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Place in the warm oven or an hour until it's doubled in size. It took about 2 hours for my dough to double in size. Then, remove the dough from the oven and punch it down. Shape the dough into rolls, and place in a greased 9x13 baking dish. It made about 15 rolls. Cover with a towel and place back in the warm oven to rise an additional hour. Remove from oven and then set the temperature to 350 degrees. Then, bake for 15-20 minutes or until a golden brown color. Remove from oven, and brush with melted butter.