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Final Farewells and Lots of Cheesecake

I’ve gotten in the habit of repeatedly checking the date and time, counting down how many hours I have left until Saturday when I officially move into my dorm. I’m so emotional words cannot describe how I’m feeling at this moment…I mean I’m one hand I’m excited about my major and the courses I’m taking but I’m going to miss the comforts of home and all of my friends and family. Not to mention it’s going to be so weird adjusting to a room where there is no kitchen of my own to fill with my desserts :(. But I gave everyone instructions to put in their last requests before I head off to Rhode Island so today I’m filling some orders.

Seriously Chocolaty Cheesecake

Emeril Lagasse

Crust

  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup finely ground chocolate sandwich cookies (recommended: Oreo), chocolate cookie part only, no white filling
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Filling

  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate
  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 (1 1/2-ounce) milk chocolate bar

Crust

  1. Make sure the oven rack is in the center position and preheat the oven to 375° F
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the crust ingredients with a fork and mix until well combined. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust until fragrant and just set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove from the oven and cool for at least 15 minutes before adding the filling
  3. Lower the oven temperature to 350° F

Filling

  1. Place semisweet chocolate in a microwave-proof glass bowl or measuring cup and cover it with plastic wrap. Microwave the chocolate on high power for 30 seconds; then stir it with a spoon or rubber spatula. Continue to microwave the chocolate on high, stopping to stir every 30 seconds, until it is completely melted and smooth. (If you don’t have a microwave, you can use the double-boiler method for melting chocolate.) Set aside
  2. Place the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract in a large metal bowl and, using an electric mixer, beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Sift the cocoa powder into the cream cheese mixture and beat to incorporate. Turn the mixer off
  3. Crack and add the eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Be sure to turn the mixer off before you add each egg. Add the sour cream and melted chocolate and beat until smooth. Using a rubber spatula, transfer the batter to the prepared pan with the baked crust
  4. Bake at 350° F until the cake rises and puffs and the center is just set and still slightly wiggly, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Using oven mitts or pot holders, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool
  5. Grate the chocolate bar and sprinkle the shavings over the top of the cheesecake while it’s still hot
  6. Let the cheesecake cool for 1 hour. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving
  7. When you’re ready to serve the cheesecake, gently run a thin sharp knife around the inside edge of the springform pan to loosen the cake’s sides, then unhook and carefully remove the outer ring of the pan. Slice and serve

It was kind of weird how the cheesecake puffed up…in the end it looked like a souffle rather than a cheesecake

This cheesecake is for my aunt and my aunt only. I’m pretty sure if she were stranded on a desert island and could only have one food (or dessert), she would choose cheesecake. She didn’t specifically tell me she wanted this recipe but she did indicate she wanted something with chocolate and cream cheese in it so that’s where this recipe came from. I hope she likes it! 🙂

Reese’s Peanut Butter and Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Cookin’ Canuck

Crust

  • 7 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Filling

  • 2 (8 oz. each) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 12 Reese’s peanut butter cups (0.75 oz each), divided, cut into 6 pieces each (I used miniature sized candy bars)
  • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (I used semi-sweet)

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F
  2. Prepare an 8-inch square baking pan by lining the pan with aluminum foil, leaving 3-4 inches of foil draping over the sides of the pan
  3. Place graham crackers into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the crackers form fine crumbs, about 30 seconds. To the crumbs, add butter, brown sugar, flour, and salt. Pulse until the ingredients are fully combined. Using the bottom of a measuring cup or your fingers, press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan
  4. Bake until the crust is beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the crust cool on a cooling rack for about 30 minutes

Filling

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until it is very smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape the beaters and sides of bowl frequently. Gradually beat in granulated sugar until the mixture is combined, about 1 minute. Beat in eggs, one a time, making sure that each is fully incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla extract until fully combined, about 30 seconds
  2. Unwrap and cut 9 Reese’s peanut butter cups (0.75 ounce each) into 6 pieces. Gently fold into the cream cheese mixture. Scrape the cream cheese mixture into the baking pan, over top of the cooled crust. Spread evenly
  3. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly when the pan is shaken slightly, 35 to 40 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking
  4. Place the pan on a cooling rack and allow the bars to cool for 2 hours. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, and up to 24 hours
  5. Using the overhanging foil, lift the bars from the pan. Gently remove the foil and cut into 16 bars
  6. Place bittersweet chocolate in a small bowl. Microwave on 50% power until melted, stirring every 15 seconds. Drizzle the chocolate over the bars, top each with a small chunk of a Reese’s peanut butter cup and serve

I really wanted these to be as peanut butter-y as possible so I ended up chopping up about 2/3 of the bag and putting them into the cheesecake mix. Then I chopped up all but 5 of the candies left in the bag and used them for garnishing. I also went with semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet because personally, I’m not a big fan of dark chocolate

I made this recipe with Kamil in mind, even though he didn’t specifically request anything. He’s always loved anything I’ve made with peanut butter and chocolate together and well, I love him so I wanted to make him a sweet treat too!

For my final recipe of the day, I made cheesecake blondies (again). I absolutely hate baking the same thing twice because there are so many more recipes I want to try!!! But it was a specific request from my mom that I make these again (for her this time) before I leave. You can find the original post here. And yes, you got me…I couldn’t help myself and I had to change something in the recipe. So instead of using vegetable shortening, I used butter flavored shortening and instead of 1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips, I used 1 cup semi-sweet and 1 cup milk chocolate chips. In my opinion, you can just never have enough chocolate chips. Or butter ;).

By the time I finished baking these three cheesecake recipes, I was completely exhausted and it honestly looked like a bomb went off in the kitchen. Don’t believe me?

…Told you. And I actually managed to use a total of SEVENTY TWO ounces of cream cheese today. When I went to go buy them all at Wal-Mart today, the guy ringing me out scrunched up his face, looked me up and down, and said “nine?” in a snobby voice. Obviously I wanted nine if I had them all up on the belt to be rung out! Is it a problem that I love to bake?! So here’s to the end of a long (but productive) day and an even longer winded post. Enjoy!

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4 responses »

  1. The gang at work

    I passed around samples of your blondie cheesecake at work and we LOVE it!!!! Thank you.

    Reply
  2. Medifast Coupons

    Great recipes for some awesome looking cheesecake.
    Don’t you hate when you are out shopping and they judge you on your purchases? Drives me a little bonkers.

    Reply

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