Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Baking Mishaps and Successes

I did a little last-minute Christmas baking.  First was a chocolate chip cookie dough cheesecake for Christmas dinner.  This has been bookmarked for some time - originally earmarked as a Game Day experiment before I decided to bring it to my family's Christmas.  The recipe is for a massive cheesecake, so I made it half sized.  According to various sites for pan conversions, half of a 10" springform pan should fit into an 8" round cake pan that was 2" deep.  Well... not quite.  I had to add sides to it to make sure it didn't overflow, because I clearly had more than two inches of batter.

I successfully halved the recipe but the rest was a comedy of errors.  Reconstructing the pan required redoing the crust.  Then I mixed sour cream and cream cheese in the wrong order, over-beating the batter.  Recipe clearly stated that will cause a crack.  Which it did.  Made for anxiety-free baking knowing it was going to crack regardless!  Then I layered it wrong, mixed in the chocolate chips too early.  Seriously? 

I ended up with extra balls of cookie dough because I made a section that was dough-free (anticipating family preferences).  I used the extra cookie dough as decoration.  It also identified the cookie dough-free section of the cheesecake - thus the uneven placement.

Good news is, it popped right out of the pan once it was chilled.  Made a  nice presentation, too.  Only one tiny wedge came home with us - the rest disappeared.  So it's a hit!  I will certainly make this again (and hopefully do a better job following the instructions).

I also baked brownies on Sunday night.  When I made peanut butter sandwich cookies for my family cookie swap, I made extra filling, thinking I'd need it.  I ended up with over a cup of excess filling.  I considered making more cookies but Rob suggested using it to frost brownies.  So I dug out an old recipe for frosted mint brownies to swap the frosting.  I chuckle whenever I make these:  I had mistakenly written down 2 ounces unsweetened sugar.  What?  Obviously that should have been unsweetened chocolate.  But Sunday was the first time I noticed that the recipe has no butter.  How many times I've made this without butter?  Good grief.  What a difference a stick of butter makes to the consistency of the batter.  Now this recipe card has a bunch of corrections.

The brownies are delicious.  The perfect amount of peanut butter filling.  So smooth.  So easy to eat more than one.  Even hidden away in the freezer, they won't last long (Rob confirmed they're really good frozen, too).  Oof - at this rate I'm going to roll into the new year.  

Maybe I would have done better if I asked for some help in the kitchen?  Wedgwood looks like she'd have been a good helper.

Had a wonderful day with the family.  Good food, nice weather for a walk, fun presents exchanged and delicious dessert.  Looking forward to a quiet day today with just us and the pigs.

I hope you are all enjoying your holidays as well.


  1. it was a sweet Christmas! Wedgie... good girl, now BAKE!

  2. I thought I was doine wth holiday baking, but your descriptions are making me want to head back to the kitchen. Can you share your recipe for the peanut butter filled brownies?


I enjoy reading your comments and I strive to reply by email (if you're not set to no-reply).