Monday, April 26, 2010

Citrus Meringue Pie

Ok, so I found this at Taste of Home, of course, since I'm on a kick with them. I just subscribed to a year of their magazine and find most of the recipes pretty yummy. Anyway, I thought I'd try this, it was really easy, I've only made a meringue once before and that was about 4 years ago. Everyone always has told me that meringues are difficult, but I guess I've been lucky because both of my pies have turned out perfectly. Though I like the one a few years ago better, it was chocolate . . . yummmm. I didn't eat this pie, though I tasted the meringue, because I'm not a big citrus person (as explained here.) I don't generally make desserts for myself so I thought I'd give it a shot anyway! I really like the meringue, it tasts like marshmallows, but better!


For Filing:
1 – Pre-made Extra Large Graham Crust
1 cup – sugar
5 Tbsp – cornstarch
½ tsp – salt
1 cup – water
1 cup – orange juice (no pulp)
4 - Egg yolks (beaten)
½ cup – lemon juice
2 Tbsp – butter
1 tsp – grated lemon peel
1 tsp – grated orange peel

For Meringue:
3 - egg whites
1 - tsp vanilla
6 - Tbsp sugar

In a large saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch and salt and mix together.

Add water and orange juice and stir until smooth and you don't feel clumping in the bottom of the pan. (The cornstarch tends to settle so be sure to stir all the way to the bottom not just the top and center.)

Cook on medium-high heat until thick and bubbly. Stir constantly. Once it starts boiling reduce heat and keep cooking and stirring for 2 minutes then remove from heat.

In your egg yolk bowl (or glass as seen above) mix in some of the hot orange mixture and stir until smooth.

Pour all of the egg yolk mixture back into the pot and return to the heat. Boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in the lemon juice, butter and peels into the saucepan and stir until butter has melted. Pour into the crust.

Now for the meringue . . . I recommend using a hand mixer with a whisk attachment for this part.
In a large bowl whisk egg whites and vanilla on medium until soft peaks form. Slowly whisk in sugar 1 Tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form.
Spread over the filling and make sure the meringue touches the pie crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until meringue is golden brown. Cool for 1 hour then refridgerate for 1-2 hours before serving.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cherry Swirled Cheesecake

So, a few weeks ago I had a request for a cherry cheesecake, I've never made a cherry cheesecake before mainly because my husband is not a fan of cherries; At least he doesn't like whole cherries, we can have cherry flavor just not the actual fruit. So, I found this cheesecake online and it has purreed cherry filling. Now you can use strawberry filling or any other flavor in substitute for cherry if you would like, but if you are then omit the lemon juice. The lemon juice compliments the cherry giving it a slightly tart sweet flavor. It would work well without the lemon juice.


1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 (21 oz) can cherry pie filling
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.
Mix your first 3 ingredients in a small bowl then press firmly into 9 inch springform pan.
(You won't have to pre-bake the crust, but if you want that extra step bake it for 8 minutes then cool)

In your large bowl beat the cream cheese, with electric mixer, until smooth.
Slowly add the rest of the ingredients (except cherry filing)
Beat until smooth and well blended.

If you haven't already, then puree your cherry filling until smooth.
(This took me about 5 seconds on low)

Now pour half of your cream cheese mixture into your spring form pan.
Over that pour half of your cherry filling.
 (If you would like to make the top look more "marbled" then pour 3/4 of your mixture here)

Pour the rest of your cream cheese mixture on top of the cherry.
Then pour remaining cherry on the top.
Run a knife through the cake and it gives it a marble (or swirled) look.
If I were to do this again I would have poured more in the first layer so the top would be able to have a prettier marbled look.
Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the center is set.

Friday, April 16, 2010

"Mini" Cheesecake

Ok so this isn't technically a mini-cheesecake but it is a small cheese cake great for a dinner of 4 or 6 if you cut small slices. It is just a 7 inch New York-Style Cheesecake and would be great with a cherry or strawberry topping or eat it like we do just plain.


1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp sugar
2 pkgs cream cheese (8 oz)
1 pkg cream cheese (3 oz)
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1-1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1/2 cup sour cream

In a small bowl mix the crumbs, butter and sugar in a bowl until moistened. Then press tightly into a 7-inch springform pan. Then bake for 8 minutes at 350 degrees. Set aside and let cool.

Beat cream cheese in the mixer until light and creamy.

Slowly add the sugar, egg, vanilla, flour and sour cream. Beat until blended then pour into your springform pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes or until done. Cool then refrigerate overnight. I hope you enjoy this yummy "mini" cheesecake.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Chocolate Coffee Toffee Cheesecake

For some reason, people like cheesecake, not that it's odd, but they request cheesecake more often than anything else. I have some that I make regularly that I had a recipe for then changed it. This is one of those recipes. I have never made it before, and unfortunately didn't get to try it (which means I'll have to make another one *wink*) but my husband took it to work and said that it was a hit. It looks good, it smells good, it's sweet and has a hint of coffee, but again I did make some changes to the recipe (just a few).

The original recipe was in the Taste of Home Magazine. I recommend this to everyone, Taste of Home has fantastic recipes and they have very affordable cookbooks and magazine subscriptions.


2- 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter (melted)
1/4 cup sugar

*Note if you are the type that likes to use the pre-made pie crusts, then you will need at least two large pre made pie crusts, this isn't exact since I did make my own, but premade is always an option. The links are for 2 different types of crusts.*

6 oz. Ghirardelli Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
4 tsp. bold coffee granules (I did not use instant)
3 (8 oz.) pkg cream cheese softened
1-1/3 cups sugar
1-1/2 cups sour cream
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
3 eggs
4 Heath Candy Bars

(If you are using a pre-made pie crust you can skip this step) Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix together your ingredients of the pie crust until it is all moist. In a greased 9 inch springform pan firmly press in the graham mixture make sure it's nice and packed you can leave it just on the bottom or go 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
Bake for 10 minutes and then cool.

Break apart your chocolate squares into small pieces, this will allow them to melt quickly. Put them in a microwave safe bowl with the whipping cream. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir (mine were melted after 30 seconds if yours aren't melted then after you stir, put them in for 15 seconds). Stir the mixture until it is smooth then add your coffee granules. These will not dissolve in your mixture, stir until coffee is mixed in well then set aside.

In your large mixing bowl combine the softened cream cheese and sugar and mix with electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the salt, sour cream, and vanilla.

Beat in your chocolate mixture, and then add eggs one at a time continue beating until everything is well combined.
Pour into your springform pan and bake for 50 minutes (or until the center is set).

Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
While the cake is cooling chop up your Heath bars. Sometimes the tops of the bars separate and that's ok.

Sprinkle the top of your cake with the Heath bars after 10 minutes and leave out on the counter for an hour or so.
Then refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

No Bake Heaven

No bake cookies are absolutely my favorite, don’t ask why I love these over all of the others, I just don’t know. They are simple to make and are great on a hot summer day when you feel like making something but don’t feel like heating up your house with your oven. Pretty much every recipe of this is the same, and they aren’t the prettiest cookies in the world, but they are just yummy!

2 c       Sugar
¼ c      cocoa powder (I used Nestle today)
½ c      milk (I prefer 2%)
½ c      butter/margarine
1 t        vanilla
1/8 t     salt
¾ c      smooth peanut butter
3 c       oats

In your heavy sauce pan combine your first 4 ingredients over medium heat. Stir constantly so your chocolate and other items don't burn. Keep stirring until it comes to a boil and let it boil for about 1 minute. Remove it from heat.

Stir in the remaining ingredients. And it starts looking yummy already! You'll drop it in heaping spoonfuls on wax paper. Now you don't Have to put it in the fridge, but I prefer putting them on cookie sheets (on wax paper of course) and popping them in the fridge if there is room and on occasion the freezer.

They take about an hour to cool ad are ready to eat. If you have any left after cooling store them in an airtight container.