No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake Parfaits

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I’ll take any excuse to make something delicious and hot pink with rhubarb, especially if that excuse is the celebration of a brand new baby girl who the always awesome Stephanie–aka Girl versus Dough–will be welcoming in just a few short weeks. A whole bunch of bloggers are celebrating Stephanie with a bit of a virtual baby shower–be warned, there are LOTS of delicious links below. If you follow Stephanie’s blog (which you should), then you know she posts beautiful and delicious recipes regularly on her blog–even in the midst of her pregnancy! She’s a champ, really. Plus, if you follow her on Instagram you may have even seen a peak of her adorable bump. I mean, it’s the kind of cute-bump to envy.

So, in celebration of Stephanie and her sweet girl, I made these little parfait cups. This completely no-bake treat combines my favorite springtime fruity-vegetable with a sweet + tangy cream cheese filling and crunchy graham crust layered all pretty-like for a sweet, tart, creamy, crunchy dream of a dessert.

All of that said, Stephanie, we cannot wait for your little one to arrive! She is going to be one lucky little lass with such a beautiful, talented mother to make her treats and love her to pieces! Hurray!!

Mini Strawberry Cheesecakes from Sarcastic Cooking

Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake with Lemon Drizzle from Greens & Chocolate

Super Chewy M&M Blondies from The Realistic Nutritionist

Strawberry Cinnamon Twist Knots from A Kitchen Addiction

Lemon Shortbread with Salted Chocolate Drizzle from The Lemon Bowl

Chocolate Cherry Ice Cream from A Zesty Bite

Blackberry and Mango Curd Pie from Joanne Eats Well With Others

Pecan Sticky Buns from Warm Vanilla Sugar

Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins from Garnish with Lemon

Chocolate Chip Pancakes from Susie Freaking Homemaker

Super Simple Sugar Cookies from Espresso and Cream

Raspberry Acai Frozen Margarita from Nutmeg Nanny

Berry Coconut Frozen Yogurt from The Law Student’s Wife

Pretty in Pink Buttercream Cups from Keep it Sweet Desserts

Broccoli Salad with Honey Toasted Walnuts from The Roasted Root

Neapolitan Baked Doughnuts from Climbing Grier Mountain

Giant Pink M&M and Raisinette Cookies from Steph’s Bite by Bite

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp from A Cedar Spoon

Freckled Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade from Take a Megabite

Vanilla Anise Cupcakes from Blahnik Baker

Mini Vanilla Bean Layer Cakes from The Baker Chick

Mini Blackberry Hazelnut Meringue Cakes from Eat Your Heart Out

No-Bake Rhubarb Cheesecake Parfaits

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

4-6 servings

This recipe makes extra rhubarb sauce, which is perfect for spooning over plain yogurt or vanilla ice cream.

Rhubarb Sauce:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

2/3 cup raspberries (optional)

2/3-1 cup sugar

juice of 1/2 lemon

Parfaits:

6 graham crackers, ground into crumbs

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup plain greek yogurt

1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

rhubarb sauce

whipped cream for garnish

In a saucepan combine the rhubarb, raspberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the fruit releases it’s juices. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the stove, cool, and store in a jar in the fridge until ready to use.

In a bowl mix together the graham crumbs and coconut oil until well combined. In another bowl, mix together the cream cheese, yogurt, and sweetened condensed milk. Layer graham cracker crust into the bottom of 4-6 glasses or jars, followed by the cream cheese mixture, and finally as much rhubarb sauce as you like. Top with whipped cream before serving.

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

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This post is a little different, as I developed this recipe as a collaboration with my old high school. I was contacted by a lovely woman named Garney, who works at the high school I went to, about a career board display she and some yearbook students were working on themed “Oh, the places you’ll go…” and they thought that this whole blogging and recipe-makin’ thing I do was interesting. The display went live today…and, seriously, who would have thought!? Especially among people who have become lawyers or are headed for medical school. Definitely not too-cool-for-high-school me. I went to a teeny high school, ECHS, in a speck of a town in the middle of Nevada. When I mean teeny, I mean my graduating class had 21 students in it. I did yearbook, the school newspaper, was a cheerleader, and worked at the community pool as a lifeguard. I was not cool at all and was a total awkward-weirdo…and I mean, I kinda still am, I’ve just embraced it. My favorite things to do included writing super-inaccurate-yet-fun horoscopes for the newspaper and using deadlines as an excuse to cut-out on PE, doing photo layouts for the yearbook, as a cheerleader I loved making huge hand-lettered signs for games, and working at the pool was pretty fun since a lot of my friends worked there too. Like many high-school kids, my free time was super important to me and I could often be found hanging out with my pals, driving around aimlessly, and drinking cherry-diet-pepsi’s from the drive-in. I also spent a lot of that free time baking cookies (or boxed cakes or making magazine collages) whilst chit-chatting with my girlfriends. Though I never Instagram-ed or took phone pictures of those cookies since I only had a cell phone my senior year, had about 4 numbers in it, and it was a huge, red, Nokia-brick with a pull-out antennae…no camera in sight.

Truth be told, whenever I made chocolate chip cookies, I would always make the recipe on the back of the chocolate chip bag. Sometimes I would add some huge scoops of peanut butter to the dough, sometimes I’d add walnuts, I almost never measured as carefully as I do now, but basically, I never deviated from that classic recipe. Now that I bake much more and many more things, I have tried many a cookie recipe and I think these chocolate chip cookies may be my favorite yet. They are super soft, tender, a little thick–which is how I love my chocolate chip cookies–and packed with lots of dark chocolate. There’s cream cheese in this dough, which adds to the tenderness, as well as contributing a pleasant tang to the buttery, toffee-like flavor of the dough. These cookies don’t bake up flat, but pleasantly domed with a little chewy edge with soft middles. In my opinion they are pretty much perfect and definitely worth trying out…because, honestly, there are never too many chocolate chip cookie recipes in the world.

Some things I did not know about baking in high school that will save you from a broken-cookie heart:

Baking powder is not the same as baking soda. Baking powder has baking soda plus an acid added to it to create the lift necessary in this recipe. Science!

Don’t forget the salt! I used to think it was okay to just leave salt out of baked goods. Don’t be teen-me! Salt makes all sweet things sing. For most purposes, I use kosher salt, but sea salt is nice too.

Parchment paper and waxed paper are not one in the same. Parchment is coated with silicone which ensures your baked goods will not stick and will also hold up to heat…waxed paper is coated with wax, will not ensure that you baked goods do not stick, isn’t meant to be heated (because wax melts!), and will just break your cookie-lovin’ heart.

Beating the butter, cream cheese, and sugars until fluffy will just whip air into your cookie, making it dry and crumbly, instead of soft and tender.

Super Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

The addition of cream cheese in these cookies makes them extra tender and soft, as well as adding a little bit of tang.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 sticks butter

1/3 cup whipped cream cheese

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips

Sea salt for sprinkling

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl using a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, cream cheese, and both sugars together until just combined, but not fluffy.  Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and vanilla, mix to combine completely. Add the flour mixture you set aside earlier and mix until combined, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and continue to mix until everything is just mixed together, but well blended. Fold in the chocolate chips and place the cookie dough in the refrigerator for at least 30, up to overnight. Using a cookie scoop or 2-3 heaping tablespoons, scoop dough into balls and place onto a baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until the edges begin to brown. Allow to cool at least 5 minutes before serving.

 

Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

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This weekend I have homemade fish-stick plans–or fish-finger plans, as I’ve been calling them since I ALWAYS fall into the “you-like-fishsticks?” trap (I always fall for this awful joke much to the delight of my husband and BFF…because we’re such adults and I’m SO DUMB). What do fish-fingers have to do with ice cream, you ask? Nothing. Aside from my fish-finger plans for the weekend, which I am weirdly excited about, I have ice cream eating plans…because it’s the weekend and um, ICE CREAM!

Plus, it’s this ice cream, which is ice cream+cheesecake+blueberries, all in one! This ice cream combines the flavor of tangy cream cheese with sweet, sweet maple, plus a fruity ripple of vanilla-scented blueberry sauce, and the requisite graham cracker crumbs…you know, to make it authentic.  I mean, it’s Friday, the eve of the weekend, and we deserve a little frozen indulgence, don’t you think?

Blueberry Maple Cheesecake Ice Cream

Ice Cream Base adapted from Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at Home.

I made this recipe with Tonewood Maple Syrup*. You can read more about Tonewood here in my earlier post or on their website. As always, feel free to sub in your favorite syrup.

Ice Cream Base:

2 cups milk

1 tablespoon cornstarch plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

6oz. softened cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 1/4 cups cream

2/3 cup maple

1/4 cup corn syrup

Blueberry Ripple:

2 cups blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons lemon

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Graham Layer:

1 sleeve graham crackers, crushed

Mix together about 2 tablespoons or so of the milk with the cornstarch to make a slurry, set aside. In a large, heatproof, mixing bowl whisk the cream cheese and salt together.

Prepare an ice bath in the basin of a clean sink or large bowl.

In a saucepan combine the remaining milk, cream, maple syrup, corn syrup, and cornstarch slurry. Heat to a rolling boil over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until thickened, continue to boil for about 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Gradually whisk the mixture into the cream cheese until smooth and combined. Either stir the mixture over the prepared ice bath or pour it into a gallon-size, zip-top freezer bag, seal, and place in the ice bath until cooled. If the base is totally cooled you can process in the ice cream maker at this point. I like to let it chill in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight before processing.

For the blueberry ripple:

In a saucepan combine the blueberries and sugar. Heat over medium-high heat until the blueberries release their juices and soften. In a small bowl whisk together the lemon juice and cornstarch and stir into the blueberry mixture. Bring to a boil until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool completely before layering with the ice cream.

In a freezer-safe container layer about 1/3 of the processed ice cream base in the bottom and drizzle with 1/3 of the blueberry ripple, followed by a liberal sprinkling of graham crumbs, repeat with remaining ingredients, cover, and freeze for several hours before serving. If you have leftover ripple and crumbs, use them to top the ice cream when served.

*Tonewood kindly supplied me with the maple syrup used in this recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.