Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Fourteen Days of Love - Day 9 - Sweets for the Sweet

If ever there was a holiday directed at those particular taste buds–this one's it! Let's share our favorite "sweet" recipe(s)–cookies, cakes, candy, beverages–to satisfy the sweet tooth in all of us.

Had I actually taken the time to make the two desserts I'm sharing with you today in this post, the Yankee would probably have thought he had died and gone to Heaven. Why? Well, I have a confession to make…I don't make sweets very often. 

While I have made both of these treats in the past, because I am so time-challenged these days, I'm simply sharing the recipes–accompanied by one lovely photo for each–and letting you experience the step by step instructions when you make them for yourself!

The Yankee and I have been big fans of Southern Living magazine for decades. I would even dare to say, the majority of the recipes we have in our files have come from Southern Living. 

If you are a cheesecake lover, this first recipe will tickle your taste buds divinely! As a matter of fact, it is so good, it won the Cook-Off challenge in 2006! 

We've been using this recipe since then, and it's one of our very favorite desserts. You will love this yummy cheesecake...and so will anyone you might decide to share it with!

Caramel Macchiato Cheesecake With Caramel Sauce
from Southern Living
2006 Cook-Off Finalist. Prep: 20 min.; Bake: 1 hr., 10 min.; Chill: 6 hrs.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
  • 1 3/4 cups crushed crisp, sweet cookies (about 27 cookies)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • PAM Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
  • 4 (8-oz.) packages PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup DOMINO Granulated Sugar
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons instant espresso
  • Caramel Sauce, divided [recipe follows]
  • 4 large eggs
  • Garnishes: Caramel Sauce, whipped cream, dark chocolate curls

1. Stir together crushed cookies and butter; press mixture on bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray.

2. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

3. Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until blended. Add heavy cream, espresso, and 9 Tbsp. Caramel Sauce, beating at low speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition. Pour batter into prepared crust. Cover and chill remaining Caramel Sauce until ready to serve.

4. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or until center is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven; gently run a knife around edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. (Do not remove sides of pan.) Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill 6 hours.

5. Release and remove sides of pan from cheesecake. Garnish, if desired, and serve with remaining Caramel Sauce.

Note: For testing purposes only, we used Pepperidge Farm Bordeaux cookies.
Bryan Thomas, Kent, Washington, Southern Living, OCTOBER 2006

[LIZ'S PERSONAL NOTE: We've experimented with graham crackers and various cookies, but the Bordeaux cookies are the best!]

Caramel Sauce
Yield: Makes 1 3/4 cups

  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 1/3 cups DOMINO Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Cook corn syrup, sugar, and 1 cup warm water in a medium saucepan over high heat, stirring constantly, 3 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Using a pastry brush dipped in water, brush down any sugar crystals on sides of pan.

2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 23 minutes or until mixture turns pale amber. Remove pan from heat, and carefully stir in remaining 1/4 cup warm water. Stir in cream, butter, and vanilla.

3. Cook mixture over medium-low heat 5 to 6 minutes or until sauce thickens and a candy thermometer registers 220° to 222°.
Bryan Thomas, Kent, Washington, Southern Living, OCTOBER 2006

The Yankee and I are trying to be a bit more health-conscious as we get older. Well, actually, I've always been health-conscious...I'm just still trying to convert the Yankee after all these years.

 A great resource for recipes with a healthy slant is this magazine.  It's where I discovered the next sweet treat.

Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross (for mint bars)   

Chocolate-Mint Bars 
from Cooking Light

The dense base layer is like a rich, fudgy brownie, so don't overcook it or the dessert bars will be dry. Refrigerating the mint bars allows the chocolaty top layer to set properly. You can make the dessert up to one day ahead. For a more grown-up taste, you can also use dark chocolate chips for some or all of the semisweet chocolate chips in the glaze.

Yield: 20 servings (serving size: 1 piece)


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (about 4 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1  cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 (16-ounce) can chocolate syrup
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract [LIZ'S PERSONAL NOTE: I amended this to 1 ½ tsps for an even greater minty flavor.]
  • 2 drops green food coloring
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons butter

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. To prepare bottom layer, lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour and salt; stir with a whisk. Combine granulated sugar, egg substitute, 1/4 cup melted butter, 2 tablespoons water, vanilla, eggs, and chocolate syrup in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until blended. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 23 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out almost clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

3. To prepare mint layer, combine powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter, and next 3 ingredients (through food coloring) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread mint mixture over cooled cake.

4. To prepare the glaze, combine the chocolate chips and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at HIGH 1 minute or until melted, stirring after 30 seconds. Let stand 2 minutes. Spread chocolate mixture evenly over top. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Cut into 20 pieces.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 264 (30% from fat)
Fat: 8.7g (sat 5.2g, mono 2.5g, poly 0.4g)
Protein: 2.8g
Carbohydrate: 45g
Fiber: 0.5g
Cholesterol: 38mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 139mg
Calcium: 12mg
Megan Patterson, Cooking Light, MARCH 2008

Now, please don't you worry about the Yankee being sugar deprived. He will get plenty to satisfy his cravings…at least on February 14th. ; )

Hmm…what would be a good giveaway for today? That's the very question I pondered for weeks leading up to this post topic. Come back tomorrow to see what you think of my idea.

Reminder:  Please be sure to publish your
Valentine's post, before you link to the party. And
don't forget to mention the Brambleberry Cottage
in your post.

Remember to leave a comment to be entered in this
week's drawing for the giveaway!
1. http://tinandsparkle.blogspot/
3. Jenn Raley
4. Marilyn
6. Tammy
7. lululiz


  1. These two look devine! I will probably try the Chocolate Mint Bars and substitute Splenda. My hubby is type 2 diabetic, so he really dosen't get to eat the cookies I posted. I always make him his own special dessert. I use the Cooking Light Mag. a lot for low-sugar receipes.

    Happy cooking--
    Tin and sparkle

  2. Hi, we are at Day goodness, time is passing fast.
    Both your suggestions of desserts look fabulous. Cheesecake...the dessert of angels.
    Chocolate...*heavy sigh....:)
    Thanks for hosting this loving meme...
    xo bj

  3. BJ said in her post she had a chocolate cake that was a train wreck b/c it tasted bad. I think that's how she put it. I said I have one that tastes good but looked like a train wreck - the back side especially - but I posted it b/c it really is a good cake. :) Thanks, Jenn

  4. I just love Southern Living. We love dessert and the cake looks delicious.

  5. My mouth is watering, looking at those fabulous recipes.


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