Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 4 Tbsps unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 lbs. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp. pure almond extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Butter a 10-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse the walnuts with 1/ cup of the sugar until finely ground. Add the butter, pulse until the mixture resembles moist sand. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes, or until browned around the edges.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the sour cream with 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1 tsp. of the vanilla.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°. In a standard electric mixer fitted with a paddle or using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at low speed with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of sugar and the vanilla seeds just until combined. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl between additions. Add the remaining 2 tsps. of vanilla and almond extract. Slowly beat in the cream until smooth. Pour the cheesecake batter into the pan and bake for 65 to 70 minutes, until lightly golden and slightly jiggly in the center.
  4. Immediately pour the sour cream topping over the cheesecake and smooth the surface. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer. Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Run a sharp, thin-bladed knife around the cake and remove the ring. Refrigerate the cake for 3 hours, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight before serving.

Banana Walnut Bread in a Jar

Ingredients

  • 2 cups mashed banana
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup shortening
  • 2 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 1/3 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2/3 cup water

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚F. In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugar. Beat in eggs and bananas.
  2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and cloves. Add dry mixture to bananas. Fold in nuts and water, blending well.
  3. Grease 8 widemouth pint jars. Using a large-mouth funnel, fill jars halfway with batter. Wipe any excess batter offf rim. Do not put lids on jars for baking.
  4. Place jars on a large baking sheet, place in oven and bake for approx 45 minutes.
  5. Sterilize lids and rings in boiling water.
  6. When bread is done, quickly remove 1 jar at a time from oven and clean its sealing edge with a dry towel to remove any residue or oil. Immediately apply and firmly tighten a 2 piece wide-mouthed canning lid. Lid will form a vacuum seal as jar cools.

Jars of cooled bread may be stored on pantry shelves with other canned foods or in the freezer. Bread is safe to eat as long as jars remain vacuum sealed and free of mold growth.

Oh Fudge

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. semisweet chocolate (chips or block chopped fine)
  • 2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/8 tsp. table salt
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz)
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Preparation

  1. Line bottom and sides of an 8 x 8 baking pan with heavy duty foil, allowing excess to overhang pan sides. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray
  2. Toss chocolate, baking soda, and salt in medium heatproof bowl until baking soda is evenly distributed. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Set bowl over 4-quart saucepan containing 2 cups simmering water. Stir with rubber spatula until chocolate is almost fully melted and few small pieces remain, 2 to 4 minutes.
  3. Remove bowl from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth, about 2 minutes. Stir in walnuts. Transfer fudge to prepared pan and spread in even layer with spatula. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours. Remove fudge from pan using foil and cut into squares.

Substitutions/Alternates

Substitute 18 oz peanut butter chips for chocolate