Monday, February 13, 2012

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake

They warned me about Pinterest and I should have stayed away...but it's so addicting! This recipe caught my eye, or rather a delicious looking picture of this recipe caught my eye on Pinterest and I had to try it. Warning: It's about addicting as Pinterest itself! My pictures don't do this recipe justice...go to the blog My Baking Addiction to see something a bit more beautified :).

I piped melted white chocolate into the shape of hearts onto a
chilled cookie sheet to make these little hearts.

No Bake Nutella Cheesecake
*adapted from My Baking Addiction

12 Oreo cookies
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
2/3 c. Nutella
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tablespoons of hazelnut liqueur (Armaretto is also good)
8 oz. of whipping cream, whipped and chilled
Optional garnish of: chocolate shavings, extra whipped cream, chopped hazelnuts, or in my case 1/2 of a chopped hazelnut milk chocolate bar and white chocolate hearts in honor of Valentine's Day.

Place Oreos in a Ziploc bag and crush. Add melted butter and shake to combine. Divide crumb mixture between serving dishes (I used wine glasses) and press to the bottom to make a crust.

In your mixer combine cream cheese, Nutella, & vanilla extract. Beat until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream until it is fully incorporated.

Pipe or spoon into serving dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish as desired.

It's so easy!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I Scream You Scream We All Scream for... Cookies?

 Looks can be deceiving. And oh so adorable. These little treats are sugar cookies made to look like ice cream. Today I was browsing around looking for Super Bowl recipe ideas when I found this recipe for ice cream scoop sugar cookies. Not very super-bowl oriented...I know, but I just couldn't resist rolling up my sleeves and making these. I experimented a bit with sizes and found that a 1/2 tablespoon rounded measuring spoon made a the perfect size scoop which fit perfectly atop miniature ice cream cones. These cute little creations would be perfect for an April Fool's treat or even a birthday party....or maybe just because you love your kids and you want to make them something fun.

Sugar Cookie Dough

6 c. white flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 c. margarine or butter
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips
For Strawberry Ice Cream:
1 small box of strawberry flavored gelatin
freeze dried strawberries (optional)

For Chocolate Ice Cream:
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
2 tbsp. melted semi sweet chocolate

*Before you begin: You're probably going to want to use a stand mixer for this recipe...the dough is pretty thick and a hand mixer probably won't cut it.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in your mixer.
In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt and slowly add to the wet mixture. It will seem very dry, but let it whip a few minutes and it should come together. If it's still unworkable you can add a very small splash of milk (think teaspoon size) because you'll want this dough to be on the dry side or the cookies won't set up the way they're supposed to.

Divide your dough into thirds. Place 1/3 of the dough into your mixer and add cocoa powder and melted chocolate. The melted chocolate should add enough moisture to help the cocoa powder blend into the dough. Once that is mixed set it aside, clean your mixing bowl and add another third of the  dough. Add the strawberry gelatin and freeze dried strawberries (if using) and run your mixer until your dough is completely pink and gelatin is fully incorporated.  The remaining third of dough will be your vanilla ice cream.

Scoop out dough, (see note below)  making sure to overfill your scoop a bit so as to make an edge that resembles a scoop of ice-cream. Plop your scoops onto a baking sheet about 2 inches apart and press on some sprinkles. Bake 12-14 minutes (you don't want to have browned ice cream) and cool.

Melt chocolate chips in a small bowl on medium heat in the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between to make sure it is melted. Dip the top of each cone in a bit of chocolate, and, using the back of a spoon smear some more chocolate onto the bottom of scoops to help them stick to your cones.

Once you've mastered the art of ice-cream scoop cookies why not experiment with other flavors...maybe chocolate or mint chip or peanut butter...the possibilities are endless! Have fun enjoying your sweet treats!
***For this recipe I used miniature ice cream cones and a round measuring 1/2 Tablespoon to make my scoops. You could also use a regular ice cream scoop if you planned on putting these on top of regular ice cream cones. I would suggest baking off 1 or 2 before you do a whole batch to see how large they will be after they've baked...that way you don't end up with ginormous scoops that don't fit on your cones.