Monday, January 19, 2009

Dessert Party Recipes: Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Whipped Cream

I believe my oven woes have been well documented, so I was determined to make a cheesecake when I went home over the holidays. When we decided to add a second cheesecake to the menu, I asked for some suggestions and my brother wanted Pumpkin. I made this cheesecake the previous year for Thanksgiving; it's a great Paula Deen recipe. I thought adding a fresh bourbon whipped cream would enhance the flavor. Unfortunately, I failed to try the cheesecake with the whipped cream because I don't really like pumpkin flavor.



1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick salted butter, melted


3 8 oz. packages cream cheese
1 15 oz. can pumpkin puree
3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 cup sourcream
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For Crust:
Combine crumbs, sugar and cinnamon
Add melted butter
Press into 9-in. springform pan

For Filling:
Beat cream cheese until smooth
Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar & spices
Add flour and vanilla
Beat together until well combined
Pour mixture into crust

Bake for one hour. Remove for oven and let sit for 15 mins.*

*Once the cheesecake has finished baking I like to turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in the oven for an hour with the door ajar to prevent cracking.


1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon


Whip cream and sugar until stiff peaks form
Fold in bourbon

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Dessert Party Recipes: French Chocolate Bark

French Chocolate Bark

My mom and I were watching and episode of Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network and saw Ina prepare this recipe. Conveniently, we had some whole cashews and craisens already so we decided to add it to the line up. It's super easy to prepare and it turned out quite nicely. Although, the chocolate was a little to dark for me. I'm more of a milk chocolate girl, but whatevs.


9 1/2 oz. very good semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. very good bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole roasted, sald cashews
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cranberries


Melt the two chocolates in a double boiler (or in a glass bowl over simmer water if you don't have a double boiler)
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper; using a ruler and pencil, draw a 9 x 10 rectangle and turnover (so pencil marks are on the bottom)
Pour the melted chocolate onto the parchment paper and spreadto form a rectangle, using the outline
Sprinkle cashews, apricot, and cranberries over chocolate
Set aside for 2 hours to firm
Cut into 1 x 3-inch and serve at room temperature

I think this would be a fun recipe to play with and create different types of bark with various types of chocolate, nuts and fruit.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Dessert Party Recipes: Turtle Bars

Turtle Bars*

Turtle bars are becoming a holiday must in our family [or maybe just with me]. They are so simple to make and so yummy. My mom found this recipe several years back in a magazine, but I am not sure which one [or I would give credit where credit is due].


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup unsalted butter
3 tablespoons whipping cream

1 cup pecan halves, toasted
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix together flour, sugar and butter until well blended and crumbly
Press mixture evenly into an ungreased 9 x 13 x 2 metal pan
Bake until golden brown (about 15 mins.)
Maintain oven temperature
Bring remaining sugar, butter and cream to a boil in a small saucepan over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves
Boil for one minute, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat
Sprinkle toasted pecans over baked crust
Pour caramel over the pecans
Bake until bubbles form and color darken (about 20 mins.)
Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate
Let stand until chocolate melts; with an offset spatula spread chocolate evenly over top
Chill bars until chocolate sets; cut into 1-inch squares to serve

The bars can be served at room temperature, but I really like them refrigerated. Seriously people, you must try these!

*Did you notice the cute little turtles on the serving platter??

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Dessert Party

Happy 2009!! I can't believe it's already a new year. 2008 seemed to fly by.

So while I was home we hosted a Dessert Open House for friends and neighbors. My mom and I spent two days in the kitchen baking ten desserts. It was total sugar overload, but everything turned out so nicely. Although I am bummed I forgot to taste the cheesecake...a girl can only eat so much. Here's a look at our spread...

Table of desserts

Here is a list of our selections. I will feature each one in a separate post with the recipe. Because it would be a little insane to do it all in one post.
  • Turtle Bars
  • French Chocolate Bark
  • Pumpkin Cheesecake with Bourbon Whipped Cream
  • Jam Tarts
  • Nut Cookies
  • Bourbon Pecan Pie
  • Vanilla Mascarpone Cheesecake with Mixed Berry Compote
  • Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Pineapple Coconut Bars
  • Devil's Food Cake with Peppermint Frosting
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Tommy made some chocolate chip cookies.