Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

I love Pecan Pie and I love Cheesecake.  This is an awesome recipe combining the two.  I found this recipe on Facebook quite a while back.  It was under Just Recipes.  I tried finding it so I could link you to the recipe..... but I am not having any luck.  Please try this recipe.  I made it Easter weekend and it was perfect!  I thought about drizzling the top with a caramel topping and toasted pecans - but as you can see - I didn't!  I do think it would add to the presentation!!  Also, please don't let the list of ingredients scare you - it wasn't hard at all - and so worth the time!

Pecan Pie Cheesecake


1 3/4 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350.  Combine wafer crumbs and brown sugar ( I did this in a mini food processor). Stir in the melted butter.  Press into bottom and a little up the side of a 9" springform pan.  Bake for 6 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

Pecan Pie Filling:

1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup dark corn syrup
1/3 cup butter
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 8 - 10 minutes, stirring constantly.  Pour over crust and set aside.

Cheesecake Filling:

3  (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
4 eggs
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Reduce oven to 325.  With a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat cream cheese at medium speed until creamy.  Add brown sugar and flour beating until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each one.  Stir in cream and vanilla. Pour over pecan pie layer.  Bake for one hour.  Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in oven with the door closed for one hour.  ( I never even peaked at mine and it was perfect - no cracks at all)  Remove from oven and run a knife along the outside edges to loose. Refrigerate at least four hours.  Top with caramel sauce and toasted pecans - optional!

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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Easy Snickerdoodle Blondies

I found this recipe a while back on Facebook.  I visited the website and I LOVE it - Six Sister's Stuff. You have to check out this fun site - you will love it.  It seems like many of my bar recipes contain peanut butter and I was looking for a new recipe without peanut butter.  I have made Blondies before  - I love this Easy Snickerdoodle Blondie recipe from Six Sister's Stuff.  I had all of the ingredients and whipped them up quickly for a friend.  I love an easy recipe that calls for ingredients that I always have on hand!

Easy Snickerdoodle Blondies (adapted from Six Sister's Stuff)

2 sticks salted butter, softened
2 eggs
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 cups packed brown sugar

2 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Combine butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla using an electric mixer.  Add the dry ingredients - mixing well.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13 baking dish.  The batter will be thick like a cookie dough. Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the top of the batter.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until top springs back when pressed.  Bars will firm up as they cool.  

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Sunday, April 13, 2014

Fiesta Salad

We had our monthly birthday lunch at preschool a couple of weeks ago.  Everyone likes Mexican food so we often choose this as our theme.  I wanted to take something on the healthier side so I decided to make up a recipe - similar to a Black Bean and Corn Salad/Salsa recipe I found years back in Southern Living.  I had purchased a bag of frozen roasted corn from Trader Joe's.  I decided to start with that. I know everyone doesn't have access to Trader Joe's so any frozen or fresh corn would do.  However, I love this roasted corn if you can find it.  Pretty much, I decided to be creative.  You can do the same by adding black beans, avocado, jalepeno, etc.    We loved it!

One more thing, Cotija Cheese is like a mild Mexican Feta Cheese.  Great addition to any dish!

Fiesta Salad

1  16 oz bag Trader Joe's frozen roasted corn
1  container grape tomatoes - sliced
1 purple onion, finely chopped
1 cup Cojita Cheese, crumbled
chopped cilantro to taste
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground pepper
4 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 - 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

Thaw corn.  Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Cookies

I LOVE peanut butter and chocolate.  I usually like plain chocolate chip cookies but I thought these cookies were WAY yummy.

One of the Four Year Old Classes at preschool is collecting recipes for a project.  A sweet fun mom from my afternoon class shared this recipe.  I was headed down to see my girls in Texas last weekend and I couldn't wait to try these.  I love them.  This is a great new recipe to add to my cookie repertoire.  Give them a try!!

Reese's Peanut Butter Chocolate Pudding Cookies

Makes 70-80 cookies!

2 ¼ cup all- purpose flour                             2 large eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda                                 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt                                          1 Tbsp honey
1 (3.4 ounce) box instant vanilla pudding        1 cup milk chocolate chips
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened                   1 cup Reese’s pieces candy
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter                        1 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup sugar                                                                   
1/2 cup light brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper or a Silpat.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and pudding; set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes.  Add eggs, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Add vanilla extract and honey and beat until combined. 
Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture, beat to combine. 
Add chocolate chips, Reese’s pieces and peanut butter chips and mix until incorporated. 
Roll a tablespoon or so of dough into a 1 inch ball between your palms and then place it on the prepared baking sheet.   Repeat with the remaining dough, spacing the balls about 2 inches apart (you should be able to fit 12-16 cookies on each sheet). 
Using your palm, gently flatten the dough balls until they are about ¾ inch thick.

Bake 10 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!     

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