Chocolate Garlic Cheesecake Truffles

Now before you run away… let me just say that I wanted to start the year by challenging myself to come up with a new recipe using an ingredient you wouldn’t normally think of using to make a dessert.

Last summer I created a video for Paula Dean’s Real Women of Philadelphia in which I demonstrated how to make Espresso Hazelnut Cheesecake Ice Cream

Well, just a few weeks ago Real Women of Philadelphia announced a new video challenge using Philadelphia’s newest product, Philadelphia Cooking Cream.



Brown Butter Waffles

This morning I couldn’t decide what to make for breakfast. I knew I wanted something sweet and not savory.

I spent five minutes looking around the pantry; this is after a good dose of coffee was already in my system. Then, I walked over to the fridge and took a peek, there on the top shelf between the coffee creamer and the OJ I saw a carton of buttermilk. Ah ha! Pancakes!

However, the more I thought about it the less enthused I was about the idea. Then I thought, hmmm why not make waffles?

I pulled out a cookbook from the shelf, flipped through the section titled “Muffins, Scones, Quick Breads & Other Breakfast Treats” once I got to recipe number 10 the deal was sealed. The rest is breakfast history my friends.

You are going to absolutely love this waffle recipe, the brown butter and dark brown sugar gives them such an amazing taste. In my opinion you don’t really need to add any syrup, whipped cream, fruit spread, etc.

Waffle Iron

Brown Butter Waffles

Brown Butter Waffles
from the The Craft of Baking
by Karen DeMasco & Mindy Fox

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup buttermilk
2 large eggs, separated
unsalted butter, for the waffle iron

Preheat your waffle iron.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat; continue cooking until the butter turns brown and has a nutty fragrance, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Brown Butter
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

Dry Ingredients
Make a well in the center and pour in the buttermilk and the egg yolks. Whisk the wet ingredients together, gently working them into the dry ingredients until just combined.

Add the browned butter and whisk until fully absorbed. (At this point, the batter will keep for several hours or up to 2 days in the refrigerator.)

Egg Whites
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites to soft peaks. Gently fold the whites into the batter in two additions.

Batter and Waffle Iron
Lightly brush a waffle iron with butter and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Brown butter Waffle Batter
Note: The recipe said it was enough to make 8 Belgian style waffles or 12 round waffles. I was only able to make 5 Belgian style waffles. Not sure if it was because I needed to beat my egg whites a bit more, I had to pour about 3/4 cup worth of batter to cover the inner circle of the waffle iron.

Warm Maple Syrup
Since my opinion doesn’t mean much to my teenage boys they had theirs with syrup.


Red Velvet Cupcakes

Today I am going to introduce you to a friend of mine, Angela AKA SpinachTiger. We met just a few weeks ago during the FoodBuzz Festival in San Francisco and although I haven’t known her for an extended period of time, I feel like we’ve been long time friends.

Angela happens to be a very talented, creative, funny, and outgoing food blogger. To help put that into perspective, she was nominated as one of the Bloggers we would most like to see have their own show on the Food Network. (Yep, that pretty much says it all…)

Saturday afternoon as we were waiting for the chartered bus to take us to the FoodBuzz Dinner & Awards Ceremony she casually mentioned that she was planing on hosting a “Cooking Red to Remember” day on her blog December 1st in honor of World AIDS Day and asked of I would like to participate.

Being that we had only met that same morning, I had no idea how deeply impacted she has been by this disease. I told her I would love to show my support and told her that I would be making Red Velvet Cupcakes, and we left it at that.

Once I went to her blog and I read her story I was speechless…

If you look at the top picture, you see one cupcake in the foreground, there standing strong is Angela, the cupcake in the background to your right is her brother James, and the one to your left is her cousin Sam. Although no longer in the foreground with Angela, they are forever present.

Red Velvet Cupcakes
  • 2½ cups cake flour (not self-rising) sifted
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened ductch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat together sugar and butter until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.
  3. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.
  4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake about 18-20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire rack to cool for about 15 minutes before removing the cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months in airtight containers.

Cream Cheese Frosting
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  1. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low. Add sugar ½ a cup at a time, and then vanilla, and mix until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.


Virtual Red Ribbon