Karen Recipe Reviews (Pg. 1) - Allrecipes.com (10245709)

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White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake

Reviewed: Aug. 15, 2009
Wonderful company recipe! Give yourself enough time when you make this. I didn't think I'd like the white chocolate but it rounded out the cream cheese flavor nicely. A "hint" of almond extract in the cheese/white chocolate mixture is also good. Don't shortchange yourself - the raspberry sauce as written is well worth your time. A bit extra (1 1/2 x ) gives you enough to drizzle an attractive and "tasteable amount" on top of each slice you serve. If you make the cheesecake a few days ahead it will be even better. Belle's Mom (5/11/09) gave good advice on this recipe regarding ingredient temperature and mixing time. My crust did stick to the pan a bit; I'll try a different flavored crust next time for variety - maybe Capn Matt's (2/18/09) or Dawn's (12/5/07) crust. My opinion is that if the top falls in a little it's not an insurmountable problem - you get a rim inside which you can place berries,almond slices, the raspberry sauce, whipped cream, etc. TUVM
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Cranberry Sauce Extraordinaire

Reviewed: Nov. 23, 2009
This recipe always puts me in a holiday mood! Consider adding some dried mango cut into small pieces and/or some halved frozen strawberries for a slightly different effect. The recipe is very adaptable to whatever fruit you have in the house. Warm the leftovers up a little and put over ice cream or cut up some fresh apples in it to thin it out and bake up a fruit crisp. TUVM and Happy Holidays.
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Whipped Cream Cream Cheese Frosting

Reviewed: Mar. 7, 2010
Best frosting/filling/icing I can remember. 1)Did try to reduce potential graininess from white sugar by adding 1/3 cup pineapple juice to sugar and microwaving on low for a few minutes. Not sure if it helped. I also whipped the cream cheese for several minutes with the sugar to help with graininess. (I was concerned that I'd made it too "thin" with the juice experiment, but no problem when I combined.) 2) Like others say, it's really hard to whip the cream too much. But whip it first using cold bowl/beaters and then put back in refrig while making the cream cheese portion. 3) I took advice and let both finished mixtures sit in refrig for 1 hour before folding whipped cream into cream cheese - not at all grainy by then. Used as a filling for a pineapple upside down carrot cake (9" layers); it even kept its shape between the layers. Put extra dollop on each piece when serving.
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Maple Apple Crisp

Reviewed: Mar. 24, 2010
There's just something about putting apple and maple together - mmmm! I made it with a 1 1/2x the crumble to make sure the apples were all covered. I also greased the pan lightly with butter. It IS a bit more "liquidy" than some crisps but the flavor is excellent (and I eat it with a spoon so I don't miss out on any of the maple/apple juice.) The flavors/textures do blend and it does get better the next day if it lasts. Very easy to make. A little vanilla ice cream on the top of the warm crisp makes it even more perfect. Thank you. Fall, 2010 - I make this regularly now because everyone likes. Have found that using several different varieties of apples makes this more interesting. I slice each one separately and then do a layer of each kind. I've been using some cinnamon as well. About 2/3 through the baking I take a fork and lightly pierce through the topping so a little of it gets mixed into the apples/juice; that way the topping doesn't dry out nor is the bottom too liquidy. Happy Fall!
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Margarita Cake

Reviewed: Jul. 25, 2010
Nice recipe. Although I'm not sure how a margarita tastes, I would have enjoyed more lime flavor in the cake. Used a confetti cake mix for the multi-color effect and followed the changes many gave such as using all lime juice & lemon pudding. Only used 1/2 of the Grand Marnier (or Triple Sec). Added about 1/3 cup sour cream to make it heavier. Glazed it hot (poked holes in cake) right out of oven. I made sure I loosened cake so I could get it out of pan. Even so, I think the sugary glaze made it stick to the pan so next day I had to use a spatula to ease it out of pan. (I do like the idea of using a "second glaze" - maybe making a double recipe - first time right out of oven and next time after it cools.) Refrigerated it overnight in pan with glaze on it. Next day took cake out and turned it over. I made a cream cheese lime frosting with conf. sugar, juice of one lime, 1/2 pkg of cream cheese and a little cream. Spooned it over the top. Helped my sweet tooth and desire for lime flavor. Not a big fan of boxed cakes, but this came out nicely. 4 1/2 stars.
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Tiramisu Layer Cake

Reviewed: Aug. 25, 2010
The coffee layer was best, so other people's advice on making 2 of them is good. Used a small baster to put the coffee on each (upside down) layer to control amount of liquid better. Only had Bailey's I.Cream. I took advice and doubled the mascarpone filling. Good move. Was worried about "assembly" so had everything chilled overnight before putting together except did NOT make whipped cream until eady to assemble. Like the advice on whip cream being ready when a spatula stands up straight in it. I was pleasantly surprised that the cream stood up to time so well - expected it to break down within hours. Next time will put more cocoa on each layer. Dessert was much better day 2 and even better day 3. Forget day 4; there wasn't any left!
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Chocolate Ganache

Reviewed: Sep. 13, 2010
A bit of chocolate heaven. Hard to mess this one up as a filling and topping; it covered without having to spread it. I had the chocolate ready in a bowl so as soon as the cream boiled, I poured and stirred; I just kept stirring as it didn't smooth out right away. (plus I needed to test it by taking a little taste now and then to see how smooth it was...) I skipped the rum and opted for Hershey's special dark chips. I can't believe I messed up baking a jelly roll cake, but I did. So, I pieced it together flat, covered it with a layer of ganache, rolled it up and then covered the whole roll with the ganache and refrigerated it. No one could tell that it was a mutational jelly roll. Ganache covers a multitude of sins!
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Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake

Reviewed: Nov. 5, 2010
Elegant but easy dessert. Maple glaze is superb. Not a "typical" cheesecake so don't expect cheese flavor to dominate. Better flavor blending if made a few days ahead; the maple glaze can be done easily a few hours before serving. It says boil rapidly but I keep an eye on mine so it doesn't boil over (gets quite hot). This is a great variation for your Thanksgiving dessert table.
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Three Cheese Garlic Scalloped Potatoes

Reviewed: Mar. 6, 2011
Cooking time too short as posted and/or temp not high enough. Next time I will increase oven temp to 375 and also try convection setting. I should probably have had the liquid at room temp when I started; maybe that would have helped them cook faster. Lots of grease even though I used half 'n half not heavy cream. Don't need the butter on each layer. Did sprinkle both layers with a TBSP of flour. Not sure if it helped or not. Next time I will make more, thinner layers and will saute lots of onion and add to the layers. Garlic was a big positive - I added extra. I used cheddar for the layers, asiago on top, and the person who said putting parmesan on top would brown and crisp top was correct. Not a difficult recipe and end result tasted really good, just needed to tweak the temp, time and fat.
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Banana Sour Cream Bread

Reviewed: Oct. 2, 2011
Excellent! I like it sweet (as written) but do add extra vanilla and cinnamon. Bread is better day two or three after it's been baked, cooled and wrapped up - flavors definitely blend together better. My cook time changes every time I make - probably the level of moisture and how much I hold true to the recipe; it's very tolerant. Extra chopped nuts on top give it a nice nutty touch. Try toasting it until the outside is a bit crunchy and then put butter on it. Just keep telling yourself that the potassium is good for you and not to worry about the butter! It's a bit crumbly but I always go for taste. This is my hubby's favorite banana bread; also like the Downeast Maine one from this site.
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Chocolate Chip Cheese Ball

Reviewed: Mar. 31, 2012
Made it today for a sporting event (i.e. healthy people.) Thought it would last all night and maybe I'd get to eat leftovers tomorrow... Wrong, it was gone in 40 minutes; the plate sat empty the rest of the night. Yes, it was hard to mold, but I did as suggested and refrigerated several hours before shaping, then laid out a sheet of clear plastic wrap and put the nuts on that first and then scooped out the mixture on top of the nuts and sprinkled more nuts on top until I could rotate it and get whole ball coated. Butter only. Maybe a little extra vanilla. Used pecans on outside but am tempted to try it with crushed chocolate graham crackers around the outside as well. Really good.
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Cream Cheese Squares

Reviewed: Feb. 16, 2013
With no flour in house and company coming, this pkg of crescent rolls saved the day. Made as written but halved ingredients. Quick prep time was an added plus and the crescent rolls don't scream "not homemade" when you eat it. Only change was to add raisins to the cream cheese mixture. Took 8 more minutes to bake - maybe the 8" pan as not big enough. Regardless - First Rate - everyone loved it. Will try with a bit less cream cheese next time to see if it speeds up bake time (or if it loses something because not enough cream cheese).
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Perfect Chocolate Cake

Reviewed: Sep. 1, 2013
Have made this in a bundt pan (much easier) and as a 3-layer cake (really elegant looking). It needs a very large mixing bowl. It does tend to stick in my aluminum layered pans but I use a spatula to scrape out the big pieces that stick to pan and put back together - works fine. Once cool, I put layers in refrig until ready to assemble. I use mascarpone filling (doubled recipe) between layers (from Tiramisu Layer Cake recipe)and Whipped Cream Cream Cheese frosting on top; both are from Allrecipes. If using the whipped cream/cream cheese recipe for frosting, make the whipped cream first and refrigerate until needed. The cream cheese/sugar/vanilla frosting starts out grainy but if I just keep beating it, it does smooth out. This whole concoction takes time to make but tastes great - moist and "chocolatey" and the filling and frosting are really good. I always make the day before to let flavors meld. Changes I made in recipe: 1)I use a tad less flour and a tad more cocoa, 2) I use one cup of coffee as part of the cocoa/water mixture, & 3)I add a cup of Hershey mini-chips - 1/2 goes in the batter and 1/2 gets sprinkled on top of layers just before I put in oven. I "bury" them a bit. Warnings: This is a very tall layer cake - needs lots of height in refrig.
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Baklava II

Reviewed: Nov. 28, 2013
I like this recipe because it has more syrup than others do and because of the amount of honey-taste that comes through. I always need a bit more butter than recipe calls for; I butter every sheet. I don't have a scale but use 4 cups of nuts that I then chop up - some fine, others a bit bigger for better "mouth feel". A mixture of walnuts, pistachios and almonds is interesting. When making, I cover the filo with the plastic sheet it's wrapped in and then use a towel on top - works fine. Today I poured cold syrup over hat baklava; I'll next try hot syrup over cold baklava. I added orange peel to the syrup - about 1/3 of the orange - hubby wants more next time. Spices for the nut mixture were cinnamon, allspice and a touch of nutmeg. My only caveat is on the syrup - don't turn your back on it or it can boil over very fast. It is better on day 2-3 after flavors blend.
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Allie's Awesome Easy Spice Cake

Reviewed: Mar. 18, 2014
OMG! I was hungry for a good dessert but didn't want to spend a long time making it. This turned out perfectly. I halved the recipe and put in a 9x5 loaf pan. Only thing I didn't halve was the cinnamon. Took advice of others and used half white and half brown sugar. I was worried it wouldn't come out of pan so I greased it, "pammed" it, and then floured it. (Probably overkill but it worked). Like others, cutting the apples into small pieces was a good move. Also, per one recommendation, I used pie filling that had no corn syrup - I think it was Lucky Leaf brand. Added about 1/3 cup of plumped up raisins per someone's comment as well. Great spice level. Maybe I'll try a cream cheese mascarpone icing on it. (Not that it needs frosting - I just have some leftover mascarpone cheese). I'm also going to try toasting a piece tomorrow for breakfast. It's so easy - hard to believe it's that good. It did take awhile to bake in the loaf pan - probably 35 minutes or so, but I just kept checking it until the knife was "crumbly" clean. No need to halve this recipe in the future! TUVM, Allie.
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Janet's Rich Banana Bread

Reviewed: Apr. 10, 2014
Moist, easy to make, great flavor, and even better next day when wrapped up tightly to let flavors blend; it also toasts well. Only things I did differently were to mash 2/3 of the bananas and cut the other 1/3 of total into pieces and I used a sugar/cinnamon coating in pans after greasing. I used one regular loaf pan and one small loaf pan so I could freeze one for later. The worse (riper) my bananas look, the better it tastes. This is a really great recipe for the amount of work! Thank you
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Milly's Oatmeal Brownies

Reviewed: Jun. 25, 2014
Easy recipe to make. I made half with Hershey Cinnamon Chips (guys liked them). Other half I split between plain (my favorite) and toffee chips (haven't tried yet). Added walnuts to the whole batch - good move; I also added 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Kept the white sugar in - not sure it's necessary but can't compare until try them again (which I will). To me, they are a "chewy bar". Perhaps the secret to the "brownie" reference is to bake them just a little less than you think you should (knife just a smidge less than totally clean when tested) and let them finish outside oven. I decided to cover mine with a towel while cooling to keep in a bit of the heat rather than keeping in oven and risking drying them out while baking - maybe that helped to keep more chewy. Next time may try a variation with the ginger that someone else proposed and maybe a different nut and may shave 2 min. off cook time. The person who said they were good for breakfast with tea, coffee or milk was spot on! And who knows, maybe they will be even better tomorrow. Thanks for adding a bit of a different bar cookie to this collection.
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Frosty Strawberry Squares

Reviewed: Jul. 5, 2014
Great recipe but I underestimated the time I needed to make it. Made the mistake of putting "crust" on a (too)small cookie sheet to bake - it took a lot of time and stirring to get it done right. Next time I'll find my biggest baking sheet or divide in two. Still not sure it ended up as intended, but it got a little brown and was crispy so I thought that was correct. You can't "pat" it in pan if you cook as I did (until it's crispy); however, I just dumped it in pan and evened it out and by the time we ate it, the filling had softened the crust up just perfectly. As far as the strawberry filling goes, I did chop the berries up and then I mashed about 2/3 of them into even smaller pieces. The rest I left as chopped & added at end. I also had trouble with the egg whites/lemon mixture beating to stiff peaks with my portable mixer; took me at least 10 minutes. Finally, I took out about half of what I had beaten out of the bowl and added another egg white - that worked better. Then I just kept adding the first egg/lemon back in very slowly until I got soft peaks. Maybe next time I will beat the egg whites for awhile and add the lemon juice slowly towards the end. I did double the crust - good suggestion by someone else. Nice taste; really refreshing and worth the effort. I took it out of freezer about 10 minutes before serving - soft, but kept its shape and cut well.
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Frosty Strawberry Squares

Reviewed: Jul. 21, 2014
EXCELLENT! Picked it because it looked easy; it took a bit more time than I anticipated however. Suggestions: 1) I doubled crust - however, I baked it all on one cookie sheet - therefore there was too much of it on the pan and it took too long to get the nuts toasted. Next time I will use two pans to bake a double crust. 2) Eggs do not whip up well with the lemon, etc. in them at the start. Next time I will beat them almost to peaks and then add sugar,lemon juice and then stir in strawberries and hope they will peak better, then add the whipped cream; (way I solved it this time was to add another egg white which helped a bit...) 3) I solved the strawberry dilemma by taking others' advice and chopping them up really well. 4) I let it freeze overnight and took out 15 minutes before serving. Great taste. Thank you.
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