Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

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It’s November, and you know what that means… Thanksgiving! It is the holy month for foodies like us, and often my mom goes all out with a traditional turkey dinner, complete with cranberry sauce and green bean casserole. Never on actual Thanksgiving though… weird. Anyways, this recipe comes from the More from Magnolia Cookbook. It is one of their bestselling products at the bakery, and when you make it you will know why. This creamy cheesecake is rich with comforting pumpkin flavor. Initially I was concerned about the lack of spices but the punch of the gingersnap crust against the creamy coolness of the cheese filling gives it enough flavor without being overwhelming. This is a must have addition to any holiday table!

Slightly adapted from the More from Magnolia Cookbook.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

Filling:

  • 400 grams cream cheese softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

whipped cream and pecan halves to garnish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 180C

To make the crust: In a small bowl combine the butter and the gingersnap cookie crumbs with pecans. Press on the bottom of a buttered 10-inch cheesecake pan. Bake for 10 mins. Remove from oven and cool.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, on the low speed of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until very smooth. Gradually add the sugar, then the eggs one by one. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until just blended. Make sure to stop often and scape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure the mix is well incorporated. Stir in heavy cream and cinnamon.

Pour the batter into the pan over the crust, and place the pan on a baking sheet. Bake until edges are set and center is slightly jiggly, about 1 hour. At the end of baking time, turn off the oven and using a wooden spoon to prop the oven door slightly ajar cool the cake in the oven for 1 hour before removing. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.

Remove the cake from fridge 15-30 mins before cutting and serving. Garnish with whipped cream and pecan halves.

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Enjoy!

-M

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Filed under Celebration Cakes, Cheesecake, Desserts

Biscoff Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats

We hosted a big neighborhood barbeque and needed a kid friendly, easy dessert to make.  What’s easier then rice krispie treats?  Of course, it’s hard to resist the urge to glam up such a basic dessert, so the following recipe resulted from my much beloved Joy the Baker cookbook, the jar of biscoff spread sitting in my pantry, and my current browned butter kick.  The result is the traditional taste of rice krispie treats with an edge-something kids and adults alike devoured.  Enjoy! Feel free to substitute the biscoff spread with peanut butter as the original recipe calls for if you don’t have any biscoff on hand.

 Ingredients (adapted from Joy the Baker):
1 stick unsalted butter (113g)
1 (10 ounce) bag marshmallows
½ cup biscoff spread (or peanut butter)
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 cups crispy rice cereal

Directions:
Grease an 8-inch baking dish and set aside. In a large sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat until it starts to brown. (Remember how to do it from this post?) Add marshmallows, biscoff spread, and salt.Stir continuously with a wooden spoon until smooth. 

In separate bowl, measure out the rice cereal.  Pour butter mixture over cereal and quickly stir to evenly coat the cereal. Press into pan with wooden spoon.  Let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Filed under Bars, Desserts

Fatty Dab’s Burger Shack Review- By Farah and Mira

Looking for a great burger in Amman? Well look no further than Fatty Dab’s Burger Shack in Abdoun. This is the place to go for fat authentic American style burgers, thick creamy shakes and warm gooey homemade cookies. The menu features a good selection of unique burgers, with unique toppings not usually offered in Jordan. The burger meat is organic from their own farms in Madaba.  We went on a beautiful sunny day, and took advantage of the small outdoor seating area., a much needed extension to the small limited indoor area. Even so, be prepared to wait to wait for a table as the place is usually crowded, for good reason! However things move smoothly and the best feature of this American style burger place is the American style service. We were given helpful suggestions on what to order, the waiters were friendly and happy, and we even scored a couple of warm cookie sundaes on the house, which is basically our favorite Amman dessert so far.

The burger came stacked high, with lots of fresh toppings and sharp flavorful cheeses. The bacon was recommended to us, and we were glad to find a crispy piece of bacon, instead of the floppy boiled piece of meat that so often passes for bacon in the middle east. The meat was juicy, but some of our party found the standard medium-well was too pink, so be sure to specify if you like your burger more cooked. We tried the Classic, the Fatty Dab’s and the Chicago, and the Sunrise (burger connoisseurs would love this perfectly cooked egg with runny yolk) each has its own unique mouthwatering flavor.The burgers come with crispy skin-on rustic fries and a drink, which is a good deal considering most places nowadays consider these sides as extra orders. The meal is a bit pricey at 8JD plus tax, but we can honestly say it was worth it, far superior to other cheaper burger places in Amman.  If your feeling more diner-ish, try a shake with your meal, they are thick, creamy and out of this world! May we suggest the cookie dough milkshake, which comes with chunks of cookie dough and hot fudge ribbons.
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Don’t leave before you get dessert, all the ice-cream used in the shakes and sundaes is homemade, we observed as real vanilla beans were incorporated in the ice cream batter, and the cookies are baked fresh, so expect a 10-minute wait for the cookie sundae, one of the best desserts you will find here. The result is a warm cookie which is gooey in the middle, crispy on the edges and topped with cold, sweet vanilla ice cream and drizzled with hot chocolate sauce. The perfect end to the perfect meal.
 

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Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Rocca Salad

As you can probably tell by the recipes on this blog, I really like roasted/grilled eggplants.  It just so happens we got a crate of fresh eggplants just waiting for me to use them up in delicious recipes.  I wanted to make a hearty and filling salad that was also really healthy and tasty.  This is what came to mind!  The combination of the grilled sweet peppers and the smokey eggplant with the saltiness of the feta cheese and the bite that comes from the rocca resulted in one of my favorite salads that I’ve made or tried.  Use whatever ingredients you have, experiment, and enjoy!
Grilled Eggplant and Pepper Rocca Salad (everylittlecrumb original)

Ingredients:

3 large eggplants

2 each of red, yellow, and green bell peppers

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup toasted pine nuts

3 cups rocca (jarjeer)

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup balsalmic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

Pinch of salt and pepper

Method:

Cut the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices and set aside.  Quarter all of the bell peppers, or cut them into 1/8ths if you want a less chunky salad.  Toss all the above vegetables with the olive oil in a bowl, salt and pepper then using a large grill pan, grill eggplants first about 8 minutes each side or until golden brown and grilled throughout.  Repeat with the bell peppers in batches until all the vegetables are grilled.  As an alternative, you can roast all the vegetables on a baking tray in the oven at 400 degrees F (200 C) until golden brown and roasted, about 15 minutes a side.  When grilled/roasted vegetables have cooled, put all the washed rocca in the salad bowl you’ll be serving in, then scatter the vegetables on top.  Crumble the feta cheese on top, and top with the toasted pine nuts.  To make the dressing, add the olive oil gradually to the vinegar while whisking.  Whisk in the honey, and season with salt and pepper.  Top the salad with the dressing and toss to distribute.

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Filed under everylittlecrumb original, Healthy, Main Meals, Salads

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Quite a mouthful.  Both the title and these yummy little squares themselves.  I wanted to make a dessert for a game night and I needed something quick and with ingredients available at home. My thoughts immediately gravitated towards chocolate chip cookies, because there is no limit to which my love for chocolate chip cookies can reach.  However, I didn’t want to take all the time scooping out dough for individual cookies and alternating batches, so I decided to make a bar form.  This is an everylittlecrumb original, and browning the butter in the dough was something I was really glad I did.  The browned butter, if you’ve never done this before, gives a toffee like taste to the batter which just enhances the brown sugar that is already there.  Browned butter is a little gourmet touch that a lot of desserts and some mains benefit from, and once you learn how to do it it’s easy!  First timers, follow the instructions in this link.  In a nutshell, you’re going to want to keep melting the butter until it starts to bubble and change color, while either whisking or shaking the pan constantly until it starts to reach a nut brown color.  Make these and hide them until you need them because they will finish fast!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars:

1 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar (Can use dark or light only if that’s what you have available)
1/2 cup butter (113g) melted and browned
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips (Depending on how chocolatey you want these)

Heat oven to 350 degrees (175 C). Grease a 9 by 13 inch pan and set aside. Melt the butter over medium heat and continue whisking as the butter starts to change color. You’ll start to see little brown flecks in the pan. Keep whisking until it reaches a nut brown color and immediately remove from the stove, still whisking until it reaches desired color (It will still darken off the stove since the pan is hot.

I take it off the stove when it’s this color.

Pour butter into bowl, add all the sugar, and blend well. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour gradually a little at a time while still beating on low speed, add baking powder and salt. Mix well, and stir in chocolate chips. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 25-35 minutes until set and light golden brown on top. Don’t overbake! You want these super chewy in the middle. Cool and cut into squares.

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Filed under Bars, Cookies, Desserts, everylittlecrumb original

Mama Mira’s Famous Lasagna

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I promise this is the only lasagna recipe that you will ever need. Its the perfect cheesy, meaty, hearty lasagna. Stuffed full of garlicky tomato sauce and creamy smooth béchamel sauce, it’s a super comforting dish, that gets requested more than any other dish I make. Its worth it to get the good parmesan, not the powder that comes in a can because it will give a great taste to the béchamel.

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Ingredients:

1 pack of lasagna noodles

shredded mozzarella

For the meat sauce:

  • 1/2 kilo ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste
  • 2- 8 oz  (227 grams) cans tomato sauce
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

For the béchamel:

  • 1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a medium saucepan, saute onion in the vegetable oil until soft and translucent. Add the beef to brown.  Add the all spice, cinnamon, black pepper, and garlic. Once the beef is cooked through add the salt. Pour the tomato sauce, tomato paste, italian seasoning, garlic powder and brown sugar over the beef. Boil for 5 minutes. Add the water and simmer for 30 minutes.

To make the béchamel: melt butter with flour in a medium saucepan and stir until mixture becomes golden color (about 3 minutes). Pour the milk and cream into the pan (milk and cream should be warm), whisking continuously. Add the garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk until the mixture has just began to thicken up, then turn off the heat and add the parmesan. (The sauce will continue to thicken up off the stove).

To assemble: Coat the bottom of the pyrex with a little of the béchamel so that the noodles wont stick. Then put one layer of noodles, top with 1/3 of the meat sauce, and then 1/3 of the béchamel. Put another layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel, then the final layer of noodles, meat sauce and béchamel. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake in a 180C oven for 20 minutes. In the final 10 minutes  turn on the broiler to brown the top.

Enjoy!

-M

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by | October 23, 2012 · 10:00 am

Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings

Remember the pumpkin recipe roundup I did a few days ago?  This is one of the recipes off my pumpkin to try list.  My mom is the type that eats all the filling of a pie and leaves the crust intact (I know! The crust is the best part), so she’s the one who asked me to make this recipe.  It’s very similar to a pumpkin pie filling, enhanced by the addition of a tangy baked sour cream topping.  This is a great gluten-free dessert to make during this autumn baking season for anyone to enjoy, and for anyone who needs to get their crust fix (like me), you could add some crushed graham cracker or digestive biscuits mixed with a little bit of melted butter to the bottom of each ramekin before baking and you’d get the equivalent of little mini pumpkin pies.  Enjoy!

Baked Pumpkin and Sour Cream Puddings adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 7 to 8 half-cup puddings

Pudding
1 3/4 cups (from a 15-ounce can, 415 grams) pumpkin puree (unsweetened; not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1 teaspoon (2 grams) ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon (3 grams) table salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup (237 ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (118 ml) heavy cream
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Topping
1 cup (227 grams) sour cream
1 tablespoon (13 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F (175 C)

The quickest method: In a medium bowl, whisk together all of the pudding ingredients.

For creamier, silkier pudding: Combine pumpkin, sugar, salt and spices in a food processor and blend for 30 seconds. (I did this, takes only a little more effort and results in a more uniform texture) Transfer to a saucepan and heat over medium-high. Once glurping and simmering in the pot, cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture will thicken and get a bit darker. Reduce heat slightly and whisk in milk and cream. Off the heat, slowly whisk in eggs.

Both methods: Divide between 7 to 8 (I had just shy of enough to make eight 1/2-cup puddings) ovenproof 6-ounce pudding cups or ramekins on a baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puddings barely jiggle when shimmied. Try not to overbake.

While they bake, combine topping ingredients in a small bowl. When the puddings are cooked through, transfer to a cooling rack on the counter and leave oven on. Spoon 2 tablespoons of sour cream mixture onto first pudding and use a small offset spatula, butter knife or spoon to quickly (it will get melty fast) spread it over the top of the first pudding. Repeat with remaining puddings.

Return puddings to oven for 5 more minutes, then cool completely at room temperature, about 1 to 2 hours. Chill until ready to serve. Eat with a gingersnap.  I’d also sprinkle some crushed gingersnap crumbs on top next time for an extra kick.

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Filed under Desserts