Dessert

Instant Pot Cheesecake

Instant-Pot-Cheesecake-ImageWhen I got my Instant Pot I knew you could make desserts in it, and since I love desserts, I knew I would be using that feature. What I didn’t know is that the sealing rings in the lid of the Instant Pot holds odors like nobody’s business so unless I wanted pulled pork smelling cheesecake I would need to buy more sealing rings. As I don’t currently have any other sealing rings, I ended up making this cheesecake recipe in the oven with a water bath and it turned out beautifully. I am going to post the instructions for the Instant Pot method here, but if you don’t have one, it makes a delicious 6″ cheesecake in the more classic manner also. Recipe and photo courtesy of mybakingaddiction.com.

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Challenge Dairy Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 16 ounces Challenge Dairy Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • cherry pie filling, optional

Tightly wrap the bottom of 6-inch springform pan in foil and spray the inside of the pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Place pan in freezer for 10-15 minutes. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar and mix until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Making sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add in the flour, heavy cream, and vanilla and mix until smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Cover the top of the pan with a piece of foil. Pour 1 1/2 cups of water into the Instant Pot and place the trivet in the bottom of the pot. Create a “foil sling” by folding a 20-inch long piece of foil in half lengthwise two times. This “sling” will allow you place and remove the springform pan with ease.Place the cheesecake pan in the center of the sling and carefully lower the pan into the Instant Pot. Fold down the excess foil from the sling to ensure the pot closes properly. Lock the lid into place and make sure the vent is closed “sealing”. Press the “Manual” button and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes. When the Instant Pot beeps, hit the “Keep Warm/Cancel” button to turn off the pressure cooker. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes and then do a quick release to release any pressure remaining in the pot. Carefully unfold the foil sling and remove the cheesecake from the pot to a cooling rack using the foil sling “handles”. Uncover the cheesecake and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once the cheesecake has cooled, refrigerate it for at least 8 hours, or overnight. Before serving, top with pie filling and whipped cream if desired.

*If you are baking this in the oven instead, simply put your wrapped pan in a 9×13 pan with water in it and bake it for about 40 minutes in a 350 oven. There should still be a slight wobble in the center, just turn off the oven and leave the door cracked so it can finish baking for about 10 minutes.

Cookies, Dessert

BA’s Chocolate Chip Cookie

chocolate-chip-cookieThese cookies are from the Bon Appetit’s website and are billed as the perfect chocolate chip cookie. I had found the recipe about a month ago, and when I realized it was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day last week I knew I needed to make them. These are much bigger cookies than I usually scoop but they are really delicious. There is no mixer or chilling required so if you are in the mood for immediate gratification from a homemade chocolate chip cookie then this is your recipe.

  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp  kosher salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) salted butter, divided
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate (60%–70% cacao), coarsely chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips

Place racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 375°. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside. Cook ½ cup (1 stick) butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, swirling often and scraping bottom of pan with a heatproof rubber spatula, until butter foams, then browns, about 4 minutes. Transfer butter to a large heatproof bowl and let cool 1 minute. Cut remaining ¼ cup (½ stick) butter into small pieces and add to brown butter (it should start to melt but not foam and sizzle, so test with one piece before adding the rest). Once butter is melted, add both sugars and whisk, breaking up any clumps, until sugar is incorporated and no lumps remain. Add egg and egg yolks and whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. Whisk in vanilla. Using rubber spatula, fold reserved dry ingredients into butter mixture just until no dry spots remain, then fold in chocolate. Using a 1½-oz. scoop (3 Tbsp.)*, portion out 16 balls of dough and divide between 2 parchment-lined rimmed baking sheets. Bake cookies, rotating sheets if cookies are browning very unevenly (otherwise, just leave them alone), until deep golden brown and firm around the edges, 8–10 minutes. Let cool on baking sheets.

*I used a scale to weight out 1 1/2 oz balls of dough because my cookie was only 1 oz

Dessert

Banana Cheesecake

banana-pudding-cheesecake-3-768x1152I continue to be on a mission to find as many banana desserts as I can that only use ripened bananas. I always have bananas in the house and want to build a repertoire of recipes that I can use them in. There is nothing worse to me than artificial banana flavor so I promise that any recipe you find on my site will steer far clear. I was really impressed with this cheesecake recipe. I had never seen a banana cheesecake recipe before and this one turned out perfectly. I served it with strawberry and blueberry compote. Recipe and photo courtesy of bakingbeauty.net.

  • 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers
  • 3/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 large ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 4 8 ounce blocks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 powdered sugar

For the crust, preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch cake or springform pan. Wrap the outsides with aluminum foil. Set aside. Place vanilla wafers into a plastic bag or food processor. Process/crush until you have fine crumbs. In a medium bowl, combine wafter crumbs and melted butter. Press vanilla wafer mixture evenly into pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely.

For the filling, mash bananas with a for until smooth in a small sauce pan. Stir in brown sugar and lemon juice. Cook for 3-5 minutes until sugar is dissolved and bananas are cooked. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract. Let cool completely. In a large bowl mix cream cheese til light and fluffy. Cream in sugar until fully combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Stir in banana mixture until just combined. Evenly pour filling into prepared crust. Place cake pan into a roasting pan. Fill pan around halfway full with hot water. Bake at 350 degrees F for 45-60 minutes or until the center is firm. Cool on a wire rack. Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.

For the topping, in a large chilled bowl, whip cream with a chilled whisk. Whisk until thickened. Stir in powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Whip until soft peaks form. Garnish with whipped cream, sliced banana, and vanilla wafers if desired. Store in the refrigerator.

Dessert

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

unnamedThis banana cake was the best combination of banana bread and cake. It rose beautifully, was light and fluffy, but still hearty like banana bread. Topped with cream cheese frosting it is a sure-fire crowd pleaser. Recipe courtesy of yellowblissroad.com.

  • 3 ripe bananas mashed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice divided
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda*
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Cream cheese frosting

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease and flour and 9×13 pan. Measure 1 1/2 cups of milk, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice. In a separate bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the other tablespoon of lemon juice and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 2/3 cup vegetable oil with the granulated and brown sugar. Then add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each egg. Add the teaspoon of vanilla and mix well. Add 1 cup of the flour along with the 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda to the large mixing bowl. Mix well. Add 1/2 cup of the milk/lemon juice mixture and blend. Add another cup of flour and mix. Then another 1/2 cup of milk and mix. Repeat with the remaining one cup of flour and 1/2 cup of milk. Fold in the bananas, and pour into your prepared 9×13 pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few crumbs (Mine was finished in 50 minutes). Let the cake cool completely, and then frost with the Cream Cheese Frosting.

*If baking at altitude, reduce baking soda to 1 teaspoon and add an extra 1/4 cup of flour. You could also sub buttermilk for the sour milk mixture.

 

How To

How To: Tzatziki Sauce

tzatziki-sauce-with-pita.jpg.839x0_q71_crop-scaleI have come to love making my own sauces for things, whether it’s ranch or barbeque and this homemade Tzatziki sauce is no exception. It was perfect with the gyros and I will definitely be making it again. One note I did have is the amount of sauce made by the recipe will far outstrip the amount of meat in the recipe as written so next time I will halve the recipe. Courtesy of 365daysofcrockpot.com.

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup diced or shredded cucumber, seeded
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill or 2 tablespoon fresh dill
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt and pepper

Cream together all of the ingredients until well combined. Serve with your favorite Greek dishes.

Entree

Instant Pot Beef Gyros

slow-cooker-gyros-with-beef-and-tzatziki-sauceEver since I gave myself an Instant Pot for Christmas I have been in love. Every single recipe I have made has turned out wonderfully and I haven’t even scratched the surface of what it could do. This next recipe is for one of my favorite sandwiches, the gyro. Traditionally lamb meat is used, but as that can get expensive quick, I used flank steak. I also made homemade Tzatziki sauce which I will include in a separate post. Recipe and photo courtesy of 365daysofcrockpot.com.

  • 1 1/2 lbs beef chuck roast or beef cross rib roast, sliced into thin quarter inch strips across the grain
  • 1 large onion, sliced very thinly
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup beef broth
  • Soft pita bread
  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Feta
  • Tzatziki sauce

Add beef, onion, oil, garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice and broth to the Instant Pot. Cover and turn the valve to “sealing.” Press manual/pressure cook button and set the timer for 25 minutes (high pressure). Once the time is up let the pot sit undisturbed for 15 minutes. Then move the valve to venting. Open the pot and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Make the tzatziki sauce. Serve beef over pita folds with Tzatziki sauce, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and feta.

Dessert, Pie

Chocolate Pie

chocolate-meringue-pie-20This pie is a favorite of my mother and father-in-law. They make it at Thanksgiving and it never lasts very long. I got the hankering for it the other day and had my mother-in-law send it to me. You can use a pre-made pie crust or use my all butter pie crust recipe. Either way, make sure to use pie weights when blind baking to ensure the crust doesn’t shrink.

  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 1/3 cups milk, scalded
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 9″ pie crust

Preheat your oven to 400. Bake your prepared pie crust for 10 minutes, using pie weights to prevent shrinking. In a sauce pan, heat your milk until scalding. In a small bowl, mix the cocoa, flour salt and sugar and then add to your scalded milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add in the vanilla. In a separate clean, dry bowl, beat your egg whites and cream of tartar until they start to get foamy. Slowly add in the sugar and salt until soft peaks form. Pour your hot filling into the baked crust and top with the meringue. Bake at 400 for 4-5 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Allow to cool and set before serving.

*You might notice that as the pie cools there is a liquid that seeps onto your crust. This is the meringue losing some of its moisture. There are a number of reasons that this can happen, but don’t worry, your pie will still taste great.