Thursday, May 17, 2012

Oreo Cheesecake Bites

*Makes 36 or more bites, depending on size


36 Oreo Cookies, divided
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
4 packages (8-ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 ounces white chocolate


Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, with ends extending over sides.

Finely crush 24 Oreo cookies. Melt 1/4 cup butter; mix with crumbs.
 Press onto bottom of prepared pan.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with mixer until blended. Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each just until blended.

    Chop remaining cookies. Gently stir into batter.

Pour over crust.Bake the cheesecake for about 35-40 minutes or until the sides are set and the center is almost set. Cool completely on a wire rack in the pan.

When the cheesecake is completely cooled, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. When chilled, remove the cheesecake using the foil overhang and cut the cheesecake into bite-sized pieces.

Place the cheesecake bites on a wax or parchment paper-lined baking tray. Melt the semisweet chocolate and white chocolate in separate bowls (I use the microwave on 50% power, stirring frequently).

Pour the melted chocolate into a ziploc bag, one for the semisweet chocolate, one for the white chocolate. Snip a small corner off the corner of the bag and drizzle the chocolate over the cheesecake bars. Chill the bars until ready to serve. Alternately, the drizzled bites can be frozen in an airtight container for up to a month. Let them defrost in the refrigerator and serve chilled. Note: In the ones pictured above I only drizzled with semisweet chocolate!

Cinnamon Rolls

I got this recipe off a site called The Pioneer Woman. These have become a family favorite and by far, the best cinnamon roll recipe I've ever tried in my life (and I've tried a bunch). This makes a ton of rolls, and you can even put the dough in the refrigerator so that you can have fresh hot rolls for breakfast the next morning! 

  • 1 quart Whole Milk
  • 1 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 2 packages Active Dry Yeast, 0.25 Ounce Packets
  • 8 cups (Plus 1 Cup Extra, Separated) All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon (heaping) Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon (scant) Baking Soda
  • 1 Tablespoon (heaping) Salt
  • Plenty Of Melted Butter
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • Generous Sprinkling Of Cinnamon
  • _____
  • 1 bag Powdered Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Maple Flavoring
  • 1/2 cup Milk
  • 1/4 cup Melted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Brewed Coffee
  • 1/8 teaspoon Salt

Let's get started...Preheat the oven to 375°F. 
 For the dough, heat the milk, vegetable oil, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat to just below a boil. Set aside and cool to warm. Takes about 45 mins to and hour. Sprinkle the yeast on top and let it sit on the milk for 1 minute.
When the mixture is lukewarm to warm, but NOT hot, sprinkle in 2 packages Active Dry Yeast (2 Tabs).
Let this sit for a minute so the yeast gets all warm and moist. It will start to "proof" and get bubbly.
 Then add 8 cups of all-purpose flour. Stir until just combined, then cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set aside in a relatively warm place for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, remove the towel and add 1 more cup of flour1 heaping teaspoon baking powder…And 1 "scant" (less than a full) teaspoon baking soda and 1 heaping tablespoon of salt. Kneed  well.
 Use the dough right away, (if you do this I would let it rise for an hour in the refrigerator before hand to make it easier to work with.) or place in a mixing bowl and refrigerate for up to 3 days, punching down the dough if it rises to the top of the bowl.
 To assemble the rolls....
Sprinkle surface generously with flour. Take half the dough and form a rough rectangle.
 Roll the dough into a large rectangle, about 30 x 10 inches. The dough should be rolled very thin. Rectangle should increase in both width and length as you roll it out.
To make the filling, pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup of the melted butter over the surface of the dough. Use your fingers to spread the butter evenly.
Now sprinkle 1 cup of sugar over the butter…
 …followed by a generous sprinkling of cinnamon.
Now, beginning at the end farthest from you, roll the rectangle tightly towards you. Use both hands and work slowly, being careful to keep the roll tight. Don’t worry if the filling oozes as you work; that just means the rolls are going to be divine.
 When you reach the end, pinch the seam together and flip the roll so that the seam is face down. When you’re finished, you’ll wind up with one long buttery, cinnamony, sugary, gooey log.
Slip a cutting board underneath the roll and with a sharp knife, make 1/2-inch slices. One “log “will produce 20 to 25 rolls. 
Pour a couple of teaspoons of melted butter into 9 inch round cake pans (or disposable foil cake pans) and swirl to coat. Place the sliced rolls in the pans, being careful not to overcrowd. (Each pan will hold 7 to 9 rolls.) Repeat the rolling/sugar/butter process with the other half of the dough and more pans. Cover all the pans with a kitchen towel and set aside to rise on the countertop for at least 20-30 minutes before baking. Remove the towel and bake on 375°F for 15 to 18 minutes, until golden brown. Don’t allow the rolls to become overly brown. 
 While the rolls are baking, make the maple icing: In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, milk, butter, coffee, and salt. Splash in the maple flavoring. Whisk until very smooth. Taste and add in more maple, sugar, butter, or other ingredients as needed until the icing reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be somewhat thick but still very pourable.
 Remove pans from the oven. Immediately drizzle icing over the top. Be sure to get it all around the edges and over the top. As they sit, the rolls will absorb some of the icing’s moisture and flavor.

If you would like a printable copy, you can get it by clicking HERE...