Friday, September 21, 2012

Challah and Cheesecake--anything but the usual

Sometimes weeks go by when I don't bake at all. And my stress comes to a big, ugly head. And I have to spend a whole day doing the things that refresh and revitalize: haircut/color, pedicure, wine, time with my best girlfriend, and baking. Yeah, I'm not one of those people that gets stressed out by baking, just the opposite. And I needed it so much that I did double-duty: Fig, Olive Oil and Sea Salt Challah from smitten kitchen and Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake from Our Best Bites (which I don't visit much, my Min found that recipe, and I'm so glad!).

Now, there's only one thing you need to know about these two recipes: I baked BOTH of them (with help) between 7 pm and 1 am, in someone else's kitchen (with a mixer that needed...nudging), WHILE DRINKING WINE. Lots of it. I deserve my own youtube channel--Drunkbaking with Spiker. It would be mildly entertaining to most people, and wildly embarrassing to The Pie Queen. Anyway, if I can do both of them in that state, you can do one of them while sober. Easy peasy.

Okay, so my challah braid didn't end up as perfect as it should have, but doesn't it look delicious anyway?

And it tasted delicious too. We made french toast out of it in the morning and I loved it. Unfortunately, I'll probably never bake it again, but only because nobody in my family loves figs like I do. At least not in baked goods.

And this. This will be on the menu wherever I land for Thanksgiving this year.

Ridiculously easy. And look at those perfect layers! I especially liked the fact that the pumpkin pie filling on top meant there was no worry about cracking cheesecake. The recipe calls for a 9- or 10-inch springform. We used a 10-inch one and the given cooking time was perfect. Delicious blend of toffee and pumpkin.

Bonus: both recipes are perfect for Autumn. Spicy, rich, complimented with lots of butter and cream. Mmmm.

TGIP Rating--Fig, Olive Oil, and Sea Salt Challah--KEEPER. But I won't be baking it again. My waistline can't afford to bake things unless my family will eat them. But YOU can make it!
--Layered Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake--KEEPER. Easy and delicious. All the right things.

Next up: Caramel Coconut Cluster Bars. For real.


Bill said...

I forgot to comment on this earlier, but have you watched the "My Drunk Kitchen" videos by MyHarto?

Very funny stuff.

April Fossen said...

I just watched one for the first time today. Very funny. I might not be that funny when I'm drunk. More maudlin. :)