Thursday, September 27, 2012

Four-ingredient no-bake cheesecake

I realize I have been taking quite a few shortcuts in baking lately. I guess it's no coincidence that this is happening during the month of September, i.e. the beginning of the school year. :) I guess once the initial shock and madness of school go into "normal" mode, I may plunge again into more involved, from-scratch recipes. For now, this no-bake, four-ingredient only cheesecake is perfect! And I have to say, you could really fool quite a few people with this awesome recipe! It is a snap to put together, but the results are nothing short of decadent! I only wish I'd found this recipe early on in the summer because it would be the perfect no-bake dessert to make and take to any get together!

Four-ingredient no-bake cheesecake

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 (8-ounce) tub of cool whip (I like to use the Lite Cool Whip, for fewer calories)
1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, at room temperature (again, I prefer using the 1/3 less calories)
1/3 cup of lemon or lime juice

1 ready graham crust, if using

Combine the first three ingredients in the work bowl of your stand or hand mixer. On low speed, blend well for about 2 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Add the lemon or lime juice and blend until just incorporated. Immediately pour mixture into a waiting graham crust or for those who can't have the gluten, in muffin cups. Refrigerate for an hour to and hour and a half and viola- creamy, luscious, velvety deliciousness! I served mine with cherry pie filling on top but you could do fresh fruit- strawberries will be awesome, or just about anything you like! My daughter decided that we should add some of the lemon zest on top too, which I let her do herself. :) She loves using our citrus zester! :)

Recipe courtesy:

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Peach and Pecan Oat Crumble Bars

After making the Peachy Keen Bars a couple of days ago, I thought I'd try another peach dessert- while I still have these wonderfully delicious fresh local peaches in my kitchen. So, after some deliberation, I set out to make these Peach & Pecan Oat Crumble Bars I found on a fellow baker's blog:

I love everything about this dessert- the freshness of the peaches, the nuttiness of the oats and the pecans, the buttery crust- you name it! While it is not too sweet, it boasts a tangy, rich flavor that just can't be duplicated if you don't have fresh, juicy, right-of-the-tree ripe peaches. But without further ado, let me introduce you to today's star:

Peach and Pecan Oat Crumble Bars:
Base Dough
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Peach Filling
2 pounds peaches, unpeeled (about 7-8 peaches)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pecan Oat Topping
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour, divided
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt

Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer) cream the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients in just until the dough is soft and pulled together. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling and topping.

Roughly chop the peaches into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
Wipe out the mixer bowl and mix 1/4 cup softened butter with the oats, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt until soft and crumbly. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.

Spread the chopped peaches over the chilled dough base. Evenly crumble the topping over the peaches, and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned. (I ended up baking mine for almost an hour.)

Whisk together the lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over the bars.
Cool (or chill) for at least an hour before slicing and serving. I do recommend chilling these; they will stay fresh (and slice more cleanly) for about 5 days when stored well-covered in the fridge.

Recipe courtesy:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Peachy keen bars

We have been picking fresh peaches from our local farm for more than a month now and before the picking season was over, I decided it was about time I baked some peach desserts. :) I love peaches and nothing can compare to the taste of a freshly picked one right off the tree!

The first peach dessert I chose to make is a cross between cheesecake and peach crumble bars. It is very easy to make because it uses a shortcut- a box of dry cake mix. Since my days have been somewhat crazy with the beginning of the school year, I figured I could definitely use a shortcut this time around. :)

The dessert, while it didn't totally wow me, was a pretty big hit with my co-workers. In fact, I was asked for the recipe. So, here it is:
1 package dry cake mix- white, yellow or french vanilla
1/3 cup butter, room temperature
2 eggs, divided
4 cups diced peeled peaches, about 4-5 peaches (or 29oz can light peach slices, drained)
8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13” pan with nonstick cooking spray. 
In a large bowl combine cake mix, butter and 1 egg; mix with fork just until crumbly.
Set aside 1 ½ cups crumbs for topping. Press the remaining crumbs on bottom of prepared pan; Bake 10 minutes. 
Spoon diced peaches onto partially-baked crust. 
In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg and vanilla extract; beat with mixer until creamy.
Spread over peaches. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.
Bake 30 minutes.
Chill at least 30 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in refrigerator.

Adapted from:

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