Friday, August 30, 2013

No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pie

I may have bought my first can of pumpkin already, but it will sit in my pantry for awhile.  I am not ready for Fall recipes for a couple of weeks. Here in Chicago, we are having a string of 90's, when of course most schools started  this week.  I am still enjoying buying fresh raspberries for a buck.  Can't pass those up. I  had two more containers of Raspberries that I needed to use, so I made this glorious No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pie.

 This cheesecake is bursting with Raspberry flavor from Raspberry puree and whole fresh Raspberries in a smooth, creamy, cheesecake made with whipping cream and cream cheese,  nestled on a graham cracker crust.  Don't  worry, you don't have to turn on your oven to make this cheesecake. You could use any other fresh fruit like strawberries, peaches, mangoes, blackberries, or  fruit of your choice. I used whipping cream, but you could use Cool Whip, as well.  I did use 1/3 fat cream cheese and I used the whipping cream, because I had some in the fridge, that needed to be used. I made this cheesecake pie in a 9" pie pan, but if you double the recipe, you can use a 9" spring form pan  Enjoy!

 No Bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pie



  • 9  whole graham crackers, processed into crumbs  or 1 1/4 cups of crumbs
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whipping cream, whipped
  • 2 6oz containers of Raspberries/divided  Save some for garnish on top
  • 1/4  raspberry puree ( about 1/3 cup of berries)


  1. Preheat oven to 375ºF
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Mix in melted butter. Press into 9 inch pie plate.
  3. Bake for 6-8 minutes. Cool completely.  To speed cooling, put crust in freezer
  4. Puree 1/3 c raspberries. Push through wire mesh strainer to remove seeds. Set aside.
  5. When crust is cool, whip together cream cheese, sugar and. Set aside. In another bowl, whip cream to soft peaks. Combine the whipped cream with the cream cheese mixture. Fold in raspberry puree and whole raspberries, carefully.
  6.  Fill pie crust and chill for at least two hours, or put in the freezer. Remove from freezer one half hour before serving.
  7. Garnish with additional berries before serving.  

My No bake Raspberry Cheesecake Pie was featured on Brandiie's  The Weekend Potluck #83!  Check it out!
l linked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #82
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

Peanut Butter and chocolate are my favorite combos to put in cookies.  I had some leftover Peanut Butter cups and wanted to use them up, besides eating all of them:)  Then I wanted to add some chocolate chips, can't beat more chocolate, and finally I added peanut butter. These cookies have double peanut butter, and double chocolate, Oh, my! We eat a lot of peanut butter in our house, about a jar a week of natural peanut butter, between the two of us. Scott has a whole wheat English muffin every morning topped with natural Peanut Butter and Gina's Jam, no excuses. I sent these cookies as part of a birthday package to my dear friend, Gina@SP Cookie Queen. Photo below courtesy of Gina's Facebook page, August 10th.

One thing that I have found out is that it's not a good idea to  bake with natural peanut butter, however, because the peanut butter never hardens, and it doesn't have any hydrogenated anything, only peanuts and salt. Ergo, your baked goods don't harden either.  One year I made the the Hershey's Kisses Peanut Butter cookies, aka, Peanut Blossoms at Christmas, and they crumbled.  I had a lot of peanut butter crumbs with Hershey's Kisses. Live and Learn, so If you make these incredible cookies, don't use natural peanut butter. Now when I bake anything with peanut butter, I have to use the unhealthy kind.

One more tip for baking there beauties is to refrigerate the dough for several hours, and line the baking sheets with parchment paper, that way your cookies won't spread to much.  I will be making these incredible cookies again for my PB and chocolate loving DIL soon:)  Enjoy! 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cup Cookies Adapted from Pennies on a Platter, originally adapted from Baking Junkie  about 24 cookies

1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter  (not natural peanut butter)
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
One 6-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chip, or chocolate chunk pieces
6 ounces (1/2 bag) miniature Peanut Butter cups, chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda, whisking until combined.  Set aside.
4. In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter on medium high speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
5. Add the sugars and peanut butter, mixing until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
6. Reduce the mixer speed and add the egg, vanilla, and milk, mixing until completely combined.
   Add in the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
7. Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the chocolate chips and the chopped Reese's cups. ***
8. Drop the cookie dough by rounded tablespoons or cookie dough scoop, onto the prepared baking sheets and bake the cookies until lightly golden around the edges, about 10 minutes.  Let cool completely.

***At this point, I refrigerated the dough for two hours to prevent the cookies from spreading too much. they turned out perfectly.

l inked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #82
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie


Monday, August 26, 2013

Lightened Up Zucchini Bread with Walnuts and Lemon Glaze

 I got a baseball bat sized zucchini from my neighbor's garden, enough zucchini to feed the masses, so I wanted to make zucchini bread for my neighbors. Darn, I didn't get a pic of the big one.  I know that I am probably late to the zucchini party, but my neighbor planted her garden late this year.    Everybody has their favorite Zucchini Bread recipe, but the one that I had been using was calorie laden, so I decided to lighten it up a bit.  I reduced the amount of sugar and replaced  1/2 cup of  the oil for unsweetened applesauce, then I added some chopped walnuts for extra nutrition, and topped it with a fresh lemon glaze. Wow,  the loaf wasn't overly sweet or moist, and it had the crunch with the walnuts, and tangy lemon glaze, just perfect.

I got six cups of grated Zucchini from this one Zucchini, and I didn't even grate the larger end of the zucchini, because it had too many seeds.  I think that I'll make some Lemon Zucchini muffins next or maybe Lemon Blueberry.  What do you make with your large Zucchini besides the bread?  I need some ideas. Enjoy!

Lightened Up Zucchini Bread with Walnuts and Lemon Glaze Adapted from Allrecipes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
1 3/4cup white sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped walnuts


Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch pans, or 5 mini loaf pans, preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Sift flour, salt, baking powder, soda, and cinnamon together in a bowl.
Beat eggs, oil, applesauce, vanilla, and sugar together in a large bowl. Add sifted ingredients to the creamed mixture, and beat well. Stir in zucchini and nuts until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake for 40 to 60 minutes, for 8X4 loaves,  30-35 minutes for the mini loaves, or until tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and completely cool. Glaze with lemon glaze, when cool.
Lemon Glaze

I cup powdered sugar
Juice of one lemon

Combine powdered sugar and juice, until desired consistency.  Spoon over cooled loaves.

l inked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #82
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


Friday, August 23, 2013

Fresh Raspberry White Chocolate Muffins, The Best Muffins Ever

I saw these muffins @ Java Cupcake, about a month ago, and knew that I had to make them.  Betsy Eves made them for her soldier, who is being deployed shortly.  Please keep Betsy and her family in your thoughts and prayers. I made them for a coffee, that I was going to and they were a definite hit.  Now that fresh raspberries are in season, they aren't so pricey, and are local, all the more reason to make these incredible muffins.  I really think that these are some of the best muffins that I have ever eaten. I know that's a strong statement, but it's true.

These large  muffins are so moist, bursting with sweet, juicy raspberries, and melted white chocolate chips, are like a party in your mouth.  There are a couple of "tricks to making these muffins so large and beautiful, that I never knew before. Thank you Sally's Baking Addiction. The first one being to spray the top of your muffin tin, and fill the muffin cups to the very top.  The muffins will spill over the top, but come out easily, if you run a plastic knife around the edge of the muffins, and ease them out gently.  The other trick is to pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees and bake the muffins for 5 minutes, and then with the muffins still in the oven, lower the oven temp to 375 degrees, and continue to ask for an additional, 12-14 minutes, or until the tops are golden, and a pick inserted in the center comes out clean. I'll be making these yummy muffins again soon, because I just got 6 oz. of fresh Raspberries for $1 at my grocery store.  If you try these, you won't be disappointed, and they might just become your favorite muffins, too.  Enjoy.

Fresh Raspberry White Chocolate Chip Muffins  from Java Cupcake  and Sally's Baking Addiction

  • 3 cups flour
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, gently packed
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • fresh raspberries (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups)
  • Sugar in the Raw (optional )

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F degrees. GENEROUSLY spray entire muffin/cupcake pan (in the cups and on top) with non-stick spray. You could also use cupcake liners, but I'd suggest still spraying the top of the pan. I used the cupcake liners and sprayed the top of the pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the sugars and whisk for about 2 minutes or until pale yellow, creamy and smooth.
  4. Add the milk, oil and vanilla and whisk until combined.
  5. Slowly pour the wet mixture into the dry while slowly whisking. Whisk until all the flour is off the bottom of the bowl and no more pockets of flour remain.Do not over mix.
  6. Add the white chocolate chips and fresh raspberries and GENTLY FOLD them into the batter. Be careful not to break up the raspberries!
  7. Fill each cup in the muffin pan to the top with batter. Sprinkle the tops generously with Sugar in the Raw. I didn’t use the sugar
  8. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 F degrees. Reduce heat to 375 F degrees and bake an additional 12-14 minutes our until tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Allow to cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing to a wire rack. NOTE: I ran a plastic knife along the edges of the muffins before removing to help ease them out of the pan.
  10. Eat immediately.  I did freeze my muffins and they froze well.

l inked up my recipe to Brandie@The Country Cook's Weekend Potluck #81
 Stop by and say Hi to Brandie! 


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