Well, friends, the blogging bug bit me today and I realized I haven't shared with you some of the delicious creations my sisters and I tried out when they were here...over a month ago...
Anyway, just to give you a run-down, here is my evaluation of the pass/fail status of each of the dishes we tried (in no particular order):
1) Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars (EPIC SUCCESS! Hence this post- we couldn't stop nibbling at them!)
2) Zucchini Chips (EPIC FAIL...seriously, we ruined two of my cookie sheets)
3) Thai Peanut Sauce Noodles with Veggies and Chicken (MODERATE SUCCESS- veggies were a bit soggier than I had hoped for and the sauce needed something)
4) French Toast Roll-Ups with Nutella and strawberries (SUCCESS- the girls surprised us with these for breakfast and they were to die for!)
5) Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taquitos (SUCCESS- easy, healthy and full of flavor!)
6) Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles (EPIC SUCCESS! Thankfully they took half the batch home with them or I would have been an elephant by the end of the week)
7) Honey Mustard Mozzarella Chicken (EPIC SUCCESS! I think this easy recipe has earned a coveted spot on all our dinner rotations)
8) Braided Cinnamon Wreath (EPIC FAIL/SUCCESS- it was atrociously ugly (not at all like the picture) and the dough was incredibly dense (don't know where we went wrong)...but it tasted good!)
9) Traditional English Crumpets (MODERATE SUCCESS- I'm on the fence about these. They were incredibly salty (could the the 3 tsp be a typo?), but toasted and smothered with jam, they are just the thing to nibble on while watching hours (and I do mean hours) of Downton Abbey)
10) Slow Cooker Chicken Tostadas (EPIC SUCCESS- of course almost anything in the taco realm is generally amazing...I used my own recipe for salsa crock-pot chicken which I really should share with you one of these days)
So there you have it. Pretty much our menu for the week. And if you're wondering, yes, I did gain weight.
|My lovely sister, Jewelissa, tackling the spreading of the Nutella|
But back to the Nutella Bars....oh, my, if you love cheesecake, graham cracker crusts, and Nutella to boot, you will be all over these yummy bars. They're easy too! Or at least I think they were easy. I had 3 helpful young ladies in my kitchen. Oh, well. If you think these look too hard, recruit yourself a few helpful young ladies because seriously, you're going to need someone to help you finish them. Or to state the case more truthfully, you're going to need someone to restrain you from finishing the whole pan yourself. Think of it like a safeguard.
|Jessica, looking longingly at bars that still have to cool for. three. hours.|
Sally from Sally's Baking Addiction says she thinks the hardest part of these bars is swirling the Nutella (which is rather tongue in cheek since that is not difficult at all really), but I think the hardest part is waiting during the 3 1/2 hrs of chilling time!!!
Oh, and as a side note, Hubby accidently picked up cinnamon flavored grahams for me instead of regular and it added this amazing flavor to the crust! So there's an option for you. Accidental discoveries are the best!
Nutella Swirl Cheesecake Bars
makes 16 bars
12 full sheet graham crackers, finely crushed (or 1.5 cups crumbs)
6 TB melted unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup Nutella, slightly warmed (makes it easier to swirl)
Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8 baking pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
Make the Crust:
In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press into lined pan. Bake 5 min. Allow to cool as you prepare the filling.
Make the Filling:
Beat cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla with a hand blender or stand mixer until smooth and creamy, about 3 min. Spoon filling onto the crust and spread out evenly. Drop large spoonfuls of Nutella on top of the filling and swirl gently with a knife.
Bake 30-35 min. or until the cheesecake has set up and the edges are lightly browned. The bars will be very puffy, but will sink slightly as they cool. Allow to cool for 30 min. at room temp. on a wire rack and then chill in the refrigerator at least 3 hours.
Lift foil out of pan carefully and cut into bars. Store covered in the refrigerator if you have any leftovers (ha!).