Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

A rich, tasty dessert I made first a few weeks ago, but knew I could improve, so here we are with round two, a solid improvement with just a few tweaks! This would be a great dessert to bring to a cookout or potluck – it’s rich enough you only need a small piece, but good enough that even that little bit will be memorable!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 21 ounce cans strawberry pie filling (most any berry would probably actually be fine, or even a combo)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in very small pieces and the mixture is crumbly.

Reserve 1 cup of the flour mixture, and press the remaining mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with the sweetened condensed milk until light and fluffy, then beat in the lemon juice.

In another medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, the cornstarch, and the strawberry pie filling, and stir until well mixed.

When the crust is baked, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust.

Spread the strawberry mixture evenly on top of the cream cheese layer.

Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of the flour mixture over the strawberry layer.

Bake an additional 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Let cool to room temperature before slicing, then store in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Cheesecake Bars

Adapted from AllRecipes.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons brown sugar, divided
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 14 ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 21 ounce cans strawberry pie filling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9×13″ pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, and 3/4 cup of the brown sugar. Cut the butter into the flour mixture until the butter is in very small pieces and the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of the flour mixture, and press the remaining mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat the cream cheese with the sweetened condensed milk until light and fluffy, then beat in the lemon juice. In another medium bowl, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, the cornstarch, and the strawberry pie filling, and stir until well mixed.

When the crust is baked, spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the crust, followed by the strawberry mixture. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of the flour mixture over the strawberry layer. Bake an additional 35-40 minutes, until the top is golden brown.

Let cool to room temperature before slicing, then store in the refrigerator.

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Duck with Raspberry Sauce

I stopped at a new (to me) farm stand recently because of the absurdly large zucchini out front, but went back soon after because of the duck in the back. I’m a big fan of duck, but rarely see it, so had to take advantage!

This duck cooks quite quickly, and makes plenty of sauce that I thought also worked well as a dressing on the salad I ate it with. Other than the baby carrots, this was a very farm stand heavy meal, which is grand, and I got 3 dinners out of the duck.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless duck breasts (1 package)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken or duck stock
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter (if you have ghee/clarified butter, go for it, but I don’t think it’s worth buying just for this if you have regular butter around)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. (Luckily for me, the box for this set of pots and pans says it can go into ovens up to 350 degrees…)

Season the duck with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in the skillet, skin-side down, and brown for 2-3 minutes.

Place the pan in the oven and cook 8-10 minutes, for medium rare, or longer as desired. (I went with 10  minutes and it was right for me.)

Remove the duck from the pan to a cutting board and let rest.

Meanwhile, put the same skillet, with the butter and rendered duck fat, over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic, cooking until fragrant, 2-3 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan (if you’re not using non-stick anyway). Add the stock and raspberries, and cook until the berries are soft and warm.

Slice the rested duck breasts and serve with the raspberry sauce.

Duck with Raspberry Sauce

From Paleo Leap.

  • 2 boneless duck breasts (1 package)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken or duck stock
  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt the butter in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.

Season the duck with salt and pepper on both sides. Place in the skillet, skin-side down, and brown for 2-3 minutes, then place the pan in the oven and cook 8-10 minutes, for medium rare, or longer as desired. Remove the duck from the pan to a cutting board and let rest.

Meanwhile, put the same skillet, with the butter and rendered duck fat, over medium heat and add the shallot and garlic, cooking until fragrant, 2-3 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook until reduced, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and raspberries, and cook until the berries are soft and warm.

Slice the rested duck breasts and serve with the raspberry sauce.

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Puff Pastry Plum Tarts

Until this week, I’d never actually used puff pastry. I think I assumed it was hard to work with, but at least here, where all you really have to do is unfold it and put things on it…um, yeah, it’s really that simple, and the delicious, crisp flaky layers await!

I feel like this would be nice for a small dinner party, because it looks a bit fancy, tastes great, and requires very little hands-on time. Could always serve it warm with some vanilla ice cream, cuz why not?

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 medium red plums, pitted and cut into 1/2″ wedges

Let the puff pastry thaw at room temperature approximately 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Unfold the puff pastry and cut into 3 pieces along the folds. Place on the parchment-lined pan. Brush some of the butter on each of the pieces of puff pastry, using up about half of it between the three. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar over each of the pieces of puff pastry, using up about half of it between the three.

Don’t currently have a sheet pan, so 2 9x13s it is…

Place the plum slices down the center of the puff pastry, overlapping them to leave clear space along the ends and sides. Brush the plums with the remaining butter, and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar.

Bake 20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown.

Let cool on the pan 5 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Farm stand plums, you are a success!

Puff Pastry Plum Tarts

From Serious Eats, who will also tell you how to make puff pastry from scratch.

  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 medium red plums, pitted and cut into 1/2″ wedges

Let the puff pastry thaw at room temperature approximately 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Unfold the puff pastry and cut into 3 pieces along the folds. Place on the parchment-lined pan. Brush some of the butter on each of the pieces of puff pastry, using up about half of it between the three. Sprinkle some of the cinnamon sugar over each of the pieces of puff pastry, using up about half of it between the three.

Place the plum slices down the center of the puff pastry, overlapping them to leave clear space along the ends and sides. Brush the plums with the remaining butter, and sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon sugar. Bake 20 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden brown. Let cool on the pan 5 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

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Banana Ice Cream

This is almost more of a ‘hey did you know this works?’ than a recipe, but it’s so worth knowing that it’s worth the post! Blending up frozen bananas makes an ice cream that tastes great, so much better than just ‘a banana, but cold’! This is a perfect way to use up some spare bananas if you’re not feeling the urge for banana bread, or if you just want a super simple dessert.

Ingredients:

  • bananas
  • peanut butter and/or honey, as desired

Peel the bananas into a dish with a cover, cutting or breaking the bananas into pieces with your hands as you peel. Cover, and place in the freezer at least 5 hours.

Aw heck, freezer burn!

Once the banana chunks are frozen, blend or process in a food processor until smooth. You can add some peanut butter or honey, if desired, for sweetness and flavor.

Did this again later in a food processor and it actually probably works better, if you’ve got one.

When well blended, the color of the resulting banana ice cream gets quite light, but if there are still a few chunks it’s not the end of the world.

Refreeze, if desired, or eat immediately. Simple!

Banana Ice Cream

  • bananas
  • peanut butter and/or honey, as desired

Peel the bananas into a dish with a cover, cutting or breaking the bananas into pieces with your hands as you peel. Cover, and place in the freezer at least 5 hours. Once the banana chunks are frozen, blend or process in a food processor until smooth. You can add some peanut butter or honey, if desired, for sweetness and flavor. Refreeze, if desired, or eat immediately.

 

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Raspberry Cheesecake Galette

I’m quite into fruit desserts right now, but it turns out that that’s really not very limiting at all! This galette has a couple waits while you make it, which I have minimal patience for, but is worth it for the crisp, flaky crust and delicious berry cheesecake filling!

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling/Topping:

  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, plus one egg yolk
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

To make the crust, start by putting the cubed butter and the water in a freezer for 20 minutes. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Add the chilled butter, then process for 3 pulses, each of about 3 seconds. Turn the machine to ‘on’ and drizzle in the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just starts to clump. Turn the food processor off, dump the contents into a bowl, and use your hands to press the dough into a ball. It will seem quite dry, but should stick together. Add any remaining water, if necessary, to help it all stick together. Roll it all into a large ball, then flatten into a disk, rolling the edges along your hand/counter to smooth them out. Wrap in saran wrap and chill at least 30 minutes. If you’d prefer two smaller galettes (because, for instance, you don’t have a sheet pan big enough to a single, normal sized one), this is the time to create to smaller dough-disks.

Rethinking the original plan…

In a medium bowl, place the raspberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl, and stir gently to combine.

In another bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, egg yolk, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon.

Set both bowls aside.

Roll out the dough between pieces of waxed or parchment paper.

Place the rolled dough on a sheet pan, or in smaller dishes for mini galettes. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough, leaving a 2″ clear space around the edges.

Top the cream cheese mixture with the berry mixture.

Fold in the edges of the crust, pressing the overlapped pieces to hold it shut. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the galette(s) chill, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Briefly beat the remaining egg, then brush the egg over the crust. Sprinkle with additional sugar.

Bake 20-25 minutes (for either size), until the crust is golden brown.

Let cool several minutes before slicing and serving.

Raspberry Cheesecake Galette

Adapted from Food Network and my own past post.

Crust:

  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 3-4 tablespoons water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling/Topping:

  • 2 cups raspberries
  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 4 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg, plus one egg yolk
  • 1 pinch cinnamon

To make the crust, start by putting the cubed butter and the water in a freezer for 20 minutes. Combine the flour and salt in a food processor and process briefly to combine. Add the chilled butter, then process for 3 pulses, each of about 3 seconds. Turn the machine to ‘on’ and drizzle in the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just starts to clump. Turn the food processor off, dump the contents into a bowl, and use your hands to press the dough into a ball. It will seem quite dry, but should stick together. Add any remaining water, if necessary, to help it all stick together. Roll it all into a large ball, then flatten into a disk, rolling the edges along your hand/counter to smooth them out. Wrap in saran wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.

In a medium bowl, place the raspberries, 1/3 cup of sugar, lemon juice, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl, and stir gently to combine. In another bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, egg yolk, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon. Set both bowls aside.

Roll out the dough between pieces of waxed or parchment paper. Place the rolled dough on a sheet pan, or in smaller dishes for mini galettes. Spread the cream cheese mixture on the dough, leaving a 2″ clear space around the edges. Top the cream cheese mixture with the berry mixture, then fold in the edges of the crust, pressing the overlapped pieces to hold it shut. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

While the galette chills, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Briefly beat the remaining egg, then brush the egg over the crust. Sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake 20-25 minutes, until the crust is golden brown. Let cool several minutes before slicing and serving.

 

 

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Crockpot Apple Cobbler

Sorry to miss a few weeks, but as you can maybe tell in the pictures, I’ve moved, again, this time to Long Island. Took 4 stores until I found a supermarket that didn’t fill me with dread, but now I’m good to go!

This is, like many crockpot foods, pretty ugly, but real tasty. It’ll make your house smell amazing, and I think would be a good dessert for a group, like at a dinner party or something.

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups granola cereal (I used a Special K honey one because it was the first thing I saw without nuts, but if you like nuts your possibilities are almost limitless)
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins (could only find regular ones, no big deal)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving

Peeling the apples is really just for appearances, so if you don’t care about that, don’t bother peeling them – the peels fall off while the mixture cooks, and aren’t noticeable texture-wise.

Just very much do not care about apple peels!

Lightly grease the inside of a crockpot, then spread the sliced apple around the bottom. In a medium bowl, stir together the granola, raisins, honey, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla.

Spread the granola mixture over the apples.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Serve the cooked apple mixture over the ice cream.

Warm apples and melty vanilla – yum!

Crockpot Apple Cobbler

From MrFood.com.

  • 4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
  • 2 cups granola cereal
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving

Lightly grease the inside of a crockpot, then spread the sliced apple around the bottom. In a medium bowl, stir together the granola, raisins, honey, brown sugar, butter, and vanilla, then spread over the apples. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Serve the cooked apple mixture over the ice cream.

 

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Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

Did you know they sell pre-crushed Butterfingers? Perfect when you need to make some cookies in the morning without waking up the whole house whamming things on counters! These are sturdy, very stuff-filled cookies, and not life-suckingly dry as some peanut butter cookies are. They also happen to go over well as a gift!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Butterfingers
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth.

Add the peanut butter and beat until combined.

Add the egg and vanilla and again beat until combined.

Add the flour, beating until just combined.

Add the crushed Butterfinger and the chocolate chunks. After adding the flour, looking at the dough it didn’t seem like it would take 2 1/2 cups of add-ins, but it came together no problem.

Scoop the dough, with a medium cookie dough scoop, if you have one, into roughly golfball sized balls on the lined sheets.

Press criss-crossed marks into the top of the dough with a fork, partially flattening it.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through – they won’t be hard when you take them out, but they’ll firm up while they cool.

Cool for 10 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Wrap some of ’em up, and throw them at a friend!

Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

From Picky Palate.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Butterfingers
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined, then add the egg and vanilla and again beat until combined. Add the flour, beating until just combined, then the crushed Butterfinger and the chocolate chunks.

Scoop the dough, with a medium cookie dough scoop, if you have one, into roughly golfball sized balls on the lined sheets. Press criss-crossed marks into the top of the dough with a fork, partially flattening it. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

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