Daily Archives: December 12, 2009

Eggnog cheesecake bars

I live with someone who is obsessed with eggnog. He buys a new carton nearly every time he goes to the grocery store and we currently have two different brands in the fridge. He pours himself a small glass and then shaves over some fresh nutmeg. Now that is a labor of eggnog love!

So when I saw Martha Stewart’s eggnog cheesecake recipe in her holiday issue, I knew that I had to make it. We both are lovers of cheesecake, and I knew this recipe would be wonderful with the brandy and fresh nutmeg mixed in.

This was a wildly successful recipe that I’m so happy to add to my holiday baking list. I cut the squares into bite-sized pieces so I could serve them at a party. One party-goer said she wanted to stand under the mistletoe with it.

Ingredients:

cooking spray

12 graham crackers, finely ground (1.5 c.)

3/4 c. plus 3 T sugar

4 T unsalted butter, melted

1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

3/4 c. good eggnog (we used the Fresh Market brand)

1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp. flour

1 T plus 1 tsp brandy

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together graham crackers, 3 T sugar, melted butter. Press into bottom of the pan. Bake until crust is just brown around edges, 12-15 min. Let cool.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese on med. until fluffy, 2 min. Add remaining 3/4 c. sugar, eggs, yolk, eggnog, flour, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Beat until smooth. Pour filling over crust.

Set the dish in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake until set, 40-45 min. Remove baking dish to a wire rack to cool 30 min. Refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.

Cut into bars and grate fresh nutmeg over the tops to serve. These keep for five days in the fridge…but I promise they won’t last long. A fool-proof recipe!

Please enjoy, I know that I am! Xoxo

Garlic-sizzled chicken wings

I love to eat chicken wings in smoky bars late at night, but they’ve never been something I considered making at home. When a party is involved, however, you have to turn to what works – and chicken wings are the perfect finger food. So I learned, when I made these garlic-sizzled chicken wings.

I first saw the recipe on We Are Not Martha, and I figured if these ladies can do it, so can I! It actually was super simple and EVERYBODY at the Christmas Sweater Party loved them. The only bad part was cutting up the chicken wings, which I did with my French chef’s knife. A heavy bone cleaver would have been better…Santa?

These things are covered in garlic, but you’ll be surprised how not-overpowering it is. Perhaps it’s the paprika rub or the way they steam in brandy at the end. It’s just a good combination. I’ll be making these for my next party.

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs. chicken wings, tips removed and divided between the two joints (drumette and wing)

Sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 1/2 tsp. paprika

8 cloves of garlic, chopped, 2 cloves of garlic whole

5 T olive oil

1 bay leaf

1/2 c. brandy

Chopped parsley, for garnish

Rub the chicken with paprika, salt and pepper.

Heat large frying pan over medium and add oil. Add chicken and two smashed cloves of garlic, skins still on. Fry until chicken is golden on both sides. Add chopped garlic and saute for until golden. Add the brandy and bay leaf and continue cooking until most of the liquid is absorbed and chicken is tender, 15-20 min. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with parsley.

That’s it, my friends. And it’s finger-licking good.

Enjoy! xoxo