cranberry bliss bars

It’s been a few years since i originally posted this recipe and i thought the photos could stand a re-do….

and of course since we were in the baking mood…..i decided to update this post for you.

I have been making these for over 7 years…..ever since i had originally had the very first one at Starbucks

way back when we used to live in Colorado.

These are my go-to recipe when i have a cookie exchange to attend….

or i need some last minute baked goods that are festive and pretty…and just damn good.

I re-introduce you to my cranberry bliss bars….

or….. orgasm in your mouth ….

but since we are all PG rated around here….i thought we would just go with the original title.


you will need:

CAKE

*2 sticks {one cup} unsalted butter {softened}

*1 1/4 cups light brown sugar {packed}

*3 large eggs

*1 1/2 tsp vanilla

*1 tsp ginger

*1/4 tsp salt

*1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

* 3/4 cup diced dried cranberries

* 6 ounces white chocolate {cut into chunks} OR  3/4 cup white chocolate chips

FROSTING

*4 ounces cream cheese {softened}

* 3 cups powdered sugar

* 4 tsp fresh lemon juice

*1/2 tsp vanilla extract

*1/4 cup diced dried cranberries

*Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

* Make cake by beating the butter and brown sugar together with a mixer until smooth. Add the eggs,

vanilla, slat, ginger….then bear well till all mixed. Gradually mix in the flour until smooth. Mix 3/4 cup diced

dried cranberries and the white chocolate into the batter by hand. Pour the batter into a well greased

9×12″ baking pan. Spread the cake batter evenly across the pan.

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the cake is lightly brown on the edges. 

Allow the cake to cool completely.

In the meantime while the cake is baking…..you can make the frosting and test taste it as you go;-)

Combine the softened cream, 3 cups powdered sugar, lemon juice and vanilla into a medium bowl

with an electric mixer until smooth.

Once the cake has completely cooled, use a spatula to spread the frosting over the top of the cake.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup of diced cranberries over the frosting on the cake.

IMPORTANT

Allow the cake to sit for several hours.

If you want the bars to look like the ones you get from Starbucks….slice the cake lengthwise through the middle.

Slice the cake across the width three times making a total of eight rectangular slices.

Slice each of those rectangles diagonally creating 16 triangular slices.

OR

go the easy route and just slice them into bite size bars.

but try not to eat them all before you head out to that party.

chèvre and coconut milk cheesecake

I know…i know….another recipe…..

but can i first declare this the best of all time recipes in the whole wide world.

pinky swear.

The only reason i have not shared this recipe sooner is because i’m selfish and i wanted to keep it all to myself

forever and ever till death do us part.

This last summer when the kids and i traveled back home to Chicago……we were at a friends house

and they had made a cheesecake with coconut milk that was so good that i came home to Kauai

and when i went into my fridge to try and remake it………. i grabbed the chèvre sitting in the drawer right next

to the cream cheese and that is when the world stopped ….the stars collided and 

chèvre & coconut milk cheesecake was born.

Did i mention that this is a NO BAKE cheesecake?! 

I won’t lie…. chèvre is my middle name

kasey chèvre buick

{except chèvre sounds awfully like chevy…and since chevy and buick don’t really go together…

yeah…..where was i going with this….hmmmph}

Anyhoo…..back to the task at hand.

Since it’s my birthday today {38 in case you were wondering}

and i’m more about giving then receiving….here you go….

i introduce you to Chèvre and Coconut milk cheesecake.

I have only made these in little jars…..just like i do everything else…..so if you are looking to make

a normal size cheesecake with this recipe….you might have to fool around with it…but i think the

measured amounts will make a normal size cheesecake…..but i can’t promise anything.

The reason i only make these in little jars is because i take them to the beach all the time…..

seems my friends love the single servings and because we are all about saving the environment;-)

i really like the idea of being able to bring home the jars for another use.


The secret to this recipe is refrigerated coconut milk.

There is something orgasmic about refrigerated coconut milk…..because once you open up that can

and see the coconut milk all thick and creamy sitting all settled at the top of the can…you know

you can go to sleep without a Tylenol pm with vodka.

When you buy your can of coconut milk…..stick it in the fridge….{make sure it’s in the fridge for at least a day}

Not only can you use it for this recipe….but i also use that thick stuff for making whipped cream…..just

mix the thick stuff with some whipping cream and a dab of sugar.

BOOM

but we are not talking whipped cream right now….we are talking chèvre and coconut milk.



Now for the ingredients.

{makes 7-10  small jars…..a few more if you forgo the graham cracker crust}

1.5 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 stick melted butter

8 ounces of cream cheese {room temp}

6-8 ounces chèvre {goat cheese} *the higher quality the chèvre the better the taste*

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp coconut extract  {imitation extract if fine}

1/2 cup coconut cream  {the top that settles in a can of coconut milk that has been refrigerated }

1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk

………………

*Mix the graham cracker crumbs and the melted butter together….then spoon about a 2 tbsp into the bottom

of each jar and press it down slightly to make the crust.

{OR OMIT THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST TO MAKE THIS DESSERT GLUTEN FREE}

*With a mixer….mix the cream cheese and the chèvre till soft and blended together….

then add the vanilla and coconut extract….

the sweetened condensed milk….

and last but not least……

the coconut milk {cream}

Once everything is blended together…..spoon it into the jars that already have the crust.

I found those little paper baking cups above on my trip to California….at TJ Maxx. I might have bought 

every

single

package

since they were only about $3 a package.

Perfect for a party!

………

Stick them into the fridge for about 4-6 hours to set….

try not to eat them

but i always eat 3 of them while i wait for the rest to set

and then i lick the bowl because if i don’t then the world might combust.


The photo up above is one i made with lilikoi sauce.

yeah yeah…..i know…..you don’t know where to get lilikoi sauce……but i just wanted to show you

that you could infuse something similar……or even something like lemon or lime curd……

and just mix it into the top of the cheesecake for a different take on the whole thing.

So there you have it……

i’ve come out of my closet and shared my deepest darkest best recipe of all time in the history of life…..

so go forth and lick the bowl clean today because coconut milk with chèvre is life changing.

the end.

Caramelized onion and blue cheese bites

Last week i stepped on the scale and i was up 4 pounds.

I’m not going to lie….i’m on the scale every single morning….it’s habit now….and it is my reality check-in….

check check double check

especially since it took me 6 months of extremely hard word to lose 25 pounds.

So….with the last few weeks being a bit on the stressful side…..

and of course…..stress and i don’t get along at all…..

i put on my brave face….poured myself a nice glass of fine boxed wine and went to work.

No….i don’t mean my new job….what i mean is i went to work baking…because it’s what relieves my stress…

right along with drinking vodka from ball jars and sitting on the beach with my kids.

oh…and back rubs…but i forget what those feel like…..so i’ll just be happy with vodka and kids.

{not necessarily in that order …}

You might remember when i posted my Brie and Fig Bites from a while back……

those still are a fav around here…..but i wanted to make something that was a bit more on the 

not~ so sweet side…….

kind of like Reality Bites.

I had been watching Rachel Ray a while back cooking up some burgers….

and who doesn’t love a good burger right…..

and when she started to caramelize onions for the burgers…..i knew that is what i was going to do with

my new bites.
I introduce you to my

caramelized onion and blue cheese bites.

Perfect appetizer and i swear your friends and family will love you……

maybe not necessarily your significant other when you wake up the next morning……

but that is not something i can help you with.

Oh….and these are so easy….you can do it with your eyes closed while drinking fine boxed wine.

honest.

All you need is:

*puff pastry {located in the frozen section next to frozen pie shells}

*2 tbsp unsalted butter

* 2 tbsp olive oil

*1 large onion {i use sweet }, halved and thinly sliced

*1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

*1 tsp sugar

*1/2 tsp salt

* 4 ounces of crumbled blue cheese


These go perfect with fine boxed wine.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

The puff pastry comes in sheets of two…..and this recipe only calls for using one…..so if you want to use

both then you will need to double up on the ingredients.

……..

Melt butter with oil in large skillet over high heat.

Add onions.

Have a drink of your wine.

Cook until onions are soft and just beginning to brown, making sure to stir them on occasion

for about 8-10 minutes.

Add rosemary, sugar and salt.

Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the onions are soft and dark brown…..

making sure to stir them frequently…about 15 minutes…then let cool slightly.

In the meantime…..unfold your puff pastry sheet on to some parchment paper and place on a

cookie sheet.

Spread the onion mixture over the puff pastry sheet evenly…sprinkle on the blue cheese…and bake

until the dough is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling…about 12-15 minutes.

Have another glass of fine boxed wine.

Let cool and cut into squares.

One sheet serves about 16 and i use a pizza slicer to roll across and slice them.

Viola…….

and because you probably shouldn’t have one more glass of fine boxed wine…..

i will….you know….to be kind.

cheers.

 

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