Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

slice of cheesecake

I apologize for not having a better photo of this. We ate it too fast for me to get any good photos. It was just that delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients

Crust:
    • 1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies (about 15 cookies)
Cheesecake:
    • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Chocolate Ganache:
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chocolate chips
Garnish:
  • Reese Peanut Butter cups, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Press crushed Oreo cookies into bottom of 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake 5-6 minutes or until set. Do not burn! Cool on wire rack while preparing cake. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.
  3. Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy; add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Divide batter equally between two bowls.
  4. Melt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips; stir into one of the bowls of cheesecake batter; pour batter into crust prepared pan. Microwave peanut butter until soft, about 20-25 seconds; stir into other bowl of cheesecake batter and pour on top of the chocolate layer.
  5. Bake cheesecake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until center is almost set (not jiggly). Do not overbake. Don’t worry if there are a couple of cracks. They will come together when refrigerated and we’re covering it in chocolate anyway.
  6. Place pan on cooling rack; cool approximately 1 hour. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan and remove sides of pan. Place cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat for one minute or boiling. Pour chocolate chips into cream and let sit until soft. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour chocolate over top and sides of cheesecake. You may want to place your cheesecake on a cookie sheet to catch the run off. Refrigerate overnight; cut optional Reese Peanut Butter cups into quarters and garnish top of cheesecake. Refrigerate leftovers.

NOM. NOM.

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

As part of my quest to improve my side dish skills, I made these to go with my Drunken Pork Chops. Sometimes you just want some fries!
fries, cooked
Spicy Sweet Potato Fries
Recipe from Women’s Health Mag

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika (preferably smoked paprika)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

fries, uncooked

Directions

Preheat an oven to 400°F. slice the potatoes in half lengthwise and then cut each half into four wedges. toss the wedges with the oil, cayenne pepper, paprika, and salt, and lay the pieces on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until they’re browned on the outside and tender all the way through. Makes 4 servings.

Drunken Pork Chops

pork chops

I love recipes that involve beer, mostly because they generally don’t have that many other ingredients, since beer is already so flavorful. Well, craft beer is. That other stuff…

Drunken Pork Chops

(recipe from Siggy Spice)

  • 5-6 pork chops- bone-in or boneless, your choice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bottle of beer (The darker beer the better.  I used an amber ale. I would not recommend going as dark as a Guinness though.)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup ketchup

Put a little bit of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom of a skillet. Season the chops with salt and pepper and brown both sides. While pork chops are browning, combine beer, ketchup, and brown sugar in a bowl. Pour sauce mixture over the pork chops and simmer for 40-45 minutes. Remove pork chops and thicken the sauce a bit. In a small cup, combine 1 TBSP of cornstarch in 1/4 cup of water. Stir to combine and add to boiling sauce, whisk so no lumps form. Put pork chops back in the thickened sauce, flip to coat. Serve over mashed potatoes or rice. Or with crescent rolls 🙂

Caramel Delight Cupcakes

I am very excited to announce that my friend Vicki has started a food blog and invited me to write a guest post for Dessert Week over on her blog, Mind, Body & Belly!

So I decided to get all fancy and make these Girl Scout Cookie inspired cupcakes:

Image

YUM. Head over to her blog and check out the recipe! While you’re there, be sure to sign up to follow her blog for more great recipes!

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

It’s been a while since I baked something as simple as a single batch of cookies. I’d forgotten how relaxing it is. The measuring and sifting, scraping the mixing bowl over and over again…there’s a certain peacefulness in familiar actions.

prep bowls

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies

Recipe from AllRecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the egg, then stir in the vanilla and almond extracts. Combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; gradually stir into the creamed mixture. Mix in the macadamia nuts and white chocolate. Drop dough by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

white choc mac nut

I only used 1 cup of flour, instead of 1 and a quarter…the dough was a little harder to handle, but I like my cookies soft and even a little gooey in the middle. To that end, I under-baked them a little bit. The centers turned out delightfully soft, the edges just lightly golden and crispy. I was actually really pleased with this recipe, and it reminded me of something from a while ago…

When I was in high school, our cafeteria was run by this lovely woman, Italian I believe, whose daughter was a year or two ahead of me at the school. This woman, along with her cafeteria staff, made THE most delicious chocolate chip cookies and sugar cookies. They were available, freshly baked every lunch period, for just 35 cents. I don’t know where else you could get a cookie that amazing for only 35 cents, but it was great. The cookies were sold in little wax paper envelopes, still warm, with grease from the butter (or more likely shortening) just slightly seeping through the paper. Perfectly round, gooey in the center, these cookies were the highlight of our lunch period. It got even better when we were seniors and allowed to eat our lunches outside on the school grounds. By grounds I mean two benches and a concrete gathering space next to the parking lot, but trips down memory lane are allowed some embellishment. We would take our lunches, buy our cookies (and sometimes chocolate milk or orange drink – Anne I’m talking to you!), and head outside to gossip without faculty supervision. It was a brief 40-ish minute respite from the school day that we thoroughly enjoyed, and one I remember fondly.

Funny how a certain food, a taste, or a smell can bring up something you haven’t thought of in while, isn’t it?