Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Homemade Funfetti

I will not make cakes/cupcakes/anything really from the box. I find it to be too easy and without all the love thrown into the cake. My friend Stephanie's 21st birthday is tomorrow, and like I said yesterday I am going to be baking birthday cakes for everyone this year. Stephanie requested a funfetti cake and I just could not cave and buy the boxed mix. So instead I made a basic white cake and mixed in sprinkles. It's not even really worth leaving a recipe, because honestly any white cake will work for this recipe.

And I had a ton of fun decorating the cake! The frosting, I messed up a little, but hopefully it isn't too blatantly obvious (to the taste buds, not to the eyes).

Now I just need to figure out when I'm going to play in the kitchen next.

The cake itself!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Cheesecake isn't my favorite flavor. But it really is one of my favorite things to bake. How that makes sense, I really don't know. The first cheesecake I ever made was a pumpkin cheesecake, and ironically I enjoyed it, despite my HATING cheesecake and pumpkin pie. However, the taste of the pumpkin balanced out the taste of the cheese and the taste of the cheese balanced out the taste of the pumpkin. The reason I initially decided to try to bake the cheesecake was solely to challenge myself. I never imagined how much fun I would find cheesecakes to be.

I have also began the habit of making birthday cakes for my friends (be looking for a homemade funfetti cake either tomorrow or Wednesday). Eric's 21st birthday was yesterday and had requested me to bake him a "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake". I was a little nervous since I could only find one recipe (thank you allrecipes.com) and I really didn't want it to suck. I would have been so sad. But of course, once again, I have made a cheesecake Iwill eat! I actually think this is the best one I've had/made thus far. The cookie dough chunks in the cake are so good, oh my gosh, I'm literally eating a piece right now.

Now, the picture really sucks, but that's because I forgot to take a picture till most of the cake was gobbled up!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Recipe
1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
1 cup white sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, diced
2 cups sour cream
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 teaspoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

2. Mix the chocolate wafer cookie crumbs with 2 tablespoons of the white sugar, and the melted butter. Press firmly into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 8 minutes.

3. To Make Cookie Dough: In a bowl beat 1/4 cup butter or margarine with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup of the white sugar. Stir in the water and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Beat in the flour and the semisweet chocolate chips. Stir until combined.

4. To Make Cheesecake: In a food processor or with a mixer beat 1 cup of the white sugar, and all the cream cheese. Add 1 cup of the sour cream, the eggs, and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla. Mix well and pour into prepared crust.

5. Drop cookie dough in 2 tablespoon portions evenly over the top of the cake, pushing dough beneath the surface. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 40 minutes. Cake will jiggle slightly in center. Spread topping over hot cake. Let cake cool than chill in a refrigerator until cold, at least 4 hours.

6. To Make Topping: Mix the remaining 1 cup sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and the 2 teaspoons white sugar until smooth. Spread over hot cake.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Santa Cruz is really warm during late August and September. It's absolutely beautiful outside, however, sometimes it can get a little unbearable during the day. Nighttimes of course are pleasant, but sometimes during the day hours I want to rip off my clothes and run naked through some pond. It's really just hot.

So since I moved into my new house I've been taking much advantage of the kitchen. I haven't taken pictures of the food I've cooked thus far, but I have been quite enjoying the gas stove and the fancy oven. And the kitchen is beautiful! There's stainless steal appliances, light wood cabinets, and granite counters. And since I'm obsessed with red kitchen supplies, I've decorated the kitchen with countless red items, my prized being my KitchenAid mixer.

This of course brings me to what I made today. Last year I bought myself the ice cream attachment for the mixer, but I hadn't made much of a use of it. So the other day I popped the bowl in the freezer and today I decided to make the mint chocolate chip ice cream, which I found via allrecipes.com. It tastes like something you could buy in the store - only better.

If anyone's reading this, do you have any flavors of ice cream you suggest I try?

Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
2 cups 2% milk
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
3 drops green food coloring (optional)
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl, stir together the milk, cream, sugar, salt, vanilla extract and peppermint extract until the sugar has dissolved. Color to your liking with the green food coloring.
2. Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions. After about 10 minutes into the freezing, add the chocolate chips. After the ice cream has thickened, about 30 minutes later, spoon into a container, and freeze for 2 hours.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Potato Breakfast

Living in the house I was in was sad. The kitchen was a room of vile. There was old food everywhere - molding food, stinky food, no where I wanted o be near. At first I felt the need to clean the kitchen, so I could use it. But it got to the point where I was so sick and tired of being the personal maid for 4 boys that I didn't know. So I stopped. And I also stopped cooking and began eating out a lot. Life was sad, those two months in filth. But finally I have moved into an amazing house with an amazing kitchen. The oven is so high-tech and I'm SO excited to use it!

However, this weekend I'm home visiting the parents. And lucky for me, they went to the farmers' market this past weekend. I decided to use the potatoes to make myself some breakfast. It isn't worth giving a recipe for, but if you're interested, it's onions, garlic, potatoes (yellow and purple), eggs, salt, pepper, and onion powder. It was all cooked together in a skillet for the first homemade breakfast I've eaten in two months!