Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shortbread-crusted cheesecake w/ raspberries and dark chocolate

So we all know that cheesecake is my fav. Hands down, there is no other dessert I like more than a yummy cheesecake... I've made them w/ all sorts of crusts before... Using a shortbread crust was going to follow at some point.

The cheesecake itself is the same exact filling recipe as the melomakarina cheesecake I made for Easter, but I added a bit of Pomegranate Kefir in the matter to help smooth it a bit more. I also reduced some raspberry syrup to a thicker syrup to swirl in the cheesecake. Bad move on both counts. Don't get me wrong, it still tastes good.

BUT. And it's a big one. The Kefir made the cheesecake too liquidy (even though I only added an 1/8 cup) and the syrup reduced to a VERY thick syrup, almost preserves thick, which made it just drop (mostly) to the top of the crust. It's still not bad tasting, but it could definitely be firmer.
This is the recipe w/out the kefir and syrup drizzled in the cheesecake.

1/4 stick of unsalted butter, melted
1 box of Lorna Doone shortbread cookies

2 8oz. bricks of cream cheese, softened
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 pint of Greek yogurt
splash of vanilla extract

1-2 pints of fresh raspberries
2 Tablespoons of sugar
1 Tablespoon of raspberry syrup (if you can find it)
1/4 bar of chocolate, whichever type you prefer (I used dark-shocking I know!)

Pre-heated 325F oven
  1. In a food processor, add your shortbread cookies and pulse into a medium ground. Add into a mixing bowl and add your melted butter and mix until the crumbs are entirely coated by the butter.
  2. Lightly coat the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and place your ground shortbread crumbs on the bottom and press the cookie crumbs down using the bottom of a measuring cup or a smooth glass bottom. Bake in the oven for 10 min to set.
  3. For the filling, add your softened cream cheese in a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer on low speed for a minute (until smooth and no lumps). Add the eggs, one at a time and continue to beat slowly. Add the sugar gradually and beat until creamy, for another minute or two.
  4. Add the Greek yogurt and vanilla. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters on occasion until the batter is well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the cream cheese filling into the crust-lined springform pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  5. Place the springform on a large piece of aluminum foil (I always use two layers of foil) and fold the sides up around it. Place the cake in a roasting pan and carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan (about halfway up the the cake). Bake for 60 to 75 minutes or until the cheesecake just slightly jiggles. Allow to cool in pan to room temperature (I leave the oven door open a crack).
  6. Using a butter knife, separate the sides of the cheesecake from the sides of the springform pan. Let cool in the refridgerator for at least 4 hours. Loosen the springform pan and carefully remove the cheesecake and place on a serving plate.
  7. While the cheesecake is baking, toss the fresh raspberries in a bowl with the sugar and syrup. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to juice up.
  8. After the cake has cooled, top the cake with the raspberries and shave the chocolate on top. You can also decorate the edges with some whipped cream, but I was out, sad :(
Here is the raspberry syrup I use. They sell it at 95th Produce Mart in Hickory Hills, IL. I've just straight up raspberry juice and sugar. It's not super sweet which I love since more of them are....

And here is the finished cheesecake. Yummm... I think I'll go have a piece!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

PB and Jelly Cookies

We all know how much I love me some peanut butter. :) Well when I read about this recipe on, I was really excited to try it. There is no flour in it. I know, weird right? But nope, just four (well, technically 5) ingredients. It took 4 minutes to make the dough. Of course, it takes peanut butter, so I got out my favorite peanut butter measuring cup. I got it from Pampered chef, but you can get them anywhere. It's great b/c you can push the peanut butter clean from the container and don't have to scrape at the sides. Wonderful!


1 cup all-natural peanut butter (I used Skippy, not all-natural, but you use what you got, right?)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp baking soda
Favorite jelly

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet w/ foil or parchment paper.

Mix together the peanut butter and sugars until well mixed, about 2 minutes.

Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, then add the baking soda and egg. Mix again for another 2 minutes.

Using a 1/2 teaspoon measure, scoop out small amounts of the dough and roll them b/w your hands to make little balls, pressed them slightly to make small round discs. They don't have to be far apart on the cookie sheet b/c they don't spread out.

Bake for 8-10 mins. Let sit and cool completely.

Using a teaspoon, spread a little bit of the jelly on the bottom of one of the cookies. Find another that's about the same size and place on top to make a sandwich.

Let them sit a bit, so the jelly can absorb into the cookie some. It helps make the cookie a bit more stable b/c they are very delicate. It doesn't help too too much, but it binds them a bit more.

Mine obviously didn't come out like eatmakeread's, but they were still soooooo good. These are definitely a yummy and easy treat for peanut butter lovers.