DoughSeeDough

a balanced plate with room for dessert


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New York Cheesecake

I love cheesecake. I can’t really pinpoint when or how my love for cheesecake started, but there are two memories I strongly associate with the dessert:

  1. Back in high school, Mike and I would buy Sara Lee cheesecakes and eat the whole dang thing while watching Family Guy. Yes, a whole cheesecake. Between two people. Oh, how I wish I could still get away with eating like that!
  2. My sister, a self-proclaimed cheesecake-hater-turned-cheesecake-lover all because of (drum roll please) my cheesecake. I’m convinced that she’s just never had good cheesecake until I made one from scratch.

Part of me regrets ever introducing my sister to the magic of a good cheesecake; she’s always requesting it. I declined more than I care to admit. The stress of a cheesecake was just too much for me sometimes. Yes, I am that weirdo that will stress out to the max over a cheesecake that browned a little too much or cracked just when I thought everything was perfect. I finally gave in over Thanksgiving weekend and made a New York cheesecake for her. This beaut has five (yes, five) bricks of cream cheese in it. Make sure you mix well or you will end up with chunks of cream cheese. I mixed, scraped, mixed, and scraped for a long time and still ended up with some streaks of cream cheese. I blame it on my mixer bowl: it could barely contain the massive amount of filling. (Will someone please convince Mike that I need an industrial mixer in my kitchen?)

If your cheesecake browns a little too much or if it cracks, don’t fret – smother it in a delicious strawberry topping and it will be your little secret. 😉

New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping | doughseedough.net

New York Cheesecake with Strawberry Topping

for the crust:
15 full graham cracker sheets
8 tablespoons butter, melted

for the filling:
5  8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
zest of 1 orange
zest of 1 lemon
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

for the strawberry topping:
1 pound strawberries, hulled and sliced
1/4 cup water
1/8 – 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 lemon, juiced

  1. Preheat oven to 500°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.
  2. Prepare the crust: Place graham crackers in a food process and pulse into fine crumbs. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a medium bowl until well combined. Press the crumbs onto the bottom and 2 1/2-inches up the sides of the prepared springform pan. Place pan in freezer until ready to fill.
  3. Prepare the filling: Place cream cheese, sugar, flour, orange zest and lemon zest in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl. Mix on medium-low speed until smooth. Add eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing well and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Mix in vanilla extract.
  4. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into the crust (it will be very full) and bake in the middle of the preheated oven for 12 minutes, or until puffed. Immediately reduce the temperature to 200°F without opening the oven door and continue baking for an additional hour, or until cheesecake is mostly firm with a slightly wobbly center.
  5. Run a knife around the top edge of the cheesecake to loosen. Place pan on a wire rack and allow to cool completely. Chill cheesecake, loosely covered, for at least 6 hours.
  6. Prepare the topping: Combine strawberries, water, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 minutes. Mash strawberries with a fork or blend with a stick blender, if desired. Transfer to a covered container and chill until ready to use.
  7. To serve: Remove side of pan and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Spread topping over the top. Serve immediately or bring to room temperature before serving.

recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine

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Bourbon Fudge Brownies

Asking me to pick between these bourbon fudge brownies and the espresso bourbon brownies I made a few months ago is like asking me to choose between Sour Patch Kids or Sour Skittles. It’s pretty much impossible for me to pick. They’re both delicious. If you have people who aren’t huge coffee fans but still enjoy a nice hint of bourbon, these are the perfect brownie.

Mike likes to eat these with a little glass of bourbon on the side. I love these best when they’re straight from the oven. I mean, seriously, does anyone actually wait for stuff to cool before eating? I’m pretty sure I spend most of my life with a burnt tongue and/or roof of my mouth. I should probably work on my self control.

Bourbon Brownies | doughseedough.net

Bourbon Fudge Brownies

1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweeetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups sugar
6 tablespoons butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
cooking spray

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Bring bourbon to boil in a small saucepan. Remove pan from heat, add chocolate chips and stir until smooth.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt and whisk until combined and lump-free.
  4. Combine the sugar and butter in a large bowl and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well combined. Add vanilla and eggs and beat to combine.
  5. Add bourbon and flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined.
  6. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

recipe slightly adapted from Cooking Light


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Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bars

I’m gearing up for the holidays once again. It seems like the reasons to bake are never ending- fundraisers, brunch and cookie swaps at work and just-for-the-hell-of-it treats for friends and family. I’m going to send as many holiday baked goods your way in the next few weeks. You won’t want to miss any updates, so make sure you’re signed up for my email updates or follow me on Facebook (check it out on the right).

I’m kicking things off with these Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bars. You guys, this dessert it to die for. I got a bar similar to this at the farmers’ market a few weeks back. It was good, but not great. The bars were so insanely sweet that it took me four days to eat the tiny square. These bars? They’re definitely decadent and sweet, but not overly sweet. That said, I’m a big fan of sweet + salty, so I have a feeling that salted caramel will be making an appearance in the next batch I make!

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bars | doughseedough.net

Chocolate Caramel Coconut Bars

38 caramels (about 1 Âź cup), unwrapped
6 tablespoons heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup old fashioned oats
Âź teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ cup butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 ½ cups shredded sweetened coconut

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a 7×11-inch (or 9×9-inch) baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a small pan over medium heat, heat the caramels and heavy cream until caramels are melted. Remove pan from heat and stir in vanilla extract. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, flour, oats, salt, baking powder and butter until mixture is crumbly. Press the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of crust in an even layer. Pour the caramel sauce over the chocolate chips and sprinkle the coconut on top. Bake for an additional 20 – 25 minutes or until coconut is toasted and the edges of the bars are golden brown.
  5. Let cool completely and lift the bars out of the pan with the parchment paper. Set on cutting board and cut bars into squares.

 

recipe adapted from Eva Bakes

 


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Pistachio and Dried Cherry Biscotti

I can’t really remember how (or why) I started making biscotti. But for as long as I can recall, my mom has always requested biscotti as her gift for just about everything – birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas… Thanksgiving?

Pistachio & Dried Cherry Biscotti | doughseedough.net

I usually make some sort of chocolate biscotti, but this time I opted for something new – pistachios + dried cherries. How did it turn out? Amazing. Better than any of the chocolate-based biscotti I’ve ever made or tasted. Better than any biscotti I’ve ever had, period. I’m dreaming of the day that I can make these again – I’m hoping to get my hands on some delicious Door County cherries!

Pistachio & Dried Cherry Biscotti | doughseedough.net

Pistachio and Dried Cherry Biscotti

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
1 cup unsalted, shelled pistachios

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix for 30 seconds to combine.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, orange zest, lemon zest, vanilla extract and almond extract. Add egg mixture to flour mixture and beat on low speed until dough is crumbly and just combined, about 1 minute. Knead dough with your hands for another minute until dough comes together. Fold in cherries and pistachios.
  4. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and divide in half. Dust hands with flour and shape each piece of dough into a 16-inch long log. Transfer logs to prepared baking sheet and use your palm to flatten into a 2-inch wide strip.
  5. Bake until biscotti is lightly browned and set, about 30 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. Allow cookies to cool slightly on the baking sheet for 15 minutes.
  6. Turn oven down to 250°F. Line a second baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  7. Transfer biscotti logs to a cutting board and slice diagonally into 2/3-inch thick slices*. Arrange pieces, cut side down, on prepared baking sheets.
  8. Bake biscotti for 20 minutes. Flip biscotti and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until cookies are crisp. Carefully transfer cookies cooling rack and let cool completely. Store in an air-tight container until ready to serve.

 

*Most recipes call for cutting biscotti with a serrated knife, but I’ve had better luck with my super-sharp Santoku. Do as you wish!

 

recipe very slightly adapted from Bon Appetit


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Espresso Bourbon Brownies

Espresso Bourbon Brownies | doughseedough.net

So, you know your favorite morning pick-me-up? (Yes, I’m talking about coffee). How do you make it better? Add bourbon, duh. And how do you make that better? Turn it into a brownie!

Espresso Bourbon Brownies | doughseedough.net

The bourbon taste in this is definitely prominent, so make sure you make it with something drinkable. Another tip: if you like these, hide them. I left mine out and they were completely gone a couple days later. Mike inhaled these at an alarming rate.

Espresso Bourbon Brownies
makes 16 brownies

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons espresso granules
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place butter and unsweetened chocolate into a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
  3. In a small bowl, combine bourbon and espresso until espresso has dissolved. Set aside.
  4. Stir sugar into slightly cooled chocolate mixture until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, stirring after each addition. Stir bourbon-espresso mixture into the batter. Mix in flour and baking soda until just combined and then fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared baking pan. Use a spatula to make sure batter is evenly distributed and smooth on top. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs.
  6. Allow brownies to cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Remove brownies from the pan and cut into 16 pieces.

 

adapted from Lemons and Anchovies


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Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Glaze

Long ago, in my college years, I loved drinking gin (and got the nickname Ginni). Now, I’m loving whiskey. Whiskey sours, whiskey Cokes and most recently I’ve been diggin’ it with some root beer. You know the saying “don’t cook with alcohol you won’t drink?” Well, I prefer Kessler in my drinks (flame away, people), but I used Bulleit in these cinnamon rolls.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Glaze | doughseedough.net

I used my cinnamon roll dough (but used dairy ingredients compared to non-dairy) as the starting point and made three batches of caramel before I finally got it right.

These bourbon-glazed cinnamon rolls are a decadent morning pick-me-up. Some people like coffee in the morning. Some people like tea. Everybody likes boozy cinnamon rolls. So, go into your kitchen, whip up a batch of these bad boys, and present them to someone who has a case of the morning grumpies.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Glaze | doughseedough.net

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls with Bourbon Glaze
makes 12 cinnamon rolls

for the dough:

3/4 cup 1% milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg

for the filling:

4 cups diced crisp, tart apples (3 – 4 apples) – I used a combination of gala and granny smith
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/4 cup 1% milk, warmed
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

for the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon (I used Bulleit)
2 teaspoons 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

to make the dough:

  1. Heat milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Add in butter and vanilla and stir until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, combine yeast with warm water in a small bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes or until mixture is foamy.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook or in a large mixing bowl, combine 2 1/4 cups of the flour, sugar, and salt.
  4. Whisk egg into the milk mixture until well combined. Pour milk and yeast mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until dough forms a sticky ball. Add in remaining flour 1/4 cup at a time, kneading well after each addition, until dough turns smooth and soft but still slightly sticky. The amount of flour you use will vary, but I usually use about 3 1/4 cups.
  5. Lightly oil a large bowl. Form dough into a ball and place in bowl, turning to coat in oil. Cover and let rise in a warm place for 45 minutes.


to make the filling:

  1. Place apples in a pan over medium heat and cook until softened, about 3 – 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Next, prepare the caramel. Place granulated sugar in an even layer in a large pot over medium heat. Let cook, undisturbed, until sugar just starts to melt. Then, start stirring occasionally until sugar turns golden brown. Remove pot from heat and slowly (and carefully!) stir in warmed milk. Stir until well combined. If sugar hardens, don’t fret! Return the pot to the burner and cook slowly over medium-low heat. Stir constantly until the hardened sugar melts. This could take 15 minutes or longer. Continue to cook until caramel reaches desired consistency. Stir in salt and remove from heat to let cool.
  3. Stir 1/3 cup of the caramel sauce in with the cooked apples and set aside. Reserve the remainder of the caramel to drizzle over the cooked cinnamon rolls.
  4. Combine brown sugar with the cinnamon and set aside.


to assemble the cinnamon rolls:

  1. Lightly flour your work surface. Turn dough out onto floured surface and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Roll dough out into a 20×13-inch rectangle. Spread butter onto the surface. Sprinkle with brown sugar and spread apple mixture evenly onto the surface, making sure to get it all the way to the edges.
  3. Starting at the long end closest to you, tightly roll the cinnamon roll up. Gently pinch the end to seal and turn the roll seam-side down. Cut into 12 even pieces. Place rolls cut-side down into a lightly greased 9×12-inch baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 45 minutes.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.. Remove plastic wrap from the cinnamon rolls and bake in preheated oven for 25 – 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the cinnamon rolls to cool slightly before icing so they have a chance to soak up the caramel and cinnamon sugar.
  5. While the rolls are cooling, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, combine powdered sugar, bourbon, milk, and vanilla and whisk until smooth.
  6. Drizzle glaze and caramel over the cinnamon rolls and serve.


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Recipe Remake: Crunchy Caramel Corn

 

Crunchy Caramel Corn | doughseedough.net

I’ve been making this caramel corn for years now, and it still hasn’t let me down. The results are consistently good and it couldn’t be easier. My step-dad loves this popcorn so much that I started making it for him for Christmas. This past holiday, I stuffed a 3-foot tall stocking full of caramel corn… and included some gift certificates for more batches of it throughout the year. He cashed in one of the gift certificates recently and here are the results. It was so irresistible that I ended up making two batches – one for him, and one for Mike and me. We may or may not have eaten the entire batch in just a few short days.

Crunchy Caramel Corn | doughseedough.net

Feel free to use more or less popcorn. I’ve started to use closer to 8 quarts of popcorn so that the caramel is a bit lighter and you get the occasional piece that isn’t 100% coated in caramel. Use just 6 quarts for a very in-your-face sweet, sweet caramel corn.

Crunchy Caramel Corn | doughseedough.net

Crunchy Caramel Popcorn
makes 6 – 8 quarts

3/4 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 – 8 quarts air-popped popcorn

  1. Preheat oven to 250°F. Line three baking pans with foil or spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Allow to boil, unstirred, for 4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla.
  3. Pour popcorn onto baking pans, dividing evenly between three pans.
  4. Pour caramel in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Stir gently, breaking up large pieces. Serve immediately or store in air-tight container.

 

Tips for clean up – soak the pot and utensils in hot water. The sticky caramel will melt right off and there will be minimal scrubbing required. The foil in the pans will give you a quick, easy clean up. Just crumple up and toss!