My favorite desserts.
Hold that sugary, sweet thought.
A few days ago, I wrote an entire post for d, reread and edited it at least fifteen times, got it just how I wanted it, and then… I trashed it.
In my post for b [my favorite books], I hinted that I might write about my favorite ‘duo‘ for d, by which I really meant ‘writing team‘ [but ‘writing team’ does not start with d]. I decided to do it.
I wrote about how I discovered the two writers and about my favorite books they wrote both solo and together. I wrote about my penchant for naughty romance, as I like to call it. I included more sexy book cover pictures because why not?
But… then the day of the b post came, and I scrapped my whole d post.
After the b post published, I felt… off. I think sharing all of that was maybe too much. I felt… not good. [Wow, I have a way with words.] It was some mixture of feeling shame and feeling judged and feeling generally not good. [Yep… a way with words.]
Maybe I should have kept the books my dirty little secret.
I know the prevalent negative stereotypes about romance readers. I get defensive. Maybe it’s me. Maybe I am taking the stereotypes, with all their negative connotations [unintelligent, don’t know good writing, and most likely an old spinster cat lady wearing an ugly sweater], to heart more than anyone else is.
I guess it’s just been drilled into my head that I’m supposed to feel shame for loving ‘mindless‘ books, not ‘intellectual‘ ones. Fuck that. You know, I read a romance by James Patterson and it sucked in comparison to those I love. Isn’t he a respected author? He wrote a romance. And it sucked.
The books I love are good writing… to me. And they’re not ‘mindless‘ to me either. Some may not like them, but that doesn’t make them bad. My weird-ass husband doesn’t like cheesecake, but that most definitely doesn’t make it bad!
And I’m not an old cat lady, I don’t own any ugly sweaters, and I have an oddly high IQ considering the mess that is my life.
None of what I felt after the b post makes sense. My taste in books isn’t new information. I never hid my love for naughty romance on this blog—hell, I’ve posted my own fiction/naughty romance here. It was well-received. Or maybe everyone was just being polite.
[But I do hide the books I read from my mother because she does not need to pick up one of those books and have a heart attack when she gets to a sex scene.]
I know I shouldn’t care what anyone thinks, yet I do. I feel like I’ve lost people’s respect, and I don’t like it… even if it’s not real.
[Aside: God, I can’t imagine how I’m going to feel after my g post! That is, if I go ahead with it.]
So, hoping my b post is soon forgotten and I can be respected again, I went to plan b for my d post. I think it’s boring and predictable, which is why it was plan b. But I don’t have a plan c, and even if I did, that would have been even worse.
So… let’s start again.
My favorite desserts.
Everyone knows I love cheesecake. But it has to be dense and creamy and sweet. And it has to have a sweet buttery non-dry graham cracker crust [although crusts made of other cookie-type substances can also be wonderful if done properly—see below]. I’ve had some cheesecakes that are not all of those things, and they’re just… subpar. If I’m going to splurge, it’s got to be good.
I’ve found delicious cheesecake at some unexpected places. A local grocery store bakery, for one. I ask my husband to get it for me for many ‘special‘ occasions—my birthday, Mother’s Day, Tuesday.
My mom’s cheesecake is a bit lacking in sweetness and creaminess. And I think the crust needs a little more butter. [But, my god, do not tell her! She loves that cheesecake and so did my dad. I would never bad-mouth her cheesecake to her! Although my bratty little sister did tell my mom that her carrot cake was better than Mom’s. I couldn’t believe my sister said that out loud! I honestly think both carrot cakes are equally good, and I’m not 100% sure I could tell them apart in a taste test. But I’m willing to try. Repeatedly.]
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake [best cheesecake I ever made]
[I do not have a picture of this cheesecake. I never remember to take one and the original source of this recipe doesn’t have one, either. Also, I do not do their cranberry topping because that’s just wrong. This cheesecake is amazing on its own.]
12 vanilla sandwich cookies (such as Vienna Fingers; 6 1/2 ounces), broken into pieces
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350° F. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with foil.
- Blend cookies, butter and sugar in processor until crumbs stick together. Press crumbs on bottom and halfway up sides of prepared pan.
- Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside. Maintain oven temperature.
- Using tip of small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla beans into small saucepan; add beans. Add cream. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Set aside uncovered, and cool to room temperature. Discard beans.
- Blend cheese, sugar and salt in processor until very smooth, stopping often to scrape down sides of work bowl. Add vanilla cream and blend. Add eggs; process 5 seconds. Scrape down sides of work bowl; process just until blended, about 5 seconds. Transfer filling to crust.
- Bake cake until sides puff slightly and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Place uncovered hot cheesecake directly into refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 6 hours or overnight.
Serves 10 [fewer if I’m eating some]
My love of desserts does not end at cheesecake. I love [the aforementioned] carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. I also love coffee cake [especially if it has any sort of crumb topping] and pretty much every other kind of cake. And I love cinnamon rolls. And apple pie and blueberry pie.
And donuts… do they count as dessert? Or are they breakfast? In my opinion, they are suitable for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.
p.s. — I do not like cream pie of any kind. Chocolate cream… banana cream… coconut cream [especially gross]… lemon meringue [ew]. And I hate whipped cream.
p.p.s. — I tried [several times] to edit down the portion of this post that has nothing to do with desserts. I finally gave up. It’s not getting any shorter.
p.p.p.s. — Those donuts are available on lots of products in my shop. Just felt that I should take advantage of the situation and mention it.