Tag Archives: Cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies

No, that's not mold, it's blue candle wax.

No, that’s not mold, it’s blue candle wax.

I have this HUGE problem, in that The BF doesn’t want me to bake anything but chocolate chip cookies and occasionally BOXED chocolate brownies (never brownies from scratch). No molasses cookies, no cupcakes, no blondies, no muffins, nothing. Don’t get me wrong, I make these things anyway, but they inevitably get stale or the entire batch ends up as that extra 5 pounds on my thighs. It’s starting to become a reeeeeeal problem for me.

So for his birthday I said, “Do you want me to make a cake?” He said, “Surprise me!” I said, “Do you want brownies?” He said, “Surprise me!” So I did. I make red velvet cheesecake brownies. Who wouldn’t like red velvet cheesecake brownies?! Probably just runway models and I don’t know any of those.

So what did he say when he took a bite? “They’re a little rich for me.”

I guess I’ll stick to chocolate chip and boxed brownies. And eat the entire batch of brownies by myself.

On the menu:
Red velvet cheesecake brownies
Makes 16
Note: I still do not own an 8 x 8 pan which this recipe originally calls for, so I made it in a round 8″ cake pan and then cut the brownies into thin wedges. These truly are rich, so you don’t want to cut them too big.

2 eggs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/8 tsp salt
1 Tbsp red food coloring
3/4 tsp white vinegar
3/4 cup flour
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 (or 8″ round) pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Beat eggs together in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium sized bowl, add warm, just-melted butter, sugar, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, salt, food coloring, and vinegar and stir until combined. Add eggs and stir until combined. Fold in flour until incorporated. Pour batter into baking pan, leaving 4 Tbsp of batter for later.

To make the cheesecake: in a large bowl, blend cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until light and fluffy and completely blended. Drop the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie batter in large dollops. Add your reserved brownie batter in dollops on top of the cheesecake. Use a sharp knife to cut lines across the batter until you have a lovely swirl pattern.

Bake for 28 – 30 minutes for a square pan, or 30 – 32 minutes in a round pan. Test with a toothpick to make sure it comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting.

Note: this should be kept refrigerated because of the cheesecake on top. Set it out for about an hour before serving so the brownies aren’t cold.

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Homemade but still kind of not

I have a confession to make: I’m a little bit of a food snob when it comes to certain things (no Prego EVER, Bisquick? Uh uh, Aunt Jemima go home), and a total lazy butt when it comes to others (Ortega fajita seasoning YUM, Twinkies and Twix? ok!, Stouffer’s vegetable lasagna helloooo lover). So when a friend from work sent me a recipe that involved Pillsbury crescent roll dough, I scoffed for .2 seconds and then I drooled a little.

Oh, come on, we all drool.

I made this ridiculously quick and easy cheesecake pie for The BF and his roommates (who got mad at me because they apparently have this weird hangup about not eating junk food every day) and in a matter of hours half the pan was gone. Success.

On the menu:
Sopapilla Cheesecake Pie

2 (8 oz.)  packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 (8 oz.) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Unroll the cans of crescent roll dough, and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into 9 x 13 inch rectangles. Press one piece into the bottom of the baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of crescent roll dough. Blend together the cinnamon and butter. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.

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Blue Smoke

This week I participated in my second Restaurant Week venture, with a delicious pay off (every once in awhile you get a RW dud where it’s clear you’re getting the establishment’s dregs… cough SMITH & WOLLENSKY cough).

Blue Smoke East 27th St, between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue, New York, NY. Blue Smoke specializes in barbeque, with regional specialties from across the country. In the basement of the restaurant is Jazz Standard, a renowned jazz club with live music every night of the week.

Grilled octopus over wild rice

On the menu:
Grilled octopus over wild rice with hazelnuts and cherry tomatoes
Chicken wings with blue cheese sauce
Kansas City Spareribs with coleslaw and pit beans
Peach and raspberry crisp with buttermilk ice cream
Sour cream cheesecake with blackberries and mint

Peach and raspberry crisp with buttermilk ice cream

Verdict: I should preface by telling you that I am a BBQ snob. I know… shocking. The best ribs I’ve ever had are the face-meltingly good babyback ribs at Kirsty’s Red Dog Tavern in Inlet, NY way up north in the Adirondacks, and at Black-eyed Sally’s BBQ and Blues in Hartford, CT. Everything else pales in comparison.

So while the ribs at Blue Smoke were good, it was the pit beans that became the star of the show. They had a beautiful smoky-sweet flavor and were nestled between delicately tender shreds of pulled pork. I could’ve eaten a bowl of the beans alone. The octopus was also surprisingly delicious for a BBQ joint, and proves that the kitchen is much more skilled than BBQ diners might anticipate.

Another point worth mentioning is the outstanding Blue Smoke Original Ale. Just give me a pint of Blue Smoke, a bowl of pit beans, and I’m happy.

I’m a simple girl, folks.

Sour cream cheesecake with berries and mint

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