Archive | February, 2014

The Best Valentine’s Gift – Delicious Dessert Made Just For Me By My Love

15 Feb

I am a sucker for Valentine’s Day – the hearts, flowers, declarations of love – it’s sappy and silly and I don’t care, I love it all. And I especially love when my man gets in the kitchen and whips me up something delicious and sweet for Valentine’s Day! When he found this recipe for Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecake Brownie Pie he was sold – the combo of chocolate, brownies, peanut butter, cheesecake, and pie – I mean, who wouldn’t be intrigued?

Peanut Butter Snickers Cheesecake Brownie Pie (Recipe courtesy of Inside BruCrew Life

Ingredients
For the Brownie Layer
1 sheet refrigerated pie crust (I used Pillsbury)
1 brownie mix for 9×13 pan (I used a Pillsbury mix)
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup water
1 egg
For the Cheesecake Layer
1 package cream cheese, softened (8 oz.)
1 egg
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
1 bag Peanut Butter Snickers Minis, chopped into quarters (11.5 oz.)
Topping
1 container Cool Whip (8 oz.)
2 Tablespoons chocolate sprinkles

Instructions

photo 1  

Prepping the base – pie crust and brownie mix

1. Let the pie crust sheet sit out on the counter for about 15 minutes. Remove wrapping and unroll gently. Press into a 10 inch pie plate and crimp edges. Set aside.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the brownie mix, oil, water, and egg. Mix just until combined. It will be very thick. Spoon into pie plate and spread out. Bake at 350* for 35 minutes.

photo 2
Cheesecake gets ready to be spread on top of the brownie

3. While the brownie pie is cooking, place the cream cheese and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until creamy. Add the egg, vanilla, and peanut butter and beat again until creamy. Stir in the Snickers candies by hand. When the brownie pie is finished baking, remove from the oven and gently spoon the cheesecake batter on top of the brownie. Spread out very gently. Cover the edges of your crust with foil to keep them from burning. Return to the oven and bake another 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Top with the Cool Whip and sprinkles. Cut into 12 slices. Keep covered in the refrigerator for 4-5 days.

photo 3

The Brownie layer gets a delicious peanut-buttery Snickers topping

photo 4

The delicious finished product (cooled and topped with whipped topping)

We ended up cutting this into 8 pieces – but that is actually a decision I regret – we definitely should have paid attention to the recipe and cut it into 12 – as it is REALLY INTENSE. It’s rich, and delicious – but you don’t need much of it, that’s for sure. The brownie layer is thick and fudgy, and the peanut butter cheesecake layer is nice and creamy, and the snickers add a great textural aspect to it. The whipped topping is a nice fluffy end to the pie, and overall – it’s a perfect pie for peanut butter and cheesecake lovers. Personally? I am NOT much of a cheesecake fan, but I did enjoy this – probably because I am a HUGE brownie fan and I loved that these brownies were nice and dense. Also, I LOVE LOVE the Peanut Butter Snickers that are used in the pie, so this was definitely a win win overall – paired with a nice tall glass of milk to wash it down, it was the perfect sweet to celebrate Valentine’s Day with my sweetie!

“Savory” French Toast Bake Scores Big On Flavor – Thanks To The Pioneer Woman!

5 Feb

CookbookCover

I received this cookbook as a gift from my Mother In Law for Christmas – and I must say, it was definitely one of the best gifts I received! I love The Pioneer Woman – I love her show on Food Network, I subscribe to her blog updates, and now I have this beautiful book I can love (and love to use!) too!

 

OpenBook

…and I am not kidding when I say the book is beautiful – it is colorful and hefty with thick glossy pages, full of fun stories, anecdotes, and great pictures not only of food but of Ree’s family and life

Recipejpeg

Oh, and I LOVE that each recipe has step by step instructions with a picture to accompany each step – isn’t that great? For my first attempt at creating a recipe from the book I chose the Bagel and Cream Cheese Baked French Toast – as I love French toast casserole, and this one just happens to be a savory version that contains the best kind of bagel – the Everything Bagel!

The Recipe:
Ingredients:
6 Everything Bagels
Butter for greasing pan
One 8oz. Package Cream Cheese
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
8 eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 Tbls chopped chives, plus more for serving
1 tsp. Dry mustard
1/2 tsp. Cayenne
1/2 tsp. Salt

Directions:
Grease 9×13 casserole dish with butter
Tear bagels into peices and place in casserole dish
In seperate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, cream, cayenne, chives, mustard, and salt
Meanwhile, cut block of cream cheese into small squares and place them all over top of bagels in various places (note: whole top will not be covered)
Pour egg mixture all over bagels
Sprinkle cheddar cheese all over
Cover with foil and refrigerate 2 hours or overnight
Bake 450 degrees for 45 minutes, uncover and finish baking 15 to 20 minutes more. Cut and serve with extra chives…

Casseroleunbaked

Here it is the night before, all ready to be slid into the oven the next morning for a delicious breakfast! It was really easy to put together, in fact I did it in under 10 minutes!

I may have made a few adjustments to the recipe based on the fact that I didn’t *exactly* have all the right ingredients…I used skim milk instead of whole milk and heavy cream, and I had no dry mustard so I added some regular yellow mustard instead, and I also didn’t have any chives, so I used onion powder. And it actually still turned out pretty good! It might have been more rich and had more depth with the fattier milks and the chives, but I think I did alright considering!

Casserolebaked

Oh, hello melted cheese-y bagel-y cream cheese-y goodness

Casserolecloseup1

This smelled awesome while baking, and has that awesome crispy top soft center thing going on (with a consistency similar to bread pudding)

EatingCasserole

It tasted REALLY good – it was savory and chees-y, and I will definitely be making it again, and I also can’t wait to try more of Ree’s recipes from this book!