Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

objective:
to make cookies that…
taste like cookie dough
that are not doughy in the center
are nearly perfectly round with thick borders
not overly cakey
salty enough
aromatic
the standard recipe -Toll House

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

1 c butter
3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
3/4 c sugar

1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 c chocolate chips

result: These seem a little overly gooey to me. I’m not crazy about the texture. I want to make a cookie that’s different from Toll House, if not better.

recipe 1 – the Ambrosia Chocolate Chips bag recipe

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

1 c butter
3/4 c light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar

2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 c chocolate chips

result:
These were Steve’s favorite. I didn’t like the flavor or texture. They were flat and crispy, which I don’t like in a cookie. The flavor was rich and butter-heavy. The main differences in this recipe versus the “standard” are: 1/2 tsp less salt, 1/4 c less sugar, 1 tsp more vanilla and 1 egg instead of two.

recipe 2 – Experimental based on AB
my own experiment after watching Alton Brown’s cookie episode

2 1/4 c flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt

1 c butter-flavored shortening
1 c light brown sugar, packed
1/4 c sugar

1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 egg yolks
2 c chocolate chips

result:
Not sweet enough. Less pleasant smell, probably from the shortening. Slightly too heavy/dense. Texture wasn’t great (resembled shortbread). The difference in this recipe: baking powder instead of baking soda, butter-flavored shorting instead of butter, 1/4 c extra brown sugar, 1/2 c less white sugar, 2 egg yolks instead of 2 whole eggs and 1/2 tsp more vanilla.

recipe 3 – Otis Spunkmeyer recipe
started as my own experiment, ended up resembling the Otis Spunkmeyer recipe, which led to me choosing to just follow the OS recipe.

2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

1/2 c butter-flavored shortening
1/2 c butter
1 c light brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar

1 tbs vanilla
2 eggs
2 c chocolate chips
*fats were melted; eggs, fats and sugars were whipped until light and creamy

result:
This was the best tasting dough so far. The consistancy of the dough was really nice. The cookie slightly resembled the texture of homemade play dough – in a good way. It was moist without being gooey. Edges are great. I would like to try it with just one egg.

The problems are: 1. The flavor. Without the butter, the flavor lacks depth. maybe change to 3/4 c butter + 1/4 c shortening.

Possible improvements: Re-mix dough quickly before scooping the dough onto the pan; the butter tends to separate and sink during baking, which leads to crispy, jagged, flat edges. For a better cookie dough flavor, try using 1 1/4 c dark brown sugar + 1 c sugar.

Differences vs. the Standard: 1/2 c more flour, 2 tsp baking powder, half butter and half shortening, more brown sugar than white sugar, 3 x the vanilla.

recipe 4 – browned butter recipe

2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 c butter, browned with salt
1 tsp salt
1/4 c coconut oil
1 c dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar
1 egg, blended before adding
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs water
scant 2 c milk chocolate chips

*Butter browned with salt; fats were melted before sugars were added. Eggs, fats and sugars were whipped until light and creamy. Baked at 350 degrees.

result:
This cookie looked perfect. When they’re fresh, the strong, butter-scotch type flavor is nice, however, after a day the flavor tastes more like rancid butter… Milk chocolate chips were a nice variation, however the chocolate chip cookie flavor is lost. More chips are needed; increase by 50%. The texture was nice, although slightly on the dense side.

Differences vs. the Standard: 1/2 c more flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1/4 c less total fat, butter was browned first, coconut oil for 1/3 of the fat, same amount of sugar with more brown sugar than white, egg blended before adding, 1 more tsp vanilla, milk chocolate chips

recipe #5 – Like #4 without the browned butter

2 3/4 c flour
2 tsp baking powder

1/2 c butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 c coconut oil
1 c dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar
1 egg, blended before adding
2 tsp vanilla
2 tbs water
360 g milk chocolate chips

350 degrees for 10-12 minutes (11 mins for 20 g scoops, 12 mins for 30 g scoops)

result:
These were good. The flavor was very close. Maybe needs more sugar; they taste slightly bland. Semi chocolate chips should be used to get that real chocolate chip cookie flavor. (It’s possible it could work with 1/2 milk + 1/2 semi sweet, but the few samples I made with this weren’t as good as I had hoped.) The texture of these was great as long as they were baked exactly the right amount. Since this cookie doesn’t brown like the traditional cookies, it’s difficult to gauge when they’re done. Too short of a bake time makes them overly gooey and oily and too long makes them hard and chewy (bad chewy – like taffy or caramel). These were flatter than what I wanted, which was due to the (accidental) increase in coconut oil. These were prepared with the traditional cream method, starting with the butter at 65 degrees, although I couldn’t tell a difference… (likely because of the extra coconut oil). Chocolate chips didn’t melt.

Possible Improvements: Use SS chips, the correct amount of coconut oil (1/4 c), try increasing chips to 400 g, increase vanilla to 1 tbs, increase white sugar to 3/4 c, try baking at 400 degrees to melt chips.

recipe #6 – Like #5 with minor adjustments

2 3/4 c [400 g] flour
2 tsp [8 g] baking powder

1/2 c [120 g] butter
1 tsp [6 g] salt
1/4 c [60 g] coconut oil
1 c [200 g] dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c [120 g] sugar
1 egg, blended before adding
2 tsp [10 ml] vanilla
2 tbs [30 ml] water
[400 g] ss chocolate chips

tools:
scale
stand mixer
sifter (or food processor)
scraper spatula
spatula
2 half sheet pans
parchment paper
2 tbs cookie scooper (or 1 metal tablespoon)

preheat: 400 degrees

method:

  1. Preheat oven (400 degrees) and line pans with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and coconut oil in stand mixer. (This brings the temperature of the butter up, which is better for creaming.)
  3. Add sugars and mix at medium speed until color has lightened and volume has increased by about 50%, about 2 minutes. (This aerates the butter, which will give the baking powder room to create tiny air bubbles.)
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour and baking powder. (Pulsing in a food processor is my method of choice for sifting.)
  5. Add egg to a small container and use a fork to blend (about 15 seconds). Add to butter mixture. Mix again at medium speed until mixture is smooth and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  6. Add the flour mixture and the water to the butter mixture in batches; 1/3 of the flour at a time, followed by some of the water, and mixing until blended before adding another batch. Try to finish with the water. (This allows the wet ingredients time to fully absorb the flour.)
  7. Remove bowl from mixer and blend in the chocolate chips by hand. (The mixer can break/smash chocolate chips.)
  8. Using a 30 ml [1 oz /2 tbs] scoop (stainless steel works best), measure out 8 level scoops onto the pan. Lightly roll scoops into a ball and place in rows on the pan (3 in the top row and bottom row; 2 in the middle row.) Smash down slightly with your hand. (The diameter shouldn’t be much larger than the diameter of the balls; they just need to resemble a disc shape rather than a sphere. This helps them bake into the perfect cookie shape without being thicker at the center – which can lead to uneven baking.)
  9. Bake on the middle to upper middle oven rack (although all ovens are different). Keep the oven light on to monitor browning/flattening. If the bottoms are browning too quickly, or they appear to be flattening too much, place them on a higher rack. Likewise, if the tops are browning up setting too quickly. More often than not, the pan will need to be rotated half way through cooking time to ensure each cookie is heated on pace with the others. As they heat, they will slowly lose their wet appearance. Remove them from the oven before they look completely dry. The edges should look slightly darker than the rest of the cookie, but the cookie itself will not darken until it is overdone. They will still look slightly wet and slightly undercooked. They will finish cooking on the counter. I usually note the exact bake time of the first batch and hold off on putting in the second batch until I’m able to decide if I baked them for the appropriate amount of time. They will harden within the next two hours, so they can be soft as they cool. But, they should not have any parts around the center that appear slightly transparent (gooey), as those will not harden enough during cooling. Allow the hot pans to rest on the counter still in the pan for about 2 minutes, then slide the parchment paper off onto the counter. After about 5 minutes, use a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack. If sliding them off the hot pan causes them to lose their shape, then note that the next batches should be left on the the pan longer. If placing them onto the cooling rack causes them to sink and take the shape of the rack, they should be left on the parchment paper longer. However, if left too long they will the will have soggy bottoms. A cooling rack is important.
  10. Store in an airtight container. My favorite cookie jars:

recipe #7

1/2 c unsalted butter [120g/4oz]
2 tbs vegetable oil [30ml/1oz]
1 c [200 g] dark brown sugar, packed
1/2 c sugar [120g]

2 3/4 c flour [400g/14oz]
2 tsp baking powder – aluminum free [8g]

1 large egg, blended before adding
1 tbs vanilla [15ml]
1/4 c milk [60ml]
1 tsp salt [6g]

[400g] ss chocolate chips

tools:
scale
stand mixer
sifter (or food processor)
scraper spatula
spatula
2 half sheet pans
parchment paper
2 tbs cookie scooper (or 1 metal tablespoon)

preheat: 400 degrees

method:

  1. Preheat oven (475 degrees) and line pans with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and coconut oil in stand mixer on medium speed for 3 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (This brings the temperature of the butter up, which is better for creaming.)
  3. Add sugars and mix at medium speed until color has lightened and volume has increased by about 50%, about 2 minutes. (This aerates the butter, which will give the baking powder room to create tiny air bubbles.)
  4. Meanwhile, sift together the flour and baking powder. (Pulsing in a food processor is my method of choice for sifting.)
  5. Add egg to a small container and use a fork to blend (about 15 seconds). Add to butter mixture. Mix again at medium speed until mixture is smooth and fluffy (about 1 minute).
  6. Add the flour mixture and the water to the butter mixture in batches; 1/3 of the flour at a time, followed by some of the water, and mixing until blended before adding another batch. Try to finish with the water. (This allows the wet ingredients time to fully absorb the flour.)
  7. With mixer off, add chocolate chips.  Lower bowl half way (or lift top, depending on your mixer) and blend on low speed. (The mixer can break/smash chocolate chips.)
  8. Using a 30 ml [1 oz /2 tbs] scoop (stainless steel works best), measure out 8 level scoops onto the pan. Lightly roll scoops into a ball and place in rows on the pan (3 in the top row and bottom row; 2 in the middle row.) Smash down slightly with your hand. (The diameter shouldn’t be much larger than the diameter of the balls; they just need to resemble a disc shape rather than a sphere. This helps them bake into the perfect cookie shape without being thicker at the center – which can lead to uneven baking.)  Place a few chips on top of each cookie by hand for presentation.
  9. Bake on the middle to upper middle oven rack (although all ovens are different). Set the timer for 8 minutes (they should be ready to come out after 10).  Keep the oven light on to monitor browning/flattening. If the bottoms are browning too quickly, or they appear to be flattening too much, place them on a higher rack. Likewise, if the tops are browning up setting too quickly. More often than not, the pan will need to be rotated half way through cooking time to ensure each cookie is heated on pace with the others. As they heat, they will slowly lose their wet appearance. Remove them from the oven before they look completely dry. The edges should look slightly darker than the rest of the cookie, but the cookie itself will not darken until it is overdone. They will still look slightly wet and slightly undercooked. They will finish cooking on the counter. I usually note the exact bake time of the first batch and hold off on putting in the second batch until I’m able to decide if I baked them for the appropriate amount of time. They will harden within the next two hours, so they can be soft as they cool. But, they should not have any parts around the center that appear slightly transparent (gooey), as those will not harden enough during cooling. Allow the hot pans to rest on the counter still in the pan for about 2 minutes, then slide the parchment paper off onto the counter. After about 5 minutes, use a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack. If sliding them off the hot pan causes them to lose their shape, then note that the next batches should be left on the the pan longer. If placing them onto the cooling rack causes them to sink and take the shape of the rack, they should be left on the parchment paper longer. However, if left too long they will the will have soggy bottoms. A cooling rack is important.

NOTES

  1. water can be used in place of milk.

8 oz. fine milk chocolate, chopped
4 oz. [1/2 cup] water, divided
1 oz. [2 tbs] butter
3 egg yolks
1 oz. [2 tbs] sugar
10 oz. [1 1/4 cups] whipping cream, whipped

  1. Melt chocolate, 1/4 cup water and butter. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes.
  2. In a small saucepan and using an instant read thermometer, continuously whisk egg yolks, sugar and the remaining 1/4 cup water over LOW heat until mixture reaches 160 degrees F.
  3. Remove from the heat; whisk in chocolate mixture.
  4. Set saucepan in cold water bath and stir until cooled, about 5-10 minutes.
  5. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon into dessert dishes. Refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.

YIELD 6 servings
PREP TIME 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME 4 hours 30 minutes
NOTES

  • Semi-sweet chocolate can be used, although I find the flavor a bit harsh.
  • Using LOW heat for the eggs is imperative.  Scrambled egg is not welcome here.
  • A lovely variation of this dessert is to coat the bottom and sides of a wine glass with mouse and chill for 2-4 hours.  Before serving, fill the interior of the glass with banana or strawberry slices.
  • Use plastic wine glasses covered in plastic wrap and ribbon to create an elegant food gift.

8 ounces dark chocolate
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
pinch of salt
powdered cocoa, cinnamon or chopped nuts to coat

  1. In double boiler, melt broken chocolate, stirring constantly.
  2. Remove chocolate from heat; blend in butter, salt and cream. Use a rubber spatula to stir gently until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Chill for 15-30 minutes, until thick enough to hold a shape.
  4. Using a melon baller, scoop chocolate and roll in powdered cocoa.

YIELD
PREP TIME
TOTAL TIME
NOTES
Truffles are best when served at room temperature.

1/4 cup butter
1 10 oz. bag regular marshmallows
1/2 cup honey or sugar (optional)
2 packages microwavable popcorn
1 cup (approx.) chocolate chips

  1. Prepare popcorn in microwave one bag at a time.  (This will take about 7 minutes.)
  2. While popcorn is popping, melt butter, marshmallows, honey/sugar in large pot over MEDIUM heat, stirring as needed.
  3. Stir in popcorn and mix well. Remove from heat and allow about 5 minutes for mixture to cool.  (Chocolate chips shouldn’t melt on contact.)
  4. Pour a handful of chips into a small bowl for your working area.  Stir in a small handful (maybe 1/4 cup) popcorn mix and incorporate chips as you form a ball. (See Chocolate Chips notes below.)

NOTES
This recipe is for smaller popcorn balls since they’re richer and messier with the added chocolate.

Popcorn
The sugars must not be heated too high (235 degrees max) or they will caramelize and become hard.
Scoop the popcorn into the pan, rather than pouring it, to avoid pouring in too many unpopped kernels.
If mix is too warm the chips will melt, which yields more of a brown popcorn ball.

Chocolate Chips
It is tricky trying to incorporate the chips while keeping the mixture cool but still sticky. Luckily only a few chips are needed in each ball for the flavor to come through.  The first few balls will no doubt turn out all wrong.  Eventually one gets the hang of taking a loose clump of popcorn, placing it in the small bowl with the chips and then forming it into a ball (while taking special care to stuff a few chips in center for good measure).  It’s not hard and it’s not tedius.  It’s fun, gooey and tasty and perfect for counter-top kids.
Wash hands as needed to avoid the brown popcorn ball look. (White popcorn balls with sporadic chocolate chips just looks better.)
Dark chocolate chips taste better and look better in these.
Some chips that are allowed to melt during forming may turn white in places.  If chips are melting upon contact with the popcorn, allow a little more cooling time before forming.

Store tightly covered 2 days.  Although I doubt they’ll last that long.  They never do.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
as needed: 4 oz cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
graham crackers

  1. Cream together the butter, sugars and vanilla until fluffy.  Stir in flour until combined, then stir in chips.  Cover and refrigerate for an hour.
  2. Dump mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap; shape into a ball and refrigerate that for another hour.
  3. Just before serving, roll the ball in pecans. Serve with graham cracker sticks.

Baked Cabbage

1 large head cabbage, chopped
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup soda cracker crumbs
1 medium or large egg
2 tablespoons butter, melted

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Boil cabbage in salted water until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain and return to pot.
  3. Mash cabbage thoroughly.
  4. Add egg, milk and 1/2 cup cracker crumbs and place in ungreased casserole dish.
  5. Sprinkle cracker crumbs on top and pour over melted butter.
  6. Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes.

SERVES 6
PREP TIME 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hour
NOTES
Chop cabbage by cutting 1″ slice off of top, place on cutting board top down and cut 1″ slices off all sides stopping at the core.

Creamy Cilantro Dip

16 oz cream cheese, softened (microwave 30 sec)
1 bunch (2 oz.) fresh cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
juice of 1 1/2 limes
2-4 tablespoons water, depending on desired consistancy

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Soften cream cheese by microwaving 30 seconds.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy.
  4. Pour into medium glass bowl, cover with foil and bake for approx. 25-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

SERVES 8-10
NOTES
Serve warm or cold with cheese toast. (Have a seeded baguette sliced, spray slices with cooking oil, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and toast lightly.)
Add more water and serve as a soup.

2 cups canned pumpkin puree (1 15 oz. can approx.)
1 cup vegetable oil
2-2/3 cups white sugar
3 eggs (approx. – not 4)
3 cups and 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, approx.
1 1/2 – 2 cups mini semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9×5 inch loaf pans.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin, oil, sugar, and eggs.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice; stir into the pumpkin mixture until well blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
  4. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour, approx. The top of the loaf should spring back when lightly pressed.

SERVES 24 (2 9″x5″ loaves)
PREP TIME 15 minutes
TOTAL TIME 1 hr 15 minutes

{almost perfected}

1 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons water
1 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cream together the 1 cup butter and sugar. Add vanilla extract, water and flour; mix until smooth.
  3. Measure level teaspoons of dough, roll into a ball and smash into a Milano shaped oval into your palm. (Dough will not flatten significantly during baking, so take a minute to shape into a nice, flat, oval.) Place on ungreased cookie sheet 3/4″ apart.
  4. Bake for 14 to 17 minutes (appox.) or until they have a golden honey color (not brown).
  5. Cool for 5 minutes while preparing chocolate. Microwave chocolate chips and the 1 tablespoon butter until smooth. (Heat for 1 minute, stir; continue heating for no more than 15 seconds at a time and stirring at each interval.)
  6. Using a pastry brush or the back of a spoon, spread chocolate on the flat side of each cookie. (Careful not to make a mess of this process. Cookies will look much better if the chocolate is carefully placed.)
  7. Let harden for 30 mins to 1 hour. Match similarly shaped cookies together. (Pressing too hard will cause the chocolate to overflow.) Let harden in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

update:
I just discovered that Gale Gand has a recipe for these.  Here’s her’s:

12 tablespoons butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon extract
1 1/2 cups flour
Cookie filling, recipe follows
Cookie filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 orange, zested

Cream the butter with a paddle attachment then mix in the sugar. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add the flour and mix until just incorporated. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
Cookie Filling: In a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl. Whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools). Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Spicy Pumpkin Soup

1/2 cup butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 teaspoons curry
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
3 teaspoons coriander
1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper
dash of cinnamon
3 cups pumpkin (1 large can)
2 cans chicken or vegetable broth
1 can evaporated milk
1-2 cups water, depending on desired consistency

  1. In large saucepan, saute onion in butter over medium-low heat until transparent.
  2. Stir in all other ingredients. Use an electric hand mixer to achieve the creamy, smooth texture.
  3. Cook 10 minutes.

SERVES approx. 8-10
PREP TIME 5 mins
TOTAL TIME 15 mins
NOTES
This recipe is large, half as needed.
The evaporated milk can be substituted by any combination of cream, half & half, regular milk and/or water. The broth also can be replaced by water and/or bouillon cubes.
Using a slow cooker for this soup is not recommended.
Tastes better the next day.

1 cup powdered milk
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup hazelnut non dairy powdered creamer
1/3 cup malt powder, optional
1/3 cup table sugar

Whisk together all ingredients in a mixing bowl or process in a food processor. Store in an airtight container. This keeps indefinitely in the pantry.

To make hot cocoa:
Heat milk – in a pot on the stove or microwave about 70 seconds per cup. Fill your mug 1/3 to 1/2 full with mix and stir in milk. Don’t forget the whip cream.

1 “Chocolate Cookie Crust” (recipe follows) in 9″ spring form pan
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 (15 oz.) can pureed pumpkin
2 eggs, 1 egg yolk
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, for swirling
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup semi-sweet mini chocolate chips, for use in cheesecake, OPTIONAL

  1. Microwave chocolate chips and butter for 40 seconds; stir. Microwave at 10 to 20-second intevals as needed, stirring until smooth. Place in refridgerator 15 minutes while preparing crust and cake mixture.
  2. Prepare “Chocolate Cookie Crust”. Increase oven temperature to 400°. If desired, sprinkle the optional 1/2 cup chocolate chips over crust (start at edges).
  3. Cream sugar and cream cheese in stand mixer on high for 1-2 minutes, scraping the sides at least twice. Add flour and pumpkin pie spice and mix until blended. Add pumpkin and eggs and mix again until well blended.
  4. Pour pumpkin mixture into crust. Spoon teaspoonfuls of chocolate mixture over top; swirl. If desired, sprinkle mini chocolate chips on top, clustering them together in the center. Press them down into the batter just slightly.
  5. Place into water bath and bake 10 minutes.
  6. Reduce oven temperature to 275°; continue baking 60 minutes or until almost set.
  7. Loosen cake from side of pan using a knife. Cool completely.
  8. To transfer to cake plate: cover cheesecake with the back of a cake or pizza pan; turn over and lift warm cake pan straight up; replace with cake plate and flip over.
  9. Cover and refrigerate about 5 hours before serving. Serve cold.

SERVES 8-10
PREP TIME 15 mins
TOTAL TIME 6 hours
NOTES
Cheesecake can be wrapped in foil over plastic wrap and frozen for up to three months.
Don’t over swirl chocolate top and don’t stick the knife in to deep.

“Chocolate Cookie Crust”
1 1/3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs (approx. 45 wafers)
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/3 cup sugar

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. In food processor, grind vanilla wafers into crumbs.
  3. Add butter and blend well. (Note: if industrial strength food processor is not available, melt butter first.) Add cocoa and sugar and process until blended.
  4. Use a drinking glass to press mixture onto bottom of greased or lined 8″ spring form pan. Bake 8 minutes.

SERVES 8-10 (for 9″ cake pan)
PREP TIME 5 minutes
TOTAL TIME 15 minutes
NOTES
This crust is far superior to store bought chocolate crusts. It’s definitely worth the extra 5 minutes.
Prepare BOTH bottom and sides of pan with either Baker’s Joy spray, shortening & flour or parchement paper.

Cranberry Sauce

1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 (12 ounce) package fresh cranberries
1 apple
1 pear
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

    1. In a medium saucepan, boil water and sugar until the sugar dissolves.
    2. Peal, core and dice apple and pear
    3. Reduce heat to simmer. Stir in cranberries, apple, pear, pecans, salt, and cinnamon.
    4. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries burst. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.

    NOTES
    Serve as a side or pour over a block of cream cheese.

    YIELDS 12 servings
    PREP TIME 10 Min
    COOK TIME 35 Min
    READY IN 45 Min

    2 (29 ounce) cans pear halves in juice
    1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar (approx.)
    4 oz chopped pecans (approx.)

      1. Place pear halves, cut side down, on paper towels
      2. Combine cream cheese and sugar in standing mixer until smooth
      3. Spread about 1 rounded tablespoon cream cheese mixture onto center of dry pears
      4. Place onto serving tray
      5. Sprinkle with chopped pecans

      NOTES
      Increase sugar to change this side dish to a dessert.