Ashley’s Treat: White Chocolate Raspberry Swirl Cheesecakes

Ashley's mini cheesecake.

Once in a while, the “NEED TO BAKE NEED TO BAKE NEED TO BAKE” urge takes me over.  Usually I’ll just make some cupcakes or something, but sometimes I want to try something new and different, especially if it will please a friend.  Fellow kittenshark Ashley loves cheesecake, and it just so happened that when I had this urge to bake something, it was almost Nick’s birthday; he also loves cheesecake.  Settled.  Gotta make cheesecake.

Since I’d never made a cheesecake before, I scoured the internet for the right recipe for me, and because I knew I wanted to make mini versions, I ended up using one I found at a wonderful site and only slightly adapting it.  Since she said it best, please check out Annie’s Eats for the full recipe.

A cupcake. (Phone pic.)

The adaptations I made were using Chocolate graham cracker crumbs instead of chocolate cookie crumbs (I don’t like Oreos), Natural Balance Vegan Buttery Spread instead of butter, Egg Beaters Egg Whites instead of Eggs and no salt.  It was still pretty tasty!  In fact, Ashely said, “This might be the best dessert I’ve ever had.”

I baked 4 mini cheesecakes in glass ramekin and made cupcakes out of the rest.  With future cheesecakes, I hope to have a more attractive looking final product, but all the different crap about how to know when your cheesecake is done had me pretty spooked.

If you want the recipe for the ganache seen in the first picture, click here.

Suze’s PB & Choco Sammys (Gluten Free!)

Suze's PB & Choco Sammys

Susan, one of my best friends and a fellow kittenshark, can’t have gluten.  This is sad because most of the delicious foods seem to be riddled with it.  Everyone take a minute to reflect on how it sucks to be allergic to gluten.  Okay, thanks.  Anyway, since she recently sent me a care package and I have one to send her, aaaaand her birthday is coming up, I wanted to create a special treat that is delicious, easy to make and safe for the Suze to eat.

Nick and I set out to bake them tonight, and we were delighted with the final product.  These cookies are not only Suze-safe, but also almost criminally easy to make and very tasty.

Half-assed recipe follows:

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Funfetti Cuppy Cake with Caramel & Chocolate

A Cuppy Cake

This isn’t really a recipe because I just used boxed Pillsbury Funfetti mix and pre-made vanilla icing (although I usually prefer this recipe from Alton Brown, but Nick doesn’t have a mixer and I am lazy).  I wanted to make some cuppy cakes for Nick because he is sweet, and likes them.  We threw some caramel filled Hershey’s Kisses in the middle and frosted them into deliciousness.

I think if I made them again, I would just use some caramel squares because I’m not sure the chocolate inside really works as great as just caramel would.  We’ll see.