Cheesecakes.  Oh God Yes, Cheesecakes!

strawberry cheesecake

Some friends have been asking for copies of my cheesecake recipes.  I needed more content for this website.  Bingo!  A match made in heaven.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Crust:

1 package (eight crackers) graham crackers, ground to fine powder
¼ cup Splenda
¼ cup melted butter

Crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and Splenda together until crumbly. Put into bottom of 10” spring form pan.


Filling:

2 pounds fresh strawberries
3 8 oz. Packages cream cheese
4 packages diet strawberry Jello or generic equivalent (it must be diet Jello- regular Jello won't work in this recipe)
½ cup Splenda
1 TBS vanilla flavor
1 cup boiling water

Filling: Hull strawberries. Using a stick blender, blender or food processor, process the fruit until smooth. Stir in Splenda and vanilla flavor.

Microwave cream cheese for about a minute until it is soft. Add to strawberry mixture, and mix thoroughly.

Pour the boiling water over the Jello. Stir the mixture until the Jello is dissolved. Add to strawberry mixture, and mix thoroughly.

Pour filling over crust. Refrigerate until firm.

Topping:

1 small tub Cool Whip or equivalent
1 pound strawberries, sliced
1/2 bag chocolate chips, melted

Spread the entire tub of Cool Whip over the cheesecake. Arrange the sliced strawberries in a circular pattern.

Dip a spoon in the melted chocolate and drizzle it over the strawberries.

Refrigerate for an hour or two, until the chocolate is set.

The above recipe can be adapted for other fruit.  Just be sure the Jello flavor is the same as the fruit you're using.  I recommend either 4 cups or 2 pounds of each kind of fruit for the filling. Some other fruits I have tried:

canned peaches
canned mandarin oranges
blueberries
blackberries or raspberries (use a sieve to sift out the seeds)

Fruits that won't work for this cheesecake:

apples (too much pulp)
cherries (too much pulp)
bananas (they will make it turn brown)


(Un)Key Lime Pie Cheesecake


Crust:

1 package (eight crackers) graham crackers, ground to fine powder
¼ cup Splenda
¼ cup melted butter

Crust: Mix graham cracker crumbs, margarine and Splenda together until crumbly. Put into bottom of 10” spring form pan.

Filling:

3/4 cup lime juice
3 1/4 cups water
3 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese, softened
3 boxes diet lime Jello
1/2 cup Splenda
1 TBS vanilla
1/2 cup boiling water

Mix the lime juice and water with the softened cream cheese, using a stick blender.  Add Splenda and vanilla.

Pour the boiling water over the Jello.  Stir until the Jello is dissolved.  Pour into cream cheese mixture, mixing well with a stick blender.

Pour cheesecake filling into crust.  Chill until firm. 

Topping:

1 small container Cool Whip

Spread entire container of Cool Whip over the top, and serve.






Blue Owl Turtle Pecan Caramel Chocolate Cheesecake

This is from the Blue Owl restaurant in Kimmswick, MO.  The woman who runs the restaurant used to bake and sell cookies at the South County Art Association meetings, and a lot of the people there called her Cookie Mary.

This is not for sissies! Don't make this if you're chicken.  And serve this responsibly: use small slices.  This cheesecake is so rich that most people can't eat thick slices.

Crust:

4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ sticks (12 TBS) melted butter

Filling:

1 (14 ounce) bag vanilla caramels
1 (5 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted (see note)
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chocolate chips, melted

Topping:

1/2 cup melted chocolate chips
3 tablespoons evaporated milk

Crust: Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter; press mixture on the bottom and sides of a buttered 10-inch spring (spring form) pan (2 inches deep). Bake in preheated 350 degree F oven 10 to 15 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Filling: In heavy saucepan, melt the caramels with evaporated milk over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. (If desired, dip a few pecans into caramel mixture and set aside to use later as a garnish.) Pour caramel mixture over cooled crust; top with toasted pecans.

Combine cream cheese and sugar, mixing on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. Blend in melted chocolate. Pour mixture over pecans and caramel in crust, starting at outer edge.

Bake in a 350 degree F oven 1 hour and 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges begin to crack. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature for 30 to 40 minutes. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan and loosen cheesecake with spatula.

Topping: Melt chocolate chips on medium heat in microwave. Add evaporated milk (. Stir until mixture is smooth.

Spread chocolate topping over chilled cheesecake. Garnish with dollops of whipped cream and pecan halves dipped in caramel mixture, if desired.

To toast pecans: Put 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in a 9-inch pie plate. Microwave until melted. Stir in 1 cup pecans, tossing to coat. Microwave on HIGH 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes.

Substitutions:

Really?  You're trying to make this cheesecake and save some money?  Well all right, but it won't be as good as the real thing.

Evaporated milk is a bit pricey. As a substitute, use 2/3 cup nonfat dry milk and ½ cup water. This will make the equivalent of 8 ounces of evaporated milk, which will be more than enough for this recipe.

18 TBS cocoa (1 1/8 cups), 18 TBS sugar (1 1/8 cups), and 6 TBS of melted butter can be used for the 1 cup of chocolate chips for the filling.

9 TBS cocoa, 9 TBS sugar, and 3 TBS butter can be used for the ½ cup of chocolate chips for the topping.