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Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake

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I have had my eye on this recipe for quite some time, and I decided to finally make it.  I could not for the life of me get a good picture of it, but it is quite delicious.  This cheesecake was more intense than regular chocolate cheesecake.  The caramel gave it a much deeper, richer flavor.  Making the caramel is the most time-consuming part of the recipe, but the rest is very easy.

I had a bit of trouble with the caramel.  The caramel seized up on me, but after stirring it on the heat, it broke up, and everything went smoothly after that.  Deb points out that the caramelized sugar adds so much more to the recipe, and I definitely agree. This cheesecake had a stronger, richer flavor than if you had simply added the sugar without caramelizing it.  It got rave reviews when I served it, and I will definitely make it again when I need a decadent cheesecake fix 🙂

Chocolate Caramel Cheesecake
Source: Smitten Kitchen

1 crumb-crust recipe (recipe below)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup heavy cream
8 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), chopped
1/2 cup sour cream
3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Make crumb crust as directed in separate recipe, using chocolate wafer cookies instead of graham crackers.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Cook sugar in a dry heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring slowly with a fork, until melted and pale golden. Cook caramel without stirring, swirling pan, until deep golden. Remove from heat and carefully add heavy cream (mixture will vigorously steam and caramel will harden). Cook over moderately low heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved. Remove from heat and whisk in chocolate until smooth. Stir in sour cream.

Beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla, beating on low speed until each ingredient is incorporated and scraping down bowl between additions.

Put springform pan with crust in a shallow baking pan. Pour filling into crust and bake in baking pan (to catch drips) in middle of oven 55 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from edge but center is still slightly wobbly when pan is gently shaken.

Run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen and cool completely in springform pan on a rack. (Cake will continue to set as it cools.) Chill cake, loosely covered, at least 6 hours. Remove side of pan and transfer cake to a plate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Cooks’ note:
Cheesecake keeps, covered and chilled, 1 week.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Crumb Crust (I used these cookies to make a chocolate crust).
Recipe adapted from Gourmet, 1999

1 1/2 cups (5 oz) finely ground cookies such as chocolate wafers [I actually double this; I can never get enough cookie.]
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir together crust ingredients and press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 24-centimeter springform pan. Fill right away or chill up to 2 hours.

Makes enough for a 24-centimeter cheesecake.

Chocolate Bailey’s Cheesecake

We recently went to a potluck event, and I eagerly signed up to bring a dessert.  Since it was so close to St. Patrick’s Day, I kept thinking I wanted to do something with Bailey’s.  I went back and forth between a cheesecake and brownies before ultimately going with this cheesecake.  What is even more exciting to me about this cheesecake is that it’s my own recipe!  I made this completely on my own without a recipe to guide me and it came out just as I hoped.  I wanted a full, defined Bailey’s flavor, so I was very liberal when adding it in.  I was happy with the way the flavor came out, and the chocolate was just enough to complement it.  I covered it with a chocolate ganache, and then piped the ganache (thickened with some powdered sugar) to decorate the sides.  Everyone kept telling me how much they enjoyed this, so I was happy to call it a success!

Chocolate Bailey’s Cheesecake
A Dinner & Dessert original

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

For the crust:

1 ½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 teaspoons ground coffee

Combine all ingredients.  Press in the bottom of a greased springform pan.  Bake for 10 minutes, then cool while you prepare the cheesecake batter.

For the cheesecake:

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

4 eggs

1 cup sugar

¾ cup heavy cream

¾ cup Bailey’s Irish Cream liquor

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

Fill a roasting pan with warm water and place in the oven on bottom rack.

Beat cream cheese on medium speed with an electric mixer, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add sugar, mixing until incorporated.  Slowly add heavy cream, followed by the Bailey’s.  Finally, add melted and cooled chocolate.  Pour in springform pan.  Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until cheesecake jiggles slightly.  Turn oven off, and cool for at least an hour.  Place cheesecake in refrigerator overnight.

For the ganache:

3 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

¾ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoons corn syrup

2 tablespoons butter, softened and cut into pieces

1 tablespoon Bailey’s Irish Cream Liquor

Place chopped chocolate in heatproof bowl.  Boil cream, then pour over chocolate.  Allow to sit for a minute, then stir until smooth.  Add butter, corn syrup, and Bailey’s and stir until incorporated.  Pour over cheesecake, then refrigerate about 30 minutes, or until set.

Optional: Reserve some of the ganache, and add powdered sugar until it reaches a frosting-like consistency.  Pipe decoratively on edge of cheesecake.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a long time, but felt that it was most appropriate for Christmas or Valentine’s Day.  So, this year for Valentine’s Day, I made this recipe a priority!  I love red velvet cake, but would have never thought of a red velvet cheesecake.  I like non-traditional cheesecakes, so I was pretty sure I would enjoy this, and couldn’t wait to try it.  The taste of red velvet is hard to describe, especially to someone who has never had it.  If you have tried red velvet cake, it tastes just like the cake in cheesecake form.  If you haven’t had red velvet cake, what are you waiting for?  In addition to this cheesecake, go try some red velvet cake right now! 🙂  The cream cheese topping was a great addition, and this really is a genius creation.  If you’re looking for a Valentine’s Day dessert, this would be a great one to make!  If you like all things red velvet, you’ll probably also like these Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, which I made for Valentine’s Day last year.

Red Velvet Cheesecake
Source: Culinary Concoctions by Peabody, originally from the Southern Living Christmas Cookbook

For the Crust:
1 ½ cups chocolate cookie crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 TBSP granulated sugar

For the Filling:
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 TBSP unsweetened cocoa
1 cup sour cream
½ cup whole buttermilk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp distilled white vinegar
2 (1 oz) bottles red food coloring

For the Topping:
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Crust:
Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1 TBSP sugar; press mixture onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

For the Filling:
Beat together cream cheese and sugar at medium low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute.
Add eggs, unsweetened cocoa, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla extract, vinegar and food coloring.  Mix on low speed just until fully combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake at 325F for 10  minutes, reduce heat to 300F, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm.
Run knife along outer edge of cheese. Turn oven off and let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes.
Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 m minutes.
Cover and chill for 8 hours.

For the topping:
Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.
Remove cheesecake from refrigerator and spread topping evenly over top of cheesecake.
Remove sides of springform. Garnish if desired.

Low and Lush Chocolate Cheesecake (TWD)

Happy New Year!  I’m a little late posting this cheesecake because we have been out of town celebrating the Christmas season with our families.  Once we got back in town, I got ready to make this cheesecake.  I just made a mini version, since I didn’t want an entire cheesecake sitting around the house.  Instead of the crust Dorie calls for, I made my own using flourless chocolate cookies.  This cheesecake was quite good.  I’m a fan of flavored cheesecakes over plain, and this was certainly a winner in my book.  I also loved how easy it came together.  It took almost no time to make.  My only problem was the crack, but I chalk that up to laziness, as I wasn’t really watching it while it was in the oven.  The flavor definitely wasn’t compromised 🙂  You can view the recipe on the blog Teas and Scones, where it was chosen for TWD.

Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo

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This is another dessert that I’ve been dying to make, and I was finally able to make that happen recently.  I’ve never made a semifreddo before, and I really wanted to try it.  It’s similar to cheesecake, but instead of baking it, you cook everything first and then freeze it.  This looked like the perfect one to try because I really like the combination of chocolate and coffee.  This isn’t a difficult dessert to make, but you just need to be organized.  The only bad part is that it dirties a lot of dishes, but it’s worth it!  The filling was smooth and creamy, almost like mousse.  I used Kahlua in place of the espresso and the chocolate and coffee flavors complemented one another nicely. This was enjoyed by everyone when I served it and it was gone very quickly!  This would be a great dessert to serve at a dinner party because you can make it in advance and keep it in the freezer.  It also makes for such a pretty presentation.  If it were summer, I would have added some strawberries or raspberries, but I just went plain this time.

Chocolate Espresso Semifreddo
Source: adapted from Use Real Butter

1 3/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

3 ounces Kahlua
4 large eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoons dark rum
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped fine
16 ounces mascarpone cheese
2 ounces heavy cream

Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Mix cookie crumbs and butter together. Press crust into the springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven (turn oven off). When cool, line the sides of the pan with a 3-inch wide parchment strip along the inside edge.

Over a double boiler, whisk together the yolks and 2 tablespoons of th sugar until it is pale yellow and thick. It should ribbon. Lift whisk out of the bowl to incorporate air into the mixture. Add espresso, rum, and vanilla. Place over simmering water and cook, vigorously whisking until liquid coats the back of a spoon and the mixture is thick and foamy. Remove from heat and add the finely chopped chocolate. Stir until melted and continue stirring until cooled. In separate bowl, stir together the mascarpone and cream until soft and smooth. Do not overstir. Place egg whites and 1/3 cup sugar in kitchenaid mixing bowl. Gently whisk together over a simmering water bath until 145°F is reached. Remove from bath and set the bowl on the kitchenaid with the balloon whip attachment. Whip on medium high until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and mix until the bowl is cool to the touch (cooler than your hand). Fold the mascarpone mixture into the chocolate mixture until there are no streaks left. Fold 1/4 of the meringue (sacrifice) into the chocolate-mascarpone mixture. Fold in the remaining meringue in three parts – don’t overmix or the volume will reduce!

Spread the mixture over the baked crust in the pan. Tightly cover with plastic wrap and freeze for at least 4 hours. When ready to serve, loosen and remove the sides of the pan. Remove the parchment paper strip. Serve cold and cut slices with a warm, dry knife.

Turtle Cheesecake

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I’ve been wanting to make this cheesecake forever, and I don’t know why I  waited so long!  The ingredients are on the pricey side, so I waited until a special occasion to try it.  My parents recently visited, and their birthdays are a few weeks apart, so we all got together to celebrate them together.  My mind immediately went to this dessert when I thought of what to make!  My family seriously loves cheesecake, so I knew this would be perfect.

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I used chocolate crumbs from these cookies, and omitted the flour in the cheesecake filling (I didn’t notice a difference).  I also wanted to make my own caramel.  My favorite caramel is the one from Dorie’s book that I made for the Caramel-Peanut Topped Brownie Cake.  After making the caramel, I stirred in the pecans and poured it all over the cheesecake on the top of the chocolate topping.  This was one completely fabulous dessert, and one of my favorite cheesecakes!

Turtle Cheesecake
Source: adapted from Food Network via Amber’s Delectable Delights

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (recommended: Oreo)
  • 1 cup sugar, plus 4 tablespoons
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 3 tablespoons
  • 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus 1 cup melted
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, for topping
  • 1 cup caramel, for topping (I made my own, recipe below)
  • 1 cup pecans, for topping

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Lightly grease the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan. In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, 4 tablespoons of sugar, and the melted butter and mix together well. Pour the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and press them out evenly. Once completed, set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, the rest of the sugar, and vanilla. Beat together until light and creamy. Add the flour and blend until smooth. With the first cup of chocolate chips, fold into filling. Pour in a melted cup of the chocolate chips and sour cream and mix well. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing each at low speed. Pour the filling into prepared pan, bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the center is almost set. Let cake cool for 10 minutes, then run a knife around the sides and remove rim of the pan. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.

In a small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter and pour in chocolate chips. Mix together on medium-low heat. Once chocolate and butter is combined, pour warm mixture onto chilled cake. Refrigerate for 10 to 15 minutes. Pour slightly cooled caramel-pecan mixture over the top.

Homemade Caramel
Source: Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

2 cups sugar
½ cup water
1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
2/3 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

Put the sugar, water and corn syrup in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan, stir just to combine the ingredients and then put the pan over medium-high heat. Heat, without stirring , until the caramel turns deep amber., 5-10 minutes. Lower the heat a bit and, standing back from the saucepan add the cream and butter. When the spatters are less vehement, stir to calm down the caramel and dissolve any lumps.  Stir in pecans, cool for 3 to 5 minutes, and pour over cheesecake.

S’Mores Cheesecake

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For someone who once claimed to not like cheesecake much, I certainly have turned around.  I’m still not a huge fan of plain cheesecake (I don’t like the strong cream cheese flavor), but I am discovering just how many fancy versions of cheesecake are out there, and now I want to try them all!  I have been all about marshmallow desserts lately, and I love s’mores, and really wanted to try this as soon as I saw it.  I was intrigued by the peanut crust.  I have really enjoyed adapting crusts to be gluten-free, and I thought this one sounded like it could be really good.

The crust ended up being quite delicious!  I will use this crust again in cheesecakes for sure.  It was perfect in this cheesecake.  Since there are only two sticks of cream cheese, it isn’t a tall cheesecake, but it certainly is rich.  The filling has a deep chocolate flavor, and the marshmallow topping also adds to the height and sugary goodness.  I would definitely say that this satisfied the s’mores craving I had been having, and I found a new crust recipe as well!

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S’Mores Cheesecake
Source: Simply Gluten Free

Crust:
1 ¼ cups dry-roasted, salted peanuts
½ cup dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
9 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
3 large eggs

Topping:
3 egg whites
Pinch of salt
1 7 ounce jar Kraft marshmallow cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

For Crust – Pulse peanuts, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small food processor until it is the texture of coarse sand. Pulse in the melted butter. Press nut mixture evenly in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake until set, about 15 minutes and cool while making the filling.

For filling – Melt chocolate in the microwave ( stir every 30 seconds until fully melted and smooth, about 2 minutes) or in the top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water stirring until melted and smooth.

Combine cream cheese, sugar and salt in a food processor and process until smooth. With the motor running, pour in the whipping cream through the feed tube and process until just blended. With motor still running add the melted chocolate and the eggs, one at a time, blending and scraping down the sides after each addition until smooth and well blended. Pour over prepared crust.

Bake until the outer edge is slightly puffed up and the cake is just barely set in the center, about 55 minutes. Put pan on a rack to cool. Run a small knife around the edges of the cake to loosen. Chill cake, uncovered, for at least 8 hours or overnight. Can be made 2 days ahead.

For topping – Beat egg whites and salt until soft peaks form. Add the marshmallow crème and beat until stiff peaks form.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread topping over cheesecake, sealing the edges and bake 15 minutes or until lightly browned. You can also quick cook under the broiler if desired – just watch it and cook only until lightly browned.

Let cool for about 15 minutes then release from springform pan and serve.

Serves 10.

Brownie Bottom Lemon Cheesecake

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This recipe caught my eye when I was looking through the May 2009 issue of Bon Appetit. You almost never see lemon and chocolate together, so I wanted to try it.  This recipe is from the same people who published Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. Bon Appetit did a feature on diner dessert makeovers and these guys had several of their recipes featured.  The recipes in the magazine did not appear in their cookbook, so it was like a little bonus.  This recipe was actually created by accident.  Apparently, a batch of brownies was pulled out of the oven too early.  They wanted to think of a way to put them to use, so they pressed them in the bottom of a cheesecake pan and used it as a base for this cheesecake.  It’s funny how accidents like this create delicious desserts!

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The cheesecake part of this recipe was pretty standard.  It was a tall and creamy cheesecake lightly flavored with lemon.  The lemon flavor was perfect.  It was neither too subtle nor overpowering.  I really liked the brownie crust.  I was different and a fun change from the usual graham cracker or other cookie crust.   I will probably use it in the future when I make cheesecakes.  Even though the lemon-chocolate combination was somewhat unusual, it went together well and made for a delicious dessert.

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Brownie-Bottom Lemon Cheesecake
Source: Bon Appetit May 2009, also on epicurious.com

Crust:

  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 6 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate (54% to 60% cacao), chopped
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling:

  • 5 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 13/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Topping:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • Bittersweet chocolate curls or shavings
  • 1 lemon, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced crosswise
  • For crust:
    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray inside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-to 3-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, cocoa, and salt in small bowl; set aside. Combine chocolate and butter in medium metal bowl; place bowl over saucepan of simmering water and stir until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water. Add both sugars to chocolate mixture and whisk until blended. Let cool until mixture is barely lukewarm, about 10 minutes. Whisk egg and vanilla into chocolate mixture. Fold flour mixture into chocolate mixture. Spread brownie batter evenly over bottom of prepared pan.
  • Bake brownie crust until top looks slightly cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist crumbs attached, about 20 minutes. Transfer pan to rack; cool crust to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Maintain oven temperature.
  • For filling:
    Place pan with cooled crust on rimmed baking sheet. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, flour, lemon peel, and lemon juice; beat until smooth. Add eggs and yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until incorporated after each addition. Beat in 1/2 cup sour cream and whipping cream. Pour filling over brownie crust in pan; smooth top.
  • Bake cake until puffed, light golden, and set around edges (center will still move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove cake from oven. Maintain oven temperature.
  • For topping:
    Spoon 1 cup sour cream in dollops over top of cake, then spread evenly over top with offset spatula. Return cake to oven and bake 5 minutes. Run small sharp knife around sides of cake to loosen. Place pan with cake directly in refrigerator and chill uncovered overnight (cake may sink in center). DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.
  • Remove pan sides from cake. Run thin sharp knife between pan bottom and crust to loosen. Using 2 metal spatulas as aid, transfer cake to platter. Garnish top edge of cake with chocolate curls and lemon slices.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars

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As soon as I saw these, I knew I had to make them.  Being the cookie dough lover that I am, I knew they would be good, and when you put cheesecake in the picture, there was no going back.  These are very similar to a traditional cheesecake, but made easier by baking them in a square pan and cutting them into bars.  It starts with a graham cracker crust that is prebaked, and then you add the cookie dough-cheesecake layer.  After you bake the bars and they cool, you drizzle some chocolate on top, which makes these even more decadent.

These were a great treat and a big hit when I served them.  One thing I would do differently next time is cool them in the refrigerator because  they got pretty messy when I cut them.  The recipe states that these are best served at room temperature, but I think they would be great served chilled as well.

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Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake Bars
Source: Baked Perfection

Crust

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 Tablespoons butter, melted
2/3 cup miniature chocolate chips

Cookie Dough

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Cheesecake Filling

10 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Prreheat oven to 325°. Butter a 9″-square baking pan. Line pan with parchment paper, leaving enough to extend over the sides. Butter the parchment paper. (Note: I used foil because I did not have parchment and it worked just fine).

To prepare the crust combine graham cracker crumbs and butter until crumbs are moistened. Stir in the mini-chocolate chips. (Note: I did not have miniature chips, so I blended regular chocolate chips and mixed them in with the graham cracker crumbs which created a chocolate graham crust).

Press crust mixture into bottom of pan and 1 inch up sides. Bake for 6 minutes. Set pan on wire rack to cool

Next Prepare the cookie dough. Using an electric mixer, mix butter, brown sugar, sugar, salt, and vanilla extract at medium speed until smooth. Decrease mixer speed to low and add flour (Note: add flour slowly because you may not need all of it. You want the dough to come together so you can easily shape small balls). Mix just until incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips. Set aside.

To prepare the filling, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar just until smooth. Add egg and vanilla extract, beating just until blended.

Pour batter into baked crust. Drop cookie dough by teaspoonfuls over the top of the filling.

Bake about 30 minutes, or until set. Transfer to wire rack.

To decorate with drizzled chocolate, place chocolate in a sandwich bag on a microwave safe dish and microwave in 30 second intervals moving the chocolate around between. Using scissors, cut the very tip off the sandwich bag. The smaller your cut, the smalled the drizzle.

Using the edges of the parchment paper, remove bars from pan. Cut into bars and serve. These bars are served best at room temperature.

White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake

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David and I went to an end-of-the-year dinner for a class I was taking at church, and I offered to bring dessert.  I thought a cheesecake would be a good idea, and I eventually settled on this one.  I thought raspberry would be perfect for the warmer weather, and the combination of white chocolate and raspberry is so good.  This recipe is actually supposed to be a copy of a cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, but I have never been there, so I don’t know how they compare.

This cheesecake came together easily.  I have said before on this blog that I am not a huge cheesecake fan, but that is starting to change.  I’m still not crazy about plain cheesecakes, but I love the ones that have added flavors such as this one.  I really enjoyed the way the raspberry flavor came out, and the white chocolate was a subtle, but welcome addition.  The cheesecake had a great smooth and creamy texture.  I am a believer in baking cheesecakes in a water bath.  In my experience, it makes for a smoother cheesecake, and I’ve never had a cheesecake crack on me.  Even if a recipe does not call for baking in a water bath, I do it anyway.  Just make sure you wrap the pan well in aluminum foil!  I was up late baking this the night before and forgot this step.  A little bit of water seeped in, but it wasn’t a big deal and didn’t affect the taste.  The recipe uses a chocolate crust, but David and I both agreed that a graham cracker crust would probably be even better.  He is a big fan of raspberry cheesecake and told me that I should make this again 🙂  This was a big hit with everyone- we have a lot of dessert lovers in our class!

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White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Cheesecake
Source:
adapted from RecipeZaar

Ingredients

Crust

1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs (I used cookie crumbs from these Deep Dark Chocolate Cookies, but you can use Oreos, chocolate graham crackers, or regular graham crackers)

crumbled Oreo cookies (filling removed)

1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling

1/2 cup raspberry preserves

1/4 cup water

4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup sour cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 eggs

4 ounces white chocolate, chopped into chunks

Optional Garnish

2 ounces shaved white chocolate (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 475 degrees.  Create a water bath by placing a large pan filled with about 1/2-inch of water into the oven while it preheats.

Combine the raspberry preserves with 1/4 cup water in a medium microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 1/2 minutes on high in your microwave. Stir until smooth. Strain to remove the raspberry seeds, then let the strained preserves sit to the side to cool.

Measure 1 1/2 cups chocolate cookie crumbs into a medium bowl. Mix in 1/3 cup melted margarine. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture flat into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side.

Wrap a large piece of foil around the bottom of the pan to keep the cheesecake in the water bath. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

Use an electric mixer to combine the cream cheese with the sugar, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix for a couple minutes or until the ingredients are smooth and creamy. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Whisk the eggs in a medium bowl and then add them to the cream cheese mixture. Blend the mixture just enough to incorporate the eggs.

 

Remove the crust from the freezer and sprinkle 4 ounces of white chocolate chunks onto the bottom of the crust.

Pour half of the cream cheese filling into the crust. Drizzle the raspberry preserves over the entire surface of the filling. Use a butter knife to swirl the raspberry into the cream cheese. Pour the other half of the filling into the crust.

Carefully place the cheesecake into the water bath in the oven. Bake for 12 minutes at 475 degrees, then turn the oven down to 350 degrees and bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top of the cheesecake turns a light brown or tan color.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven to cool. When the cheesecake is cool, use the foil from the bottom to cover the cheesecake and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.

Before serving, sprinkle the entire top surface of cheesecake with 2 ounces of shaved white chocolate.