Double Chocolate Berry Meringue Trifle

 

Double Chocolate Berry Meringue Trifle-001

You know that saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”? Well, life was spitting lemon juice at me every time I tried to make this dessert lol. My original idea was to make mini meringue shells and fill them with the cheesecake mixture and berries. But after three tries to make mini meringue shells and failing each time (meringue too runny, cooked meringues not cooked enough yada yada yada) I then went to just two large meringue shells, figuring I could make something like This amazing dessert. But then I undercooked THOSE a touch and when I went to get them off of the baking sheet, they crumbled. Very tasty crumbles, but crumbles nonetheless. So there went the idea of a two layered pavlova sort of dessert. So what did I do? I made lemonade. No, no, not really. Chocolate meringue lemonade? EWWW. I know I can be a bit out there at times, but not THAT much. Proverbial lemonade, people.

So what is the proverbial lemonade? A trifle. As I stood there ready to either cry or beat on a wall because this would be the third mess up (and I have made meringues many many times before. I have NO idea what my issue was this time.) for this idea. But as I stood trying not to sob, the thought popped into my head… make it into a trifle. So…ummmm… I did. Every once in a while I listen to that voice. Usually it gets me in trouble, like that whole incident with Wal Mart and wearing the underwear on my head or the time I…well, never mind.

I have to admit; the trifle idea is a pretty good one. Is it as pretty as having all of this as elegant little meringue shells would have been? No. Do I care? No. I’m more of a rustic type of a gal anyway. More importantly though- will YOU or those you’re feeding care? Oh, hell no. This is creamy from the cheesecake filling, chewy/crisp form the meringue, tart/sweet form the berries and then creamy again from the whipped cream. All in all, while I hate the eggs I wasted getting to this point, I’m quite pleased with the end result. This makes a lot so is perfect for that Summer cookout while berries are in season or great for a large family dinner.

As usual… you know the drill. Get to cookin’.

Double Chocolate Berry Meringue Trifle

  • Meringue-
  • 8 egg whites
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 1/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cheesecake filling-
  • 8 ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temp
  • 2 egg yolks (optional- they add richness but aren’t necessary if the idea of raw eggs skeeves you out)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted to remove lumps
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Berries-
  • 5 cups mixed berries or berries of choice (I used a mix of blackberries, raspberries and blueberries) rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves, melted and cooled slightly (I like using preserves in many desserts instead os sugar because you get some sweetness but it’s not overpowering plus the berries tend to release less juice using jam or preserves so no liquidy mess)
  • Whipped Cream-
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream, cold
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Make your meringue- Preheat oven to 225 degrees and line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone liner.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on it, add your egg whites, vanilla and cream of tarter. Beat on medium speed until foamy. Turn speed up to high, gradually add your sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. Don’t panic if it seems to be taking forever. Some days when I make meringue, it gets to peak quickly. Other times, it may take like 5 minutes. It all depends on the temp of the kitchen, the humidity, the temp of the eggs, etc.
  3. When you have stiff peaks, take the bowl off of the stand and gently fold in your cocoa powder. Don’t mix vigorously or you’ll deflate your whites. When mixed, spread half of the mixture into a circle on each prepared pan.
  4. Cook at 225 for about one hour or until the meringue is cooked throughout (don’t be afraid to stick a knife in there and check; you’ll just be crumbling these up anyway so pretty isn’t imperative. ) and lightly browned. Turn oven off and let meringues sit in the oven for about another hour or until completely cool.
  5. Meanwhile, make your filling- In a large bowl, combine the mascarpone and cream cheese. Beat at medium speed until light and creamy. Add in the sugar (and egg yolks if using) and beat well. Add in the cream and vanilla extract and beat well, until mixture is smooth and creamy. On low speed, beat in the cocoa powder.ย  If you did NOT use the egg yolks, you may need to add a tablespoon or two more of cream to get this to a more spoonable consistency. Cover and put in the fridge until ready to put together the dessert.
  6. Make your berries-ย  in a medium bowl (shush… bowls aren’t that hard to wash ๐Ÿ˜› ), combine the berries and the preserves. Gently fold together trying not to mush up the berries. Take about a cup of berries and set aside for the top of the dessert.
  7. Make your whipped cream- In a large bowl, combine the cream, sugar and vanilla. Beat until stiff peaks form. Set aside or refrigerate if not using right away.
  8. To put together- Crumble up one of the cooled meringues at the bottom of a large serving or trifle bowl. On top of that, layer half of the chilled chocolate mixture. On top of that, spread half of the berries. Repeat layering, then top with the whipped cream. Top the cream with the reserves berries. Cover and chill if not serving this immediately and store leftovers in the fridge.

Mascarpone Lemon Cheesecake & Berry Parfaits

Mascarpone lemon Cheesecake & berry Parfaits

Mascarpone lemon Cheesecake & Berry Parfaits


Wow, that recipe name was a mouthful. But I wanted to get the gist of it across. I could have just said cheesecake parfaits but beyond the fact that that sounds completely boring, it doesn’t talk about the mascarpone and we all know that mascarpone creates a totally different cheesecake and mouth feel (hehehehe… I said mouth feel…{insert Beavis and Butthead voice here } yes, I am really 12 years old ) than plain cream cheese so it needed mentioning. And of course you see the berries but you can’t SEE the lemon so I had to mention it too lol.

Other bloggers know how difficult it can be to come up with a name for something you’ve made if it doesn’t already have one. I have seen some that are so ridiculously long that it turns me off of even wanting to make the dish. Fictitious example- “Lamb Burgers With a Garlic Emu testicle Aioli, Caramelized And Bruleed Llama Toenails Andย  Sauteed Red peppers Served On A Tapioca Flour Spelt Bun On A Bed Of Spicy Arugala”. If you read recipes, you KNOW what I’m talking about there. Then on the other extreme you have ones that give you no idea of what it is. You’ll see a photo that obviously has a handful of different components but all it will say is “Llama Rice”. But…but…but…WAIT!!! I see what looks like pine nuts there and sparrow wings and dried fruit and and and isn’t that a brioche it’s resting in???

Thus why I tried to be somewhat concise here. Because Mascarpone No Bake Lemon Cheesecake With a Graham Cracker Crumble, Lemon Curd And Berries made me cringe as a title. And Lemon Cheesecake doesn’t do this justice.

I was quite proud of this when I tried the final dessert. I had already tried a bit 75 spoonsful of each separate part and they were all fantastic. I could and possibly do eat lemon curd as my dessert just off the spoon. I may have made a double batch for this dessert just so that I would have a lot of leftovers hehe. The cheesecake filling was simple yet tasted rich and creamy. The graham cracker crumble was a wonderful sweet textural counterpoint to the creaminess of the dessert. And the berries?? Well, they’re berries… in season…with raspberry jam. What else can I say? ๐Ÿ˜€

This comes together easily but it is a little time consuming as you are layering it all. It also makes enough for 12 servings so either make this for a large gathering (think cookout, pot luck or picnic) or cut it in half. Whatever you do, enjoy and… git to cookin’.

Mascarpone Lemon Cheesecake & Berry Parfaits

  • Cheesecake-
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 8 ounce package mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Lemon Curd-
  • My recipe for lemon curd is here
  • Graham Cracker Crumble
  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • Berries-
  • 3 pints mixed berries (I used raspberries and blueberries)
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry jam (GOOD QUALITY)
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

 

    1. Make your lemon curd first so that it can chill. When made, cover bowl and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
    2. Make the cheesecake which couldn’t be easier as this is no bake. In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese. Beat at medium high speed with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Pour in the condensed milk and beat until mixture is again smooth and creamy
    3. Add in the lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla. Beat at low speed just until combined. Pour mixture into a tupperware-ish bowl and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
    4. Make your berries- In a medium bowl, combine the berries (make sure to pick off all the pesky leftover stems). Add in the jam (melt it a little and cool it if it is a very thick jam. You don’t want to have to stir so hard to mix that you crush all the berries) and stir to combine. Again, refrigerate for about 2 hours to give the flavors time to meld.
    5. Make your graham cracker crumble- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheet with foil.
    6. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
    7. Mix in the melted butter into the crumbs and stir well until is is all combined.
    8. Pour crumbs onto baking pan and bake at 350 for ten minutes or until the crumbs look dry and lightly toasted, stirring once halfway through cooking. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
    9. When the other ingredients have chilled, get out 12 4 ounce glasses (4 ounce canning jars work well if you don’t have a lot of glasses and they come in handy with the current trend towards desserts in jars plus it makes them portable if taking them out of the house)
    10. Layer the ingredients in whatever order strikes your fancy. I did it with cheesecake filling, crumbs, lemon curd, berries and then repeated one time.
    11. Chill parfaits until serving time.

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Berry Mascarpone Cheesecake Bars

Mascarpone Berry Cheesecake Bars-001

I have decided to build an ark. Yep. An ark. Because I am pretty sure it is never ever going to stop raining here in my part of Kentucky. Usually here in mid May, we are hovering around the 80’s and already worrying about drought. This year however, it has rained almost every day for almost 2 weeks and the temp, while pleasant, is most certainly not hovering near the 80’s. Right now it’s 62.

But!!! Being me, I will not be filling my ark with two of every animal. Nope. Noah already did that and I don’t want to be a copycat. There will be animals of course. I’ll have monkeys. I like monkeys. And cats. And platypus for comic uses. But no elephants unless one of you wants to offer poop scooping services. And you’d darn well better believe I’m leaving mosquitoes behind. And centipedes. Those things ick me out. They have got to be the most prehistoric bug ever. If some director wanted to make a killer horror movie, he/she would only need to have a few scenes with centipedes crawling over the tied up heroine. *shivers*

So what will my ark be filled with? Duhhhh man, this is ME. What do YOU think? CANDY!! Twelve (why stop at two) of every kind of chocolate, lemonheads and of course my current craze, fruity gummi candy. I may also throw some cheetos on the ark just cause.

But, if you’re one of those weirdos who wants their fruit with no preservatives and actually *gasps* REAL, try these cheesecake bars. I based them off of the ubiquitous blackberry pie bars that you can find everywhere online, including right here on my blog . The pie bars originally came from The Pastry Queen cookbook. These cheesecake bars are based on that recipe. They use the same crust but the filling is changed up. These are quite yummy. The crust is sweet and buttery and the filling is creamy, tangy and sweet all at the same time. Plus- they have crumbs on top. Butter, fruit, mascarpone and crumbs. Need I say more? They couldn’t be any easier to make so you know the drill… get to cookin’!

Berry Mascarpone Cheesecake Bars

  • Crust and crumbs-
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cold
  • Filling-
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • ย 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 16 ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed and drained well
  • 1 16 ounce bag frozen blackberries, thawed and drained well
  • Fresh berries to scatter on top (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13×9 inch pan then line it with parchment paper and butter the paper.
  2. Combine the 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and the salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Set aside 2 cups of the mixture. Press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan.
  3. Bake crust at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until it is golden brown. Let rest while you prepare the filling.
  4. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, together the mascarpone, cream cheese and sour cream. Add the sugar and beat just until well combined. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat well. Mix in the flour. Gently fold in the drained berries.
  5. Spoon the mixture over the prepared crust. Sprinkle evenly with the crumbs that you held back earlier.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees about 55 minutes. You want the top to be firm but still to have a little jiggle in the center third of the bars, just like with any other cheesecake. The crumbly top will be a nice light golden brown. This will firm up as it cools so don’t overcook it.
  7. Let this cool for at LEAST an hour or so before cutting, but it’s preferable to cover it and let chill overnight. Use a sharp serrated knife that you’ve heated under hot water if you want to get clean cuts.

Warning. This Is NOT Diet Food :-D

 

Lemony White Chocolate Cheesecake

You’ve been warned. As a matter of fact, I warned you when I came back to the blog that yes, I would be sharing some lower calorie/lower fat dishes (preferably dessert hehe) but that I would still be…well… ME and would continue sharing the type of goodies that make you have to get your fat girl (or fat boy as the case may be… and while I’m thinking of it, how come it seemed ok to say “fat GIRL” instead of woman but I had to stay an urge to write “fat MAN”? What’s up with that backwards “I must have been born in 1825” sort of thinking?) pants and make you sob uncontrollably when you get on the scale. Why? Because I enjoy torturing you. Heck, who am I kidding. I’M the one who has most of a creamy delicious cheesecake taunting me here. I suppose just burying my face in it and inhaling would be strange huh?

I think we all know by now that I love anything lemon. I don’t care if typically, it’s considered a Summer food and all the cuter, prettier and more popular bloggers *grins* have moved on to all pumpkin/maple/apple/cinnamon/elephant/cranberry/squash/turkey recipes. I’m a rebel! A rebel I say! Or I was just in the mood for lemon. Whatever. But really; I like lemon. Lots. I like These Lemon Crumb Bars , I like This Lemon Curd. A LOT., I like These yummy cookies and I also absolutely LOVE cheesecake as shown here . So give me a chance to combine the two and I’m one happy woman (notice I said woman and not girl :-p ) It uses white chocolate which my friend Bel says isn’t really chocolate at all, but that’s ok; I love her anyway. She loves pumpkin as much as I do so she can’t be ALL bad. White chocolate not being a flavor that shouts itself from the rooftop, it adds more of a creaminess and vanilla flavor to this rather than a pronounced in your face chocolate flavor. But creamy is never a bad thing. I like creamy. And lemon. And white chocolate. So yup, I like this cheesecake. Too much. Please come take it from me before I have to go back to my fat girl pants. Better yet, make it yourself, have no self control, eat far too much and then tell me about it so I can feel better. Misery loves company and all that rot.

This originally comes from Taste Of Home. I didn’t change much at all. I gave it a graham cracker crust cause I was feeling lazy and I added a touch more lemon juice. Otherwise, all Taste Of Home here.

Lemony White Chocolate Cheesecake

  • CRUST-
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING-
  • 4 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened (could use low fat, but I wouldn’t recommend fat free)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 10 ounces white chocolate, melted and cooled (please don’t use “white baking chips”. It’s fine in cookies but you really need to use higher quality white chocolate when using it melted)
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (could use evaporated milk instead)
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • zest from one lemon (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • about 2 cups boiling water to put in oven for steam
  1. Combine crust ingredients and press into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add in the rest of the filling ingredients except for the eggs. Beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl a couple of times. Don’t add the boiling water please ๐Ÿ˜›
  3. Add the eggs, then beat on low speed just until combined. Remember, I’ve said it before, unless specifically instructed, you never want to overbeat a cheesecake batter. It adds air to the mix which can cause those unsightly cracks on top.
  4. Pour the batter into the crust.
  5. Put a pan (I just use a cake pan) into the bottom rack of the oven. Carefully pour the boiling water into it.
  6. Put the cheesecake into the oven, middle rack. Bake at 325 for anywhere from 65 to 85 minutes. Mine took about 80 minutes. The sides should be set but the center of the cheesecake should still be jiggly.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for about ten minutes, then unlatch the side of the pan and let it cool completely. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before cutting and to get good cuts, use a sharp knife dipped in very hot water.
  8. Serve with whipped cream and lemon peel garnish. Or just bury your face in it and inhale.


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Once Upon A Time

Creamy Mascarpone Cheesecake

I remember when I first started trying to teach myself to cook. My mom wasn’t big on cooking; she was too busy supporting 3 kids to worry about it. She did however make really good lasagna, chili, chicken and dumplings and lemon meringue pie. But she just didn’t have the time to really get into it. So when I was about ten or so, I started playing with our food ๐Ÿ˜›

My brother or sister were usually the ones to make dinner for us when mom was at work but I liked playing around with baking. Thing is, I never used a cookbook. Strangely enough, I actually succeeded anyway quite a few times. I know now that what I was whipping up when I dumped butter (well, margarine. Mom only got butter at the holidays), sugar, vanilla and flour into a bowl and beat the living hell out of it was a basic pound cake, but back then I just thought I was a genius because I made a cake… all by myself. My brother and sister never complained. I guess even far from perfectly done cakes were ok. They were sweet after all and we were kids hehe. I also had quite a few failures with this basic dump and bake method. I recall many a cake coming out of the pan gummy, tough and undercooked in the middle. We ate those too. They were sweet and we were kids ๐Ÿ˜€

I still have problems with actually opening a cookbook and following a recipe. Anyone who reads this blog knows how often I completely destroy change a recipe I’ve gotten elsewhere. Usually it works. I get lucky. If not, hey, it’s sweet and I HAVE kids now. They don’t care. ๐Ÿ˜›

Sometimes though, I find a recipe that sounds yummy enough just the way it’s written that I don’t change much at all anything. The recipe I’m posting today is one of those rare creatures. I borrowed a Gourmet cookbook from the library recently. OMG, I love this book. I have so many paged marked (not literally) to make the recipes. When I saw this recipe for Mascarpone Cheesecake, I knew I had to make it. I had bought a tub of Mascarpone a few weeks ago when we weren’t completely broke (there is a reason you get so many inexpensive recipes lol) and was saving it for the “right recipe”. This one was it. The only things I changed was to add the zest of one orange into the filling and about half a teaspoon of orange extract. Not enough of either to actually make it taste orangey, just enough to give it that “ooo, what’s in this? I taste something but I’m not sure what it is” kind of oomph. Mainly, I wanted a reason to decorate the top of it with orange strips hehe. I also used a full 3 packages of cream cheese just cause it seemed silly to use two and a half of them ๐Ÿ˜›

So if you’re craving cheesecake, give this one a try. It’s rich and creamy without being over the top “I can’t finish a piece of this…it’s too much”. It has the most outstandingly wonderful smooth and creamy texture of any cheesecake I’ve ever tasted or made. Even my non cheesecake loving husband keeps going back and taking bites of the slice I cut for picture taking and my 15 year old says he is going to eat his piece really slowly to make it last lol. I was going to add a sauce to it, but it’s so good I didn’t. Maybe with the leftovers tomorrow.

Creamy Mascarpone Cheesecake

  • Crust-
  • 70 vanilla wafers, finely ground
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Filling-
  • 3 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, room temp
  • 1 cup mascarpone cheese, room temp
  • 3/4 cup sugar (I used a full cup since I used extra cream cheese)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • zest from one small orange
  • 3/4 teaspoon orange extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Topping-
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1. Preheat oven to 350, making sure your oven rack is in the middle..
  2. Combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl and combine until you have a nice crumbly mixture.ย  Press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for about ten minutes or until light brown. Transfer to a rack to cool.
  4. While it cools, make the filling. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar. Beat at high speed for 5 minutes.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Add the extracts, lemon juice and orange zest and beat at low speed just until combined.
  7. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
  8. Bake until cheesecake is barely set and still jiggly in the middle, about 30 minutes mine actually took more like 40. But, it should be set on the outside, wiggly near the middle inch or so. It will finish setting up as it cools. Cool slightly in the pan for about 20 minutes.
  9. Make the topping-
  10. Stir together the topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  11. Spoon topping over the still warm cheesecake and return to the oven for about ten minutes or just until the topping looks set and not runny.
  12. Run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake to prevent cracking. Cool completely in the pan on a rack before taking the sides off of the cake. Best bet is to refrigerate it overnight.
  13. Use a knife dipped in hot water to make clean cuts. Or just grab a spoon and hide in the closet and eat this.


Oh The Things I Do For You

I mean… seriously? Who else will, out of love for you, make the noble sacrifice of frequently working with butter, sugar, cream and all things decadent? Who else, out of love for you, would practice over and over again, making treats JUST so that I could blog about them here for your pleasure? Who else, out of that great enduring love for you, would torture herself eating creations filled with said butter, sugar and cream, JUST so that I could then describe to you what it tasted like? No one else! No one I say! Ok, maybe a few other bloggers but they too do it out of a great love for you! It has nothing, nothing I say, to do with the idea that we like shoving gooey, rich creamy treats in our gaping maws! Perish the thought! It’s that love thing… yeah, that’s it. The love thing.

You believe me, right? *bats eyes innocently* Continue reading

I Have No Brain Cells Left

This why you haven’t had a post in a handful of days (not counting the guest post as that was written quite a while ago). I’ve been cooking, I’ve been eating… just have been in one of those blogger moods of not knowing what to write. Yes, every once in a while, my extreme creativity and ginormousย  writing skills go on hiatus *cough cough… gets hip boots*.

I like to think that right about now, my writing “skills”, such as they are,ย  are lying on a beach on Tahiti with a Mai Tai and a trashy novel. I just hope they haven’t forgotten sunscreen cause I burn easily.

I have however been spending way more time than usual reading cooking blogs. It never fails to amaze me how many of them there are out there now. Some totally suck donkey toes, others are outstanding and make me feel like I need to give up blogging because in comparison to them, my blog sucks donkey toes. Continue reading

Sometimes You Just Have To Give In

Sopapilla Cheesecake

I have a thing about not trying anything that is trendy, too talked about or gets the rating of “to die for”. I’ve mentioned before as a matter of fact how much I loathe that phrase. No matter how much of a foodie I am, there are no foods I would die for. Nope, not even Twinkies, Cheetos, a medium rare ribeye or a tall glass of Coke. I also tend to have a snobby streak when it comes to trying some recipes. Yep; me, the woman who happily uses cake mixes and cream of crap soups. For some reason when I bake, I want to know that I baked it, not that I used fifty six convenience products. Well, other than that cake mix thing. Don’t stop now! Click here!

I Love Cheesecake And I’m Also lazy

Key Lime Cheesecake Bars

Which is why I don’t make cheesecake often. I love it but for some reason cheesecake is one of those things that seems far too time consuming to me. I THINK I’m going to make it… I have 972 recipes printed out for it as well as those in my vast cookbook collection… I WANT to make them because, well, I love cheesecake but there’s that lazy thing. I like things I can throw together and while I realize logically that other than the crust, you DO just throw cheesecake together, I have this weird “it’s too much trouble” mind block going. Continue reading

When The Moon Hits Your Eye Like A Big Pizza Pie…

Sigh. Have I mentioned recently that I REALLY need a good camera?

 

That’s so NOT amore as Dean Martin crooned years ago. It’s more like, sayyyyy, the apocalypse.ย  That moon thing might hurt. Well, ok, no it won’t because the whole Earth would go BOOM long before the moon actually hit your eye… or your nose… or even an outstretched “OMG, the moon is about to hit me!!!” sort of arm. Now the boom thing? That may hurt for a split second or so.

I am pretty sure that Mr. Martin was dead drunk when he sang those words. But then again, I don’t recall any sightings of him on TV where he WASN’T dead drunk.ย  Am I the only one who remembers the show he had on TV many many years back? Erhmmm, not that I’m old enough to recall it. I watched it on you tube. Yeah, that’s it. And in those shows…erhmmm, reruns, I remember him always being surrounded by gorgeous women, always lounging against a piano and always dead drunk. Ahhh, the days when men were men. Or something like that.

Now I’m feeling all nostalgic for old TV shows. I used to love all the old variety shows that came on during the Christmas season. My favorite was always the Bing Crosby Special. Oh Gawd, I loved those shows! I have on an old VHS tape one that came out a few years after Mr. Crosby died that was a compilation of all the shows. I kept it once I found it because for YEARS, and I mean MANY YEARS, I remembered the version of “The Little Drummer Boy” he sang with David Bowie ( go look it up on you tube. It’s beyond amazing!) and that was the only way I could hear the song. Then a few years ago, “Now That’s What I Call Christmas” came out with a CD that had that song on it. I was one happy Bing lover.

Back to that moon and pizza pie thing. I love pizza. Matter of fact, I’m not sure I’ve ever met anyone who DIDN’T like pizza. But if they did, I bet I could change they mind with this one. This doesn’t have sausage or pepperoni or extra cheese or mushrooms (damn. Now I’m hungry.) Nope. This one is covered in a nice cheesecake filling, apples, cinnamon and sugar as well as caramel and a delicious streusel topping. Drooling yet?

I saw a recipe for caramel apple pizza and while it sounded good, that genetically warped part of me took over (go figure huh?) and I had to mess with it. I mean c’mon, would you really expect anything different form me? I didn’t think so. So I added a nice sugar cinnamon sprinkle to the crust to give it some flavor and then topped it all off with an oatmeal crumb topping. The cinnamon sugar could be left off if you preferred but…why? ๐Ÿ˜€ This makes a great family dessert, especially this time of the year when apples are excellent. It would also be great at a kids Halloween party. This makes 2 pies so if you want to do the math, you could cut the recipe in half ๐Ÿ˜›

Streusel Caramel Apple Cheesecake Pizza

  • STREUSEL-
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • Cinnamon sugar topping-
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cinnamon
  • PIZZA-
  • 2 store bought pizza crusts (yes you could make your own but this is meant to be a fairly easy quick to put together treat)
  • 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup caramel dip or topping
  • 3 large apples, cored, thinly sliced (Gala work well)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped peanuts (I didn’t do this because I don’t like them but figured I’d add it to make it more caramel apple seeming)
  • more caramel topping for drizzling.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all the topping ingredients. Mix well then cut in the butter using a pastry blender. Set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the cream cheese and the caramel topping.
  4. Spray the pizza crusts with butter flavored baking spray (regular is fine too) and put them on large cookie sheets.
  5. Combine the cinnamon sugar and sprinkle it over the two pizza crusts. Get annoyed at me cause I’ve made you dirty 3 bowls and 2 baking sheets.
  6. Spread half the cream cheese mixture over each pizza crust.
  7. Arrange the apple slices on each crust in a purty spoke design even though they are going to be covered in streusel and you won’t see them. YOU’LL know it’s pretty under there. It’s like wearing nice underwear in case you get into an accident.
  8. Drizzle the apples with more caramel topping. I didn’t give an amount for that because I am heavy handed with it. You may want less…. or more even, in which case call your dentist.
  9. Sprinkle half the streusel topping over each pizza crust.
  10. Bake at 350 degrees until the topping is browned and crispy and the apples are tender.
  11. Serve this with vanilla ice cream. Curse my name as your hips get bigger as you eat and your jeans button pops open. Know that I’m giggling over here.