Category Archives: desserts

Cheesecake under Pressure

Cheesecake is delicious but fattening, so I had never made one. Also, cheesecake baking is labor-intensive, with its water bath and springform pan. Then I read about pressure cooker cheesecake. Now cheesecake can be a Hasty Tasty dish.

You can lighten the cheesecake by substituting Neufchâtel cheese for the cream cheese, but I don’t recommend other low fat substitutions. For me, cheesecake is a decadent dessert I save for a rare treat or to give as an impressive gift.

I made plain cheesecake and topped it with fresh berries. I used a 7” pan and my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo Evo Plus.

Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz. Neufchâtel cheese (room temperature)
  • 2 oz. sour cream
  • 2 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Graham cracker crumbs for crust
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted butter, melted, for crust
A 7” springform pan in a silicone sling fits my 6 quart Instant Pot.

Directions:

  • Prepare crust by combining Graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press mixture into a 7” springform pan.
  • Place crust in freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  • Combine sour cream and Neufchâtel cheese with sugar and beat, but don’t over beat.
  • Add eggs one at a time.
  • Add vanilla extract and stir just until combined.
  • Pour filling into prepared crust.
  • Using a sling, place pan into pressure cooker on a trivet over 10 oz. water.
  • Seal cooker. Cook under pressure for 28-30 minutes.
  • Quick-release pressure and carefully remove cheesecake from the pot. Check for doneness. if edges aren’t set and center jiggles, it’s done. If not, return the pan and trivet to the pressure cooker and cook 5 minutes additional.
  • Cool cheesecake completely on a rack. Cool another 4 hours (or overnight) in the refrigerator.
  • Slice cheesecake into 8 pieces, top (optional), and serve.
  • Cheesecake should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 4 days. (It won’t last that long!) 😋

I want to thank Barbara Schrieving for her excellent tutorial on foolproof cheesecake. If you don’t follow her Pressure Cooking Today site, I recommend you subscribe.

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Stop the Rumors!

Legendary Cookies

 

Long before the Internet or social media, an urban legend circulated about a woman charged $250 when she asked Neiman Marcus Cafe for its cookie recipe. Her revenge was to circulate the recipe worldwide. Neiman Marcus is innocent of gouging anyone for a recipe and now prints it online for all to enjoy, but this urban legend persists. You’ll find it in Facebook posts and emails. In fact, I saw it again today on Facebook. 
Stop the rumors! Share this post with your friends.

The cookie recipe is a good one, although I reserve baking these cookies for the holidays. Too rich with calories for me! The first time I baked these, I took them to a covered dish Christmas party at our church. They disappeared quickly, and I had numerous requests for my secret recipe.

Here it is typed from my tattered Xerox copy I got in my Atlanta office in 1991. A tin of these cookies makes a terrific gift.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups butter 
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla 
  • 4 cups flour
  • 5 cups oatmeal (blended to a fine powder)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 24 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 8 oz.-Hershey chocolate bar, grated
  • 3 cups chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cream butter and both sugars.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. Mix in flour, blended oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips, Hershey bar, and nuts. 
  6. Roll into balls (approximately 3/4″ diameter) and arrange two inches apart on a cookie sheet.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes.

Yield: 100+ cookies

 

Note: This recipe is neither hasty nor healthful, but it sure is tasty!

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Filed under Cookies, desserts, Healthful Eating, pastries

Rachel’s Awesome Brownies

My mother-in-law makes the best brownies. Today I asked for her secret, and she agreed to share her recipe. As it turns out, her recipe came from an ancient (at least 50 years old) Sunbeam Mixmaster cookbook. She doubled the brownie recipe then added her own touch to produce this awesome tasting batch of brownies. There is no box mix on the market to rival these!

 

RECIPE

Rachel’s Awesome Brownies (modified from Sunbeam)

These are big sellers at our church bake sales.

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups sifted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup shortening or butter, softened
  • 4 eggs, unbeaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 squares (4 oz.) unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
  • 2 cups chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder.
  3. Add softened shortening (or butter), eggs, and vanilla extract to the dry ingredients. Mix on Medium (4) for one minute.
  4. Add melted baking chocolate and nuts. Mix for 30 seconds.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour batter into a 9″ X 13″ greased baking pan.
  7. Bake for 35 minutes. Check for doneness using a toothpick or cake tester.
  8. Remove pan from oven and allow brownies to cool before slicing.
  9. Cut into equal sized squares and serve.Yield depends on the size of squares cut.

I don’t use the adjective awesome often, but these brownies deserve the descriptor. Yum!

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Fat Free Dessert

How are you doing on that New Year’s resolution to lose weight? Or perhaps you vowed to eat more healthily. Forego all sweets? I’m a firm believer in moderation. If you say “no desserts” you’ll feel deprived. Self-pity leads to indulgence, which leads to discouragement and feelings of failure in your efforts to maintain a healthy diet.

One of my favorite choices for the occasional dessert is angel food cake. It’s light, versatile, and is one of the few cakes I prefer the boxed mix to homemade. Homemade is too time consuming for me when a mix produces reasonably tasty results.

I call this version Aunt Nell’s cake because my late aunt made it the first time I took my husband to her house. He ate three or four slices of it because he loved it! She loved that he loved it. It’s simply an angel food cake frosted with 7-minute icing. I thought it was amazing. (Because I suck at frosting, mine never looks pretty, but hers did)

To make 7-minute frosting:

In a small saucepan, combine 5 Tbsp. water (or citrus juice if you prefer) with 1 1/3 cups sugar, 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup, and 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar. Stir over low heat until a syrup forms. Using a candy thermometer, cook (stir occasionally) until it reaches 140°.

Meanwhile, using a stand mixer and a whisk beater, beat 2 egg whites until fluffy. Turn mixer to low and SLOWLY pour in the syrup. Remember it’s 140° and you don’t want to cook the eggs. After all the syrup is incorporated, turn the mixer up to its fastest speed and whip for seven minutes. Set a timer.

That’s it. Then you’re ready to frost the cooked and completely cooled cake of your choice. 

Aunt Nell's version was much prettier.

Aunt Nell’s version was much prettier.

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One slice is enough to satisfy my sweet tooth.

Even if a dessert is fat free, it’s still a good idea to limit the desserts in your diet. Enjoy.

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Filed under Cake, desserts