Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cups

Every 18 months my students perform a flute and piano recital.  Getting ready is a lot of work for both them and me, but it’s a great experience for them, their parents love it, and it holds me accountable as a teacher.

The moms are always so great about helping out with bringing baked goods for the reception afterward, but since it’s my studio recital I pitch in with the baked goods too.  I didn’t have time for cookies, so we make 2 little desserts:  Chocolate Eclair (recipe coming soon) and Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cups.

Caramel Apple Cheesecake Cups are a twist on a Cheesecake Cup recipe my mom got from a friend.  (To make regular Cheesecake Cups, eliminate the cinnamon and nutmeg from the recipe below, add 1 T. lemon juice and top with pie filling of choice.)  I saw a can of apple pie filling (yes, I cheated and didn’t do homemade due to time constraints) and we went from there.

Love it when an idea works out!

CARAMEL APPLE CHEESECAKE CUPS

  • Nilla Wafer cookies
  • 2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 can apple pie filling, diced (the one I bought was blah so I sprinkled cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves over the filling and added 4 T. brown sugar)
  • caramel topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Beat cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until just incorporated, then add vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Set aside.

Line muffin tins with paper liners and place one wafer in the bottom of each liner.  Fill each cup half-way and bake 15-20 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.  Top with pie filling, drizzle with caramel and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Lemon Cheesecake

My parents are going to a New Years party tomorrow and were asked to bring something that starts with the letter ‘L’.  Mom asked me to take care of it for her.  After going through multiple internet lists of appetizers and desserts that start with ‘L’, I settled on a Lemon Cheesecake recipe that I found on http://www.allrecipes.com but utilized some of the edits from the comments.  It’s actually called Luscious Lemon Cheesecake, so it doubly fulfills the ‘L’ requirement, but there’s something about the word luscious… I’m leaving it out!

LEMON CHEESECAKE

Crust:

  • 1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 c. ground almonds
  • 1/3 c. butter, melted
  • 1/4 c. sugar

Filling:

  • 4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 c. sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 T. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 T. lemon extract

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Turn 9-inch springform pan upside-down and cover with 2 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil.  (This cheesecake is baked in a water bath, so the foil will prevent water from seeping in.)

Combine graham crumbs, ground almonds, butter and sugar and toss with fork.  Press into the bottom and 3/4 of an inch up the sides of the springform pan (I find that a flat-bottom highball glass works great for this).  Bake for 8-10 minutes at 475.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Add extracts, zest and juice, and combine well, scraping bowl once or twice to be sure cream cheese is worked through.  Add eggs one at a time and then pour filling into crust.

Set springform pan inside a larger pan (for me, my jumbo frying pan is my best option).  Pour hot water between the springform pan and the pan you set it in.  Bake at 475 for 15 minutes, reduce oven temp to 350 and bake for an additional 60 minutes or until lightly browned on top.  Remove from oven and take cheesecake out of water bath.  Return cheesecake to oven (turned-off ) and leave in there for 30 minutes with door cracked open.

Mrs. Verburg, think you could take a pic of a piece once you all cut into this tomorrow night? 😉

Baked crust set in the frying pan ready for filling and a water bath.

Filling...

Voilá!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I had a wedding music consultation this week and wanted to having something to serve as dessert once we were finished.  I wanted to make the White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake that I’ve got down-pat, but didn’t have a couple of the ingredients so had to go searching for something that included ingredients I had in the house.  Tried this instead, and it’s really, really, REALLY good!

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESECAKE

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 stick butter
  • 1/3 c. sugar

Peanut Butter crumbles:

  • 1/2 c. peanut butter
  • 2/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 c. mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Filling:

  • 2 8-oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2 T. lemon juice
  • 1 T. vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Combine crust mixture and press into a 9-in. sprinform pan.  Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes.  Turn up oven to 350 degrees.

Mix peanut butter, powdered sugar and brown sugar.  Set aside 3 T. crumbles and sprinkle the rest over the baked crust.  Sprinkle chocolate chips over crumbles.

Beat filling ingredients and pour over crumb mixture.  Sprinkle remaining crumbles on top and bake for 45 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Refrigerate for 24 hours.  Serve drizzled with chocolate sauce.

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Another winner!  I made this cheesecake for a dinner party this past weekend and it was a major hit.  I believe that one of the guests even had 2 pieces!  This recipe serves about 16 people.  I HIGHLY recommend this one!

White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

WHITE CHOCOLATE RASPBERRY CHEESECAKE

  • 2 c. crushed oreos
  • 1 t. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. melted butter
  • 1 12 oz. bag frozen raspberries
  • 2 T. white sugar
  • 3 t. cornstarch
  • 2 c. white chocolate chips (1 regular size bag)
  • 1/2 c. half-and-half
  • 3 8oz. packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Wrap 2 layers of heavy duty foil around bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan.  MAKE SURE YOU DON’T PUNCTURE THE FOIL!
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/2 c. melted butter.  Press into bottom of 9 inch springform pan.
  3. In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 T. sugar and cornstarch.  Bring to boil, and continue boiling 5 minutes or until sauce is thick.  Press sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds.  Put in freezer and stir occasionally until ready to add to cheesecake.
  4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water (or a double boiler), melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.  Remove from heat to cool a little.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth.  Beat in eggs one at a time, scraping bottom and sides of bowl after each addition.  Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate.  Pour half of batter over oreo crust.  Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over better.  Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and spoon 3 more tablespoons raspberry sauce on top.  Swirl batter with tip of knife to create marbled effect.
  6. Set foil covered springform pan into large frying pan or deep casserole dish.  Slowly add water between springform and frying pan until it’s about half-way up the sides of the foil.
  7. Bake for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until top is golden and middle springs back to the touch.  Remove from water bath and let sit on the stove top for about 20 minutes.  Loosen sides with a thin knife.  Gently top with remaining raspberry sauce and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.  I also added white chocolate shavings for garnish.

ENJOY! 🙂

White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

These bars were a HUGE hit at our house.  In fact, I made a big batch in a glass 10×15 and they’re already gone.  Granted, I brought some with on Saturday night for a gathering with friends, we served them after church with coffee and they went into lunches on Monday… but still!

This recipe is from the Holiday ’08/Winter ’09 issue of Kraft’s Food & Family magazine.  I tripled the crust ingredients and doubled the filling ingredients for the big pan I made.

  • 12 Oreo Cookies, finely crushed (those of you who know me know how this was done!)
  • 2 T. melted butter
  • 3 squares white chocolate
  • 2 8 oz. pkgs cream cheese at room temperature (don’t use low-fat)
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c. red raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press into bottom of glass 8 inch square pan (you don’t need to grease the pan).  Melt 2 chocolate squares in double boiler or on 50% power in microwave.  (Hint:  double boiler is better.)

Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until blended.  Scrape sides and bottom of mixing bowl.  Add melted chocolate; mix well.  Scrape  again.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.  Pour over crust.

Bake 25-28 min. or until center is almost set (edges will be slightly browned).  Cool 5 minutes.  Spread with preserves.  Melt remaining chocolate square; drizzle over cheesecake with a fork.  Go around edges with sharp knife and then cut into 18 bars.  Keep in refrigerator.

HINT:  Don’t drizzle white chocolate until your bars are ready to be served.  Once the chocolate sets and you cut the bars, the drizzle gets pulled into the cuts and it doesn’t look pretty anymore.  I’m making these again in a week and I’m going to drizzle chocolate right onto the serving tray.  I figure it’ll look cool. 🙂

ENJOY!

Raspberry Lemonade Cheesecake

So… my first posting. I really used to frown on this whole blogging thing, but have decided to give it a try. I was inspired by a friend who does a great job sharing her culinary creations and wanted to give it a shot. I hope you like it! 🙂

My father is notorious for watching 2 things: The Weather Channel and The Food Channel. For christmas last year my mother bought him the Food Network Favorites cookbook, and since he doesn’t cook and my mother doesn’t experiment I’m the only one that uses it. Tyler Florence’s The Ultimate Cheesecake Recipe is one I have used many, many times; however, this time I wanted to try something new. I wanted to use raspberries instead of blueberries, a more “cinnamony” crust and I wanted the cheesecake to be more lemony. With some substitutions I have renamed this recipe…

RASPBERRY LEMONADE CHEESECAKE

Cinnamon Graham Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 T. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2 T. brown sugar

Filling

  • 2 8 oz. packages cream cheese
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • zest of one lemon
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 t. lemon extract

Raspberry Lemonade Topping

mix together

  • 2 pints raspberries, gently crushed
  • zest and juice of one lemon
  • 4 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Flip 9-inch spring form pan upside down and carefully wrap bottom and sides with heavy duty aluminum foil.  There should be foil sticking up higher than the pan itself.  (MAKE SURE there are no tears or holes.) Spray pan with non-stick cooking spray. Combine ingredients for crust and toss with fork until well mixed. Press into pan and pop into freezer until ready to fill.

Beat cream cheese until fluffy and then begin adding one egg at a time. Slowly add sugar, sour cream, lemon zest, vanilla and lemon extract – scraping sides and bottom throughout. Pour filling into graham crust.

Set pan into a large roasting pan or frying pan and gently pour boiling water in until it’s about halfway up the foil surrounding the cheesecake pan.

Bake 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave in oven for another hour. Remove from water bath and let sit for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and serve with raspberry lemonade topping.