• Ultimate Cheesecake

    How to make Ultimate Cheesecake

    Yield: about 12 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 1 1/2 hours

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 3/4 cups (230 grams) graham crackers crumbs (about 15 whole graham crackers)
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    2 pounds (907 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1 1/4 cups (250 grams) granulated sugar
    1/2 cup (130 grams) sour cream
    1 lemon, zested
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 large eggs

    Boiling water, for the water bath

    For the topping:

    12 ounces (340 grams) fresh raspberries
    2 tablespoons granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon lemon juice

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 325°F.

    Prepare a 9-inch springform pan for a water bath. Place a large square of heavy duty aluminum foil underneath the pan. Gently fold the edges up and around the pan. Repeat twice so there’s three sheets of foil to ensure a waterproof seal. Gently fold the top of the foil around the edge of the pan.

    Make the crust:

    In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, and butter until the mixture is moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven temperature.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese on medium speed until completely smooth and free of lumps. Add the sugar and beat until combined. Add in the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Be careful not to overmix.

    Pour the batter into the foiled-wrapped springform pan. Place the pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake at 325°F for 1 1/2 hours, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking.

    Turn off the oven heat and crack the oven door open just by 1-inch. Let the cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour.

    Remove the cheesecake from the oven and from the water bath, unwrap the foil, and transfer it to a cooling rack. Run a thin-bladed knife around the edge of the cake to make sure it’s not sticking to the sides (which can cause cracks as it cools). Let the cheesecake cool completely on the rack.

    Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 3 days. Store the cheesecake uncovered to avoid creating condensation, which will create a mushy texture.

    Make the topping:

    In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the filling ingredients. Heat, stirring and breaking up the raspberries often, until the raspberries release their juices and begin to form a sauce, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and press through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl to remove the seeds. Let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour before using.

    Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate and top with the raspberry sauce. Serve.

  • No Bake Rocky Road Cheesecake

    How to make No Bake Rocky Road Cheesecake

    Yield: Makes one 9 inch cake

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 3 hours

    Ingredients

    Approximately 20 (200 grams) Oreo cookies
    1/4 cup (60 grams) unsalted butter
    2 and 1/2 cups (500 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
    1/4 cup (50 grams) graunlated or caster sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 and 1/2 cup (360 ml) thickened or heavy cream
    1 cup (150 grams) good quality semi-sweet or dark chocolate
    3/4 cup (105 grams) roasted peanuts
    2 cups (110 grams) mini marshmallows
    1/2 cup (75 grams) semi-sweet or dark chocolate, for decorating

    Directions

    Lightly grease a 9 inch (23 cm) springform baking tin with a little butter and set aside. Add your Oreo cookies (cream and all) to a food processor and blend until they resemble fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, place them in a sandwich bag and bash with a rolling pin. Melt your butter in the microwave and add it to your crushed Oreos and whiz again (or stir well) until the mixture resembles wet sand. Pour your Oreo mixture into your prepared tin and press down gently to form an even layer. Pop in the fridge.

    Add your softened cream cheese,  sugar and vanilla to a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. In a separate bowl, add your cream and beat with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. Finally, melt your dark chocolate in the microwave until it is just melted – give it a good stir. Then add your chocolate to your cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Then gently fold through the whipped cream. Add 1 cup (55 grams) of mini marshmallows and 1/2 cup (35 grams) of roasted peanuts and stir through. Pour your cheesecake over the top of your Oreo cookie base, cover loosely with alfoil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    When you are ready to serve, scatter the remaining 1/2 cup (35 grams) of roasted peanuts and 1 cup (55 grams) of mini marshmallows and lightly press them into the top of the cheesecake. Melt your extra chocolate in the microwave and then use a spoon to drizzle the melted chocolate all over the cheesecake. Cut and serve!

  • No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make No Bake Strawberry Lemonade Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 crackers, 140 grams) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    12 ounces (340 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    3/4 cup (180 grams) heavy cream
    Zest of 1 lemon
    1/4 cup lemon juice

    For topping:

    5 ounces (142 grams) strawberries, hulled and chopped
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    2 teaspoons lemon juice
    Strawberry slices
    Lemon slices

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Thoroughly grease a mini cheesecake pan. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this). Set aside.

    For the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in the cream, zest, and juice and continue beating until well combined and thickened. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 2 days.

    For the topping:

    Combine the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice in the bowl of a blender or food processor and pulse until pureed. Top each cheesecake with a dollop of the sauce. Garnish with a strawberry and lemon slice. Serve.

  • Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

    How to make Strawberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

    Yield: about 1 quart

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    1 quart fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
    3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
    6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    3/4 cup REAL® Seal whole milk
    1/2 cup REAL® Seal heavy cream
    2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
    2 tablespoons corn syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    4 whole graham crackers, chopped

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 300°F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

    Toss the strawberries with 1/4 cup sugar and the balsamic vinegar. Spread strawberries into one even layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast for about 30 minutes, or until the strawberries have darkened in color, are soft, and their juices have released. Transfer the strawberries to a medium bowl and mash until only small pieces of fruit remain. Cover and refrigerate the strawberries until chilled about 1 hour.

    Meanwhile, in the bowl of a blender or food processor, puree the remaining ice cream ingredients except the graham crackers until smooth. Transfer to a medium bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, or up to 1 day.

    Pour the mixture into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to the manufacturer’s directions. During the 5 last minutes of freezing, gradually add the roasted strawberries and graham crackers.

    Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container, press plastic wrap against the ice cream, and freeze until firm and flavor is ripened, at least 2 hours.

  • No Bake Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

    How to make No Bake Mini Peanut Butter Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    I adore my mini cheesecake pan, but if you don’t have one you could use a muffin tin. Just be sure to line it with paper or foil liners, otherwise the graham cracker crust might crumble and the cheesecake might stick when you go to remove them.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies) graham crackers
    4 tablespoons (57 grams) unsalted butter, melted

    For the cheesecake:

    8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/3 cup (90 grams) creamy peanut butter
    1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    2/3 cup (157 ml) heavy cream
    4 ounces (113 grams) semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

    For the topping:

    1/2 cup (85 grams) semisweet chocolate chips
    1/4 cup (58 grams) heavy cream
    Mini peanut butter cups

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Thoroughly grease a mini cheesecake pan. Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this). Set aside.

    Make the cheesecake:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, peanut butter, and sugar on medium-high speed until creamy and well combined. Add in the vanilla and cream and continue beating until well combined and thickened. Pour in the melted chocolate and beat until combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity and cover with plastic wrap.

    Chill until firm, at least 4 hours or overnight.

    Make the topping:

    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Pour over each cheesecake, allowing to barely drip down the sides. Top each cheesecake with Reese’s. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

  • Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    How to make Layered Peanut Butter Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

    Yield: 16 smaller bars or 9 larger bars

    Prep Time: 5 hours 25 minutes (includes cooling & chilling time)

    Cook: 45 minutes

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    18 Oreo cookies
    3 tablespoons butter, melted

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    1/4 cup granulated sugar
    2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg, at room temperature

    Directions

    For the crust:

    Preheat oven to 325°F.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, making sure to leave some overhang for easy removal, and set aside.  Add the Oreos to the bowl of a food processor and process until you have fine crumbs.  Add in the melted butter and process until all of the crumbs are moistened.

    Scoop the mixture into the prepared baking pan and press it down firmly in an even layer.  Bake at 325°F for 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

    For the peanut butter cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    For the chocolate cheesecake layer:

    In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the granulated sugar, melted chocolate, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined.  Add in the egg and mix on low speed until well combined.  Set aside.

    To make the cheesecake:

    Pour the peanut butter cheesecake filling over the prepared crust.  Spread the mixture evenly over the crust, making sure to smooth the top out as well as possible.  Gently add the chocolate cheesecake filling on top of the peanut butter cheesecake filling and smooth the top out.  Bake at 325°F for about 35 minutes or until set.  Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack (for about two hours).  Transfer to the refrigerator for about 3 hours or until the cheesecake is completely chilled.  Lift the cheesecake out of the pan with the foil and slice into bars.

    Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days.

  • Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    How to make Maple Bacon Mini Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 30 minutes

    Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:

    4 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
    1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

    FOR THE FILLING:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/4 cup maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 tablespoon flour
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon maple extract
    1 large egg

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1/4 cup powdered sugar
    1 tablespoon maple syrup
    1/4 teaspoon maple extract

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Cook the bacon pieces in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until browned. Pour off the bacon fat and set aside. Sprinkle the sugar over the bacon and cook, stirring, until the bacon is crisp, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a resealable container and set aside.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter along with 1 tablespoon of bacon fat and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    FOR THE FILLING:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the maple syrup, salt, cinnamon, and flour and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight.

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    Once chilled, whisk together the glaze ingredients until smooth. Drizzle each cheesecake with the glaze. Top with the reserved candied bacon. Serve.

    Inspired by The Food Network

  • Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    How to make Mini Turtle Cheesecakes

    Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Cook: 18 minutes

    Toast the pecans in a small skillet over medium-high heat or in a 325°F oven until aromatic and slightly darkened, about 5 to 10 minutes.

    Ingredients

    For the crust:

    1 sleeve (9 cookies, 4.8 ounces) graham crackers
    3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

    For the filling:

    12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1/4 cup heavy cream
    1/4 teaspoon fine salt
    1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 large egg

    For the topping:

    Salted caramel sauce, homemade or store-bought
    1/2 cup pecans, chopped and toasted*
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

    Directions

    Make the crust:

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 12 cup mini cheesecake pan with nonstick spray.

    Place the graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Add in the melted butter and pulse until moistened. Divide the mixture among the cavities of the cheesecake pan, about 1 heaping tablespoon in each. Firmly press into the bottom of each cavity (a shot glass or other small object makes easy work of this).

    Bake the crusts for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Remove from oven and reduce temperature to 325°F.

    Make the filling:

    In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy. Add the vanilla, cream, salt, and cinnamon and beat until smooth. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Divide the mixture among each cavity.

    Bake for about 18 minutes, or until set. Let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and let chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. At this point the cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

    Make the topping:

    Once chilled, top each cheesecake with a spoonful of caramel sauce, just enough to cover but not too much that it completely overflows. Press pecans into the caramel.

    Place the chocolate chips in a small heatproof bowl and microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until melted. Transfer to a small ziptop bag and snip a small hole in one corner. Drizzle the chocolate over the caramel and pecans. Return to the fridge to chill until ready to serve.

  • Oreo Truffle Cheesecake

    How to make Oreo Truffle Cheesecake

    Yield: 20 servings

    Prep Time: 30 minutes

    Cook: 5 hours 40 minutes

    Use this Oreo Truffle recipe for the topping and make the following changes: cut the recipe in half and remove the peppermint extract and crushed peppermint. Drizzle with melted white chocolate, if desired.

    Ingredients

    FOR THE CRUST:

    30 Oreo cookies
    5 tablespoons butter, melted

    FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:

    32 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    1 cup granulated sugar
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 teaspoon vanilla
    20 Oreo cookies, quartered

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    Oreo truffles

    Directions

    FOR THE CRUST:

    Preheat the oven to 325°F. In the bowl of a food processor, process the cookies until they are finely ground crumbs. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch nonstick springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Place on a wire rack to cool. Maintain oven temperature.

    FOR THE FILLING:

    In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth. Add in the sugar, cream, and vanilla and beat until combined. Be careful not to overbeat. Stir in the Oreo cookies.

    Pour the batter into the cooled crust. Bake for about 1 hour, or until set and the top looks slightly dry. If the middle is slightly wobbly, that’s fine. Err on the side of underbaking rather than overbaking. Cool the cheesecake completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Release the cheesecake from the pan onto a cake stand or serving plate.

    FOR THE TOPPING:

    Place the chocolate chips in a medium heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan heat the cream just until simmering. Pour over the chocolate chips. Let sit for 3 minutes before stirring until the mixture is melted and smooth. Let cool slightly until thickened. Pour over the cheesecake, allowing to drip down the sides. Top the cheesecake with the Oreo truffles. Serve or cover and store in the fridge for up to 2 days.

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