Friday, December 18, 2009

Sweets For the Sweet

Well, after a few days of absolutely stunning weather, I woke up to the rain today and I guess we have a cold front coming through this weekend. We've dropped from temps hovering at 80 degrees, down to 68 degrees and this weekend they are expecting it to be 40 degrees. A forty degree drop in just a few days is just too darn cold for this beach gal! Now I know most of you are experiencing much colder temperatures, but this is Florida, the Land of Sunshine.

I guess I better put away my shorts and tank tops and pull those sweats out of storage. This means I will also have to go out in the rain today and pick-up some firewood. Well, a fire is cozy and I do have a book I've been meaning to read. AND, I made myself one of those snuggie blankets, so I guess I'll finally get to use it. I also have this outrageously expensive hot chocolate mix ($18), I bought using a gift card I received to a specialty chocolate shop, so I can whipped that up and give it a taste test. Maybe a little cold weather won't be so bad after all, as long as it passes quickly and I can get back to the beach next week.

All I can say is that I'm happy the sun was shining for Stella's visit. My plans for the weekend are to surf around blogland and read the posts from Outdoor Wednesday and Foodie Friday, so the rain can come down all it wants and it can get as cold as it wants, just don't let the power go out!

Last year I made this recipe after seeing it featured on Good Morning America. I'm not a huge fan of cheesecake, but I will happily take a bite of yours should we happen to be be lunching together. That's what I like, just a bite (or two). When I whipped these up, rather than cutting them into bars, I cut them into bite-sized pieces and served them in candy-sized paper cups. They were in a word — YUMMY!

Sweet Potato Cheesecake
Bars (or Bites)


Yellow Crust
Nonstick vegetable cooking spray
1 package (18.25 ounces) yellow cake mix
1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
1 egg

Sweet Potato Filling
2 cups baked sweet potatoes (or 16-ounces Ore Ida Steam N Mash®)
1 package cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

Sour Cream Filling
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Granola Topping
1 1/4 cups granola cereal
1/2 cup white baking chips
1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

For Yellow Crust, in a large bowl, combine cake mix, butter, and egg; beat with an electric mixer on low speed until mixture forms crumbs. Press crumb mixture evenly into prepared baking pan; set aside.

For Sweet Potato Filling, in a food processor, combine sweet potatoes (already steamed following instructions on the package), cream cheese, sugar, egg, and pumpkin pie spice; cover and process until smooth. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly over crust layer. Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes or just until set and wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

For Sour Cream Filling, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and vanilla; spread over hot sweet potato filling. Bake for 5 to 8 minutes more or until set and edges bubble. Cool in pan on wire rack.

For Granola Topping, in a small bowl, combine granola, white baking chips, and pumpkin pie spice; break up any large pieces of granola. Sprinkle granola mixture over sour cream filling; press in lightly. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until chilled. Cut into bars.

Copyright © 2008 Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Desserts 2

This recipe is the creation of Sandra Lee and you can find it in her book Sandra Lee Semi-Homemade Desserts 2.

I put four of these little delights in the freezer for my consumption at a later date. They froze beautifully and were just as delicious as they were at Christmas.

I also want to share a recipe I mentioned in a comment on While We're Waiting. The blogger, KS, ask me for the recipe and I promised I would post it today. I used to make this Bailey's Eggnog for my friends on Christmas Eve and it's like drinking a cloud. I was a bartender in my younger years and this recipe came attached to the bottles one year.

I haven't made this for many years and it is a "pre-Salmonella" recipe. Although the Egg Board says only 1 in 20,000 eggs is infected with this bacteria, I would never take that chance with my guests. I did some research and according to the USDA, "…in-shell pasteurized eggs may be used safely without cooking."

Further searching led me to Davidson's, an egg company who distributes pasteurized shell eggs. Follow this link to their store locator to see if they are available in your area. You may have eggs from another company who pasteurizes their eggs, so ask your grocer. If you live in Florida, like I do, the Davidson's Pasteurized Shell Eggs are available at Publix. If your local store doesn't have them on their shelves, ask a manager to order them for you. The item code is 76888.

I don't recommend the recipes made cooking the eggs into a custard-like substance, they are too thick and just plain yucky. I have read that using the liquid pasteurized egg products also don't produce a flavorful eggnog. If you can't find pasteurized eggs, I would just buy already prepared eggnog, the thick-style, add the Bailey's and fold in the whipped cream. Will it taste as good as my recipe? I doubt it, but I think it would still be good, adding Bailey's just makes a good, creamy eggnog without that strong alcohol taste.

With all that said, here is the recipe:

Bailey's Irish Cream Eggnog for a Party

  • 12 eggs, separated
1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup milk
2 cups Bailey's Irish Cream
6 cups heavy cream

  • freshly grated nutmeg

  1. In a large chilled bowl, beat egg yolks and 1/2 cup sugar with an electric hand mixer until very thick and creamy. Set aside.
  2. In another chilled bowl beat the egg whites with the remaining sugar until stiff peaks form.
  3. Combine egg whites with egg yolks, mixing on low speed for just a minute.
  4. Stir in the Bailey's by hand.
  5. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Gently fold into the eggnog mixture.
  6. Serve immediately and remember to share with others.

You can also try this easy recipe:

Slippery Eggs

  • 1 cup non-alcoholic eggnog
  • 2 shots Bailey's® Irish cream
  • 2 shots butterscotch schnapps
  • ice cubes
Stir ingredients well so that the drink is the original color of the eggnog; serve over ice.

The Eggnog Poem

If you see a fat man, who's jolly and cute,

wearing a beard and a red flannel suit;

And if he is chuckling and laughing away,

while flying around in a gift-laden sleigh;

With eight tiny reindeer to pull him along;

Then let's face it — your eggnog's too strong!

(Author unknown)

Have you entered the giveaways at Ocean Dreams and While We're Waiting? They are both absolutely fabulous and you can find links to each of them in my sidebar.

'Tis Friday again, so you all know that if you stop by Michael's at Designs By Gollum you'll find fabulous links to more Foodie Friday participants. Have a wonderful week, stay warm, bake your hearts out and enjoy the festivities!

14 Thoughtful Comments:

The Fajdich Times said...

Everything sounds good. The Sweet Potatoe Cheesecake bards really look yummy! Merry Christmas:)

Kristen said...

Ahhh!!! Sweeeeet!
I am so pumped you posted this!!!! I am definitely going to try this. And I think I will post a little link back to you with this delicious treat sometime this weekend. You are awesome!! Thank you so much for sharing your secret recipe. I am looking forward to "drinking a cloud!"

The Quintessential Magpie said...

Rhonda, I'm back in the saddle for a while today. Yesterday was a wild ride for sure. My trip back had to be postponed (I'll tell you about that later), but it's been wild the last two days.

Thank you for that info about the eggs. I love certain recipes that call for raw eggs, and that's great to know about pastuerized ones and where they have them at Publix. I'll be sure to keep this in mind. You're the best!


Sheila :-)

Unknown said...

Both of these sound wonderful. I hope you will link them to Merry Merry Munchies. There's a little giveaway going on. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Darn, I have missed all the fun. Little Stella has been a busy girl, and so have you! I love all of your photos, and I always learn about new Florida things to discover. Wouldn't I love to share a cup of that eggnog with you? My visit here today just makes me feel so cheery. We are both looking forward to great things in the New Year aren't we? I am excited about Christmas in the snow, and I hope that these pre-Christmas days continue to be happy ones for you my friend. I am sending an email soon.
XO Sue

Sue said...

Hi! I had to laugh at your comment on my forget I started this journey in Illinois. I have a winter coat and boots in the car:) Actually, it is so cold at home...that 40 to 60 degrees feels balmy to us. We are lucky that we are here mostly to enjoy my daughter and parents (and eat)! We are going into Epcot tomorrow night...we had winter coats on 2 years ago at Christmas, may have to do it tomorrow night!


Anonymous said...

Mmmm your sweet treats sound delicious. I am currently scouring the pantry to see if I have these ingredients. Thanks for sharing. Have a fantastic weekend.

And I love your Christmas touch around the hut. Very festive = )

Beach House 27 said...

Been so out of it lately - just now getting around. LA's a pretty small town - can't believe we probably crossed paths 40 years ago.

Where did you live and where did you go to school? I went to a few {great student} and worked at Fred Segal on Santa Monica Blvd.

Don't remember much about the 60's and early 70's - who could?


Barbara Jacksier said...

Thanks for sharing the great egg recipes. I have eight chickens (as cherished pets) and we usually have eggs to spare.

It's been snowing like the dickens here since 9 pm last night, no shorts or sandles here for QUITE awhile.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Rhonda both recipes sound incredible! Sadly I've stopped drinking eggnog since it is a million hoo... but the sweet potato cheescake bites sound

My daugfhter is =law grew up in the south so that is why she made a hummingbird cake for our grandson for his first birthday had to be that or red velvet She made some of the cake into cupcakes for the adults ...It wss delicious!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Rhonda

If my fat fingers can manage my new keyboard I'd like to say' 'Thank you sweet friend' for your help.... and also.. for keeping me company this year... all my new bloggy friends have made the year bearable!!!

Our weather has been nuts also... Oscillating from 40c to 20c and back again... though we won't be settling in with the cold... i think it will be heatwave from here on in... Have a wonderful Christmas xxx Julie

Sierra said...

Nice weather is always great during the holidays, it has been warm over my way too. Yes, time to pull out the shorts! I love your cooking skills, everything always looks so yummy.

Amy said...

Oooh, two of my favorite foods-- sweet potato and cheesecake-- together at last!
Thank you for your comment. I've enjoyed visiting your sunny blog, where I can "remember" the beach-- especially when it's 20 degrees outside.
Have a Merry Christmas!

Karine said...

I love your sweet potato cheesecake bars! So original and they sounds delicious! :)

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!


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