The Best Sweet Beer Bread.

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Ok, so I know I said that last week I made the Best Beer Bread, and I still stick to that claim. However, the other day, I tried again, with a different beer this time – something just a little more dessert-like. What was the beer, you might ask? Why, it was Creme Brulee Stout, by Southern Tier Brewing Co.

a sweet, sweet beer.

a sweet, sweet beer.

The only problem here, was that the recipe as you may remember, calls for 12 oz of beer, and this bottle was, alas, 16 oz. Oh darn. The only solution was to drink the remaining 4 oz. Oh the perils of being a baker. ;)

more beer than bread.

more beer than bread.

Well, needless to say, the beer was delicious, and I was even more excited now to see how the bread would turn out! It smelled amazing, and it appeared to have been baked to perfection. Now, the hard part – waiting for it to cool, so I could try it.

hurry up.

hurry up.

Finally, the cooling hour had come. It was time. Time to slice. Time to taste. Time to judge and be judged.

worth waiting for.

worth waiting for.

Well, it was definitely worth the wait. It’s hard to say at this point which beer bread was the actual best – I think it all comes down to personal preference. This one was a little sweeter, which, anyone who knows me would know that sweeter is my bag. Not everyone digs on sweeter though, so let’s just call it a draw. This one shall be bestowed with the title of Best Sweet Bread Bread. If you’d like to try is, use the same Beer Bread Recipe as previously posted, but use the Creme Brulee Stout. Remember to only use 12 oz – and to drink the rest. Never let great beer go to waste.

Recipe: Cookies and Cream Coffee Cheesecake.

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July 30th was National Cheesecake Day. I happened to be off from work, and I was browsing the internet, like ya do, and I came across this bit of wonderful news. I wanted to bake something I hadn’t made in a while, and a cheesecake was one such thing. It was clearly a sign from the universe that I had to make a cheesecake that very day.

I wasn’t sure which kind I wanted to make. My first thought was peanut butter or maybe almond butter….but then I started thinking my fiance really likes coffee and coffee-flavored stuff…and I have all these leftover faux-reos from the Cookies and Cream Cupcakes I just made…so I found a pretty simple recipe for a coffee cheesecake, made a few of my own tweaks and additions, and the Cookies and Cream Coffee Cheesecake with Coffee Whipped Cream and Dark Chocolate Drizzle was born. Pretty long name for a cheesecake, but it earned it.

longest. name. ever.

longest. name. ever.

My fiance loved it, and so did my co-workers (it was too good not to share!). So now, I’ll share the recipe with you, so you can share it with your family and friends. It’s the circle of life (or cheesecake).

Cookies and Cream Coffee Cheesecake.

What you’ll need for the crust:

16 Oreos or faux-reos

2 tblsp butter

What you’ll do for the crust:

Preheat oven to 350. Combine the cookies and butter in a food processor until finely crumbled. Press on the bottom and up the sides of a 9 in disposable pie pan, like so:

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the crust of it.

Bake for 10 minutes Let cool completely. Leave the oven on at 350 for the cheesecake.

What you’ll need for the cheesecake:

2  8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup of sugar

2 eggs

1/3 cup of very strong freshly brewed coffee at room temperature (I used Gevalia Crème Brulee  flavored)

What you’ll do for the cheesecake:

In a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese and sugar until well mixed. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, and add them, along with the coffee to the cream cheese and sugar. Mix until smooth (this should be less than a minute). Pour into cooled crust and bake for approximately 35 minutes, or until set. You can tell it’s set by lightly touching the center and it not sticking to your finger. It should look something like this:

all set.

all set.

Let it cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

What you’ll need for the coffee whipped cream:

1 cup chilled heavy cream

1/4 cup confectioners sugar

1 tblsp very strong coffee at room temperature (I used the same coffee as in the cheesecake)

What you’ll do for the coffee whipped cream:

In a chilled bowl (cream whips best when the bowl is cold), whip the heavy cream until it forms soft peaks. Add the sugar and the coffee, and continue to whip until stiff peaks are formed. Using a star tip, pipe a shell border of  whipped cream around the edge of the chilled cheesecake, and a single rosette in the center, like so:

pipe it good.

pipe it good.

Finally, in a small saucepan, combine 2 ounces of GOOD dark chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger Unsweetened Fine Artisan Dark Chocolate) and a tablespoon of butter over low heat, stirring continuously until completely melted. Pour chocolate into a plastic decorating bag BEFORE cutting the tip off. Hold the bag directly over the chilled cheesecake, then snip the tip, and drizzle the chocolate back and forth until you’ve reached drizzling nirvana.

enlightenment.

enlightenment.

Chill it again for about 30 minutes, then cut, serve, and devour….err…I mean, enjoy. :)

gone in 60 seconds.

gone in 60 seconds.

Recipe (Super Bowl) Sunday: Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes.

No, I didn’t make a Super Bowl themed dessert. The marketer in me was angry at the rest of me for not taking advantage of this timely social event and making something football-related. The rest of me justified it by saying… “meh.” The Super Bowl just ain’t my scene. Maybe if the Eagles were playing, I’d pay it some attention, but, full disclosure here, I tuned in to watch Madonna, and then went into the kitchen and started baking another un-football-related treat. And now I shall share said treat with you.

For some reason, it seemed like everywhere I went this week, I wound up in a conversation about coffee. A new flavor to try, where to get the best cup, here’s a coffee cheesecake, someone loves coffee ice cream, etc. So, with coffee already on my mind, I figured why not get it on yours, too. What I love most about this recipe, is that it can be made with any type of coffee you desire. I’m a huge fan of the flavored varieties, so I opted for a Creme Brulee coffee. However there are no rules here. Dowhatchalike. :)

Chocolate Coffee Cupcakes.

What you’ll need:

1 3/4 cups sugar

2 cups flour

3/4 cups cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

3 eggs

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/2 cup strongly brewed and cooled coffee

1/2 cup canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

What you’ll do:

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until blended. Add cream, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Slowly fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture until well incorporated. Grease or line muffin tins, and fill evenly with batter. Bake for 18-20 minutes,  or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 18-24 cupcakes.

Vanilla Coffee Frosting.

What you’ll need:

1 cup shortening

2 ½ tablespoons strongly brewed and cooled coffee

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners sugar

What you’ll do:

Cream together shortening, coffee, and vanilla. Add confectioners sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each.

Sprinkle with dark chocolate shavings. Enjoy with your morning….coffee.