Super Bowl Snackin'

Krysta and Kenneth hosted the Super Bowl this year. It would have been a damn shame any other way, frankly, considering that behemoth big screen they've got sitting in the place of honor in their living room. As with any gathering I'm invited to, my response was "I'll be there...what should I bring?" and as usual Krysta left the playing field wiiiide open for me.
So, I started looking through my recipe stash for ideas. (Oh, and it is a stash. Poor uber-organized David went so far as to promise to put my whole collection into a cohesive unit when he saw my drawers stuffed with printed and scribbled-out recipes.) My goal: bring something delicious, that the partygoers likely had never had before. I found my inspiration within a cute little dessert cookbook called Angels in My Kitchen by Caryl Westwood. It was the Amaretto Cheesecake that did it, but I didn't want to bring a big ol' pie to a SPORTS party, for God's sake. I'm a food snob but I do have some sense. I decided to translate the idea of cheesecake into bars. I would switch out the regular ol' graham cracker crust with a chocolate one, adjust some recipe portioning (5 containers of cream cheese would be just a little ridiculous for an 8x8 pan), and add some flair at the end for good measure. I consulted several different cheesecake and cheesecake bar recipes, as well as that trusty resource known as "Mom", but in the end basically flew by the seat of my pants. Lucky for all present, it all worked out, taste-wise. Next time I may very well cut out the glaze completely, and could increase the amount of cream cheese a bit. Also, I had some issue with the crust sticking to the pan (yes, I greased it)--I am thinking I may have baked it on its own for a bit too long? Anyway, here is the recipe. Enjoy!

Em's Amaretto Cheesecake Bars
20 crushed chocolate filled sandwich cookies (ie Joe Joe's)
4 tblsp butter
Combine and press into greased (spray is ok) 8x8 pan. Refrigerate. Bake in 350
degree oven for 12 minutes or until set.
12 oz (1.5 packages) cream cheese
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 tblsp flour
zest from one orange
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
3 tblsp amaretto
1 tsp almond extract
Combine cream cheese, sugar, flour and zest in mixing bow--mix until smooth. Add egg, yolk, amaretto and extract. Pour over partially baked crust and bake in 350 degree oven for 25-28 minutes, until firm and brown on the edges. Refrigerate tonight.
6 oz white chocolate (I used morsels)
1/4 c heavy cream
2 tblsp Amaretto
The next day, melt the white chocolate, combined with the cream, over a low heat.
Stir in amaretto. Let the glaze cool slightly and ladle evenly over the cheesecake. Return to the refrigerator to set.
2-3 pieces toffee Candy (I used Trader Joe's English Toffee)
Process in food processor until in small chunks. Sprinkle evenly over bars. Cut bars into small squares and serve chilled.

I had actually originally intended to make two things, because you know, I'm an over-doer. However, David found a yummy recipe that he wanted to try out, so I was able to share my over-doing with my guy. His choice? Fried Rice Balls Stuffed with Mozzarella. I got super excited after reading this recipe because it gave me
the opportunity to do something I've been wanting to do for a long time--make risotto! That's right, in addition to making the actual treat, we made two full servings of that famously tricky dish to go INTO the treat. And we succeeded!
Since I am not sure of the rules as far as copyrighting recipes goes (and honestly, because I am tired), I'm not going to write out the recipe here. However, here are the super easy basics:
  1. make a batch of risotto
  2. cool it overnight
  3. combine risotto with a couple of eggs and form into balls the size of small fists, stirring in breadcrumbs to help balls keep shape
  4. poke a hole in the center of each ball and stick in a small cube of mozzarella (we used fresh whole milk mozzarella, which David called ice cream mozzarella-so yummy!)
  5. seal up hole in ball
  6. roll risotto balls in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs-repeat
  7. fry balls in batches of 4-5 in pot of oil
  8. drain on paper towels
  9. serve hot

Note: we saved some of the rice balls at home. I decided to stick a couple in the toaster oven last night to bake, rather than frying them, and BOY, were they good. This is a more healthful approach, and the cheese really melts in the middle. YUM!

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