Foodzors, the show

Logo

I am pleased to announce the first episode of my brand new cooking show, Foodzors!

After several weeks of planning, and many dinners where my boyfriend and I tossed around ideas, Foodzors has finally been launched. Part final project for my online journalism class, part pilot episode, Foodzors is a video extension of Bakers Anonymous. We’ll still take professional recipes and make them simpler, faster, and better!

Now you get to watch me act like an idiot, instead of just reading about it.

~Enjoy!

Cream cheese sugar cookies

Sugar cookies

My cookie jar is empty.

I cleaned out of the stale cookies that have been sitting in there for probably over a month now, waiting to be eaten by my boyfriend and me. Shortbread, German chocolate, and two peppermint chocolate chip cookies rested in a small, sad heap, making teary eyes at me as I picked them up to throw them in the trash.

“Please don’t get rid of us, Niki, we love you,” they said.

“I’m sorry, guys, but you are just …” I sniffed, “not good anymore.”

And then I placed them into the trashcan, closing the cabinet door on them. I turned to the oven where a batch of sugar cookies were gently baking, ready to be eaten by my Publication Layout class this morning.

The recipe is, yet again, from my Philadelphia Cream Cheese Classic Recipes cookbook. The 10 remaining cookies sit patiently in my cookie jar, waiting to be eaten by my boyfriend who will be home next week. 🙂

leftover

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies

Ingredients:

1 package (8 oz) Philadelphia cream cheese

1 C (2 sticks) butter, softened

2/3 C sugar (I think I accidentally put 1/3 C sugar … but it still tasted good!)

1/4 tsp vanilla

2 C flour

colored sugar for decorating

DoughDirections:

1. Beat cream cheese, butter, sugar, and vanilla until well-blended. Mix in flour. Refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Niki’s Note: Dough must be refrigerated or it will be difficult to work with.

2. When you’re ready to bake them, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

3. I made my cookies into regular balls and flatten them out, but the you can also roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes; sprinkle with colored sugar.

4. Place on ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Cool on wire racks.

5. Have fun with them!

four-cookies

Chocolate Mint Cheesecake: WARNING! slight failure ahead

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

Cheesecake

I joined a baking group.

Before I started this blog, I didn’t even know that such things as “baking groups” even existed. To say the least, keeping track of all of them is difficult, and completing the challenges successfully, even moreso.

Last month, I joined the Daring Bakers in the hopes that I would challenge myself to make exciting, new recipes and maybe even make some new friends along the way.

What I did learn is that being part of a baking group is difficult when you’re in college.

The recipe we were asked to make a cheesecake centerpiece, a recipe so kindly provided by Jenny Bakes. I took one look at the recipe and nearly cried. Three packages of cream cheese? Heavy cream?4 eggs?! Does anyone think about cholesterol or the fact I’m lactose intolerant?!

Sigh.

I changed some of the ingredients to match a Black Forest Cherry Cheesecake recipe I found in one of my cookbooks, and was planning to use a premade chocolate crust until disaster struck.

Crust disaster

It completely crumbled when I tried to move it to another pie dish. How was I supposed to know that was going to happen? After I hurriedly scrambled together some crushed chocolate chip cookies with the crumbs, melted some butter, and baked that for ten minutes, after which I flopped my cheesecake mixture into the completely unready crust and baked it for almost an hour.

There’s barely any mint flavor in this cheesecake, but at least the water bath kept it creamy. And it was the first time I ever used a water bath too.

Hmpf.

Chocolate Mint Cheesecake

Niki’s Note: Check out the April 27 post on Jenny Bakes for the original recipe. Try to make it yourself!

Ingredients:

2 packages (8 oz each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened

1/2 C sugar

1/2 + 1/8 tsp mint extract (even after I did this, it still wasn’t like, WHOA MINT. I’ll probably make this again to fix that)

2 eggs

2 C milk chocolate chips, melted and slightly cooled

1 ready-to-use chocolate crust, 9-inch

(or, if your crust falls apart, use 2 C of crumbs and 1 stick of butter melted, plus 1 tsp vanilla extract to create a new crust. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 -15 minutes and then let cool slightly before pouring in mixture)

Directions:

Mixing1. Boil a large pot of water on the stove. At the same time, preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and mint until well blended. Add eggs; mix until well-blended. Stir in the melted chocolate.

3. Pour into the crust.

4. Pour the water into a casserole dish or other high side pan and place on the lower rack of your oven, OR place your pie dish directly in it. Make sure the water does not come up over the sides.

5. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Extend the time if baking directly in the water bath.

6. Let cool on a wire rack, then place into the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Even after all of that, I couldn’t get a decent slice of cheesecake out. I don’t think I’m good at this. 😦

Slice of pie


Niki’s Postscript: I decided that the last thing I’m baking in my apartment this semester are sugar cookies that you’ll get to see tomorrow. It’s getting too hot in Glassboro, and in my apartment for that matter, to light up the gas oven, so from here out (and probably the rest of the summer), I’ll be making only no-bake desserts. Don’t forget to check back for dessert reviews, too!

Niki’s Post Postscript: I apologize for probably the ugliest photos I’ve put up in a long time. Cheesecake making in 80 degree weather is a BAD BAD BAD decision. Also, I’m not really sure why I’m posting the recipe I used. The cheesecake doesn’t taste bad, it’s just not minty.

Man, I’m weird.

Sweet treat for a hot day

Sunshine and cream soda

There’s nothing like a cold bottle of soda after a long day of cleaning your apartment and pretending to do homework. I ventured to the corner store last night, just to see what they had, and loe, the sun shone on the fridge full of glass bottle soda and there was Stewart’s, waiting for me.

Instead of picking up my usual root beer, I reached for another favorite, cream soda. As soon as I took my first sip, I knew it was the perfect summer treat: sweet and refreshing.

P.S. The bunny is from Build-A-Bear Workshop in the Deptford Mall!