Christmas cheesecake, Chocolate bonbons, The most wonderful fudge

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Holiday treats are now officially legal, so start with these.
Christmas cheesecake
20 chocolate wafer cookies
3 TBS unsalted butter, melted
3 TBS sugar
pinch of fine salt
Filling:
8 oz. semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/3 C sugar, divided
1-1/2 C sour cream, divided
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 C white creme de menthe (see cook’s note)
3 drops natural green food coloring, optional
chocolate curls, for garnish
For crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-in. square metal baking pan with nonstick spray and line with foil. Pulse cookies in a food processor with butter, sugar, and salt to make a fine crust. Evenly press crust into prepared pan taking care to cover bottom completely. Bake until crust sets, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make filling: Put chocolate in a medium microwave-safe bowl; heat at 75 percent power until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir, and continue to microwave until completely melted, up to 2 minutes more. Blend cream cheese, 2/3 cup of the sugar, and 1/2 cup of the sour cream together in food processor until smooth. Scrape down sides, as needed. Add eggs and melted chocolate then pulse until just incorporated and smooth. Pour filling evenly over crust and bake until filling puffs slightly around edges and just set in center, about 20 minutes.
Mix remaining cup of sour cream and 2/3 cup sugar with creme de menthe and food coloring, if using. Carefully spoon mixture over top of chocolate and gently spread into an even layer. Bake until topping becomes glossy but is still a bit loose, about 15 minutes more. (Topping will set when cooled.) Cool on a rack. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Lift cheesecake out of pan, cut into 2-in. squares, and top with chocolate curls.
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Chocolate bonbons
4 C confectioners’ sugar
1 C ground pecans or walnuts
1/2 C plus 2 TBS sweetened condensed milk
1/4 C butter, softened
3 C (18 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
2 TBS shortening
In a large bowl, combine confectioners’ sugar, pecans, milk and butter. Roll into 1-in. balls. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Melt chocolate chips and shortening in microwave and dip bonbons enough to cover. Place on waxed paper lined sheet to set. Store in refrigerator.
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The most wonderful fudge
1 TBS butter
3-1/3 C sugar
1 C packed dark brown sugar
1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
1 C butter, cubed
32 large marshmallows, halved
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 C (12 oz.) semisweet chocolate chips
14 oz. milk chocolate, chopped
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 C chopped pecans, toasted
Line a 15x10x1-in. pan with foil; grease foil with 1 tablespoon butter. In a heavy, large saucepan, combine sugars, milk and cubed butter. Bring to a rapid boil over medium heat, stirring constantly; cook and stir 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in marshmallows and vanilla until blended.
Gradually stir in chocolate chips and chopped chocolate until melted. Fold in pecans. Immediately spread into prepared pan. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Remove foil; cut fudge into 1-in. squares. Store between layers of waxed paper in an airtight container. Yield: about 5-1/2 lbs.
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Thought: My job for today – count my blessings, practice kindness, let go of what I can’t control, be productive yet calm, and just breathe.
If you would like to share a recipe with me, just send it to the J-T or email it to me.
Melanie Behrens – melb@marysvillejt.com



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