If you’re tired of bringing the same old pumpkin or apple pie to Thanksgiving each year, I’ve got a much more decadent option that just might make you the hit of the party (and the target of many stink-eyed expressions from those who overindulge…it’s rich).
Plus, it’s really pretty. I took it to a Christmas worship team party last year and got accused of “cheating” by buying it at the bakery on the way.
The original recipe is here, and it really is the best version of it I’ve ever tasted (just the cheesecake without any toppings is fantastic as well).
I’ve made a few small but important tweaks that I’ll share with you today.
Here’s what you’ll need to get started:
1 package of Oreos (it calls for chocolate or vanilla wafers, but really, when you’re going this crazy already, you might as well go for the good stuff)
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1‑1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1‑1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons whipping cream
And here’s what you’ll do:
Preheat oven to 450°F
Dump the entire package of Oreos into a food processer (if you don’t have one, you can always put them in a plastic bag and enlist the help of your kiddos to smash them to bits with a rolling pin).
Pulverize the Oreos.
Add in softened or melted butter and mix with cookies, using the pulse setting.
Press the crushed cookie mixture into the bottom of a 8 or 9 inch springform pan. I tend to prefer the 8 inch version since it gives you a taller, thicker layer of creamy, cheesecakey goodness (it does take longer to cook, though, and doesn’t produce as many servings…unless you cut thinner slices, of course).
Beat cream cheese (it’s a good idea to have left it out for at least a 1/2 hour to soften) in a large bowl until creamy. Add sugar, flour, vanilla and salt; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, making sure each one gets mixed in well. Blend in cream. Pour over crust. Bake 10 minutes.
Reduce temperature to 200°F and continue baking for 35-40 minutes (for the 9” version) and 45-50 (for the 8”).
When the filling is done, the very center should be just the slightest bit jiggly, but the edges will be slightly golden.
One of my favorite things about this cheesecake is that it doesn’t have to come out perfectly to end up looking pretty. See? Mine’s all cracked (because I’m too lazy to use a water-bath). I’ve had it come out as smooth as a baby’s hindquarters, but just as often as not, it splits. No worries, though. we’ll fix that with…
Combine 7 ounces (1/2 bag) caramels and 1/3 cup whipping cream in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth.
Combine 4 squares (1 ounce each) semisweet chocolate, 1 teaspoon butter and 3 tablespoons whipping cream in small saucepan; stir over low heat until smooth.
I let my sauces cool a bit and then cut the tip of a plastic sandwich bag so I can pipe them onto the cheesecake with minimum goop getting everywhere else.
I just keep drizzling in a crosshatch pattern alternating between the chocolate and caramel until I’ve sufficiently smothered the cake.
And for the crowning touch: Toasted Pecans (here’s a simple explanation of the process)
Let it chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours (the longer the better)
And there you have it, folks!
Is it low-fat?
Good for you?
Not really (unless you count the instant lift in your mood the moment your tongue encounters that first sinfully delicious bite).
But it is crazy yummy, and I only make it about once a year.
And I must say that the extra calories are a small price to pay for pure taste bud heaven once a year.
So, as a sweets connoisseur, I really must know…
What’s your favorite sweet tooth fix? (Feel free to include links if you’ve got them).