Thursday, April 10, 2008

13 Ways to Indulge in Dessert Delight!

I've been in a complete dither the last week or so. Having house guests for the weekend. I ABSOLUTELY love pampering guests. I enjoy cooking and making the house comfy and cozy. Flipping through cookbooks for the makings of a wonderful welcoming meal, I came up the Vermont Maple Cheesecake recipe and figured... "ah ha!" exactly what a Vermonter (c'est moi) would feed her guests. I woke up this morning with T13 on my mind and not-so-much time on my hands. I had two ideas: list the meals I would be serving for this weekend or list cheesecakes. Hey! Cheesecake beats parsnips every time, right? I mean, any question? This is my no means a definitive list. I randomly chose some recipes via Google. However... I did not stop to cite the sources. I apologize. Now it's Back to the Kitchen! Then I am off on a quest through every market in town, to find "Bone-In English Short Ribs"... OY!

1. Vermont Maple Cheesecake

For crust
twenty-four 5- by 2 1/2-inch graham crackers
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B; see note, above)

For filling
four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade B)
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream

Accompaniment: pure maple syrup if desired for drizzling

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Make crust:
In a food processor finely grind graham crackers (you will have about 3 1/2 cups). Melt butter. In a large bowl stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter, and maple syrup and press evenly into bottom and up side of a 10-inch springform pan. Wrap bottom and side of pan with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil to avoid leakage.

Make filling:
In bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment or in a food processor beat cream cheese on low speed, scraping down side of bowl occasionally, until smooth. Add syrup and eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and cream and beat until just combined.

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 1 hour (cake will not be set in center but will set as it chills). Cool cake in pan on a rack. Chill cake, covered, at least 8 hours and up to 4 days.

Remove side of pan. Serve cheesecake in wedges, drizzled with maple syrup.

2. Banana Split Cheesecake

1 cup packaged chocolate cookie crumbs (such as Oreo)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon butter or stick margarine, melted
Cooking spray

3 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) carton low-fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs

1/3 cup canned crushed pineapple in juice, drained
1/3 cup strawberry sundae syrup
1/3 cup chocolate syrup
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
16 maraschino cherries, drained
Preheat oven to 325°.

To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients in a bowl; toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

To prepare filling, beat cheeses and sour cream at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar, banana, flour, and vanilla; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time; beat well after each addition.

Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Cheesecake is done when the center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon pineapple, 1 teaspoon strawberry syrup, 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup, 3/4 teaspoon pecans, and 1 cherry.

3. Black Forest Chocolate Cheesecake

This decadent Blackforest Chocolate Cheesecake by Vanessa Sherwood drew quite a knockout reaction when she posted it on the forum. I’m sure you can see why. It is bursting with sweet cherries layered between a chocolate crust and a creamy chocolate cheesecake filling. Vanessa advised the members of the forum they can purchase raw cacao butter and coconut oil for great prices at Organic Living Food. She also said it can be replaced with a dark Green and Black’s chocolate bar. I know what some of you will be making your loved ones this Valentines!

For the filling:
2 Cups Cashews, soaked 1 hour or more
1/4 Cup Agave Nectar
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup
1/4 Cup Water
1/4 Cup Cacao Butter, Melted
1/4 Cup Coconut butter, Melted
1 -2 Teaspoons Coffee Extract (optional)
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract or Seeds From 1/2 Vanilla Bean
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1 Cup Cocoa Powder
One 10oz Package Frozen Cherries, Thawed

Blend everything together except for the cocoa powder and cherries until completely smooth. At this point, if your blender can take it, blend in the cocoa powder. Otherwise scrape the mixture into a mixing bowl and whisk the cocoa powder in by hand. Hand mix in the thawed cherries. If you want to make a sauce out of the cherries, either set some aside or use an additional package.

About the coffee extract. Coffee enhances the flavor of chocolate. I use Java Juice- Pure Organic Coffee Extract. The website is If you don’t want to use it, substitute more vanilla extract or just leave it out.

For the crust:
1/2 Cup Brazil Nuts
1/2 Cup Shredded Coconut
Pinch Salt
1 Heaping Tablespoon Cocoa Powder
1 - 2 Tablespoons Agave
1 - 2 Tablespoons Cacao Nibs
1/4 Vanilla Bean Seeds from 1/4 vanilla bean

Process the brazil nuts, shredded coconut, salt, cocoa powder and vanilla bean seeds in a food processor until fine crumbs. Add the agave and cacao nibs until the mixture just starts to stick together. Press into the bottom of a springform pan. If you are making a large cheesecake, feel free to double or even triple the recipe (crust and filling).

Pour the filling over the crust and chill or freeze until ready to serve.

4. Raspberry White Cheesecake

2 cups
6 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

10 oz. frozen raspberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 cup water
2 cups white chocolate
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
24 oz of softened cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
3 room temperature eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 shoot of Amaretto

1.) In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs, 6 tablespoons sugar, and melted butter. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9 inch spring-form pan.

2.) In a saucepan, combine raspberries, 2 tablespoons sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to boil and continue boiling 5 minutes, or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a mesh strainer to remove seeds

3.) preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In a metal bowl over a pan of simmering water, melt white chocolate chips with half-and-half, stirring occasionally until smooth.

4.) In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs one at a time. Blend in vanilla and melted white chocolate. Pour half of batter over crust. Spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over batter. Pour remaining cheesecake batter into pan, and again spoon 3 tablespoons raspberry sauce over the top. Swirl batter with the tip of a knife to create a marbled effect.

5.) Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until filling is set. Cool, cover with plastic wrap, and refigereate for 8 hours before removing from pan. Serve with remaining raspberry sauce.

5. Pistachio & Lime Cheesecake

1 1/4 cup of cream cheese
1 lime, juice and zest
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup of softened butter
One package of chocolate wafer cookies
1/2 cup of crushed pistachios

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees celsius.

To assemble the cake mold, take a 7-inch springform cake mold. Place a sheet of aluminum foil over the base and assemble the ring over top of it. Place the assembled unit on another sheet of aluminum and fold it up over the sides to make it as waterproof as possible. Lightly butter the sides of the mold.

Put the wafer cookies in a sealed ziploc bag and crush them using a heavy pan. Combine in a bowl with the butter and spread mixture in the bottom of the cake mould, and compact it using the bottom of a glass to make a tight bottom crust. Put in the fridge to set.

In a large bowl, whip the cream cheese (it’s a good idea to take it out half an hour before you start to soften at room temperature). Add the sugar, lime juice and zest, eggs and egg yolk. Beat ingredients together until combined and smooth. Add on top of the crushed wafers making sure the layer is even.

Place the cake mold into a large roasting pan and fill the pan around it with water until it comes to about half the height of the cake mould. This helps soften the cooking process and prevents the cake from cracking. Depending on the oven, the cake should bake between 45-50 minutes. The cake is ready when it seems firm but still a little wobbly. Allow to cool in the fridge for at least two hours before carefully removing the mold. Serve topped with crushed pistachios.

6. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

* 1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
* 1 cup white sugar
* 1/4 cup melted butter
* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, diced
* 2 cups sour cream
* 3 eggs
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1/4 cup butter
* 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/4 cup white sugar
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 2 teaspoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2. Mix the chocolate wafer cookie crumbs with 2 tablespoons of the white sugar, and the melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 8 minutes.
3. To Make Cookie Dough: In a bowl beat 1/4 cup butter or margarine with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the white sugar. Stir in the water and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat in the flour and the semisweet chocolate chips. Stir until combined.
4. To Make Cheesecake: In a food processor or with a mixer beat 1 cup of the white sugar, and all the cream cheese. Add 1 cup of the sour cream, the eggs, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Mix well and pour into prepared crust.
5. Drop cookie dough in 2 tablespoon portions evenly over the top of the cake, pushing dough beneath the surface. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Cake will jiggle slightly in center. Spread topping over hot cake. Let cake cool than chill in a refrigerator until cold, at least 4 hours.
6. To Make Topping: Mix the remaining 1 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and the 2 teaspoons white sugar until smooth. Spread over hot cake.

7. Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

* 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/3 cup white sugar
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 30 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
* 3 tablespoons milk
* 3/4 cup chopped pecans
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
* 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 3 eggs

1. In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Mix well and press into the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Pour on melted caramel/pecan mixture and chill for 30 minutes.
2. To make the Caramel Filling: In a small saucepan, combine caramels and milk. Cook over low heat, stirring, until smooth. Stir in chopped pecans. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
3. In the top of a double boiler, heat chocolate, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Fold 1/3 of the filling into the melted chocolate, then pour the chocolate mixture back into the filling and mix until no streaks remain. Pour into crust.
4. Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes, or until center is almost set. Place a pan of water on rack underneath cheesecake as it bakes to help keep it from cracking. Cool in oven with door cracked open. Refrigerate at least 5 hours before serving.

8. Pumpkin Pecan Cheesecake

* 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/2 cup butter, melted
* 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1 1/4 cups white sugar
* 3 eggs, room temperature
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1/2 cup pecan liqueur
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
* 1 teaspoon pecan liqueur
* 1 cup ground pecans
* 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
* 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 3/4 cup pecan halves

1. Combine 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup white sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and melted butter or margarine. Press firmly into the bottom of a 10 inch springform pan.
2. In a large bowl, blend the cream cheese and 1 1/4 cup white sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well. Add vanilla extract. Add 1/2 cup liqueur, and blend for 5 minutes. Pour the filling on top of the crust
3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bake for approximately 1 hour. The cake should be golden brown, and will have risen to the top of the pan. Turn off the heat, and let cool in the oven for 2 1/2 hours. When cool, remove the rim of the springform pan.
4. In a small bowl, mix the sour cream, confectioners' sugar, and 1 teaspoon liqueur together. Spoon onto the top of the cooled cheesecake.
5. In a small bowl, combine the finely ground pecans, finely ground graham cracker crumbs, 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the pecan topping on the cheesecake. Carefully press the pecan topping into the sides of the cheesecake. Garnish the top and sides with pecan halves.

9. Caramel Apple Cheesecake

* 1 (21 ounce) can apple pie filling
* 1 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crust
* 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 2 eggs
* 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
* 12 pecan halves
* 2/3 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Reserve 3/4 cup of apple pie filling and set aside.
2. Spoon remaining pie filling into crust. In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth then add eggs and mix well. Pour over apple filling in crust.
3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until center is set. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature.
4. Mix reserved apple filling and caramel topping in a small saucepan. Heat for about 1 minute. Arrange apple slices around outside edge of cheesecake. Spread caramel sauce evenly over. Decorate with pecan halves around edge. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Chill until ready to serve.

10. Brandied Peach Cheesecake

8 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups Milk
1/4 cup Cognac, or brandy
1 package Instant vanilla pudding and pie filling
1 Graham cracker, 8 inch
1 1/4 cups Peaches
1/4 cup Currant jelly
2 teaspoons Cognac

Stir cream cheese until soft; blend in 1/2 cup milk. Add remaining milk, cognac, and pudding mix. Beat slowly just until well mixed. Pour into crust. Chill 1 hour. Arrange peach slices attractively on cheese filling. Heat jelly and additional cognac together. Pour over peach slices. Chill.

11. Candy Cane Cheesecake
(it's never too early to get ready for you-know-what-holiday)

1 1/3 cups Cookie crumbs, chocolate
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups Sour cream
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Eggs
1 tablespoon Flour
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/4 teaspoon Peppermint extract
24 ounces Cream cheese
2 tablespoons Butter
2/3 cup Peppermint mints, crushed

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Combine first 3 ingredients and press into a 9-inch springform pan. Blend sour cream, sugar, eggs, flour and both extracts until smooth. Add cream cheese and 2 T butter. Stir in crushed candy.

2. Pour into crust and bake on lowest rack of oven for 50-60 minutes or until firm. Allow to cool (top may crack) and refrigerate overnight. Remove from pan and serve.

3. Top with sweetened whip cream and garnish with candy cane if desired.

12. Key Lime Cheesecake
(sounds summery...I am soooo ready for warm weather!)


1 1/2 cups Graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons Sugar
1/4 cup Unsalted butter, melted and cooled

20 ounces Cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup Sugar
1 cup Sour cream
3 tablespoons Flour
3 Large eggs
3/4 cup Fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Vanilla
1 drop Green food coloring
Whipped cream, for garnish
Lime slices, for garnish
Mint sprigs, for garnish

1. For the crust: In a bowl, stir together the crumbs and sugar and stir the butter in well. Pat the mixture evenly onto the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a buttered 10-inch springform pan. Bake the crust in the centre of a preheated 375F oven for 8 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and set aside to cool.

2. For the cake: In a bowl with an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and the sugar until the mixture is smooth; beat in the sour cream and flour, then add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

3. Add the lime juice, vanilla, and food colouring and beat until mixture is smooth. Pour the filling over the crust. Bake the cheesecake at 375F for 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 250F and bake for 50 to 55 minutes more, or until the centre is barely set. (it will continue to set as it cools) Let the cake cool on a rack, and chill it, covered, overnight.

4. Remove the cheesecake from the pan and transfer it to a cake stand. With a pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip, pipe the whipped cream into rosettes on the cake. Garnish with the mint sprigs and lime slices.

13. Peter Paul Mounds Cheesecake

A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far away (known as Escondido, CA), I made up a recipe for this cheesecake. People actually BEG me to make this cheesecake. It's not too difficult but it does take time and I play with the recipe almost every time, so even though I've got it written down somewhere, it's never exactly right. You know what I mean.

The basics are a smooth inner cream cheese filling, with lots of eggs and heavy cream added to the Philly Cream Cheese. Into that goes shredded coconut, some coconut extract and some almost extract.

Follow a usual recipe for amounts of cream cheese, eggs, cream; add enough shredded coconut to your taste. Add enough extract to your taste.

For the crust I've alternated between chocolate graham cracker, regular graham cracker, and oreo crumbs (just the dark chocolate cookie part, which I think you can now find as a package of crumbs, although I used to food process my own). I've even processed almonds into a crust, but you'll have to look up that recipe. I"ve also added finely processed almonds to all the above crusts.

Follow any basic cheesecake recipe for assembly and baking time.

After the cake has cooled add the topping. Melt a large thick Hershey bar (I like the basic milk chocolate). Spread that over the top. Take some whole almonds (I just use regular, raw almonds). While the chocolate is still melty, arrange the almonds in a delightful pattern.

Et voila! (or for those of you with the silliness: Vi-Ola!) This one tastes like a candy bar. I love it!


Ellie Heller said...

LOL! I think I gained 10 lobs just reading the ingredients!

A yummy post Ms. Zee!

Arlene said...

That is a lot of Cheesecake.......

sd-b said...

My favorite of all-time is Oreo Cheesecake! I may have to try the Black Forest Cheesecake recipe though!

Sadie said...

Wow... I mean wow! Here I am eating salt water taffy's, which just aren't cutting the sweet-tooth craving now! Mmm, I'll be back with a pen and paper, thats for sure.

Gina Ardito said...

Ack! I was at the Cheesecake Factory with the G Club. If I don't see another cheesecake until Christmas of 2010, I'll be a very happy girl (with a svelter waist!) LOL!

Leslie said...


Ok I NEED to try that Mounds cheesecake (although they all look fabulous!!!)

Now I need cheesecake!!!!

LOL! Great post Mizz Z!!


colleen said...

Just reading them makes me feel fatter. You should open a B&B.

Zara Penney said...

Zee, (to be sung to the tune of Thanks for the memories)

Thanks for the Calories
Those little things
That matter so much
And entice us into so...
much lust...

Thanks, oh thanks for the calories.

Judith Leger said...

Zee, I just love to hate you. How could you? There went my diet right out the window along with my big ass heading out to find some cheesecake...superman speed here.