My deadline has arrived. I know that you all have been on the edges of your seats waiting for this post. Yes, get a grip! Most of you won’t even read this, and I don’t blame you. It is depressing … Continue reading
Wicked Weekend #6
I have made these twice in the past few weeks. The first go round for a work function, and the second for a dear friend who had the audacity to move away from me 5 (ish) years ago.
I met JH at a time when I was in need of companionship. I know, I know….. how lame can I get!!!
We had lived in the area for a few years, but I was struggling living in such a rural area and breaking into the ‘clique’ that is common in small towns. I am not one of those fortunate people who is able to talk to a ”lamp-post” and make it interesting. I have always had a hard time meeting people…..some would probably even think I am stand-offish . I swear to god I am not….I am just out of my comfort zone when surrounded by people I don’t know.
Anyway…….. Have you ever met someone who understands you, is there for every facet of your life and never judges you? This was JH for me! She was my gift from God in that moment of time.
Years later…… and I swear I am no longer claiming I can’t wait to get out of here, and even better …. I am no longer saying NO WAY am I dying here in the little O, I am blessed to say that even though we are miles and miles apart, JH is still in my life. We may not be able to walk inside each other’s houses on a whim, but we have been able to get together a few times a year, even managing a fun-filled (and camera soaked) family vacation. Better yet, I know that she will be there whenever, and wherever I need her….and she will GET IT!
In honor of her visit, I made these bars for a second time. Haven’t made them in awhile…..and didn’t get to sneak any at the office gathering (do you see my sad face?) ….and she loves cheesecake….. and it was her birthday…..
If you enjoy blondies, cheesecake, strawberries and white chocolate you will get a kick out of these sweet little bars. Make sure you take them out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving. This will give them enough time to relax. If you are too impatient, be aware…they will be chewy. I cut these into normal size bars, but I think that they would be perfect ‘bite-size’.
Strawberry Cheesecake-Stuffed Blondies
(original from a Passion for Baking)
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
10 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 ½ cups firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1/8 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
2/3 cup strawberry jam
½ cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray sides and bottom of a 13×9 inch pan. Place pan on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- Graham Layer- Toss graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and butter in bottom of pan and press to cover bottom of pan. Set aside.
- Cheesecake Layer- Place cream cheese and sugar in a food processor and blend briefly. Add egg, vanilla, lemon juice and flour-blending until smooth. Set aside.
- Blondie Layer- In medium saucepan over very gentle heat, melt butter and brown sugar together and cook until sugar dissolves somewhat (about 6-8 minutes). Spoon into a medium mixing bowl and let cool to room temperature. Once cooled, blend in egg, flour, baking powder, salt and nuts. Spread batter evenly on graham crust, using a wet knife or spatula. Spread on half of strawberry jam. Then top with cream cheese batter and , using a metal spatula, swirl cream cheese batter deeply into blondie batter so that bottom crust, cheesecake batter and blondie batter marbelize. Top with spoonfuls of remaining strawberry jam and swirl briefly.
Bake- 25-28 minutes. Squares will seem set but might be slightly jiggly. Remove from oven; sprinkle on white chocolate chips, or shavings, let sit for 10 minutes; smear after chips have melted. Cool 30 minutes on a wire rack. Chill bars in refrigerator. Cut into squares in pan.
Servings: Makes 16-32 squares, depending on size
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Wicked Weekend #3
In honor of Easter, I wanted to turn my favorite peanut butter cup recipe into chocolate easter eggs. What I didn’t plan on was an overheated kitchen—the oven being used all morning/afternoon and an unusually hot day…..what is up with this weather!! Hot kitchen–> Large frozen peanut butter eggs = gooey mess when dunked into a chocolate bath. Thank the Lord I had plenty of mini cup liners on hand. Still sad over it, but a HINT to all of you…just add additional powdered sugar to make a stiffer consistency to form your eggs.
I came up with this recipe about half dozen years ago when I wanted to replicate the candy bar “Take Five”. It has been with me ever since, popping up in various places but always being a constant in my candy making.
HAVE A BLESSED EASTER!
Homemade Peanut Butter Cups
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
¾ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp sea salt
3 Jumbo Hershey Chocolate Bars (dark or milk chocolate), chopped
- Line a 24 mini muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
- In a large bowl mix the peanut butter, unsalted butter, vanilla and sea salt with a spoon until well combined. Add the confectioner’s sugar to the peanut butter mixture and stir until completely incorporated. Adjust the sugar level if needed. Chill in refrigerator until chocolate is ready.
- Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate, stirring often. Once melted, add small spoonful to paper cup liners and spread on bottom and sides of paper liner with either back of spoon or small pastry brush. Put in refrigerator until firm, 20-30 minutes.
-Once the chocolate has set up in the liners, pull the peanut butter filling from the refrigerator. Fill cup liners with rounded teaspoon of peanut butter, pushing down on the top so that the peanut butter spreads to the sides of the liner. Top peanut butter with remaining melted chocolate-filling out the sides and bringing to the top of the cup liner. Return muffin tin to the refrigerator and chill until peanut butter cups are set up and firm.
-Makes approximately 24 mini peanut butter cups.
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