Tuesday, July 30, 2013

National Cheesecake Day and "New York Style Mini Cheesecakes"

Did you know that today is National Cheesecake Day? Since we are a household of two, rather than making an entire cheesecake, I make us personal-size strawberry cheesecakes. They are easy to make and are a big hit with my husband Craig. New York style cheesecakes, of course! They are perfect for making treats for one or two people but also make wonderful mini-size treats for a crowd. You can enjoy it by itself or topped with a number of fruit toppings. I top each of ours with a tablespoon of the strawberry preserves recipe I created for our wedding favors. 

"Southern Fried Bride's New York Style Mini Cheesecakes"

1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. butter or margarine, melted

3 - 8 oz. packages light cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. In regular size bowl, combine crumbs, 3 tbsp. sugar and butter. Press into bottom of each 4 mini (4-1/2-inch) spring form pans. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

In mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Pour 1/4 of the batter (about 1 cup) over the crust in each of the mini pans. Place pans on cookie sheet. Bake 40-45 minutes or until centers are almost set. Remove from oven. Loosen sides of cheesecakes with knife or metal spatula. Allow to cool before removing rims of pans. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before serving. Makes 4 mini cheesecakes. If desired, top with fruit topping of choice. Enjoy!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Vacations and visits and reunions, oh my! Plus: "Strawberry Mojito Layer Cake"

After 2 weeks visiting home in Oklahoma, after both mine and Craig's back-to-back 20 year high school reunions, The Southern Fried Bride is back in my pink kitchen and ready to serve up a fun summertime cake!  

      "Southern Fried Bride's Strawberry Mojito Cake"

2 ½ cups cake flour 

2 tsp. baking powder 
¼ tsp. baking soda 
¼ tsp. salt 
1 stick butter, softened 
1 teaspoon lime zest 
1 (4-serving size) strawberry gelatin mix
1 cup sugar 
3 large eggs 
1/2 cup strawberries, chopped
3 teaspoons lime juice 
2 teaspoons rum OR rum extract 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray two 8” round cake pans with cooking spray. In medium-sized bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Combine well and set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, lime zest and dry strawberry gelatin mix. Beat with mixer with until light and fluffy. Gradually mix in sugar. Add eggs one at a time and mix until well combined. Add dry flour mixture in thirds until all of mixture has been added. Add strawberries and mix well. Add lime juice and rum. Mix until well-combined. Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool before frosting. 

"Southern Fried Bride's 7th Heaven Mint Frosting"

1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
4 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon peppermint extract

In saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil 3-4 minutes. If using a candy thermometer reads 242 degrees F (firm-ball stage). Without candy thermometer, you can do cold water test to check for firm-ball stage by dropping a little of the syrup in cold water and it should form a firm ball, one that stays in a ball shape when you take it out of the waterr, but flattens when squeezed. In large mixing bowl, add egg whites and cream of tartar and mix until foamy consistency. Slowly pour hot sugar mixture into egg white mixture, and mix on high for 6 minutes. Add peppermint extract. Continue mixing for 1 minute, or until frosting reaches desired consistency. Yield: frosts a 2 layer cake. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

4th of July Favorite: No-Bake Apple Pie

The 4th of July is here! One of my favorite traditions on the 4th is making an all-American dessert: apple pie. This apple pie is a no-heating-up-the-oven required recipe perfect for this hot summer weather. It is a lightened up treat that can be enjoyed by diabetics as well as those who strive for healthier eating. You can substitute any of the sugar free ingredients in this recipe for the regular version, but I love the flavor created with the sugar free versions. I'm getting ready to come home to Oklahoma for a visit and I'm sure excited! Happy Birthday America and hope y'all have a "blast" on the 4th!

“Southern Fried Bride's No-Bake Amazing Apple Pie”

 5 medium apples, peeled and sliced
 1-3/4 cups water
 1 package (4-serving size) sugar-free JELL-O lemon gelatin
 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon Splenda brown sugar
 1 package (4-serving size) sugar-free JELL-O cook-and-serve vanilla pudding mix
 1 (8 inch) Keebler reduced-fat graham cracker pie crust
 Optional: 1 cup Cool-Whip Sugar Free whipped topping

In large saucepan, combine sliced apples, 1 1/2 cups water, gelatin, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 4-6 minutes or until apples are tender. Combine dry pudding mix and remaining ¼ cup water. Stir into apple mixture. Cook for 2 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken. Remove from heat. Pour into crust. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving. Garnish, if desired, with a dollop of whipped topping before serving. Enjoy!