Monthly Archives: December 2008
My love of pumpkin is no secret, and this pumpkin cheesecake has become one of my favorite desserts. It’s got all the fall flavors I love. There are fall spices in the crust and the filling, and this cheesecake is the perfect end to a Thanksgiving meal. Drying the pumpkin before using it in the filling helps give this cheesecake its creamy, smooth texture, so don’t skip that step.
Spiced Pumpkin Cheesecake
ATK notes: Depending on the oven and the temperature of the ingredients, the cheesecake may bake about 15 minutes faster or slower than the instructions indicate; it is therefore best to check the cake 11/4 hours into baking. Although the cheesecake can be made up to three days in advance, the crust will begin to lose its crispness after only one day. To make slicing the cheesecake easy and neat, use a knife with a narrow blade, such as a carving knife; between cuts, dip the blade into a pitcher of hot water and wipe it clean with paper towels.
For the crust:
5 ounces graham crackers (9 whole crackers), broken into large pieces
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks and left to soften at room temperature about 30 minutes
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon juice from 1 lemon
5 large eggs, left at room temperature about 30 minutes
1 cup heavy cream
- For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan evenly with nonstick cooking spray.
-Pulse crackers, sugar, and spices in food processor until evenly and finely ground, about fifteen 2-second pulses. Transfer crumbs to medium bowl, drizzle melted butter over, and mix with rubber spatula until evenly moistened.
-Turn crumbs into prepared springform pan and, using hand, spread crumbs into even layer. Using a flat-bottomed ramekin or drinking glass, press crumbs evenly into pan bottom, then use soup spoon to press and smooth crumbs into edges of pan.
-Bake until fragrant and browned about the edges, about 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
-For the filling: Bring about 4 quarts water to simmer in stockpot. Meanwhile, dry the pumpkin by lining a baking sheet with a triple layer of paper towels. Cover with another triple layer of paper towels and press until the towels are saturated.
-Whisk sugar, spices, and salt in small bowl; set aside.
-In stand mixer fitted with flat beater, beat cream cheese at medium speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater and bottom and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula.
-Add about one third of sugar mixture and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute; scrape bowl and add remaining sugar in two additions, scraping bowl after each addition.
-Add pumpkin, vanilla, and lemon juice and beat at medium speed until combined, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl.
-Add 3 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 1 minute; scrape bowl.
-Add remaining 2 eggs and beat at medium-low until incorporated, about 45 seconds; scrape bowl.
-Add heavy cream and beat at low speed until combined, about 45 seconds.
-Using rubber spatula, scrape bottom and sides of bowl and give final stir by hand.
-Set springform pan with cooled crust on 18-inch-square doubled layer heavy-duty foil and wrap bottom and sides with foil; set wrapped pan in roasting pan.
-Pour filling into springform pan and smooth surface; set roasting pan in oven and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan.
-Bake until center of cake is slightly wobbly when pan is shaken and center of cake registers 145 to 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 1 1/2 hours (see note).
-Run paring knife around cake to loosen; remove sides of pan.
-Set roasting pan on wire rack and cool until water is just warm, about 45 minutes.
-Remove springform pan from water bath, discard foil, and set on wire rack; continue to cool until barely warm, about 3 hours.
-Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
-To serve: Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, then slide cake onto serving platter.
-Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.
-Top with whipped cream or a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired. Also, if desired, press graham cracker crumbs into sides of cooled cheesecake for extra texture.
Source: Barely adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
Oh.my.gosh. These are seriously the best rolls I have ever had in my entire life. They are absolutely divine. I made these for Thanksgiving dinner, and they disappeared in no time flat. I doubled this recipe (thankfully!), but I had to knead the dough in two batches. My Kitchen Aid mixer is wonderful, but it doesn’t have the capacity to knead a double recipe of this dough. The rolls didn’t come out as smooth as I wanted, but I was in a rush to complete them. Also, I spread a little more of the honey butter on top when they came out of the oven (which is why the rolls in my picture look like they have been shellacked, haha).
Honey Yeast Rolls
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup warm water (105°-115° F)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
4 cups bread flour
vegetable cooking spray
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon honey
-In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the yeast and warm water.
-Add the honey, oil, salt and egg and mix well.
-Add 3 cups of the flour and mix until the dough comes together in a sticky mass.
-With the mixer on low speed, add the remaining 1 cup flour and mix until it is incorporated into the dough.
-Switch to the dough hook and continue kneading on low speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
-Form the dough into a ball and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat.
-Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen towel and let the dough rise in a warm, draft-free spot until it doubles in bulk, about 2 hours.
-Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 30 seconds.
-Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
-Punch the dough down and divide into 12 equal portions.
-Shape each portion into a ball and place into a round, lightly greased baking dish, spacing evenly.
-Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 20 minutes.
-Mix together the melted butter and honey and brush lightly over the tops of the rolls.
-Bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until lightly browned.
-Serve warm or at room temperature.
Source: As seen on Annie’s Eats, originally adapted from A cookie a day
This bread is so delicious! It wasn’t nearly as hard as I thought it would be, either. I made this bread to go along with chicken stuffed shells. The roasted garlic gives this bread an amazing flavor. If you’re not a big fan of garlic, no need to fret. Roasting the garlic gives it a more subtle and sweet flavor.
-Preheat oven to 400°.
-Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact.
-Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.
-Place the garlic heads in a baking pan; muffin pans work well for this purpose.
-Drizzle a couple teaspoons of olive oil over each head, using your fingers to make sure the garlic head is well coated.
-Cover with aluminum foil.
-Bake at 400°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cloves feel soft when pressed.
-Allow the garlic to cool enough so you can touch it without burning yourself.
-Use a small small knife cut the skin slightly around each clove.
-Use a cocktail fork or your fingers to pull or squeeze the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins.
Source: Simply Recipes
Garlic Herb Swirl Bread
3 ¼ cups bread flour, divided
1 tbsp. sugar
1 pkg. active dry or quick-rising yeast
½ tsp. salt
1 cup very warm water (115-125°)
2 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened or melted
For the filling:
4 tbsp. butter, softened
5-6 cloves roasted garlic
1 tsp. dried parsley
½ tsp. dried oregano
½ tsp. dried basil
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
-In a large bowl or in the bowl of a heavy duty mixer combine 2 cups bread flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
-Add in water and butter/margarine and mix by hand or on low speed for 1 minute.
-Add in remaining flour ¼ cup at a time until the dough is moist but not sticky.
-Knead the dough for about 10 minutes by hand or with the dough hook on low to medium speed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.
-Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and turn it over to coat with oil.
-Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 40-45 minutes.
-Grease a 9×5” loaf pan.
-Punch down the dough on a lightly floured surface.
-Roll the dough into a large rectangle no more than 9” wide.
-Combine butter, garlic, parsely, oregano, basil and Parmesan cheese in a small bowl and mix until well combined.
-Spread the butter mixture over the surface of the dough rectangle.
-Tightly roll up the dough into a cylinder shape, pinching and tucking ends to form a tight seal.
-Place seam side down in prepared loaf pan.
-Oil the surface of the loaf and cover loosely with a clean cloth.
-Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 20-45 minutes.
-Sprinkle the top of the loaf with Parmesan cheese if desired.
-Preheat the oven to 450°.
-Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and bake for about 30 minutes more.
-To prevent over-browning, cover with foil toward the end of baking if necessary.
-Bake until crust is golden brown and loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
-Transfer from pan to a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.
Source: Annie’s Eats (originally adapted from Amber’s Delectable Delights)
Eric and I made this right before we went home for Thanksgiving. We froze the extra shells to have when we got back. These shells were absolutely delicious when we made them, but I think they were even better when we reheated the leftovers for lunch the next day. This recipe makes a ton of food, so you might want to half the recipe. Even though we froze half, we still had too much. This is definitely a great recipe for a crowd.
Chicken Stuffed Shells
1 box (or more) uncooked jumbo pasta shells (about 50-55)
6 cloves garlic
2 chicken breasts, cooked and coarsely shredded
30 oz. part skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried parsley (1 tablespoon. fresh, chopped)
6 large basil leaves, torn
1/3 cup half and half
approx. 28 oz. pasta sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-Preheat oven to 375°.
-Cook pasta shells according to package directions and drain.
-Separate onto a cutting board or cookie sheet to prevent from sticking together.
-Add ingredients garlic through half and half to a food processor and process until just combined.
-Add more salt and pepper if necessary, to taste.
-Spoon enough sauce into baking dish(es) to cover the bottom.
-Fill the cooked shells with the ricotta mixture and place open side up in a prepared baking dish.
-Spoon as much of the remaining sauce over shells as desired.
-Bake covered with foil for 15-20 minutes, remove foil and continue baking for 5 minutes.
-Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.
-If freezing extra shells, to cook from the freezer, thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake as directed above.
Source: Annie’s Eats
Eric and I have really been wanting to attempt making homemade pizza. I wasn’t sure if we could make everything homemade, so our first attempt was just for the sauce. Next time, I think we’ll try making the dough from scratch, too. This sauce is wonderful for pizza! It was a little sweet (but not too much), which Eric and I both liked. You can’t really see the sauce beneath all the mozzarella and pepperoni, but a picture of just the sauce wouldn’t have been much fun.
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow or white onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 15-oz. can tomato puree
1 T tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh oregano
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
-In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
-Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
-Add the garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute.
-Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, wine, oregano, basil, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste and stir to combine.
-Bring to a simmer, cover, then reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes for the flavors to blend, stirring occasionally.
-Set aside to cool slightly.
Source: Liz’s Cooking Blog