Marbled Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Baked cheesecake is a labor of love! It does require some planning, but it is well worth the effort! For a long time baking a cheesecake intimidated me. It had always been on my baking bucket list so I knew one day I would have to tackle it.  Once I did, I realized it wasn’t as hard as I always thought it would be.

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake2

 

Here are a few tips and tricks for baking a cheesecake.

1. When adding the eggs into the cheesecake batter, turn your mixer on low and gently mix the eggs in. You don’t want to incorporate a lot of air while mixing or the cheesecake will crack while baking.

2. For a smooth satiny cheesecake, the cream cheese needs to be at room temperature.

3. The cheesecake has to cook low and slow. Don’t open the oven door while the cheesecake is baking. Your patience will pay off when you have a smooth and creamy cheesecake with out cracks.

4. It is important to run a knife around the edges of the cheesecake. This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking while it cools.

With love from my kitchen to yours,

Carrie

 

Marbled Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Marbled Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

 

Cheesecake layer:

3 (8 oz.) pkg. of cream cheese softened

1 cup of granulated sugar

3 eggs

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

1 tsp. of vanilla

 

Pumpkin layer:

2 cups of pumpkin puree

1/3 cup of granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. of nutmeg

1 tsp. of cinnamon

1/4 tsp. of all spice

1/4 tsp. of cloves

2 cups of cheesecake batter

2 egg yolks

 

Crust:

2 cups of ginger snap cookies

1/4 cup of brown sugar

1/4 cup of butter, melted

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1. Blend the ginger snap cookies in a food processor until they are a fine crumb. Add the melted butter and brown sugar to the food processor and blend until it is combined well.

2. Press the crust mixture into a 10 inch spring form pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and set aside. When the pan has cooled down a bit, wrap it with 3 to 4 layers of heavy aluminum foil (this helps keep the water out in the water bath).

3.Cream the sugar and cream cheese together. Mix in the heavy cream and vanilla. On low speed, gently mix in the eggs  one at a time until the cream mixture is smooth and creamy.

4. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, cloves, sugar, and egg yolks together. Mix in 2 cups of the cheesecake layer batter into the pumpkin mixture.

5. Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the spring form pan. Next pour the pumpkin batter over the cheesecake batter layer, then pour the remaining cheesecake batter on top.

6. Gently drag a butter knife through the batter to create swirls. Place the wrapped spring form pan in a larger roasting pan. Pour boiling water in the roasting pan until it is 1/2 way up the side of the wrapped spring form pan.

7. Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 250 and bake for one hour or until the cheesecake is almost set (still a little jiggly in the center).

8. Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and slide a knife all the way around the outside of the cheesecake to loosen the edges.

9. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature, about 4 hours. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator and chill for 5 to 6 hours. Run the knife around the edge of the pan one more time before removing the side of the pan.

10. To cut the cheesecake, use a hot clean knife. After each cut, dip the knife into the hot water again and dry it off. This will insure nice clean lines in your cheesecake.

Caramel Apple Flavor Combinations

Some people prefer just a regular caramel apple without all of the toppings. My husband is one of these people. His way of thinking is, If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. Other people like their caramel apples dipped, rolled, and drizzled with pure happiness. Personally I could go both ways. I have always appreciated a good caramel apple (hence the 7 batches I slaved over). I also think that with the right combination, you can take your caramel apple to whole new  level!

14 mouth watering caramel apple combinations

That being said, I have compiled a list of 14 pretty dang amazing caramel apple combinations if I do say so myself. Try them out and decide if you are a combination kind of guy/lady or are you a regular kind of guy/lady.

You can find The Best Homemade Caramel Apple recipe here.

Be sure to read over the Tips and Tricks for The Perfect Homemade Caramel Apple here.

With love from my kitchen to yours,

Carrie

Smores Caramel Apple

Smores- caramel apple dipped in milk chocolate and rolled in graham cracker crumbs and then rolled in marshmallow Bits.

Apple Pie- caramel apple dipped in white chocolate and rolled in cinnamon sugar

Almond Joycaramel apple dipped in milk chocolate and rolled in coconut and almonds

Pay Day Caramel Apple

Pay Daycaramel apple rolled in salted peanuts and drizzled with milk chocolate

Pecan Piecaramel apple dipped in white chocolate and rolled in pecans and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar

Candy Corncaramel apple dipped in white chocolate and rolled in candy corns

Cookies and Cream Caramel Apple

Cookies and Creamcaramel apple dipped in crushed Oreo’s and drizzled with white chocolate

Peanut Butter Lovercaramel apple dipped in milk chocolate and rolled in crushed Butterfingers and mini Reese Pieces and then milk chocolate drizzled on top.

M&Mcaramel apple dipped in milk chocolate then rolled in mini M&Ms.

Cheesecake Caramel Apple

Cheesecakecaramel apple dipped in white chocolate and rolled graham cracker crumbs and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar

Sweet and Saltycaramel apple dipped in white chocolate then rolled in salted almonds and Craisins and then drizzled with milk chocolate

English Toffee Caramel Apples

English Toffee caramel apple dipped in milk chocolate then rolled in toffee bits and drizzled with white and milk chocolate

Rocky Roadcaramel apple dipped in milk chocolate then rolled in almonds and mini marshmallows

 Nut Lover caramel apple dipped in milk chocolate then rolled in peanuts, cashews, pecans, and almonds

Tips and Tricks for Caramel Apples

As I have mentioned before, I have certain qualities that my caramel apples need to meet. I want the apple to be crisp and fresh and the caramel to be rich and soft. After making this recipe seven different times, I found there were certain things that worked better than others as well as things that were crucial in order to make the perfect caramel apple. Make sure to read over this list before you make your caramel apples.

These apples really are quite easy to make. Don’t let the list overwhelm you. There is no reason to pay the high prices for gourmet caramel apples when you can make the same thing at home for a lot less!

You can find The Best Homemade Caramel Apple recipe here.

Make sure to come back tomorrow, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite caramel apple combinations.

With love from my kitchen to yours,

Carrie

Tips and Tricks For The Perfect Homemade Caramel Apple

Tips and Tricks For The Best Homemade Caramel Apple

1. The most common type of apple that is used for caramel apples is the granny smith. I personally prefer gala apples. I think they are the perfect balance between tart and sweet. However, It is entirely a personal preference.

2. Wash the apples with hot water and dry them completely before dipping them into the caramel (some people recommend dipping the apples in boiling water for 5 to 10 seconds, However, I didn’t find that it made a difference). But, I do think that washing them in hot water keeps them stay fresher longer.

Tips and Tricks for The Perfect Homemade Caramel Apples3

3. I like to follow Alton Brown’s tip on Good Eats and turn the apple upside down and place the popsicle stick or dowel in the bottom of the apple.

4. You need to have all the apples washed and dried and the sticks inserted, ingredients measured, and the parchment paper lined baking sheet chilling in the fridge etc before starting the caramel. Once you start cooking the caramel, you have to work quickly or it will burn.

5. Use a good quality candy thermometer. This is very important! You have a very short window between a soft caramel and hard caramel. I have found that the candy thermometer that clearly marks the soft ball stage next to the temperature gauge works the best.

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6. It is very important that you use a good quality sauce pan with a thick bottom when making the caramel. A pan with a thin bottom will burn the caramel.

7. I found it is easier to use a whisk versus a spoon to stir the caramel. Once the caramel comes to a full rolling boil, you have to whisk it constantly or else it will burn. The whisk does a better job of scraping the bottom of the pan so the caramel didn’t burn .

Tips and Tricks For The Perfect Homemade Caramel Apple5

8. You need to use parchment paper, not wax paper. Wax paper will melt to the bottom of the apple.

9. Place the baking sheet lined with the parchment paper in the freezer while cooking the caramel. This will help the caramel cool quicker and not pool as much.

Tips and Tricks For The Perfect Homemade Caramel Apple4

10. When you are dipping your apple, tilt the pan slightly and slowly turn the apple in the caramel to coat. By turning the apple slowly, it will help prevent bubbles from forming on your caramel. Hold the apple over the caramel and let the excess caramel drip off before placing it on the cold parchment paper lined baking sheet.

11. If you have a group of people dipping apples, once the caramel is finished cooking remove it from the heat and place it in a roasting pan. When the caramel starts to cool down pour boiling water in the roasting pan. This will help heat it up again.

12. Place the melted chocolate in a condiment bottle. This makes it easier to drizzle chocolate over the apples. Keep the bottles of melted chocolate in bowls of hot water so that it doesn’t cool while you are decorating the apples.

condiment bottles

13. If you are dipping the caramel apples in chocolate, let the caramel cool completely before dipping it in chocolate.

14. Remember the caramel is very hot! While the caramel is cooking, be careful to not get burned. Make sure to keep children away from direct contact with the hot caramel. If children are dipping apples in the caramel, they will need to have help from an adult.

The Best Homemade Caramel Apples

I am very picky when it comes to my caramel apples! I want the caramel to be soft, but not so soft that it slides off the apple and pools at the bottom. I don’t want it so hard that you can’t bite into the apple.

Caramel Apples

I want the flavor to be a deep caramel but not so rich that I get an instant headache after one bite.

I want the apple to be crisp and fresh. Mushy or grainy apples make me cringe (I’m sure all my Cope cousins know what I am talking about).

Caramel Apples2

 

So after 7 batches of caramel, I finally figured out how to make The Best Homemade Caramel Apple! I am so excited to share this recipe with you so that you can enjoy some homemade caramel apples with your family and friends.

You can find my tips and tricks for caramel apples here.

With love from my kitchen to yours,

Carrie

The Best Homemade Caramel Apples

The Best  Homemade Caramel Apples 

12 small granny smith or gala apples or 10 large granny smith or gala apples

1 cup of butter (unsalted)

2 ¼ cup of brown sugar, packed

1 cup of corn syrup

1 can of sweetened condensed milk

¼ tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. of heavy cream

Supplies:

10 to 12 popsicles sticks or small dowels

Parchment paper

Candy thermometer

Instructions

  1. Wash the apples with hot water and dry completely. Turn the apple upside down and press the popsicle stick or dowel into the apple. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a heavy sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Whisk in the brown sugar, corn syrup, salt, and sweetened condensed milk.
  3. Once the caramel comes to a full rolling boil, whisk it constantly until it reaches the soft ball stage (234 degrees).
  4. Remove the caramel from the heat and whisk in the vanilla and heavy cream. Place the pan on a hot pad and let it cool down for 3 minutes.
  5. Tip the pan and hold it on an angle. Then dip the apple in the caramel and twist it slowly to coat the apple completely.
  6. Let the excess caramel drip off of the apple. Roll the apple in candy of your choice and place it on the parchment paper for 5 to 10 minutes or until the caramel sets up. The candy is optional.  They are amazing with only the caramel.

 

 

 

Caramel Apple Snickerdoodles

Caramel apples are my weakness! As soon as the fall season recipes started popping up on Pinterest, I couldn’t stop thinking about caramel apples. I started thinking about all of the different ways you could make caramel apples. One thought lead to another and before I knew it I was playing in the kitchen again.

Caramel Apple Snickerdoodle

I think you are going to be surprised at how much these cookies taste like the real thing.  They are so addicting that I had to take half the batch to my neighbors before I ate them all.

With love from my kitchen to yours,

Carrie

Caramel Apple Snickerdoodles

Caramel Apple Snickerdoodles

makes about 3 dozen cookies

1 cup of butter, softened

1 1/3 cup of granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

3 cups of flour

1/2 tsp. salt

2 tsp. baking powder

1 (12 oz.) pkg. of white chocolate chips

2 cups of dried apples, diced

1 (11oz.) pkg. of Kraft Caramel Bits

Topping

3 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. allspice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. Cream the butter and sugar together. Add one egg at a time gently stirring between each. Mix in vanilla.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix just until the flour disappears.

3. Gently fold in the white chocolate chips, caramel bits, and the diced apples into the cookie dough. In a small bowl mix the sugar, cinnamon, and allspice together.  Roll 1 tablespoon of the dough into a ball and roll it in the cinnamon sugar mixture.

4. Place the cookie dough onto a greased cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake the cookies in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Dulce de Leche Apple Cobbler

Oh man, Fall would not be the same without Apple Cobbler. I came up with this recipe for a birthday lunch for my mom. She loves her Apple Cobbler hot with a scoop of vanilla ice cream dripping down the sides.

Dulce de Leche Apple Cobbler2

My mom is from Argentina. So in honor of her, I added the game changing ingredient, dulce de leche. Of course, everything is better with dulce de leche! I think this recipe is going to be getting a lot of use this Fall season!

You can find the recipe for Dulce De Leche here.

With love from my kitchen to yours,

Carrie

Dulce de Leche Apple Cobbler

Dulce de Leche Apple Cobbler

8 to 10 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices

1/3 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of granulated sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. allspice

3 tsp. lemon juice

2 tbsp. cornstarch

1/2 cup of dulce de leche

Topping

3/4 cup of granulated sugar

2  1/4 cup of flour

3/4 cup of brown sugar

2  1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 cup of butter

1/2  tsp. salt

3/4 cup of boiling water

 

Sprinkle on top

2 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. brown sugar

1  1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. all spice

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1. In a greased 9 x 13 pan, gently toss the apples in the lemon juice. Combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, all spice, and cornstarch together. Toss the apples and sugar mixture to evenly coat. Drop teaspoonfuls of dulce de leche evenly over the top of the apples.

2. To make the topping, in a food processor pulse the flour, sugars, baking powder, salt, and butter until it resembles a course cornmeal. Add water and pulse until it is combined.

3 To make the cinnamon sugar, mix the cinnamon, all spice, and sugar, together in a bowl.

4. Drop spoonfuls of the topping over the apples and spread out evenly. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar mixture over the top of the cobbler. Bake the cobbler for 30 to 40 minutes or until it is lightly golden and the apples are fork tender. Serve hot with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream and a dollop of dulce de leche.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Brownies

I thought you might want to start the fall season off right with some moist mouth watering Pumpkin Brownies. I know there are a lot or pumpkin recipes out there. But this recipe for Pumpkin Brownies is one that you don’t want to miss out on.

Moist Pumpkin Brownies

These brownies are so incredibly moist. They can even hold their own with out a frosting on top. I am pretty confident that once you try them, you will be making them again and again.

With love from my kitchen to yours,

Carrie

Pumpkin Bownies

 

Pumpkin  Brownies

Brownie layer

1 cup of all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

4 oz. of unsweetened chocolate

2/3 cup of butter, softened

2 cups of granulated sugar

4 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

Pumpkin layer

4 oz. of cream cheese, softened

1 cup of pumpkin puree

1 tbsp. of butter,softened

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. all spice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the brownie layer:

1. Grease a 9×13 inch pan. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, and salt.

2. Place the chocolate and butter in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in microwave for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Remove from the microwave and stir to fully melt. Mix in the granulated sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each egg until well blended. Stir in the vanilla and the flour mixture.

3. Pour 2/3 of the brownie batter in the prepared 9×13 pan. Set the remaining 1/3 batter aside.

For the Pumpkin layer

4.In a medium sized bowl, cream the butter and the cream cheese.  Add the egg and stir until well blended. Mix the remaining ingredients into the bowl until the mixture is smooth.

5. Pour the pumpkin batter over the brownie batter in the 9×13 pan. Drop tablespoonfuls of the remaining 1/3 brownie batter. With a butter knife, gently swirl the brownie drops into the pumpkin batter. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting.