Friday, April 22, 2011

Jam Thumbprint Cookies

Last weekend, the weather was gorgeous and Megan and I were hanging out with nothing to do. So we went to the Farmer's Market!  As a kid, my mom used to make Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp a lot, and I loved it, so when I saw this ... 

I had to buy some!  Then I remembered that Garrett and I both hate toast, and therefore not much jelly is eaten at our house. Oops.

BUT, today, while looking through one of my favorite cooking websites, I found the recipe for these delicious cookies.

(P.S. this is not my recipe. It is from  Their recipes are SO GOOD.)

The best part about these cookies is that they only take 4 ingredients, which you probably already have.

You will need:
1/4 of a cup of sugar, + 2 Tablespoons
2/3 of a cup of flour
4 tablespoons of melted butter

Mix the 1/4 cup of sugar and the butter together with a fork.
Next, add the flour. (I added a little water too, because the dough was super crumbly.)  At this point I had cookie dough all over my hands, so I skipped a couple steps worth of pictures.

Put the 2 Tablespoons of sugar in a small bowl.  Roll 1 inch balls of dough in the sugar, and put on a GREASED cookie sheet.  Then, using your thumb, push down the ball of dough so that there is a "well" in the cookies.

Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.  Once they are done, leave them on the cookie sheet to cool. Before serving, spoon any kind of jam into the well of each cookie!  This makes 10 cookies, perfect for 2 people. Then, try not to eat them all before your best friend gets home from work. That's the tricky part.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Caramel Apple Cheesecake

Hi!  My name is Kenzie Keck, and about a year ago I started a blog called Keck's Cakes.  I have always loved baking, and when I got married, I finally had someone to help taste test all my recipes!  My husband encouraged me to start this blog.  Some of the recipes I make up on my own, and others I find on other baking websites or on Pinterest.
For now, this is a baking blog, but I plan to start adding dinner recipes instead of just deserts.  I also love crafting, so I hope to add some crafts to this blog soon!

This recipe for Caramel Apple Cheesecake is one of my own, and it has been a huge hit every time I have made it.  I have had several people ask for the recipe.  I hope you enjoy it as well!

First, crush 1 1/2 cups of cinnamon graham crackers.  With a fork mix in 1/4 a cup of sugar and 1/4 a cup of melted butter.  You may need to add more butter, it's really important that the crumbs stick together.  Press into a 9in springform pan all over the bottom and an inch or two up the sides. Bake the crust at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Next, melt 14oz of caramel squares (This part takes forever.  Luckily my husband volunteered to unwrap them ... and eat a lot of them).  If you buy a bag at the grocery store the bag will likely be 14 oz, so you will need to unwrap all of the caramels.  Melt these together with 2/3 of a cup of evaporated milk over medium high heat. 
Once melted, pour one cup (about half) of the caramel mixture on top of the graham cracker crust.  It should look like this ...

Next, using a mixer, mix together 2 8oz packages of low fat cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 Tablespoon of flour and 2 eggs until the mixture is smooth and creamy. 

In a separate bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups of chopped, peeled apples, 1 tablespoon of flour, and 1/2 a teaspoon of ground cinnamon.  Chopping apples is also a great job for husbands or roommates. :) 

Combine the apples with the cream cheese mixture and pour into the crust. 

Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.  Then, pour the leftover caramel mixture over the top (you may have to reheat it) and bake an additional ten minutes.  

You can cook this cheesecake in a water bath if you prefer.  All you do is put an inch of water into a baking pan and put the cheesecake in the water.  You definitely need to make sure that no water can get into your cheesecake pan.  Putting it in a water bath can reduce cracks in the top of your cheesecake.  I normally don't do this because usually I don't care about presentation, and this one has caramel on top, so you can't really see the cracks anyways.

Let cool for about 30 minutes and then refrigerate.  I left this one in the fridge for 5 hours. The best way to cut it is with a knife dipped in warm water, this way the caramel won't stick to the knife. This cheesecake was devoured before I had a chance to take a picture of the finished product!  It was delicious!


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Fruit Tart? Torte? Not really sure.

You will need:
2 cans Pillsbury cresent roll dough OR pie crust dough
1 8oz package of cream cheese
1/2 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla
Fruit of your choice.

I didn't have enough cresent roll dough, so I made a pie crust.  I used 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of vegetable shortening, and 1/2 a cup of water.
Use a fork to combine the flour and the shortening, then add water.
I just rolled out the dough onto a greased cookie sheet until the dough covered the entire cookie sheet.
Cook just the crust in the oven at 450 for 10 minutes.  Make sure to poke holes in the crust before cooking so that it doesn't bubble up.

While that is cooking, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Once the crust is out of the oven and cooled, spread the cream cheese mixture on top of the crust.

While I was making crust and icing, best friend was cutting up fruit!  Wal-mart had some amazingly delicious strawberries on sale, and I also found a ripe mango and some kiwi.

Put all the chopped fruit on top of the icing, and let chill in the fridge for 30 minutes.