...and a few more things that are nice*.
*But not all things nice. Come on--let's be realistic here.
Are you here because of the Taste of Home feature? Maybe that's just wishful thinking on my part, but if you are a new visitor, you might want to check out my all-time most popular post and its follow-up. If you're not new here, don't worry--I have something tantalizing for you too.
Cheesecake! Again! When people ask me which dessert is my favorite to make, I usually answer cheesecake, even though it's my least favorite to consume. There's just so much room for creativity, whether in the choice of crust, the flavor of the filling, or the oodles of possible add-ins or -ons. There are a few I'll deem worthy of a repeat, but for the most part, I do something different every time I make a cheesecake.
You might think that the cookie crumbs in a cheesecake would dry it out a bit, but that's not the case. While they obviously don't add moisture, they don't suck it out either, and they contribute to the most unique and excellent texture. The flavor of the cookies really comes through too. I LOVE oatmeal cookie crumbs--I use them in everything from pie crusts to ice cream toppings. You can use them anywhere you use graham cracker crumbs, with a few minor adjustments.
And hey--don't let the presence of raisins in cheesecake freak you out. It's only a little bit weird, I promise.
- 1-1/2 cups finely ground oatmeal raisin cookies (the raisins will NOT grind, and that's okay)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
- 1-1/2 pounds (24 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup finely ground cinnamon-raisin cookies
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon mixed with 1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, toss cookie crumbs, butter, and brown sugar together in bottom of one 10-inch springform pan (or two 8-inchers). Press the crust into bottom of the pan(s) and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Wrap the pan(s) with three layers of foil to keep out the water from the water bath.
To make the filling, in a mixer bowl, blend the cream cheese, sugar, and sour cream until smooth, scraping bottom and sides of bowl to incorporate everything, about 3 to 4 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and flour and blend well, 2 to 3 minutes.
Spoon one-third of the filling into the prepared pan and top with half of the ground cookies. Dust on some cinnamon sugar. Cover with another third of the cream cheese filling and then dust on more cookies and more cinnamon sugar.
Add the last bit of filling and finish the top of the cake with cookie crumbs and a nice dusting of cinnamon sugar. You want to end up with a streusel-ized topping.
Place the pan in a water bath such that the water comes about halfway up the sides of the pan(s) and bake 65 to 75 minutes (for a 10-inch pan; 55-65 minutes for 8-inchers). Turn off the oven and let the cake cool in the oven for 1 hour before removing to fridge. Chill cheesecake at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.