Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Valentine's Food

Everybody knows that cheesecake is the food of love, right? Or is it just me? Came across these two WONDERFUL cheesecake recipes, and thought I'd share them with you for some special nom noms for your Valentine.  
Cookie and Cream Cheesecake Bars

makes 24 medium-sized bars
  • 1 (16 oz) package cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Newman-Os
  • 4 Tbsp canola oil
  • 24 oz neufchatel (1/3 less fat) cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup evaporated cane juice or granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9 x 13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the sides to hang over the edges.
  2. Place 28 sandwich cookies in a food processor and process until finely ground. Transfer cookie crumbs to a large bowl, add in the canola oil, and stir until ingredients are well mixed.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking pan and spread the cookie crumbs evenly, using either your fingers or the back of a spoon.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack.
  5. Place the remaining cookies (about 5 or 6) into the food processor and pulse a few times until the cookies are roughly chopped. Set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the neufchatel and evaporated cane juice with an electric mixer until well combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Beat in the Greek yogurt, vanilla, and salt. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat the mixture until smooth. Fold in chopped sandwich cookies.
  7. Pour the neufchatel mixture evenly over the baked cookie crust, and bake for 40 minutes, rotating pan once. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. Chill in the refrigerator, covered, at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  8. When ready to cut the cheesecake into bars, remove the contents of the pan by lifting up the sides of the parchment paper and transferring to a cutting board.
  9. Serve chilled.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

Red Velvet Cheesecake

If you love both red velvet cake and cheeescake, this recipe is for you. A red velvet filling is spiked with cocoa, topped with a creamy cheesecake layer, and baked in a dark chocolate crust–making a wickedly-delicious combination. Prep: 20 min.; Bake: 1 hr., 25 min.; Stand: 1 hr.; Chill: 8 hrs.
Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings


  • 1 1/2  cups  chocolate graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4  cup  butter, melted
  • 1  tablespoon  granulated sugar
  • 3  (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2  cups  granulated sugar
  • 4  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3  tablespoons  unsweetened cocoa
  • 1  cup  sour cream
  • 1/2  cup  whole buttermilk
  • 2  teaspoons  vanilla extract
  • 1  teaspoon  distilled white vinegar
  • 2  (1-ounce) bottles red food coloring
  • 1  (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4  cup  butter, softened
  • 2  cups  powdered sugar
  • 1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • Garnish: fresh mint sprigs


Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
Beat 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.