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Decadent cupcakes, no-fuss eclairs

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By Judyrae Kruse
Herald Columnist
Returning to the recent Snohomish County Dairy Ambassador Coronation Ceremony, thanks to the two competitors and their recipes not already mentioned, today's our chance to cash in on their delicious desserts.
First off, Dairy Ambassador Alternate Haley Grillo shares a "cupcake'' recipe that's beyond belief. Far from a traditional cupcake, this one is a first-of-a-kind find, bound to be irresistible the minute your wrap your mouth around it.
Haley, the daughter of Shirley Karisen of Sultan, is a junior at Sky Valley Education Center.
Next, Missy Donegan, daughter of Tim and Kelly Donegan of Arlington, is a junior at Arlington High School.
The recipe she shares with us today is a humdinger of an eclair recipe, one that demystifies this popular sweet treat. Missy's how-to is much easier than the original eclair-making method, with none of the fuss or guesswork, and it makes a big panful, too.
Haley's peanut butter cheesecake cupcakes
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 cube) butter, melted
12 bite-size peanut butter cups
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or almond extract
2 eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a paper cupcake liner in each of 12 cups of a standard muffin pan.
For the crust, in a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Press crust into bottom of each muffin cup. Put 1 peanut butter cup into the center of each crust.
For the filling, beat cream cheese in a mixing bowl with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. Add sugar, flour and vanilla or almond extract, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Spoon cream cheese mixture over peanut butter cups in cracker crumb crusts.
Bake until just set, about 20 minutes.
Allow to cool completely before serving and enjoy with a nice tall glass of milk!
Makes 12.
Missy's eclairs
1 cup lowfat milk
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 package (8 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
3 cups lowfat milk
2 packages (3.4 ounces each) instant vanilla pudding mix
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chocolate syrup
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
For the crust, in a small saucepan, heat milk and butter until melted. Remove from heat and add flour. Stir until a small ball forms. Add eggs, 1 at a time, stirring until completely mixed in (batter will be slightly sticky).
Spread dough in a greased 9-by-13-inch baking pan (spread as smooth as possible to avoid high humps after baking). Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until slightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
For the filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add milk and pudding mix and beat on low speed with electric mixer until mixture thickens. Spread over cooled crust.
For the topping, in a large bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form. Spread over the pudding layer. Drizzle chocolate syrup on top and refrigerate until needed.
Makes one 9-by-13-inch pan.
Story tags » Cooking

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