Favorite Cheesecake

Crumb crust
8 ounces finely ground graham crackers
8 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling
5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

Crumb crust: Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and sides, stopping one inch below rim, of a buttered 9 1/2-inch springform pan. Chill in refrigerator while preparing filling.

Filling: Preheat oven to 475 F degrees. Beat together cream cheese, sugar, flour and zest until smooth. Add vanilla and eggs/yolks – one at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated, scraping bowl between additions.

Put springform pan with crust on a cookie sheet to catch any spillover. Pour filling into crust (will fill to very top of springform pan) and place in the middle of the oven for 10 minutes. Watch carefully so that top doesn’t brown too quickly. Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees and continue baking until cake is mostly firm (center will still be slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 to 1.5 hours more.

Run a knife around the top edge of the cake to loosen it and cool the cake completely in springform on a rack, then chill it, loosely covered, at least 6 hours.

Top with fresh berries and enjoy!

Raspberry White Chocolate Mousse

Serves 16

10 oz Frozen Raspberries

2 Tbsp Sugar

1 3/4 Cups Heavy Cream

6 oz White Chocolate Chips

16 Mint Leaves

16 Fresh Raspberries

Process raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain mixture into a small bowl, discard seeds. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

In a saucepan on low heat, warm 1/4 cup of heavy cream and white chocolate, stirring until melted. Let cool until lukewarm. Transfer to a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whip remaining 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream to soft peaks. Slowly fold into melted chocolate mixture until combined.

Layer into dishes and serve with raspberry sauce. Garnish with mint leaves and fresh raspberries.

Toffee Bark

Makes 1 1/4 pounds

*requires candy thermometer

8 oz Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Bar

3/4 Cup Chopped Pecans

1 Cup Butter

1 Cup Sugar

1 Tbsp Water

1/8 tsp. Salt

1 tsp. Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Toast pecans for 6-8 minutes.

Cover baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside.

In a saucepan, cook butter, sugar, water, and salt over medium heat until temperature reaches 305, hard-crack sage, stirring occasionally. When the mixture becomes dark golden brown, immediately remove from heat. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into prepared cookie sheet (it may not fill the sheet). Cool at room temp until hard, about 45 min.

Melt chocolate in a double boiler, stirring until smooth. Spread chocolate over cooled toffee and sprinkle with pecans. Let set at room temp for at least an hour. Break into pieces and store at room temp for up to a month.

Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting and Chocolate Ganache

2 Cups Flour

2 1/2 Cups Sugar

3/4 Cups Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

2 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Salt

1 Cup Coconut Oil

1 Cup Sour Cream

1 1/2 Cups Water

2 Tbsp. White Vinegar

1 tsp. Vanilla

2 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray cake pans with cooking spray. Line the bottom with waxed paper, spray paper.

Sift flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Whisk to combine. Add oil and sour cream, whisk. Beat in water, vinegar, and vanilla. Whisk in eggs until blended. When batter is mixed well pour in prepared cake pans.

Bake for 30 – 35 minutes (3-8″ pans). Let cool in pans for 20 minutes, invert onto wire racks, peel off wax paper, and place in freezer while preparing frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting

10 oz Cream Cheese, room temp

1 Stick of Butter, room temp

5 Cups Confectioners Sugar

2/3 Cup Smooth Peanut Butter

Beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add in confectioners sugar, mixing thoroughly. Continue to beat on medium until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.

Add peanut butter and beat until blended.

Frost cake. If having issues with crumbs, do a crumb coat and place in the freezer to firm up before adding another layer of frosting.

Chocolate Ganache

8 oz Semisweet Chocolate Chips

3 Tbsp Smooth Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp Honey

1/2 Cup Half & Half

Combine chocolate, peanut butter, and honey into a double boiler. Whisk until chocolate is melted and smooth.

Remove from heat and whisk in half and half, beating until smooth.

Cool slightly. Pour over frosted cake while still warm.

Muesli

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

1 Cup Old fashioned oats
pumpkin seeds
sunflowers seeds (Unsalted, unroasted)
Almonds, sliced
Flax seeds
Chia seeds
Unsweetened coconut flakes
3 Cups milk, warmed

Either:
a) Fresh bananas, strawberries, peaches, blueberries, etc or
b) dried cranberries, dried papaya, dried apricot, etc


Instructions:
Warm milk on in saucepan
Add all ingredients except milk into 2 separate bowls
Divide warm milk into each bowl

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

Makes twelve 2-inch cookies or six 4-inch cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup flour
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup + 3 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
11 tbsp butter, room temp
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup mixed raisins (1/2 cup regular and 1/2 cup golden)

Instructions:

(If the raisins are not plump, pour hot water over them and let them sit for about 30 minutes before making the cookies, then drain and pat thoroughly dry).

1 -In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, 1 tbsp cinnamon, 1 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1 1/4 tsp salt.

2 – In a stand mixer w/ paddle attachment, cream 11 tbsp room temp butter until it holds a peak when the paddle is lifted.

3 – Add 1/2 cup + 3 1/2 tbsp light brown sugar and 1/4 cup + 1 1/2 tbsp sugar and mix for 3-4 minutes until very fluffy.

4 – Add 1 egg and 1 tsp vanilla bean paste and mix on low speed for 15-30 seconds, until just combined.

5 – Add the combined dry ingredients in 2 additions, mixing on low speed until just combined.

6 – Add the 2 cups old-fashioned oats and 1 cup mixed raisins and pulse on low about 10 times to combine.

7 – Refrigerate the dough for 30 minutes.

8 – Preheat oven to 325°F.

9 – Divide the dough into 6-12 equal portions and roll each one into a ball.

10 – Bake the cookies 18 to 20 minutes in a standard oven until golden brown (16 minutes in a convection oven).