Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Girls Night In

I'm having the girls over tonight for games, wine and snacks. We don't get together nearly often enough so it's always nice when we do.

Tonight the girls are coming over after jazzercise class for which I've been banished from per my orthopedist (knee issues)...otherwise I'd be there first too. I always got hungry after working out, so I want to have various foods for snacking.

Tonights menu options:
cheese & crackers
Mini Quiche
Personal Chocolate Cheesecakes (recipe below)
Popovers with butter and/or strawberry jam (recipe coming soon)

Personal Chocolate Cheesecakes

Preheat oven to 350

1 box Pamela's Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
1 Tbsp margarine

In food processor, process cookies until crumbs. Add in margarine and continue to pulse until fully combined.

Press into the bottoms and partially up the sides of 6 ramekins. Place ramekins on cookie sheet or inside large baking dish and bake crust for 7-8 minutes.

1 package fat free cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp margarine
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp honey
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp tapioca starch
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips

In a medium bowl add cream cheese, margarine, sugar and honey and mix with electric mixer until fully combined and no lumps in cream cheese. Add egg, vanilla and tapioca starch and blend again till well mixed, approximately 90 seconds.

Spoon half the batter into a separate bowl.

In another small bowl add chocolate chips. Place in microwave on medium heat for 60 seconds. Stir. If not completely melted, set on medium and heat for another 20 seconds until melted. Always stir between meltings as chocolate doesn't change shape until stirred, so it's melted-ness is deceiving.

Pour chocolate into one of the cheesecake filling batter bowls. Stir until fully mixed in.

Spoon in the plain cheesecake mixture evenly into the ramekins. Top with the chocolate cheesecake mixture. Using a toothpick, swirl the two together.

Place ramekins into a large pyrex-type casserole dish. Fill halfway up the sides of the casserole with water. This is known as a water bath and is useful to keep cheesecakes baking slowly and help prevent the cracks that sometimes form during baking. (Never use a water bath if using springform pans. Springform pans are not watertight.)

Place on the center rack in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, remove from casserole dish and set out to cool. When cool to the touch, place in refrigerator till time to serve so they are fully set.

Makes 6 personal cheesecakes

I'm still working on my popover recipe, so if it all goes as planned, I'll have some for tonight and I'll take pictures and post that recipe too.

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