Post-feeding frenzy cheesecake remnants
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (2 sleeves of crackers)
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 Tablespoons sugar
3 packages cream cheese (8 ounces each)
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly spray a 9-inch Springform pan, unless it happens to be a non-stick Springform, in which case, just skip the spraying part.
Combine the graham crackers, melted butter, and 2 Tablespoons sugar in a bowl until well mixed. Press the mixture into the bottom of the Springform and bring it up the sides about an inch. Bake for 8 minutes and then set aside to cool.
After the crust comes out, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
Beat the softened cream cheese until fluffy--do this in a large bowl and use mixer. With the mixer still going, slowly pour in 1 cup of sugar and beat until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add sour cream and vanilla and, with mixer on low, stir until jest blended.
Pour into baked crust. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Turn the oven off, crack the door open and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove from the oven, place it on a cooling rack, gently run a knife around the edge of the pan and then let it sit quietly until it reaches room temperature. Once it's room temperature, cover and refrigerate until serving.
I made this last night (for my dad's birthday) and it has to be the best cheesecake I've ever produced. It's a combination of about 5 different recipes, along with a life-long love affair with cheesecake that I owe entirely to my father.
You could easily add 1/2 cup of your favorite chopped nuts to the crust or make the crust out of chocolate graham crackers or cookies. Be careful not to refrigerate the final product too soon or you'll end up with a sweaty cheesecake and that's just no good. If you need it for a special occasion, try making it the day before--that will give you plenty of time to properly chill. When you serve it, go crazy with your toppings (fresh fruit, caramel or chocolate drizzle), but make sure the toppings are not warm or you'll melt your delicious creation.
The thing I love the most, aside from the heavenly texture and perfect flavor, is the clean-up. It only took about 5 minutes to do all the dishes involved, wipe down the KitchenAid, and put the dishes and the mixer away. Awesome recovery!
Next time I'm going to see if I can turn it into a chocolate cheesecake...
Oh, and I'm going to work on getting better pictures of these creations. Taking pictures of food is so much more difficult than making food.