Thursday, July 26, 2007

Chocolate-Toffee Bars

Ok, so they pale in comparison to the post below. I have to admit though, these hit the spot as fully as the cheesecake (partially because they took a fraction of the time.) They're very sweet, and nicely crunchy on the outside while still chewy on the inside. I ate three then packaged them up to be taken away before I could eat them all. Definitely not safe around-the-house food!

* 1/2 cup butter, softened
* 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
* 1 cup flour

* 2 eggs
* 1 cup brown sugar, packed
* 1 tsp vanilla
* 2 tsp flour
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 cup flaked coconut
* 1 cup almonds, chopped
* 2 cups chocolate chips, or combo chips and toffee bits

Preheat oven to 350. For crust: Cream butter and sugar. Blend in flour. Press into bottom of ungreased 9"x13" pan. Bake 10 minutes. For topping: Beat eggs. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Spread chocolate chips (or anything else you want) on top of the crust. Spread topping carefully over chocolate chips. Bake 25 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Cool slightly and cut into 36 squares.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Praline Cheesecake

I've been derelict in my posting, but lo, I bring great gifts for forgiveness. I've been wanting to make a praline cheesecake for months, but could not find the recipe I wanted. Today I was looking at recipes for pecan floretines and suddenly I couldn't resist the craving for a praline cheesecake any more. Since I had already started the floretines though, I decided to merge and marvel. This is my pecan praline cheesecake with floretine topping. All together now: "mmmmmmmm!"

Floretines: (from Mrs. Fields' I Love Chocolate! Cookbook)
* 4 tbsps unsalted butter
* 1/3 c packed light brown sugar
* 1/4 c light corn syrup
* 1/2 c finely chopped pecans
* 1/3 c all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 1 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a cookie sheet.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and corn syrup, then bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves, 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Stir in the pecans, flour, and vanilla. Drop the batter into 1/2-tsp mounds 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Using a small spatula, spread each mound into a circle.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until browned, rotating the pan back to front after 4 minutes. Cool on the cookie sheet for about 1 minute, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

* 1 c packed dark brown sugar
* 1/2 c whipping cream
* 1/3 c butter, softened
* 2 tbsp praline liqueur
* 3 c pecans
* 1 c granulated sugar
* 3 tbsp melted butter
* 24 oz cream cheese, softened
* 3 eggs, room temperature
* 1/4 c praline liqueur

In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar, whipping cream, and butter. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; boil for 3 minutes. Remove 1/3 c of the sauce; refrigerate until chilled. To remaining sauce add 2 tbsp liqueur; set aside.

Combine pecan pieces and 1/4 c of the sugar in food processor; pulse until it resembles coarse crumbs (do not overprocess.) Transfer to medium bowl and stir in melted butter.

Press nut mixture into bottom and halfway up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap outside of pan with 2 sheets of aluminum foil; bake in 325 degree F oven for 15 minutes.

Beat cream cheese with remaining 3/4 c of sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended. Stir in 1/4 c liqueur. Pour cream cheese mixture into nut crust. Drizzle the 1/3 c chilled sauce on top; gently swirl with knife.

Place foil-wrapped cake in a 1 inch water bath; return to 325 degree F oven for 1 hour. Turn oven off, leaving cheesecake in oven without opening the door for another hour (prevents cake from cracking.) Cool on wire rack.

Break floretines into pieces (1-2 inches); line top of cake with pieces. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top, then frigerate cake for 4 hours or overnight. Serve with warmed remainder sauce.