Tag Archives: cheesecake

S’mores Cheesecake Bars

3 Jun

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The opportunity to bake a sinful treat arose this past week as my client site had a cookout.  While I didn’t have to do anything besides contribute $5, I really wanted to make a new treat.  Bryan loves when these inspirations hit me!  I thought something s’mores related would be a win.  I found a number of s’mores bars that I wasn’t all that jazzed about, but then I came across a s’mores bar WITH CHEESECAKE recipe.  Thanks to Annie’s Eats, I had some happy co-workers.  Thank goodness too because these  phenom bars involved the labor of love!  This recipe yields about 12-16 bars which was not enough for the crowd I was making them for.  Thus, I doubled this recipe.  Still, not a big deal until you 1) only have one 8 x 8 pan 2) arrive at the grocery store at 10 pm to gather ingredients and 3) don’t begin making them until 10:30 pm on a Wednesday night.  I felt accomplished as I climbed into bed at 1:30 am! 

In the spirit of being a balanced bean, I lightened this recipe ever so slightly by using reduced-fat versions of cream cheese and sour cream.  Probably did not make a world of difference, but I feel good about that choice and how the taste was not compromised in the slightest 🙂

Ingredients:

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For the crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
4 oz. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. reduced-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup light sour cream
½ cup marshmallow cream
2 tsp. cocoa powder
¾ tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the topping:
1½ cups mini marshmallows
Milk chocolate chips, melted (optional)

Directions:

To make the crust:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line an 8×8″ baking pan with enough foil for the edges of the foil to be easily pulled out (this matters later on!); spray lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl.  Stir together with a fork until well combined.  
  3. Press the mixture in an even layer into the bottom of the prepared baking pan.  Bake 10 minutes; transfer to a wire rack while you prepare the filling.  Reduce the oven temperature to 325˚ F.

To make the filling:

  1. Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water.  Heat until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.  Alternatively, place chopped chocolate in a microwave-safe dish and microwave for 30 second increments at 50% power, stirring each time.  Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.  
  2. Using a standup or hand mixer, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and marshmallow cream.  Beat on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined, 1-2 minutes.  Blend in the cocoa powder, vanilla extract and eggs until incorporated.  Stir in the melted chocolate until well blended.  
  3. Pour the filling over the graham cracker crust and smooth the top with a spatula.  
  4. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the center is just set (does not jiggle when shaken gently.)  Remove from the oven.                                                                                

To make the topping:

  1. Evenly top the cheesecake layer with the mini marshmallows.  Return to the oven for 2-3 minutes, just long enough so the marshmallows begin to melt into each other.  Transfer your foil pan to a wire cooling rack.  
  2. Using a kitchen torch, lightly brown the tops of the marshmallows.  Alternatively, this can be done underneath the broiler with a very watchful eye.  I used the broiler for exactly one minute, but I watched it for every one of those 60 seconds!
  3. Once the cheesecake has cooled to room temperature, drizzle with melted milk chocolate if desired.  (TIP: Placing melted chocolate chips in a ziplock bag and cutting a tiny tip of the bottom off creates a great little piping bag for drizzling the chocolate)  
  4. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill 2-3 hours before slicing and serving. This is important because it sets the cheesecake.  It will look like this before you begin to slice and serve:IMG_20130530_090626_777
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NYC Eats Recap

17 Oct

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There was no shortage of stuffing the face during our long weekend getaway to NYC.  In fact, it is accurate to say that plenty of our activities pertained to food or needed to be scheduled around must-eat-at spots.  Our itinerary had the food spots we would visit and proximity to hotel/other activities clearly delineated.  Super planner? Yes. Awesome? Also yes.  As I had done for our trip to Vegas back in April, I wanted to recap our food highlights.  I will also gently sneak in right here that the run in Central Park did NOT happen.  HOWEVER, we did workout in the hotel gyms including a 5 mile run on the treadmill (I felt punished because I HATE the treadmill).  It was simply going to be a logistical nightmare getting to Central Park and doing the rest of what we wanted to before catching the train home.  Have you already forgotten that I didn’t do the run I said I was going to?  Great, fabulous, wonderful.  Back to the eating highlights.  The spots most memorable for us were:

  • Little Italy(for the life of me I cannot recall the name although you can do wrong around there)
    • All staff at each restaurant are ready to throw you in a seat assumptively calling out, “Table for two?” as you walk by and practically sitting you in a seat.  We had one particular waiter who still subscribed to this method, but caught Bryan’s attention with recognizing his Baltimore Ravens jacket and striking up football convo.  Next thing you know we’re seated and perusing the menu.  Our dish selections included Gnocchi with red sauce and melted mozzarella across the WHOLE top and a Penne alla Vodka.  Both were great but man I hadn’t had vodka sauce that good in a long time.  Blew my mind.  Nothing could end a meal like that better than an Italian treat.  Chocolate covered cannolis seemed only fitting.
  • Madison Square Eats
    • We planned to eat lunch at Eataly, a big Italian marketplace, however the wait time was too extensive for our rumbling stomachs.  We stumbled upon a gem right next to Eataly called Madison Square Eats.  Think food trucks but permanent location and more like a tented booth than a truck.  Every type of food possible was available- pizza, BBQ, Mexican, various Asian cuisine, treats, and more.  We started with some pizza to whet the appetite.  Pretty decent and reasonable price at $8.  Next, we checked out Mighty Balls.  This spot offered beef, pork, and turkey meatballs and a number of sauce options.  You could get mini sliders or “just the balls.”  I was for the balls only.  (If you giggled, you’re a child…I may have giggled writing it).  I got a pork meatball with a jalapeno jelly, a turkey meatball with cranberry horseradish and goat cheese, and a beef meatball with a brown gravy-like sauce and mozzarella cheese.  My fav was a toss up between the turkey and the pork meatball.  It was so unique!  The sweet item was shared like our app and it was a non-negotiable.  There was a guy who’s mom is from Liege, Belgium who had a Belgian waffle stand.  Once he told me about mom, I knew it was going to be legit.  We took a waffle and smothered it in warm Nutella, Spekuloos spread (like graham cracker and gingerbread to me), strawberries, and whipped cream.  Pure bliss!  Good thing we had places to walk to after this meal.
  • Carnegie Deli
    • Carnegie Deli is a popular spot not far from Times Square.  Following seeing Chicago (which was a fun show), we went for a late dinner to Carnegie.  They are known for massive sandwiches and yummy corned beef.  We got a behemoth of  a Reuben…this darn sandwich was like $35 with tax and tip.  Crazy right?  Now the sandwich was tasty, but I will say in a Reuben I like balance.  Give me lots of the corned beef but don’t skimp on sauerkraut either.  We had to request some more of the latter to find that balance.
  • Stage Deli
    • Why stop after a massive Reuben sandwich?  A large slice of NY cheesecake had to happen even if we were stuffed.  Oreo cheesecake was on special.  DONE!  And then my pants button burst off…

Hope these are some spots you might include on your next NYC trip.  What do you love to eat while visiting the Big Apple?