Sunday, November 27, 2011

Fun With Our Mini-Chef

We were asked to bring a couple of deserts for Thanksgiving dinner and, since there were already a couple pies, we opted for cheesecakes.  

Hello Happy ... cheesecake is one of my love languages, so I was a happy girl!

So, we got up bright and early on Thursday morning - mainly because Sophie does not understand the word holiday and was out of bed at her usual 6:45.  This is something we are working on.

Knowing her love for the kitchen I decided to let her help me make the cheesecakes.  She was EC.STA.TIC.  Seriously, so very happy.  And, because I have the strange little notion to pull a Julie and Julia kinda thing and blog my way through The Pioneer Woman's cookbook, I decided to practice food blogging with my favorite mini-chef.

So... here we go.

Classic Cheesecake

(NOTE: We didn't make a crust, we used a store bought, pre-made kind, but here it is in case YOU want to)
1 1/4 cups Graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Melted butter

Combine all ingredients together in a bowl. Mix well. Press against bottom and sides of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes at 350. Place on wire rack to cool.

2 (8oz) packages regular Cream cheese
1 (8oz) package fat free Cream cheese
1 1/4 cup Sugar (or Splenda *I use just a tiny bit more if using Splenda)
4 Eggs
1 1/2 Tbsp Lemon juice
pinch of salt

Place regular and fat free cream cheese together in large mixing bowl

Add sugar (or Splenda)

add salt

add lemon juice

Mix together until creamy - scraping bowl as needed

Add eggs one at a time

Beat until smooth and thoroughly mixed

Pour filling into pie crusts (we filled two regular pie crusts, if making your own crust you MAY be able to do it in one - put you would need something bigger than a standard pie pan)

Bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes - until filling is slightly firm to the touch.  Cool to room temperature, cover and chill for at least 8 hours. 
*NOTE: ours only chilled for about 4 hours and it was fine, just not as firm as it maybe should have been.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
(This is Paula Deen's recipe and it is borrowed from the Food Network, y'all!)

3 (8oz) packages Cream cheese at room temperature
1 (15oz) can Pureed pumpkin
3 Eggs plus 1 Egg yolk
1/4 cup Sour cream
1 1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp Ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp Ground cloves
2Tbsp All-purpose flour
1tsp vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese until creamy. Add pumpkin (our can was a 20oz-er so we measured out 15oz)

Add the spices

Add the flour

(flour is "spill-y" ... make sure you don't miss any! this made me giggle!!)

Add vanilla and eggs & yolk

Mix until smooth then pour filling into crusts (again, it took two standard pie crusts)

Pose for A-stinkin-dorable photo op. *NOTE - this may only work if  you are as cute in your PJ's as our sweet mini-chef!!)

(seriously, I could eat HER with a spoon!!!)

Lick as many surfaces as possible!!

Bake for 1 hour at 350, until slightly firm to touch.  Place on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours.

So, OK, I have no pictures of the finished project ... or the fact that they were set outside in the 40 degree weather (yes, we are SOOOOOOOOOO Little House On The Prairie up in here!) to chill because there was no room in the fridge. 

Have I have royally messed up my first venture into food blogging by not having a finished project?  I promise it will never happen again ... please forgive me.

I can tell you they were pretty ... and pretty yummy. 

Sophie really did do most of the work too.  We did help her with the measuring and the placing in and removing from the over (duh), but she didn't need a whole lot of help.  My girl has some baking skillz!!!  And, she was SO proud of her sweet self!  And that pride is mutual - we were proud of her too!

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