Monday Must-Haves! Gifts for Gags

I’d say that I’m more of a gag gift giver, than a meaningful, thoughtful gift giver. I tend to give out gag gifts a lot + they are great for your husband, best friend, sibling, parents, cousins, co-workers… you name it. Everyone likes a good laugh, so why not make people smile on birthdays/Christmas/anniversaries/etc?

 

Pocket Shots via PocketShot.net ~ I think I’ll be contributing these to our annual “Bad Santa” gift exchange at work this year. Who doesn’t need a shot of tequila after a stressful work day?

 

Emergency Clown Nose via Perpetual Kid ~ Not only should you carry one in your purse, but you should get them for your friends too. You never know when you are going to need to make someone laugh or run away scared.

 

Edible Dried Zombie Skin via Think Geek ~ With all the people obsessed with zombies these days, anyone that you give this gift to will be the envy of everyone. It is also vegan, all natural + gluten free! It is good for everyone!

 

Mustachifier Pacifier via Perpetual Kid ~ Kids are always saying they wish they were older… add instant age to your newborn and they’ll be having a mid-life crisis in no time.

 

Human Organ Lunch Tote via Perpetual Kid ~ Keeps your co-workers from stealing your lunch out of the fridge, right?

 

Gag gifts are a lot of fun. Sometimes they get used + sometimes they just go in a junk drawer + sometimes they get re-gifted {share the fun}! Where do you shop for gifts?

~katie

Red Velvet Cheesecake w/ Animal Cracker Crust + White Chocolate Ganache

Have you ever wanted to bake something that makes your family despise you? I’m positive that this recipe will make your loved ones give you a death stare as their diets + waistlines go out the window. What could possibly be better than cheesecake… with red velvet cake… WITH white chocolate ganache?!?

Roll up your sleeves + give it a go… but be warned, it takes a full day of baking or can be broken up into multiple days!

Red Velvet Cake Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 oz red food coloring
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 + 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9 inch round cake pan or spring-form pan with parchment paper.

Cream the shortening, egg + sugar in a stand mixer.

Make a paste with the cocoa powder + food coloring in a small bowl.

Add the paste to the creamed shortening mixture + combine. Add your salt + vanilla extract; mix again.

Mix in your flour by alternating with the buttermilk, starting + ending with the flour. In a small bowl, mix your vinegar + baking soda, then fold it into your cake mixture by hand. Pour the batter into your spring-form pan and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool the cake completely, wrap in wax paper + freeze for at least 30 minutes. You can also stop at this point, leave the red velvet cake in the freezer overnight + resume tomorrow.

Picking up the next day, I decided to go with an animal cracker crust.

Crust Ingredients:

  • 1 12oz box of animal crackers
  • 5 + 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted + cooled
  • small pinch of salt

Put all your animal crackers in a food processor + pulse until processed into fine crumbs.

In a medium bowl combine the animal cracker crumbs, melted butter + salt. Mix until it resembles coarse crumbles that stick together when pressed between your fingers.

Butter the inside of a 9-inch spring-form pan. Press the crumbs into a thin layer covering the bottom + up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

Ganache Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 10 oz white chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, bring your cream to a simmer. Place your white chocolate chips in a medium bowl, pour the simmering cream over the top + let sit for 2 minutes. Fold the cream + white chocolate together, gently until combined. Pour half of the mixture over your crust, smooth out to cover the bottom + freeze until the ganache layer is firm {approx 30 minutes}. Cover the remaining ganache + keep at room temperature.

Now we can make the cheesecake!

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 3 {8oz} packages of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees + position the oven rack in the center. In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese + sugar together on medium speed until well blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Mix in the flour, then the vanilla extract. Add the eggs, beating after each addition + scraping down the bowl. Make sure all your ingredients are well-combined.

Pour the filling over the cold ganache in the crust. Place the spring-form pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake until the top is lightly brown, puffed + cracked at the edges. The center should move only slightly when gently shaken. Baking time should be approximately 1 hour.

Transfer the cheesecake to a wire cooling rack. Cool at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator + let cool at least 3 hours until completely cooled and set.

Decorative Toppings {optional}:

  • 2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
  • white chocolate for drizzling
  • strawberries

To prepare the optional frosting for topping the cake, mix together the cream cheese, butter + confectioners sugar until light + fluffy. Slice strawberries if desired.

Assemble the Cake!

Whip your room temperature ganache to create a fluffy texture. Wrap a warm towel around the outside of the spring-form pan to loosen the crust from the pan edge. Carefully remove the spring-form + transfer to a serving platter. Spread the remaining ganache over the top of the cheesecake to adhere the red velvet cake. Place the red velvet cake on top.

Decorate the top of the cake as you desire. I piped the cream cheese frosting around the center where the cake meets cheese cake + a small dallop on top to cover the holes from inserting the toothpick into the red velvet cake.

Make sure you invite over all you friends + family to share this cake with. You definitely don’t want it hanging around your house long or your are liable to devour the whole thing!

~katie

Weekends Were Made For…

Testing paint colors in the nursery / Date Night / A photoshoot / Watching The Pianist for the first time / Trying out my new ball winder and swift from Knit Picks / Baking… cooking… + more baking / Brewing a Saison / BBQ…

~katie