Friday, July 27, 2012

Nutella Layered Cheesecake

TGIF!!! I am off work in precisely 36 minutes and will be heading to Washington to visit my wonderful hubby to be this weekend. We are meeting with a potential caterer to discuss our wedding menu and maybe look at some centerpiece ideas. I'm usually a very organized person but when it comes to wedding planning, I'm lost! I'll have to rely on my little sister's help over the next few months.

Let's talk about this cheesecake. Have you ever met anyone who didn't like Nutella? I sure haven't! With nutella mixed right into the batter, the flavor is to die for. There is a layer of vanilla cheesecake and a layer of Nutella cheesecake. The perfect dessert that is sure to please both vanilla and chocolate lovers.

Nutella Layered Cheesecake
Makes 9" Cake | adapted from The Moonlight Baker

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted

3 pkg. (8oz each) Cream Cheese, room temperature
3 eggs, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Nutella

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9" spring form pan.

2. Combine graham crumbs and melted butter. Press graham cracker mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Bake crust in the center of the oven until set, about 12 minutes. Set aside and cool.

3. Using a food processor, add cream cheese, eggs, sugar, heavy cream, and vanilla extract. Pulse until smooth. Put 2/3 of the cream cheese mixture in a bowl and set aside. Add Nutella to remaining 1/3 of the cream cheese mixture in the processor. Pulse until smooth.

4. To assemble, spread the vanilla cheesecake mixture over the cooled graham cracker base, being careful not to disturb the crust. Pour the Nutella cheesecake layer on top of vanilla layer and spread evenly. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 35 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours.

5. When ready to serve, remove sides of spring form pan. Garnish as desired then serve. Store refrigerated.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Twisty Garlic Breadsticks

I am such a sucker for breadsticks. What can I say, I love carbs! These twisty garlic breadsticks are wonderful when served with a side of hot pizza sauce for dipping. Mmmm... Heavenly! They are soft, buttery, cheesy and garlicky. I might even like these better than pizza!

Twisty Garlic Breadsticks
Makes 12-16 | adapted from Our Best Bites

1 1/2 cups warm water
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
3-4 1/2 cups flour, divided

Butter, as needed to brush on top
Garlic Powder (to taste)
Parmesan Cheese (to taste)

1. Combine water, sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or bowl) and let stand for about 10 minutes until the yeast is bubbly. Add in the salt and stir. Add 2 cups of the flour and mix well until smooth. Gradually add more flour until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of your bowl and is a little sticky.

2. Spray a glass or metal bowl with cooking spray and place dough in the bowl. Cover and let rise for about 45 minutes or until double in bulk.

3. Remove dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Roll into a rectangle about 9 inches wide and 18 inches long. Cut into 12 strips with a pizza cutter. Twist the dough being careful not to stretch it out too much. Place on a greased baking sheet. Cover the pan with a cloth and allow the dough to rise for about 30 more minutes.

4. When there are 15 minutes left on the rise, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Rub some butter on the top of the breadsticks and then sprinkle with garlic and parmesan cheese.