Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chocolate Chip Cookies

I already redeemed myself from my cheesecake blunder. A month before that, I tried to redeem myself from my cookie blunder. I was close.

I baked some chocolate chip cookies for a friend who didn't share! Haha. I think I overbaked it though. They are far from being chewy. Anyway, my friend still liked it. It's just that she had to heat it in the microwave to soften it a bit.

I'll try a different recipe next time. I find these too sweet.

Blueberry Cheesecake Cups

Last Holy Wednesday, I felt bad for obliging one of my friends from the office to cook adobo for us. She loves blueberries so much. To make it up to her, I made her blueberry cheesecake cups for dessert.

I'm so glad to found this recipe from Joy of Baking because:
1. I have no other pan other than my muffin tins.
2. I am not very crazy about blueberries. I can just put a little on my "individual" cheesecake while the others can put as much as they want. I even topped one with melted bittersweet chocolate instead of berries.
3. I don't like cheesecakes with flour.

I only made six because I said I'm abstaining from baking for Lent and because I didn't want to end up wasting ingredients. I can still remember the first time I tried making a cheesecake.

It was a happy lunch hour for us!

(makes 6 servings)

1/2 cup graham crumbs
1/2 tablespoon granulated white sugar
2-3 tablespoons butter, melted

1 cup (8 oz) full fat cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar
1/16 teaspoon (pinch) salt
1 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract (or more if you want it to really smell like lemon or use lemon zest)
1/4 cup sour cream, room temperature (I substituted this with 1/4 tbsp white vinegar plus enough whole milk to fill 1/4 cup and let stand for 5-10 mins)

Cheesecakes: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line muffin cups with paper liners. (Can also use silicone baking cups.)

For Crust: In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press a heaping tablespoon of crumbs onto the bottoms of the muffin cups. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, beating until incorporated. Add the extracts and buttermilk and beat until incorporated. Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and evenly divide the filling among the muffin cups. Bake for about 18 - 22 minutes or until firm but the centers of the cheesecakes still wobble a little. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate (a few hours or even overnight).

To serve, gently peel off the paper liners and place on your serving plate. Serve with strawberry or raspberry sauce, fresh berries, or drizzle with melted chocolate. These cheesecakes can be covered and stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Of Cream Cheese and Frostings

A month ago, I made a dozen of chocolate cupcakes for a friend's homecoming and also as her birthday gift.

Topped it with cream cheese frosting in three variants:

Nutella cream cheese frosting - added nutella spread. It turned out too sweet and a little hard to pipe.

Spiced cream cheese frosting - added cinnamon and nutmeg. My favorite!! :)

Cherry cream cheese frosting - added cherry brandy. It was too soft for piping. I probably added too much brandy. I can't seem to get the smell and taste I wanted until after a few more drops of brandy.