Thursday, November 29, 2012

Simple Peppermint Bark (★ ★ ★ ★ ☆)

Today I'd like to talk about experimentation and making assumptions.

Because apparently, I have a major problem with both.  

Apparently, I think I'm the Baking Queen of the Universe.  
And that everything that develops in my pretty little head is sure to emerge from the oven to the sound of an angel's chorus.

And apparently, I assumed I knew enough baking basics to be able to double up a batch of brownies by simply adjusting the temperature and time.

Apparently, I was wrong. 
Here are just some of the sad pictures I took of the "Peppermint Bark Brownies," I concocted this week.
1) The obligatory "ingredients" shot
2) The artsy "look at my cool photo skills" shot of crushed candy cane pieces
3) The anticipatory "pre-oven" shot
4) The "I'm-such-a-dork-for-taking-all-of-these-photos-and-seriously-having-no-reservations-about-
    suspiciously-watery" photo

Needless to say, they did not turn out.

Unless, you consider a rock hard burned "crust" layer, an overly browned "cream" layer, and a goopey, soupy center, a delectable treat.

That'd be like that Gilmore Girls episode where Luke brings Lorelai a batch of brownies that he accidentally dumped triple the amount of cocoa in because he knew only she possessed such a superhuman chocolate tolerance...that, and he wanted her to let his punk nephew study with her angelic daughter...oh, ya, and he was secretly in love with her.

Ya, just like that.
Only not at all.
I'm just obsessed with the Gilmore Girls.

And with Peppermint Bark.
So obsessed that when my original idea failed, I switched to the tried and true.  

Simple.  Easy.  Plain ole'.  Peppermint Bark.

And ate half the sheet by myself.  In two days.  
Simple Peppermint Bark
adapted from Savory Sweet Life

1 Cup Chocolate Chips
1/2 tsp Peppermint extract
1 Cup White Chocolate Chips
3 Candy Canes, crushed

Makes one small 7x11 pan (Double the recipe for a 9x13)
Parchment or wax paper for lining the pan
Approx. 40 Minutes Chill Time
 1) In a microwave safe bowl, heat 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips in 30 second increments.  Stir
     well between heatings.  You want them to be just melted, not boiling hot.
2) Add 1/2 tsp of peppermint extract, stir well.
3) Line pan with parchment paper and spread chocolate evenly into the bottom.
*Tip: You can spray a spatula with Cooking Spray to keep the chocolate from sticking.
Note: I did not line my pan with parchment paper.  I paid the price.  Assumption #348: "I can make
          simple peppermint bark without thoroughly reading through the recipe."  Getting peppermint
          bark out of a greased-only pan has a 76% success rate.  Get parchment paper, wax paper, I don't
          care!  Line. that. sucker.
4) Place in the freezer for about 15 minutes.
5) In a ziploc bag, crush candy canes into very small pieces.  A meat tenderizer works well.
6) Heat 1 cup of white chocolate chips in the same manner as before and spread on top of the slightly 
    hardened chocolate layer.  Spread quickly as the bottom layer will begin melting and mixing.  
7) Sprinkle crushed candy cane pieces across the top and lightly press down to make sure they get in 
    the chocolate.  Do this quickly.  You'd be surprised how soon some areas harden because the pan 
    is cold.
8) Place pan in the freezer until completely set.  At least 30 minutes.
9) Once set, take the parchment paper out of the pan and peel off of the bark.  Break into pieces using a 
    large knife.  
 Because before you can build a fire, you learn to light a match.
And before you make boxed brownies you...
Oh.  Wow.  

Blame it on the hah hah hah hah hah holidays?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Pear and Gruyère Tartlets (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

So first of all,


This kicks off my favorite season of the year.

I kind of start to giggle.  Like a little girl.

It's bad.

But this time of year is so fun.  It's full of cozy clothes, family, friends, and good food.

And there is so much to be thankful for.
I'm sure by now you've read countless lists from every journalist, celebrity, neighbor and friend of thoughtful, wonderful things we all are thankful for.

Good job.
Free country.
Awesome family.
Clean bill of health.
Supportive friends.

And don't get me wrong.  I'm grateful for all those things too.  Very, very grateful.

But what about all the other things I appreciate that maybe aren't as acceptably "mainstream."

1) Like Emily Blunt.

The chick dated Michael Buble, then went and married John Krasinski.

My top two.

Mad props to her.
The fact that such a human being exists is enough for me.

2) Or Dry Shampoo

Because it's no ones business but my own that I haven't washed my hair in 4 days.

3) How about Windex?

What better smart aleck suggestion do you give your friend when they come to you about a weird growth?  What am I, a doctor?

4) The 80's

As a female with curly hair, I can't think of anyone more grateful that we're on the other side of that hair experimentation.

5) Red Lipstick

Nothing instantly makes people treat you like a movie star more.  "Oh, wow, you look stunning." "Red is definitely your color."  "Where are you going, a premiere?"  "Shoot, gurl, how long you spend doin' dat?"  Uh, my hair is in a bun and I'm re-wearing this skirt for like the 28th time, but "thanks!"

6) Autobiographies.

Because I'm nosy.  And not only is the juice better from the source, but it's basically a plea to all who will listen.  Oh, politeness prevents me from saying no to that!

7) Twilight.

Because you either make an instant friend or a mortal enemy.  And that's kind of funny.

8) Tattoos.

They inform me at first glance that you are not a pretentious snob.  Walking down an alley might make me uncomfortable, but my presence there doesn't bother you in the slightest.

9) Stairs.

I don't see an obstacle.  I see toned thighs.  Sure the top half of me is dying an oxygen deprived death, but my legs say "muchas gracias." And if you wear dresses as much as I do, that's all that matters.     

10) And finally, Pushing Daisies.

Because it's sickeningly sweet and wonderful.  A couple who can never touch?  Talk about tension.  Plus, dead people come back to life and Kristen Chenoweth sings sappy love songs in her head.  It's pretty great.

Oh, and it's the inspiration for this weeks post.

Granted, the signature Pear and Gruyere Cheese was actually a pie in that show...and drugged up with some anti-depressants.  I did mention inspiration, right?

Yep.  Okay, we're good.
Oh guys.

Not to toot my own horn, but I outdid myself this week.

I mean I gave myself 5 Stars.  I've only done that one other time (remember Snickerdoodle Blondies?)

I wanted to make something that was more individually sized and a little rustic.

Hence the tart...err tart-lets.

And keeping the skins on.

Crusts intimidate me because they can be oh-so-great, so-so, or chip-a-tooth-rock-hard.

I've made a few crusts in the past and they've never been the latter (thank goodness), but it was never "boast" worthy.

But guess what?
I'm a pie crust master now.

Mostly because I found this amazingly detailed recipe.  Researched a few pie crust tips.  Took copious notes and snapped photographs of the whole process.

So you can be a pie crust master too!

Now THAT'S something to be thankful for.
Perfect Pie Crust
adapted from the Brown Eyed Baker. My new best friend!

2 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 tsp of Salt
1 Cup (2 sticks) of Butter
1/2 Cup Ice Water (more or less)

For this recipe:
3oz of Grated Gruyere Cheese

Makes enough for 2 - 9inch pie crusts or 8 tartlets.
Chill time required.  At least 30min before (butter and flour) and 1 hour afterwards.
A very helpful source: Pie Crust Tips


Pear Filling
adapted from theKitchn
3 Pounds of Bartlett or Anjou Pears (approx. 6 pears)
1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
3/4 Cup Port Wine (I used a Ruby Port)
1 1/2 Cups of Water
2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 cinnamon stick (if desired you can substitute 1/4 tsp cinnamon)
2 tsp cornstarch
1 egg, beaten (used to egg wash the crust)
For the Crust:

Before you start.
Here are some thoughts to keep with you while making crust.
a) Cold. Cold. Cold.  Think "cold."  Every ingredient should be thoroughly chilled.  I read that nothing
    should reach below 60F degrees.  So I froze everything.  The cubes of butter.  The flour and salt
    mixture in a bowl.  Because when you start working the dough with your hands, things heat up.
b) Flaky crust comes from having chunks of butter left in the flour.  Then when it cooks you have
    pockets of goodness.  So you don't want to mix everything until is all blended.  Mix well, but not to
    death.  And with that we begin...

1) Place two sticks of butter in the freezer for 30 mins. Measure out 2 1/2 cups of flour in a medium
     bowl.  Add 1 tsp of salt.  Whisk or mix together.  Place bowl in freezer.  
*Tip: The proper way to measure flour is to scoop spoonfuls into the measuring cup and then flatten off
          with a knife.  Packing the flour in (unless specifically requested) results in too much flour.
2) If you are lazy like me and the thought of getting out a food processor to make two measly crusts
    makes you want to never bake again, then this recipe is for you!!!  After the cubes of butter are
    chilled take one out at a time and grate them using the larger side of a cheese grater.  Try to work
    quickly so the butter doesn't melt.  If you notice things softening up, you can always place it back in
    the freezer for awhile.
3) Put the butter shreds in bowl with the flour and freeze for a few minutes.  While that is chilling, get
    some ice water ready.  You will probably end up needing about 1/2 cup, but I made more for good
4) Toss the butter and flour mixture together with your fingers until all the butter is coated in flour.  The 
     butter should still be chunky.  
5) With a spatula fold the dough, adding 2 Tbsp of ice water at a time.  I ended up using about 16 Tbsp.  
    You may need more or less.  Keep folding in more water until the dough starts sticking together.  
6) Carefully fold the dough with your hands until it is in one nice lump.  
7) If you are going to make tartlets divide the dough into eight equal parts.  Otherwise divide in half.
8) Place the portion of dough on a piece of Saran Wrap.  Place an additional piece of Saran Wrap on
    top and flatten the portion slightly into a small disk.  Repeat this for the remaining sections and
    refrigerate for at least an hour.  You can store these in the refrigerator for up to 4 days and the freezer
    3+ months.
For Pear Filling: 

1) Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  

*Tip: I know nothing about port.  Only that, I like it.  But I didn't want to spend $10+ on a bottle for  
          some tarts.  So I was reduced to deciding between the cheapest options: tawny and ruby.  I've 
          read that if you are going to go cheap, Ruby is the way to go.  Tawny is better and has more 
          complexities as you go up the price chart.  
Side Bar: I used vanilla paste instead of vanilla extract.  Don't go out and buy it, but supposedly it's 
                better. (Learned that lesson when I made Root Beer Float Cupcakes.) Got to use it while I 
                have it, though.  
2) Wash the pears well.  Then core and slice into thin pieces.  You can leave the skins on!!  I tried
     keeping them at 1/4" inch chunks.
3) In a large sauce pan, add sugar, wine, water, vanilla, salt, ginger, nutmeg, clove, and cinnamon stick.
    Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat.  In the meantime, place a medium sized bowl into the
    freezer to chill.  (You'll use this to help stop the cooking process of the pears later)
4) Add the pear pieces to the boiling mixture.  Lower heat to medium-low.  And let them simmer for 
    about 20 minutes or until the slices are tender.  (I taste tested a few because with the skins on you
    want to make sure they aren't too tough before you take them out.)
*Tip: I carefully, stirred the pears to make sure each piece was getting enough heat.  Because you want 
         them to maintain their shape since the tart is open-faced, you have to be pretty gentle.  I took a 
         large slotted spoon and brought the pear slices from the bottom to the top.  More like a folding    
         method as opposed to stirring.  Honestly, do what works for you.  
5) Once slices are tender enough, use the slotted spoon to remove them and place into the chilled bowl. 
    You may need to drain some liquid out of the bowl back into the pot.
6) Set pears aside, and return the liquid back to a boil.  You want to continue to keep it at a boil until
    the mixture becomes a thicker syrup. There should be about 3/4 cups worth.  This method is called
7) Pour syrup into a cup and add 2 tsp of cornstarch to thicken.  Stir well.  Then place into the fridge to
    chill.  This is just while you prepare the crusts.
8) Grate about 3 oz of Gruyere cheese (use the small grates this time).
*Tip: It's not absolutely necessary, but a pastry cloth (especially if you are going to be making tartlets)
         is a life saver.  You can flour it, the dough rolls nicely, it's an easy clean up, and makes
         transferring the tarts to the baking sheet a breeze.
9) Unwrap a portion of dough, add a little mound of cheese and place saran wrap back on top, flip over
    and do the same thing.  Roll the dough out slightly in the wrap, just until the cheese is well pressed
    into the dough.
10) Unwrap the disk and flour well.  Dust the board/cloth, rolling pin, and top of the crust too.
11) Continue to roll out the dough until it is about the diameter of your hand.  
*Tip: Try to keep dough at the center of the circle thicker.  This part will be holding the bulk of the 
         weight and needs to be able to hold up during any transfer.  Once you get it near the right size just 
         continue to roll out the edges, leaving the center untouched.  
12) Layer an eighth of the pear slices into the center of the disk, leaving about an inch around for the 
      edge.  You can make two rows or try to go in a circular pattern.  
13) Drizzle some syrup over the pears. 
14) To create the edges, take a section, lift it up over the pears and pinch it between your fingers.  Press 
       it over to one side and repeat until complete.  Make sure the little flaps are pressed down enough as 
       they tend to pop back out in the oven.  
15) Carefully transfer the completed tartlet onto a foil/parchment paper lined baking sheet.  (This is
      where the pastry cloth comes in handy.  You can just pick it up and transfer the whole thing into
      your hand.  Otherwise just make sure to THOROUGHLY flour the board and bottom of the dough
      before rolling).
16) Using a brush or your finger, rub the beaten egg along the top edge of the crust.  *Optional: top the
      entire tartlet with extra gruyere cheese.  I used more of a cheese "fleck" for this part.
17) You can bake four tarts at a time on the same baking sheet.  Place in oven, on the middle rack and
      cook for approximately 30-40 minutes.  I actually ended up cooking mine for 45 minutes, but it all 
      depends on the oven. The crust should be golden and not at all doughy.  You should start to see the
      filling bubble up as well.  (There will be a lot of grease from the cheese on the bottom, fyi).
18) Remove tartlets from oven and allow to cool on sheet for 1 minute.  Then place on cooling rack and
      allow to cool completely.  You can store any extra in the fridge for up to 4 days.


Weekend wishes from Archie The Cat 
Bring on the holidays!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Say Goodbye, "Twilight: The Final Installment" Gumdrops (★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆)

Sooooo, yaaaaaa.   
I'm about to dork out on you.

No, not geek out -- dork out.

There's a difference.

The word "nerd" or "geek" pertains to a person who possesses a particular and valuable skill albeit to an off-putting degree.

A "dork," however, is just someone who has an unhealthy obsession with an otherwise pointless object or idea.  Say the classic Trekkies, fanatical Belieber's, and, yes, the lowly Twihards.  
So, I'm the latter.

Or, was, I should say.  The last few movies have managed to suck what little devotion I had left.  Which is too bad, because I was hardcore.

We're talking midnight showings.  
Handmade t-shirts (Team Jacob!!).
Roadtrips to Forks.
Just some of the Twilighty things I did in 2009.  Oh, that blonde hair.  

K, I was crazy legit.  

I've been to the prom site, the alley site, and the Cullen mansion. (Insert Twihard green, envious, drooling here).  But not just the "so-deemed" landmarks in Forks, WA.  Oh no, to the actual movie sets.

We're talking RPattz and KStew were once breathing the same St. Helens, OR air. 

Now that is legit.
And crazy.
....pretty. crazy.

But sometimes loosing your mind can be, oh, so fun.

So to celebrate the closure of Hollywood's butchering a pretty decent book series this week, I themed out some gumdrops.

Oh, and I'm flying to Portland for the premiere.  
Because, frankly, you can never suppress the crazy for long.
When Twilight is the catalysis for renewing a friendship that was withered by distance, you want to celebrate the end of an era, as it were (oh, go throw your hissy fit you Twihaters...yes, I said "era"), in the place where it all started.

That's called closure.

Coming full circle.

And veggie vampire lover or not, it's beautiful.
Easy Homemade Gumdrops
adapted from Kitchen Meets Girl

2 - 3oz (or 1 - 6oz) Box of Jello [I used raspberry for red, and cherry lemonade which I dyed black.]
2 - envelopes of unsweetened gelatin (i.e. Knox)
1 1/3 Cups - Applesauce (Unsweetened is best, but either works)
2 Cups - Sugar, extra for coating (about 1/2 cup)

Requires Chill time of at least 3 hours.  
I love, LOVE chewy candy.  So when I saw these a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make them.

For Twilight week, I needed something that was going to be quick, as my week was shortened due to my being out of town and something that was easily customizable (color-wise, flavor-wise).  This fit the bill.

It was super simple.  But still takes a little time for chilling (3 hours) and cutting into small pieces to coat with sugar.  Nothing too complicated here, but definitely not as quick as I had originally anticipated.

1) Spray a 9x13 pan with Pam or Cooking Oil.
2) In a medium saucepan, combine jello, gelatin, applesauce, and sugar.  Stir until well blended.  Allow
    mixture to sit for 1 minute before putting on the stove.  This allows the ingredients time to
    saturate. Over medium heat, bring mixture to a boil. (You want this to come to a slow boil so the
    sugar has time to thoroughly dissolve.  Otherwise the gumdrops will be grainy - trust me, I know).
    Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3) Immediately pour mixture into 9x13 pan and chill until firm.  About 3 hours.  *Tip: immediately
    rinse out the saucepan with hot water.  The sugar begins to harden very quickly and is increasingly
    difficult to get off the longer it sits.

 4) To cut the candies, you'll want a good knife.  Like the best one you have.  Because when these are
     done right they are extremely firm and sticky.  (Above Picture: Correct firmness.  I was pressing
     down with a decent amount of pressure).
*Tip:  These are a little temperamental.  My "black" batch did not turn out well at all.  I can only think
            of two differences between this one and my perfectly done "red" batch.  1) I added dye.  To get
            it as black as I, as I could...I had to add a good amount of black food gel.  This
            might have altered the texture.  2) I brought this batch to a fast boil on high heat.  Which means
            the sugar didn't have time to sit and simmer.  This might account for the soft, gumminess as
 5) After the pieces are cut out (you can use a cookie cutter, etc. to get different shapes), place on a
     paper towel to remove as much dampness as possible.  The side that sat in the pan will be the most
 6) For basic coating, pour about a 1/2 cup of sugar into a small Ziploc bag.  Put a good amount of the
     gumdrops in there and shake it up!  Make sure all sides of each piece get coated.  Once coated, they
     will be easily manageable and not sticky. [Side Note: This only works for the firm ones.  If for some
     reason your batch turns out a little soft you'll have to coat only a few at a time as they stick together
     and hang on for dear life.]
 7) For alternative coating options, use sugar crystals, colored sprinkles, etc.  For this method, where
     you don't have as much sugar for the coating, pour into a small dish and coat one piece at a time.

I was kind of excited about these, but they weren't all that delicious.  They were like a really cool, fun craft.

If you have kids, I would totally recommend making this with them.  It's easy, relatively fast, and totally customizable - colors, flavors, shapes, you name it.  ...But that's about it.

I didn't think these tasted good enough to warrant a re-bake.  Although, after I was through with coating them, I had to admit they did look pretty good.
Happy Final Twilight Day!  
Now that's something everyone can get behind.  

* Addendum:  (You can tell I wrote this one early) If your jello comes out mushy like my dark batch,
  make them, then freeze them.  Frankly, I like those better now than the red ones.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownies (★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆)

"Hey, uh, did you know your title is a mouthful?"
Um, ya, I did.  Sorry about that.
"Oh, oh no problem.  But it's just really long...borderline tongue twister.  My two year old couldn't even repeat it back to me."
...uh ...  Sorry? ...  You probably shouldn't be feeding these to your two year old.  Maybe start with something more simple - like cheerios ... -and counting to 5?

Yes, readers.  That WAS random. 

But so was how this "thing" (bar...brownie...whatever you want to call it) happened.

I made these the same day as my Pumpkin Truffles.  I was, honestly, just trying to get rid of the rest of the canned pumpkin I had and this is what happened.

It was like the "Attack of the Living Baked Goods" night in my kitchen. 


I have to back track a little bit.

October was the month of the pumpkin.
Pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving, pumpkin ice cream, pumpkin donuts, even pumpkin cereal.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm as "over the moon" excited as the next guy about Pumpkin Spice Lattes at Starbucks...but those are in September. When the novelty hasn't worn off.

In September, blog posts like this seem fun, light-hearted and fresh. (Okay it still kind of excites me...but that's beside the point!).

I became the Pumpkin Grinch.

I follow a lot of baking blogs and every one, every day was offering me some other shade of pumpkin.
Muffins, ganache, whipped cream, butter, foot scrubs, and toothpaste were presented to me on a big fat pumpkin platter.

And like all things, it seems good at first...
Oh yeah!  Ideas for fall baking!
But eventually we reach that "special" point.  The one I like to call "overboard."
Suddenly, what once used to bring me joy, now was just plain annoying. 

I was annoyed at having to see the same color food every day.
Annoyed that I had to think about pumpkin in ways I'd rather not - pumpkin seed guacamole??
But mostly I was annoyed that everyone had caught the pumpkin train, but me.  The market had been saturated.  Closed. Full.  Done.    

Okay, I was bitter and jealous!

I couldn't stand another pumpkin recipe, so I grumpily swore I would find "other" more "interesting" things to bake.  

But who am I kidding?  

It's November.  It's fall.  Thanksgiving is near.  
Now's the time we all start dreaming in pumpkin Technicolor.  

My intention was to only do one pumpkin recipe - because I had self-control - but like I told you, my kitchen had a mind of its own.  
The truffles took all of a measly third of a can of pumpkin. 
What on earth was I going to do with the rest?

Being a regular baker, I:
1) Hate wasting things I spent money on and
2) Enjoy double backing my baking efforts. (Bake two similar things in one night means no more baking for the week!)

After the whole truffle "ordeal," I wanted to make something that was drastically easier and a little more my forte - enter the brownie/bar.

I suddenly had visions of pumpkin cream cheese swirl atop a fudgey brownie.  But not a chocolate brownie...oh no - been there - done that.  Pumpkin and chocolate do NOT mix.  Don't argue with me, it's a fact. 

Sure that pumpkin pancake with chocolate chips tasted fine, but how many chocolate chips were in there?  5?  Ya, you act like it's chocolate and pumpkin, but it's really not.  That's the kind of thing you do to your cat when he needs to take medicine.  I'll just crunch a little in his food.  Mix in a couple treats and voila!  Medicine that no longer resembles medicine!

Enter: White chocolate.
Oh that glorious, fatty, un-chocolatey chocolate.
That would go stupendously with pumpkin!

I tore through my pinterest page, and found the white chocolate brownies I had been dying to try.
The stage was set.
But my own eagerness got in the way.

In my attempt to finish off the entire can of pumpkin, I doubled the cream cheese recipe thinking nothing of it.  I'll just have to cook it a little longer.  Sound familiar? (Cake in A Jar, anyone?)

Of course, this is not so. I had to cook them so long that the bottom got a little too brown and the top never quite set all the way. 

But for once, my own independence did not fail me.  Sure the texture was a little off (I fixed the proportions in the recipe below so you can make amazing, sanely proportional P.C.W.C. Brownies), but they tasted pretty good. 

I'm very critical of my baking, but just to paint you a picture of how good these are my mom kept RAVING about these. 
I mean RAVING.
This is the same mom who rolls her eyes every time I tell her I'm going to "veer" from a recipe.
The same mom who looks at me with the perfect amount of disapproval and acceptance of the fact that I'm an adult, when I come home with a huge bag of Hot Cheetos, Animal Cookies, and Thai Bubble Tea and tell her I'm going to go watch a movie.

Ya, that mom.
That mom ate half the batch.
And that's gracious estimating right there.
Pumpkin Cheesecake White Chocolate Brownies (or P.C.W.C.B for short)
adapted from  Nook and Pantry

White Chocolate Brownie Base
  • 1/2 Cup of Butter
  • 5oz. of White Chocolate Chips (Use Nestle)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 3/4 Cup of Flour
  • 1/2 tsp of Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp of Salt

Pumpkin Cheesecake Top
  • 8oz of Cream Cheese (Use the Block Type)
  • 2/3 Cup of Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp of Vanilla
  • 1 Egg, plus one yolk
  • 2/3 Cup Canned Pumpkin Puree

Preheat oven to 325F
Makes approx. 15 good sized brownie/bars
1) Measure out 5oz of white chocolate chips.  You can also use chopped white chocolate if you'd like.
    I bought Ghirardelli, but I was pretty disappointed in the texture.  I've only ever eaten Nestle White
    Chocolate before.  Of course, I figured Ghirardelli would be the best of the best, but I won't be
    buying this brand least in white chocolate chips.
 2) Get 1/2 cup (one stick) of butter and cut into small pieces to help it melt faster.
 3) Melt the white chocolate and butter in a double boiler, stirring frequently.  Take off heat when just
     completely melted.  (You can use a microwave instead.  Just start with 1 minute then continue
     with 15 second increments until just melted.  Stir well between each heating).
 4) In a medium sized bowl, beat eggs and sugar together.
 5) Beat until fluffy...almost "meringue" like.  Add white chocolate mixture.
6) In a sifter add flour, baking powder, and salt.  Sift over the wet ingredients, mixing occasionally in-
    between adds.
 7) Add vanilla.
 8) Put into a greased 8in x 11in pan (you can use the standard 9in x 13in pan, but just remember they
     will be thinner and will need to cook less).
A) In a medium sized bowl, mix together cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Beat until fluffy.
 B) Add eggs, mix well.
 C) Add pumpkin, beat until just combined.  Pour mixture on top of white chocolate brownie base.
     *Optional: Take a knife and "cut" criss-crosswise the brownie/cheesecake batter in the pan.  This
     will mix some of the elements together and create a "swirl" design on top.  However, because the
     white chocolate and pumpkin are both pale colors the distinction will be slight.  Also if you don't do
     this, the brownie part will be more of a crust instead of a sort of "mixture."  Either way works.  I cut
     mine across a few times, but it didn't work too well as you can tell by the two layers clearly shown    
     in the pictures.
  D) Bake in oven at 325F for about 35 minutes or until cheesecake top is set.  You can test this by
       inserting a toothpick two inches from the edge.  It should come out relatively clean, with no wet

[Cue music]
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream
I love you so and that is why
Whenever I want you, all I have to do is
Drea-ea-ea-ea-eam, dream, dream, dream