Monday, July 18, 2011

cheesecake bites. chocolate gobs.

we arrived home (well auburn... sorry mom) on friday afternoon after a long week at the lake. lake burton was phenomenal this year. when you add together 35+ people, two massively expensive houses, a speed boat, pontoon, three tubes, and enough food to feed a small army, you are bound to have a good time.

this year, our houses where both accommodating to our LARGE needs (as in kitchen big enough and refrig space) and closer to each other. making it a lot easier for us.

i made the decision to put lake burton on the "possible things to do after college" list. as the months go by and senior year grows closer, that list is growing longer and longer. but it's okay... leaves more room for opportunities right....?

anywho, the week was relaxing. lots of kayaking and tubing, which left me bruised and bleeding on occasion. no running though. which was MISERABLE. you know how i love my running. i only got about half a mile on those hills around the lake before i called it quits. but now i am back on the plains and the flat road are so good to me.


my lovely roommate sara has been working with research in the kinesiology department at auburn since the beginning of spring semester. she has grown to love it, as well as the people she is working with.

Ceren, her precious Turkish graduate student/professor she has been working with just finished her dissertation and is now a DR.! we are so proud of her! there have been a series of celebrations and yesterday her 3 "muffins" (what she calls her undergrad assistants) threw her a dinner party.

sara let me make desserts.

i wanted to try something new that i had never done before. we have this Ultimate Christmas Cookbook by Southern Living that i am obsessed with. everything is beautiful and artfully created which is intimidating. none of it looks easy or inexpensive. so i welcomed the challenge.

cheesecake bars and chocolate chunky gobs were the contenders.


post- oven.

Chunky Chocolate Gobs

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/3 cut butter-flavored shortening ( I used regular shortening)
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies- coarsely chopped(16 cookies) [I used publix brand... cheaper]
3 Mounds bars, chilled and chopped (I omitted these)
1 to 2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels ( I used white chocolate instead)

1. beat butter and shortening until creamy; add sugars gradually; beat until light and fluffy
2. add eggs and vanilla; beat until well blended
3. combine flour and next 3 ingredients; gradually add to wet mixture; beat until blended
4. stir in cookies and morsels. chill dough for 30 mins
5. bake at 350 for 10 to 12 mins or just barley set. ( I did 10 mins and it worked great)
YIELD about 2 1/2 dozen

i had never thought about making a cheesecake, i always assumed they were too difficult...

but we all know what assuming does....

Cheesecake Swirl Bites
I used two recipes and kinda made them my own, so Southern Living doesn't get all the credit, The Kitchen Sink gets half!

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 9 cookie sheets)
Cooking spray
3 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large egg whites
1 large egg
2 semi sweet chocolate morsels

Preheat oven to 325°.

Coat a 9-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Place the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Toss with a fork until moist. Press into bottom of pan. Bake at 325° for 8 minutes; cool on a wire rack. [I would use a little more butter... keeps it together a little more]

Place cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Add sugar and flour; beat well. Add vanilla, egg whites, and egg; beat until well blended. Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan.

Place chocolate in a small microwave-safe bowl; microwave at high 1 1/2 minutes or until soft, stirring after 45 seconds (chocolate should not completely melt). Stir until smooth. Drop melted chocolate onto cheese mixture to form 9 mounds. Swirl chocolate into batter using the tip of a knife or a skewer. Bake at 325° for 45 minutes or until almost set. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours.

i got some messages about these cheesecake bites. i never actually tried one but i hear they are AMAZING.


in other news, i finished The Kite Runner. i recommend it to everyone. it is captivating and the plot is so cleverly developed. i finished it on wednesday while at the lake, and had nothing else to read... so i started Treasure Island again. it wasn't my book so i had to leave it behind. but i am planning on picking it up at the library sometime and finishing it up.

we can also add two more movies to the "List"....

1. The Other Guys
2. Pay it Forward
3. Gangs of New York *
4. Elizabethtown [surprisingly excellent*]
5. An Education
6. Thor
7. The Machinist *
8. One Week
9. 180 Degrees South *
10. Pirates of the Caribbean 4
11. The Human Experience *
12. The Black Swan
13. Tangled
14. Dinner for Shmucks
15. Hall Pass
16. Rango

neither was my choice, and both were TERRIBLE. especially Hall Pass. it was obscene and i am embarrassed to even admit i watched it. emily and i turned it off. Rango, we fell asleep during it, but it wasn't good enough to rewind and watch. disappointing Redbox night for sure.


the laundry is now done, which means i need to fold it. until later.

No comments: