Cheesecakes - Cakes - Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies - Editors at Taste of Home

Taste of Home Cookies, Cakes, & Pies: Bake up 368 sweet sensations with three cookbooks in one - Editors at Taste of Home (2017)

Cakes

Cheesecakes


FOR SOME, A SOFT, CREAMY CHEESECAKE JUST CAN’T BE BEAT. ENJOY THE MANY VARIATIONS ON THIS TIMELESS DESSERT WITH THIS TOOTH-TINGLING CHAPTER. FROM LEMONY FAVORITES TO CHOCOLATY DELIGHTS, THESE CROWD-PLEASING DINNER FINALES ARE PERFECT FOR ANY HOLIDAY, MENU OR GET-TOGETHER.

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Very Vanilla Slow Cooker Cheesecake

Cinnamon and vanilla give this cheesecake so much flavor, and making it in the slow cooker creates a silky, smooth texture that’s hard to resist.

—KRISTA LANPHIER MILWAUKEE, WI



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ COOK: 2 HOURS + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 6 SERVINGS


3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1 tablespoon sugar plus 2/3 cup sugar, divided

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 1/2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup sour cream

2 to 3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

TOPPING

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon shortening

Toasted sliced almonds

1. Grease a 6-in. springform pan; place on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 12 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.

2. Pour 1 in. water into a 6-qt. slow cooker. Layer two 24-in. pieces of aluminum foil. Starting with a long side, roll up foil to make a 1-in.-wide strip; shape into a circle. Place in bottom of slow cooker to make a rack.

3. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, 1 tablespoon sugar and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and about 1 in. up sides of prepared pan.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

5. Place springform pan on foil circle without touching slow cooker sides. Cover slow cooker with a double layer of white paper towels; place lid securely over towels. Cook, covered, on high for 2 hours.

6. Do not remove the lid; turn off slow cooker and let cheesecake stand, covered, in slow cooker for 1 hour.

7. Remove springform pan from slow cooker; remove foil around pan. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack 1 hour longer. Loosen sides from pan with a knife. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.

8. For topping, in a microwave, melt chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Remove rim from springform pan. Pour chocolate mixture over cheesecake; sprinkle with almonds.

NOTE Wilton Industries sells 6-inch springform pans. Call 800-794-5866 or visit wilton.com.

BIG BATCH

Cappuccino Cheesecake

Instead of pouring the decadent ganache over the top of this coffee-flavored cheesecake, I use most of it to cover the chocolate crust. It’s the perfect dessert for a holiday spread.

—LINDA STEMEN MONROEVILLE, IN



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 65 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


24 Oreo cookies

1/3 cup butter, melted

GANACHE

1 package (10 ounces) 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate baking chips

1 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup coffee liqueur

FILLING

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

2 tablespoons dark rum

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons ground coffee

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 teaspoons molasses

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

TOPPING

1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) sour cream

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Place cookies in a food processor. Cover and pulse until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a greased 10-in. springform pan; set aside.

2. Place chocolate in a small bowl. In a small saucepan, bring cream just to a boil. Pour over chocolate; whisk until smooth. Stir in liqueur. Pour 1 3/4 cups over the crust. Freeze for 30 minutes or until firm. For thegarnishes, drop remaining ganache by teaspoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined sheets; cover and refrigerate.

3. Dissolve coffee granules in rum. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour, ground coffee, vanilla, molasses and rum mixture. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over ganache in pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.

4. Bake at 350° for 1-1 1/4 hours or until center is almost set. Let stand for 5 minutes. Combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla; spread over top of cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

5. Remove sides of pan. Just before serving, arrange the garnishes over the top.

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BIG BATCH

Butter Pecan Cheesecake

Fall always makes me yearn for this pecan cheesecake, but it’s delicious any time of the year. You’ll want to put it on your list of favorite desserts.

—LAURA SYLVESTER MECHANICSVILLE, VA



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 70 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans

1/3 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

FILLING

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup finely chopped pecans

1. In a large bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar and butter; set aside 1/3 cup for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan.

2. Place springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, vanilla and butter flavoring. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in pecans. Pour into crust; sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

4. Bake at 325° for 70-80 minutes or until center is almost set. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.

“Definitely a 5-star recipe. I shared it with my neighbors and they all called to rave about it.”

—LAZYDAYSL FROM TASTEOFHOME.COM

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Lovely Lemon Cheesecake

Listen for the oohs and ahhs when you present this luxurious cheesecake. The lemon flavor gives it a bright and tangy flair.

—MARGARET ALLEN ABINGDON, VA



PREP: 25 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 70 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 14  SERVINGS


3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

2 tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

FILLING

5 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 2/3 cups sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

Thin lemon slices, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place a greased 10-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.

2. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto bottom of prepared pan; refrigerate while preparing filling.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and salt until smooth. Beat in lemon juice and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

4. Bake 70-80 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides of pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.

5. Remove rim from pan. If desired, top cheesecake with lemon slices.

Maple-Chestnut Cheesecake

There are so many delightful flavors that perfectly complement each other in this rich, impressive cheesecake. The hint of cinnamon in the crust goes wonderfully well with the maple-brown sugar filling. The homemade maple-glazed chestnuts just take it over the top.

TASTE OF HOME TEST KITCHEN



PREP: 30 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 1 3/4 HOURS ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/3 cup butter, melted

FILLING

1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

2/3 cup sour cream

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

CANDIED CHESTNUTS

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 package (7 ounces) whole cooked and peeled chestnuts, quartered

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 1/2 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325°.

3. For filling, in a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups maple syrup to a low boil; cook until reduced to about 1 cup. Cool to room temperature.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, flour, vanilla, salt and cooled syrup. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

5. Bake at 325° for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; loosen edges from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

6. For candied chestnuts, in a small bowl, combine sugar and salt. Add chestnuts; toss to coat. Spread evenly onto a greased 15x10x1-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 15-19 minutes or until golden brown, stirring once after 10 minutes. Immediately transfer to a waxed paper-lined baking sheet; cool completely.

7. Remove rim from pan. Serve cheesecake with chestnuts and maple syrup.

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BIG BATCH

Raspberry & White Chocolate Cheesecake

My mom makes this cheesecake a lot because it’s so good and really pretty. She calls it a “go-to recipe.” Someday I’ll try to make it myself.

—PEGGY ROOS MINNEAPOLIS, MN



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 1 3/4 HOURS + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1 package (10 ounces) frozen sweetened raspberries, thawed

1 tablespoon cornstarch

CRUST

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup cold butter

FILLING

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

12 ounces white baking chocolate, melted and cooled

1. In a small saucepan, mix raspberries and cornstarch until blended. Bring to a boil; cook and stir 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Press through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl; discard seeds. Cool completely.

2. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9x3-in. deep springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.

3. For crust, in a small bowl, mix flour and sugar. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 325°.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in cream and vanilla. Add the eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Stir in cooled chocolate. Pour half of the mixture over crust. Spread with half of the raspberry puree. Top with remaining batter. Drop remaining puree by tablespoonfuls over top. Cut batter with a knife to swirl.

5. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake 1 3/4-2 hours or until edge of cheesecake is set and golden. (Center will jiggle when moved.) Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen from pan with a knife; remove the foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove rim from pan.

Grasshopper Cheesecake

What do you get when you combine a popular mint-chocolate drink with a cheesecake? Pure delight! Garnish the top with piped whipped cream and cookie crumbs.

—MARIE RIZZIO INTERLOCHEN, MI



PREP: 25 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


35 chocolate wafers, finely crushed (about 1 2/3 cups)

1/4 cup butter, melted

1 tablespoon plus 3/4 cup sugar, divided

1 envelope unflavored gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup green creme de menthe

2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped

1. In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter and 1 tablespoon sugar. Press half of mixture onto the bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Refrigerate until chilled.

2. In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Heat over low heat, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Cool.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and the remaining sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in gelatin mixture. Stir in creme de menthe. Set aside 1/2 cup whipped cream for garnish. Fold remaining whipped cream into cream cheese mixture.

4. Pour half of the filling over crust. Top with remaining crumb mixture, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish. Pour remaining filling into pan; garnish with reserved whipped cream. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Chill until set. Remove sides of pan before slicing.

TO MAKE AHEAD Cheesecake can be made a few days in advance. Cover and refrigerate.

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Toffee Truffle Cheesecake

I put together two of my absolute favorite cheesecake recipes and added the delicious homemade caramel sauce for a cheesecake that’s now my favorite!

—HANNAH HALSTEAD BLAIR, NE



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 45 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS (3/4 CUP SAUCE)


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon baking cocoa

1/3 cup butter, melted

FILLING

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

2/3 cup sugar

8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk chocolate English toffee bits

SAUCE

1/4 cup butter, cubed

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tablespoon corn syrup

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons plus 1/2 cup milk chocolate English toffee bits, divided

1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, sugar and cocoa; stir in butter. Press onto bottom of a greased 9-in. springform pan.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in cooled chocolate, flour and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Fold in toffee bits. Pour over crust. Place pan on a baking sheet.

3. Bake 45-50 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled.

4. For sauce, melt butter in a small saucepan. Stir in brown sugar and corn syrup; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook and stir until sugar is completely dissolved, about 2 minutes. Stir in cream; return to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tablespoons toffee bits.

5. Remove rim from springform pan. Sprinkle remaining toffee bits over top of cheesecake. Warm the sauce if necessary; serve with cheesecake.

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BIG BATCH

Dulce de Leche Cheesecake

I’m originally from Paraguay, and dulce de leche reminds me of where I came from. If you can’t find it at your grocery store, try caramel ice cream topping instead. It tastes different, but this decadent dessert will still be amazing.

—SONIA LIPHAM RANBURNE, AL



PREP: 40 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 1 HOUR + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


1 3/4 cups crushed gingersnap cookies (about 35 cookies)

1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons butter, melted

FILLING

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup 2% milk

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 can (13.4 ounces) dulce de leche

TOPPINGS

1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 cup dulce de leche

3 tablespoons hot water

1. Preheat oven to 350°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan. In a large bowl, combine cookie crumbs, walnuts, sugar, cinnamon and butter. Press onto bottom and 2 in. up sides of prepared pan.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in milk, flour and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust.

3. Pour dulce de leche into a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at 50% power until softened. Drop dulce de leche by tablespoonfuls over batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.

4. Place the springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake 60-70 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.

5. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour.

6. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt chips; stir until smooth. Stir in chili powder. Spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.

7. In a small bowl, whisk dulce de leche and hot water until smooth; drizzle over cheesecake.

NOTE This recipe was tested with Nestle La Lechera dulce de leche; look for it in the international foods section. If using Eagle Brand dulce de leche (caramel flavored sauce), thicken according to package directions before using.

TOP TIP

Quick Crust

Use a flat-bottomed measuring cup or glass to firmly press the prepared crumb mixture onto the bottom (and up the sides if recipe directs) of a springform pan.

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Pumpkin Cranberry Cheesecake

One Thanksgiving, I was eating pumpkin pie and decided to have some cranberry sauce with it. I loved it so much that I came up with a cheesecake that combines both flavors.

—JOHN ABRAHAM BOCA RATON, FL



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 70 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3/4 cup ground pecans

2 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

CRANBERRY LAYER

1 package (12 ounces) fresh or frozen cranberries

1 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

4 teaspoons grated orange peel

FILLING

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin

3 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan. Place pan on a baking sheet.

2. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs, pecans and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and 2 in. up sides of the prepared pan. Bake 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven setting to 325°.

3. In a large saucepan, combine the cranberry layer ingredients. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium; cook, uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until berries pop and mixture is slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Gently spread into crust.

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, vanilla and cinnamon. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour over cranberry layer. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

5. Bake 70-80 minutes or until thecenter is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled. Remove rim from pan.

Raspberry Almond Cheesecake

My son requests this cheesecake for his birthday every year, and our school auction committee asks me to make it for the annual auction. It’s definitely one of my best recipes.

—DIANE SCHUMANN FREDONIA, WI



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 65 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 14 SERVINGS


2 cups vanilla wafers (about 60 wafers)

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar

FILLING

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon Triple Sec

1 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup seedless raspberry spreadable fruit

1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract

TOPPING

2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1. Place a greased 10-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan. In a small bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, butter and sugar. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the Triple Sec, extract and salt. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.

3. Remove 1 cup batter to a small bowl; stir in the spreadable fruit and extract until well-blended. Pour plain batter over crust. Drop raspberry batter by tablespoons over plain batter; spread evenly. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

4. Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until almost set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Let stand for 5 minutes.

5. Combine all the topping ingredients; spread over top of the cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.

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Marbled Cappuccino Fudge Cheesecake

I came up with this recipe because I love the frozen cappuccino drinks at coffee shops and wanted a cheesecake with the same goodness. If you try it, don’t hold back on the topping. It’s the best part!

—BECKY MCCLAFLIN BLANCHARD, OK



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 70 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (about 8 whole crackers)

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

FILLING

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

3 tablespoons double mocha cappuccino mix

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

2/3 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed

CAPPUCCINO CREAM TOPPING

1 cup heavy whipping cream

2 tablespoons double mocha cappuccino mix

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Chocolate curls, optional

1. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.

2. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 7-9 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the cream, cappuccino mix, flour and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour half of batter into crust. Drizzle with 1/3 cup fudge topping. Repeat layers. Cut through batter with a knife to swirl fudge topping. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

4. Bake at 325° for 70-80 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool for 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.

5. For topping, in a small bowl, beat cream until it begins to thicken. Add cappuccino mix and confectioners’ sugar; beat until soft peaks form. Spread over cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired.

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BIG BATCH

Coconut Cheesecake & Rhubarb Compote

I took my daughter’s love of cheesecake plus my mom’s love of coconut and rhubarb and ran with it. Try it with a smidge of chocolate sauce, too.

—WENDY RUSCH TREGO, WI



PREP: 55 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 1 HOUR 20 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS (3 1/2 CUPS COMPOTE)


14 whole graham crackers

1 cup flaked coconut, toasted

1/4 cup sugar

1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling

5 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 1/4 cups sour cream

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup flaked coconut

COMPOTE

6 cups chopped fresh rhubarb (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup orange juice or water

Additional toasted flaked coconut, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Place a greased 9-in. (3-in.-deep) springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.

2. Break graham crackers into quarters; place in a food processor. Add coconut and sugar; pulse until fine crumbs form. While pulsing, add melted butter just until blended. Press onto bottom and 1 1/2 in. up sides of prepared pan.

3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Fold in coconut. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

4. Bake 80-90 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer.

5. In a large saucepan, combine rhubarb, sugar and orange juice; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 7-9 minutes or until thickened. Cool slightly; transfer to a covered container. Refrigerate cheesecake and compote overnight, covering cheesecake when cooled completely.

6. Remove rim from springform pan. If desired, press additional coconut onto sides of cheesecake. Serve with compote, warmed if desired.

NOTE To toast coconut, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.

BIG BATCH

Apple Cobbler Cheesecake

I call this mixture of two classic desserts my “lucky” recipe. It won top honors when I entered the baking contest in my hometown’s annual apple festival.

—JAY HOOVER THE VILLAGES, FL



PREP: 50 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 1 1/4 HOURS + COOLING ✵ MAKES: 16 SERVINGS


2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

COBBLER LAYER

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons baking powder

2 medium tart apples, peeled and thinly sliced

1 jar (12 ounces) hot caramel ice cream topping, divided

CHEESECAKE LAYER

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup water

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Whipped cream

1. Preheat oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and 1 in. up sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Place pan on a 15x10x1-in. baking pan.

2. For cobbler layer, in a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk flour and baking powder; add to creamed mixture. Drop half of the dough by tablespoonfuls into crust. Top with half of the apple slices; drizzle with 1/3 cup caramel topping.

3. For cheesecake layer, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in flour and water. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over caramel. Repeat cobbler layer with remaining dough, apple and an additional 1/3 cup caramel topping.

4. Bake for 1 1/4-1 1/2 hours or until the cheesecake layer no longer jiggles when moved. Cool on a wire rack 30 minutes.

5. Serve warm or refrigerate overnight, covering when completely cooled, and serve cold. Loosen sides of cheesecake with a knife. Remove rim from pan. Warm remaining caramel topping. Serve with cheesecake; top with whipped cream.

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Maple-Nut Cheesecake

To vary this delicious cheesecake, add cherries to the top, or swirl raspberry jam throughout before it’s baked.

—WENDY PAFFENROTH PINE ISLAND, NY



PREP: 45 MIN. ✵ BAKE: 45 MIN. + CHILLING ✵ MAKES: 12 SERVINGS


3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup butter, melted

FILLING

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons maple flavoring

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1/8 teaspoon grated lemon peel

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

Melted chocolate, optional

1. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.

2. In a small bowl, mix the cracker crumbs, walnuts and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and 1 in. up sides of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

3. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the maple flavoring, extract and lemon peel. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

4. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.

5. Remove rim from the pan. If desired, drizzle the cheesecake with melted chocolate.

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