After blueberry picking and making some blueberry muffins, I still had a ton of blueberries left. I had plans to make my dad a cheesecake for Father’s Day and my husband sounded a little jealous of my dad getting a cheesecake and I had plenty of berries so I figured why not make 2?
Today’s recipe focuses on the cheesecake I made my husband. He loves cheesecake and every year for Christmas I make him a raspberry cheesecake. Since I had blueberries on hand, I wanted to adapt that recipe to fit with the season. It was a bit of a test but I’m happy to report it worked out splendidly.
To make this cheesecake, you’ll want to prepare a graham cracker crust first and freeze it while you prepare the blueberry sauce. After the sauce is cooked, let it cool while you make the cheesecake filling. Then it’s time to assemble the cheesecake. You’ll pull the crust out of the freezer and sprinkle some white chocolate chips onto the crust. Pour half the cheesecake into the springform pan. Then you’ll pour some blueberry sauce over the cheesecake and swirl it in.
Finish by pouring the rest of the cheesecake in the pan. You can add more blueberry sauce and swirl it in or make a fun design. To make this pattern, I piped circles of sauce onto the cheesecake and swirled from the center to the outside of the cheesecake to form a firecracker pattern.
If you end up with blueberry sauce leftover like I did, save it and make some pancakes for breakfast. The sauce is a perfect pancake syrup and adds a lot of flavor.
- 1 1/2 cups graham crackers (about 9 graham crackers)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
- 4-8 oz packages cream cheese at room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
- Crush 9 large graham crackers by hand or in a blender. Pour into a medium bowl and mix in 1/3 cup melted butter. Mix until well combined.
- Line the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with foil. Repeat until about 3 layers protect the pan.
- Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the mixture flat into the pan and up the sides to form a crust. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.
- Over medium heat, combine cold water, blueberries, and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Add in sugar and cornstarch and bring to a boil.
- Boil for 30 seconds while whisking. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl to remove the blueberry skins. Set the sauce aside to cool.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Fill a large roasting pan with 1/2 inch of water and leave it on the lower rack of your oven while the oven preheats.
- Use a hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream. Mix on low until smooth and creamy. Be careful not to whip the mixture, too much air will cause the cheesecake to collapse or crack.
- Add the vanilla and eggs and blend just until incorporated.
- Pull the crust from your freezer and sprinkle the white chocolate chips into the bottom of the crust. Pour half of the cheesecake filling into the crust.
- Drizzle 1/4 cup of the the blueberry sauce over the surface of the filling. Use a knife to gently swirl the sauce into the cheesecake.
- Pour the other half of the filling into the crust. Add another 1/4 cup of sauce to the top of the cheesecake. You can pipe on a fun design or just swirl it in with a knife again.
- Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake another 50 minutes. You want the cheesecake to just barely turn golden brown before removing.
- Cool on a cooling rack for an hour, then chill in the fridge for 8 hours. After cooling, remove the springform pan from the cheesecake. Cut into 12 slices and serve with whipped cream.
I’m back with another Jeni’s ice cream recipe. After making Salty Caramel ice cream, I wanted to try a flavor that was much more simple. A classic chocolate recipe sounded perfect. I decided to try the recipe for The Milkiest Chocolate in the World Ice Cream.
I don’t want to keep republishing all of Jeni’s recipes since I think her book deserves the credit and it explains a lot of the process in it but I will show you the ingredients and say the process is very similar to that of the first recipe I tried. One note, Jeni’s recipe in the book has a small typo so make sure to check her website for updates to the book. In this case you need 1 1/4 cup of cream instead of the 1/4 cup that is printed in the book.
In this recipe you don’t use cream cheese, instead you use evaporated milk. Jeni explains that the goal is to keep the chocolate taste more pure which I’d say she accomplished in this recipe. The change in ingredients leaves the ice cream tasting a little sweeter too. My husband described the flavor as chocolate ice cream in a waffle cone. That enhancement made this ice cream taste anything but simple. I wished in a way that the flavor had more distractions because chocolate was the star and a whole bowl might be a tad overwhelming.
The only problem I’d say exists with this recipe is how thick it gets. With cocoa, cornstarch, and chocolate there’s a lot of chance for clumps to form in the ice cream. To remedy this I suggest sifting the cocoa before you add it to the pot. Then run the ice cream base through a sieve first as you add it to the chocolate and again as you put it in its chilling bag. You want this ice cream to be as smooth as possible to get the purest taste. Also, Jeni suggests freezing this ice cream for at least 4 hours but I’d recommend going overnight. The ice cream really solidifies and the flavors enhance overnight. I know waiting is hard but trust me, it’s worth it.Pin It
This weekend I finally made good on my plans to try my hand at making one of Jeni’s ice creams from her cookbook. I decided to try my hand at a recipe that didn’t include any hard-t0-find ingredients and would be a flavor both my husband and I would probably enjoy. That’s how I ended up with my cookbook turned to the recipe for Salty Caramel Ice Cream. It’s Jeni’s most popular flavor so why wouldn’t I want to try that?
Before you start this recipe, measure out every single ingredient and prep all your equipment. Your ice cream maker should be frozen 24 hours before even starting. I even poured my milk into a measuring cup so I could pour quickly when the moment came. The first half of this recipe goes low and slow and then suddenly you’re all in, racing to get everything in the recipe so you can start counting down the half hour it takes to chill it. For all things stovetop, I used a 4-quart pot for the process. I wouldn’t risk going any smaller than that with all the boiling this recipe takes.
Now the next part was the scariest for me: I had to make caramel. I don’t do well with sugared products because I’m impatient and easily distracted and that usually leads to sugar burning. Jeni has you make the caramel for your recipe by using the dry burn technique (see recipe notes) where you just heat sugar on the stovetop until it starts going through a transformation and then you invite all the other pieces of sugar to the party by melting them down.
Jeni says the look you’re going for is an “old penny” but I wasn’t sure if she meant 2001 penny that has seen my whole town or a 1953 penny that looks like it’s going green so I chose the more appetizing color. It seems to have worked out. Somewhere in the middle of the stirring process you’re likely to think you’ve failed and there’s an awful goopy mess but 1 minute later you’ll be screaming in glee “I’ve made caramel!” Embrace that moment because this is when the going gets crazy.
You’ll want to add just a bit of your cream + corn syrup to the cream while off the heat. It’ll crackle and pop so be careful. Jeni doesn’t suggest putting the pot back on till all the cream is added to your caramel but I found my caramel hardening too much so keep a close eye on things and introduce the heat as needed. After you add the milk you’re almost in the clear. You will need to keep a watchful eye on it so it doesn’t boil over and then add your slurry to thicken, stirring continuously. You can see above the soft golden tone the recipe starts to take on (and the mess this dish leaves behind)
You’ll then pour your ice cream through a sieve placed over a bowl with your cream cheese and salt in it. All the little hard pieces of caramel will be left behind and then you stir stir stir! Make sure to add the vanilla in this step. I use my own homemade vanilla but whatever you choose, make sure it isn’t imitation.
You’ll then want to chill your ice cream base as fast as possible. Pour your mix into a gallon sized Ziploc bag, seal it, and surround it with ice and ice water. Chill in your fridge for half an hour. Note: It’s very important not to let water get into your mix at this point. After your half hour is up, pour the mix into your ice cream maker and let it run about half an hour.
Now you have to freeze it for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better. I know, I’m a cruel and awful person to suggest such a thing. I scooped up a batch after waiting and sat down to test it. It was so smooth, just like the version I bought in the store. You can copy that quality perfectly in your own kitchen. My own version was lighter in color than Jeni’s official version so maybe you should aim towards an older penny than I did. I also expected more salt but that’s an easy fix. Overall I was thrilled with my results and have to say this is the best (but also the most complicated) homemade ice cream I’ve made to date. The only real disappointment I had was that it was eaten up so quickly. I guess I’ll need to make another batch or try a new flavor. If you’re a Jeni’s fan, let me know what flavor I should try next.
Source: Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or just 4 teaspoons- it's the same thing)
- 1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Mix about 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.
- Whisk the cream cheese and salt in a medium bowl until smooth.
- Mix the cream with the corn syrup in a measuring cup with a spout.
- Fill a large bowl with ice and water.
- Heat the sugar in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until it is melted and golden amber in color (see note below). Remove from the heat and, stirring constantly, slowly add a bit of the cream and corn syrup mixture to the caramel: It will fizzle, pop, and spurt. Stir until well combined, then add a little more and stir. Keep adding the cream a little at a time until all of it is incorporated.
- Return the pan to medium-high heat and add the milk. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.
- Bring back to a boil over medium-high and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. If any caramel flecks remain, pour the mixture through a sieve.
- Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla and whisk. Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath. Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.
- Pour into frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy in ice cream maker.
- Pack the ice cream into a storage container, press a sheet of parchment directly against the surface, and seal with an airtight lid.
- Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.
Danger! This is the dry-burn technique. I don't add water to the sugar before putting it on the heat, as some chefs do. Caramelizing sugar dry means it goes faster, but you have to watch it more closely and be ready with your cream. Here is an overview of what you are going to do:
Stand over the pan of sugar with a heatproof spatula ready, but do not touch the sugar until there is a full layer of melted and browning liquid sugar on the bottom with a smaller layer of unmelted white sugar on the top. When the edges of the melted sugar begin to darken, use the spatula to bring them into the center to help melt the unmelted sugar. Continue stirring and pushing the sugar around until it is all melted and evenly amber in color — like an old penny. When little bubbles begin to explode with dark smoke, give the sugar another moment and then remove from the heat. Immediately but slowly pour about 1/4 cup of the cream and corn syrup mixture into the burning-hot sugar. Be careful! It will pop and spit! Stir until it is incorporated, then add a bit more cream and stir, then continue until it is all in.
When I think of cakes, I tend to think of my old standbys, like chocolate, pound cake, and white cake. I don’t often think of lemon cake as a must-have cake except in the spring time. There’s something about eating a bright yellow cake on a sunny day with some fresh berries and whipped cream to really remind you of how delicious lemon cake is.
This recipe is another one of my doctored cake mix recipes. In addition to lemon cake and lemon juice and lemon zest, the secret lemon ingredient is lemon pudding. It makes the cake very moist and dense so it’s like you’re eating a wonderful lemon pound cake. When you top it with the lemon glaze, make sure to do it while the cake is still warm. You won’t regret the extra zing it provides.
- Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 Tablespoons)
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 (18 ounce) box lemon cake mix
- 1 (3.4 ounce) box instant lemon pudding
- 4 large eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup of powdered sugar
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Zest a lemon and place shavings into a large bowl. Squeeze the lemon into the same bowl.
- Add the cake mix, pudding, eggs, and oil into the bowl. Stir until just combined.
- Fold in the sour cream.
- Pour the batter into a prepared bundt cake pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool 15 minutes before removing from pan.
- Combine powdered sugar with lemon juice.
- Pour over cake while it is still warm. Let harden before eating.
I’m in a fondue mood because I keep meaning to try Stone Cellar Fondue in St. Charles, Missouri. I was hoping to get over there this weekend to celebrate a mini-anniversary (my first date with my husband was 9 years ago this weekend) but we have a concert to go to instead (The Black Keys). So instead of going out, I decided to bring the fondue home. I hooked up my mini crockpot and while it warmed I mixed up some chocolate chips and cream on the stovetop. In 5 minutes the chocolate was ready to pop in the crock and for the dipping to start.
The key to a great fondue is choosing the best ingredients to dip. I like to take pound cake and freeze it ahead of time for dipping. I love including cookies like Oreos and graham crackers, though today I decided to go the route of animal crackers and Oreos. Either way, make sure you have a good cookie to scoop out any accidental drops in the chocolate. Fruit is the other most important dipper. I love cherries and bananas but my absolute favorite dipper is the simple strawberry. My best dip today was a strawberry layered between two pieces of pound cake. If only I’d had some brownies laying around it would have been perfect.
- 1/4 cup of cream
- 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chip
- Heat the cream on the stovetop just until bubbles form.
- Remove cream from heat and stir in the chocolate chips.
- When chocolate is smooth, transfer it to a fondue pot or a mini crockpot.
- Serve with cakes, cookies, brownies, and fruits to dip into chocolate.
I always seem to buy too many bananas. If I buy 6 I eat 3. If I buy 3 I eat 1. I hate letting them go to waste so they always end up in my freezer for a batch of banana bread to be made at some date in the future. This time I wasn’t in the mood to wait for banana bread. Even better, I had some Nilla Wafers in danger of going stale. Still, I didn’t have enough bananas or wafers to make my old school style banana pudding so I decided to work some magic to turn them into a parfait.
You’ll need bananas, Nilla wafers, and french vanilla pudding. It has to be french vanilla because I remember my grandma driving to an extra grocery store because regular vanilla just wasn’t good enough for banana pudding. She’d also demand the pudding be baked and have meringue but I’ve never been a fan or meringue or even whipped cream so I go without. You can do as you wish and maybe you’ll make my grandma happy.
The real secret to making these parfaits taste just like real banana pudding is letting them chill for at least 4 hours. Overnight is even better. That way your vanilla wafers will get that creamy consistency that makes you think you’re in the South, eating nana puddin as I called it as a kid. The wait is long but it’ll be worth it. You can do as you wish and maybe you’ll make my me happy.
- 1 3 oz package instant french vanilla pudding
- 2 cups milk
- 32 Nilla Wafers cookies
- 2 bananas
- Whipped cream or cool whip (optional)
- Use the pudding package and milk to prepare the pudding as directed. Let chill 5 minutes.
- While pudding is chilling, place 8 Nilla Wafers cookies in the bottom of a wine goblet. Repeat with 3 additional goblets.
- Divide half of the pudding between the 4 wine goblets, placing on top of the cookies.
- Cut each banana into 1/2 inch slices. Place half of each banana in each goblet on top of the pudding.
- Spread the second half of the pudding on top of the bananas, dividing evenly.
- Chill for at least 4 hours.
- Top with whipper cream or cool whip and serve.
Happy Pi Day! Pi Day is of course one of the high holidays for nerds. The other is Mole Day (October 23) and that is best celebrated by dressing up in a mole costume and singing a special song in its honor. You’ve never heard the line “that’s 6 with 23 zeros at the end…Much to big a number to comprehend” or danced to it either? Well, fine then, we’ll just stick to Pi Day and its glorious pies made in the holiday’s honor.
Today’s pie isn’t anything fancy. When I was a kid and I would visit my grandma, she’d make it for me and my brother. As a kid I had never seen such a tall pie and it was solid chocolate. My grandma called it dream pie and the first time we ate it my brother had a nightmare that night so he called it nightmare pie for quite a while. The other name we called the pie was pudding pie but being a kid and not being trusted in the kitchen, I had no clue why it would be called dream pie or pudding pie. Here’s a hint.
For this recipe you need a magic ingredient called dream whip (a whipping stabilizer), pudding of your choice, a 9 inch pie crust and milk. That’s it. It’s so simple.
At the beginning you only mix a cup of milk with the dream whip and magically you already have a very fluffy looking base. Then you add in pudding and some more milk and you have a giant fluffy mixture that you just spoon into a pie shell. The hardest part of this recipe is that you have to let the pie chill for 4 hours. It’s super simple and straight from the box so while my grandma never told me her “secret” recipe, I just had to find dream whip on the shelf in the pudding aisle to discover her secret.
- 2 envelopes (1 package) Dream Whip
- 2 3/4 cups milk
- 2 (3.4 oz) packages Jello instant chocolate pudding
- 9 inch graham cracker pie shell, baked
- If your pie shell requires baking, bake it and cool following the instructions.
- With a mixer blend 1 cup of the milk and the 2 packs of dream whip.
- Beat on high for 6 minutes until the mix has peaks.
- Add the powdered pudding and remaining milk. Mix on low until combined, then on high for 2 minutes.
- Spoon the mix into the pie shell. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
Happy 100th birthday to the Girl Scouts! I was a Girl Scout for only 3 years but I’m still friends today with several of the girls who were in my troop.
In honor of the Girl Scouts reaching such an old age, I created a cocktail in their honor. I wanted a chocolate milkshake with the taste of mint cookies and for fun I threw in some rum. It was a great combination. I used chocolate ice cream but for a stronger mint flavor you could use vanilla ice cream. You could even go the mint chocolate chip route but I didn’t want the taste of Thin Mints to compete with the taste of the ice cream. The only thing that went wrong with this cocktail was that my eyes were bigger than my stomach. That’s what I get for drinking before 5 o’clock. I’ve adjusted the recipe so it makes two small cocktails, one for you and one for another Girl Scout.
If you haven’t seen Girl Scout cookies in your area yet try the Girl Scout Cookie locator. I live in a rural community without many young people so I’m always having to hunt down Girl Scouts but now I just plan ahead and combine a cookie run with a trip to the hardware or grocery store. You could always cheat like I do in the off-season and buy the Keebler Fudge Shoppe Grasshopper cookies. They aren’t quite as minty or as crunchy and they’ll do when I run out of a frozen supply of Thin Mints but I always revert as soon as it’s cookie season.
If you aren’t a Thin Mint person, I’ve been seeing plenty of Girl Scout-themed desserts this year. There’s SugarDerby’s Do-Si-Dos and Tagalong Bundt Cake, aBitterSweetWife’s Samoa Caramel Bark, My Baking Addiction’s Tagalong Peanut Butter Parfaits, and these incredible looking Samoas Cupcakes by Sweet Pea’s Kitchen.
What’s your favorite Girl Scout cookie?
- 6 Thin Mint Cookies
- 3 Scoops Ice Cream
- 2 Shots of Rum
- 4-6 oz Milk
- Whipped Cream
- Choose 2 tumblers to serve your cocktails in. Use 1 to measure out a full tumbler of milk.
- Add the milk to a blender with cookies, ice cream, and rum. Blend until smooth.
- Pour shake into tumblers and add whipped cream.
If you’re in St. Louis, you’ve probably played in a trivia night or two. Outside of St. Louis I’ve discovered that most people have no clue what a trivia night is. Usually trivia nights include 10 or so rounds of 10 questions with the event working as a fundraiser for a cause. There are usually raffles, giveaways, and a group of about 50 or more tables competing.
My friends and I have an annual tradition. We go to our old high school’s trivia night to raise money for each year’s grad night program to promote a safe night without drinking for all the kids. The event provides free sodas and you can buy drinks and all the tables bring their own food. My friends and I tend to take that food part as a challenge. We bring pizzas, tacos, chips, deli sandwiches, a fruit tray, dip, cheese and crackers, and plenty of yummies for everyone. This year I made a S’mores snack mix. I’m pretty sure one person wanted to steal it from me and eat it all night long with a glass of milk. Who can resist Golden Grahams, a chocolate syrup, and marshmallows together? Thankfully it was good enough to help cope with our crushing loss this year. Let’s just say the categories included retirement community card games and knowing the price of toilet paper at a grocery store. Sorry people, I’m in my 20s and shop sales.
- 12 oz box Golden Grahams cereal
- 3/4 cup Dark corn syrup
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 11 1/2 ounce bag milk chocolate chips
- 1/2 bag of 11 oz bag of mini marshmallows
- Pour box of Golden Grahams into a large bowl.
- Over medium heat, stir together corn syrup and butter until evenly combined. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips until smooth.
- Pour the chocolate mix over the Golden Grahams and stir together. Once well combined, add your half bag of mini-marshmallows.
- Spread the mix into a sheet cake pan using your hands. Smash it as flat as you can and let rest for 2 hours.
- After 2 hours, break the mix apart into smaller bites and enjoy.
This is the time of year so many people post their resolutions for 2012 and reflect on how they did for 2011. This is the time of year I say “Screw Resolutions” and post the most fattening cupcakes I’ve ever had. They’re completely delicious, amazing, and rich so really I’m doing you a favor. If you insist on dieting for 2012, make these for your New Year’s Eve party as one last hurrah.
These Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes feature a chocolate chip cupcake base with an egg-free chunk of chocolate chip cookie dough inside each one. Then you top it off with a cookie dough flavored frosting and sprinkle on some mini chocolate chips for decoration. The 6+ sticks of butter might be intimidating but before you give up on cupcakes forever you’ll know you’ve had the best one there is.
Recipe is from the brilliant Annie from Annie's Eats. It's just like eating real cookie dough but in cupcake form so give in to temptation and try one.
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 2/3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
- 7 oz. sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- Additional mini semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line 2 cupcake pans with 24 cupcake liners.
- Cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the eggs one at a time until blended smooth.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the sugar mix until just mixed. Stir in the vanilla.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter evenly and bake for 18-20 minutes until a soft gold color. Let cool.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Blend in the flour, sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until mixture is smooth.
- Gently stir in the mini chocolate chips.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until the mixture has firmed up a bit, about an hour.
- Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add in the flour and salt.
- Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended. Let firm up for 5 minutes.
- Once cool, cut a cone-shaped portion out of the center of each cupcake.
- Take your chilled filling and roll 1/2 tablespoon into a tiny ball. Place each ball into a cupcake. Use any leftover filling to make sure cupcakes are nice and smooth on top, where the hole once was.
- Spread or pipe the frosting onto each cupcake. I used a Wilton 1M tip.
- Decorate the cupcakes however you like, I added more mini chocolate chips to mine.