Monday, January 31, 2011
In case you haven't noticed, we LOVE cheesecake. This version is fun because you bake it in a 13x9-inch pan--which makes it easy to serve a large group. Bart made this for us as a special dessert for Sunday dinner--to celebrate my release from the primary presidency!
By the way--don't even think about trying this (or any) cheesecake the day you bake it! Cheesecake must be allowed to "ripen" at least for one full day in the fridge before serving. That's what makes cheesecake such a great dessert for a special dinner--you make it ahead so you don't have any last minute concerns with dessert!
1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) Oreo Cookies, divided
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup sour cream (at room temperature)
4 eggs (at room temperature)
8 ounces semisweet chocolate
6 ounces heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
HEAT oven to 325ºF.
LINE 13x9-inch pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides. Process 30 cookies in food processor until finely ground. Add butter; mix well. Press onto bottom of pan.
BEAT cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add sour cream; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each just until blended. Chop remaining cookies; stir 1-1/2 cups into batter. Pour over crust; top with remaining chopped cookies. (Note: if you're planning on adding a ganache topping, don't add chopped cookies to the top--just stir them all into the batter.)
BAKE 45 min. or until center is almost set (begin checking at about 35 minutes to make sure cheesecake does not overbake). [Note: I recommend baking the cheesecake in a waterbath. Place 13x9-inch pan in a larger pan (if using a springform pan wrap the outside in 2 layers of aluminum foil to prevent water from getting into pan). While pans are on the oven rack, carefully pour hot water into outside pan until it comes up at least 1 inch--I try to get the water at least as high as the cheesecake level if possible.]
Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.
Topping: Combine chocolate and cream in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave until chocolate has softened (about 1-2 minutes on medium power). Stir. Stir in vanilla. Pour over cooled cheesecake. Return cheesecake to fridge to allow topping to set.
Use foil handles to lift cheesecake from pan before cutting to serve.
How to Bake in Springform Pan
Substitute 9-inch springform pan for the 13x9-inch pan. Do not line pan with foil. Prepare cheesecake as directed, increasing the baking time to 1 hour or until center is almost set (baking in a waterbath--remembering to wrap outside of pan with a double layer of aluminum foil to prevent water from getting into pan). Run small knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool completely. Refrigerate as directed. (Note: If using a dark nonstick 9-inch springform pan, reduce oven temperature to 300°F.)