BUTTERFINGER NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE


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Makes 10  two inch cheesecakes or one 8 inch cheesecake.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 9 oz mini size butterfingers (about 24 mini size Butterfingers)
  • 3 oz pretzels

Cheesecake:

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ cup Buttercup and Pretzel mixture

Chocolate Pouring Glaze:

  • 2/3 cups dark chocolate
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  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons powdered sugar, sifted
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  • 4-5 tablespoons water, warm

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:

    • ¼ cup cream cheese, softened
    • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
    • 5 tablespoons powdered sugar
    • 2-3 tablespoons whole milk

See a Zesty Sausage Cheese Balls Recipe

Instructions:

Crust:

1. Combine Butterfingers and pretzels in a food processor bowl or blender and process until finely ground. Measure out ½ cup Butterfinger and Pretzel mixture and set aside.
2. Press remaining mixture into pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 7 minutes. Set aside to cool. (No need for butter the chocolate will melt and bind the crust together.)

Cheesecake:

  1. Pour ¼ cup of cold water into a shallow, heat-proof bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over water and set aside for five minute until gelatin blooms. Place bowl of bloomed gelatin in microwave at 50% power and heat for 10 seconds. Mixture should be hot, but not steaming. Make sure mixture is liquidified and no lumps are visible. Set aside.
  2. Place heavy cream into a stand mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on high until medium peaks form. Set aside.
  3. Add cream cheese, peanut butter, sugar, salt, Butterfinger and Pretzel mixture, in a bowl and beat until smooth.
  4. Add one tablespoon of gelatin into cream cheese mixture at a time and gently fold to combine. Add heavy cream mixture and fold to combine.
  5. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag and pipe into wells. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set or overnight for best result. For smooth and even sides, use an offset spatula and run it along the edge of the removable bottom, using that as a guide, continue all the way around the mini cake until you end up where you started.

Chocolate Pouring Glaze:

1. Place chocolate and heavy cream in a bowl over simmering water. Let chocolate and cream sit for 2-3 minutes to melt without stirring. Then slowly stir mixture to combine. Add powdered sugar and mix to combine. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time, mixing after each addition until pouring consistency is reached. Set aside and let sauce cool to warm.

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Frosting:

1. Combine all ingredients and beat to combine.

TO ASSEMBLE:

1. Pour warm glaze on top of cheesecake and pipe a dollop of peanut butter cream cheese frosting on top. Return to fridge for an hour or until 20 minutes before serving.

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Slow Cooker Snow White Cocoa


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  • 16 oz. heavy whipping cream
  • 6 c. 2% milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 bag of white chocolate chips (11 – 12 oz.)

One of my favorite things about this time of year is all of the yummy drinks there are to warm us up!  Slow Cooker Snow White Cocoa is one of my favorites. (My daughter named it!) It’s fun for a chilly day and makes enough to serve at family gatherings. Get creative and let the kids pick out their own toppings (ex: peppermint bark, chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows, whip cream, etc.)  Enjoy!

  1. Place all ingredients in the slow cooker.
  2. Crock on LOW for 2-3 hours.
  3. Mix well to blend – the chocolate should be melted.
  4. Use a ladle to pour into mugs.
  5. Top with your choice of treats such as peppermint bark, chocolate sprinkles, marshmallows, whip cream, etc. (not included in nutritional data)

Happy Crocking!

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12 Drinks of Christmas


12 Drinks of Christmas #10: Eggnog Martini

eggnog-tini

You have to admit, there’s nothing like homemade eggnog. If you haven’t tried it before, a word of warning: You will never want to drink the store-bought stuff again. But, if laziness trumps taste (which, ashamedly, it sometimes does), there’s nothing wrong with trying this cocktail with eggnog from the grocery store, preferably Southern Comfort’s Vanilla Spice flavor. But take it from me, there is no better way to wow your guests than by serving them something made right in the confines of your own kitchen. Especially when you add alcohol.

Eggnog martini

Courtesy of Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food

Serves 4

1/2 cup sugar

1/8 cup cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin-pie spice, plus more for garnish

4 cups whole milk

3 large egg yolks

1 1/2 cups brandy

1. Set a large fine-mesh sieve over a large bowl. Place bottom of bowl in an ice bath; set aside. Off heat, in a medium saucepan, whisk together sugar, cornstarch, nutmeg, and pumpkin-pie spice. Gradually whisk in 4 cups milk, taking care to incorporate the cornstarch. Whisk in egg yolks.

2. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until the first large bubble sputters, 10 to 12 minutes. Reduce heat to low; cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute more. Remove from heat; immediately pour through sieve into bowl. Stir in remaining 4 cups milk. Let cool completely in bowl still set in ice bath.

3. Just before serving, stir in brandy, and ladle into glasses; garnish with pumpkin-pie spice.

12 Drinks of Christmas #9: Melon Ball

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♫On the ninth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

This cocktail is beautiful in color and has a small surprise at the end: a brandy-soaked cherry. Maraschinos work just fine in this recipe, but the key is to brandy a jar of Bing cherries when they’re in season so that you can snack on them all winter long.

Melon Ball

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue

Serves 1

1 1/2 oz. watermelon cordial

Pour into a cordial glass and top with a brandy-soaked cherry.

12 Drinks of Christmas #8: Candy Brandy

brandy

♫On the eighth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

For the brandy connoisseur: There’s nothing quite like the fragrant aroma and taste of warmed brandy or cognac. Warming the spirit over a gentle flame helps to unlock it’s flavors, while adding a splash of simple syrup takes off the edge with a bit of sweetness. The garnish is perfect here; the citrus and earthy cloves are a wonderful match.

Candy Brandy

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue

Serves 1

2 oz. brandy

1 orange slice, spiked with about 10 cloves

Pour the brandy into a warmed snifter. Add a dash of simple syrup and the orange rind spiked with cloves.

12 Drinks of Christmas #7: Mint Kiss

♫On the seventh day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

creme-de-menthe

The perfect after-dinner cordial. Not only does it look beautiful (the creme de menthe floats on top of the creme de cacao), but the combination of chocolate and mint go heavenly together. It’s like those little after-dinner mints that they never leave you enough of.

Mint Kiss

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue 

Makes 1 shot

3/4 oz. white creme de cacao

1/2 oz. green creme de menthe

Pour in the creme de cacao and slowly top with the creme de menthe to create two layers. Serve in a glass (or shot) rimmed with watermelon sugar.

12 Drinks of Christmas #6: White Russian

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♫On the sixth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

This is super classic, super simple. Vodka, coffee liqueur, cream. You could drink coffee and spike it, or you could drink vodka. You decide.

White Russian 

Serves 1

1 1/2 oz. vodka

3/4 oz. Kahlua

3/4 oz. cream

Pour the vodka and Kahlua into a glass filled with ice. Stir and gently top with cream.

12 Drinks of Christmas #5: Rosemary Fizz

champagne

Rosemary Fizz

Serves 1

3 oz. champagne

1/2 oz. St. Germaine

1/2 oz. rosemary simple syrup

1 sprig rosemary

Add St. Germaine and simple syrup into a glass and stir. Top with champagne and garnish with rosemary.

12 Drinks of Christmas #4: Candy Cane Cocktail

♫On the fourth day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

candy-cane

Ahh, my childhood. Pulling the candy canes off of the tree in secrecy, trying my best not to knock the ornaments onto the floor. Wait, was this today?

I love candy canes and I love this cocktail. Sweet, minty, and a little candy to make you feel like a kid again. Unless you never really grew up. In that case, indulge.

Candy cane cocktail

Courtesy of The Martha Stewart Show

2 ounces strawberry vodka

4 dashes white creme de menthe

2 1/2 ounces cranberry juice

1 candy cane, crushed, for garnish

Place crushed candy canes on a small plate or saucer. Wet the outside rim of a chilled martini glass with water. Holding the glass by the stem, rotate the rim to coat with candy.

In a cocktail shaker, combine vodka, creme de menthe, cranberry juice, and ice; shake until well combined. Strain into the chilled glass and serve immediately.

12 Drinks of Christmas #3: Bourbon Punch

milk-punch

Bourbon Punch

Courtesy of Leite’s Culinaria

Makes 1 quart

2 cups whole milk

1/2 cup Kentucky bourbon

1/8 cup vanilla extract

1/8 cup simple syrup

1 cup vanilla ice cream

A pinch of ground nutmeg or cinnamon

Combine the milk, bourbon, vanilla, simple syrup, and ice cream in a blender for about 8 seconds. Pour into mugs or glasses of some sort. Sprinkle with the nutmeg or cinnamon, to garnish.

12 Drinks of Christmas #2: Winter Sangria

sangria

♫On the second day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

Winter White Sangria

And a Christmas Cosmopolitan.

Sangria is no longer just for summertime sipping. Wine lovers, why wait for warm weather to embellish your booze? This drink works just as nice by the fireplace. Pick up some of your favorite fruit–you can use just about anything–and toss them into a wine glass. Add a nice chilled white wine, and you’re good to go. No overnight-soaking required!

Winter White Sangria

Serves 1

4 oz. chilled white wine (sweet or dry; I like Chardonnay…let the fruit add the sugar!)

Add sliced pears, apples, grapes, peaches, and strawberries and pour into a chilled glass.

12 Drinks of Christmas #1: Christmas Cosmo

A Christmas Cosmpolitan

cosmo

♫On the first day of Christmas, Kitchenese is giving you…

A slick twist on a classic cocktail, this Cosmo eliminates the tangy lime juice and the sugary taste of triple sec and replaces it with a splash of zesty, freshly-squeezed orange juice. It also has a bit more cranberry juice than usual, and is garnished with real cranberries and a lemon peel. Wintertime, welcome.

Christmas Cosmo

Courtesy of Crate & Barrel’s Holiday Catalogue

Serves 1

1 1/2 oz. vodka

3 oz. cranberry juice

1 splash simple syrup

1 splash orange juice

Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a lemon peel and a  cranberry.

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Hot Chocolate on a Stick


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A sweet little gift, or a beautiful treat to serve holiday parties, this Hot Chocolate on a Stick recipe is a perfect holiday treat!

 

Swirl these delicious blocks of chocolate into a cup of hot milk and you create a luscious cup of hot chocolate.

 

This recipe would be perfect to serve as part of a hot chocolate bar at a holiday party!   For a pretty display, set out a few bowls of hot cocoa toppings such as crushed peppermint candies, or mini marshmallows and you have a special display that is easy to create.

 

I know I’m always on the lookout for cute little gifts to give to teachers and neighbors, and a few of these Hot Chocolate on a Stick blocks, wrapped up and given with a cute mug could be a perfect little gift!

 

This recipe is quite simple to make and starts with just a can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk, and some good quality chocolate.

 

Ingredients:

1 (14oz) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup (or 6 oz) unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I used Ghirardelli bars)

wooden sticks

Directions:

1.) Line a 8″x8″ pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
2.) In a medium saucepan heat the sweetened condensed milk and heavy cream together over MEDIUM-LOW heat.
Whisk slowly as it heats and heat until it is hot and is beginning to steam, but not boiling.
3.) Remove pan from heat and add the chocolate chips and chopped chocolate. Allow chocolate to slowly melt, this takes about 10 minutes.
4.) Return the pan to LOW heat and whisk vigorously until the mixture is thick and shiny.
5.) Pour the chocolate mixture into the prepared pan, and smooth the surface with an offset spatula.
Loosely cover the pan and allow the chocolate to cool slowly, on the counter OVERNIGHT.
6.) The next day, run a knife around the edge of the pan, and pull on the parchment or foil to remove the chocolate square.
Cut the chocolate into 1 1/4″ cubes. Heat the knife between cuts by running the knife under hot water, then wipe dry between each cut.
7.) Add a wooden stick, then wrap the cubes as desired.

Recipe source – King Arthur Flour

 

This is What Happens when You Cook Everything Delicious Inside a Pumpkin


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Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good

The name says it all: this pumpkin is filled with the savory goodness of bacon, cheese, and bread; it makes a hearty main course or side dish. The recipe comes from “Around My French Table,” by Dorie Greenspan.

1 (3-pound) pumpkin
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 pound stale bread, thinly sliced and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/4 pound Gruyere, Emmenthal, or cheddar cheese (or a mix of all three), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 to 3 cloves garlic, split, germ removed, and coarsely chopped
4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp, drained, and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or sliced scallions
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
1/2 cup heavy cream
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees with a rack set in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with a nonstick baking mat or use a Dutch oven that is slightly larger in diameter than your pumpkin (in which case, you will need to serve your pumpkin from the Dutch oven, as it may stick, but it will keep its shape better this way).

2. Using a sharp, sturdy knife, cut off top of pumpkin, working around the top with the knife inserted at a 45-degree angle to cut off enough to make it easy to work inside the pumpkin; reserve top. Remove seeds and strings from cap and pumpkin. Season inside of pumpkin generously with salt and pepper. Place on prepared baking sheet or in Dutch oven; set aside.

3. In a large bowl, toss together bread, cheese, garlic, bacon, chives, and thyme until well combined. Pack into pumpkin; it should be well filled but not overstuffed. You may need to add some bread and cheese or some of the filling may not be necessary to use. In a small bowl, stir cream and nutmeg to combine. Pour over filling; filling should be moist but not swimming in cream — you may need to use more or less accordingly.

4. Place top on pumpkin and transfer to oven; cook until filling is bubbling and pumpkin flesh is tender, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove top and continue baking until liquid is slightly evaporated and top of filling is browned, 20 to 30 minutes more.

5. Carefully transfer pumpkin to a serving platter (or serve in Dutch oven, if using) and serve.

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