Sunday, May 23, 2010

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

Did I mention I love cheesecake? Did I also mention I love Oreos? Well I love both, so what's better than combining the two and making a Cookies and Cream Cheesecake? I had a craving for cheesecake so I found this recipe on the Kraft recipes website. It is basically a New York cheesecake with bits of Oreo cookies. I should have expected it to be a bit too rich, seeing as my previous New York cheesecake, was too rich, but it was delicious nonetheless.

Another reason why I decided to make cheesecake was because if I bought 3 Philadelphia products, I could get a Philadelphia cookbook for free. It's called 'Simply Heaven', and it contains delicious recipes which all use Philadelphia cream cheese, as well as the new 'Cream for Cooking'. I am definitely going to try some of the recipes in the near future.

I bumped into a few troubles whilst making this cheesecake, but also solved a few that I had encountered previously. Firstly, if using Oreos, make sure to remove the white filling. Last time I didn't remove them and it was very difficult to crush. I also found out why my cheesecake mixtures were always lumpy - the cheese was not soft enough. I microwaved them for longer time and it worked wonderfully. Remember, for every 250 grams of cream cheese, microwave for 30 seconds on high. One problem was that I forgot to grease or line the base of the springform pan, so most of the crumbs stuck to the bottom, and the whole cake 'ripped' in two. I had to use cutters to cut a few circles out that were relatively presentable, but there was barely any crust.

Another thing, I baked this in a water bath, but that did not prevent cracking. The Oreo pieces seemed to protrude out the top, making little cracks which expand while cooling. If you really do want to use a water bath, place the tray on the lowest level of the oven, because no matter how tightly I wrap the springform pan, water seems to always leak in.

Did you see my amateurish attempt at a plate 'garnish'? Yeah, totally failed. Stay tuned.


Obtained here.

Makes 16 servings.

1 cup crushed Oreo cookies (about 12 cookies)
1 tablespoon (14 grams) butter or margarine, melted
4 pkg. (250 grams each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 eggs
20 Oreo cookies, quartered

1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C) if using a silver springform pan or 300°F (150°C) if using a dark nonstick springform pan. Mix crushed cookies and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch (22 cm) springform pan. Bake 10 minutes.

2. Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Gently stir in quartered cookies. Pour over crust.

3. Bake for 1 hour or until center is almost set. Run knife or metal spatula around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with additional cookies, if desired.

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