Snickers Cheesecake


 

There is nothing I love more than a good cheesecake. A few years ago we were living in Ireland. We spent about a year and a half in Dublin and then we moved to Dromod, Co. Leitrim. I loved it, but our Internet wasn’t as good. Since I couldn’t work online like I had in the past, I needed another way to make money. I started making and selling desserts; mostly cheesecakes. It was easier to get my home kitchen certified in Ireland than it would have been in the US and I quickly gained regular commercial clients (mostly coffee shops). By the time we returned to the US in 2014, I was getting pretty busy. (If it had been my choice, I would have stayed and continued to grow my business.)

Snickers Cheesecake was my most popular order. I’d sometimes make 5-10 of them a week.

Since it’s Easter, I decided to make one to celebrate and I’m so glad I did. I haven’t had a cheesecake this good in a very long time. For the first time EVER, I’m sharing my recipe here. (Usually only very close friends and family can get this recipe out of me…with a lot of begging and pleading.)

Ingredients

Snickers Cheesecake

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Servings:  8

Prep time: 2 hours

Ingredients

  • 3 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1.5 cups chopped snickers candies (if you use the mini pieces, you can cut them into fourths)
  • Caramel sauce
  • Whipped cream (optional) 

Crust

  • 3 packages of graham crackers
  • 1 cup butter (melted)

You will also need:

  • 1 (9″) springform pan 
  • blender
  • 1 large roasting pan
  • parchment paper
  • foil
  • boiling hot water
  • cooking spray
  • pencil
  • scissors

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325º.
  2. Prepare everything for the cheesecake first. Use a pencil to trace the circular bottom of the springform pan onto the parchment paper. I save the insert that comes with the packaging for this also. Cut the circle out with a sharp pair of scissors. 
  3. Spray the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Place the parchment cutout in the bottom and spray it also.
  4. Wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan with foil. I use four large pieces I can crisscross and then I press them firmly around the outside edge (up the sides). You are trying to prevent water from going inside the pan during baking. 
  5. Place the foiled springform pan inside the roasting pan and set aside. 
  6. Blend the graham crackers until they are fine crumbs. Stir the melted butter into the crumbs until they are all coated.
  7. Press crumb and butter mixture into the bottom of the springform pan. You can either make it one thick layer (or cut the crust ingredients in half) or you can press it up the sides a bit too. Use the back of a spoon. 
  8. For the batter: Cream softened cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.
  9. Add in vanilla extract.
  10. Mix in eggs, one at a time. 
  11. Add pinch of salt and cream and mix until smooth (don’t over-mix). 
  12. Gently fold in one cup of the chopped Snickers bars. Reserve remaining half a cup. 
  13. Pour mixture into the springform pan.
  14. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan 1/4 to 1/2 up the sides of the springform pan.
  15. Carefully bake for approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. 
  16. Do not open the oven for at least an hour. When the cheesecake is done, the top will turn a light caramel color and a knife inserted into the center will come out with a slight amount of cheesecake “goo” on the tip. This is okay. It won’t be completely set during the baking. 
  17. Sprinkle remaining Snickers pieces around the top of hot cheesecake just after taking it out of the oven. I like to decorate the edges of my cheesecake with cream cheese, so I place them in the middle about an inch away from the edge. 
  18. Cool at room temperature for 30 minutes and then cool in the fridge (don’t remove it from the pan) for at least 6 hours (8 is better).
  19. Remove the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake board (or plate or whatever you have). Drizzle caramel over the top for decoration and if you like, decorate the edges with whipped cream. I use homemade whipped cream frosting (recipe to come), but you can do what you like. 

If you like my recipe, please share, but please give me credit and include a link to my blog. Thank you!

Homemade Frozen Dinner Idea # 1: Breakfast Burritos


As I mentioned in an earlier post, I’m putting together homemade meals and freezing them to make my own TV dinners.  Unfortunately, I’m already running out of freezer space and wish I had a second freezer.  It’s definitely on my list of things to search for.

I just finished making eight mini breakfast burritos and I took pictures as I went through the process.  Let’s start with the ingredient list:

7 strips of bacon

8 breakfast sausage links

4 eggs 8 slices of processed cheese

Shredded cheddar cheese

8 small soft tortilla shells

Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation: I started by frying the bacon on medium-low temperature (so as not to overcook it).  I chopped up the breakfast sausage into small pieces and fried it on medium-low temperature as well.  When the meat is done, I remove the pans from the heat and drain the bacon on paper towel.  You can drain the sausage too, but I did not.  I cut each strip of bacon in half lengthwise and then chopped into small pieces or bits.  I scrambled the eggs in the same pan I fried the bacon in (drain any grease beforehand) and salt and peppered to taste.  I added a small amount of milk to my scrambled eggs too.

Building a Burrito:

I laid everything out on the countertop and I built them all at the same time, so that the ingredients were evenly spread between each burrito. DSCF8070

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I tore one piece of processed cheese in half and laid one near the bottom and one near the top of an open tortilla shell. Next, I added equal portions of egg on top of the cheese.  Please note that you can sprinkle a bit of shredded cheddar around at this time as well.  The cheese will help keep everything together.  Finally, I spread equal amounts of bacon and sausage on top and finished off with more shredded cheddar cheese.

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Folding: I started by folding the bottom up first.

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While holding my first fold into place, I fold the top down.

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While holding my first two folds in place, I carefully roll from one side until to the other and firmly press down (without breaking the shell) so the rolled burrito stays rolled when set down.

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Storage:

I wrapped each burrito with tinfoil and then plastic wrap.  I wrote today’s date on each one, along with what it was.  I filled out this same information on a gallon size freezer bag and placed all eight breakfast burritos in the bag and into the freezer.  All of my ingredients were cooled by this time.

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Serving:

These can either be microwaved or baked.  To bake, heat oven to 350 degrees and bake until tortilla shell turns a light golden color.  You can bake in the tinfoil, but I would remove all wrappings.  To microwave, remove foil and plastic wrap and wrap in a wet papertowel.  Microwave on high 5-7 minutes or until cooked through.

Homemade TV Dinners: It’s Cheaper, Healthier and Tastes So Much Better!


There are not very many TV dinner choices in Ireland.  Stores like Iceland have a decent selection, but Iceland stores are not everywhere and they are not where I am currently living.  Even the cheapest TV dinners are not very inexpensive (in my opinion) compared to what you can pay in the U.S., but we have a lot of need for something quick and easy to throw in the oven or microwave, so I decided to make my own.  And I thought I’d share what I did with my readers. 

To start, I need to buy some foil baking containers.  I had hoped to find some smaller, rectangular-shaped shallow containers, but only found deeper ones.  I bought a five-pack of the deeper ones.  I also cleaned out our freezer of any of the meat products we don’t seem to be eating.  I’m either making recipes out of those products or baking them off in the oven to be re-frozen for later use. 

Here are some of my thoughts on things I could make and freeze:

  • Meatballs:  Tony’s mother gave me this idea a few years ago.  She made some amazing Swedish Meatballs and would cook a bunch of them off and then freeze them so when they wanted something easy, all she had to do was heat them up. 
  • Lasagna:  Although, this takes a bit more preparation than some other ideas, homemade lasagna is much better than store-bought.
  • Spaghetti:  Very simple, because you can get away with store-bought sauce (jazz it up a bit) and pasta is cheap and easy.  When you’re ready to make it, butter two sides of sliced bread and sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper, salt and a small amount of Italian seasoning and bake until golden.  Add cheese for cheese bread. 
  • Meatloaf:  Meatloaf is great, because it can be heated up with mashed potatoes and buttered corn or individual slices can be frozen and thawed for meatloaf sandwiches. 
  • Pot Pie:  You can make beef, chicken or turkey.  I used a mini springform pan to make my pot pies, because I didn’t have any mini pie pans.  Once the pie has cooled for 15 minutes, you can separate the springform and carefully remove from the bottom.
  • Various Chicken Dishes:  There’s a lot you can do with chicken.  You can season it various ways and bake it, stuff it with cheese, bread it—any number of things.  Serve with frozen vegetables, mashed potatoes or more.
  • Potato Wedges:  I had a bag of potatoes already and picked up some garlic potato wedge spice.  I’m going to bake them off in the oven and use them as sides with my meat dishes.
  • Burritos:  Burritos are excellent for the freezer.  I’m making breakfast burritos, but you can also do enchiladas, baked chicken wraps and more.   
  • Pizza:  Who doesn’t love pizza?  I guarantee your frozen homemade pizza will knock store-bought frozen pizza out of the park!

Since I don’t have enough baking dishes for everything, I’m going to create five meals using the aluminum pans, a few pot pies, homemade pizza and some breakfast burritos.  I’ll be taking pictures of the food I make and posting recipes, so check back for more.

Fresh Cucumber and Bean Salad: Low GI Menus


Today was the final day in my fourth week of Sásta.  I have successfully completed 12 sessions.  I didn’t miss a day or a week and I’ve stuck to the low GI lifestyle as best I can.  Of course, I still have a lot to learn and I’ve got a good ways to go before I’ve perfected my daily meals, but I’m doing great.

I knew going into this program that I probably would not see the same results as others.  The program promises the loss of one pant size in four weeks.  Because of my physical problems, I knew that this was not likely to be my outcome.  I have two separate heart conditions.  The first is heart block.  Basically, one side of my heart does not communicate with the other and so my heart stops beating.  Because of this issue, I have a pacemaker.  I’ve had it since I was 22.  I just turned 32 on Tuesday.

The second heart condition is rapid heart rate.  Because of this problem, I’m on medication to keep my heart rate regulated.  A doctor in Germany suggested that weight loss would be very difficult for me due to my heart problems.  Because my heart rate doesn’t do what it is supposed to, I would find it difficult to lose weight.  He wasn’t kidding.  I have tried many things over the past few years and though I’ve achieved slight weight loss here and there, nothing stuck.  For the most part, my weight stayed the same for a few years, but in 2011, it spun out of control and I packed on an additional 40-50 pounds.  I did lose some of that weight on my own and even losing just it would not make me completely happy (although happy enough).  I have a long road ahead of me, but I’ve come to realize that the time is going to pass anyway.  I may only lose a little bit each week.  I won’t see instant results, but as long as I am improving each week, I can’t ask or expect anything else.

Here are my current results.  As of last Monday, July 15th, 2013, I had lost just under 7 pounds (6.6 to be exact).  As of Wednesday, July 17th, 2013, I had lost 27.5 inches all over (measurements for tummy, hips, thighs, upper arms, forearms, neck, bust and calves).  Do I wish I had lost more weight?  Of course, but can I argue with 27.5 inches?  No.  I think it’s great.  I am building muscle too and I have improved my weight and inch loss each week.  As long as I’m continuing to lose each week, I will stay happy, although I realize that  there will come times/weeks when I don’t show any loss.  It happens to everyone.

My hope is that I continue to see the same inch loss each week through the end of August.

So, that being said, time for a recipe.  I still haven’t perfected a second cucumber soup recipe, but I have discovered this lovely salad that I can eat unlimited quantities of and I want to share it with you.

Ingredients

4 cups of cucumber, peeled and diced

1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced

1 cup of red onion, finely diced

1 cup of black eyed peas or British peas (canned)

2 Tablespoons of black olives, chopped

½ a cup of crumbled feta or salad cheese

2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

3 Tablespoons of olive oil

½ teaspoon of Italian seasonings

Salt and Pepper, to taste

Toss everything together in a bowl.  Refrigerate.  Serve cold.

This recipe has been slightly adapted from the recipe here: Cucumber Black Eyed Pea Salad 

About the Author

Beth Lytle works with The Site Gardener as copywriter and editor, project manager, and marketing director.  She also works on several other ongoing projects, including Seen It MagazineTranscription Connection, her Winded Gypsy expat blog and varying small projects.  Beth is also a distributor of It Works! Body wraps for weight loss.  Visit her site at http://slimmingireland.myitworks.com for further information.  Connect with Beth on Facebook for constant updates to her projects.

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