Tuesday, December 6, 2011
It is the official start of holiday baking season, on the farm. The UPS truck will be pulling into the drive on a more frequent basis, to deliver supplies. Home made gift do not save you time or money when done well, but they sure can be fun to give.
Much of the holiday cooking will take place on the holiday to be served as fresh as possible, however the baking has begun. The gifts I am starting now are the ones that will be mailed or delivered on the weeks and days leading up to the holidays.
An important part of home baked gifts are quality ingredients and great packaging.
Much of my baking supplies have been ordered from King Arthur Flour.
My cup cake boxes, papers and picks are from Fancy Flour , although their shipping is high.
The candy apple boxes and sprinkles are from Kitchen Kraft's
is a recipe from their web sight
Never mind the sour cream, farmer's cheese, cream cheese, water bath, and worrying about a sunken center. The filling for this delicious cheesecake has just four simple ingredients, and the cake bakes for a mere 30 minutes. Now THAT'S easy!
Read our blog about this cheesecake, with additional photos, at Bakers' Banter.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs OR zwieback crumbs
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup (5 2/3 tablespoons) melted butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups (2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
12 ounce bag frozen raspberries, a scant 3 cups
1 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons Pie Filling Enhancer; use 1 tablespoon for a looser sauce, 2 tablespoons for thicker
pinch of ground cinnamon, optional
Crust4 1/2 ounces graham cracker crumbs (or 5 ounces boxed graham cracker crumbs); OR 6 1/4 ounces zwieback crumbs 1 ounce confectioners' sugar2 5/8 ounces melted butter1/8 teaspoon saltFilling16 ounces (2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature2 large eggs5 3/8 ounces sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractTopping12 ounce bag frozen raspberries, a scant 3 cups1/2 to 1 1/4 ounces sugar, to taste3/8 to 3/4 ounce Pie Filling Enhancer; use the smaller amount for a looser sauce, the larger for a thicker saucepan of ground cinnamon, optionalCrust128g graham cracker crumbs (or 5 ounces boxed graham cracker crumbs); OR 6 1/4 ounces zwieback crumbs28g confectioners' sugar74g melted butter1/8 teaspoon saltFilling454g (2 large packages) cream cheese, at room temperature2 large eggs152g sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extractTopping12 ounce bag frozen raspberries, a scant 3 cups14 to 35g sugar, to taste11 to 21g Pie Filling Enhancer; use the smaller amount for a looser sauce, the larger for a thicker sauce pinch of ground cinnamon, optional
1) Select a pie pan whose inside top dimension is at least 9", and whose height is at least 1 1/4". Preheat the oven to 350°F.
2) Make the crust by stirring together all of the crust ingredients, mixing till thoroughly combined.
3) Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan.
4) Make the filling by mixing together all of the filling ingredients till smooth. Use a mixer set at low-medium speed. If your cream cheese is at room temperature, this will go fairly smoothly (pun intended). If the cream cheese is cold, it'll take much more mixing to create a smooth filling.
5) Set the pie pan onto a baking sheet, if desired; this makes it easier to transport in and out of the oven, and also protects the bottom of the crust from any potential scorching. Pour the filling into the crust.
6) Place the cheesecake in the oven. Bake it for 20 minutes, then add a crust shield; or shield the crust with strips of aluminum foil. Bake for an additional 10 minutes (for a total of about 30 minutes). An instant-read thermometer inserted into the crust 1" from the edge should read between 165°F and 170°F; the filling won't look entirely set in the center.
7) Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and set it on a rack to cool while you make the topping. Once the cake is cool, refrigerate it, covered, till you're ready to serve it.
8) To make the topping, place the frozen raspberries in a bowl to thaw. You can hasten the process with a quick trip through the microwave, but don't let the berries cook.
9) Add 1 tablespoon Pie Filling Enhancer, and stir till well combined. Is the topping as thick as you like? If not, stir in another tablespoon Pie Filling Enhancer.
10) Add 1 to 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, to taste.
11) Stir in a pinch of ground cinnamon, if desired.
12) Spoon the topping over the cheesecake, and cut slices to serve. Alternatively, cut slices, and top each with a dollop of topping.
Yield: one 9" cheesecake, 8 to 10 servings.
12 mins. to 18 mins.
30 mins. to 30 mins.
1 hrs 42 mins. to 1 hrs 48 mins.
9" cheesecake, 8 to 10 servings.
Tips from our bakers
◦You'll need 9 to 10 whole graham crackers to make 1 1/2 cups of crumbs; there are 11 crackers in one paper sleeve.
◦Don't have Pie Filling Enhancer? Stir raspberries with 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar, to taste. Alternatively, top the cheesecake with fresh raspberries and a shower of confectioners' sugar.