Chocolate Cheesecake with Potato Chip Crust

As the final course of the “Single ingredient: 3 courses” dinner that Amanda and I planned, dessert was the most difficult to plan. Again, flavor boredom was a big concern and while I had kept it a little different between the Potato and Mushroom Galette and the Curried Potato Dumplings, I didn’t want to get potato fatigue. As you know, I am a fan of chocolate and remembering how surprisingly delicious the salty-sweetness of chocolate chip potato chips are, I knew I wanted to put my own spin on that combination for this dessert.

This can, and probably should be made in advance so I made these desserts a day ahead of times since those dumplings were time consuming. This gave them enough time to chill and tempt me every time I opened the fridge. These are absolutely worth a try.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 family sized bag of potato chips(about 2-2/12 cups when crushed)
  • melted chocolate and potato chips for garnish
  • 4 oz semisweet chocolate
  • 1 pkg cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar for cheesecake
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar

Instructions:

  1. Butter the inside of six 3″ baking rings and place on wax paper, all on a baking sheet.
  2. Pour your potato chips into a smaller bag or into a bowl and crush with your hands until you have small but 1/4″ pieces. Once crushed you should have around 2 or 2 1/2 cups of chips.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
  4. Still over the heat, stir the butter and sugar mixture until the sugar is no longer grainy and the mixture begins bubbling (about 3-5 minutes). Continually stir for 1 additional minute and remove from heat.
  5. Add the potato chips to the caramel mixture and stir until all the chips are coated and everything is well incorporated.
  6. Spread this potato chip caramel into the bottom of each of the rings and chill for at least 1 hour.
  7. Melt the chocolate by microwaving in a heat proof bowl for 30 second intervals and stirring in between each interval until chocolate is smooth.
  8. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and sugar on on medium speed until smooth.
  9. Add the melted chocolate and mix on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl if necessary.
  10. Spoon the cream cheese mixture onto the tops of your cooled bases and chill for an additional hour.
  11. At this point you can remove the rings (a knife run around the edges can help separate them) and top with chocolate covered potato chips if desired. Enjoy!

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Amanda’s Cinnamon Pie, Inspired by Psych

Merideth and I watched Psych in college together, and now it’s BACK!! Well, for one night only, but we’re still excited. Cinnamon pie, featured in it’s Twin Peaks episode, sounded delicious and, without too many recipes online, mysterious. Here is my version  (Merideth’s is here). I’ve heard it both ways.

Ingredients

  • 1 pie crust, thawed
  • 2/3 brown sugar, lightly packes
  • 1/3 sugar
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • 2tbs flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine sugars, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add cream and extracts and gently stir until combined.
  4. Pour cream mixture into the crust.
  5. Cook for 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through.
  6. Refrigerate for four hours or overnight. Enjoy!

Mer’s Cinnamon Pie Inspired by “Psych”

“Are you a fan of delicious flavor?” Because you guys, something wonderful is happening this week! You hear about Pluto? That’s messed up, but what’s not messed up is the much anticipated return of my favorite TV show of all time for one night only this Thursday (Dec 7). Psych is a pretty important show to Amanda and me as you can probably tell from our pineapple theming and the Shawn and Gus duo can always help us unwind after a long day. I can never go too long without a Psych binge which is why we wanted to go all out for the Psych movie airing this week.

Since food centers so prevalently in Shawn and Gus’ lives as well as ours, our natural response is to get cooking for that premier. One of the many dishes that intrigued us the most was the Cinnamon Pie from the “Dual Spires” episode. In this Twin Peaks themed episode, Shawn and Gus are lured to a tiny town with promise of a Cinnamon Festival where they try cinnamon pie so gould “it could bring tears.”. I mean, how could we not try to make that, right? Amanda and I both have different interpretations, and honestly I’ve heard it both ways. Now, don’t be exactly half of an eleven pound Black Forest ham and try this pie for yourself.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Pie crust to fit a 9″ pie pan (you can go store bought or I used this recipe, which was a nice savory complement to this sweet pie)
  • 1/2 cup of butter-softened (1 stick)
  • 1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp Bourbon
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup flour

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F
  2. Press your pie crust into your 9″ pie pan and crimp the edges. Fill the crust with some kind of weight 2/3 of the way to the top of the pan. You can use dry beans, actual pie weights or I used a layer of foil filled with sugar.
  3. Bake the weighted pie crust for 20 minutes and remove from the oven. Reduce oven to 350°F while you prepare your filling.
  4. With an electric mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until resembling wet sand, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, waiting until fully incorporated after each addition. Add the cinnamon, bourbon, vanilla and salt at this point as well.
  6. Stir in the buttermilk with a wooden spoon until all the elements are incorporated and then sift in your flour. Give everything a stir and pour into your prepared pie crust.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the middle is no longer jiggly and an inserted toothpick comes out clean. If the pie crust starts to look a little dark on the outsides while baking, cover the edges with foil. Allow to cool for 1 hour and then chill if desired before serving. Maybe watch some Psych while you enjoy the cinnamon aromas (you don’t even need the super-smeller to appreciate). Top with powdered sugar or whipped cream and enjoy!

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Wine pairing: Since this is such a sweet pie, I’d say a full-bodied red would be a nice choice to go with it. Something like a spicy Malbec would be nice, and pretend it’s from Mira’s vineyard to add to the experience. See you on Dec 7 for “Psych: The Movie”