Tag Archives: easy recipe

final cheesecake thumbprint cookies - fully baked

Martha Stewart Cheesecake Thumbprint Cookies

As I bake my way through Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook this week’s cookie is the cheesecake thumbprint. Sugary (but not overly sweet) and tangy – combining the silky creaminess of cheesecake and the easily edible size of a mini cookie into one delicious bite.

I’m not one to typically have cream cheese or sour cream in the house (since Mark and I both shun most creamy food of this texture…i.e. mayonnaise), so these were some specialty purchases specifically for the cookies.

Overall the cookies were fairly straightforward, however this is another one of those multi-step process confections.

After making the cream cheese filling in the stand mixer and putting it in the fridge to chill, I had to wash out the mixer to then use it for the bottom cookie part.

You make the cookie, which is a standard butter/flour/sugar/egg yolk kind of flaky-crumbly cookie, slightly indenting the top prior to baking, which is where the cream cheese filling will go.

thumbprint cookies with indentations prior to baking
thumbprint cookies with indentations in between baking stints

Bake for 10 minutes, pull out of the oven and RE-indent, and bake for another few minutes.

THEN you have to bring the cookies out to allow to cool.

Fill with the chilled cheesecake batter and pop those suckers back in the oven for a few more minutes until fully baked.

filled cookies ready for baking
filled cookies ready for baking

Et voila! Oh wait, not quite yet, you then have to chill the cookies for at least 4 hours, or even better, overnight, before serving.

Store in a container with wax paper in the fridge.

In these end, these were fairly easy and straightforward, but it is one of those recipes where you are moving and shaking and need to be on top of the baking. Definitely not a set it and forget it drop cookie.

I would definitely make these again for a March Madness party or potluck dinner since you can quickly and easily churn out a fair number. They don’t take up a lot of space and they don’t spread when baked so you can pop them out in a tiny kitchen no problem!

final cheesecake thumbprint cookies - fully baked
final cheesecake thumbprint cookies – fully baked

Black coffee and cheesecake thumbprints sound like a perfect breakfast for me! Enjoy.

Martha Stewart Meringues with a (Lemon) Twist

It was recently a friend’s birthday: she doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth but she does enjoy meringues, so I figured I would scope out a good Martha Stewart recipe for the occasion!

I turned to Chapter 3: Cakes of Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook to find pavlovas, which are basically just larger meringues that have a dip in the middle so you can eat them with fruit and whipped cream if you’d like.

Martha Stewart pavlovas
Martha’s pavlovas

I’ve made mini meringues in the past, and while they were still yummy, they oozed a little bit of caramelized sugar (“weeping” it’s called). This is caused by not having the sugar totally dissolved into the egg whites ~ either too much sugar to egg white ratio or not whisking sugar in slowly enough. [Side note: The pavlovas are in the oven now and I’m positive I’ve messed this up again by dumping all of the sugar in at once :(]

Here is the general recipe and my twist

2 egg whites (mine were fairly old, which is great for meringue; I’m saving the egg yolks for a day or so in the fridge to make chocolate lave cake)
3/4 cup of granulated sugar (if you have superfine sugar this is even better – or you can pulverize your granulated sugar in the food processor to make it superfine – then it will smoothly integrate into the egg whites better…I did NOT do this)…ALSO a note on sugar: eyeball the amount of egg whites you have; if the eggs are sort of small or old (as they start to have less liquid in them as they get older due to evaporation), use a smidge less sugar; better a little less than a too much sugar because you can add more, but you can’t take some away. Another lesson I need to learn myself.
Okay, back to ingredients:
Smidge of salt (technical term according to me that about equals a pinch)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla (or just guesstimate)
My Twist:
Lemon zest!!! Again, an eyeball’s worth should do to brighten up the flavors! And if you add a fair amount, your meringues will turn out tasting like LEMON MERINGUE PIE! YUM! So the lemon zest is totally optional of course.
And then, if you have it, a bit of confectioner’s sugar…I did not have it…so skip!

To Make:
1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper.
2. Bring a pot of water to a simmer and place a glass bowl over top
3. Place the egg whites in the glass bowl and begin to whisk by hand. I asked, But Why do we have to do this over a warm bowl?!?! So I did some research for you folks: The warmth helps warm up the eggs (uh duh). Warm egg whites are easier to whip into stiff peaks so this is especially good if you hadn’t already brought your eggs to room temperature, which you definitely should have done…did I not mention that earlier? Oops sorry!
4. SLOWLY (this was not mentioned in the book) add the granulated sugar ~ literally tablespoon by tablespoon ~ as you whisk by hand. Add the salt at this time too.

Here’s where Martha moves to the stand mixer and where we deviate…my recreation follows:
5. Once the sugar is THOROUGHLY whisked into the egg whites (in other words, you cannot feel grains of sugar if you rubbed the mixture between your fingers), remove from heat and beat on medium high with your hand mixer until stiff peaks form (perhaps 4 minutes)

egg whites stiff peaks
Egg whites whipped – holding peaks

6. Add the vanilla and LEMON ZEST! and beat a little bit more until mixed
7. Use a large spoon to glop 6 heaping piles of meringue onto your baking sheet
8. Use the back of the spoon and a sweep of the wrist to spread out a little bit and form indentations in the center of each meringue without making the centers too thin (don’t want that part to cook faster than the rest of the meringue).

meringues ready for oven
Meringues ready for the oven

9. Pop those lovelies in the oven for 1+1/2 hours
10. I like to open the oven door about 20 minutes in to allow any trapped moisture to escape the oven – a trick I learned from making macarons.
11. When they easily pop off the paper, they are done. If the centers are still too chewy, you can flip them over and bake a little longer. You can also leave them in the oven with the heat off a little longer to dry. You can also transfer the paper and pavlovas to a wire rack for cooling and drying….All sorts of techniques here!

They come out smelling sugary and sweet, and if you’re like me, you’ll eat them as is…but I guess if you’re being fancy you can add berries and cream (and maybe some chocolate shavings).

Pair with: CHAMPAGNE!!!

cooked meringue
Cooked pavlova


Raspberry Scones

Martha Stewart’s Raspberry Scones

You guys ~ This is so out there, but I started a YouTube Channel *grimace face emoji*!!!

I feel like working for a cooking show would be SO much fun, but since I don’t have that job, I figured I would play around with making some of my own videos for some of these baking recipes.

The first such installment WAS going to be this easy raspberry scone recipe from Martha Stewart HOWEVER I need to work a bit on my camera skills before I can actually put this out in the world.

Sorry you will miss the unfortunate camera angles, terrible lighting, the hilarity of me throwing things on the floor and splattering raspberry goo down the front of the cupboards (and my large chin pimple). Maybe next time.

Meanwhile, I was really pumped to make these warm and comforting scones for my friends. Downton Abbey has started again, so duh, we needed scones and tea to make our viewing party complete!

This isn’t from the Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook, but rather a recipe of hers I found online a number of years ago and have been making ever since. Here’s my re-creation of the original recipe.

6 tbps milk
1 & 1/4 tsp white vinegar
1 & 1/4 cup flour
2 tbp sugar (plus some for sprinkling at the end)
1 & 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 stick cold butter
1/2 an egg yolk (just divide it with your hands and eyeball it)
2/3 cup fresh raspberries washed and dried (or frozen raspberries which will make your scones pink)

To Make:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Mix milk and vinegar in a cup and wait 5 minutes until the milk is a bit curdled (this is going to sub for buttermilk)
3. Meanwhile mix the flour, 2 tbp sugar, baking powder and salt in the food processor
4. Add the cubes of cold butter and pulse until pebble-like crumbs have formed
5. With the mixer on low, add the milk-vinegar and egg yolk through the feed tube until the dough comes together
6. Turn the dough out on a floured surface and pat into a square
7. Add the raspberries on top of the dough and fold one side over to encompass the raspberries. Try not to totally smash the berries.
8. If you can manage, fold the dough a few more times without squishing the berries – turning the dough a quarter turn with each fold. You are creating the flaky layers by doing this. [Side note, if you DO smoosh the berries, the scones will still be super yummy, they may just be tinted slightly pink 🙂 Even better this way?]

baking raspberry scones
A screen shot of what you’re missing!

9. Pat the dough out to about an inch thick and use a long sharp knife to cut the dough into equal size pieces
10. Place the pieces and inch or two apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
11. Sprinkle the extra sugar over top of the scones.
12. Cook for 15-20 minutes, rotating the sheets after 10 minutes. Check for browning at about the 15 minute mark. Mine took about 17 minutes.
13. Eat warm with clotted cream, lemon curd, jam, Scottish Afternoon tea
14. Smile.

sugar coated scones
the finished product