Tuesday, April 24, 2012

One Cheesecake Recipe Three Ways

Okay, I'm just gonna say it...cheesecake is THE best dessert on Earth! Don't you agree?

I have been making my favorite dessert for years and I've tried many different recipes. I thought I would share my favorite one with you.

This is the basic recipe, but it's easy to make some really yummy variations by changing a few ingredients. Just make the recipe like it is except for a few substitutions.  I'll share some of my variations below.

1 3/4 c. Nabisco graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. softened butter
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
3 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 c. sour cream
1 (21 oz.) can cherry pie filling, or apple, or blueberry
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Crust: Blend crumbs, butter and 1/4 cup sugar and press mixture firmly against bottom and up sides of an 8 inch springform pan. Place in refrigerator while you make filling.

Filling: Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar and vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Blend in sour cream. Mix well and put filling into crumb-prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven 350 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until firm. Turn off oven, leaving oven door slightly ajar. Allow cake to remain in the oven for 1 hour. Cool cake in the pan. Chill for 4 hours or overnight. Remove sides of springform pan. Top with cherry pie filling. Makes 10 (about 2 1/4 inch) wedges.

Chocolate Mint Marble

This was a good one! Sometimes minty recipes are too minty, but this one was perfect.

I traded the graham crackers for Oreos. (minus the white filling)

I bought a bag of these Nestlé Dark Chocolate and Mint Chips.

I separated the mint from the chocolate ones. I melted each kind separately in the microwave. (if you spray some non stick spray on the chips they melt better). I divided the cheesecake batter in half. I took about a half cup of batter and mixed with melted mint chips. Then I returned it to that half of the batter. I repeated those steps with the chocolate chips.

Now half of the batter is chocolate brown and the other half is minty green.

I alternated spoonfuls of each batter into the crust then marbled them by swirling a knife through the batter back and forth several times till I got the look I wanted.

Then just cook it according to the original directions on the recipe.

I cut up two packages of Andes Creme de Menthe Thins and sprinkled on the top of the cooled cheesecake.

Raspberry Filled

This one was really simple. I added 2 tablespoons of corn starch to a small bag of frozen raspberries. (about 2 cups or less)
I brought the raspberries and cornstarch to a boil in a saucepan and stirred it while it boiled for about 5 minutes or so. The raspberries will break up and the sauce will thicken a little.
Pour half of the cheesecake batter into the crust. Spoon the raspberry filling over the batter. Spread it out evenly. Cover with the remainder of the batter. Cook as directed in original recipe.

Key Lime with Nutty Coconut Crust

I'm not gonna lie, there is nothing whatsoever in this recipe that involves an actual "key lime", but the name has a better ring to it than Lime Cheesecake right? I'm not an expert on key limes, but I'm thinking they may be more tart than regular limes because everything key lime I've had has been really tart, but this isn't tart. It's just SO good.

I changed the crust for this recipe by exchanging the
Graham crackers for Mother's
Coconut Cocadas Cookies. I also added 1 bag each of chopped pecans, chopped almonds and chopped walnuts. (I think each bag had 11/2 cups). I know that's a lot. You could get by with less, but it was really good.

I added the juice from 3 limes and the zest from 1 lime to the cheesecake filling. I also added 1 or 2 drops of green food coloring
Cook as directed in original recipe.
I garnished with lime slices and toasted coconut.
This is a good one.

All of these are yummy with freshly whipped cream.

I hope you'll try at least one. It's easy. I promise.

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