Monday, September 17, 2012

Cherry Butter Cheesecake

To go to the gym, or not to go to the gym, that is the question. I will be honest I am feeling laaazzzy. It was a long day at work and I've sort of got a headache and I'm thinking staying home and cooking dinner sounds a lot more relaxing. On the other hand, I should be going and be more productive in my training. I wish you guys could send me motivation like you send email. Anywho, enough whining about exercise, I've got a cool cheesecake for you.

I love almost every type of cheesecake, except for plain, plain is just...well plain. One of the goodies that the other half brought back from his trip was this yummy cherry butter. I'm sure it could go great in cakes and frosting, but for me, cheesecake was the way to go. It's got the same texture and spices of apple butter just made with cherries instead. It's even great on toast!

If you're interested in buying some for yourself you can go visit the Pepper Palace's online store and order a jar. They have many other fruit butters that would be great to bake with.

Now lets talk cheesecake shall we, and more specifically a water bath. What is your take on this situation? I have always used a water bath because I thought I just had to, but it seems like the half that is in the water cooks slower than the part above the water. Does anyone else ever have this problem? A girlfriend of mine said she doesn't put the cheesecake in a water bath, but does put a pan of water in the oven underneath the cheesecake. What do you guys do? I've read so many different techniques and opinions, it looks like this girl has a lot more cheesecake experimenting to do.

Cherry Butter Cheesecake

For Crust:
1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

For Cheesecake:
4 (8oz) packages cream cheese
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
5 eggs
1 1/2 cherry butter
3/4 butter, melted

1.  In medium bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter and mix until moistened.

2.  Press the crust into a 10in spring form pan. (I use the bottom of my measuring cup to flatten)

3.  Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes, and then let cool.

4.  In large bowl, mix cream cheese, cornstarch, and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream to the mixture, then beat in the eggs. Add the cherry butter and melted butter, and beat until smooth.

5.  Pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake in a water bath for about 2 hours.

Recipe adapted from this one on Allrecipes.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Candied Jalapeno Brownies

Brownies are great but sometimes you just need a little something to kick up an original. The other half went to New Orleans a couple of weekends ago to celebrate his brother's 21st birthday and he brought me back some goodies to bake with. Isn't he sweeeet? :) One of the things he brought back I had never seen before, but I'm so glad he did. He brought me some candied jalapenos. They are sweet and spicy and just right paired with chocolate.

He picked them up at a place called Pepper Palace, and they have a website so you can go order a jar for yourself.
Not only are they good in the brownies but they also told him the juice is great in margaritas, which I can't wait to try! 

Personally I like my brownies fudgy so if you're a cakey brownie fan these might not be for you. Of course you could always use a different brownie base and add the candied jalapenos and chocolate chips. These brownies are fudgy and decadent with a little sweet heat that is extinguished perfectly with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top.

Candied Jalapeno Brownies

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup finely diced candied jalapenos
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.

2.  In medium bowl whisk together cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder and set aside.

3.  In a large saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla, then beat in flour mixture.

4.  Stir in candied jalapenos and chocolate chips then spread batter into prepared pan.

5.  Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.


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