Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Blueberry Bliss

I made these to take to a friends house for lunch. They were a perfect ending to a perfect meal. Thanks Lori for having us over!

Blueberry Cheesecake Bars from BHG
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup ground pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. brandy or milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cup blueberries*

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set aside.

For the crust: In a small saucepan heat butter over medium heat until the color of light brown sugar. This may take several minutes. The butter solids may burn, but the butter will be nutty and golden. Remove from heat and set aside, til slightly cooled.

In medium bowl stir together graham crackers, flour, coconut, pecans, and 1/4 cup sugar. Pour browned butter through a strainer/sieve to catch all the darker browned solids. Stir in butter until combined. Evenly press on bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.

For the filling: Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add eggs, brandy or milk, and vanilla. Beat until combined. Pour over hot crust. Sprinkle with blueberries.

Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until center appears set. Cool in pan on rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. Cut into bars. Store, covered, in refrigerator. Makes about 16 bars, or 32 squares.

*NOTE: I added about 3 1/2 cups of blueberries instead of the 2 cups the recipe called for. Because of this, the cheesecake batter rose and it took longer to bake. After 25 minutes of baking it wasn't near being done. My version took about 45-50 minutes to achieve the "set appearance" the recipe says to look for. Just watch your cheesecake until it puffs slightly and turns slightly golden. The center should not be jiggly when they're done.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Newly Single

This just made my day!

I love pudding :-)

How clever is that?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Fruit for the 4th!

Happy 4th of July Everyone! I made this for my little brother's birthday and it was delish! It's so easy and versatile to make. Fruit Pizza/ Fruit Tart

  • sugar cookie dough*
  • 8 0z. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2- 3 c. fresh fruit**

Spread cookie dough out onto a pizza pan or into a tart pan. The tart pan will look "fancier", but it will also be thicker and take longer to bake. The "pizza" makes for a slightly larger dessert. Bake according to package directions or until light golden brown. Do not over bake or the cookie base will get too hard when it cools and it becomes very difficult to cut through (believe me I know!) Allow to cool completely.

In a medium bowl beat room temperature cream cheese til smooth and creamy. Slowly add sifted powdered sugar until sweetened to taste. Add vanilla to cheese mixture. Refridgerate until ready to use.

Chop fruit into bite size pieces, or drain completely from can. Set aside. Spread cream cheese filling onto cooled cookie crust. Top pizza or tart with fruit. It can be very composed or free form. Just make it look good. Serve at room temp. Refridgerate any leftovers.

* I have used Betty Crocker Sugar cookie dough (in the package- add egg and butter) and Pillsbury Cookie dough (the refridgerated kind in the tube) and both work well. I think the packaged kind tastes nore homemade, but sometimes you can't beat the convenience of premade dough. Use what you like or what you have on hand.

**I used strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi and canned (well drained) mandarin oranges. Don't use any fruit that is too wet like melon or pineapple. Also bananas get brown fast so add them at the last minute if you want them. Grapes would be good too. If you want to make a 4th of July pizza, match the colors of the fruit to the season and just use red and blue.

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