Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

Warning! This makes a massive pie (which isn’t necessarily bad). Peanut butter and chocolate must be one of the best combinations ever discovered! I recently did them in two ounce plastic dessert tumblers which worked beautiful.

Ingredients:
Crust:
3 cups chocolate cookies crumbs (or grahams with sugar and cocoa)
3/4 cup butter, melted
Mousse:
1 pound cream cheese
2 cups sugar
2 cups creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup butter
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 cups heavy whipping cream
Chocolate Ganache Topping:
1 pound semi-sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
peanuts, toasted

Directions:
For crust: mix chocolate cookie crumbs with melted butter, pat into greased 9-inch tart pan with 2-inch sides and a removable bottom, patting 2 inches up the sides.  Freeze.
For peanut butter pie: mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer till sugar is dissolved.  Add peanut butter, mix well. Add butter, mix well.
Whip 2 cups heavy cream to medium stiff peaks.  Fold into peanut butter mixture.  Spread into pie crust. Chill for at least 4 hours
For chocolate ganache: bring cream to boil.  Add chocolate and stir till smooth.  Add vanilla.   Chill till cool.
Spread chocolate ganache over peanut butter mixture.  Pat toasted peanuts around edge.  Chill.

Grandma Z’s Summer Cheesecake

This is by far one of the best summer desserts we make. This light cheesecake is delicious served with fresh fruit and try not baking the crust to keep the house cooler! Can be made in individual ramekins.

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
Filling:
8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 pint whipping cream or large Cool Whip
Fresh fruit or fruit topping (cherry pie filling, crushed pineapple thickened with cornstarch, blueberry topping…)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar.  Press into 8″ X 8″ pan.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Cool.
Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add powdered sugar and vanilla.  Whip cream and fold into cream cheese mixture.  Spread over cooled crust.

Serve with fresh berries or sauce of choice.

Cheesecake

Just the basic cheesecake recipe….

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups (24 squares) graham cracker crumbs, finely crushed
1/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon peel, optional, finely shredded
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/4 cup milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375.
Set ingredients at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
For crust, combine crushed crackers, walnuts and cinnamon.  Stir in butter.  Press mixture onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of an ungreased 8 or 9″  springform pan.  Set crust aside.
For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese and sugar together well.  Add flour, vanilla and, if desired, lemon peel and beat until combined, but don’t over beat.  Add eggs and egg yolk all at once, beating on low speed just until combined.  Stir in milk.  Pour filling into crust-lined pan.  If desired, sprinkle with reserved crumbs.  Place in a shallow baking pan in oven.  Bake for 45-50 minutes or until cheesecake as reached the internal temperature of 160 degrees. This won’t look done, but will continue to set after removing from oven.
Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes.  Loosen crust from sides of pan and cool 30 minutes more.  Remove sides of pan and cool 1 hour.  Cover and chill at least 4 hours.  Overnight is better.

To make individual:
Cook in water bath for about 20 minutes or until temperature reaches 160.
Use the same crust as the Key Lime Pies if making the Key Lime at the same time.
Makes 16 individual.

Individual Key Lime Cheesecakes

These have become the ultimate favorite with my Mom’s friends. They crave them, hint for me to make them or just flat out beg. It is a super easy, no-cook recipe, so it is perfect for summer parties. I’ve made these for multiple events I’ve catered and they’ve been a hit wherever I go! I get little 2 oz. containers from Party City and small spoons, so there is no serving mess and they look mini and adorable. If you don’t want to buy the containers, lined muffin tins work well too, but make for a bigger serving!

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Ingredients:
3/4 cup graham cracker, crumbs
1/4 cup pecans or walnuts , chopped
3 tablespoons butter, melted
8 ounces cream cheese (generic is fine), softened
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup key lime juice (Nellie & Joe’s brand is best)
1 8 oz container  frozen whipped topping, thawed
lime slices
ready whip

Directions:
Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Stir graham crackers crumbs, pecans and melted butter together and stir to combine. Spoon 1 tbsp. mixture into each liner (or 2 oz. plastic cups), pressing it down to a make the crust.
Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl till creamy. Add the sweetened condensed milk and key line juice and blend slowly. Add 1 cup whipped topping fold in.
Spoon evenly into liners (or pipe into 2 oz. containers). Cover pan with plastic and freeze until firm, at least 3 hours. Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving: peel off liners and serve with whipped cream and lime slices.