Cream Cheese Crepes

These are my favorite kind of crepes: filled with cream cheese and raisins, with a hint of lemon, covered with heavy cream and baked in the oven. I know, you may think what a calorie bomb, but all resistance melts away with the first bite. 😀 This is not your ordinary crepe! They can be served warm or cold and will taste just superb either way!

Cream Cheese Crepes

 

Cream Cheese Crepes

[Printable recipe]

Yields 12 small or 8 medium crepes

Batter:

  • 125 g (1 cup)all-purpose flour
  • 25 g (2 TBSP) vanilla sugar***
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 dl (1 cup) milk
  • 30 g (2 TBSP)butter (melted)
  • 1 TBSP rum or brandy

+

  • Butter for pan

*** Vanilla sugar can be purchased in most stores with an international section. If you can’t get vanilla sugar, use regular white sugar and add 1 tea spoon of vanilla extract into batter.

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 450 g (16 oz) cream cheese (I used the one with 1/3 less fat)
  • 100 (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 lemon (zest finely grated)
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) raisins (soaked in rum or brandy)
  • 250 ml (about 1 cup) heavy cream

+

  • Oven-safe rectangular baking dish

Preparation:

See pics here

  1. Combine flour, vanilla sugar and salt into a medium bowl.
  2. Add eggs and mix at a slow speed, gradually adding milk
  3. At the end add melted butter and 1 TBSP of rum.

I usually don’t use mixer for this batter; I just make sure to whisk eggs very well into the flour so the batter is smooth.

Prepare a 6 – 7 inch pan, put a thin slice of butter on the pan, let it melt and heat well. Pour a 1/2 – 1 ladle of batter onto the pan. Take the pan off the heat and move a few times in a circular motion until all batter is spread evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Place the pan back on heat and allow all batter to change color, then flip a crepe using a thin spatula or if you’re a risk taker throw it in the air and let it flip then catch with the pan. 😀

Stack a crepe on a top of another to keep them warm. I usually cover them with a piece of aluminum foil too.

For the filling, beat cream cheese and sugar at a high speed until all sugar is well incorporated, add vanilla and beat for a minute more. Mix in lemon zest and raisins by hand.

Prepare your baking dish.

Divide your filling into equal portions depending on how many crepes you have. I had 8 crepes, so I divided my filling into 8 equal portions.

Place the filling at the end of a crepe, fold over crepe from the left and right side (see below pic), then fold over longer side, roll it (as an egg roll) and place into the dish. Repeat until all filling and crepes are used up.

Pour the heavy cream over crepes. Place it in a 200 C (400 F) oven for 15 – 20 minutes or until cream starts thickening and changing color.

Serve warm or cold! Bon Appetit!

 

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Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

We celebrated our son’s Birthday in January, and being a cheese cake lover, he asked for a chocolate cheese cake with raspberries. I really liked the challenge and it was a perfect timing to try a new cheese cake recipe I had for a while. The recipe sounded different from the way I used to make cheesecakes, but it really was a great success. The texture of this cake is so creamy and silky, unlike any other cheesecake I had before – a true chocolate lover’s dream. Instead of graham crackers for the crust I used Milano Raspberry Cookies and then decorated the cake with fresh raspberries.

Silky Chocolate Cheese Cake with Raspberry Crust

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

{Printable Recipe}

Crust:

  • 250 g (9 oz) Milano Raspberry Cookies (crushed)
  • 113 g (1 stick) butter (melted)

Cheesecake:

  • 500 g (1 lb) cream cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 TBSP unsweetened cocoa (sifted)
  • 100 g (1/2 cup) sugar
  • 225 g (8 oz) semi-sweet chocolate (melted)
  • 300 g (1 ½ cup) sour cream
  • 45 g ( 3 TBSP) butter (melted)

Also needed:

  • 22 cm (9 inch) spring-form cake pan
  • Parchment paper (same size as the pan)

Preparation:

  1. Cover the cake pan with parchment paper. Crush the cookies to resemble small crumbs. Melt the butter and add into cookies. Mix thoroughly and press into the pan bottom and onto the sides (about 1 inch or 2.5 cm high). Place it in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the oven to 180 C (350 F).
  3. While the crust is resting in the fridge, prepare the cheesecake mixture. First, beat the cream cheese until airy and fluffy, then add sugar, eggs, vanilla, cocoa until well incorporated.
  4. Melt the chocolate over a hot water pan. Turn the mixing speed to low and then add chocolate, sour cream and melted butter into the cheese cream mixture.  Mixture will look really shiny and smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture into the crust and bake at 180 C (350 F) for about 45 minutes.
  6. Cool completely.
  7. Decorate with whipped cream, fresh raspberries and chocolate shavings.

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

Silky Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Cookie Crust

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

It’s that time of the year again when we reach for our recipe books and recipe cards to find the most delectable Christmas cookies recipes and prepare them for our loved ones. This year, I am adding a few new-discovered recipes to my traditional cookie menu. These Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies are so silky and delicious and they just melt in your mouth. Fill them with your favorite jam and enjoy the sight and the taste!

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

[Printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (225 g) butter, softened
  • 3 oz (85 g) cream cheese
  • 1 cup (200 g)sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups (320 g) all-purpose flour
  • Jam (strawberry, raspberry – seedless, apricot, etc.)

Preparation:

  1. In a large bowl cream the butter, cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolk and vanilla. Add flour and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour or until easy to handle.
  2. Shape dough into 1 inch balls. Place two inches apart on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make a deep indentation in the center of each ball; fill with about 1/2 tsp jam. Bake at 350 F (180 C) for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Cream Cheese Thumbprint Cookies

Date-Orange Swirl Cookies

It’s that time of the year again when I open up a Christmas Bakery in my own little kitchen to do labor of love. Baking has always been one of my favorite hobbies but baking Christmas cookies goes into a special category. I try to involve the whole family in the process. Kids and I are usually mixing, baking, assembling, decorating and guess who is tasting? The man of the house! That was easy to predict, wasn’t it? 😀 These cookies are one of my favorites. You should try and see how date and orange filling fits perfectly into the cream cheese pastry!

Date Cookies

Date-Orange Swirl Cookies

[printable recipe]

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ cup dates (pitted and finely chopped)
  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP butter
  • 3 cups + 1 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 2 TSP vanilla extract
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 oz cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 TSP baking soda
  • 1/2 TSP salt

Preparation:

  1. Mix dates, orange juice, sugar, butter and 1 TBSP flour in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook stirring often, for about 10 minutes or until thick. Add 1 TSP vanilla; set aside.
  2. Beat brown sugar, cream cheese and butter in a large bowl until creamy. Add eggs and remaining TSP vanilla; beat 2 minutes.
  3. Combine remaining 3 cups flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add to cream cheese mixture and stir until blended. Divide dough in half. Roll one half of the dough on a lightly floured surface into 12 X 9 inch rectangle. Spread half date mixture over dough and tightly roll it up jelly-roll style. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave it in the freezer for at least 1 hour. Repeat with remaining dough and date mixture.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 F ( ). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Cut dough into 1/4 inch slices. Place them 1 inch apart and bake about 12 minutes or until golden.

Bon Appétit!

Homemade Bagels

On weekend mornings our family eats what we call a “Big Breakfast”. We take time making food we love, we take time setting the table and take time eating. It is important for us just to slow down, relax and eat this most important meal of the day. Everyone in our family always looks forward to the Big Weekend Breakfast! 🙂 Usually we have what we call an “European Breakfast”, but on some days we have also an “American Breakfast”. This weekend we had an American Breakfast and homemade bagels were on the menu.

Homemade Bagels

Ingredients for 8 large bagels:

  • 4 1/2 cups (520 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 ml) warm water
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • sesame seeds, poppy seeds, shredded cheese, onion flakes, etc.
  • 3 quarts (about 3 liters) water
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp molasses
Note: To have fresh homemade bagels in the morning, I always start the dough the night before. I enjoy making the dough by hand, but Kitchen Aid is a great helper too. 🙂
1. Combine all dry ingredients and mix well for about 1-2 minutes. Combine warm water and oil. Slowly pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and start forming the dough.
2. Bagel dough needs to be firm. It is ready when it becomes smooth and doesn’t stick to the walls of the mixing bowl.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles its volume or over night.
4. Transfer the dough onto a flour dusted surface and knead for a few minutes. Roll it into a rectangle and cut into 8 equal pieces. I weighed mine and they were all about 4.4 oz (125 g).
5. Knead each piece into a small ball, cover with plastic wrap and let it rise for about 30-45 minutes.
6. Poke a whole in the middle of each dough ball (swirl around your point finger a few times) to form a bagel.
7. In a bigger pot boil the water, add salt, molasses and mix well. Reduce the water to simmer. Place each bagel into the simmering water and cook 30-45 seconds on each side. If you like chewier bagels you can boil them for about 2 minutes. Take them out and place on a wire rack.
8. For egg wash mix together egg white and water, brush over bagels and sprinkle with sesame or poppy seeds, shredded cheese, onion flakes (or whichever topping you prefer).
9. Pre-heat the oven to 420 F (215 C). Line a large baking pan with parchment paper, sprinkle with corn meal and place the bagels on the pan.
10. Bake for about 20 minutes or until nice golden-brown color. For a crispier bagel, place a cup of water on the bottom of the oven, while baking.
All is left now is to enjoy them! 🙂
Here they were just the dough balls.
Already looking like bagels! 🙂
Our favorite toppings – sesame and poppy seeds!
They smelled so good, even a wasp came to have a taste! 🙂