Wednesday, August 4, 2010


A friend who moved here about the time I did last summer is getting ready to move to Kenya for six months to do mission work through her art. I invited some friends over Saturday night for dessert as a going-away party.

I feel like I never post pictures of people, so here's one of everyone at the party:

We will miss you Kaylie but can't wait to hear about your experiences!

I made a blueberry cheesecake and some peanut butter/chocolate chip cookies, and I promised to post the recipes.

Peanut Buttery Chocolate Chunk Cookies from Southern Living

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy or chunky peanut butter (I went with creamy.)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 (11.5 oz.) package semisweet chocolate chunks (I used semisweet chocolate chips.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add sugars; beating well. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture; beat at low speed until well blended. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Drop cookie dough by heaping tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined or lightly greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350 degrees for 11 to 12 minutes or until edges of cookies are brown.

The good thing about this recipe is you can store the dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week. I actually made the dough last weekend and baked half of it to take to work. Then I used the rest of it for Saturday.

So the cookies were very easy, but the cheesecake didn't turn out as well as I was hoping. I can of course see my mistakes now. I borrowed a springform pan, but it was 8 inches not 10 inches as the recipe was designed for. I think it would have been OK if I had used less crust and not overfilled the pan. Instead I got this when I cooked it:

It is of course a Pioneer Woman recipe, and she's got the step by step recipe with photos (she uses blackberries and hers looks pretty flawless), but here's the basic recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  • 1 box Vanilla Wafers
  • ½ cup Pecans (I left these out and added a few extra Nilla wafers.)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, Melted
  • 1-½ teaspoon vanilla
Place vanilla wafers and pecans into the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbs. Add melted butter and vanilla and pulse again until combined. Pour into a 10-inch springform pan and press crumbs into the bottom of the pan. (If they come up the sides, that’s okay!)

  • 3 packages 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1-½ cup sugar
  • 4 whole eggs
  • ½ cups sour cream
Beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add sour cream and mix again. Pour mixture into crust, smooth the top, and bake for 1 hour, 10 minutes. Turn off oven and open door and allow to sit in the oven with the door opened for 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

    •    2 cups blackberries (or blueberries or other fruit of choice)
    •    ½ cups sugar
    •    2 tablespoons water

Add blackberries, sugar, and water to a saucepan or skillet. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.
Pour blackberries over the cheesecake and place pan into the fridge to cool and set for at least 2 hours—several hours is better.
When ready to serve, remove rim around pan and slice into 16 pieces with a long serrated knife.

The good thing was once I poured on the blueberries, the crack in the cake wasn't visible. 

The blueberries did drop through the cake, which added to the flavor. Everyone seemed to like it, but I thought the filling should have been smoother. I may try it again, but I think the best cheesecake is always going to be found at the Cheesecake Factory.


  1. It was most delicious! Don't worry if it wasn't as pretty as you wanted. :)

  2. You know, I wish I were there. It looks like it smelled delicious. Also, I was at a cooking class on Monday with lots of good information and tips, and one of the comments the chef made is to not worry about imperfections you think are there because they let the guests know that yes, you baked/cooked it yourself. They will know that you spent time caring for them in this way and that you are simply amazing. So don't worry about a crack or two :)