Nom, Nom, Eggnog

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This recipe is from our friends at Martha Stewart Living. Once a month we’ll share our favorite Martha Stewart Living recipe here on LaurenConrad.com for all of you to try. Today’s recipe is a delicious twist on a seasonal classic… Enjoy and happy cooking!

Elizabeth’s Eggnog Cheesecake Bars

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Serves 18

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil cooking spray, for pan
  • 12 graham crackers, finely ground (1 1/2 cups)
  • 3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 3/4 cup eggnog
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon brandy
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus more for dusting
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray. Stir together graham crackers, 3 tablespoons sugar, and the melted butter. Press into bottom of pan. Bake until crust is just brown around the edges, 12 to 15 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, the eggs, yolk, eggnog, flour, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg, and salt; beat until smooth. Pour filling over crust. Set pan in a roasting pan, and add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of baking pan. Bake until just set, 40 to 45 minutes. Remove baking pan from water bath, and transfer to a wire rack. Let cool slightly, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Cut into 1 1/2-by-3-inch bars. Lightly dust tops of bars with freshly grated nutmeg just before serving.

LC’s To-Die-For Pumpkin Cupcakes

Tis the season to eat a lot! As a regular subscriber to Lauren Conrad’s blog, I had to repost her latest recipe:

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We were recently browsing through our fabulous new Community Recipe Gallery and stumbled upon the perfect seasonal treat: Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting submitted by LaurenConrad.com member, Kelby Peachey. (Just reading the name of this culinary confection makes our mouths water.) In honor of the fall season and the upcoming holiday, we thought there was no better time than now to spotlight this perfectly pumpkin-inspired recipe with all of you. Without further ado, here is Kelby’s recipe…

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup real sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 15 ounces pumpkin puree (1 can)

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and all spice. Now mix all these dry ingredients TOGETHER. I used a fork and ‘whisked’ it around so it was even throughout.
  2. Now, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter (I melted the butter in the microwave to make it easier to mix), and eggs. Beat on a medium speed until well combined.
  3. Add the pumpkin puree
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Although this step is usually first, I find this A) a waste of money because your damn oven is just sitting there heating away FOR NOTHING!! and, AND, I’m not that quick!! B) you can let your oven preheat while doing the liner thing (explained in a bit), but also while your CLEANING UP!!
  5. Line cupcake pans with paper liners. Divide your batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway 2/3rds full. Bake until tops spring back when touched and cake tester (toothpick!)
  6. To find out how to make the Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting, please visit this website: Peachy Pains