Showing posts with label cream cheese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cream cheese. Show all posts

Monday, January 26, 2015

Cream Cheese Banana Pecan Muffins #MuffinMonday


Sweet ripe bananas and soft cream cheese combine to make the best muffins! Add in a goodly number of toasted pecans and these are the perfect breakfast or snack. 

If you’ve ever had a look at my blog roll in the left hand column (assuming you aren’t on a mobile device, and then I don’t know where it goes!) you’ve likely noticed one link called Kelli’s Kitchen. That’s my friend, Kelli’s blog. She was blessed with a grandmother who loved to cook and bake and who was delighted to have little hands helping her in the kitchen as she concocted her culinary magic. Kelli often shares her Nana’s best-loved recipes but just last week, she published one for an Old-Fashioned Cream Cheese Banana Nut Bread that she adapted from Southern Living Magazine. I love that Southern Living tried to make the banana nut bread healthier, using some whole wheat and reduced fat cream cheese, but Kelli did Kelli and made it more delicious. Even as I read her post, I knew that I would have to recreate that old-fashioned banana bread in muffin form.

Those sweet bananas and cream cheese may sounds like an unusual combination, but let me assure you that they are divine together. This may be my favorite sweet muffin so far in all my years of Muffin Monday.

Ingredients
1 1/2 cup or 190g flour
3/4 cup or 150g sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 medium-sized bananas (Peeled, mine weighed a little more than 8oz or 230g together)
4 oz or 115g cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted then cooled
1/4 cup or 60ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups or 140g pecans, toasted

Method
Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Fill the muffin pan with liners or grease it really well with butter or non-stick spray. In case you are coveting them, my pretty liners were a gift from my elder daughter. They came from Crate & Barrel.

Measure your flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and give them a good stir to mix.

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash your bananas and softened cream cheese together with fork.



Add in the egg, butter, milk and vanilla and mix well.

Complete the batter by pouring the liquid ingredients into the dry ones and fold until they are just combined. You should still see a lot of dry flour.



Chop your pecans roughly and put aside a generous handful for topping. Fold the rest of the pecans into the batter.



Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups.



Sprinkle the tops with the reserved chopped pecans.



Bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.



Allow to cool for a few minutes in the muffin pan and then remove to a rack to cool completely.



Enjoy!








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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No-Bake Berry Cheesecake #NationalCheesecakeDay

Despite the richness of the ingredients, this no-bake cheesecake tastes light and fresh, especially with sweet summer berries on top and the crunchy oat-y crust underneath. 

Happy Cheesecake Day! Today I am celebrating with a fabulous group of food blogger friends and we have cheesecakes and cheesecake related recipes galore for you! Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post to see all the links.

I don’t have a problem turning the oven on when it is summertime and temperatures are soaring. If I want to bake, I’m going to bake. (I offer into evidence, this week’s vibrant pink beet cornbread muffins. That said, when it’s not necessary to heat up the kitchen, I am grateful. This week I’m on Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands and we are having brilliant summer weather. Some edibles are produced on the island, notably Jersey Royal potatoes and fresh super creamy dairy products from the famous Jersey cows, but much of it is imported from either France or the United Kingdom by ferry. A couple of weeks ago, one of the boats ran aground so supermarkets are struggling to fill their shelves with the now limited incoming stock. Such are the vagaries of island life but the shortage meant that I couldn’t find enough raspberries to cover my cheesecake. Feel free to increase the amount of berries and completely cover yours.

Ingredients
For the crust:
11 Hobnobs or other crunchy cookie or biscuit (6 oz or 170g by weight)
1/3 cup or 75g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
4 1/2 teaspoons sugar
Pinch salt

For the filling:
1/2 cup or 120ml heavy cream
8 oz or 225g cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup or 60g confectioners' or icing sugar
1/2 cup or 125g Greek yogurt (full-fat)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch salt

For topping:
1 cup fresh berries (or more to cover the cheesecake)
Optional garnish: one sprig of mint

Method
Put your Hobnobs or similar cookies in a plastic bag and use the side of meat tenderizing mallet or a rolling pin to crush them into fine crumbs.



Put them in a small mixing bowl and add 4 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar and a healthy pinch of salt. Pour in the melted butter and mix thoroughly.



Cut a piece of waxed paper or parchment to fit your nine-inch or 23cm square springform pan.


Press the buttery crumbs evenly onto the bottom and up the sides.




Using the whisk attachment of your stand mixer or electric beaters, whip your cream until stiff peaks form.

Check out the color of my Jersey cream! It is so full of fat that it whips extremely quickly and is pale yellow, almost like butter.

If you are using a stand mixer, transfer the whipped cream to another bowl because you will need that one again for the next step. If you are using electric beaters, proceed accordingly.

Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, yogurt, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until smooth.



With a rubber spatula, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.



Pour the mixture into the crust.


Spread it around evenly, making sure to get it right into the corners.

Cover and refrigerate until firm. Mine took just a couple of hours.

Top with fresh berries of your choice and perhaps a sprig of mint for contrast.

Carefully remove the sides of your springform and pour some Champagne for the celebration.


Cut into slices, making sure each person gets some side crust. Try not to fight over the crunchy corner pieces.



Enjoy!


Are you a lover of cheesecake? This is your day! Start celebrating!

Baked Cheesecakes: No Bake Cheesecakes: Cheesecake Beverages: Cheesecake Cookies and Bars: Cheesecake Desserts and Treats: Frozen Cheesecakes and Treats:





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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Sweet Bread for #TwelveLoaves

Think brioche with a little extra sugar and cream cheese added to the sweet dough instead of butter and you get the idea of how this is going to taste. Add in some good quality strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and even more cream cheese for the perfect snack or breakfast loaf. It’s great straight out of the oven and fabulous toasted. 

This month Twelve Loaves is baking up bread with strawberries. The whole time I was away in Uganda, I was mulling this over in my mind. I have the ability to work on and work out a recipe with one section of my mind, even while the rest of me is reading a book or shopping or bouncing along dusty trails or even cooking something else. Perhaps it’s my super power. Anyway, this came to me between wild animals and waterfalls. Would it be possible to bake a yeast bread using cream cheese instead of butter for the fat? I couldn’t wait to get home to start testing.

I am delighted to report that not only is it possible, it’s delicious.

Ingredients
For the dough:
1 packet (1/4 oz or 7g) dried yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise.)
3/4 cup or 90ml whole milk
3 cups or 375g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g full fat (not whipped) cream cheese
1 egg yolk

For the filling:
1/2 cup or 120g cream cheese, chilled
3 1/2 oz or 100g fresh strawberries (about six medium-sized)
1/4 cup or 80g good quality strawberry jam

Egg white to glaze
Optional topping– about 1 oz or 25g pearl sugar

Method
Warm your milk slightly (I use a quick zap in the microwave.) and then add in one tablespoon of the sugar. Sprinkle on the yeast, stir and set aside for a few minutes. Your yeast should get foamy.

Add your three cups of flour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer with the rest of the sugar and the salt.

Add in milk/yeast mixture along with the egg yolk and mix with the bread hook.

It’s going to look dry and like it won’t come together.

You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the dough off the hook and put it back in the bowl and then keep mixing but soon, you will have homogeneous soft dough.



Now add in half of the cream cheese and mix until fully incorporated. (It’s like adding butter to brioche.)



Now add the second half of the cream cheese and mix until it is incorporated. Form the dough into a ball with your spatula and leave to rise for about an hour in a warm place. I usually put the bowl in my kitchen sink which has been partially filled with hot water.



Meanwhile, prepare your bread pan by greasing it with butter or non-stick spray or lining it with baking parchment. I am a huge fan of lining with parchment.

Right before your hour rising time is up, hull and chop the strawberries. Don’t do this too far ahead or they will get wet and mushy.




The dough after an hour rising time
On a well-floured surface, push your dough out into a rectangle of about 14” x 12” or 34cm x 30cm.

You can use a rolling pin if you really want to but this is a soft dough and I just pressed it out easily with my hands.


Spread it with the strawberry jam and sprinkle on the chopped strawberries. Cut your chilled cream cheese into small cubes and scatter them out on the jam as well.




Start rolling up the dough on the long side.

When you have a tight roll, seam side up, fold each half into the middle.



Gently turn the dough over and lay it fold side down in your prepared loaf pan.



Allow to rise in a warm place for another hour, but set your timer for 45 minutes.  When it rings, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Don’t forget to set the timer again for the last 15 minutes of rising time.

After one hour rising time


When your full hour is up, beat your egg white and brush it on the loaf with a soft pastry brush.


Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if desired.

Bake 45 minutes or until done in your preheated oven. Ever since making the peanut butter and chocolate braid http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/2014/02/chocolate-peanut-butter-braid.html  last month, I’ve been using David Lebovitz’s tip of measuring the internal temperature of a loaf to determine doneness. A properly baked loaf is 180°F or 82°C or in the middle.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. If you can wait that long.


Enjoy!






February was a delicious month of Chocolate breads! Now we are ready for spring and chose Strawberries for our March theme!



Would you like to join us this month? Choose a recipe featuring strawberries. (It could be a bread accented with fresh or dried strawberries or even strawberry preserves!) Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc.) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with strawberries. Let's get baking!

If you’d like to add your recipe to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this March, 2014, posted on your blog by March 31, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and this month the fabulous Alice of Hip Foodie Mom





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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Smoked Salmon Potato Stacks #AppetizerWeek #Giveaway

If you are looking for a change from crackers and bread as a base for canap├ęs, may I suggest sliced potatoes?  They work particularly well with cream cheese and smoked salmon. 

Welcome to Day 6 and the FINAL day of Appetizer Week, a multi-blogger event co-hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Kristen from Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. Whether you are a Broncos fan or a Seahawks fan, we wanted to make sure you had plenty of ideas for your game day spread. Each day we will be dishing up a different set of appetizers. We hope you enjoy this fabulous group of recipes. Tune in each day starting with Monday, January 20 and ending on Saturday, January 25. Today is our final day of #AppetizerWeek. We hope you have enjoyed it as much as we have! Should we make it an annual event? I think so!

Appetizer Week has been crazy good fun!  Nothing says celebration and PARTY like finger food!  Am I right?  My enormous thanks go out to our co-hosts and organizers Kim and Kristen, who kept us all in line, worked through sickness and lack of sleep, and made this whole week with its awesome giveaways happen!  If you haven't gone to their blogs yet to say howdy, head on over there now and tell them they rock!  Because they do.  They really, really do!

Ingredients
2 potatoes (Together mine weighed about 13 3/4 oz or 390g.)
Olive oil
5 oz or 140g cream cheese at room temperature
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper
Tiny piece purple onion 1/3 oz or 10g
6 oz or 170g thinly sliced smoked salmon
Chopped parsley, mint or fennel fronds to decorate, optional

Method
Peel your potatoes and slice them into rounds about 1/4 inch or 6mm thick.  I got about 10 or 11 good slices from each potato and discarded the end bits, which would have been too small to match the rest.


Drizzle a little olive oil on a non-stick griddle pan and cook your potatoes in batches until they are browned on both sides and cooked through.   Set aside to cool.


Mix the cream cheese, yogurt and lemon juice together in a small bowl and give it a generous few grinds of black pepper.



Thinly slice your purple onion.



Put the cream cheese mixture in a Ziploc bag and cut a small corner off so you can squeeze it out.

Share the cream cheese mixture out between the cooked potato slices, reserving just a little bit to garnish.


Cut the smoked salmon slices into skinnier pieces and roll them up.  Set two or three small rolls on the cream cheese mixture.



Finish with another small dab of the cream cheese mixture and top with a sliver of the purple onion.  If you like onion and know your crowd does too, feel free to put more.




Sprinkle with chopped parsley, mint or fennel fronds to decorate, if desired.



Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.



Enjoy!

Visit all the other Appetizer Week participants for more dishes for the Big Game:


Today's giveaway is absolutely amazing. It is a huge cookbook giveaway, one winner takes ALL. We would like to thank Healthy Slow Cooking, Scarletta Bakes, Quarry Spoon and Fair Winds Press. We appreciate all our sponsors and folks who helped put together this fabulous giveaway. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Sorry to all our Canuck and International friends.


Cookbooks up for grabs for #AppetizerWeek, one winner takes ALL: 



a Rafflecopter giveaway


***Disclaimer: This giveaway is being provided by sponsors. #AppetizerWeek bloggers have not received product or been compensated as a part of this giveaway.***

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