Hot Fudge Cheesecake w/ Brownie Crust

So, I had some hot fudge leftover this past week.
Awww shucks, right?
And, well…I was totally cool with just eating it by the spoonful.  Like, no problem.  What.SO.Ever.
But then I thought…
I could be eating this by the forkful…
Atop cheesecake…
Which lay atop a large, thick intense chocolate brownie.

And the fork wins again.
I get some really good thinking done in front of that fridge of mine.
Like, I don’t have a large enough butter reserve, I need more limes (gin and tonic too, for that matter), I need to stop by bags of carrots and bunches of bananas, and there is no use in hiding chocolate behind the yogurt …

Screw the shower.

Watch as an idea comes to life…it is kind of the greatest.  Even if it is just a cheesecake.
We build from the bottom up…brownie crust first.

Butter + unsweetened chocolate is the base to the base.

My go to double boiler – glass bowl and smallest saucepan I can find.  Same set up, each time. Works like a dream.

Sugar, eggs, and a bit of flour round out the brownie.  KISS….Keep.  It.  Simple.  Silly…..

First goes the sugar…

Eggs are whisked…one at a time…(and then vanilla….always, vanilla)

Flour and salt round out the brownie batter…heed the warning and don’t over mix brownie batter.  Like.  Ever.  This has been a public service announcement.

Springform pan it goes…and let bowl licking commence.

Just the basics for the filling: Cream cheese, sugar, eggs, flour, vanilla.  No more.  No less.

Ready for some magic?

Just like that…we have a baked cheesecake, a table set, and hot fudge at the ready.
Honestly…I lost natural light as the cheesecake was being mixed…so you missed cream cheese, sugar,and flour being beat until smooth; eggs added one at a time; a lot of bowl scraping – different from bowl licking.

And then you expose your chubby hand to the world and drizzle/pour/drench your cake in hot fudge.

Keep it coming…because we are going for this end result…

Hot fudge waterfall.

Fridge thinking has yet and probably will never produce any major breakthrough plans/skeems ending world wars or curing cancer…however, at least, every now and then I buy fewer bananas and you get a Hot Fudge slathered cheesecake with a rich chocolate brownie crust to drool over…In the short run, it is a total win win.

Hot Fudge Cheesecake w/ Brownie Crust
 
Ingredients
Brownie Crust
  • 3 Ounces Unsweetened Chocolate (not bittersweet/semi/milk)
  • 1 Stick (1/2 Cup) Unsalted Butter
  • 1+1/3 Cup Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ⅔ Cup All-Purpose Flour
Cheesecake Filling
  • 5- 8 Ounce Cream Cheese, room temperature
  • 1+3/4 Cups Sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
  • 5 Large Eggs
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • ½ Teaspoon Vanilla
Hot Fudge Topping – about 1+1/2 Cups (never had a problem with too much hot fudge!)
Instructions
Crust
  1. Line a 9inch springform pan’s removable base with parchment paper. Butter sides or spray with cooking spray.
  2. Preheat oven to 350F.
  3. In a double boiler (bowl sitting atop a pan of simmering water ) or in microwave in 30 second bouts, stirring between each, melt together butter and chocolate. Remove from heat.
  4. Stir in sugar until combined. (it will be rather grainy)
  5. Whisk in eggs and vanilla.
  6. Whisk together salt and flour. Fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients, and mix just until combined. DO NOT OVERMIX.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and place in preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, until toothpick comes out nearly clean with just a few crumbs sticking around.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool while you prepare filling.
Note
  1. Brownie crust can be made a day or two before you prepare filling. Keep at room temperature and cover tightly with foil/plastic wrap.
Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, and flour until smooth.
  3. Add vanilla and eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Remember to scrape sides and bottom of bowl between each addition.
  4. To bake cheesecake in a water bath (makes for even baking), double wrap springform pan in heavy duty aluminum foil. Place wrapped spring form pan in a roasting pan ( I used a disposable one )
  5. Pour filling into crust, the filling will reach the very brim of the springform pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to reach about ½ way up the sides of springform pan. Place roasting pan with cheesecake into preheated oven and bake for about 75 to 90 minutes until top of cheesecake is browned/golden, the top is just barely firm to touch (the very center of cake should giggle only slightly when pan is nudged), and the top appears dry. Turn oven off and open oven door so it is just ajar (I place a wooden spoon in oven door to keep it just barely open) and let cheesecake sit in warm water bath for an additional hour. Remove from oven and water bath and remove tinfoil from around pan. Let cool completely on wire rack and then transfer cake to fridge and chill completely for at least 6 hours.
  6. If you are choosing to make hot fudge from scratch, make it while the cake is chilling. Recipe on previous post and to follow…
  7. Once chilled, remove from fridge and run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen it from sides of pan, remove side of pan from cake and transfer cake to a plate. Pour hot fudge onto the top of the cheesecake, spreading the fudge to the edges of the cheesecake, allowing fudge to drip down sides. Return cake to fridge, allowing fudge to thicken/harden – let chill until ready to serve. Chilling once fudge is atop cake will allow for easier slicing.

 

Hot Fudge topping … recipe here (my last post) or head to the grocery/local ice cream shoppe and grab your favorite.  Either way, you can’t go wrong.

 

 

 

Peanut Brittle Blondies

Happy New Year’s Eve!

So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, good night, 2012.  Let’s be honest… this isn’t a good-bye forever…I will continue to write you on checks and various other papers until at least February.  I mean, just last week, I wrote 2010 on a receipt at the car repair shop, so I am guessing I will see you again around 2016 or so, when I am signing an oh-so-important document and I will try my darndest to turn a 2 into a 6…which never works as well as if it were a 5 or a 1…

Any big plans for NYE?  Going out on the town, dressed to the nines, dinner and dancing, champagne toasts, and a midnight kiss?  Or is it a night in with the kiddos with party hats and streamers and those noise maker thingys, which always seem like a good idea while you are standing in the middle of Target on a Wednesday afternoon, but when it is 12:30am on 01-01-insert year, and that sleep deprived child is still running around like a maniac blowing fiercely into a once-upon-a-time- good idea noise maker.  And it may not be a small child running around, but perhaps a grown adult.  And she might be me.  If you invite me to your party…don’t le me near the noise makers.  I have an affinity towards them.  It is a once a year love affair.  Suppose I will ever grow up?  Ha!

I was going to make a champagne cocktail to ring in 2013….buutttttt, as of late, all I have had on the brain, booze wise, is bourbon and ginger ale…Don’t get me wrong, it’s worthy of an entire blog post, and maybe some day it will shine in all its glory…but not today and not on New Year’s Eve.  NYE calls for champagne.  And why make a cocktail out of champagne…the bubbly is rockin’ all on its own.  Instead of anything fizzy or spritzy or liquor infused…I whipped together a batch of blondie brownies.

Peanut Brittle Blondies…nutty, butterscotchy, chewy, and caramelly….Plus, you get to use up that random tin of peanut brittle that your Great Aunt Lucy hands out at Christmas each and every year….or if you are like me, you have a bit left over since you made 3 batches trying to replicate a friends family recipe…either way, two birds, one stone.

Let’s bake!

Butter melting over medium heat…pay close attention.  Please do not become distracted.  It will turn fast!

Browned butter!  Smells so nutty and almost caramel-like.  Transfer to another bowl, and let cool…and go collect your other ingredients.

Besides browned butter…you are going to need brown sugar, flour, salt, baking powder and soda, egg, vanilla, and of course peanut brittle.

Another gander.

Browned butter and brown sugar are mixed

An egg and vanilla are added..

Next goes the flour…

And mix JUST until combined …

Peanut brittle needs to be folded in and sprinkled atop…and bake.

I hope you have a great New Years and that 2013 be filled with great joy, many laughs, good friends and family, and much happiness.  Cheers!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Peanut Brittle Blondies
 
Makes an 8 x 8 pan, about 9 blondies
Ingredients
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • ½ Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Stick Butter, browned and slightly cooled
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, packed
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Peanut Brittle, roughly chopped
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 8×8 baking dish with tinfoil or parchment paper, leaving a little bit hanging over the edges for easy removal later.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Continue cooking, swirling occasionally, until brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan and it begins to smell nutty (be patient!). Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl and let cool.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, blend together, with a wooden spoon, browned butter and brown sugar. Stir in egg and vanilla, mix until combined.
  5. Stir in flour just until combined.
  6. Fold in ¾ Cup of chopped peanut brittle.
  7. Spread batter into prepared pan and top with remaining ¼ cup of peanut brittle.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until top is golden brown and the center is just set. These are better if they are underbaked vs. overbaked.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool.

 

 

 

Peppermint Bark Brownies

 

On days like 12-12-12 or 05-05-05 or maybe 10-10-10 … Don’t ya just expect more out of them?  I sure do.

Days that only happen once a century…something special should happen.  Right?

We won’t see 12-12-12 again until 12-12-2112.  I will be 129.58 years old.  I mean, seriously, something spectacular should happen on days like this.  Unplanned greatness.  As if the world had fireworks up its sleeve for days like today (or two days ago, by the time you read this).  Or candy rained from the heavens.  Or we all got five dollars in the mail, in a sweet little card like your auntie used to mail to you on your birthday.  That would be nice.

Things like that should happen on special calender days like today…

But they don’t and so you have to make them special on your own account.  If I was an elementary school teacher, I would have had a pizza party and a movie day.  I watched ET in elementary smack dab in the middle of the 4th grade hallway.  Track and field day had been cancelled due to rain and that was our consolation prize.  But the movie and pizza on 12-12-12 wouldn’t be a consolation prize, but part of the celebration.  It would be epic.  Better than any Valentines Day party, that’s for sure.

… 

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Fudgy Brownies with Peanut Butter Frosting

We need to discuss some things here today.

I am prematurely turning into an old person.  And by old I am talking mid-70′s.  There abouts.

1) I fell down the stairs yesterday morning.  I stepped on the cat and tumbled down the stairs.  Like an old person.  Some how I managed to pull some sort of muscle in my chest, because I decided to grab for the wall because I figured that would catch my fall…because I am spider woman if  you didn’t know.  I didn’t know either.  So that super human power failed me.  I ended up with just a sharp pain just right of my breast bone…that is still there by the way.  Old.

The cat.  Stanley was limping, but seems fine now.  I think the limp was exaggerated to make me feel bad.  The cat was totally milking it.

2)  I wake up before the sun rises on my days off.  Before my alarm.  Yes, I set an alarm for my days off.  I don’t like sleeping in.  Old.

3)  I like scotch, and whiskey, and bourbon.  Old people drink these…I should be drinking cosmos or pina coladas or other fufu drink, like other twenty year olds.  But no.  I have no idea where or how I started to enjoy these.  It just happened.

4)  I crave coffee after dinner.  The only people ever in my life to drink coffee after dinner were my grandparents.  Old.

5)  I like to bake more than your grandmother.  I spend more time in an apron than I would like to admit.  I am cuter than your grandma…maybe.  Grandmas are pretty darn cute…with their gray hair and wrinkles and polyester pants.

6)  I LOVE cardigans with large buttons and pockets.  I wear them year round.  The only thing separating me from being an honest to goodness old lady is the fact that Kleenex do not live inside said pockets.  At least not on most days.

I have come to the conclusion that when I get to be 70, God willing, I will be awesome at it.  Probably better at being 70 than being 28 (almost 29).  I am OK at being 28,  I might even say I am good at it…but at 28, life is still up in the air. Right now, sometimes I feel like I am just aimlessly walking….aimlessy wandering is fun, but scary, a bit frightening, and a tad frustrating.  I am cool with it.  This is real life.  I am not the only one in this boat…I have quite a few friends rowing along with me.  We are having a grand time, on most days.

My 70 year old self is laughing right now…because she is awesome and happy with how life has turned out.  She is whispering to just go with it, enjoy the ride, and take it all in.  She is saying to chase after what scares me the most, because those are the most worthwhile opportunities.  Those moments are what life is about.

Dear 70-year-old Mallory…

Your 29 year old self is working on it.  Seriously.

While I am on this ride called life, thank goodness there are brownies to eat along the way.   What is a good adventure without snacks?  Am I right?  I know I am right.  Sorry, that was cocky…but there are just some things I am sure of.  This is one of them.  Snacks are my favorite part of any occasion.  And these are kick butt….rich fudgy chocolate brownies with peanut butter frosting.  The brownies are top-notch without the frosting, but I am a frosting girl on my brownies.  Always.

I hope you have milk in your fridge…

 

Brownies with PB Frosting

Makes 9 x 13 inch pan

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 6 Ounces Semi-Sweet Chocolate
  • 2 Sticks Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Espresso Powder (optional)
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 1 Cup Light Brown Sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla Extract

PB Frosting

  • 6 Tablespoon Butter, melted
  • 3/4 Cup Powdered Sugar Sifted to remove clumps
  • 1 Cup + 1 Tablespoon Smooth Peanut Butter
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt

 

 
Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 9 x 13 inch pan with tinfoil, letting the tinfoil overhang on the ends.
 
Place chocolate, butter, and espresso powder into a heat proof glass bowl and place bowl over a pot of simmering water, about 2 -3 inches deep…making sure that the bottom of the bowl DOES NOT touch the simmering water.  Melt the chocolate and butter together, stirring occcasionally.  Once melted, remove glass bowl from atop of pam and set aside to cool.
 
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift together the cocoa powder, flour, salt, and baking powder.  Set aside.
 
In another mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, brown sugar, white sugar and vanilla.  Whisk until mixture is pale in color and thick.  Add cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated.  Whisk in dry ingredients. 
 
Pour batter into prepared baking dish and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 30-35 minutes until a toothpick, when inserted, comes out clean with a few moist crumbs attached.  Remove from oven and let cool.  If you are using a glass pan, let cool for ten minutes and then using the tinfoil overhang, lift brownies from pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.  (glass pans retain heat well and will continue to cook your brownies, causing your brownies to be overbaked – yuck!).
 
If icing the brownies (which I recommend), let brownies cool completely before icing. 
 
To make the icing….
 
In a medium bowl, combine the melted butter, peanut butter, powder sugar, salt, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.  I recommend sifting the powder sugar before using to remove any and all clumps. 
 
Ice brownies and enjoy!  Store covered, in an airtight container either at room temperature or in the fridge ( I like cold brownies). 

Pecan Butterscotch Blondies

 

Baseball season has begun!!! ( albeit a little rocky for us Cleveland fans…)  I have been waiting for this time of year since last October…it has been a long 5 or so months.  One thing you should know about me….I LOVE baseball.  Wanna play a game of pitch and catch, let me grab my glove.  Got an extra ticket to tonight’s game…I’ll meet ya infront of the Bob Feller statue.

 

 

Summers were spent in the backyard playing pitch and catch with my brothers.  Remember the game ‘five dollars’….I do, it was my favorite.  Hours were spent at the ballpark…from endless games of pickle to mom hitting us ground balls and line drives.  Summer evenings were spent actually playing the game.  And if we weren’t playing or practicing…we were probably watching a Cleveland Indians game on TV.

 

 

I just love the game.  I love that it takes forever to play.  I love that it is played outside in the warm summer air.  I love the simple rules.  I love how there is no time limit.  I love the anticipation behind each pitch.  I love the sound of the baseball entering a  glove.  I love the crack of the bat.  Oh and the field…well, that is a beautiful sight.    The green grass and straight white lines…I even love the history of the game.  I recommend watching Ken Burns ‘Baseball’ if you haven’t already.  It is a must see for any baseball fan.

Did you know that the game of baseball actually makes hotdogs taste better?  And beer colder?  (and more expensive).  Truth.

 

 

If I can’t be at a game – which now that I live a mere twenty minutes from Jacob’s Progressive Field, I am able to  go  more frequently than when I was a kid – I like to listen to the games on the radio.  A good thing since I don’t have cable.

That is what I am doing right now.  I have the radio tuned to 1100 AM, Tom Hamilton’s voice is booming through my house, and I am baking.   Life is grand.

This is my second go around with these blondie brownies.  The first batch I tested out on my guinea pigs family and they were gone by the end of the regularly scheduled Saturday gathering.  Figured they were good.  Good enough to post here.  But since they were eaten before I could snap a few pics (because that is what I do now, take pictures of everything I eat – I am pretty sure my neighbors think I am a weirdo)…I was forced to make them again.  Just in time for a visit from my family.  A good thing, seeing how I can’t seem to stay out of them!  Pecans, butterscotch chips, and brown sugar…do you blame me?

 

Since baseball time is measured only in outs, all you have to do is succeed utterly; keep hitting, keep the rally alive, and you have defeated time. You remain forever young. – Roger Angell 

 Pecan ButterScotch Blondies

Makes a 9 x 13 Pan

Ingredients

  • 9 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 + 3/4 Cups Light Brown Sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 + 1/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1 + 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Butterscotch Chips
  • 1 Cup Pecans Halves + extra handful for topping
  • handful of chocolate chips (optional)

 

Preheat oven to 350°.  Spread pecan halves out on a cookie sheet and place in preheated oven for 5 to 7 minutes ( they will be quite fragrant).  Remove from oven, set aside, and let cool. Once cool, roughly chop and set aside.  If they burn, toss and start over with new pecans.  Burnt nuts will taste bitter.

Butter a 9 x 13in. pan.  Set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium low heat.  Remove from heat and with a hand mixer (or using a stand mixer) beat in brown sugar until mixture has cooled.  Stir in vanilla.  Add the eggs, one at a time.  Beat until well mixed.

In a seperate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat until just incorporated.  Fold in pecan halves and butterscotch chips.  The batter will be rather thick.  Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out evenly.  Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips and any extra pecans remaining over the top of the batter.  Place in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes until toothpick comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.  The center will be set as well.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Or cut while still warm and serve with a scoop of ice cream.  Yeah I know…