Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Pi Squared

So guess what? It was Pi Day on Monday (3/14, er 3.14?)!
And so I made PIE, of course! But in this case, we will call it Pi.
However, here is the dilemma...the pie I made is actually called a cake, a cheesecake in fact.
And cheesecake is literally a pie, so why do we call it a cake? I have no idea.
Anyway, I made a Chocolate and Vanilla Swirled Cheese Pi (or cake?) and it was too delicious for it's own good, because it disappeared in less than a day.
(Oh yeah, I also didn't have a circular pie pan, so I had to use a square-shaped one. Oh the irony.) 

Yay for menus!

And yay for Pi!

Chocolate and Vanilla Swirled Cheese Pi

  • Graham Cracker Pie Crust
  • 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Beat cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, sour cream and 2 teaspoons vanilla in large bowl on medium speed of mixer until smooth. Gradually add flour, beating just until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 
  3. Combine cocoa and remaining 1/4 cup sugar in medium bowl. Add oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 1-1/2 cups of cream cheese mixture; stir well. Spoon plain and chocolate batters alternately over prepared crust, ending with spoonfuls of chocolate on top; gently swirl with knife for marbled effect.
  4. Bake 10 minutes. Without opening oven door, reduce oven temperature to 250°F; continue baking 30 minutes. Turn off oven; without opening oven door, leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. 
  5. Remove from oven. Immediately loosen cheesecake from side of pan with knife; cool to room temperature. Refrigerate several hours or overnight; remove side of pan. Cover; refrigerate leftover cheesecake. 10 to 12 servings.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Popcorn (Poppy Chow)

Okay, so I have a serious weakness for chocolate and peanut butter. It is even more amplified when there is a sweet /salty combination. This just sounded too delicious to resist. It is called "Poppy Chow" not "Puppy Chow", because it is made with popcorn, of course! I love the original Chex cereal "Puppy Chow" but this one comes up pretty close in scrumptiousness. So for all you chocolate, peanut butter, and popcorn fans out there, get ready to fall in love.

Chocolate & Peanut Butter Popcorn (Poppy Chow)

Yield: About 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes

  • 9 cups plain popcorn
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
1. Put the popcorn in a very large bowl.
2. In a microwave or over a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips, peanut butter and butter until melted and smooth. Stir in the vanilla.
3. Pour the chocolate mixture all over the popcorn. Using a large spoon, stir until all of the popcorn is evenly coated with the chocolate/peanut butter mixture.
4. Sift the powdered sugar over the chocolate-covered popcorn and stir until each piece is evenly coated. Spread the mixture out onto a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or until the chocolate is set.
5. Break it up and serve! Store leftovers in an airtight container.
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