December 22, 2009

This ain't no-bake cheesecake

Since I'm behind on blogging and have made lots of great recipes lately (and wake up thinking about my pretty kitchen-aid mixer) I thought I would include a recipe that we're still not finished consuming. I did everything I could to ruin this recipe. Please keep in mind that I do not bake and therefore do not have a trained eye to diagnose what might be simple issues to someone who bakes regularly. First of all, after mixing the crust I realized it was a lot... crumblier than I thought it should be. I decided to be patient, it will probably look better after I bake it. I pressed it into the baking dish, baked it, and let it cool. I approached it again, poked it with my finger, decided this just can't be right at the exact same time I spotted a lone stick of butter on the other side of my kitchen. "One CUP of butter, not one STICK of butter!" Oh. So, I scooped the filling out of the mixer and into a new bowl so that I could make the crust again. MUCH better this time. Won't make that mistake again. Once the crust cooled I poured the cheesecakey topping over it. I remember Jacquie telling me that one time she started to cool everything in the fridge (takes 2 hours) without putting the pear slices on, so my mind was focused on making sure I did that part in the right order. I added the pear slices, sprinkled the cinnamon and sugar and put her in the fridge. By the way, I made this in advance for a Christmas party. I went to Charlotte for two days and the plan was to come home, pack her up, and go! I came home and the cheesecakey topping was not as... firm... as I remembered Jacquie's being. What could I have done wrong?? Surely it should have had plenty of time to "set up" after 48 hours in the fridge! As we walked around puzzled, Matt asked, "What's in it?" I replied, "Just cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and vanilla!" He said, "Did you cook the eggs?" I said, "Well, I didn't put a scrambled egg in it!" As those words came out my little dim light bulb went off. Maybe I was supposed to bake the cheesecakey topping! You mean it's not a Jell-O no bake?! I don't know what I was thinking. Well, we were about to walk out the door for the Christmas party and my dessert still needed to bake for 45 minutes AND cool for 2 hours. Needless to say, we didn't end up taking it, and a week later some of it is still left in the fridge. Every night for dessert we have pear bars and hot tea. Tea that Jacquie first introduced to me, oddly enough. I wonder if she knows how pleasant our evenings have been thanks to her inspiration!

Jacquie's Pear Bars
2 sticks of butter
1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped pacans

Cream the butter and sugar with a mixer. Add in flour, vanilla, and pecans and mix well. Press into a greased 9x13 dish. Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.

2 pkgs cream cheese
2/3 c sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla

Mix cream cheese and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well. Spread over crust after it has cooled.

1 can of pears halves (there is a difference here between generic and the good stuff, get the good stuff)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Slice the pears length-wish into 1/8 in slices. Spread the pears over top of the filling and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes. Cool in the fridge for 2 hours.
You can also place the pear slices so that there will be one slice on each bar which takes about 16 pear slices and makes for a nice presentation.

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