Monday, November 16, 2009

Halloween Treats

Yes, I know it's now the middle of November. If I had my act together, I would have posted this sometime arount the 29th of October...but, my act is nowhere to be found. It went AWOL on me sometime ago and I've been too busy to look for it.  So, here it is, November, a week and a half before one of the giant food fests of America, and I'm posting a Halloween recipe.  Ok, so it's not specifically for Halloween, but the picture will make you think so.

Our company has an annual party for Halloween and it is THE event of the year. We have fierce competition amongst the departments for best costumes, best group areas, best chili, best desert, etc. There are activities for the kids that go way beyond trick or treating. This year, we had the bounce house (great for working off all that sugar from trick or treating), horse & pony rides, and face painting. There was a couple of photo ops including a "put your face here" for Thing 1 & Thing 2 with the Cat in the Hat. It was great. My girls start asking about sometime in the middle of April--wanting to know what we will be dressing up as, how will we decorate, and can they help.  We all love it.

This year, I decided to enter the new competition category of Best Dessert. I made a haunted pumpkin patch. The pumpkins and ghosts were Cake Pops (thank you, Bakerella) and the patch of dirt was an oreo cheesecake.  The only change I made to Bakerella's cake pops was to drape the pops with a circle of fondant to make the sheet-ghosts. The effect was great.  Happily, I can say I won 1st place!  All I can say, is the competition gets more fierce every year, so I better start thinking about it sometime in January!

Oreo Cheesecake

1 1/2 rows of Oreo Cookies, crushed
2-3 TBSP melted butter

Press the mixture together in a lightly greased 9" springform pan. Bake for about 12-15 minutes at 350*. Set aside to cool.

40 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 3/4 c sugar
3 TBSP flour
1/2 tsp vanilla
5 eggs + 2 egg yolks
1/4 c heavy cream
1 row Oreo Cookies, crushed

Preheat oven to 450*.

In a large mixer bowl, blend cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla at high speed. Beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time on low speed, until smooth, scraping down the sides occassionally. Beat in cream. Fold in cookies.  Pour into  pan.

Bake for 10 minutes. Lower oven to 250*. Bake an additional 1 hr. Center will be a little jiggly, but dull. Do NOT overbake.

Let cool in the refrigerator. At this point, you can store the cheesecake in the refrigerator uncovered for up to 3 days.

Fresh Whipped Cream
Crushed Oreos--The rest of the package
Assorted Chocolate pieces--jimmies, shaved chocolate, etc.

Spread the ganache over cold cheesecak and let set. Spread whipped cream on top of the ganache. Sprinkle the cookies over the top and press lightly. Fill in with assorted chocolate pieces.
Allow to sit out after removing from the refrigerator for at least 1 hour before serving.

12 oz. dark chocolate
1 1/2 c heavy cream
3 TBSP Sugar or Corn Syrup
3 TBSP Butter
Dash Vanilla

Bring cream, butter, and sugar to a boil, stirring often. Pour over chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Allow to sit for a couple of minutes. Stir gently until smooth. Add vanilla & stir. Be careful not to incorporate air into ganache. When cool, pour over cake or use cold for truffles.

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