5.13.2016

No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake + the art of weakness

No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen



Hello, friend.

Recently I’ve been grappling with the idea of weakness. Weakness. Just looking at the word feels like daggers are digging deep into my chest. A taboo term we don’t like to throw around the table unless the term is aimed towards ourselves, then it’s greeted as if it’s an old friend. Why is it that we find the weakest person to be ourselves? It’s because we know ourselves all too well. I am the only person in the world who knows every single facet and aspect of my singular existence. I know all my strengths and weaknesses. I can pick out each and every imperfection and scrutinize it piece by piece. As of lately, though, I have noticed myself evaluating my self-worth by the number of times I hadn’t failed on a given day. For some reason, I have been determining my happiness on the basis of how many times I do or do not stutter. That, my friend, is a dangerous game to play.

This game of self-worth and weakness came from a recent event I attended. At the university I study at, we have a student event planners association. Being a hospitality major, I decided that I would run for an officer position for the 2016-17 school year. I applied for the outreach coordinator position, which essentially works on the student outreach and social media facets of the organization. A have a little bit of experience with social media and content growth, I decided to run! The only stipulation was that each candidate had to give a short speech at the organization’s end of the year event as to why they wanted the position and his/her qualifications. Upon hearing this, powerful waves of anxiety began to consume me. I began to fear.

The week leading up to the meeting I was a nervous wreck. My voiced sounded like a recorded player stuck on repeat, the same syllables replaying again and again and again. I felt trapped. I desperately tried to think of excuses to avoid giving a speech. I thought I could “fake my own death” or say I was “suffering from a head cold”, but it just didn’t seem ligament. The week finally passed and it was the evening of the event. Shaking in my shoes, my name was called to give my presentation. Annnnddd…..I proceeded to botch the entire speech! It was bad. Through the entire presentation, in which I talked about the blog and my experience with social media, I was stuttering prolifically. Quickly, I began sweating profusely. My black button-up shirt becoming a dish sponge, absorbing all my nervous energy (and sweat). Rapidly turning red in the face, I felt as if I was going to pass out. It was one of most arduous two minutes of my life, all eyes in the room staring back at me as a sputtered and spattered to get each and every word out. In a choking last breath, I finished.

After I was done, I was asked to leave the room so the group could vote. I sat a bench and felt like crying. I wanted to leave right then and there. I was so embarrassed and ashamed at myself. I blamed myself for not being good or effective enough. I bullied my very voice into shame. It was MY fault I didn’t speak to my preconceived ability. I was to blame. A few moments passed and the president called me back into the room and….announced that I received the position! On the car ride home, I began to think to myself, “Why did they vote for a stuttering idiot like me? Was it out of pity?” I felt dishearten by that possible reason.

The more I thought about it, the more the answer became clearer for me. I wasn’t voted in because the audience felt sorry for me, I was voted in because of the qualifications and ideas I brought to the table. I talked about the blog and the amazing community I have been able to join and build because of it. I realized that it wasn’t the way I spoke, it was the words I spoke that mattered. If they didn’t believe I could do it or contribute in any way to the organization, I believe they would not have voted for me. Through this whole situation, Momma Crawford gave me some brilliant words of wisdom. She said “Nate, what you have to say matters. Never let stuttering keep you from speaking.” And that’s what I say to you, dear reader. Never let your fears or insecurities keep you from achieving your goals and aspirations. Never let something like a stutter get in your way of striving for greatness. Weakness is the act of giving up, bravery is the push to get back up and keep speaking onward.



This post was written as a bi-monthly column for the National Stuttering Association. All opinions made are my own

No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor KitchenNo-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen
No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor KitchenNo-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen cheesecake No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor KitchenNo-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen


No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake

Speaking of weakness, you know what my true weakness is? Cheesecake. Cheesecake is by far my all-time favorite dessert. Hands down, no questions asked. There is something so naughty about eating a slice of decadent cheesecake. It’s rich, velvety, and addicting to the taste. I can seriously eat cheesecake every day. Though traditional cheesecake is baked in the oven, but the Midwest has been getting increasingly warmer over the past few weeks. I didn’t want to heat up my oven, even if it was for the beauty that is cheesecake. I decided to try no-bake cheesecake! I had some leftover cookie butter and marshmallow crème from an Aunt Millie’s shoot I did, so I decided to make an s'mores inspired cheesecake. This no-bake cheesecake is out of control delicious. It almost feels like a mousse pie, but that buttery crumb crust brings you right back to your cheesecake dreams. This cheesecake is light, fluffy, and not overly sweet or filling. Perfect for your next summer BBQ!


Ingredients
            
Crust
1 package (1 ½ cups) graham crackers crumbs,
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup melted butter
            
Cheesecake
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1-pint heavy cream
¼ cup white sugar
1 cup cookie butter*
½ cup marshmallow crème**

Chocolate Cookie butter*
1 ½ cups honey roasted peanuts
10 chocolate cookies
Pinch of cinnamon

Marshmallow crème**
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup honey
¼ cup water
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
2 large egg whites, room temperature
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract


Directions

For the crust. In a small bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Add melted butter and mix well. Press into the bottom of an 8 or 10-inch springform pan. Chill until firm.

For the filling. In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese and vanilla extract until soft. Add whipping cream and beat with an electric mixer until batter begins to thicken. Add the sugar, cookie butter, and marshmallow crème and continue to beat until stiff. Pour into chilled crust. Cover and chill several hours or overnight. Just before serving, remove the sides of the springform pan.

For the chocolate cookie butter. Place peanuts and cookies in a food processor and run continuously until the mixture begins to form into a butter consistency, about 4-5 minutes depending. Add cinnamon and process until incorporated. Transfer to an airtight container.

For the marshmallow crème. Stir together the sugar, honey, water, and salt in a small saucepan over medium/high heat. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring continuously, until the syrup mixture reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. 

In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add in the room temperature egg whites and cream of tartar. On a medium speed, start whipping the egg whites until soft peaks begin to form, about 3-4 minutes. You want to time this so your soft peaks form at the same time the syrup reaches its goal temperature.

Note: To make room temperature egg whites. Place the eggs in a large liquid measuring cup. Fill the cup with lukewarm water and allow the eggs to sit for 15-20 minutes. Using room temperature eggs will allow for an easier and faster meringue.

Set stand mixer on low speed. Slowly drizzle about 2-3 tablespoons of the warm syrup into egg whites. Continue slowly streaming in hot sugar mixture (don't add too much at once or the egg whites will scramble). When all the syrup has been added, increase mixer to medium/high speed and whip until marshmallow fluff is stiff and glossy (about 5-8 minute)


{Click here for the printable recipe}


No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen No-Bake S'mores Cookie Butter Cheesecake // TermiNatetor Kitchen

2 comments:

  1. Beautiful story, Nate. Well done, and very powerful. You are brave to share it with such honesty.

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  2. Nate, I'm so happy for you. I've been silently reading your blog since I found it some time ago, while browsing for something on Internet. And I don't even cook, and I'm not interested in cooking, but your blog is so great and interesting that I check it every day, and I even read through all of your new recipes, not just stories :)) you are blessed with many talents :)
    Daiva

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