A couple of weeks ago, we were asked by a family member to recommend an easy recipe for original cheesecake. We rolled up our sleeves, rubbed our hands together and grinned from ear-to-ear, pleased he’d trusted our expertise on simple desserts.
Surely this would be an easy task, right? Thumb through the trusty cookbook collection and scour our favorite dessert blogs to find the perfect plain cheesecake recipe … piece of cake! (Sorry, had to.)
Turns out, easier said than done.
What we anticipated to be a quick Google search suddenly morphed into scrolling through 10 (!!) pages of “simple” cheesecake recipes, few of which resulted in the original flavor, untouched by chocolate, fruit, candy, or other desserts that already can stand on their own. These only take away from the classic creamy dessert that’s rich enough by itself.
There was Deep Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, White Chocolate Strawberry Cheesecake, Kahlua Coffee Brownie Cheesecake, Frosted Animal Cracker Cheesecake … even a Rainbow Cheesecake showed up on the second page!
RAINBOW CHEESECAKE?! WTF?
Speaking of rainbow, unicorn EVERYTHING is having a moment right now, and we refuse to get on board. Unicorn Frappuccino? Gag us. Unicorn Magic Cookie Bars? Disgusting. Unicorn Roll Cake? Um, let’s try vanilla or chocolate instead.
Call us old school, but we much more prefer our desserts to not have the appearance of being shat on by a Lisa Frank trapper keeper from the 90s. Besides, there are other ways we’d rather die than being poisoned by the artificial chemicals in food coloring and sprinkles.
Social media only heightens the craze. A quick scroll through our Facebook feed usually yields extreme diabetes-inducing recipes such as Oreo Cinnamon Rolls, Salted Caramel Pecan Chocolate Pie, Chocolate Peanut Butter Gooey Butter Cake and Red Velvet S’mores Bars.
Seriously though, enough is enough. MAKE. IT. STOP.
All of this over-the-top ridiculousness got us thinking: Whatever happened to the simple desserts in life? Why does a Google search for a plain cheesecake recipe not yield a plain cheesecake recipe? Why do food bloggers and other foodies feel the need to keep mixing desserts with other desserts in a continual attempt to outdo each other? Why aren’t simple desserts seemingly good enough to hold their own? What happened to the time when you wanted to make a dessert “over the top,” you simply plopped a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top?
Think about some of the best desserts you’ve ever had. They probably err more on the simple side, right? For us, it’s a warm slice of peach pie with vanilla ice cream dripping down the sides, a hot fudge sundae piled high with whipped cream and a cherry, or a soft and chewy chocolate chip cookie with flecks of sea salt speckled throughout. Nothing complicated about it. Simple yet wholly satisfying.
That being said, we’d rather focus on executing the simple desserts really well. And of course making said desserts a la mode when you want to add a little somethin’ somethin’. Dessert For Two reaffirmed this for us, not only on her blog, but in her latest (and aptly titled) cookbook Sweet & Simple. With recipes such as Maple Syrup Cupcakes, Greek Yogurt Cheesecake and Carrot Cake with Caramel-Cream Cheese Frosting, Christina undoubtedly nails the notion that desserts should be two things and two things only: Sweet and simple.
So while we value a few classic flavor combos here and there — think peanut butter & chocolate, cookie dough & brownie, and chocolate & mint — you won’t see too many wild and wacky desserts around here. It’s just not our thing. We deem it time to get back to basics.
Oh, except for maybe these Bake Sale Trifecta Bars, with rich layers of brownie, chocolate chip cookie dough and Rice Krispies treat 😉
That’s not to say we won’t ever recommend something as extravagant as, say, a Black Tap milkshake, but we vow to never persuade you to jump on the latest fad, whether it be unicorn, too many flavor combinations, or so rich that you need a half gallon of milk just to wash it down.
Oh, and when we post a recipe for simple desserts like original cheesecake, you better believe that’s exactly what you’ll get. No ifs, ands, or rainbows about it!