alexicon
1,000+ Views

Egg Nog

I encourage adding more rum and whiskey. INGREDIENTS: 3½ cups heavy cream, divided 6 eggs 1½ cups granulated sugar Pinch of kosher salt ¼ cup Myers dark rum ½ cup Crown Royal whiskey 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for garnish DIRECTIONS: 1. In a large saucepan, heat 2½ cups of the cream over medium-low heat until it begins to simmer around the edges of the pan (do not let it boil). 2. While the cream is heating, whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Ladle out 1 cup of the warm cream mixture and slowly pour it into the egg mixture, whisking constantly. Scrape all of the egg mixture into the saucepan. Continue to cook, stirring constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer. 3. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Whisk in the rum, whiskey, vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of the freshly grated nutmeg. 4. Whip the remaining 1 cup of heavy cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold the whipped cream into the eggnog mixture, making sure the whipped cream is completely incorporated. Serve immediately, topping each serving with a sprinkle of fresh nutmeg. The eggnog can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Be sure to gently whisk before serving.
Comment
Suggested
Recent
hmm, must be one of you fav drinks...ive never had it...
Cards you may also be interested in
Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Bites ♥ – Sally's Baking Addiction
Oh my goodness gracious I need these in front of me RIGHT NOW. I'm obsessed. Those adorably tiny chocolate chips? And sweet caramel goodness? And Oreo cookie crust?! And CHEESECAKE, for Pete's sake?!? It just really couldn't be any better, dessert-wise. Sally's Baking Addiction, I salute you for creating this incredible little treat that's sure to be the reason I gain 300 pounds over the next month. ♥ To make your own batch of these decadent little treats, you will need: 18 whole Oreos (Double Stuf or regular) 1/4 cup (60g) unsalted butter, melted 16 oz (448g) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar 1/4 cup (60g) yogurt (you can also substitute sour cream) 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup (180g) mini semi-sweet chocolate chips homemade salted caramel sauce (you can find the recipe here!) Here's what you do! 1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line two cupcake pans with 18 paper or aluminum cupcake liners. 2. Make the crust: Use a food processor to reduce Oreos into a fine, crumbly texture. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine cookie crumbs and melted butter. Spoon one heaping tablespoon of the mixture into each liner, then press down firmly and uniformly with fingers. You should have enough for 16-18 liners. Bake for 5 minutes and allow to cool while you make the filling. 3. Make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, use an electric beater to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and yogurt, and beat to combined. Turn mixer down to low speed and add eggs one at a time. Finally, beat in vanilla and mini chocolate chips. Remember to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula as needed! 4. Use a spoon to fill cupcake molds with batter until almost full. Bake for 20-23 minutes. When you remove the cheesecakes from the oven, their centers will still be slightly jiggly and they may have inflated a bit. That's all perfectly normal. Allow to cool at room temperature for an hour. 5. After they've cooled at room temp, place the cheesecakes in the fridge and allow to chill another two hours. Top with salted caramel and additional mini-chips just before serving. Note: You can store cheesecakes in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store cheesecakes (without caramel) in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. Let me know if you make these!! :D I know they're top priority on my To Bake list. Thanks again to Sally's Baking Addiction – all photos and ideas are hers! Happy baking, Vinglers :) Update: Super-awesome Vingler @PikaPixie made a great card showing her experience making these delicious treats! Check it out here for photos :)
The Christmas Latte to Rule Them All
I've talked about this cafe before, and I'll talk about it again. All That Sweets is hands down my favorite dessert cafe on Earth. Watch my video review here or read below^^ Today I went alone so I passed on a slice of the strawberry shortcake but look how adorable is it! Their cakes are always light and creamy, though the flavors change daily! I've seen chocolate, vanilla, and even kiwi cakes. Instead I opted for one of their amazing macarons. Because I came late in the day, my only option was the chocolate raspberry "merry xmas" heart macaron, but I probably would have chosen that anyway. These flavors also vary with the season but every single one I've ever tried has been absolutely delicious. But of course, the star of the show is my Christmas Tree Latte <3 Their lattes are amazingly intricate, and they have a dozen of them on the menu at all times. The homemade (delicious) whipped cream is covered in melted chocolate, sprinkles, and meringue cookies. I seriously thought I hated meringue until I tried these babies. Now I can't get enough! They sell these for the month of December, and then usually move on to make snowflake or other winter themed lattes. All year 'round they offer rose, raincloud, and even coral styled lattes! This year they also introduced a gingerbread man latte that I was tempted to get, but I had to stick to my traditional tree :) You can also find me here: Tumblr Instagram Twitter Facebook SnapChat: cari.cakez
Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed S'mores Brownies
When it comes to the campfire roasted, ooey-gooey perfection that is s'mores, I'm a purist. I've never once considered putting anything but two rectangles of good ol' Hershey milk chocolate between marshmallow and graham cracker. But then I found this recipe at Melanie Makes, and I don't care what you say, about blasphemy or anything else – once you've seen this picture, there's no going back. I HAVE to try putting a peanut butter cup on a s'more. It's a physical need. And if I don't do it soon, I might explode. So somebody come over and make these brownies with me tonight, please – it's an emergency. Peanut Butter Cup Stuffed S'mores Brownies Prep Time: 20 min. Cook Time: 45 min. Difficulty: Easy. Makes one 9"x13" pan of brownies. Recipe by Melanie Bauer of Melanie Makes Ingredients For the Graham Cracker Crust: 3 cups graham cracker crumbs ¼ cup sugar ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ cup butter, melted For the Brownies: ¾ cup cocoa ¾ cup butter, melted 2 Tablespoons hot water 1 2/3 cup sugar 2 eggs, beaten 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 1/3 cup flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 12 peanut butter cups 1 dark chocolate candy bar 24 jet-puffed marshmallows Directions 1. First, make the Graham Cracker Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan and set aside. In a medium bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt and butter until combined. Pour into prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until set and beginning to brown. 2. Now, make the Brownie batter: In a large bowl, stir together cocoa, melted butter and hot water. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla and stir until well combined. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined. 3. Add the PB Cups and Chocolate: Top graham cracker crust with brownie mixture, spreading in an even layer. Press peanut butter cups into brownie batter in three rows of four. Break the candy bar into individual pips or pieces and place in horizontal and vertical rows between peanut butter cups. 4. Bake, broil, and enjoy! Bake for 18-20 minutes or until just set. Remove brownies from oven and turn oven to broil setting. Add marshmallows to top of brownies pressing lightly to adhere them to the warm brownies. Broil for 2-3 minutes or until they reach desired char level. Let brownies cool completely before attempting to cut and serve.
Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
These look simply incredible. Two of my favorite things, chocolate chip cookies and caramel, combined into one heavenly cookie creation. I was looking for more caramel recipes (because that's what I do in my spare time, duh) when I found this recipe from Table for Two. I mean, can you even imagine anything more perfect?!? Look at that gooey, warm caramel. Those molten chocolate chunks. That perfectly chewy cookie. Imagine how good these are fresh out of the oven. Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies Prep Time: 10 min. Cook Time: 13 min. Difficulty: Easy Recipe adapted from Table for Two Ingredients 3 sticks (1½ cup) unsalted butter, softened 1½ cup dark brown sugar, packed ½ cup granulated sugar 2 eggs 4 tsp. vanilla extract 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups bread flour (you may use all-purpose flour instead if you don't have it on hand) 4 tsp. cornstarch 2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. salt 1½ cups chocolate chunks ½ cup dark chocolate, finely chopped 18 caramel candies, cut in half to give you 36 Directions 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 2 mins). Add eggs and vanilla. Beat 2 more mins. 2. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until fully incorporated. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. To form the cookies, take a spoonful of dough, and use your thumb to make a small hole and press the caramel into the center. Re-roll the ball to cover the caramel candy. 3. Bake for 11-13 minutes. They may look quite soft at this point, but remember they will continue to cook after you remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool completely on baking sheet, or else they'll break and caramel will ooze everywhere. Enjoy, my fellow cookie monsters!! This one's for @JPBenedetto – maybe you could find a way to work in some oatmeal here, for a little extra chew? :D <3 @Luci546 @MooshieBay @InPlainSight You guys might like this one as well :)
Holiday Cheesecake Cookies
Cookie dough: 400 g all purpose flour 125 g confectioners’ sugar 200 g butter 1 egg pinch of salt Filling: 100 g sour cream 200 g cream cheese, room temperature 100 g sweetened condensed milk 2 tbs lemon juice strawberry jam To decorate: Red and green food colouring, and wooden skewers Instructions: 1. Let’s start preparing cookie dough. In a medium mixing-bowl, mix together all ingredientes to form a ball. 2. Divide the dough in two, and gather each portion into a slightly flattened ball. 3. Working with one ball of dough at a time, roll it out between two baking papers to a thickness of maximum 0,5 cm. 4. Using a beveled cookie cutter, cut out circles and drape one circle over each bowl cavity of pan, pressing to form smooth surface. (I used a mini cupcake pan) 5. Chill whilst preheating oven to 350º F (180 ºC) 6. Slip cookies into the oven to bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and let them cool on the pan for about 10 minutes 7. Let them cool completely on a wire rack 8. When cold, prepare cheese filling. Mix sweetened condensed milk, sour cream (or whip cream) and cream cheese on a medium bowl, until combined. Add lemon juice and mix well. 9. Place two tablespoons cheese cream on a small bowl, and another two tablespoons on a separate small bowl. Tint one of the bowls with red food colouring, and the other one with green food colouring. 10. Place 1 teaspoon strawberry jam on every cookie bowl. Fill with cheese cream. Use wooden skewers and red and green mixes to decorate 11. Keep in the fridge until set (about 4 hours if using sour cream, at least 24 hours if using whipping cream). They are better the next day. Can be stored several days on the fridge
14 Mind-blowing Dessert Lasagnas!
I guess these people never got the memo about lasagna being a dinner food – and oh man, am I glad they didn't. These innovative kitchen wizards have turned a saucy Italian cheesefest into a gourmet dessert. This is a food trend that I have NO doubt we'll be seeing soon on upscale dessert menus around the world. It's hip, it's totally different, and it's just the right amount of weird to tickle the imagination. See what you think – which one of these fantastical desserts would you most like to try? (I've tried to give credit where credit is due. All the recipes are linked below; just click on the word "Recipe." Photos belong to respective owners.) :) Chocolate Lasagna Brownies, chocolate pudding, and Oreos – oh my! Add some whipped cream, and you've got a lasagna. (I never, ever thought I would EVER say that sentence.) Recipe by Rachel Schultz, A Household Almanac Apple Pie Lasagna Let me be clear: this is not your grandmother's apple pie. Oh sure, it's got apples, cinnamon, and sugar – but it's also got caramel cream cheese filling, Heath bar toffee bites, and a touch of maple syrup. I have only one word: WANT. Recipe by Beyond Frosting Pumpkin Pie Dessert Lasagna I don't know if they necessarily needed to specify that this was a "dessert lasagna" – I think that's pretty clear from the whole "pumpkin pie" part. But I digress. We're talking pumpkin, Cool Whip, pumpkin spice chips (which exist, apparently!?) and chopped pecans. It might be 91 degrees out today, but suddenly I'm feeling a little autumnal! Recipe by The Cookie Rookie, inspired by Beyond Frosting (who is apparently our dessert lasagna MVP!) S'mores Lasagna And speaking of Beyond Frosting, she's also responsible for this dare-I-say GORGEOUS creation topped with gooey toasted marshmallows. S'mores Lasagna may be an improvement on the already impossibly wonderful campfire dessert, because it's got two types of graham cracker (original AND chocolate), marshmallow fluff, whipped cream, and – for the mess-haters among us – you can eat it with a fork. Recipe by Julianne Bayer of Beyond Frosting (the dessert lasagna goddess herself. soon we'll all be wearing t-shirts with her face on it.) Brownie Brittle Strawberry Lasagna Before we get too carried away in our decadence, Julianne (yep, we're on a first name basis now) has whipped up a lighter version of dessert lasagna featuring a cheesecake filling, dark chocolate pudding, and plenty of strawberries. See? It's got fruit! It's obviously healthy. Yet again, recipe by my idol, Julianne Bayer of Beyond Frosting Nutella Cheesecake Lasagna Okay, so maybe the photography skills are a little lacking on this one, but the concept is so flawless that I had to include it. Nutella and cheesecake, married into one perfect lasagna that is then dusted with brownie mix and chocolate chips. I can't really explain how much I'm salivating right now. (Sorry for that wonderful image.) Recipe by Modern Christian Homemaker Paleo Chocolate Lasagna Eating clean? Don't worry! We've still found the perfect dessert lasagna for you. Interesting ingredients in this one include coconut palm sugar, almond butter, apple cider vinegar, and shredded zucchini. I won't pretend to understand how it all works, but I will trust the author when she says it's delicious. Maybe. Recipe by Vanessa Barejas of Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind (which is an awesome name for a blog) Fabulous Fruit Lasagna Whoa, a dessert lasagna that actually uses noodles! I bet you were wondering when one of these was gonna show up. This lasagna is a delightful conglomeration of fresh berries, mascarpone and ricotta cheeses, brown sugar, nutmeg, cloves, and a pinch of chili powder. Not what I was expecting! It can also be made, the author suggests, with chocolate pasta. Recipe by F.H. Browne, posted on Just a Pinch Chocolate Toast Crunch Lasagna Did you know that Cinnamon Toast Crunch has a chocolaty cousin? Chocolate Toast Crunch adds a special, well, crunchiness to this dessert lasagna. Its creamy filling has a hint of almond flavor. Mmm. Recipe by Cheeky Kitchen, posted on Tablespoon Frozen Snickers Peanut Butter Lasagna It's been pretty hot out, so why not stick your dessert lasagna in the freezer? Dry roasted peanuts, caramel sauce, and little pieces of Snickers? This is exactly what I want to be eating right now. Recipe by Not Your Momma's Cookie Oreo Pumpkin Lasagna Maybe you can't get enough of dessert lasagnas. Maybe you want to try more than one of them. Why not do it at the same time? This recipe is a combination of pumpkin pie and Oreo dessert lasagnas – and I can't think of a single reason it wouldn't be delicious. Recipe by Kitchen Nostalgia Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Lasagna But come on guys, let's be real: this is the dessert lasagna you've been waiting for. Layers of creamy and chocolatey deliciousness topped with mini Reese's cups? Game over. Recipe by Marty's Musings Chocolate Candy Lasagna This take on chocolate lasagna tops it off with yummy and colorful crushed M&Ms! And then you have your choice between caramel and hot fudge drizzle toppings. But I say, Vinglers... why not both? Recipe by Princess Pinky Girl (yes, that is her real name) Chocolate Lasagna 2.0 And finally, we've got one last spin on chocolate lasagna from Center Cut Cook. It features a thick Oreo crust, a sweet whipped cream cheese filling, chocolate pudding, and lots of tiny chocolate chips. I think the width of the crust layer and the crunchiness of the mini-chips set it apart from other versions! Recipe by Center Cut Cook Which one of these crazy creations are you trying first? For more recipes, dessert and otherwise, be sure to follow my Cooking collection :) @jlee37 @buddyesd @danidee @TerrecaRiley @LizArnone @alywoah – can you BELIEVE these?!?!?
Homemade Pop-Tarts? Oh Hells Yeah!
I never want to eat a store bought Pop-Tart again. Not after looking at this recipe, which uses real, flaky butter pastry (instead of crumbly cardboard dough) and your favorite fruit preserves (instead of sugar mixed with red dye 40). The homemade frosting and cheerful rainbow sprinkles are the icing on the cake! Photo and recipe credit go to Jaclyn over at Cooking Classy, an awesome cooking and baking blog that you need to check out! For now, here's the recipe for your new favorite breakfast (or anytime) treat. Homemade Pop-Tarts Prep Time: 20 mins. Chill Time: 3 hours. Cook Time: 30 mins. Difficulty: Medium Makes 8 pop-tarts What You'll Need For the pastry: 2 cups + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling 1 tsp salt 1 tsp granulated sugar 1 cup unsalted butter, cold and diced into 1/2-inch cubes 4 - 5 Tbsp ice water 3/4 cup strawberry preserves, divided (or other preserve of choice) For the icing: 1 cup powdered sugar 2 Tbsp half and half, plus more as needed 1/4 tsp vanilla extract What To Do 1. Make the pastry dough: Pulse together flour, salt and granulated sugar in a food processor. Add butter and continue to pulse until the butter is broken up, and the mixture has a mealy texture. Add 4 tablespoons of water and pulse a few times until it comes together into dough; if it fails to come together, add another tablespoon of water and pulse again. 2. On a clean surface, divide dough into two portions. Shape each into a 5-inch dish, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in the fridge for 1 hour. Meanwhile, line two rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper. 3. Remove one disk from the fridge; leave the other one to chill. Roll out the dough disk into a rectangle measuring approximately 13 inches by 11 inches. If edges crack, just stick them back together and keep rolling. Trim edges just so, so you have a 12"x10" perfect rectangle. Cut this into 8 5"x3" rectangles. 4. Arrange 4 rectangles evenly spaced on the parchment-lined cookie sheet; spread 1 and 1/2 tablespoons of jam evenly down the center of each rectangle. Seal edges with fingertips, then reseal with a fork. Use a tooth pick to poke the top of each tart 4 times. Let chill in the freezer for at least 2 hours, or up to one week. 5. Repeat process with second disk of dough. 6. Preheat oven to 375°F. With one rack in the upper third of the oven and one in the bottom third, bake frozen tarts until golden, rotating racks halfway through baking. It will take about 25-30 minutes in all. Allow to cool on the cookie sheet for several minutes, then transfer to wire rack. 7. Make the icing: Whisk together all ingredients, then add additional half and half a 1/2 teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. Spread over cooled pop-tarts, then dust with rainbow sprinkles. Allow to set at room temperature. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy! A little bit of a process, but totally worth it, don't you think? I can't wait to try these sweet treats in my own kitchen! :D
Santa Sushi Is A Thing.
So every Christmas, there's the eggnog, the gingerbread, the candy canes, and even that generic variety tin of three different popcorns, but maybe this 'Santa sushi' roll will become a new holiday staple food. (Okay, maybe not because I think the country's still polarized when it comes to raw seafood, but hey, guys! Check this out!) The good YouTubers of How To Make Sushi created a really awesome tutorial of how to make your own Santa sushi rolls at home. And while it's definitely too advanced for a beginner chef like me, it still doesn't stop me from watching the video the whole way through. For those of you who don't feel like watching a 10 minute video of some dude carving fish, I gifed up my favorite parts. Let's watch together, shall we? First, the sushi chef shaves the salmon down to make a perfectly red Santa hat. Boom. Add crab stick and a carrot and the hat is complete. Then, the beard is thrown together with fluffy sushi rice and some seaweed to create Santa's trademark jolly smile. Raspberry juice-stained rice is used to add color to his skin. (Am I the only one who thinks it looks a bit more like Kraang from 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' right now?) Put it all together, and what do you get? Et voila! The Santa sushi roll is complete! So what do you guys think? Is this not the coolest thing ever? Am I the only one excited about this? Would you eat Santa's face too? Let me know I'm not the only easily amused one around here, okay?
OMG Samoa Brownies – Girl Scout Cookies Gone Wild
Somebody pinch me. Am I dead? I must be dead. Because I am IN HEAVEN. These Samoa Brownies, brought to you by Broma Bakery, are all I've ever needed in a dessert: gooey chocolate brownie, toasted coconut, and sweet caramel. I thought Samoa girl scout cookies were as good as it gets – and then I met these brownies. Samoas Brownies Recipe by Sarah Fennel at Broma Bakery Ingredients For the brownies: ¾ cup cocoa powder 1½ cups sugar 2 eggs 12 tablespoons unsalted butter ½ cup all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons vanilla extract ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup bittersweet chocolate disks 1 teaspoon brewed coffee (optional) For the coconut caramel: 1 cup granulated sugar 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp, cut into tablespoons ½ cup heavy cream, room temp 2½ cups sweetened, shredded coconut For the chocolate drizzle: ¼ cup chopped bittersweet chocolate 1. Brownies: Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8"x8" baking dish with parchment paper and set aside. In a microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the butter. Stir in sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, salt, and optional coffee. Once combined, fold in cocoa powder and flour. Toss in bittersweet chocolate disks. Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, spreading evenly to the edges. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of the brownies comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before topping with caramel sauce. 2. Coconut Caramel Sauce: While the brownies are baking, make your coconut caramel. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar on medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Use a spatula to occasionally stir the sugar, getting to the bottom of the pan. At first the sugar will be lumpy, but will soon melt and start turning a brownish color. Don't stir too often, just enough to keep everything evenly cooking. After 5 minutes, the sugar should become fully melted. Once it becomes a dark amber hue, remove from heat immediately and stir in butter. The mixture will violently bubble. You're doing it right. Use your spatula to stir the butter and sugar until they melt together completely. This can take 1-2 minutes. Next, pour in the heavy cream and sea salt. You can use 1 to 1½ teaspoons, depending on how much saltiness you like. Use your spatula to stir until everything is combined. Place back on the stove for about 30 seconds, stirring the whole time. Remove from heat. Stir in coconut flakes. Set aside until brownies are cooled. 3.) Assemble the Brownies: Once the brownies have cooled for 15 minutes, run a knife along the edges so they don't stick to the pan. Spread the coconut caramel on top of the brownies. Again, run a knife along the edges to prevent anything from sticking to the pan. Heat the drizzling chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl in 30 second increments. Stir in between each heating. Spoon melted chocolate into a small ziplock bag, creating a makeshift pastry bag. Cut a small (tiny!) slit at the bottom corner of the bag. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the coconut caramel. Set in the fridge to cool for about 1 hour. Cut into 9 brownies and serve! If you liked this Girl Scout cookie remix recipe, try making your own Homemade Thin Mints!
You Won't Believe These Gift Wrapping Skills.
So, without fail, the holiday season always reminds me how absolutely horrible I am at wrapping gifts. I try, every year, to wrap them thoughtfully, with brand new wrapping paper boasting Christmas trees or stars or tiny penguins. However, it all ends up crumpled up into large balls of frustration around my living room, so whatever gift-wrapping inspiration you were hoping to get from me is just not going to happen any time soon. Not this millennium. However, check out the packaging handiwork of Sheila, a 27-year-old graphic designer from the San Francisco Bay who put the rest of us to some serious gift wrapping shame. Swipe left to each of these presents to see how they were wrapped - and prepare to be amazed. With a handy Xacto and some graphic design know-how, she transformed this small set of Gundams into a huge stick of butter. And what could she be doing with this copy of 'Falling Up'? Wrapping it up like a sirloin steak, of course. She actually designed her own fake butcher shop labels to pull this one off. I like this one because it (somewhat morbidly) stuck with the ocean theme. Okay, maybe it's just me, but I'd much rather have the giant candy bar. And the doughnuts. I mean, fairies are great, but check out all those sprinkles! It's crazy how realistic this sushi looks - even in photographs! And, last but not least, one man's Nintendo cartridge-inspired flask is another man's, uh... cheese? So what did you guys think? Could you pull this wrapping job off, or do you have a better, more signature strategy of your own?
White Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
Caramel Sauce: 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 3/4 teaspoons lemon juice 1 pint heavy cream 4 tablespoons unsalted butter Before I get into making the sauce, let me note that this isn't the easiest way for most home cooks to go about making caramel sauce. Melting almost pure sugar in a pan is pesky and it can burn quite easily. If you're not feeling up to attempting this part of the recipe, feel free to buy your favorite caramel sauce and warm it gently to glaze the cheesecake. In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat (I'm using non-stick for this), combine the sugar and lemon juice. Stir with a wooden spoon until the sugar is mostly melted then set aside the spoon and swirl the pan over the heat to keep the color even throughout. Continue to cook and swirl until it sugar turns a medium amber color. Watch it carefully, the sugar will quickly darken and should it become dark brown or black it will taste bitter and unpleasant. When the sauce turns the right color slowly whisk in the cream. If the caramel hardens with the addition of the cream, do not worry. Just continue to add the cream and bring the mixture back to a a boil over medium heat. Continue to stir until the sugar has remelted. Allow to boil for 5 minutes then remove from heat and stir in the butter. Pour into a heat safe container and chill until ready to use. Crust: 10 ounces graham crackers, crushed into crumbs 7 tablespoons unsalted butter Cheesecake Filling: 3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, room temperature 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar 1/2 cup heavy cream 8 ounces good quality white chocolate, chopped 5 large eggs 1 teaspoon vanilla extract pinch salt boiling water Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter and press into the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the side of a 10 inch spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce the heat to 325°F and prepare the cheesecake batter. Place the chopped white chocolate into a heat safe bowl and set aside. Bring the 1/2 cup of cream to a simmer over medium heat in a small sauce pan. Pour the hot cream over the white chocolate, jiggle the bowl to submerge it and allow to stand for one minute. Stir the chocolate gently until melted completely. In your mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until smooth and lump free. Add the sugar and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. On medium speed, slowly add the white chocolate ganache. Once combined you can add the eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until each egg is incorporated. Once you've added all the eggs, mix in the vanilla and salt and pour into your prepared pan. Set the pan onto a couple large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan to waterproof. Set the cheesecake into a large roasting pan and then place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the roasting pan, filling to about one inch (no higher than the lowest edge of aluminum foil). Allow to make at 325°F for one hour then reduce heat and bake at 300°F for an additional 60-90 minutes until the center is just set. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack. Once cool chill for at least 4 hours before serving. To glaze, gently warm the 1 cup of the caramel sauce on the stove or in the microwave until slightly runny and then pour onto the cheesecake. Smooth the caramel over the cake and you're ready to serve. Enjoy.