Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Special - Sandwich Cookies and Cheesecake Flan

Sandwich Cookies


1 refrigerated sugar cookie dough (I used the store-bought one)
1 1/2 ounces cream cheese (room temperature)
1 1/2 tbsp butter (room temperature)
4 tbsp confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 tbsp milk
Red crystals for garnish
2 heart shaped cookie cutters(big and small)


Sprinkle some flour on the surface and roll the cookie dough to 1/8th inch thick. Using a big heart shaped cookie cutter, cut as many as you can from the dough. Place on a baking sheet. Cut smaller hearts from the big hearts and place the small hearts on the baking sheet. Sprinkle the red crystals on the small hearts. Follow the instructions on the packet and bake as directed. Cool on a wire rack.

Whisk the cream cheese, butter, sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth. It shouldnt be too watery. Spread a teaspoon of the filling onto the cooled big hearts and top it with the cutout heart cookie. Sprinkle red crytals onto the center of the filling. Use the rest of the filling to sandwich the small heart cookies.

Makes around 12 sandwich cookies.

Cheesecake Flan

'Flan' is a baked caramel custard typically made with eggs, cream or milk and vanilla. It is usually prepared in ramekins or moulds. It has a layer of caramelized sugar on the bottom and when these ramekins are inverted, the caramelized sugar is on the top. It is quite popular in spain and mexico.

I saw this recipe on food network a few months ago, and had to make them! The cream cheese gives it a rich taste and it literally melts in your mouth! One of my all time favorites!


1 cup sugar
3 tbsp water
6 ounces cream cheese(room temperature)
6 ounces evaporated milk
7 ounces sweetened condensed milk(1/2 tin)
1 egg
3/4 cup milk(room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract


You will need 10 ramekins/moulds or if you dont have one, you can use oven safe dessert bowls like I did. Since it was valentine's day, I decided to use a heart shaped cake pan for one and pyrex bowls for the rest of the flans.

Place the sugar and water in a pan on medium high heat. Allow the sugar to dissolve and swirl the pan every minute until it turns to a golden reddish brown color. This usually takes b/w 10-12 minutes. Switch off the heat and divide the caramel into 10 ramekins and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 325 deg F. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with egg on low speed. Increase the speed to medium and beat well. Add the condensed milk, evaporated milk, whole milk and vanilla extract and beat until everything is mixed well. Ladle the custard over the caramel into the ramekins. Place the ramekins on a deep baking dish in 2 rows. Pour hot water over the baking dish so it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake until set, about 30-35 mins. When you tap the ramekins, the custard should still wobble in the center.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and allow to cool for atleast 2 hours. When ready to serve, run a thin knife around the edges to loosen the flan, and then invert onto a plate. The flan can be refrigerated upto 3 days.

Here's another picture(side view) of the flan:


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