Friday, March 24, 2006

John's Birthday Cheesecake!

Cake
1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
3 large eggs
2/3 cup pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 tablespoons bourbon

crust
3/4 cup graham crackers
3/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted

For Crust
Preheat oven to 350 F.. Combine first 4 ingredients in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Stir in butter. Using your fingers spread mixture evenly over the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan. Bake until the crust is lightly browned and firm to the touch, about 10-15 minutes. Cool completely.

For filling
In a medium bowl beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time. In a food processor combine remaining 4 ingredients and pulse until nuts are finely chopped. Fold into the cream cheese mixture.

Scrape batter onto crust and smooth the top. Bake at 350 F. until the center just barely jiggles when tapped, about 45-55 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack before unmolding, at least 3 hours.

This recipe is based on the basic "Cheesecake Cockaigne" recipe in the Joy of Cooking. The experience of making this cheese cake has taught me that it's very easy to make up different kinds of cheesecake. All you have to do is start with 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, a cup of sugar, and 3 eggs and you can go any direction. And I didn't even make a topping for this one.

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