Tag Archives: raspberry

White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars – The Perfect Alternative To Birthday Cake

7 Feb

Every year I make my dad a birthday cake – usually This amazing chocolate version that always turns out perfectly. But this year, I wanted to switch it up and try something different. At first I was going to make a whole cheesecake. But – the two issues with that are – cheesecakes are HUGE – like REALLY BIG – the ones I was looking at called for 4 or 5 bricks of cream cheese. Like – wow. Nope. There’s only 5 of us – and one of that 5 is my son, who can only eat so much. Then issue #2 – I couldn’t find my springform pan. So – regular cheesecake was out. But I kept searching – and finally it paid off, when I found the PERFECT thing – these White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Bars

Not only was it a much smaller size, but it didn’t require a springform pan, AND it included the birthday boy’s favorite thing ever – RASPBERRY!

White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars
(Recipe courtesy of Kraft)

Ingredients
12 OREO Cookies, finely crushed (about 1 cup)
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
3 oz. BAKER’S White Chocolate, divided
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup red raspberry preserves

Directions
-Heat oven to 350ºF.
-Line 8- or 9-inch square pan with Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Mix cookie crumbs and butter; press onto bottom of pan. Melt 2 oz. chocolate as directed on package.
-Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
-Bake 25 to 28 min. or until center is almost set. Cool 5 min.; spread with preserves. Melt remaining chocolate; drizzle over cheesecake. Cool cheesecake completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Little sous chef enjoyed using our meat mallet to crush the Oreos for the crust

Cheesecake-y goodness

Adding the best part – the topping!

The finished product

Enjoying cheesecake with the birthday boy and little sous chef

These turned out so good – even I liked it a lot – and I really am not a fan of cheesecake, OR raspberry (luckily I was able to grab some seedless Raspberry jam – so that helped me enjoy it more as it’s really the seeds I hate). It was the perfect amount for us – and I think my dad really enjoyed it (he had 2 pieces, so I am thinking that means he liked it, ha!)

So if you’re looking for an alternative to regular cheesecake because you don’t need that much (or just because you don’t have a springform pan handy!) then try these – you won’t be disappointed!

Make-Your-Own Cupcake Bar – So Many Delicious Options, So Little Time

3 Apr

As you know from my post about Frosted sugar cookies, I love making cookie decorating into an event I can enjoy with friends and family. So when my friend and I decided to host a dinner party, I wanted to do something like cookie decorating, and since my friend is really into baking cupcakes, I thought why not decorate your own cupcakes, and then I had an even more brilliant thought – the Make Your Own Cupcake Bar – where you can fill, frost, and decorate your cupcake however you wanted from a bunch of really yummy options!

 
Now, we did have some reservations about doing this, mainly that it would be too complicated or messy, but it really wasn’t, it was easy, and very delicious!

 
We started out with a batch of vanilla and chocolate cupcakes, nothing fancy just one batch of each baked per the box directions. Then we cut divets out of each one (so that people would be able to fill them as they pleased)


Then for the fillings, we decided on hot fudge, caramel, and raspberry pie filling. The hot fudge and caramel came in convenient squeeze bottles, and the pie filling we put in a bowl with a spoon for filling in the cupcake divet


My favorite part is next…the FROSTINGS. We had decided on vanilla, strawberry, chocolate, and peanut butter frostings, all made from scratch. When it comes to frosting, I would MUCH rather make it from scratch than buy it in a jar, it doesn’t take that much work and the results are 1000 times yummier than store bough frosting!


As for our frosting recipes, they are all pretty basic, we just combined the ingredients below and beat them until they were the perfect frosting consistency:
Vanilla: 1 cup Crisco, 1 lb confectioners sugar, 1 T clear vanilla flavoring, 1 T butter flavoring, 3-4 T milk (as needed to make the texture more creamy)
Chocolate: 1 cup butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 T vanilla, 4 T cocoa powder (more if a deeper chocolate taste is desired), and 3-4 T milk (as needed)
Strawberry: 1 cup butter, 6 cups confectioners sugar, ½ cup frozen strawberries
Peanut Butter: 1 stick butter, ½ cup peanut butter, 4 cups confectioners sugar, 1 T vanilla, and 3-4 T milk (as needed)

 
The above recipes make for a great variety for your cupcake bar, not to mention they are all super delicious!

 
Then came the toppings – we kept it pretty simple – sprinkles, crushed oreos, mini m and m’s, toffee bits, and peanuts

Then we let everyone go to town!

The results? Aside from delicious, everyone seemed to really enjoy that they could pick and customize their own cupcake with the different filling, frosting, and topping options
This would be a great idea for a kid’s birthday party…or even for an adults birthday party, or really for any occasion at all! You can change any of the items to customize your likes or party theme, and it really was pretty easy to put together, since a lot of the items were pre made

I am thinking I may have one of these for my birthday…hmm…maybe with red velvet? The possibilities are endless!