Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Apple Sauce

Happy Hanukkah. Learn here how to make apple sauce to serve with your latkes.

4 Apple (frugal me chose the least expensive variety)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar (either white or brown)
1 tspn cinnamon
1 vanilla bean

In a saucepan, combine apples, water, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.

Comments: My next apple sauce trial will be to a baking recipe.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chocolate Crust Cheesecake Minis

Decoration ideas: sprinkle broken pieces of  candy cane,
mini chocolate chips or sugar syrup raspberries
Everything's better in cupcake form. That's why I've set out to try nearly all of Martha Stuarts favorite cupcakes and picked out my favorite one. Original recipe included apricot jam. See below my simplified version without the jam.

Ingredients (yields 18, total time 1 hour)

1 cup crumbled chocolate-wafer cookies (about 18 cookies)
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 ounces (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, softened (leave out for 3 hours before hand or microwave prior)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup sour cream
pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Mix cookies and 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar in a bowl. Stir in butter. Press 1 tablespoon of mixture in bottom of each cup. Bake until set, about 7 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks.

2) Reduce oven temperature to 275 degrees. Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add remaining 1/2 cup sugar, then vanilla. With mixer running, add eggs slowly, scraping down side of bowl. Add sour cream and salt. make sure to get rid of all lumps so batter is smooth. Pour batter into double muffin cups, filling almost to the tops.

3) Bake until sides are set but centers are wobbly, about 20 minutes. Let cool in tins on wire racks. Wrap tins tightly with plastic only when cooled to room temperature, and refrigerate 4 hours or overnight.