Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Best-Ever Pumpkin Cheesecake

Sure, classic cheesecake is delicious. But PUMPKIN cheesecake? Now that’s a dessert worthy of your Thanksgiving table. The gingersnap and graham cracker crust are actually genius, and that shimmering layer of caramel is the literal icing on the [cheese]cake. It’s one of our all time favorite pumpkin desserts—and that’s saying something, considering we have over 80 recipes.

 

INGREDIENTS

3/4 c. graham crackers, crushed

3/4 c. gingersnaps, crushed

6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

2 tbsp. granulated sugar kosher salt

3 (8-oz.) bars cream cheese, softened

1 c. packed light brown sugar

1 c. pumpkin puree

1/4 c. sour cream, at room temperature

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice, plus more for garnish

Warm caramel, for garnish

whipped cream, for garnish

Chopped, toasted pecans, for garnish

 

DIRECTIONS

1. Preheat oven to 325° with a rack in the middle position. Grease an 8” springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Make crust: In a large bowl, add cookie and graham cracker crumbs. Stir in butter, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt and mix until well combined. Press crust into bottom of pan.

3. Meanwhile, make cheesecake batter: In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in pumpkin puree, sour cream, and vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, until well combined, then beat in flour, pumpkin spice, and ¼ tsp. salt. Pour cheesecake mixture over crust.

4. Double-wrap outside of pan in aluminum foil, making sure to cover the bottom. Place pan in a large baking dish, place the baking dish in the oven, and pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up the pan. Bake until only slightly jiggly in center, 1 hour 25 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes.

5. With oven door propped open, turn oven off and let cool 1 hour in the oven. Remove from water bath and discard foil, then refrigerate cheesecake until cooled completely, at least 3 hours or overnight.

6. Garnish with a layer of caramel and a few dollops of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake. Sprinkle all over with pecans and more pumpkin pie spice.

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Banana Split Eclair Cake

Banana Split Eclair Cake

This Banana Split Eclair Cake tastes just like a divine, creamy eclair only it’s in cake form.

Banana splits are definitely for summer-time fun, so I incorporated banana pudding, whipped cream and strawberries as the filling between the graham crackers and topped it off with a tub of chocolate frosting.No Bake Banana Split Cake, made gluten free. A graham cracker crust, topped with fluffy cream cheese, bananas, crushed pineapple, vanilla pudding and whipped cream—and a cherry on top!

No bake cakes are lovely for so many reasons. Not only do they, well, require no baking which is perfect for the warmer months. But no bake cakes are also lovely because they’re best when they’re made ahead. For crying out loud, Ina Garten has built an entire empire of cookbooks and cooking shows on the concept that you should be able to host a perfect party—and enjoy it along with your guests

Either way, when the weather warms, you’ll be needing lots and lots of graham cracker crumbs. Go ahead and make a double or triple batch of my recipe, and stock up before it gets too hot!

 

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Ingredients

1 box graham crackers 1-pound
2 boxes instant banana pudding 3 1/4-ounce
3 1/2 cups milk
1 container frozen whipped topping 8-ounce, thawed
2 cups of strawberries sliced
1 tub chocolate frosting

Instructions

1. Butter the bottom of a 13×9 pan.
2. Using an electric mixer, in a large bowl, mix pudding with milk and beat at medium speed for 2 minutes.
3. Fold in whipped topping and strawberries.
4. Line bottom of pan with whole graham crackers.
5. Pour half the strawberry/pudding mixture over graham crackers,
6. Repeat with another layer of whole graham crackers on top of pudding layer.
7. Pour remaining half of strawberry/pudding mixture over the graham crackers and cover with another layer of graham crackers.
8. Put tub of frosting in microwave and microwave 30 seconds to 1 minute so frosting is pourable.
9. Pour over cake and spread out evenly.
10. Refrigerate for 24 hours.
Banana Split Eclair Cake
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Palitaw

Palitaw

My motivation for creating palitaw at home was because of how this certain lady vendor made me realize just how much I missed these. There used to be an ate who would pass by our office with her basket of mixed Filipino snacks every afternoon, and in that big basket would be some palitaw.

The first time I bought some from her I want to be reminded of what quantity I used to crave these as a child. It happen the instant I bit into the limited chewy rounds! However sooner or later the Ate stopped mercantilism snacks and spending by our workplace altogether, therefore i made a decision to merely act and create some palitaw on my very own. I ne’er expected it to be therefore easy!

There square measure totally different versions of this viscous rice treat out there, however this palitaw instruction creates dumplings that square measure firm to the bite however chewy. Other versions tend to be soft and wet, and if you like that I’d counsel flattening the dough quite bit a lot of, being careful to not flip it into one thing too fragile. It’d be exhausting to cook them while not accidentally tearing them apart if they’re too skinny.

Any approach you create it, don’t forget to pile on the tasty sesame-sugar and coconut! The toppings square measure liable for creating these extremely habit-forming finally, since on its own the dumplings don’t extremely have flavour. It’s a mix of chewiness and associate earthy sweetness from the coconut, cooked benny, and sugar that create these a favorite in my book. 🙂

 

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INGREDIENTS

2 cups glutinous rice flour
1 cup water
1-½ cups grated coconut
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a large mixing bowl, knead the rice flour and water to make a smooth dough. Once it holds together and separates cleanly from the bowl, the dough is ready.

2. With floured hands, pinch off about 1-1/2 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten into a patty, about 2 to 3 inches in diameter and about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside on a dry plate. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

3. Place grated coconut in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix sugar and toasted sesame seeds.

4. In a pot, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Once ready, drop the dumplings into the boiling water two to three pieces at a time to prevent them from sticking with each other. Do not crowd the pot.

5. Boil the dumplings until they puff, turn just a little translucent, and float to the top, about 1 to 3 minutes. Scoop them out and drain. Repeat until all dumplings are done.

6. Roll the cooked dumplings in the coconut, then sprinkle generously with the prepared sugar-toasted sesame seeds mixture. Enjoy warm or at room temperature.

 

Palitaw
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Vintage Rose Garden Tea Party

Vintage Rose Garden Tea Party

June is National Rose Month.  Did you know that on November 20, 1986 then President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution making the rose the national floral emblem?  And he signed it at a ceremony held where else but the White House Rose Garden!

Almost everyone loves roses, these beautiful blooms come in many sizes and colors, and have a wonderful scent.   They are the symbol of love and romance, after all who can resist a gift of roses from their significant other?

Celebrate National Rose Month with a Vintage Rose Garden Tea Party!  This theme can be used for anything from an intimate tea party for two, a bridal or baby shower, birthday party, and what ever occasion you like.  Roses and tea parties are an awesome combination.  Here are some ideas to inspire you!

 Garden Tea Party
Style Me Pretty

Set up tea service on an old dresser. You can paint the mirror with black chalkboard paint and write or draw anything you want.  Drawers filled with roses make it extra sweet.

This would work well for a small get together, perhaps a tea for the bridal party.

 Garden Tea Party
Party Inspirations

Use a wheeled tea cart for sweets.

 Garden Tea Party
The Glamorous Housewife

For small parties, like a tea for two, forget table and chairs, spread out a pretty floral blanket and add some pillows for an intimate tea party.

 Garden Tea Party
Lady Gray Dreams

Set up an intimate tea under a rose covered arbor or between the roses in your rose garden.

 Garden Tea Party
Love My Dress

For larger parties set up a tent and decorate with paper lanterns and bunting.  You can set up a buffet or place stands of sandwiches and sweet treats on each table.

Learn how to make your own tiered stands click here!

 Garden Tea Party
The Vintage Table

A vintage tea party isn’t complete without pretty dainty cups and tea pots.  Find them at discount stores, thrift shops, and even garage sales.

You can use them to serve tea or as decor!

 Garden Tea Party
Catch My Party

Setting up a beverage station is a great idea for a children’s tea party.  Adding lace makes it super cute!

Garden Tea PartyFinger sandwiches are a tea party must.  Serve them on tiered stands decorated with fresh roses.

Learn how to make your own tiered stands click here!

Garden Tea Party
Fine Cooking

French Macaroons make a nice touch, but they can be pricey.
I use the frozen ones I get from Trader Joe’s they are very good.
Or you can make your own.  Here’s a video tutorial from Fine Cooking.

Garden Tea Party
First Home Love Life

Every tea party must have scones.  Here’s a recipe from First Home Love Life.

Click here for recipe!

Garden Tea Party
The View from Great Island

Scones need jam and clotted cream.  Here’s a recipe from The View from Great Island.  For recipe click here!

Garden Tea Party
The Vintage Table

Strawberry Shortcake is another tea time favorite and baking things in jars is very popular right now. Combine the two to make a great party favor!

Here’s a recipe from The Vintage Table.  Click here!

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies

Everyone loves Chocolate Chip Cookies.  It’s the world’s most popular cookie!  Last week I shared the recipe for The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie.  It is one of my favorites!  But sometimes I get a craving for more chocolate and that’s when the Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies come in handy.  They are simply delicious!

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I’m sure you’ve seen them at Starbuck’s and other retail bakeries.  I think there are even some packaged ones by Pepperidge Farms.  But nothing comes close to my Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies.  They’re definitely chocolaty but the white chocolate morsels I add give it that extra yum!  They like crunchy brownies with a kick of delicious white chocolate.  They go great with a cold glass of milk!

I use a chocolate cookie dough, milk chocolate chips, and white chocolate chips, that’s why they’re a triple treat!  I use the best ingredients I can find to make these cookies, skimping is not an option.  I use Guittard Unsweetened Cocoa Powder or Vallrhona Cocoa Powder.

Another tip for making bakery quality cookies is to have the proper tools.  In this case to make really good looking (and tasting) cookies you’ll need a measuring cups and spoons, mixing bowls, an electric mixer (a standing mixer is easier but costlier so a hand mixer works too), a 1 Oz. Scoop (they make the cookies all the same size) and a Silicone Baking Mat (or you can use parchment paper, either one works well, but the mat ends up cheaper in the long run and is definitely more eco-friendly).  I know it seems frivolous to buy these things specially if you don’t bake often.  I remember back in the day when we really didn’t have the extra money to spend on them (they were much more expensive then) I used to make do with whatever I had.  But these days with online shops and big box stores baking equipment has become much more affordable!

But you don’t have to rush out and buy mats, scoops, and whatever.  Use what you have or borrow from a baking friend or your mom!  Just make sure you use the best ingredients that you can find, that’s the most important thing!


Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Cream butter and sugars together using medium speed of an electric mixer
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla
  3. In a small mixing bowl mix together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder
  4. Mix into egg mixture - dough will form
  5. Stir in milk and white chocolate chips
  6. Pre-Heat oven to 300 degrees
  7. Using 1 Oz. scoop or a 2 tbs. measure drop a ball of dough onto a silicone mat or parchment covered baking sheet about 3" apart
  8. Gently flatten each ball with the back of a spoon to make a 2" circle
  9. Bake for 25 minutes - do not over bake
  10. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for 5 minutes
  11. Transfer to cooling racks and let cool completely
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The Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Chocolate Chip Cookie

A chocolate chip cookie, the ultimate comfort food.  Who can resist them? But do you know its history?  Most of us don’t and it’s really quite interesting no matter which version you believe!

For starters the chocolate chip cookie is a true American concoction that came to be quite accidentally when its original baker ran out of Baker’s chocolate, or nuts.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Ok back in 1930 a dietician named Ruth Graves Wakefield and her husband Kenneth purchased a Cape Cod style house in Whitman a town between Boston and New Bedford,  Massachusetts.   The house was originally built in 1709 and was used by travelers to rest, change horses, have a meal, and pay any tolls needed to use the road.  Ruth and Kenneth soon turned their home into a lodge which, with a nod to its past, they named “The Toll House Inn”.

Now Ruth was a skilled baker and soon drew in visitors from all over the northeast.  Many came to sample her delicious baked goods.  One of her favorite desserts were Butter Drop Do Cookies and her recipe which dated back to colonial days called for Baker’s chocolate.  So one day in 1937 Ruth was making these Butter Drop Do Cookies and found herself lacking the chocolate, so she chopped up a bar of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate into tiny pieces thinking that the chocolate would melt and spread throughout the dough.  When it didn’t the chocolate chip cookie was born!  Well that’s one version; another version is she ran out of nuts and substituted the chopped chocolate; still another version claims she accidentally dropped a bar of chocolate into the dough and it broke into tiny morsels.  Whatever the version it’s all part of chocolate chip cookie history!

The new cookies were a hit and Ruth called them “Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies”.  Her recipe was published in news papers all over New England and the sales of Nestle’s Semi-Sweet Chocolate bars rocketed.

Then in 1939 when “Betty Crocker” (she was a fictional character who had a radio show) featured them on her radio series “Famous Foods from Famous Eating Places” the chocolate chip cookie went big time!  Ruth being a shrewd gal approached Nestle’s and struck a deal, they could print her recipe on all their semi-sweet bars and later bags in exchange for a lifetime supply of chocolates.  Lucky lady!

In the 1940’s Ruth sold Nestle’s the name “Toll House” and the cookies were widely known as Toll House Cookies.  Nestle lost the trademarked rights to the name in 1983, Toll House is now legally the generic name for a chocolate chip cookie.

The cookie has become the most popular cookie worldwide and is the official cookie of Massachusetts.  As for Ruth and hubby they sold the Toll House Inn in 1966 and it burned down on New Year’s Eve 1984.

So now you know its history.   I’m sure you also know many versions of the chocolate chip cookie recipe have popped up, you may even have your own, I know I do!  But have you ever tried The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie?  It’s one of our favorites!  You can order it for dessert at their Mariposa Restaurant where you get a boxed set of 3 cookies and a recipe card, very cute!  Or you can buy the giant sized cookie at their Bistro.  And you can also buy tins of them from the Neiman’s gourmet food department at Christmas time.  We do all 3!  A box of 3 from the restaurant costs $6, the giant cookie at the Bistro is $5, and a tin of them will set you back about $20+.

But Neiman’s is nice enough to share their recipe, remember the boxed set at Mariposa comes with a recipe card.  So if you don’t feel like shelling out $5 or more for a cookie or two; or if you’ve never tried the Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie then read on because I’m sharing it today!


The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie
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Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
The Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip Cookie
Print Recipe
Servings
2 Dozen
Servings
2 Dozen
Ingredients
Servings: Dozen
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees
  2. Cream the butter with the sugars using an electric mixer on medium speet until fluffy - approximately 30 seconds
  3. Beat in the egg and the vanilla extract for another 30 seconds
  4. In a mixing bowl, sift together the dry ingredients and beat into the butter mixture at low speed for about 15 seconds
  5. Stir in the espresso coffee powder and chocolate chips
  6. Using a 1 oz. scoop or 2 Tbs. measure, drop cookie dough onto a gr eased cookie sheet about 3" apart.
  7. Gently press down on the dough with the back of a spoon to spread out into a 2" circle
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned around the edges. Bake a bit longer for crispier cookies.
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