Friday, December 30, 2011

K.I.S.S.


Tomorrow a very dear friend will be having dinner with us. She's half Italian, so I'll be cooking Italian gravy with pasta. We'll have crostini as an appetizer and a salad with arugula and grape tomatoes.

But, what will we have for dessert? I thought about making tiramisu, or a zablione, but then my older daughter brought home something new from the grocery store--Jello Pudding "Candy Cane" flavor. That reminded me of a recipe I found years ago in a Pillsbury Bake Off Dessert Cook Book. I have the 1968 issue which includes "Neapolitan Cheesecake".


Neapolitan Cheesecake

Crust
1 cup flour
1/2 cup coarsely crushed after dinner mints
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup butter or margarine

In small mixer bowl, combine flour, candy, and vanilla. Cut in butter, using low speed of mixer until mixture is crumbly. Press into bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes or until delicately browned. Cool.


Neapolitan Filling
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 envelope (1 tablespoon) unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup milk
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup (6-oz. pkg) semi-sweet chocolate pieces, melted
2 tablespoons crushed after dinner mints


In saucepan, combine 1/3 cup sugar, salt, and gelatin. Add milk and slightly beaten egg yolks. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat. Add cream cheese; allow to soften, then beat with rotary beater until smooth. Cool until slightly thickened. In small mixer bowl, combine egg whites and vanilla. Beat at high speed until foamy. Add sugar gradually, continuing to beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold into gelatin mixture. Divide in half. Pour melted chocolate into one portion. Spoon into baked crust. Spoon vanilla filling over chocolate. Sprinkle on crushed candy after dinner mints. Chill at least 2 hours before serving.

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OK, it's a great recipe, but all that cooking, stirring, beating, whipping, whipping...phew, I'm exhausted just reading it! Here's what Carb Diva did:

Carb Diva Peppermint Cheesecake

Crust
1 cup flour
1/2 cup butter or margarine

Place flour and butter in small mixer bowl. Cut in butter, using low speed of mixer until mixture is crumbly. Press into bottom of a 9-inch square pan. Bake at 400 degrees F. for 12 to 15 minutes or until delicately browned. Cool.

Peppermint Filling
1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1 pkg. Jello instant "candy cane" pudding mix
1 3/4 cups cold non-fat milk
4 oz (1/2 tub) Cool Whip whipped topping, thawed

Place cream cheese and dry pudding mix in bowl of stand mixer. Beat with wire whisk attachment until creamy and well-blended. Pour in milk and beat on slow speed 2 minutes (mixture will be thin). Let sit for 2 minutes, then fold in whipped topping. Spread on top of COOLED crust. Cover with platic wrap and chill at least 2 hours before serving.

For those of you puzzled about the title for today's blog? It's all about taking a complicated recipe and making it easier. It's not identical, but it's still pretty good. You just need to remember to "Keep It Simple Silly".

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