(Family Features) From filling dinners to favorite desserts, comfort foods can bring smiles to friendly faces. As temperatures drop, lean on recipes that add flavor and bring warming scents to your kitchen.
Loaded with comforting ingredients like READ German Potato Salad, this Cheesy German Potato Soup can appease appetites with tantalizing taste. Ideal at dinner parties or festivities throughout winter, Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze combine Aunt Nellie's Sliced Beets with familiar cheesecake flavor for a tempting treat.
Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sliced Beets
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with foil liners.
- To make crust: In medium bowl, combine flour and walnuts.
- Using fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Place about 1 tablespoon mixture into each lined muffin cup. Lightly press crumbs into bottom. Bake 5-6 minutes, or until crust begins to brown.
- To make cheesecake: Drain beets, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. In blender, puree 1/2 cup beets and reserved liquid until smooth; set aside. Dice remaining beets; set aside.
- In large bowl, combine cream cheese and syrup. Beat until smooth. Add egg; mix until blended. Stir in reserved pureed beets. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture into muffin cups over warm crusts. Bake 15 minutes, or until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Place cheesecakes in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
- To make topping: In small saucepan, combine reserved diced beets, orange juice concentrate, syrup and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture thickens and appears glossy, 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
- Remove cheesecakes from muffin liners. Top evenly with glazed beets. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Cheesy German Potato Soup
Recipe courtesy of "Today's Creative Life"
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ German Potato Salad
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milkchopped parsley or chives (optional)
- Place cheeses and flour in gallon-size zip-top bag. Close bag. Shake until cheese is covered with flour; set aside.
- In large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Pour off all but 2-3 tablespoons bacon drippings. Return Dutch oven to medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are softened, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme and parsley. Stir in potato salad. Continue cooking over medium heat 5 minutes, or until potatoes are heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in cream and milk. Cook 5-8 minutes until blended and heated through, stirring frequently. Slowly add cheeses, stirring until melted.
- Top with bacon. Garnish with parsley or chives, if desired.