All posts by The Newlywed Chefs

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

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Another pumpkin post! I have never been a fan of cheesecake (I know, I know…), so last year I began creating my own recipe that even I would enjoy. What turns me away from  cheesecake is the dense texture and overly cream cheesy flavor, so in this new recipe I incorporated ricotta and greek yogurt to sub for some of the cream cheese. I don’t think it’s really any healthier, but the texture is light and fluffy. These are so easy to make.

Simply plop one gingersnap cookie in the bottom of each lined muffin tin, and your crust is done. I don’t often recommend against using Trader Joe’s brand, but since I learned the hard way, I have to: their cookies are just too small. I used Target’s gingersnaps and they were perfect for this recipe.

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Just whip up the filling and pour into each cup. Bake, cool, top with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon. These individual cheesecakes are bursting with the spicy sweet flavors of fall. Enjoy!

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crust

Prep Time: 12 hours (includes overnight chill) Cook Time: 24 min.

Ingredients:

For the Cheesecakes:

24 gingersnap cookies
1/2 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
8-oz. plain cream cheese, room temperature
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1/2 can pumpkin purée
2 eggs
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

For the Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ground cinnamon to sprinkle

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°. Using an electric mixer, whip the ricotta and cream cheese together until fluffy. Add the greek yogurt and pumpkin and continue to whip. Add the eggs and continue to whip. Finally, add the brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice and blend until well incorporated. Set aside.

Line two muffin tins with paper liners. Place one gingersnap cookie in each muffin liner and press to the bottom. Top the cookie with the cheesecake filling, almost all the way to the top. Bake for 22-24 minutes or until inside of the filling jiggles a little, but when touched the batter gently bounces off your finger. Transfer to a wire rack and cool completely before topping with whipped cream.

To make the whipped cream, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until stiff peaks form. Use a piping back or decorating tool to top each cheesecake. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon as desired.

Chill overnight and enjoy the next day. Makes 24 individual cheesecakes.

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Pumpkin Scones

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The other day, I went to Starbucks to get my seasonal favorite #PSL, (I have to use the hashtag, right?), and decided to order a scrumptious fall baked good to compliment my beverage: a pumpkin scone. I was shocked when the barista explained to me that they have “temporarily discontinued” the pumpkin scones because “stores can’t keep up with such high demand.” …Wha??! Anyhow, still craving a pumpkin scone, and with a free afternoon in our new kitchen, I was determined to make my own.

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These turned out even better than the original. Not dry (yes, you could use the M word here- my least favorite word that rhymes with “hoist”), sweet, with the right amount of fall spice and covered in frosting. Your day is sure to start off right with one of these and a coffee in hand.

Simply mix the dry and wet ingredients in separate bowls, cut the butter into the dry ingredients, and add wet to dry.

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Then, form the dough into a one inch-thick rectangle, keeping the dough as cold as possible. If you have a marble pastry board, now would be a great time to use it. If not, do what I did and work on your counter.

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Next, divide that dough with a sharp knife or pastry blade into thirds.

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Next, cut the thirds in half, creating six large scones.

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Pop these babies in the oven and when they’re done cover in as much vanilla frosting as you’d like. The warm scones will soak some of the frosting into their nooks and crannies, still with plenty on top. Really go for it here, folks… check out the little puddles of goodness that formed underneath. At this point in the baking process, Neil just happened to arrive in the kitchen and graciously volunteered to take the parchment with the extra frosting. We wouldn’t want it to go to waste, after all.

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The easiest (and prettiest) way to drizzle the spiced frosting is to use a squeeze bottle, but you could always use a whisk. You might have some frosting left over, but you can save it for future dunking and drizzling.

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There is nothing like baking on a cool fall day. Happy fall, my dear friends!

 

Pumpkin Scones
Prep Time: 30 min. Cook Time: 14 min.
Adapted from: Top Secret Recipes

Ingredients:

For the Scones:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground clove
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup pumpkin purée
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg, lightly beaten

For the Vanilla Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pinch salt

For the Spiced Frosting:

2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 pinch ground clove

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, white sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Dice the butter and cut it into the flour using a pastry blade until the flour and butter resemble small peas. Set aside.

In a separate smaller bowl, combine the pumpkin, cream, vanilla, and egg. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until combined. At this point, pick up the dough and knead on a floured surface about 5 times until well combined. Don’t work the dough too much, though.

Form dough into a long rectangle, about an inch thick. With a sharp knife or pastry blade, cut the dough into three pieces, then cut each of those pieces in half. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat and bake for 14-16 minutes.

While scones are baking, make the frosting. Using an electric mixer, combine all ingredients of the vanilla frosting together until smooth. Taste to make sure you like the frosting. Using a spatula, slather each scone in the vanilla frosting. The more the better, and it’s best to do this while the scones are still warm. Allow to cool while you made the spiced frosting.

In the same bowl, use an electric mixer to combine all ingredients of the spiced frosting together. Again, taste and make sure you like it! Transfer to a squeeze bottle and drizzle over each scone.

Enjoy! Makes 6 large scones.

Banana Shakes

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No, we didn’t go anywhere. It’s been kind of crazy in the lives of the Ostercamps lately. We went to Florida on vacation. School and work started again. We had family in town. And oh hey, we bought our first house!! All that to say, thanks for sticking with us as our posts have been few and far between over the past month. We are super excited about our first place. Remember those previous posts that made me tear up as I wrote about how much we love our village? We are fortunate enough to have bought a little corner of that village. Right now, it’s a mess over there as my brother-in-law, uncle, and husband are completely renovating the bathroom. I mean, sledgehammering, ripping out dry wall, putting in new flooring and more.

In the mean time, the school year has started and everyone around town is getting back in the swing of things. Each new school year, I find the opportunity to get ultra organized. Not just with file folders and color coded post-it tabs (which are essential), but also at home. It’s a good time to donate summer clothes that weren’t even touched this year, organize bookshelves, recycle old magazines, and buy new school supplies. Or in our case this year, buy a new house! Second to New Year’s, I also find it fitting to make a few resolutions for the school year, such as healthy eating.

While my sister was in town, she introduced me to these delicious banana shakes. Simple ingredients, simple prep, and I kid you not, it tastes like a gosh darn banana milkshake. A lot of bloggers have featured these on their sites, and there are various mix ins, but I like this recipe as foundation for anything fancy you care to add. For the best taste and consistency, make sure your bananas are ripe (no green, lots of brown spots), and frozen overnight.

They’re a healthy snack that your kids will look forward to after school…or, that I’ll look forward to after work. Happy new school year everyone!

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Banana Shakes
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 0 minutes

Ingredients:

2 bananas, frozen
2 tablespoons almond butter
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup almond milk

Preparation:

Blend all ingredients together using a blender and serve cold. That’s it. Really! How easy is that?!

Makes: Two small 5-oz. shakes, or one large 10-oz. shake

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