Cream Cheese Brownies

August 12th, 2011

There are numerous recipes for brownies out there.  This just happens to be one of the good ones.  I have joined a new website started by one of my blogging buddies Dave of My Year on the Grill.  His website is  You have probably seen the eRecipeCard button on the left of my text.  Here it is.

This is a wonderful website with lots of recipes submitted by many food bloggers.  I have started submitting my recipes.  I have found it a useful source when I am looking for a particular recipe. It is also increasing the traffic on my blog from people who hit on one of my recipes.  Check it out for yourselves.
I was searching Dave’s website for a new take on brownies and found several good ones to choose from, but What’s Cookin, Chicago really caught my eye.  She had a recipe for Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies.  I love cream cheese swirled in chocolate and the addition of raspberry jam sounded interesting.  But I decided to adapt the recipe using only the cream cheese.  The brownies are moist and fudgy with a wonderful tang of cream cheese.  Just what I was looking for.  So thanks eRecipeCards and What’s Cookin, Chicago for being such  great resources.
1 8 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8-inch square baking dish.
Combine cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk and vanilla and beat until smooth.
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.  Microwave butter and chocolate in a large bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 1 minute.  Cool slightly.
Add sugar, eggs, and vanilla to chocolate mixture, stirring until combined.  Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated.
Pour half of brownie batter into prepared pan.  Spread into even layer.  Dollop cream cheese filling over brownie batter and spread into even layer.  Spread remaining brownie batter evenly over filling.  Run a knife through the layer to swirl slightly.
Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.  Let cool on wire rack.
By the way Dave has a new blog called Inspired by in which he tries some of the recipes that are submitted to eRecipeCards for himself.  And he wouldn’t be Dave if he didn’t add his own special touch to them.  Way to go Dave.  I love your new website and your new blog.

Georgia Peach Cake

August 5th, 2011

A simple buttermilk cake topped with fresh Georgia peaches is what summer is all about in the South.  I remember crossing the border into Georgia for the first time driving down I-85 years ago.  The sight that greeted us was a giant peach looking almost real in it’s fuzzy plumpness. “Welcome to the Peach State” it said.  I thought immediately of Gone With the Wind and the peaches and cream complexions of Scarlett O’Hara and all of the other southern belles.  I declare,  I have looked forward to the Georgia peach crop ever since.

I make a great peach cobbler which is such a tradition in our area.  It goes well with barbecue and is served in many of the barbecue joints in the south.  But I was looking for a more refined peach recipe this time.  I saw a recipe in Bon Appetit for a blackberry buttermilk cake and just knew that I could adapt it to peaches instead of blackberries.

It is an easy cake to put together, but you have to be sure to sift the cake flour and measure before the final sifting with the baking powder, soda and salt.  The results will yield a tender flavorful cake that is delicious in it’s subtle nuances of buttermilk, orange, vanilla and peaches.  Dust with powdered sugar.  Add ice cream or whipped cream if you must, but I like it as is.

4 peaches, peeled and sliced
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 eggs at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. grated orange zest
2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/3 cups cake flour (sifted, then measured)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup of buttermilk
Butter a 9″ diameter springform pan.  Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom and butter that.  Dust the pan with flour.  Place pan on a baking sheet.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix sliced peaces with 1/4 cup sugar in a bowl and allow to rest for a few minutes.  Arrange peach slices in bottom of springform pan.
Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until it is light and fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time until incorporated.  Add orange zest and vanilla and mix in.
Mix the 2 1/3 cups of sifted cake flour with the baking powder, salt and baking soda.  Sift into a bowl to be sure the baking powder and soda are evenly distributed.  
On low speed add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the batter in 3 additions alternating the flour and the buttermilk.
Pour the batter over the peaches and smooth the top.  Bake until the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Let cool in pan set on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.  Invert onto a cake plate, loosen the sides of the springform pan and remove it and the bottom piece.  Peel off the parchment paper.  Dust with powdered sugar and serve. 

Sweet Cherry Pie

July 15th, 2011

Cherry pie has been on my mind lately.  We had a wonderful cherry pie at The Inn on Crippen Creek Farm on our vacation.  My friend Lyla commented on the fact that I failed to get the recipe for it and drats, it is true.  While shopping the other day I picked up some sweet cherries with the intention of baking a pie.  While laboriously pitting the cherries yesterday David said “what are you going to do with them?”  I said “make a pie”.  He said “You can’t make a cherry pie with sweet cherries!”  “What!”  I said.  You have to understand that I trust what he is saying, in this case, because he grew up on a farm.  A fruit farm.  With cherry trees.  His Mom was a great cook.  Their cherries were sour.  Grumbling, I went to the internet and searched for recipes for sweet cherry pie if there were such things.  I found one and it was from Deb at Smitten Kitchen.  If you can’t trust her authority, one who is under contract with Knopf for a cookbook coming out next Spring, who can you trust.  So there.  As I expected when making a cherry pie with sweet cherries, just use less sugar.

I feel pretty confident about pie crust.  Even back in high school when I didn’t know how to cook anything else, I knew how to make a pie.  I had grown up watching my Mom and Grandma make pies.  As a matter of fact when David and I were first dating I decided to impress him with a homemade apple pie.  I worked on it all afternoon taking extra care to flute the edges of the crust just so.  David picked me up for out date and we went to a movie.  Now you have to understand that there were two people in our family who loved pie crust;  my Dad and me.  While we were gone, my Dad started nibbling on the edges of the pie by breaking off small pieces, a little here a little there.  He couldn’t help himself.  By the time we got home, my beautiful pie looked like a family of mice had gnawed their way through the edges leaving crumbs of pastry scattered everywhere.  It was a disaster.  David laughed.  I was furious.  Later my Dad apologized, but it was not as heartfelt as I thought it should have been.  He thought it was the funniest thing that he had ever done and over the years the story was told over and over again with great mirth.

So to this day, when I make a pie, I always make it with a thick crust with the edges fluted just so.  Just for Dad.

For the recipe for sweet cherry pie and a really great all butter pie crust check out Deb’s Smitten Kitchen blog post.

An Interlude at Pondside

June 30th, 2011

When the travails of traveling on a motorcyle throughout the Pacific Northwest get you down, there is no better respite than a stop at a magical place called Pondside.  Situated between two limpid ponds with an American ( in our honor ) flag drapped entrance gate, we immediately felt welcomed by my blogging friend Pondside and her husband The Great Dane.  Reading her blog I have always been entranced by her gentle style and great wisdom.  We bloggers sometimes “know” each other without ever being formally introduced.

When I blogged about our trip to Alaska and trip south through Vancouver, Pondside graciously invited us to lunch.  Who could resist?   What a treat it was.  I was hesitant to show up with a camera around my neck and the typical blogger mentality of snapping pictures of everything in sight, so I missed photographing her lovely pasta salad with smoked salmon and asparagus that she credits to  Cathy of Wives With Knives, another great blogger.   It was delicious and will go in my file of favorite recipes.  Thank you Cathy.  David especially enjoyed it because he has had a hard time finding salmon on this trip in spite of the fact that the salmon are running and we saw thousands of them in a river in Alaska.  Here is Cathy’s picture.

Pondside made a dessert of Eton Mess that was just perfect to round out our meal.  I don’t have her specific recipe but it was a mixture of  broken up meringues, whipped cream and Cointreau marinated strawberries.  You can check out Ina’s recipe here.   We chatted over dessert and coffee and found so much in common.  I never thought I would find another fabric junkie like me.  We are even reading the same paperback author right now.

The day turned drizzly for a brief time and we walked around the property to see the ponds and the chickens and ducks.

My visit with Pondside was a delight.

And I love her umbrellas too!  Thank you H and GD for opening your world to us.  We are so much the better for it.

I have been without internet access for the past week or so and am just catching up on my blogs about our trip.  I am home now, but have at least two more posts that I want to share with you.  Also I need to catch up with all of your posts.  Again thank you Pondside for a delightful interlude in our trip.


May 9th, 2011

I am working on this one.  How hard can it be to cook a simple cherry pudding that has it’s roots in the South of France?  It is important that I master this recipe because I have donated a Provencal dinner to a recipient at a local fundraiser held here in Lake Lure recently.  It was purchased during the silent auction part of the event.  Here is my menu.

The problem with a clafoutis is that it is best served straight from the oven.  We had this one for breakfast this morning.  After all, a clafoutis is nothing more than a baked pancake with fruit.  It puffs up beautifully, but deflates quickly.  My recipe needs adjustment and I need a larger (10-inch) quiche pan to make it cook properly.  The center of mine was not cooked.  Also the cherries ( I used frozen ) bled into the custard after a few hours.  So I am analyzing my recipe and trying to figure out a way to cook it at least an hour before I deliver it and still have it looking good and ready to be gently re-heated in the oven.  I will keep experimenting, because we loved this recipe.  Any suggestions would be welcomed.


2 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 to 16 ounce package frozen pitted sweet cherries
1/2 cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
4 eggs
small pinch of salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
1/4 cup Kirsch
extra confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a shallow 10-inch porcelain oven dish with1/4 inch sides with 1 tablespoon of the butter.

Spread the cherries in a tight layer in the bottom of the dish.  In a mixing bowl whisk together the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, the eggs and salt until well blended.  Sift in the flour, stirring at the same time with the whisk.  Whisk in the milk and kirsch.  Pour the mixture over the cherries.  Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon butter into shavings and scatter over the surface.  Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons confectioners’sugar.

Place in the oven and bake until the surface is golden, about 40 minutes (less in 10-inch pan).  Remove from the oven and immediately sprinkle with additional confectioners’ sugar.  Serve lukewarm.

Printable recipe

© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.