KNR, p. 45 “Kerrian’s Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake”


We always serve special desserts on holiday weekends, whether we are having an all day BBQ, guests at a special meal, or a sit-down dinner after church. Sheila and I work as a team on the desserts. She bakes them and I do the taste-testing while she works on the balance of sugar and chocolate. Teamwork pays off!

Sunday’s recipe is a creamy chocolate cheesecake. Sheila says that it was easy to make. It was easy to eat the samples.

Creamy Chocolate Cheesecake

Sheila and Charlie Kerrian
Course Dessert
Servings 8


  • 8" springform pan
  • parchment paper
  • pot with double-boiler insert
  • standing mixer with large bowl & paddle attachment


  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil for spring-form pan - we use almond oil
  • 20 2" chocolate chip cookies
  • 4 Tablespoons butter (salted)
  • 10 oz Ghirardelli milk chocolate baking chips
  • 10 oz Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup extra fine sugar
  • 12 oz whipped cream cheese
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons Bailey's Irish Cream
  • sour cream & fresh fruit for garnish


  • Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and wipe the sides with oil.
  • Crush the cookies with a rolling pin.
  • Melt the butter in a sauce pan, remove from heat, then stir in the crushed cookies.
  • Press the cookie/butter mixture into the bottom (and 1/2 inch up the sides) of the prepared pan. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30minutes.
  • Place all the chocolate into the top of the double-boiler, with gently simmering water in the bottom. Melt the chocolate, stirring frequently until thoroughly blended and remove from heat.
  • Add sugar and cream cheese to the mixing bowl and beat on lowest speed until smooth.
  • Slowly add the heavy cream and beat on the lowest setting until thick and creamy.
  • Slowly add the melted chocolate and continue to beat on lowest setting until thoroughly blended. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and beat again.
  • Add Bailey’s and mix until blended. Mixture should now have thick pudding consistency.
  • Spoon into the spring-form pan and then level the surface with butter knife or spoon.
  • Chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours (until very firm).
  • Transfer to cake plate and serve with fresh fruit and sour cream. Also nice with ice cream.



If you don’t own a spring-form pan, or are not comfortable using one, the recipe will also work nicely in a 9” deep-dish disposable pie pan. Press the cookie crumb/butter mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the unlined disposable pan, then follow the rest of the directions as written.

Spoon any extra filling into ramekins, chill, garnish with fruit, and serve as individual desserts.

*This recipe first appeared on chocolate guru Janet Rudolph’s site:

*The photo was taken by Patti Phillips. We promise that no bodies have ever been discovered in Kerrian’s Kitchen. 😉



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KNR, p. 204 “Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins”


Sheila tried out a new muffin recipe. And the muffins have PUMPKIN in them. Big smiles here.  She said that these were for breakfast, but since I was hanging around for taste-testing duty, I had the first one for an afternoon snack. She made some with chocolate chips and without, and both types were great. Chocolate and pumpkin, though? Perfect together!


In case you were wondering? No bodies anywhere in the kitchen or dining room. I always check. 😉


Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Recipe type: snack
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 jumbo muffins
  • Topping
  • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons pecans, chopped and ground
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Muffins
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seed oil (or other nut oil)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose unbleached King Arthur flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/4 cups organic canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Mix topping ingredients together and set aside.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 375. Standing mixer - slowest speed. Do not overbeat at any step.
  3. Cream oil and sugar.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until just mixed.
  5. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt, a little at a time and mix until evenly moistened.
  6. Add pumpkin puree and mix until just blended.
  7. Add chocolate chips and stir with large spoon until evenly distributed throughout the batter.
  8. Divide mix evenly among 6 extra large greased, floured muffin tins (or use jumbo baking cup papers)
  9. Divide topping equally and sprinkle on top of the muffins, about 2 teaspoons each.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes in center of oven - until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, muffins are springy to the touch, and lightly golden brown.


Let rest on cooling rack for five minutes, then enjoy!  🙂




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KNR, p. 126 “75 Second Mookies”


I’ll admit it. I’ve got a sweet tooth. That’s not a secret, but the doc says I should drop ten pounds and that means cutting back on calories. No more eating a dozen cookies in one evening, or having two of those amazing chocolaty chocolate muffins for breakfast, or several of the Vegetarian Detective’s super brownies at one sitting. I could have gotten away with extra helpings of everything before I got sidelined from my very active job, but no more.


We plan a pretty balanced menu, with lots of fruits and veggies, but it’s the extra potatoes and slices of pie that do me in. Exercise burns some of it off, but pushing away from the table is the best diet plan out there.


The Doc and Sheila and I came up with a way to help me lose the weight and it’s mostly about reducing the desserts. She promised not to bake batches of three dozen cookies/muffins at a time and I promised not to hound her or sneak out to the bakery. The Doc admitted that I might feel deprived if I gave up dessert completely, so the new plan could include a daily ‘something’ for my sweet tooth – just not five daily ‘somethings.’ He hinted that fruit between meals might change my cravings, but I’m hedging my bets on that.


So, here’s what Sheila came up with: single serving cookies. That way, there won’t be yummy leftovers calling me from the kitchen, tempting me. She tells me the idea has been around for a long time, but she never had a reason to try it before.


I call them mookies, because to me they’re like a cross between a cookie and a muffin. So simple to make, not a lot of cleanup involved and I can make one myself. All you need is a microwave and a few ingredients and in less than ten minutes of prep and cooking time, you’ve got a dessert. 


Chocolate Chip Mookie









Ingredients for Chocolate Chip Mookie

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

1 egg yolk

4 Tablespoons King Arthur’s cake flour

2 Tablespoons Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips



Pumpkin Mookie











Ingredients for Pumpkin Mookie

1 ½ Tablespoons butter or margarine

2 Tablespoons light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

1 egg yolk

1 ½ Tablespoons organic pumpkin puree

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 Tablespoons King Arthur’s cake flour

2 Tablespoons Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

(Topping is frozen vanilla yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon)



Double Chocolate Mookie










Ingredients for Double Chocolate Mookie

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon Mexican vanilla extract

pinch sea salt

1 teaspoon Ghirardelli unsweetened cocoa powder

1 egg yolk

4 Tablespoons King Arthur’s cake flour

2 Tablespoons Ghirardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips



Preparation for all varieties

Use a medium sized glass or ceramic mixing bowl.

Melt the butter for 20 seconds in the microwave. (Doesn’t have to be completely melted)

Add all ingredients for the chosen mookie to the melted butter.

Mix thoroughly using a fork.

Transfer mookie dough to a ramekin or other cup-sized glass or ceramic dish.

Place in microwave and cook for one minute + 15 seconds (75 seconds).

Serve immediately in the ramekin.

The ramekin will be hot, so handle with care.





*Photos by Patti Phillips




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