I am horribly behind on posting about birthday desserts. I made two cheesecakes in October for the birthdays of Ed and Anthony, and one faux-cheesecake (I say that b/c it wasn't baked and contained Cool Whip.) for Brad in December. I only took photos of the first two, and they were interesting and new recipes for me. Let's start with Ed's - Chocolate peanut butter cheesecake.
That's a LOT of chocolate and a lot of peanut butter and milk fat. Ah, sweet baked goods, how I love you so.
This recipe has you making your own flat cocoa powder cookies first, and then making a crust out of them.
While those are baking, you get started on dollops of peanut butter which are frozen and then dropped into the cheesecake batter later.
(That's in my freezer if you didn't notice in the picture.)
Now it's cheesecake time.
It's starting to smell fantastic at this point. Especially if you are a peanut butter lover like me. I'd eat it plain on big spoons when I was little.
Cookies done and crushed, get them ready to mix with some butter.
I like to put my paw in a plastic bag to form the crust because it sticks much less to the bag than my fingers. And we need all the crust we can get.
Drop the peanut butter bits into the cheesecake. Swoon.
Bake. Make a ganache with cream and chocolate. (My pics all turned out green somehow, so I'm skipping them.)
Top with ganache and Reeses Peanut Butter Cups.
Oh yeah. You wish you were friends with Ed so you got a piece of this cheesecake. :)
In a completely different vein of cheesecake baking, I made an orange and cream cheesecake for Anthony's birthday, also in October.
Zest your oranges.
Take the easy way out and use a refrigerated cookie crust for the bottom.
Cover with the orange zest. I know it seems weird. Trust me on that one.
Start on the filling with cream cheese, sugar, and orange marmalade. I felt like Paddington Bear.
There is an orange-colored white chocolate glaze for the top. Add the food coloring in dots.
Pour on top of the baked cheesecake.
I know it kind of looks like a piece of grilled cheese or an egg casserole, but I promise it was good. I think everyone was pleasantly surprised that it tasted as good as it did. Score!