Happy belated Thanksgiving! I spent the holiday at home with my family eating mass amounts of food and drinking copious amounts of wine. We typically celebrate Thanksgiving at a family friend’s home, but since they were out of town this year, we gobbled up the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes at my house. I made this decadent pumpkin pie for dessert and it was a huge hit. Although time-consuming, the pie was absolutely worth all the effort!
We made and ate an excessive amount of food for the Super Bowl. From seven layer dip to spinach artichoke dip to deviled eggs (oh yes, with bacon grease) to homemade chicken tenders to pork sliders to veggie platters…the list goes on.
I was in charge of bringing dessert and wanted to bake cupcakes since I hadn’t in a while, which is odd considering it’s one of my favorite desserts to make. These weren’t just any cupcake though–not only were they filled with a blackberry puree, but they also had a graham cracker crust, which provided a pleasant textural contrast to the light lemon cake. The cupcakes were a hit at the party and I will most definitely be making them again, as should you!
Though I didn’t have a preference who won yesterday, the majority of our party was rooting for the Patriots. So, obviously it wasn’t the desired outcome for them, but congrats to the Giants fans.
I’m still looking for an apartment in LA, so in the meantime, I’ve been staying a couple of nights a week at my good friends’ apartment. Since they won’t accept any money for letting me stay, I bake for them every week, as this is something they gladly accept. I baked for them (here and here).
I usually decide which dessert to make, but this week they had plenty of suggestions—cheesecake bites being the top choice. Their flavor recommendations ranged from caramel pecan to Oreo cookie to raspberry. I hunted for recipes online and went with my friend Heidi’s choice of caramel pecan cheesecake bites.
I altered the recipe a bit—making homemade caramel sauce instead of using caramel squares, and increasing the amount of graham cracker crust to make the bottom layer more proportionate to the top cheesecake layer.
The cheesecake bites were rich and delectable, with a mildly crunchy graham cracker and pecan crust and a silky and creamy cheesecake topping. Although I did not have time to make extra caramel sauce to drizzle on top of the bites (suggested in the recipe), the dessert bars were plenty sweet enough without the addition.
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My parents hosted a dinner party this weekend, so I helped cook, bake and decorate all day before the party. I made two kinds of hummus—regular and sun-dried tomato—as well as a dessert. I wanted to make something bite-size, since I figured people would be stuffed after munching on the plethora of appetizers all evening.
I browsed the Food Network website and came across Paula Deen’s key lime tarts. The recipe received five stars and positive comments, so I decided to try it out. After all, dessert and Paula Deen go hand in hand.
Making these desserts turned into a much more tedious process than expected. The recipe calls for Key Lime Cooler cookies, however, I was not able to find these at the market. I imagine I might have found them at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, but did not have time to visit a different store. Therefore, I took one of the suggestions and made a homemade graham cracker crust for the bottom of the tarts.
The desserts had the perfect amount of tart flavor—enough to make your lips pucker, but not enough to make you contort your face in discomfort.
The tarts won me over in flavor, but were way too delicate in texture after only chilling for an hour. The recipe calls to bake the tarts in mini muffin liners (sprayed before filling), and to then remove them after baking. Removing the liners was a difficult process since the tarts were so fragile, causing a few of the desserts to break in half.
To try to remedy the situation, I chilled some of the tarts for a few more hours. After refrigerating, I was finally able to remove the rest of the liners. Although the desserts did not look as presentable as I’d hoped, they were still gobbled up at the party.