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Monday, March 26, 2012

Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake - My Favorite Yet!

The big guy enjoys cheesecakes more than he does birthday cakes.  In the past, I have made this cheesecake for him.  Weeks ago, he spied a recipe for a Sour Cream Topped Cheesecake on the back of a Breakstone sour cream container.  Thus his wish was my command for his birthday!  Easy cheesecake to make, WONDERFUL taste and texture!  Definitely a WOW for company!
The only deviation I did was created my own crust - smash graham cracker crumbs in a Ziploc baggie, add some sugar (about 1 tbs) and melted butter (about 5-6 tbs).  I also used an off brand of sour cream and cream cheese.  I also cooked with a pan filled with water to prevent the cheesecake from cracking.  Enjoy!

What You Need
  • 1 cup HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 3 package (8 ounces each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla, divided
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ cups BREAKSTONE'S Sour Cream
Sour Cream-Topped Cheesecake
Make It
  • PREHEAT oven to 325°F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan (or to 300°F if using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan). Mix crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the sugar and butter; press firmly onto bottom of pan. BAKE 10 minutes.
  • BEAT cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar, lemon zest, juice and ½ teaspoon of the vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour over crust.
  • BAKE 55 minutes to 1 hour or until center is almost set. Mix sour cream, remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla until well blended; carefully spread over cheesecake. Bake an additional 10 minutes. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.
  • Special Extra: The irresistible flavor of fresh strawberries makes a great garnish for this creamy cheesecake. Just slice the strawberries and arrange decoratively on top of chilled cheesecake just before serving.
  • TIP: To Soften Cream Cheese, place completely unwrapped packages of cream cheese on microwavable plate. Microwave on HIGH 15 to 20 seconds or until slightly softened.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Banana Whole Wheat with Chocolate Chips Muffins

Delicious!  That's what teen has already declared on these muffins baked for a special guy's 5th birthday breakfast in the morning.  And healthy to boot!
Teen recently baked whole wheat french bread for a 4-H nutrition fair last weekend.  So instead of grabbing the regular all-purpose flour, I goggled my favorite site, Allrecipes, for a whole wheat banana muffin recipe.  And then modified it a bit.  I stole a pinch just to insure "quality control"!  YUM is right!

Banana Whole Wheat with Chocolate Chips Muffins (aka Monkey Muffins)
 (for original recipe click HERE)
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas (for me that was grabbing 4 out of the freezer and defrosting in microwave)
1 cup applesauce
3/4 cup Splenda (or sugar or guava)
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together.  Blend mashed bananas, applesauce and Splenda.  Blend the flour mixture and banana mixture together.  Mix till blended.  Fold in chocolate chips.
Fill muffin tins 3/4 full - this made 18 muffins for me.  Bake 20-25 minutes in oven.  Enjoy!