The Oreo Cheesecake

The Oreo Cheesecake

The Cake We Make Together

 

The Oreo Cheesecake. That’s right. It is deserving of the “The.” My son and I have been making this cheesecake today since he was 4 years old. On Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s, this is out celebration dessert.

I don’t remember where this recipe is from after all of these years and the printout is worn. One of the reasons I created Well-Worn Apron was to curate recipes. It is time to transfer this one over from paper to the blog to keep it safe.

While I’ve thought about how to make this plant-based, I’ve decided not too. It is such a cherished dessert to us and indulging in to once a year is OK in my book.

Oreo Cheesecake is easy to make. A good recipe to make with children. They will enjoy crushing the Oreos with a baking pin for the crust, pouring the ingredients in, and decorating before going into the oven. Decorating the cake is my son’s favorite activity and for this Thanksgiving he make a smiley face. I use my Braun food processor to blend the batter and it makes an amazingly smooth batter. Once in the oven, it fills the house with the most wonderful smell.

 

The Oreo Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 18 Oreo cookies, crushed
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 24 ounces cream, softened (3 8oz. packages)
  • 1 can (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Preparation

  • 1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • 2. Mix Oreos and melted butter.
  • 3. Press the mixture in a greased 9-inch spring form pan.
  • 4. In a large bowl, cream together the remaining ingredients until well blended.
  • 5. Pour into the pan.
  • 6. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
  • 7. Don't over bake it until it cracks.
  • 8. Cool to room temperature and chill in the refrigerator before removing from pan.
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Layered Shrimp Dip

Layered Shrimp Dip

Warning: this layered shrimp dip is addictive.

Be prepared to embarrass yourself at parties by hovering over it. Or at least that’s me when my sister would make this wonderful party-friendly layered shrimp dip. Imagine me sitting in front of it on the porch of our old house in North Carolina with scoops in my hand shoveling it into my mouth during summer family gatherings.

Worst part is it is so simple to make with basics being salad shrimp cream cheese, cheddar cheese, cocktail sauce, salsa, and green onions. This dip is very giving in terms of ingredients. You can customize it to suit your tastes. While I am a hardcore fresh salsa maker, I suggest using whatever red salsa out of the jar you fancy from mild to spicy. Same goes from the cocktail sauce, jar works perfectly and you can select the heat level. Canned or defrosted salad shrimp are interchangeable based on what is easier for you to find. Same goes the cheese having just cheddar or a Mexican mix. You can add olives or chopped fresh peppers. We eat ours with just green onions. Whatever takes your taste buds.

Layered Shrimp Dip is perfect for parties or a party for one.

 

Layered Shrimp Dip

Ingredients

  • - 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • - 1/2 cup jarred salsa, divided
  • - 1/2 to 1cup cocktail sauce
  • - Package, salad shrimp, defrosted or 3 cans (6 ounces each) small shrimp, rinsed and drained
  • - 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • - Sliced green onions
  • - Tortilla chips or Scoops

Preparation

  • - Combine cream cheese and half of the salsa
  • - Spread into a pie plate
  • - Combine cocktail sauce and remaining salsa; spread over cream cheese.
  • - Arrange shrimp evenly over top.
  • - Sprinkle with onions.
  • - Chill.
  • - Serve with tortilla chips or Scoops
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Italian Pandora Bread Pudding

Italian Pandora Bread Pudding

Don’t regift that Panettone or Pandora Breads

Ever since watching the British Bakeoff Master Classes where Paul made the Italian sweet yeast dough, Pandora Bread, I wanted to make it since it looked tasty and lovely. It is a rich bread made with what flour, sugar, butter, and eggs. What has kept me from making with I lacked easy access to the tin star mold. Panettone with the fruit and raisins are common finds, but the plain one was very hard to find.

Right before Christmas, I stopped in RI Job Lots – a store I can not describe – and there was a shelf full of them. I had to buy it. And I couldn’t wait until Christmas to eat it. That night the box was opened and the Pandora was taken out of the bag. We all were looking forward to it. Well there was quite a lot of disappointment. It was dry and had a flavor we couldn’t figure out. Was it alcohol? We didn’t know.

The Pandora, which was quite large, sat on the counter top. I torn clumps of it as I walked by and I wasn’t putting a dent in it. Something had to be done with it, but what?

I made a Mary Berry Christmas Pavlova for a friend on Christmas Eve. It needed six egg whites. I kept the yolks not wanting to waste them. As I put them in the fridge, the thought came to me: bread pudding. I can make bread pudding with them since it takes six egg yolks. While you could toast the bread or batter them for French (or Italian) toast, I like the option for bread pudding better. It is warm and moist with tons of flavor. And it was a hit.

So don’t throw out your Panettone or Pandora or regift it, but instead make bread pudding with it. Tear it apart soaking it in an egg sugar cream mixture and bake. Sprinkle it with powder sugar and, as we say in this house, “Bob’s your uncle.”

Pandora Bread Pudding

Pandora Bread Pudding

Bread Pudding

Italian Pandora Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • - 6 large egg yolks
  • - 2 cups whole milk
  • - 1 cup heavy cream
  • - 1 cup granulated sugar
  • - 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • - 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • - Pandora Bread, roughly chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • - 1/4 – 1/2 cup chopped white chocolate

Preparation

  • - Heat oven to 375° F.
  • - Butter or spray a shallow 2-quart baking dish.
  • - Whisk together the egg yolks, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl.
  • - Add the bread and chocolate and mix to combine.
  • - Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish and bake until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean in 40 minutes.
  • - Serve warm or at room temperature.
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Cranberry Chutney

Cranberry Chutney

 

Cranberry Chutney – A Multipurpose Condiment

Most American holiday tables from Thanksgiving to Christmas have some sort of cranberry dish. I grew up the jellied kind that came out of a can. Just slice it up and serve it. Sometimes my Mom would make a cranberry mold. All of it was good. It felt like I was eating dessert with my main course.

I never got my Mom’s cranberry mold recipe before she passed and she never wrote her recipes down so I had to make my own way. And maybe why it is important to me to write this blog for my son’s sake. I want to preserve and share family favorite recipes. I want my son to be able to have access to them to make for his friends and family when I am gone hopefully passing them on family traditions.

In our first year in Newport, we hosted a Thanksgiving dinner. And what is a Thanksgiving dinner without a cranberry product? Not Thanksgiving that’s what.

As I wandered through BJ’s, I came across a huge bag of cranberries from New England. On the back of this bag of Cape Cod Select cranberries was a recipe for a cranberry chutney. Why not I thought. Let’s just go for it. The huge bag of cranberry was in my cart.

This is a super easy recipe. A tart apple like a Granny Smith is best, I use Gala or whatever apples I have on hand. I recently made a batch and added overly ripe pear with the apple to the mixture. And very versatile. While you can serve this with turkey, you can serve it with other food. Warm some brie up and top it with this cranberry chutney. You can serve it with roasted pork. Top plain yogurt for an added punch to breakfast

Cranberry Chutney

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cranberries
  • 1 large apple
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

Preparation

  • 1. Chop up an apple. A tart apple is recommended, but use whatever you have on hand.
  • 2. Combine all ingredients in saucepan.
  • 3. Bring to a boil stirring along the way.
  • 4. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes. Apple should be tender and the mixture thickens.
  • 5. Serve warm or chilled.
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The Ultimate Brunch Dish Eggs Benedict

The Ultimate Brunch Dish Eggs Benedict

The Ultimate Brunch Dish: Eggs Benedict

Stay in your PJs and don’t bother to brush your teeth by bringing the ultimate brunch dish of Eggs Benedict to your table. No need to go out and spend $15 when you can make this at home. For us this is a holiday dish I usually make at Christmas or New Year’s.

The biggest challenge with Eggs Benedict is getting everything done at the same time. I have included my suggested process for preparation. Do whatever works for you. The goal is to get it hot to the table.

Eggs Benedict Recipe

Preparation

Make Hollandaise Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup or 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preparation

  • Cut the butter into four pieces and place in a 1-quart glass measure or bowl.
  • Microwave, covered with a paper towel, on high, until almost melted (about 45 seconds to 1 minute).
  • Remove butter from the microwave and stir until completely melted.
  • Separate eggs, placing the yolks in a small bowl and setting the whites aside for another purpose.
  • Beat the yolks well with a whisk or fork, then add to the butter and stir well.
  • Add cream, lemon juice, and sugar to egg mixture and stir well.
  • Microwave mixture, uncovered, on high, until just slightly thick, about 1 to 2 minutes, stopping every 20 seconds to stir with a fork.
  • Remove sauce from microwave and stir in the mustard.

For Poaching Eggs

  • Heat water, 1 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 teaspoons white vinegar and bring to a simmer over medium heat in a skillet with a lid.
  • crack each cold large egg into a custard cup or small ramekin.
  • Drop each egg into the simmering water.
  • Cover with lid and turn heat off.
  • Cook for 5 minutes.

Heat Canadian  Bacon

Toast English Muffins

Assemble starting with the English muffin, then Canadian Bacon, then Poached Egg topping it off with Hollandaise sauce.

Lux French Macarons

Lux French Macarons

Making of the Lux French Macarons

I seem to be on the French cooking spurt with the baguettes and now macarons. Perhaps that’s telling me I need to plan a trip to France. Who wants to send me there for a month or so? For Well Worn Apron of course!  For the art of food, so I can write about the food experience.

Back to macarons. They are like this mythical treat. Epic with their own cult following. I have to admit I have never had a French macaron until I made these ones. Crazy, I know, but true. I am now a fan.

They are beautiful… crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. The flavors and fillings can be anything. I made two types: coffee with Nutella filling and lemon with lemon buttercream. I am going to share the coffee recipe since it was the easiest and quickest to make. If you want me to post on the lemon ones, let me know in the comments or on Facebook. Best to make them 24-48 hours before you plan on sharing them. Allows them to develop their flavor and texture. Fair warning macaron making is an afternoon baking session so unlike cookies you cannot just whip these up last minute.

If you have noticed, recently I have been using weight measurements for baking. I am finding I am getting better end results. Baking is more science than art. Worth investing in a scale.

Coffee Nutella Filled French Macarons

Ingredients

 

  • 120 grams almond flour
  • 200 grams powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso granules
  • 100 grams egg whites or whites for 3 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 30 grams granulated sugar
  • Nutella spread

 Preparation

 

  • Measure the almond flour, powdered sugar, and espresso powder into the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse the mixture to a fine powder, and sift.
  • Whip the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt on medium speed until frothy.
  • Slowly add the granulated sugar (about a teaspoon at a time), while continuing to whip. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, turn the speed up to high and whip until the meringue looks glossy and holds stiff peaks.
  • Dump all the almond flour mixture into the meringue at once.
  • Fold together until the batter falls from the spoon.
  • Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, and pipe rounds about 1 inch in diameter onto parchment-lined baking sheets.
  • Slam the baking sheet on the counter to force out any large air bubbles allowing to dry for 30-45 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 325F.
  • Bake for 15-16 minutes.
  • Cool completely on the baking sheet
  • Sandwich with Nutella.

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