Look at many of the classic cheesecake recipes and you will find they call for a minimum of 32 oz. – that’s two pounds! – of cream cheese. Try this recipe with half the cream cheese and you will believe it’s just as creamy and flavorful as the classics.
If you’ve read our advice about crushing up leftover cookies for tart or pie crusts, then you already know there are lots of options. There were no graham crackers in our pantry but we’re trying to reduce our trips to the store and use what we have, as Earth Day reminds us to waste less and be eco-conscious. So animal crackers became the crumbs for our crust. It takes about 35-40 animal crackers, or a combination of any plain cookie, to make enough crumbs.
Are you trying to reduce your impact on the environment too? Go see ‘No Impact Man,’ a film about a New York family during the year they tried to live with less impact on the environment. Whole Foods Market is hosting a screening at 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 24 at Glenwood Arts Theatre as part of their “Let’s Retake Our Plates” series. Tickets are only $4.50 and the event benefits Green Works of Kansas City, an organization that engages urban youth in environmental stewardship and green economy.
Chocolate chip cheesecake, 10-12 servings
- 2 cups animal cracker crumbs (or vanilla wafers, shortbread cookies or combination of cookies)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
- 2-8 oz. packages cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 325° F. Spray a 9” x 3” springform pan with cooking spray. Crush cookie or animal cracker crumbs until fine and combine with melted butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of prepared springform pan
- Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add 3/4 cup sugar and combine until smooth. Beat in eggs, 1/2 cup sour cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter into cookie crust and bake at 325° for 1 hour or until just the very center of cheesecake is jiggly. You may need to put a sheet of foil under your pan to keep any drips off the oven floor. Remove pan to cooling rack and increase oven temp to 475° F.
Combine topping ingredients in a small bowl and spread on top of warm cheesecake. Bake in 475° oven for 10 minutes. Let cool in pan completely before removing the outside springform ring. Chill in fridge so the cheesecake has a chance to firm up completely., but let it come to room temperature before slicing and serving.
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