Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Best Cheesecake You'll Ever Eat: Junior's New York Style Cheesecake

I know this looks like a complicated, time-consuming, stay-up-forever kind of recipe, but seriously, it is so worth it. This cheesecake {and it's variations} is the best. I mean it--if you like cheesecake and you think you've had "the best", think again. This is the best cheesecake you will ever eat. If I lived near you, I would make you one just to prove how utterly delicious it is.

I give you: Junior's New York Style Cheesecake

I made this for Easter dinner and garnished with fresh raspberries {actually, they were frozen which thawed as we ate} and chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Scrumptious! I've also made a white chocolate raspberry and Cappuccino {recipes to come}. So much fun to make and eat!

Thin Sponge Cake Layer
{One 9-inch Sponge Cake Layer}

1/2 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
3 extra-large eggs, separated
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 drops pure lemon extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and generously butter a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil, covering the bottom and extending up the sides.

2. Sift the cake flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.

3. Beat the egg yolks together in a large bowl with an electric mixer on high for 3 minutes.

4. Then, with the mixer still running, gradually add the 1/3 cup of sugar and continue beating until thick light-yellow ribbons form in the bowl, about 5 minutes more.

5.Beat in the vanilla and lemon extracts.

6. Sift the flour mixture over the batter and stir it in by hand until no more white flecks appear.

7.Then blend in the butter.

8. In a clean bowl, using clean dry beaters, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar together on high until frothy.

9. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form (the whites should stand up in stiff peaks, but not be dry).

10. Stir about 1/3 cup of the whites into the batter, then gently fold in the remaining whites (don't worry if a few white specks remain).

11. Gently spoon the batter into the pan. Bake the cake just until the center of the cake springs back when lightly touched, only about 10 minutes (watch carefully!).

12. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack while you continue making the cheesecake filling. Do not remove the cake from the pan. Leave the oven on.

Cream Cheese Filling

(4) 8 ounce packages cream cheese (regular, no low fat phony's) at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1/4 cup corn starch
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 extra large eggs
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the Cheesecake Filling

1. Place an 8 ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl.

2. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally.

3. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese--one at a time and scrape bowl in between.

4. Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla.

5.Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one.

6.Blend in the heavy cream. {I like to blend it by hand}. Be careful not to over-mix the batter.

7. Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer.

8. Place the springform pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.

9. Bake the cheescake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.

10. Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight.

11. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

12. Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pinterest: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

So, Theresa and I bought some bananas  last week and planned on eating them. Trouble is, neither one of us like spots on our bananas. Me? I went from eating really {crunchy} green banana's to light-about-to-turn-yellow to bright yellow to nothing. Yup, for about oh, say 10 years, I refused to eat banana's because they were "gross". I didn't re-introduce them to my diet till I went out to WI and only because they were cheap! Now, I eat the yellow-no-spot-or-blemishes kind of banana's.

Well, we got past that point and they were dark, spotty brown and black. Yuck.

But, totally yum for banana chocolate chip muffins {or bread}! These are so perfect for mornings--just grab and go! The fruit in these makes them totally healthy :)

This recipe I got from There's not a person to credit this with, but whoever put this on the site was so nice in sharing :)

The muffins are nice and moist and packed with great flavour!


2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3 ripe bananas
1 c. sour cream
1/4 lb. butter, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 extra lg. eggs
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Sift the flour with the baking powder and baking soda. Set aside. Process the bananas with the sour cream until smooth. Set aside.Beat the butter with the sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time and beat until well incorporated. Add the sifted dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternately with the banana mixture in two additions, beating only until blended. Fold in the chocolate morsels.
Line muffin tins with cupcake papers or used greased nonstick muffin tin. Fill each cup about 3/4 of the way with batter and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from tins. Makes 18 muffins.

Pretty yummy! Even if the picture doesn't look it :D

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pinterest: Chocolate Chip Cookie II

{Once again, I apologize for the quality of the picture--it has no effect on the cookie!}

This is my second attempt at a new chocolate chip cookie recipe.

These were good. They had a good ratio of ingredients, made a good amount for such a small batch of dough, and were soft.

However, they are not the *best* chocolate chip cookie I've eaten, so I shall stick to my go-to chocolate chip cookie recipe {the mint is optional...I add it 'cause I love mint!}.

Got the recipe from:

Pinterest: Chocolate Chip Cookies

{Sorry the picture is not so good...I took it with my webcam as I still am without a camera}

I made these chocolate chip cookies tonight.

Not on my list of favorites. To me, it seemed more like a shortbread type of cookie...crumbly, lightly sweet, buttery and dry. Not what I was expecting out of this recipe. I have another batch in the oven and I'll underbake it a bit. I'll add a PS to tell you how that one turns out and.
Theresa thought that they were a little crunchy, crumbly, and had no flavor. She didn't even finish her cookie! Totally made me laugh at the face she gave while tasting it for me. Apparently, she's not a fan of shortbread cookies.

Anyway, here's the site I got the recipe from: