Banana Cheesecake with Gooey Peanut Crust

 

If I had to pick one food to represent my childhood summer experience, it would have to be Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches.  I remember one summer spent riding my bicycle to a friend’s house, playing in his creek and eating peanut butter sandwiches just about every single day!  If we found ourselves at my Grandmother’s house, another ingredient would be added to this simple fare…..mayonnaise.  Please tell me I am not the only one who has consumed a peanut butter, banana and mayonnaise sandwich?!  My Grandma would say that the mayo helped to prevent the peanut butter from sticking to the roof of your mouth though I didn’t mind the stickiness and would have preferred to go without the mayo. Ugh!  Don’t worry, there is no mayonnaise in today’s recipe.  With that said, I set out this summer to recreate the flavors of my childhood by creating a cool, creamy, simple cheesecake recipe.

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Meringue Toffee Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches

 

I get my love of cookies from my sweet mother but my love of ice cream sandwiches comes straight from my dad.  My dad is pretty basic when it comes to his love of ice cream.  Simple vanilla with a few salted peanuts or cashews and maybe a drizzle of caramel sauce.  No chocolate for him!  I remember when I was younger, a special outing for us was a trip to the local ice cream shop for a blended ice cream treat.  Overwhelmed by all of the flavor choices my first visit, I took my dad’s advice and went with the toffee candy bar.  I was hooked and it has been my ice cream flavor weakness ever since!

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Mini Orange No-Bake Cheesecake with Gooey Almond Crust

 

Spring has arrived and here in Atlanta, it feels like summer is upon us.  With that in mind, I wanted to create a recipe that was cool and refreshing and wouldn’t use the oven for too long.  If you are a cheesecake lover like I am, I want you to know that a no-bake cheesecake has a very different texture than a regular cheesecake.  The combination of unflavored gelatin and lack of eggs creates a very velvety yet light texture.  One taste tester said it was almost like a mousse or firm custard.  I decided to use a pan by USA Pan Company that makes 6 mini cheesecakes, but I think you could easily use a traditional spring form pan.  I would recommend an 8″ pan to ensure the crust and cheesecake filling are thick enough.  I also decided to go non-traditional with my crust.  Normally I would do some type of graham cracker crust but for this recipe I decided to try out a gooey almond meringue crust and I have to tell you, it has become an absolute favorite!!

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