June 22, 2014

Icebox Oreo Cheesecake


I'm such a huge fan of Instagram.  Ever since I signed up for my account I check it daily, most times hourly!, for ideas and inspiration.   That's where I saw this Icebox Oreo Cheesecake from meringuedesigns, using a Cook's Country recipe.  The cookies and cream cake looked so good I had to make it for myself.   Another big plus was that it required absolutely no baking, not even for the crust, which is ideal for summer.  Love that!


 

I've made a few no-bake cheesecakes on this blog before but they all used gelatin to get their firmness.  This recipe uses a homemade pudding and white chocolate to mimic the velvety texture of a baked cheesecake.    It really couldn't have been easier to make so I highly recommend you give it a try.

June 12, 2014

Ultimate Banana Bread


In my experience bananas can be somewhat of a controversial ingredient in the baking realm.  I've found  that people are very divided: either they love it or absolutely hate it.   I myself fall in to the latter group, although strangely enough I don't like fresh bananas in baked goods, e.g., banana cream pie.   Maybe it's because the fresh fruit tends to turn brown, but I digress.

Here's the ne plus ultra banana bread from America's Test Kitchen.   Admittedly you will need to exert a bit more effort than in other recipes, but I guarantee you that the extra work is definitely worth it.  This quick bread has a deep, intense banana flavor while retaining a moist and tender crumb.   It's a winner!

June 2, 2014

Graduation Cap Sugar Cookies


These cap cookies are from a recent order for some friends who have two kids (!) graduating from college this year.   I'm really quite happy with how they turned out especially since the most challenging part was trying to get the royal icing to match the school colors as closely as possible.   I don't really have a tried and true technique for color matching; half the time it's by sheer luck.  Good thing it worked out this time!  

To all the graduates of the Class of 2014....CONGRATULATIONS!

May 25, 2014

Liege Waffles


Apparently I've got waffle on the brain because this is my second post about them this month.   While the Norwegian Vaffler are thin and pliable, their Belgian counterparts are anything but.  Inspiration to make Liege Waffles came from my cousin-in-law Cheryl who posted a picture of them on her Instagram account a few weeks ago.  

In the US most people are familiar with "Brussels waffles", aka Belgian waffles, but these Liege ones are a little different.  They're sweeter, denser and chewier than their well-known cousin.  The butter laden brioche-style batter is studded to the brim with chunky pearl sugar which melts and caramelizes on the outside when the waffles cook.   DELICIOUS!!!


My preference is to enjoy them plain but they're also the perfect base for other toppings like whipped cream or fresh fruit.   I've never had the pleasure of enjoying these treats in their native land, but I hope to one day.  In the meantime this version will more than suffice...and you don't need a passport to enjoy them! 
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