Tyler Florence’s Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

From Food Network
For the base:
Butter, for greasing the pan
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
9 graham crackers
1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
16 ounces (regular or light) cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Powdered sugar, for dustingPreheat oven to 325 degrees F.

For the base:
Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Cut a 9″ wide piece of parchment.  Place parchment paper in the pan, pressing down at the corners. In a food processor, process the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until they are the texture of bread crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour into the lined baking pan and gently pat down with the base of a glass. Bake in the oven for 12 minutes. When done set aside to cool. Wash the food processor bowl and blade.

For the filling:
To the clean food processor bowl, add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar and mix until completely smooth. Pour onto the cooled base and then cover with blueberries. They will sink slightly but should still be half exposed — as the cake bakes they will sink a little more and break down.

Bake in the oven for 35 minutes or until the center only slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 10 rectangular bars.

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence, 2007

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Published in: on September 4, 2016 at 5:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Tender White (or Yellow) Cake

slightly modified from the recipe at King Arthur Flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare two 8″ x 2″ or 9″ x 2″ round pans; a 9″ x 13″ pan; or 2 standard cupcake pans (20 to 24 cupcakes) by greasing and flouring; or lining with parchment, then greasing the parchment. Note: Make sure your 8″ round pans are at least 2″ deep; if they’re not, use one of the other pan options.
  2. Mix all of the dry ingredients on slow speed to blend. Add the soft butter and mix until evenly crumbly, like fine damp sand. It may form a paste, depending on the temperature of the butter, how much it’s mixed, and granulation of the sugar used.
  3. Add the egg whites one at a time, then the whole egg, beating well after each addition to begin building the structure of the cake. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl after each addition.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the yogurt (or milk) with the vanilla and almond extracts. Add this mixture, 1/3 at a time, to the batter. Beat 1 to 2 minutes after each addition, until fluffy. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes for 8″ or 9″ rounds; 23 to 26 minutes for a 9″ x 13″ x 2″ sheet cake ( I ended up baking it about 35 minutes); or 20 minutes for cupcakes. A toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center will come out clean when done. Remove from the oven, remove from the pan, if desired (not advisable for a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake), cool on a rack, and frost.
  6. Yield: Two 8″ or 9″ round layers; one 9″x 13″ x 2″ sheet cake, or 20 to 24 cupcakes.

Tips from our bakers

  • To make a raspberry cake, ice with your favorite butter cream, fill with raspberry jam, and arrange one pint of raspberries on top. You can find complete photos and instructions at our Bakers’ Banter blog.
  • To make a classic yellow cake, use 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites instead of 4 egg whites and one large egg. Delicious with rich chocolate icing!
  • This cake is very tender. We advise handling layers with care when turning them out of the pans; and if you’ve made a 9″ x 13″ sheet cake, it’s best served straight from the pan, to avoid crumbling.
Published in: on July 10, 2016 at 5:39 pm  Leave a Comment  

Cake Pan Cake

Slightly revised from the recipe at King Arthur Flour

  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa or natural cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar, cider or white
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cold water (see Tip below)
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Lightly grease an 8″ square or 9″ round pan that’s at least 2″ deep. If you don’t have a 2″-deep pan in either of those sizes, use a 9″ square pan.
  2. Traditional method: Measure all the dry ingredients into the prepared pan. Blend the ingredients together thoroughly with a fork or whisk and scoop out three holes, or indentations. Pour the vanilla into the first hole, the vinegar into the second, and the vegetable oil into the third. Take the cup of water and pour it directly over everything in the pan. Stir all the ingredients together with your fork until well blended.
  3. Updated method: Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl. Whisk the vanilla, vinegar, vegetable oil, and water in a separate bowl. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients, stirring until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs clinging to it.
  5. Serve the cake right from the pan; warm from the oven, it’s wonderful with a big glass of milk.
  6. Or, once cool, frost the cake with this simple chocolate frosting: Heat 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips with 1/2 cup half & half until the chips melt. Stir until smooth, and pour/spread over the cake.
  7. Yield: about 16 servings.


  • While the original, non-dairy version of this recipe calls for water as the liquid, feel free to substitute milk, for a slightly richer cake. Or try cold coffee, for a mocha version; or even 3/4 cup water mixed with 1/4 cup rum, for an “adults only” cake!
Published in: on July 10, 2016 at 5:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whole-Grain Brownies

From King Arthur Flour

Oh my goodness.  Rich, perfect density, super-chocolatey, and not too sweet.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa (I used Hershey’s and it was fine)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder, or instant coffee powder, optional but recommended
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour (I used Whole Wheat Pastry Flour and they were great)
  • 2 cups Ghirardelli 60% Chocolate Chips


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan; line the pan with parchment paper if desired.
  2. In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine.  (4 cup glass measure in microwave)
  3. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly just till it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F) but not bubbling. Don’t worry if it separates; just stir it briefly to recombine a bit. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, and stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder if using, and vanilla.
  5. Add the eggs, stirring till smooth.
  6. Then add the flour and chips, again stirring till smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, until a cake tester or sharp knife poked into the center reveals wet crumbs, but not raw batter. The brownies should feel set on the edges and in the center. (35 minutes for me) Remove them from the oven, and cool completely on a rack.
  8. Cover and let sit overnight before cutting and serving; this gives the bran a chance to soften and become “invisible” in your mouth.
  9. Yield: 2 dozen 2″ brownies.

Tips from our bakers

  • You can add 1 cup of nuts, or try other flavor combinations that appeal to you: toffee chips, or white chocolate, peanut butter, cappuccino, or mint chips. The total volume of mix-ins shouldn’t exceed 3 cups, and may increase baking time by 3 to 5 minutes.
  • If you want to cut shapes out of the brownies, line the baking pan with a sheet of parchment paper. Use a paper or metal spring clip to secure the parchment to the edge of the pan so it doesn’t flop down on the batter as it bakes. After the brownies are cool, you can use the parchment to lift the slab of brownies out of the pan, making them easier to frost or glaze, and cut.

Ma  yes
Anna  yes
Sam  yes
Da  no

Published in: on May 17, 2016 at 2:55 pm  Leave a Comment  


12717273_10153225850765672_1048137392352013043_nSwedish “Lingonberry Caves”
Makes about 40

1.5 sticks butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
zest from one lemon
2 teaspoons cold water
lingonberry jam (and/or apricot, blackberry, etc.)

Preheat oven to 325°F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Blend in the egg yolks until incorporated. Stir in the flour, ground almonds, and ground cardamom until a flaky dough is formed. Add the zest and water gently working the dough until it forms a ball.

Form dough into balls about 3/4″ in diameter. Place each ball onto the baking stone or baking sheet, pressing your thumb into the center of each and slightly flattening. The cookies will not spread.

Spoon about 1/3 teaspoon lingonberry jam to each thumbprint. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Let cookies cool for several minutes on the sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Published in: on December 26, 2015 at 10:06 am  Leave a Comment  

To Try: Pioneer Woman’s Blackberry Cheesecake Squares

Prep: 4 Hours Level: Easy
Cook: 2 Hours Serves: 16


  • 10 ounces, weight (2 Sleeves) Graham Crackers
  • 1/2 cup Pecans Or Walnuts
  • 1/2 cup Butter, Melted
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract


  • 3 packages (8 Ounces Each) Cream Cheese, Softened
  • 1-1/2 cup Sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 4 whole Eggs
  • 1/2 cup Sour Cream
  • Topping
  • 4 cups Blackberries (but I will probably use blueberries)
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
  • 4 Tablespoons Water

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a 9 x 13 inch pan (or other ovenproof pan) of hot water into the bottom rack.

For the crust, line a separate 9 x 13 inch baking pan with foil. Spray with cooking spray. Add the graham crackers and pecans to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse them until they’re fine crumbs. Drizzle in melted butter, pulsing until it’s all incorporated. Pulse in the vanilla. Pour the crumbs into the prepared pan and press the crumbs firmly into an even layer. Set aside.

Beat cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add sour cream and beat until incorporated.

Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the surface. Bake for 45 minutes, then turn off the oven and leave the door closed for an additional 10 minutes. Finally, open the door halfway and leave it in the oven for an additional 10 minutes. Remove the cheesecake and let it cool completely.

For the topping, add blackberries, sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and cook until the juices thicken slightly, about 4-5 minutes. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 4 tablespoons water to make a slurry, then add it to the berries. Let it boil for another 1 to 2 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow to cool.

Pour the blackberries over the cheesecake and place the pan into the fridge to chill and set for at least 2 hours. When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the pan by lifting the edges of the foil. Peel back the foil and use a long serrated knife to cut cheesecake into squares.

Published in: on September 12, 2015 at 5:12 am  Leave a Comment  

Sweetened Whipped Cream

Sweetened Whipped Cream from Epicurious

1 cup heavy cream (Kristin’s note:  NOT ultra-pasteurized, or you may have trouble getting it to whip)
2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the cream into a well-chilled bowl and add the sugar and vanilla.  Using an electric mixer or balloon whisk, beat the cream to the desired consistency.  For soft peaks, the cream will be just thick enough to hold its shape in soft billows.  For stiffly beaten cream, the beaters or whisk wires will leave distinct traces on the cream, and it will stand in firm peaks when the beaters are lifted.

The cream can be whipped up to 1 day ahead, covered tightly with plastic wrap or a lid, and refrigerated.  If liquid separates from the cream, whip it again to incorporate the liquid.

Published in: on December 24, 2014 at 10:26 am  Leave a Comment  

Quick Rustic Blueberry Tart a la Sophia


1 Trader Joe’s pie crust, thawed
1 lb fresh blueberries, washed and dried
1/4 cup ground almonds
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
scant 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons coarse sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place a piece of parchment on a large baking tray with sides.  Unroll the pastry and smooth together any breaks.  Sprinkle the ground almonds in the center of the pastry in an even layer, leaving a 2″ border all around.  Mix together the sugar and salt and sprinkle half of it over the almonds.  Dump the blueberries in the middle.  Sprinkle with lemon juice and the remaining sugar/salt mixture.  Carefully fold the edges of the crust over toward the center, smoothing over any holes.  If desired, brush the crust with water and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake for approx. 35 minutes until the filling bubbles and the crust is as brown as you like it.  Let stand a bit to firm up before slicing.


Published in: on August 30, 2014 at 11:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Lemongrass Panna Cotta

Recipe adapted from Moveable Feast with Fine Cooking.
 For the panna cotta
  • 2-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layer discarded; cut into 2-inch pieces and bruised
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbs. sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp. unflavored powdered gelatin (one 1/4 oz. envelope)
  • 1-1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
For the strawberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 stalks lemongrass, tough outer layer discarded; bottom 6 inches thinly sliced
  • 2 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced
  • Flaky sea salt, such as Maldon, for finishing
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • Edible flowers, such as pansy or nasturtium
Make the panna cotta

Combine the cream, lemongrass, sugar, and salt in 2-quart saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat and let steep 30 minutes, covered.

Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the buttermilk and let sit for 5 minutes to soften. Rewarm the cream mixture over medium heat. Remove from the heat and whisk in the buttermilk. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve. Divide the mixture evenly among eight 4-oz. ramekins and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until set, at least 3 hours.

Macerate the strawberries

Put the water, sugar, and lemongrass in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a simmer, stirring often until the sugar is dissolved, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let steep for 30 minutes.

Put the strawberries into a large bowl. Strain the syrup mixture through a fine mesh sieve and toss with the strawberries.  Refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

To serve, run a table knife carefully around the inside rim of each ramekin, then slip the tip of the knife down the side and under the bottom, to let in some air.  Turn the panna cotta out onto individual serving plates.  Garnish with the macerated strawberries, pinch of sea salt (you may wish to let each diner add their own salt), mint leaves (and edible flowers, if you are feeling very fancy and fanciful).



Published in: on May 16, 2014 at 2:25 pm  Comments (3)  
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Chocolate-Dipped Pretzel Rods


Utz’s Pretzel Rods (World Market)
Ghirardelli 60% Chocolate Chips (many sources, big bags on sale at World Market a couple of times a year)
sprinkles or chopped nuts of your choice

Heat 1-2 cups of chocolate chips in a 4-cup glass measure or other microwave-safe container for 90-120 seconds.  Stir with a small rubber spatula, and microwave for 10 seconds more at a time, as needed, until thoroughly melted.  Stir well, and let cool.  If the chocolate is too warm it runs right off the pretzels.

While the chocolate is cooling, line a baking tray with parchment or waxed paper, get out your sprinkles, chop your nuts, and make room in the fridge for the baking tray.

When the chocolate is noticeably thicker, grab one pretzel rod and hold it by one end.  That 1/4 to 1/3 of the pretzel will be the handle (no chocolate or sprinkles on it).  With your rubber spatula in your other hand, drape the chocolate over the pretzel, turning the pretzel as you go.  Remember to dunk the non-handle end.  When it is nicely covered, lay it down on the waxed paper.  Do two more, then put the tray in the fridge for a couple of minutes to let them firm up.  Repeat as needed.

Reheat your chocolate a little as needed.  If it gets too firm it won’t coat the pretzels nicely.

After the first layer of chocolate is hard, give each one a lengthwise stripe of melted chocolate, replace it on the parchment-covered sheet, and sprinkle your topping over the chocolate “glue”.  Replace the tray in the fridge.

Store finished pretzels in the fridge.


Published in: on April 19, 2014 at 9:24 am  Leave a Comment  
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