Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake

I haven't baked a cheesecake in awhile.  I've had 4 blocks of cream cheese sitting in my fridge for a couple of weeks (it was a good sale) and cheesecake is a good way to use them all at once.  This recipe is loosely based on a recipe that I came across on

I made so many changes though that it's not really the same recipe.  I just liked the idea of it so I used the recipe as a foundation.  The original recipe uses a 10 inch springform pan but all I had was a 9 inch springform pan so I had to make a parchment collar for my pan.  It's the first time I made one for a cheesecake and wasn't sure how it would work.  I thought for sure that the weight of the ingredients would collapse it. But it didn't.  In fact, even if all the ingredients had fit nicely into my 9 inch pan, I would still have wanted the parchment collor.  It peeled away so nicely after I unmolded the cheesecake.  It was just a really neat removal with no pieces sticking to the side of the pan for once.  I think I will use the parchment collar method from now on. Plus, in the past I've had the problem of a slight metal flavor in my cheesecake crust and with the collar, it doesn't happen.  My cheesecake and then the added chocolate topping went well over the top of the pan and the parchment collar kept it securely in place.  No spillover at all.  So I recommend using the collar next time you make any sort of cheesecake.  I simply used 2 long strips of parchment and kind of "glued" them into place using my pastry brush with some Crisco.  The parchment strips reach all the way to the bottom of the pan and rise about 2 inches above the rim of the pan. I then put Crisco on top of the paper as well as the bottom of my springform pan even though it has a non stick surface.  My layer of Crisco was very light.

As for the crust, I know plenty of recipes that use Oreo cookies in the crust and they usually use melted butter or added sugar.  First of all, Oreo cookies are so sweet on their own, I definitely do not think that extra sugar is needed.  Second, the filling in Oreos acts like a binder so I didn't think the melted butter was neccesary. The finely ground Oreos, by themselves, made the perfect crust.  At first they seemed a bit loose while pressing them in the pan but I just very gently pressed them into place and then slowly transferred the pan into the oven to bake the crust for 10 minutes. After baking the crust was more sturdy.   And because I had Crisco lightly coated parchment lining the pan, the crumbs stayed in place pretty well.  That was another good reason for the Crisco. I've always had a difficult time getting crumbs to make a nice wall up the side of a springform pan.  The Crisco again acted like a "glue" in attaching the crumbs to the side.

The cheesecake filling was very basic and easy to put together.  I usually always use my paddle attachment on my mixer to beat my ingredients but this time I used my whisk attachment.  I thought it mixed the ingredients a lot more thoroughly.  I think I will use the whisk attachment from now on when I make cheesecakes.  It seemed to be smoother with a lighter texture.  The flavor was wonderful.  I probably put a bit more vanilla in than the recipe states.  I usually don't measure.  I just pour.  I used a big blob of vanilla paste in it as well.  Love those little vanilla bean flecks!

After I poured half the cheesecake batter on top of the crust, I added an even layer of Oreo chunks. But for some reason, after cutting the cooled cheesecake, the middle seemed to not have many Oreo pieces.  Not sure what happened there. The edges had the majority of cookies...but it was still good!

I only had the hot cheesecake sitting on a wire rack to cool for about 15-20 minutes before I added the chocolate topping. Oh...maybe it was more like 30 minutes.  I made the chocolate topping and waited till it wasn't so hot before I poured it on top.  And to make things easier, I made my topping in the microwave using the defrost setting and stirring every 30-60 seconds. It didn't take too long.  I just threw the chips & whipping cream into a large Pyrex measuring cup and frequently stireed. You can of course use all semi sweet chips for the topping but I wanted mine a bit sweeter so I used a mixture of both semi sweet & milk.  Since my pan was only a 9 inch, my chocolate topping was very thick!!  You can either make less topping or use a bigger pan if you would prefer a thinner topping (I don't know why you'd want thinner but....).

I tented the whole warm cheesecake with it's topping with a big piece of foil and put it on a rack on my covered front porch to cool over night.  It was about 36 degrees last night.  It set up nicely and sliced very cleanly in the early afternoon. So I had it sitting for about 15 hours before slicing.

This is a very rich cheesecake so slice small pieces!  It's a great cheesecake and would be fun to play around with different combinations.  Maybe different Oreo flavors or maybe Nutter Butter sandwich cookies!  All sorts of possibilities.  Even though the recipe looks somewhat time consuming and/or complicated, it's not.  It pretty easy and VERY yummy and worth it!

Parchment collar.  VERY useful

Cookies & Cream Cheesecake
Based on this recipe from

2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (finely ground)
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups white sugar
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs (Big rough chunks)
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cups chocolate chips (I used 1/2 semi sweet & 1/2 milk choc)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.Firmly press the finely ground cookie mixture evenly onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually mix in 1 1/4 cups sugar, 1/3 cup whipping cream, flour, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Pour 1/2 of batter into prepared pan. Top with the 1 1/2 cups big cookie pieces; pour in remaining batter over the cookie chunks.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45-60 min until cheesecake seems set but a little loose in the middle.  Remove from oven and place on rack to cool.  Begin making chocolate topping.
4. Combine 3/4 cup whipping cream and chocolate chips in a saucepan; stir over low heat until chocolate melts, and then stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour mixture over cheesecake while still warm. Refrigerate until serving time.

No comments: