cream cheese

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Blackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Post Recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood blogger. this is a simple citrus cheesecake with a chocolate black bottom and homemade chocolate cookie crust made without Oreo's. Follow the instructions perfectly to get a cheesecake with a flat, smooth top without cracks every time. Drizzle with extra chocolate sauce or top with Meyer lemon slices for decoration. This is what to do with you Meyer lemons! Find the recipe for this easy cheesecake prepared with a water bath in a springform pan on thewoodandspoon.com

New Year’s Eve is slowly inching its way up my list of favorite holidays. Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, yes… but New Year’s Eve? There’s never any shortage of party.

For the second year in a row, we earned our New Year’s Day hangovers in the hills of the Smoky Mountains at Blackberry Farm in Walland, TN. A luxury hotel boasting strong culinary offerings and a James Beard Award winning wine and dining program, Blackberry Farm is a cozy, Southern retreat for those in need of a good meal and R&R. We visited Blackberry Farm this time last year (you may remember this post about it), and enjoyed it so much that we made reservations to visit again only a week or two after returning home. The resort, just as I recalled, was nothing short of magnificent, and we had a terrific time ringing in the New Year.

2017-01-04_0011Blackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake PostBlackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Post

Much like last year, Brett and I made the trip north with our friends Rayne and James. Leading up to the trip, Rayne and I spent an obnoxious amount of time preparing our packing lists, which included shopping for glamorous outfits to wear to the New Year’s Eve party. After searching everywhere for the perfect cocktail dress, I ended up raiding my sister’s closet, borrowing her black lace dress from last year’s homecoming. 

All of the trip preparation ended up being totally worth it because the New Year’s Eve party did not disappoint. I spent the evening fangirling some country music stars that were at the party (*cough* Little Big Town and Rascal Flatts *cough*), tripping over the dance floor with Brett, and eating my feelings at the dessert bar (see below for exhibit A). The party was rad, but honestly, who wouldn’t feel like a million bucks dancing the night away with their man-friend and sipping champagne cocktails with their BFF. Also, let’s not forget that I had managed to shimmy myself into my teenage sister’s LBD- a little fact that made me fist pump every time I thought about it. 

Blackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake PostThe weekend was incredibly relaxing, complete with some walks around the property, morning yoga, a trip to the spa, and a few hours each day spent cuddled around the fire. The only downside was the two (or seven) pounds I gained while there from day drinking consuming so much food. WORTH IT. Blackberry Farm boasts some of the best food and dining I’ve ever experienced in my life, so I spared no calorie, sip, or bite in making sure that I got the best of what the resort had to offer. I meant to bring my camera to share some images of the trip, but I saved my luggage space for all the pairs of Spanx I needed, so you’ll have to settle for these iPhone shots instead. Even so, there’s no denying the beauty of Blackberry Farm and the fun that we tucked under our belts there. If you ever get the opportunity to visit, I urge you to do so- it’s fab. 

So are you ready to hear about this Meyer lemon cheesecake yet? 

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Meyer lemons are the sweeter, more floral tasting sister fruit to the regular old lemons you might commonly buy. They usually pop up in the grocery stores throughout the winter, so if you see them, GET THEM. They are a prize to be honored in your kitchens, and add wonderful flavor to sweet and savory dishes alike. 

This Meyer lemon cheesecake features a rich chocolate crust and a thin layer of chocolate cheesecake on the bottom. We start by preparing the crust which zips together quickly before being pressed into the bottom of a springform pan. The recipe for the cheesecake filling is no fail, in my opinion, because it never cracks, is always creamy, and is the perfect balance of sweet and tart. With a bit of cream cheese, eggs, and sugar, the filling beats together to create a thick and luscious filling that is so tasty, you may find yourself licking the bowl. Take care while preparing the cheesecake filling to follow the instructions closely, because there’s nothing worse than pulling your cheesecake out of the oven only to find that it’s burned, cracked, runny, or soggy crusted from a leaky waterbath. #beenthere #donethatBlackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Post

Meyer lemon cheesecake, with its fancy citrus, black bottom, and rich, decadent taste, feels like a fancy dessert fit for celebrating the new year. Maybe throw on your little sister’s dress, eat some cheesecake, and feel like a rockstar for a minute. Maybe make this Meyer lemon cheesecake and dream about all the good stuff this coming year has for you. My prayer is you’ll find lots of joy, love, and cake in 2017. Happy New Year!

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

 

Print

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Blackberry Farm for Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Post Recipe by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood blogger. this is a simple citrus cheesecake with a chocolate black bottom and homemade chocolate cookie crust made without Oreo's. Follow the instructions perfectly to get a cheesecake with a flat, smooth top without cracks every time. Drizzle with extra chocolate sauce or top with Meyer lemon slices for decoration. This is what to do with you Meyer lemons! Find the recipe for this easy cheesecake prepared with a water bath in a springform pan on thewoodandspoon.com

This meyer lemon cheesecake is a black bottom cheesecake with a chocolate crust. Tart and creamy, this cheesecake is a great make ahead dessert option, and is a rich and lemony treat, perfect for the chocolate and fruit lovers in your life!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours
Scale

Ingredients

For the chocolate crust

  • 1 cup (130 gm) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 3/4 cup (65 gm) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2/3 (80 gm) cup flour, sifted
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup (115 gm) butter, melted

For the cheesecake

  • 6 ounces (170 gm) semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 11/2 pounds/ 3 blocks (680 gm) of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (155 gm) sugar
  • 3 large eggs (170 gm), room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 41/4 tablespoons (65 ml) of meyer lemon juice (about the juice of 11/2 large meyer lemons)
  • 1 tablespoon of packed meyer lemon zest (about the zest of 2 large meyer lemons- avoid the white pith)

Instructions

To prepare the chocolate crust

  1. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by wrapping it in sheets of aluminum foil. I use 3 layers of extra wide foil wrapped to the top lip of the pan. Spray the inside walls and bottom of the pan with cooking spray.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients until combined. Add the melted butter and stir just until combined. Gently pat out your chocolate mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling.

To prepare the cheesecake

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get some water boiling in a kettle or saucepan for your water bath.
  2. Set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed (I use 4 on my Kitchen Aid Mixer) for 2 minutes to remove all clumps. Do not overbeat, but scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. If many clumps remain, ensure that your cream cheese has softened to room temp.
  4. Add the sugar and beat on medium for an additional 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine an additional 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the heavy cream, vanilla, and lemon juice. Beat to combine.
  5. Strain the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer into a reserved bowl and then fold in the lemon zest. Remove 3/4 cup of the cheesecake batter and stir it into the melted chocolate. Spread the chocolate cheesecake over the top of the chocolate crust. Next, pour the remaining cheesecake batter over top of the chocolate layer. Gently rap the pan on the counter to help any air bubbles escape.
  6. Place your springform pan into a slightly larger baking dish/pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water you prepared for the water bath until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
  7. Carefully place both pans in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour. After an hour of baking, the edges and top of the cheesecake should be set but still slightly jiggle in the center. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to bake for an additional 30 minutes in the oven. Prop the door of the oven open slightly with a wooden spoon and continue to cool the cheesecake for another 30 minutes in the cooling oven.
  8. Discard the water bath, remove the foil and then place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for several days.

Notes

Notes

  • I wrap my springform pan with three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. This is to protect your crust from any water leakage of your springform pan. Many pans will claim to be waterproof but your crust will get soggy and inedible if water leakage happens. Don’t take any chances!
  • I use a 11″ round cake pan for my water bath but you can use any oven-safe dish that you have. Once of my readers used a roasting pan and that works just fine!
  • The cooling process seems lengthy and unnecessary, but it helps to prevent drastic temperature changes that can cause structural issues with your cake.

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple, no bake recipe featuring a cookie butter (biscoff / speculoos) mousse made with cream cheese and whipped cream. The mousse is prepared in individual jars (Weck, but you can use Mason jars) and topped with a salty pretzel crumble/ crumb made with butter and brown sugar and salt. It's all topped with more sweetened whipped cream and pretzels. This recipe is fast and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Store in the fridge to make ahead. Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

We stress ourselves out, don’t we? We plan too much, do too much, squeeze too much in at the last minute. We run and push and accept a few jobs that we have no business taking. But this is Christmas. These few weeks of the year are precious and valuable and not meant to be squandered away on to-do lists and stressful tasks. The hours of these days should be spent on laughter and hugs and gratitude. So if you’re in over your head this Christmas, today’s recipe, cookie butter pretzel mousse, is for you. This recipe will give you something delightful to share with your loved ones and spare you from burning the midnight oil in the kitchen. Interested yet? Well then let’s get to it!

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Cookie butter pretzel mousse is a sweet and salty dessert made up of a cream cheese and cookie butter whip, topped with buttery, brown sugar pretzel crumbs and whipped cream. We start by preparing the pretzel crumbs by combining crushed pretzels, melted butter, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Once the mixture is fully combined, we set the crumbles aside to cool. Meanwhile, the cookie butter gets whipped with a bit of sugar and cream cheese. Once creamy and smooth, whipped cream is folded in to create a fluffy, cloudlike mousse that it out of this world. Once thoroughly folded in, you can begin to assemble your little mousse cups! I prepared mine in individual jars, but if you don’t have small Weck or Ball jars at home  you could easily assemble these in low ball glasses, champagne coupes (hello, NYE!), or even small plastic cups.

cStart to finish, these cookie butter pretzel mousse cups take less than 30 minutes to make, and the outcome is a stunning dessert that will blow each and every one of your holiday guests away. So chill out, love someone this weekend, and spend a little less time in the kitchen by sharing this delicious cookie butter pretzel mousse at your upcoming celebrations. I’ll also be sharing a recipe for sparkly champagne cupcakes that will make your New Year’s Eve bash extra boozy and fancy so check back for that in a few days as well. Cheers to you and have a merry week!

Cookie Butter Pretzel MousseCookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

 

Print

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse

Cookie Butter Pretzel Mousse by the wood and spoon blog by kate wood. This is a simple, no bake recipe featuring a cookie butter (biscoff / speculoos) mousse made with cream cheese and whipped cream. The mousse is prepared in individual jars (Weck, but you can use Mason jars) and topped with a salty pretzel crumble/ crumb made with butter and brown sugar and salt. It's all topped with more sweetened whipped cream and pretzels. This recipe is fast and takes less than 30 minutes to make. Store in the fridge to make ahead. Recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Cookie butter pretzel mouse is a creamy, sweet and salty mousse topped with buttery, brown sugar pretzel crumbs and fluffy whipped cream.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30
  • Yield: 6 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the pretzel crumbs

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup rough crushes pretzels

For the mousse

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup cream

For the whipped cream topping

  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions

To prepare the pretzel crumbs

  1. Stir together the melted butter, brown sugar, and salt. Stir in the pretzel crumbs and set aside while you prepare the mousse and cream topping.

To prepare the mousse

  1. Beat together the cream cheese and cookie butter on medium speed in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed to ensure it becomes well combined. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined.
  2. In a separate bowl, whip together the cream until stiff peaks form. Fold half of the cream into the cookie butter mixture. Once combined, fold the remaining whipped cream in. Set aside while you prepare the whipped cream topping.

To prepare the whipped cream topping

  1. Beat the cream on medium low speed until it begins to froth slightly. Increase the speed to medium high and beat until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and vanilla and then continue beating just until stiff peaks form.

To assemble the cookie butter mousse cups

  1. Using a piping bag fitted with a large round tip, pipe the mousse mixture into 6- 6 ounce glass jars. You will add approximately 1/3-1/2 cup of the mixture to each jar. Alternatively, you can just scoop the mixture in to a bowl or the jars if you don’t have a piping bag, or use a plastic bag with the end clipped off to pipe it in. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the pretzel crumbs over top of the mousse and then top with a large dollop of whipped cream. Sprinkle with any remaining pretzel crumbs and then serve!

Notes

Notes

  • These can be stored covered in the fridge for up to 3 days but are best eaten right away as the pretzel crumbs will lose their crunch over time.
  • Do no use low fat or unsalted pretzels. Also avoid use large pretzel rods or nuggets.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. These are fluffy, light cinnamon rolls and that make several pans or just a few large oversized big cinnamon rolls. These contain sweet potato puree or you can use pumpkin puree from a can. Filled with a cinnamon and brown sugar pecan filling and topped with a simple and easy cream cheese frosting / icing / glaze. Make these ahead if desired. Find the recipe for these fall favorite best breakfast buns at thewoodandspoon.com

When it comes to leftovers, my belief is that every person belongs to one of two camps. You either like them, or you don’t. 

I personally have always been a fan of leftovers. My brain is filled with fond memories of cold pizza, leftover birthday cake for breakfast, and carry-out Chinese from the night before. Pasta, soup, and casseroles- all better on day two. I’ve even been known to eat giant spoonfuls of mac and cheese straight from dish in the fridge, and I promise you it’s delicious.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Ok, ok, I can hear you gagging. 

I may have an absurd level of tolerance for leftovers, but I’m pretty sure there’s at least one day per year that we can all get behind leftovers.

THANKSGIVING! The day of giving thanks and putting down some grub. The day to fill your heart with gratitude and your plate with tan colored food. When else can you justify cooking 18 pounds of food (32 pounds if you count the turkey) and binge snacking for 72 hours straight? When else can you dirty every Pyrex dish in your house and justify running the dishwasher 4 times in one day?

Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving! That’s when! 

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

I am pro Thanksgiving leftovers. I vote yes to breakfasts made of cranberry sauce oatmeal and veggie plate dinners. I am all for lunches of open-faced turkey sandwiches on thick slices of cornbread and eating pumpkin pie as a breakfast food. And this year, I’m preparing Thanksgiving dinner with leftovers in mind because I have officially perfected the sweet potato cinnamon roll.

Yes, you heard me right. You can call your mother and tell her you’re finally eating more vegetables, because sweet potatoes. In a cinnamon roll. With pecans. And frosting. 

These sweet potato cinnamon rolls are made by combining a typical dough with some sweet potato puree. The puree, which is made simply by pureeing cooked and peeled sweet potatoes, keeps the dough fluffy and moist for days. Filled with a cinnamon sugar spread and toasty chopped pecans, these sweet potato cinnamon rolls are topped with a cream cheese frosting and will make your house smell like a fall-flavored dream.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

This dough starts decadently by melting the butter into the milk and sugar. After some yeast proofs in the warm milk, the sweet potato puree and some dry ingredients are added. We let the dough rise before the remaining dry ingredients are tossed in. After a quick once over with the rolling pin, a schmear of butter, sugar, and spices, and a sprinkle of pecans, these sweet potato cinnamon rolls are ready for baking.

Hot from the oven, these cinnamon rolls get frosted with a glossy cream cheese frosting. I prefer sweet frosting, but you can certainly decrease the amount of butter and sugar here to have a more dominantly cream cheese flavored frosting. Once they’re frosted, the sweet potato cinnamon rolls are ready for action. And by action, I mean devouring.

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

If you’re in charge of any dish this Thanksgiving, make sure it’s the sweet potatoes… And while you’re whipping up that dish you should casually throw in an extra potato or two… And when there’s leftovers, well, you know what to do. This sweet potato cinnamon roll recipe will be waiting for you.

Cheers to you and happy Tuesday!

 

Print

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls

Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. These are fluffy, light cinnamon rolls and that make several pans or just a few large oversized big cinnamon rolls. These contain sweet potato puree or you can use pumpkin puree from a can. Filled with a cinnamon and brown sugar pecan filling and topped with a simple and easy cream cheese frosting / icing / glaze. Make these ahead if desired. Find the recipe for these fall favorite best breakfast buns at thewoodandspoon.com

These sweet potato cinnamon rolls are fall scented buns stuffed with a cinnamon sugar filling, toasted pecans, and topped with a cream cheese frosting.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 90
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Scale

Ingredients

For the dough

  • 1 cup milk (whole or 2%)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 21/4 teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup sweet potato puree (see notes below)
  • 31/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 1 stick of unsalted butter, softened slightly in the microwave but not completely melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 11/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the glaze

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons of cream or milk, plus more as desired

Instructions

To prepare the cinnamon rolls

  1. In a large pot, combine the milk, butter, and sugar over medium heat and allow to warm just before the milk is scalding. Remove from burner and allow to cool until luke warm. Add the yeast and allow to dissolve, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the sweet potato puree to the milk mixture, stirring gently to combine. Add 3 cups of the flour and stir to combine. Cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rest and rise for 45 minutes to 1 hour. If your dough hasn’t doubled in size within that hour, place the dough in a slightly warmer spot of the kitchen.
  3. Combine the remaining flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and add to the risen dough. Stir to combine. At this point, you can refrigerate the dough overnight or roll out to use immediately. If you decide to save it, punch dough down into bowl if it over-rises.
  4. Roll the dough out onto a lightly floured surface to a 12″x18″ rectangle. Combine the butter, brown sugar, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon in a bowl to create a paste. Spread softened butter mixture out across the dough , leaving a 1/2 inch border around the sides. Evenly sprinkle the pecans over the dough.
  5. With one of the long ends closest to you, begin to roll the dough away from you, pinching the dough together at the end to seal your roll. Trim off any shaggy ends (no more than 1 inch) Using a sharp knife, cut 1″ slices from your log of dough.
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place buns 1″ apart in a baking dish (I use 3- 8″x8″ baking dishes) and cover again with a sheet of plastic wrap or a tea towel. Allow to rise for 25-30 minutes, or until buns are puffed and rounded. Bake in the oven until buns are golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool on pan for 10-15 minutes and then top with glaze.

To prepare the filling

  1. In a medium sized bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth. Add the powdered sugar slowly and beat until combined. Add the vanilla and cream, beating until smooth. Add additional cream if you wish to have a more loose glaze.

Notes

 

  • To make sweet potato puree, peel 1 large sweet potato and cube it into 1″ pieces. Place cubes in a pot of water boiling over medium high heat and cook until tender to a fork, about 10 minutes. Drain water and set aside to cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, place potatoes in a food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Be sure no large clumps remain, or your rolls will also have clumps in them. Allow to cool in the fridge slightly prior to adding to the cinnamon roll dough. The puree can be made and saved in the fridge several days in advance.

Recipe Adapted From: Ree Drummond
 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple, individual mini tarts made in removable bottom tart pans. An easy cheesecake and canned pumpkin puree filling swirled together with sugar and fall spices like cinnamon. The press in crust is easy to make and the whole thing is topped with sweet and salty walnuts or pecans or other nuts. Find this great dinner party dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

What age is too old?

This is the question I’m faced with more and more frequently. 

For example, I secretly love Harry Styles, but am I just way too old to admit that? I want to buy a chokers and lace up shirts, but wait, didn’t I wear those twenty years ago!? And then what about my secret stash of Mary-Kate and Ashley movies? AM I TOO OLD FOR ALL OF THIS? PLEASE INFORM. 

I’m stuck in this purgatory age known as 28 where (to quote the great philosopher Britney Spears) I’m not a girl, not yet a woman, and I have no gauge of where my awkwardness fits in society.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Ok, I can already hear you rolling your eyes at me, and that’s fine. You can judge me. You can hate me for getting antsy about nearing my thirties, or you can laugh at the immature desires of my old, wrinkly heart. But I’m just being honest here, ok? 

This past weekend, we traveled with friends to Atlanta for a football game and 36 kid-free hours of food and shopping. Following an afternoon of day-drinking, pre-dinner cocktails, and a few poured bottles of wine throughout dinner, I was feeling pretty fancy. And to be clear, by fancy, I mean Ready. To. Dance. 

We attempted to crash a wedding at our hotel, but security swiftly asked us to leave (#proudmoments). Instead, we decided to walk to a club around the corner. Brett paid our cover, the thick velvet curtain was drawn back for us, and for a minute, I was 21 again. Yes, in my mind’s eye, I was young, fresh-faced, sans stretch marks or nursing boobs, and for all intents and purposes, a BABE. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Well, that moment lasted about as long as it took for me to get to the dance floor, because then the question hit me: Am I too old? 

I am choosing to believe that the age to enter this club had to have been, like, 14 because some of these kids looked downright preteen. These were tiny, infant children, playing pretend with their mom and dad’s stash of Bud Light and cocktail straws. That has to be it. Otherwise, the alternative is that I was the old one.

Well, I danced. I danced and jumped and sang and did a bunch of other fistpump/pelvic thrust movements because when you’re old, you don’t have time to practice your moves in the mirror of your bathroom anymore. The DJ amused us by playing an assortment of hits from the 90’s, and at one point, Brett and I were booty dancing (do we still call it that?) and yell-singing the six or seven words we were able to make out of “It’s Tricky” by Run D.M.C. I have no doubt in my mind that those fetus humans we danced alongside went home and told their friends about the crusty old people who humiliated themselves doing the hand-jive in the middle of a struggling dance floor, but honestly, if you can’t dance when you’ve been casually drinking for 12 hours, WHEN CAN YOU DANCE!?!

The moral of this story is that growing up is hard to do, but if you manage to dance your way through it with your friends, you’ll make it out with not much more than a dull headache and a few blurry photos to fondly laugh at later. 

img_3606

I’ll be 29 in a few weeks and I’m considering these pumpkin cheesecake tarts as an ode to my earlier years. They’re cute, petite, and wildly delicious. I shared them with a friend who said they would make a terrific alternative to the usual Thanksgiving desserts, but honestly, life is short and we really don’t need an excuse to indulge in delicious desserts. The time for dancing and pumpkin cheesecake tarts is now. 

The recipe for these pumpkin cheesecake tarts is adapted from my bruleed key lime pies, so if you’ve tried those you know how simple these are to make! We start by pressing a shortbread crust into the bottom of 4″ tart pans. I used my favorite shortbread crust from these blueberry lemon bars. The filling is sweet and creamy, similar to a cheesecake, with swirls of pumpkin and all of our favorite fall flavors. After a quick bake in the oven, the tarts are cooled to room temp before being topped with toasted hazelnuts. Sound awesome? Yeah, I thought so.

You can make these pumpkin cheesecake tarts ahead of time and warm slightly just before eating.Whipped cream isn’t mandatory, but I really can’t think of a reason not to go for it; a sprinkle of cinnamon and nutmeg in that whipped cream would be magical. I’ve also tried adding the hazelnuts directly to the shortbread crust, and let me just say that I was NOT disappointed. If you don’t have mini tart pans, you can make this in one larger 10″ tart pan (or maybe even a jelly roll pan as a bar??) as well! You will most definitely have a little extra dough and filling, though, so I recommend making only 2/3 of the recipe and lengthening your bake times.

I hope you give these pumpkin cheesecake tarts a shot. I also hope you weren’t at that bar secretly laughing at my dance moves. 

Cheers to you and happy Monday!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts 

Print

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tarts Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple, individual mini tarts made in removable bottom tart pans. An easy cheesecake and canned pumpkin puree filling swirled together with sugar and fall spices like cinnamon. The press in crust is easy to make and the whole thing is topped with sweet and salty walnuts or pecans or other nuts. Find this great dinner party dessert on thewoodandspoon.com

These pumpkin cheesecake tarts are a pumpkin pie and cheesecake mashup, baked in a shortbread crust and topped with toasted hazelnuts. It’s a perfect fall dessert!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
Scale

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 21/3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For the filling

  • 18 ounces block of cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, divided
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup of pumpkin puree
  • 11/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts
  • Whipped Cream (if desired)

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray 6- 4″ tart pans with removable bottoms with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar, about 1-2 minutes on medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla. Add the flour and salt all at once and stir on low speed until large crumbles begin to form.
  3. Divide the dough between the 6 tart pans and lightly press the dough out evenly on the bottom and up the sides. Place on a sheet pan and in the freezer for the dough to set up for about 10 minutes.
  4. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Once removed from the oven, carefully press out the bottom or any areas where the dough may have gotten droopy in the pans. Be sure to do this while it is still warm from the oven! Set aside while you prepare the filling.

To prepare the filling

  1. Cream the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes, or until smooth and creamy. Add 1/2 of the can of sweetened condensed milk and beat briefly to combine, scraping the bowl as needed. Add 1 egg, the vanilla, and salt, beating together to combine. Set aside 1/2 cup of this mixture in a medium sized bowl.
  2. To that 1/2 cup of cream cheese mixture, add the pumpkin, the rest of the sweetened condensed milk, an egg and the egg yolk, and the pumpkin pie spice. Beat to combine, scraping the bowl as needed.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of the pumpkin mixture in each of the cooled tart shells, and drizzle 3 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture over top. Drag a knife through the filling to create swirls, if desired.
  4. Place each tart pan on a sheet pan and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes or until the outer edge of the tart has set well. Allow to cool briefly on the counter for about 30 minutes and then place in the fridge to cool completely. Serve each tart with a sprinkling of hazelnuts and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.

Notes

  • Be sure the cream cheese is room temperature! If it is still cold while beating, little clumps will form in your batter and you’ll be forced to whisk it through a fine mesh strainer prior to pouring in your tart shells.
  • You can add your hazelnuts directly to your crust by finely chopping them and stirring into the dough clumps. You may have a little extra dough if you use this method, but I totally approve eating little handfuls of it raw. (gasp!)

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. This is a simple make ahead dessert recipe inspired by Paula Deen's Mrs. Salter's pie. This is a cream cream cheese and whipped cream peanut butter filling topped with salted salty caramel and chopped peanuts. The whole thing is stuffed in a brown sugar, butter, and pretzel pie crust. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes and is a great treat to make for a dinner party or casual gathering. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

Like most kids these days, I come from a broken home. My parents divorced when I was young, and by the time I was three, my mom had remarried Michael, my stepdad. From that point on, a majority of my childhood was spent with my mom and Michael, and for a long time, it was just the three of us in our house.

Twenty five years later, I can tell you that some things never change. There’s just as many “laugh till we cry” moments and still a handful of cold shoulders and spats. In those years in between, Michael taught me how to ride a bike, how to parallel park, how to balance a checkbook. How to pass a class, how to shoot a basketball, how to break up with a boy.  He let me dance on his feet as a toddler and carried me on his shoulders as a little girl, but as an adult, he challenges me to carry myself with confidence and to produce the best with what I’m given. In a time when tumultuous relationships exist within families of all kinds, I’m grateful to have been grafted  into a family that has made me a better person. 

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

Growing up, our family of three spent a lot of time eating out, and like any normal kid, my favorite part of the meal was always dessert. Luckily, Michael and I shared that love, and 99% of the time, dessert was ordered at our table. Our favorite…debatable. But one dessert that was frequently ordered and I will always associate with Michael is peanut butter pie

That love of peanut butter pie has followed me all of my life. Several years ago, I sat across from a guy on our first official date. After a meal full of conversation and starry eyed looks, he offered to order dessert. Let me be clear- I never turn down dessert. BUT! I was trying to be dainty and ladylike and completely unassuming, so I insisted I was stuffed (ha!) and politely declined. Instead of accepting my unconvincing dismissal, my date ordered me a slice of peanut butter pie to go, and I swear to you that at that moment, I was in love. Five years later and 2 kids later, that date is now my husband and we eat dessert every night. And whenever I get the itch to make peanut butter pie, I think of that first date, the many slices of peanut butter pie that came before it, and how grateful I am that Michael unknowingly taught me to love a man who orders me dessert. 

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

The peanut butter pie I am sharing with you today is not your average Joe. It’s a caramel peanut butter pie with a pretzel crust and it. is. my. jam. If you think you’re the person that can’t bake or doesn’t have pie skills, this is the recipe for you. Your time has come, and you have to make this pie. A buttery and salty pretzel crust, pressed underneath a layer of caramel, creamy peanut butter filling, and finally, pillowy dollops of whipped cream. A few more drizzles of salty caramel and a handful of crushed peanuts later, and you’re pretty much halfway down the highway of my dreams.

You want this pie. You need it. And if you don’t have the detailed memories of peanut butter pie like I do, this is definitely the recipe that will give you some. Make this peanut butter pie, eat it all, and then high five yourself for winning on this Monday. Cheers to you!

Print

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie Recipe By The Wood and Spoon Blog. This is a simple make ahead dessert recipe inspired by Paula Deen's Mrs. Salter's pie. This is a cream cream cheese and whipped cream peanut butter filling topped with salted salty caramel and chopped peanuts. The whole thing is stuffed in a brown sugar, butter, and pretzel pie crust. This recipe takes less than 30 minutes and is a great treat to make for a dinner party or casual gathering. Find the recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This peanut butter pie features a pretzel crust, drizzles of caramel, and dollops of homemade whipped cream. Enjoy garnished with extra pretzels, peanuts, and drizzles of caramel!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Total Time: 30
  • Category: Pie
Scale

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 6 ounces (170 gm) of pretzels
  • 1/4 cup (55 gm) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup /1 stick (113 gm) of unsalted butter, melted

For the filling

  • 2 cups (480 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (100 gm) sugar
  • 1 block / 8 ounces (225 gm) of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup (255 gm) peanut butter
  • 1 cup (125 gm) confectioners sugar
  • 1/4 cup of prepared caramel (see notes)
  • 1/4 cup (40 gm) peanuts
  • Extra pretezels for decorating, if desired

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, whiz the pretzels, brown sugar, and salt until the pretzels are crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse to combine.
  3. Pat out the crumbs into the bottom and sides of a standard (not deep dish) 9″ pie plate. Bake in the oven for 8-10 minutes until set. Allow to cool completely before using.

To prepare the pie

  1. Whip the cream and sugar together in a medium sized bowl until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
  2. In a separate large bowl, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioners sugar together until smooth, about 1 minutes. Fold in 2/3 of the whipped cream until smooth.
  3. Layer half of the peanut butter mixture into the pie pan. Drizzle with half of the caramel. Layer the second half of the peanut butter mixture on top. Drizzle with remaining caramel and top with the reserved whipped cream. Garnish, if desired, with peanuts and pretzels. Chill in fridge for 2-4 hours until cold before serving.

Notes

  • I like Bobby Flay’s recipe for salted caramel (found on NYT.com) but store bought is fine.

Recipe Adapted From: Paula Deen