Dulce De Leche Cheesecake

15 04 2009

dulce-de-leche-cheesecakeLine bottom & sides of 8″ square pan with 2 sheets of foil leaving overhang on all sides.

Make dulce de leche first by emptying 1 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk into top of double boiler and cool over low heat for 50-60 mins until thick and light caramel-colored. Remove from heat and whisk until smooth.

Blend ingredients together and press into bottom of baking pan.

1 cup finely ground graham crackers

2 tablespoons of agave

3 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter

Bake 10 minutes at 325F then cool for 5 mins.

For filling:

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin into 1/4 cup whole milke and let sit 2 minutes

Beat together:

8 oz cream cheese, room temp

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

Add dulce de leche gently, pour filling over crust – bake in 9″ x 13″ pan filled with some water. About 45 minutes for 325F until center set. Cool for 2 hrs, chill for at least 4 hrs.

While cheesecake cooling, make chocolate glaze by:

Melting 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate in double boiler with 1/2 stick unsalted butter and 2 teaspoons agave.

Stir until smooth, then pour over cheesecake, tilt cake until coated evenly Chill for 30 mins.

When cutting, wipe knife after each cut to keep squares clean.

Chilled cheesecake without glaze can be chilled up to 3 days.


Healthier Rice Crispy Treats

21 03 2009

peanut-puff-chewsVariation of classic rice crispy treat recipe, with roasted whole peanuts and Kashi’s puffed whole grains instead of rice crispies. This version is chewier, less crispy.

Butter OR line with parchment 9″ x 13″ pan.

Melt in a saucepan over medium heat until stirred smooth:

1 10 ounce bag of marshmellows (smaller ones melt faster but you can use either large or small)

4 tablespoons butter

Variations: once you take off heat, you can also add one of these

For peanut butter treats: 1/2 cup peanut butter 

For Mexican treats: 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup broken pecan pieces, 3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

For German chocolate: 1/2 cup coconut flakes, 1 cup chopped pecan pieces, 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder


Add melted stuff to bowl with pre-measured:

6 cups of Kashi 7 Whole Grain Puffs

1 cup whole peanuts (you can add whatever your tastebuds fancy in addition or instead of this: chocolate chips, white chocolate chips, dried cranberries, etc…)

Mix until dry stuff is coated, press into pan (I flatten with a spatula, pressing down lightly). Cool, cut, serve and enjoy!

For stove-top picture sequence check out: http://www.cookingforengineers.com/recipe/104/Kelloggs-Rice-Krispies-Treats

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

21 03 2009

whoopie-piesAdapted from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, these are yummy and healthy! Makes 14-15 whoopie pies 3 1/2″ diameter).

Mix into a big bowl:

2 cups flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

2 tablespoons cinnamon

1 tablespoon ginger

1 tablespoon cloves

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup crushed pecans (optional)

In separate bowl, mix:

1 cup agave

1 large can pumpkin puree (30 oz, 850g)

2 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Add this to the dry mix and mix until combined. Drop onto baking sheet with ice cream scoop – I found it useful to reshape after dropping so they’re even and more or less round. They don’t spread on baking so however big they are going in, that’s how big they are coming out (ie. you can make bit sized ones by dropping like cookies).

Bake 20 mins at 350F.

While they’re cooling, prepare the cream cheese filling:

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) softened butter

12 oz cream cheese, softened

1 cup 0% fat Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon vanilla

Mix until smooth, don’t overbeat. Drop big dollops of filling onto half of the whoopie pies. Press down with the other half to make pie. Cover tightly and they’ll store up to 4 days in fridge.

Double Mint Double Chocolate Brownies

21 03 2009

Grease an 8″ x 8″ pan. Put into a bowl:

3/4 cup flour

1/2 cup wheat flour

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup agave

4 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons of cocoa powder

In small bowl over saucepan of boiling water put:

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup mint chocolate chips

4 ounces roughly chopped dark chocolate

Base for 25-30 minutes at 350F, until toothpick comes out with moist crumbs – do not overbake!

While it’s cooling in the pan, prepare cream center:

1 1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) softened butter

3 tablespoons of 0% fat Greek yogurt

1 teaspoon mint extract

Beat until completely smooth. Spread on cooled brownie.

Finally prepare the chocolate glaze by melting in a small metal bown:

4 tablespoons of butter

1 cup of mint chocolate chips

Mix, spread on top of the cream center – let cool and you’re ready to serve!

Chipotle Cheddar Corn Muffins

18 03 2009

chipotle-corn-muffinsBeen experimenting to see how spicy I can get the corn muffin without it being too spicy, so this is the latest iteration – spicier and think it could be just a bit more so will have to keep trying!

1 1/2 cup flour

1 cup stone-ground cornmeal

6 tablespoons of butter (cut into pea-sized pieces)

Use pastry cutter, fork or hands to mix butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal.

Add to mix:

1 tablespoon chipotle powder

1 tablespoon chopped canned chipotle peppers (optional if you like spicier, more if you want more spice – you can also top the muffins with chopped chipotle peppers)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

3 diced fresh jalapenos peppers

1 drained can of small whole kernel sweet corn (15.25 oz/ 432 g)

10 ounces coarsely grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

In a separate bowl, mix together:

1 1/4 cup buttermilk (I’ve also swapped out for plain unflavored yogurt drink from the farmer’s market and it also works fine)

2 eggs

Add wet to dry until just mixed, if you overmix – you’ll get a tougher muffin with big air pockets (still yummy, just not as attractive).

Grease a muffin pan or use paper cups, whichever you prefer – ladle in and bake for 20 mins at 400F. These can be served warm, room temp and can keep in airtight container in fridge for 4 days.

Pear Plum Crumble

18 03 2009

plum-pear-crumbleModified from Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito’s Baked so less sweet, more tart version which is lighter (less butter).

Ready an 8″ x 8″ pan.

2 medium Bosc pears, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks (no need to peel, just wash)

2 medium Bartlett pears, cored and cut into bite-sized chunks (no need to peel)

3 large plums, pitted and cut into 8-9 wedges (no need to peel either)

grated zest/ chopped and juice of 1 lemon

grated zest/ chopped of 1 orange, juice of 1/2 orange

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ginger powder

pinch of clove (optional if you don’t like it as spicy)

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

2 tablespoons of flour

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract if not using fresh, local fruit in season

Mix together in a bowl and let sit while you make the topping:

4 tablespoons of cold butter cut into pea-sized chunks

1/2 cup of flour

1/2 cup of brown sugar

Mix these together with pastry wire, fork or fingers – whatever you’re most comfortable with – until it resembles coarse meal.

Then add 1/2 cup of rolled oats.

Pour fruit mixture into pan, pour topping so it covers the fruit completely.

Bake at 350F for 45 minutes, in my oven I need to brown an additional 2-3 minutes on broil. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Peanut Butter Chocolate Crisp Bars

17 03 2009

img_1064Modified from Baked by Matt Lewis & Renato Poliafito cos I don’t like corn syrup in anything. First butter an 8″ x8″ pan.

For crust:

2 1/4 cups of Kashi 7-Grain Puffs

1/4 cup sugar

3 Tablespoons of water

3 T of honey or 2T agave syrup

Put cereal in a bowl, combine rest in a non-reactive metal pan, boil down, then pour over cereal, quickly mix to cover then press into bottom of 8″ x 8″ pan (no need to press up sides) and put in fridge.

Next: peanut butter layer

1 cup natural peanut butter (look for something that only has peanuts for ingredients, maybe salt)

1/4 cup 0% fat greek yogurt

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa

dash of salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey or agave (honey will be less sweet)

Mix together, spread on the crust and put back in fridge.

Last layer: Chocolate!

4 ounces of dark chocolate (I use 100%, anything above 70% is good)

1 tablespoon of honey or agave (agave will be sweeter)

4 tablespoons of butter

Melt in double boiler and spread on top of peanut butter layer.

Cool, cut, serve 🙂