Neapolitans, not Napoleons, one-bite Blueberry Pie and Caramel Sauce while sporting a new Ugandan Youth Center produced apron Neil picked up for me on his trip to Africa last month, made for a good week in the bakery (not to mention the sandwich and NY rye breads… which I did just mention, didn’t I? Sorry ’bout that.)
The Neapolitans are chocolate cookie based with a white cheesecake center and raspberry buttercream frosting, cut into 1” squares. Next time, I need to keep any skin from forming on the cheesecake. It kept the frosting from adhering properly.
The Blueberry Bites should be dusted with some coarse sugar after being egg washed to add some sweetness and shine. The caramelized sugar should add both. I may add a little lemon zest for a little tang.
The Caramel Sauce will be used later for a Peanut Butter/Caramel/Salted Chocolate petit four, but I had the time and it will keep in the fridge for a longtime so why not? The rest of the dessert will come later this week.
NEAPOLITAN CHEESECAKE COOKIES
INGREDIENTS (Half Recipe)
- 1 cup butter, softened (1/2)
- 2 cups white sugar (1)
- 2 eggs (1)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (1)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (1)
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (6 Tbl)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (1/2)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (1/4)
- 16 oz Cream Cheese
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 cup Sugar
- 1/2 cup softened Butter
- 6 cups Powdered Sugar
- 1/2 cup Strawberry Preserves (optional)
- 4-5 drops Red Food Coloring
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Line a 13×15” pan and set aside. Be sure the paper extends over the sides of the pan.
- In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
- Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the creamed mixture.
- Bake for 12 to 16 minutes in the preheated oven, until top of cookies are completely set.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30 minutes.
- Cream together cream cheese, sugar and eggs until well blended.
- Spread cream cheese mixture evenly over brownie layer.
- Bake for 25 – 30 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set. 1st try took 25 min
- Remove from oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes until top is no longer warm to the touch.
- Beat butter (and strawberry preserves if using) while slowly add in powdered sugar.
- Add in food coloring to achieve pink color, then whip to get uniform color.
- Frost cheesecake layer by spreading frosting with a spatula to completely cover.
- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
BLUEBERRY PIE BITES
- 1 refrigerated pie crust
- about 45 blueberries
- 2 Tbl raw or turbinado sugar
- 1 egg + 1 teaspoon water (egg wash)
- Special Equipment Required:
- 1½” biscuit cutter
- pastry brush
- Preheat the oven to 450. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Use a pan with an edge so the pie bites don’t roll away when you place them in the oven.
- Lightly flour a clean work surface and unroll the refrigerated pie crust.
- Use a 1½” biscuit cutter to cut all your little pie bite circles out of the refrigerated pie crust.
- Place 1 blueberry in the center of each circle. Sprinkle each one with a little sugar (you probably won’t use all the sugar).
- Fold up two sides of one of the circles like a taco. The grab the adjacent sides and pinch the corners. This makes a little pocket for the blueberries. You can dip your fingers in egg wash to pinch the corners if you can’t get them to stick.
- Brush each bite with the egg wash. Place each bite on the prepared baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with a little more sugar and bake for about 10 minutes.
16 Servings, Prep Time: 10 Minutes, Cook Time: 15 Minutes
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/4 cups heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 pinch salt
- Bring the water, sugar, and butter to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat. Do not stir the mixture until the sugar has completely dissolved in the water. Cook uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the caramel has turned golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes.
- Carefully pour in a slow, steady stream of cream into the caramel while stirring constantly. The hot caramel will boil vigorously when the cream is added and solidify in areas. Add the vanilla extract and salt. Continue stirring over low heat until the caramel is smooth and creamy, 5 to 10 minutes more. Allow to cool for at least half an hour before using.