Salted Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake

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I had such high hopes for this dessert. It looked amazing on the original site, but I was not super impressed with the turn out. My pictures never look as pretty as the originals, but even the taste of this one was a little underwhelming.
It was a lot of work! This cake requires planning ahead, which I don’t mind. You make the cheesecake at least a day in advance.

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I’ve never made cheesecake before, so this part was kind of fun. It also gave me a chance to visit a friend that I haven’t seen in a while, as I needed to borrow a springform pan.
After you have the cheesecake layer made, you have to make the two chocolate cake layers. Then put your cake together:

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I was getting excited at this point. How freaking yummy does it look? Delicious, right?
Then you make the frosting for the cake, which, after following the recipe, was runny and impossible to use:

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I checked the notes on the blogger’s site, and they said you may have to add more powdered sugar to get a good texture. Recipe called for 4 cups of powdered sugar, and I ended up using almost a full two pound bag to get the right texture.
The ganache had an overly thick texture, also difficult to use. But we persevered and finished the cake:

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We finally dug in on Thanksgiving, our Thanksgiving was on Friday thanks to work, and the overall opinions were:
Chiara ate the frosting and ganache.
Arthur ate everything except the cheesecake.
Tony enjoyed it, but said he’s had better cheesecake and the frosting was really thick.
I ate one piece and was unimpressed.

The best part about this recipe was the link to her caramel sauce recipe. This was delicious! Caramel sauce was needed for this recipe for both the frosting and the drizzling on top. I have been using the excess for apple dipping!

I’m not posting the recipe as I usually do, mainly because it is super involved. I will not be trying this cake again. It looks amazing on the original site, and I am very disappointed it didn’t come out as intended. It’s a lot of work for a dessert!

So for the moment, I’ll be sticking with chocolate caramel pie, French silk pie or pumpkin pie for my holiday desserts!

Try the Grey Stuff……. It’s delicious!

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This is a pin that I’ve only recently pinned and it looked scrumptious (maybe I should say delicious?)! Then on Girls Night, Emily, our hostess made some. The picture above is actually the stuff she made. It is super rich and super yummy! Don’t overindulge, savor.
My recipe, which was very similar to the one she used, came from this site.
To make this amazing desert, all you need is:
•1 regular package of vanilla pudding (not family sized)
•1 1/2 cups whole or 2% milk (I used 2%)
•12 Oreos (not double stuffed)
•1 8oz tub of cool whip
•2 or 3 tbs of chocolate pudding mix
•sprinkles or edible pearls (optional)

Start by mixing your milk and vanilla pudding mix, then refrigerate while you complete the next step:

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Use a food processor, or just smash them manually, but grind up your Oreos until you have a fine powder:

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**Side note on how important it is to read directions:12 Oreos, not a package. My Grey Stuff, while still yummy, was definitely brown.**

Combine your Oreo dust and vanilla pudding, mixing well. Mix in your Cool Whip, I pulled out my hand mixer at this point because my Cool Whip was still a little solid. Slowly add your chocolate pudding mix, stirring as you go, so hopefully yours will be grey instead of brown!

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**The picture does make it look grey, but trust me, brown!**

Refrigerate for at least an hour, then serve up on brownies, or just in a bowl like pudding, which is what my kids call it, decorating with sprinkles or pearls at your discretion:

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All in all, delicious! And who knows, maybe next time it’ll be grey……

Happy dining!

Maple Butter Blondie

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I feel obligated to point out that I am not one of those people who take stunning shots of food! You might have noticed! Maybe it’s just that the food I make, while delicious, was never meant to be photographed…… This is Tony’s all time favorite dessert from Applebee’s, so I knew I’d have to try this recipe!
This delicious recipe came from Get Off Your Butt and Bake.
To make your brownie batter you need:
•1/2 tsp baking powder
•1/8 tsp baking soda
•1/8 tsp salt
•1 cup flour (she said sifted, which I didn’t do)

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Combine these for ingredients first.

•1/3 cup butter, melted
•1 cup packed brown sugar
•1 egg
•1 tbsp vanilla. extract

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•1/2 cup white chocolate chips
•1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Once your butter is completely melted, stir in your brown sugar until it’s well combined. Add your egg and vanilla extract, stir again. Add your flour mixture slowly. Once it is a super thick batter, add your white chocolate chips.

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There was not a lot of batter once it was all said and done, hardly enough to layer the bottom of my 9×9 baking dish.

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The batter tasted good, so onward we go!
Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes.

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*A tip from my mistake* The center may seem a little squishy, but do not continue baking or your brownie will be very tough to chew!

On to the sauce part!
•3/4 cup maple syrup (she said to use real maple syrup, but I used the Great Value stuff and it was delicious)
•1/2 cup butter
•3/4 cup brown sugar
•1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Great the maple syrup and add your butter. One butter is melted, add in the brown sugar and stir until it’s all dissolved. Add the walnuts last.

Put your brownie on a plate, scoop some ice cream, drizzle the sauce over the top and enjoy!
As stated, my brownies were a little tough to chew. Round two with this batch led me to crumbling up my brownie, adding a few scoops of ice cream and then sauce.

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It was delicious as well!

Bake on my friends, name on!

Homemade Pumpkin Pie

As previously stated, I have never baked a successful pie. I’m slowly building my baking and cooking chops due to my Pinterest obsession and it is working. I felt confident enough to try again for this last Thanksgiving. I recently discovered that my husband loves pumpkin pie. Seven years married and I just found this out. That just goes to show you that you never stop learning about your spouse!

My last post was about the making of the crust and that went really well. Surprisingly easy actually and you can get those directions here: https://superstevied.wordpress.com/2013/12/03/a-no-fail-pie-crust-recipe/

The pie that I put in the crust was just as simple and absolutely delicious! Tony has eaten most of the pie himself! The kids and I haven’t been slouches either. Even Chiara ate her entire piece of pie. New foods usually throw her off, but she couldn’t resist the yummy-ness.

You start by preheating your oven to 425 degrees. While that’s going on, you mix together 3/4 cups of brown sugar, 2 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg together. Once the spices are well combined, you add in 2 beaten eggs and 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree. I used my real pumpkin, not from a can. There was a different measurement used for the in-a-can stuff, so be sure to refer to the original website for those measurements. Once the pumpkin mixture is ready, pour it into the crust.
before baking
Bake at the 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40-50 minutes or until you inset a knife in and it comes out clean.
I’ve never made a pumpkin pie, nor have I been involved in the baking of one. I could not figure out why it kept jiggling. The recipe said until the knife was clean, so I pulled it out when the knife was clean.
fresh out of the oven
Sadly, I had to work on Thanksgiving day, so we had Thanksgiving lunch instead of dinner. This lead to a nap before work and no time for pie. Luckily, my husband loves me enough that he didn’t dig in without me. Of course this meant that we had our pie on Saturday! I also had no idea that pumpkin pie settles over time, so the longer it sits, the more the middle sinks in. It still tasted delicious, and the last slice is waiting for me as I write, but next time we’ll aim for more immediate ‘digging in’. Don’t forget the Ready Whip!
time to dig in

Original pin links to http://premeditatedleftovers.com/recipes-cooking-tips/always-in-season-pumpkin-pie/#_a5y_p=1037397

A No-Fail Pie Crust Recipe

I have only tried making a pie once before. It was a cream cheese pie and they were a staple for family holidays while growing up. Sadly, my one attempt at this ended with a gooey mess in a graham cracker crust. That attempt was shortly after I got married and I have never attempted again. We carved a lot of pumpkins this year and I had a lot of pumpkin guts in my freezer. I asked Tony how he felt about pumpkin pie, and he informed me that he loved pumpkin pie……. Nice to know after seven years of marriage!

I wanted to try my hand at a pie for Thanksgiving and I figured if I was going to do this, I was going to go with the motto: Go big or go home! Crust made from scratch too. My mom was impressed with my daring. Pinterest is my friend and I found the “Never Fail Pie Crust” recipe. The recipe creates four pie crusts, the dough can be frozen and thawed to use later, so I have some more to use for other recipes towards Christmas.

You start by mixing 4 cups of flour, 1 tbsp. sugar and 1 tbsp. salt. After it’s all mixed up, cut in 1 3/4 cups shortening. In a separate bowl mix together 1 tbsp. vinegar, 1 egg and a 1/2 cup of water. Once the egg mixture is well mixed, all it to your flour mixture. Stir until you can form four equal balls with your hands.

When you are ready to use it, be sure your surface is well floured to avoid sticking later. Here is where a rolling pin comes in handy. I, sadly, do not have one, so I had to use a wine bottle to roll my dough flat. Tony kept laughing at me, but whatever works! My first attempt kept tearing and, after adding too much flour, I had to scrap that dough and try again with the next ball! Finally I was able to get my dough into my pretty Longaberger pie plate. I did have some holes, but was able to press the dough together and make it work. The edges weren’t as artistic as I had hoped, but it was my first attempt!

I do have some other Pinterest tips to attempt to make it prettier next time! The pie I made, more on that later, was delicious, and the crust itself was light and flaky, a definite hit!

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For the original site where this recipe came from, visit http://www.danamadeit.com/2011/12/day-3-never-fail-pie-crust.html

Next up, I’ll tell you all about the delicious pumpkin pie I put in the crust!