Here is the first recipe request:
Chocolate Coconut Almond Cheesecake
First, the crust. Crush 18 Oreos and mix with 5 tablespoons of melted butter. Spread this mixture into the bottom of a greased cheesecake pan. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons of almonds that have been toasted and coarsely chopped. This recipe is for a 9-inch pan, but a 10-inch is fine. Just add a few more cookies and some extra butter for the crust.
For the coconut-almond filling, beat 24 ounces of softened cream cheese, 3/4 cup of sugar, and 3 tablespoons of corn starch. Add 3 large eggs and 1 egg yolk, one at a time, to this mixture. Blend well after adding each egg. Stir in 1/2 cup cream of coconut milk, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, and 1 & 1/4 teaspoons of almond extract. Add 2/3 cup of flaked or freshly grated coconut and 1/2 cup of toasted, chopped almonds. Pour the filling onto the crust.
Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Then, reduce the heat to 200 degrees. Bake for 2 hours or until set. Run a knife around the edges of the pan. Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for 2 more hours. Then, chill overnight.
Just to make this even better, there is a chocolate sour cream topping. Combine 6 ounces of milk or semisweet chocolate chips, 1/2 cup of sour cream, and 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar in a saucepan. Melt over low heat, stirring constantly. After this has melted, spread over cheesecake. Garnish with coconut and chopped almonds. Chill cheesecake until ready to serve.
Mississippi Mud Brownies
4 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
1 C. butter or margarine
2 C. sugar
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/8 t. salt
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 C. chopped pecans
2 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 C. evaporated milk
1/2 C. butter
1/2 t. vanilla extract
4 1/2 to 5 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 C. miniature marshmallows
Combine 4 squares chocolate and 1 cup butter in a large saucepan; cook over low heat, stirring until chocolate and butter melt. Remove from heat.
Combine 2 cups sugar, flour and salt; add to melted chocolate mixture. Add eggs and pecans; stir until blended. Spoon batter into a lightly greased and floured 13 x 9 pan.
Bake at 350°F., 25-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Combine 2 squares chocolate, milk and 1/2 cup butter in a heavy saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until chocolate and butter melt. Remove from heat. Transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in vanilla. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed of an electric mixer until frosting is smooth.
Sprinkle marshmallows evenly over warm brownies. Quickly pour frosting over marshmallows, spreading evenly. Let cool, and cut into bars.
Yield: 2 dozen.
Chocolate Caramel Thumbprints
1/2 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg, separated
2 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup finely chopped pecans
12 to 14 caramels
3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 teaspoon shortening
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg yolk, milk and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa and salt; add to the creamed mixture. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until easy to handle. Roll into 1-inch balls.
Beat egg white. Dip balls into egg white and coat with nuts. Place 2-inches apart on greased baking sheets. Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make 3/8 to 1/2 -inch indentation in the center of each ball.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Remove to wire racks to cool. Meanwhile, in a heavy sauce pan, melt caramels with cream over low heat; stir until smooth. Using about 1/2 teaspoon caramel mixture, fill each cookie. In the microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening. Drizzle over cookies.
Makes about 2 1/2 dozen.