Friday, July 26, 2013

“Cookies 'N Cream Cheesecake” Recipe, Plus A “Cheesecake Martini” Cocktail

Warning! These words are adjectives that will provoke hunger! Sinful, delicious, smooth, creamy, divine, decadent, satisfying, and a little bit of heaven on earth. Have you figured out what I am describing yet?  Is your mouth watering just thinking about it? If you said “Cheesecake,” you are correct!  Smooth and rich, cheesecake is one of the most unforgettable desserts you can consume. Did you know that Tuesday, July 30th is called unofficially “National Cheesecake Day?” What is cheesecake, and why are we so obsessed with its taste?

Cheesecake is a sweet dessert consisting primarily of a mixture of soft, fresh cheese, eggs, and sugar. It is poured on a crust of cookies, graham crackers, pastry, or sponge cake. It can be baked or not, and may be flavored with a topping of fruit, whipped cream, nuts, and chocolate. Cheesecake can also be prepared in many flavors such as strawberry, pumpkin, key lime, lemon, or toffee. There are many different types of cheesecakes besides its flavor. You have the New York Style Cheesecake, which is the most popular. There is the French style, Philadelphia, Chicago, Pennsylvania Dutch, Vegan, and Lactose-free cheesecakes. What makes these cheesecakes different are the types of cheeses and ingredients that are used to create them. Savory cheesecakes are also made, often for hors d’oeuvres. In Italy, Ancient Roman style cheesecakes are made with honey, ricotta cheese, and flour. They are shaped into loaves not flat cakes. Italian-style cheesecakes sometimes contain mascarpone cheese, sugar, vanilla, and sometimes barley flakes. This type of cheesecake is drier than American styles. Small bits of candied fruit are also added. 

There are so many delicious cheesecakes that restaurants serve for desserts, but two special eateries come to mind when I think of cheesecakes. In Brooklyn, since the 1950’s, “Junior’s” has been famous for great food, but best of all is their cheesecake. They have since added more restaurants in New York City and in Connecticut. A fabulous dining experience and make sure to leave some room for their famous cheesecake. The other restaurant is called “The Cheesecake Factory”. Evelyn created her original cheesecake recipe and opened a small shop in the 1940’s in Detroit. In 1972, with their children grown, Evelyn and Oscar decided to move their cheesecake business to Los Angeles. The restaurant was an immediate success and over 30 years later and 170 locations, the rest is history as they say. 

I sometimes watch the TV sitcom called “The Golden Girls.” These four girls were a successful classic comedy and were hilarious. Every time they all had to talk about something or were depressed they all went into the kitchen, sat around the table and ate “Cheesecake.” It seems it was a comfort food that made them feel better. A bit of trivia, the girls consumed over 100 cheesecakes during the show’s 7-year run. In reality, Bea Arthur (who played Dorothy) hated cheesecake.

My recipe this week is called “Cookies ‘N Cream Cheesecake.” This is a favorite in my family and I hope it becomes one in yours. Treat yourself to a delicious serving of this rich and indulgent treat. A pure slice of heaven, that melts in your mouth! Also a fun cocktail to share with your adult friends called a “Cheesecake Martini”. . 

“Cookies 'N Cream Cheesecake

Chocolate Wafer Crust

9 inch spring form pan
25 chocolate wafers (crushed)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Pre-heat oven to 325°. Melt butter and mix with crushed chocolate wafers. Press into pie pan. Bake 8 minutes, and then cool.

Filling For Crust

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
4 eggs
20 Oreo cookies, broken into pieces

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 broken pieces of Oreo cookies. Pour over crust. Bake 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 cake with additional cookies, if desired.

“Cheesecake Martini”

0.75 fl oz Smirnoff Strawberry Vodka    
0.75 fl oz Smirnoff Vanilla Vodka      
1 splash Cranberry Juice

Fill shaker with ice. Add Strawberry Vodka, Vanilla Vodka, and cranberry juice. Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a berry of your choice.

Remember, Please Drink Responsibly!

Till Next Time……………………………….....

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