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Cheesecake

Servings: One Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:

1½ cups finely crushed graham crackers or vanilla wafers

¼ cups of sugar or Splenda

½ cup (1 stick) butter

1 egg yolk (beaten)

¼ teaspoon vanilla

¼ teaspoon of pure vanilla powder (optional Make sure it is Cooks Pure Vanilla powder)

Filling:

16 ounces softened cream cheese

1 cup of sour cream

3 tablespoons cornstarch

1 cup sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) butter

½ teaspoon of vanilla

1 vanilla pod (beans removed) or pure vanilla powder

Fruit jam, or chopped candy (i.e. Peanut Butter cup, butterfinger, etc.)

Topping (1):

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

3 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

8 ounces of one-third less fat reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

4 ounces white chocolate (melted)

Topping (2):

1 cup of heavy whipping cream

2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar

1 vanilla pod

Directions

Crust:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 9 or 10 inch spring form pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray.

Mix the graham crackers with ¼ cup sugar

Add the egg yolk, vanilla and melted butter, in that order.

Press the mixture into the pan, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes (or until the edges are slightly brown).

Remove and let cool.

Filling:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cream cheese, sour cream, cornstarch and sugar, mixing until sugar dissolves

Add butter, vanilla, and beans from one vanilla pod, or vanilla powder. Blend until smooth.

Spread on crust.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, cool for at least 1 hour.

Add chopped candy or a little of chopped fresh fruit mixed with ¼ of a can of pie filling (optional)

Topping (1):

In a cold mixing bowl, beat 1 cup heavy whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add powdered sugar, and continue beating. Place the mixture into another bowl and put into the refrigerator. Without washing the first bowl, beat the 1/3 less fat softened cream cheese in it until fluffy. Add the white chocolate, and beat until smooth. Fold in the whipped cream from the refrigerator, place back in the fridge for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Spread the mixture on top of the cooled cream cheese cake in the springform pan. If you want, you may add chopped candy (optional). Put in the refrigerator and let stand for 1 hour.

Topping (2):

In a cold bowl, beat 1 cup of whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add 2 Tablespoons of powdered sugar, and beans from one vanilla pod, beating until stiff peaks form. Spread whipped cream on top. Refrigerate for several hours (at least 3 or 4 or overnight) before serving.

Hint:

Hints: Most people seem to like the Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with no candy or fruit put into the cheesecake, but they like the pie filling and fresh fruit spooned on it just before serving (I like to combine raspberry and strawberry pie fillings and fresh fruit together and spoon it on top. (I use the extra fruit mixture for another pie, as a topping for Vanilla Ice Cream Sundae or as a topping for waffles.) Some like the Peanut Butter cup/buttercup cheese cake, sooooooo…. I add ½ cup of peanut butter to the 1st cream cheese mixture that gets cooked. Then I add a little of the chopped candy to that part of the cheesecake and then add some on top of the whipped cream/white chocolate layer and I omit the last layer. NOTE: Vanilla pod is expensive ($7.00 to $20.00 in the local stores). That is why I use the Cook’s pure vanilla powder. If you use the Vanilla Pod, you get 1 large stick in a bottle. Cut it in half and use one ½ in the first layer and ½ on the top layer.