Red Velvet Cheesecake

When it comes to red velvet, it seems to be a very popular flavor…and to the ones who love it, they don’t just love it.  They adore it.  Obsess over it.  Worship it.  Okay fine, so maybe not worship, but I’ve noticed that when the flavor is even mentioned around some people, I can almost see their knees buckle at just the thought of it.  I’m definitely a big fan of it, and since I’m also a big fan of cheesecake, it seemed like the best idea to combine the two.  When my family and I went out to dinner one night, we were talking to our server about cheesecakes, because the restaurant offered several different flavors.  When I mentioned that I was going to make a red velvet cheesecake the following week, he asked me if it was actually a red velvet cheesecake, or if it was the red velvet cake layered with cheesecake.  “No, it won’t be the layered cake and cheesecake, it’ll actually be a red velvet flavored cheesecake.”  He stared at me in awe, and asked me to let him know how it turned out, because he’d never had a red velvet flavored cheesecake before.  Neither had I, so the excitement of trying it out forced me to jump on this project.

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My neighbors across the street also LOVE red velvet and cheesecake.  So, I called to ask if I could bring some over.  “Of course!” she cried when I asked.  “Okay, we’ll be right over,” I told her.  My daughter got her shoes on and was squealing to go out the door to visit.  I literally cut the entire cheesecake in half and put it on a plate to carry over to their house.  When we showed up with such a big chunk. they fussed at me for bringing over so much, but they immediately pulled out some forks and started picking away at it like a bunch of vultures.  They loved it.  Oh yeah…and I loved it too.  😉

For the Crust:

25 Oreos

1/2 stick butter, melted

For the Filling:

5 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 eggs

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

8 oz. sour cream

2 tablespoons cocoa

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 tablespoon red food coloring

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place 25 of the cookies in a food processor or food chopper.  Cover and process until finely ground.  Add butter, mix well.  Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add sour cream, mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Add cocoa, vinegar, and food coloring to bowl and mix on low speed just until combined.  Pour over crust.  Wrap aluminum foil around edges of pan, so that all of the bottom and sides are completely covered (to make sure it’s completely covered, wrap the pan with two pieces of foil in opposite directions).  Place inside a larger pan, pour water to make a 1 inch water bath around the outside of springform pan (this will keep the cheesecake from cracking during the baking process).  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until cheesecake is puffed up, the edges are a light golden brown, but the center is still a little jiggly.  Remove from oven, cool on cooling rack for 1 hour.  Place in refrigerator and to let set overnight.  After set, spread cream cheese icing on top of cheesecake.

For the Icing:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 tablespoons butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Using electric mixer, beat all ingredients at medium speed until smooth.  Spread on top of cheesecake.

Mocha Cheesecake

If you’re thinking “Hey, is she making a lot of cheesecakes lately?” by looking at Facebook and some of the recent posts, the answer is Yes.  Actually, Heck Yes.  I’ve been a huge fan of cheesecakes throughout my life, and up until recently, I’d never made a REAL one from scratch.  I learn something new about the process from each cheesecake that’s made, and after I finish one, another idea pops into the ole noggin to try out another.  So, that means there will be quite a few more cheesecake flavors that I’ll be experimenting with, but will try to spread them out with the posts here and there so it’s not an overwhelming amount of cheesecakes showing up.  Not like that’s a bad thing, but if you’re not into cheesecake, it could pose a problem.

mocha

I found a recipe for a cappuccino cheesecake, but changed a few things around to make it mocha…and it was a success.  And you know it’s a success when a child (who thinks coffee is yucky) loves it and wants more.  I actually used my homemade coffee liquor in this recipe, and it was absolutely delicious.  Doing a double duty by handling this way.  I thinned the chocolate out on top by adding a little bit of vegetable oil after melting it, so that it would be a little softer when cutting through that glorious piece of deliciousness and not be too crunchy or overwhelming.

Mocha Cheesecake Recipe:

25 Oreo cookies, crushed into crumbs

1/2 stick butter, melted

5 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla

4 eggs

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

2 tablespoons dark chocolate cocoa

1 tablespoon instant coffee granules

3 tablespoons coffee liquor

8 oz. sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place 25 of the cookies in a food processor or food chopper.  Cover and process until finely ground.  Add butter, mix well.  Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour, cocoa, and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add sour cream, mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Stir together coffee granules and liquor until the granules dissolve.  Add to bowl and mix on low speed just until combined.  Pour over crust.  Wrap aluminum foil around edges of pan, so that all of the bottom and sides are completely covered (to make sure it’s completely covered, wrap the pan with two pieces of foil in opposite directions).  Place inside a larger pan, pour water to make a 1 inch water bath around the outside of springform pan (this will keep the cheesecake from cracking during the baking process).  Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, until cheesecake is puffed up, the edges are a light golden brown, but the center is still a little jiggly.  Remove from oven, cool on cooling rack for 1 hour.  Place in refrigerator and to let set overnight.  Melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.  Microwave in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each interval until completely melted.  Drizzle over cheesecake.  Store in refrigerator.

Oreo Cheesecake

There are so many things about my junior high school prom that I’ll never forget.  I’ve never been much of a fancy girl, but it was exciting to go hunting for a nice dress with my closest friends, and deciding on what jewelry we were going to wear, how our hair would be styled, who was going to do our make up, the fact that my mom was letting me borrow HER car instead of mine for all of us to ride in, the fact that I was going to attempt to walk in heels…  Oh, so many things about it that were fun, and styles were a little different back in 1997.

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Me and my BFF.  I’m on the left…for years, we got mistaken for sisters, even though you can see there’s quite a height difference.

The reason for this post goes along with going out to dinner that night.  It was a fancy restaurant that I had never been to, and although I can’t remember the entrée that I ordered, scarfing it down was the only option since I was a bottomless pit at that age, but it was dessert that got me.  When our waitress came back to the table and handed us the dessert menus, I was looking over a list of incredible desserts…and looked no further when I saw it.  Oreo Cheesecake.  My jaw dropped.  My eyes got as big as baseballs.  I asked the waitress, “Is this right?  Oreo Cheesecake?  As in, cheesecake with OREOS in it?”  She smiled at my reaction, and said, “It sure is.”  Even though I had stuffed myself silly on dinner, that didn’t matter.  All that mattered was getting my hands…or should I say my mouth…on that Oreo cheesecake.  I truly savored each bite, and literally at each bite, I would say, “Mmmm!  This is awesome!”  Luckily, they didn’t have to cart me out of the restaurant, although that may have been an option, considering how much food was in my belly.  In our group, there were five girls, and only one of us had a date.  He was a ladies’ man that evening.  He ordered some sort of chicken dish, and he didn’t finish all of his meal.  My other friend wanted to try a piece, so she was munching on his leftovers as we were walking out the door and into the parking lot, and she swallowed wrong.  She started to cough, and we asked her if she was okay.  In between coughs, she responded, “I’m choking on Adam’s chicken!” not even realizing what she had said…until we doubled over in laughter.  I started choking too, simply because I couldn’t breathe from laughing so hard, which made her laugh on top of coughing.  So there we were, all fancied up in our dresses, done-up hair, thick make up and high heels, laughing like a bunch of monkeys in the parking lot.  I was slapping the hood of my mom’s car from laughing so hard.  We thought it was a little funny.  To this day, we still randomly throw out that sentence and hysterically start laughing.

oreo cheesecake

Fast forward to present time.  There’s a family friendly restaurant in town that has a HUGE menu…included on that menu are some truly amazing desserts.  When you walk in to the restaurant, straight ahead and to the right consists of the actual restaurant.  To the left, there’s a display case of some of the most amazing pies and cheesecakes.  Every time we go in there, it’s like a supernatural power that pulls me to the left.  Almost like a magnet.  I stare at the case, drool over the items in it, make mental notes of things that I want to make.  When I get asked, “Can I get you anything?” I always want to say, “Yes please.  All of it.”  Among that incredible dessert case always includes an Oreo Cheesecake, and I have ordered it several times.  One of the greatest things I realized while eating this cheesecake that was made in my kitchen was the fact that it tasted just as delicious as the one at the restaurant.  I may have to start really practicing different cheesecake recipes now…

Oreo Cheesecake Recipe:

1 package Oreo cookies

1/2 stick butter, melted

4 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 oz. sour cream

4 eggs

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Place 25 of the cookies in a food processor or food chopper.  Cover and process until finely ground.  Add butter, mix well.  Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add sour cream, mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.  Break up remaining cookies into small pieces, gently stir the cookies into cream cheese batter.  Pour over crust.  Wrap aluminum foil around edges of pan, so that all of the bottom and sides are completely covered (to make sure it’s completely covered, wrap the pan with two pieces of foil in opposite directions).  Place inside a larger pan, pour water to make a 1 inch water bath around the outside of springform pan (this will keep the cheesecake from cracking during the baking process).  Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, until cheesecake is puffed up, the edges are a light golden brown, but the center is still a little jiggly.  Remove from oven, cool on cooling rack for 1 hour.  Place in refrigerator and to let set overnight.  Serve with whipped topping and mini Oreo cookies.  Store in refrigerator.

Mini Cherry Cheesecakes

My dad is a HUGE fan of pretty much anything cherry, but especially cherry cheesecake.  So when his birthday party came around this past year and I was deciding on menu items, this made the top of the dessert list.  Well, along with his birthday cake, too.  I don’t know what it is about bite size cheesecakes…maybe it’s because you feel like “Oh, these are so little, they’re not going to be that bad, I won’t feel guilty for eating one…”  And the next thing you know, you’ve eaten six of them, and trying to reason with yourself that you only ate six of them, they’re so little.  They don’t have THAT many calories, do they?!

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These little guys are SO cute…but not too cute to eat!  They were gobbled down before, during, and after the party.  When I made these, a couple of utensils made the process much easier than usual.  A wood tart tamper is perfect for pressing the crust in the bottom of the pan, and the mini scoop worked out wonderfully when distributing the cheesecake batter as well.  If you don’t like cherries as a topping, feel free to use whipped topping, chocolate, caramel, nuts, etc.  In fact, do them with different toppings to give your guests options to choose from!

Mini Cherry Cheesecake Recipe:

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup white sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

2 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 can cherry pie filling (or other topping of your choice)

Combine first three ingredients, and drop 1 teaspoon of crumb mixture into lined mini muffin pan (this batch makes 48).  Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with electric mixer until smooth.  Add remaining ingredients, beat until smooth.  Using mini ice cream scoop, distribute batter evenly between liners in pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes.  Cool completely, top with pie filling, store in refrigerator.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Caramel Sauce

Okay, I’ll be honest here, I get excited easily.  A lot.  Especially when it comes to making a new recipe that sounds totally awesome…and that was the case with this particular dessert.  I’m a huge fan of cheesecake, and this delightful recipe that would be so perfect for Thanksgiving got me all riled up, so I had to test it out before the big Turkey Day to make sure it actually is as wonderful as it sounds.  It most definitely is.

I started doing some research and found several different pumpkin cheesecake recipes.  I came across three different recipes that I liked, but did some tweaking of my own to create this masterpiece.  Okay fine, so maybe it’s not a masterpiece, but it’s pretty freakin’ awesome if you ask me.  While the cheesecake was baking, the thought of caramel sauce crossed my mind as well, so I found a recipe for that.  Considering I was making a trial cheesecake before Thanksgiving and then another one several days later, having a good amount of homemade caramel sauce in the fridge sounded like a fantastic idea…so I made some…and VERY glad we used this instead of the storebought kind.  Top this off with some whipped topping?  Holy cow.  My husband even went back for a second piece, and that rarely happens.

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe:

For the crust:

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs

3 tablespoons light brown sugar

1 stick melted salted butter

Filling:

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 (15 oz.) can pureed pumpkin

3 eggs, plus 1 egg yolk

1/4 cup sour cream

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, combine crumbs and sugar, add melted butter. Press down flat into a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.  Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar and the spices. Add flour and vanilla. Beat together until well combined.  Pour into crust. Wrap pan with two sheets of aluminum foil that are perpendicular, to keep water from seeping into pan during the baking process.  Place springform pan inside a larger pan, then fill the space in between the two pans with about 1 inch of water (this helps create moisture in the oven during the baking process to prevent cheesecake from cracking).  Spread out evenly and place in oven for 75-90 minutes. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Caramel Sauce Recipe:

3/4 cup butter

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons water

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup evaporated milk

1 tablespoon vanilla

Combine butter, brown sugar, water, and salt in a medium sauce pan, over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Bring to boil for 3 to 5 minutes depending upon thickness desired.  Remove from heat and stir in evaporated milk and vanilla.  Store in refrigerator.

Tiramisu Cheesecake

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband’s family is a bunch of tiramisu junkies.  If you want to see several of them drool at the mention of food, just say the word around them.  Sometimes it’s just fun to say.  I actually made this for our 5th anniversary…the timing was perfect.  The hubster loved it, and his mom and aunt were staying with our daughter while we went out of town for a weekend away, so they were able to enjoy it as well.  Oh, and me too, of course.

I found the original recipe in this recipe book, and I loved how the cheesecake is layered with Nilla wafers.  Since crunchy wafers in cheesecake really didn’t sound all that tempting, I decided to dip them in coffee before layering them in the cheesecake.  The consistency was perfect.  Another successful experiment!

Recipe:

1 box Nilla wafers

1 small cup strong brewed coffee

3 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1 tablespoon hot water

4 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

8 oz. sour cream

4 eggs

8 oz. Cool Whip

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line a 9×13 inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan.  Dip half of wafers in cup of coffee, then layer on bottom of pan.  Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add sour cream, mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.  Dissolve coffee granules in hot water, remove 3 1/2 cups of the batter, place in a medium bowl.  Stir in dissolved coffee.  Pour coffee-flavored batter over wafers in baking pan.  Layer remaining wafers over batter, dipping in coffee before placing in pan.  Pour remaining plain batter over wafers.  Bake 50-60 minutes or until center is almost set.  Cool, then refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.  Lift cheesecake from pan, using foil handles.  Spread with Cool Whip, sprinkle with cocoa.  Store in refrigerator.

Like this?  Try these!

Tiramisu Cupcakes

Mocha Cake

Layered Chocolate Cake and Cheesecake

White Chocolate Caramel Latte Cupcakes

Layered Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Cheesecake

Well, I finally made it over to the Cheesecake Factory when we were in Charlotte over the holiday weekend visiting family.  I’ve drooled over their menu for months now, and my mother-in-law and I were talking about how we wanted to go by there while we were visiting.  They have such a large menu with so many different kinds of cheesecake to choose from, that it seemed like I took one look at all of the cheesecakes in the display case and said, “Yes please, I’ll take all of them.”  Although, if I were to do that, I’d probably go into debt and gain thirty pounds.  It just may be well worth it.

The cheesecake that I got was what inspired me to come up with this recipe.  It was layered red velvet cake with cheesecake, and it was absolutely delightful.  I ate about 3/4 of the piece in the car on the way home, then polished off the rest of it once we got back to the house.  Topped it off with a glass of red wine.  They probably don’t go together, but I didn’t care…and it was a good night.

When I made this, I was a little skeptical with the end result.  I’ve only made a handful of cheesecake recipes before this, so I was worried that it wasn’t cooked enough…but it was PERFECT.  My parents are visiting, and I asked them if they wanted a piece of the cake.  My mom answered “Yes!” immediately, and my dad seemed like he felt guilty to eat anything really sweet.  But, I did ask him to take a bite, brought him a forkful of cake and stuffed it in his mouth.  “Holy crap!” he said with a mouthful of food once he started chewing.  I had to fight off the urge to cut another piece…which is exactly why I’ve got to get that thing out of the house.

Cake Recipe:

1 box Duncan Hines dark chocolate fudge cake mix

1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix

8 oz. sour cream

4 eggs

1 cup oil

1/2 cup water

Combine all ingredients and beat at medium speed with electric mixer for 3-4 minutes.  Distribute cake batter evenly between two greased 10 inch round cake pans (or sprayed).  Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 25 minutes.  Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, then turn out on cooling racks and cool completely.

Chocolate Cheesecake Recipe:

4 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled

4 eggs

Combine first four ingredients and beat well with electric mixer on medium speed until mixture is smooth.  Add melted chocolate until blended.  Add one egg at a time on low speed, beating just until blended.  Line 10 inch round cake pan with foil, spoon mixture into pan.  Put one pan with water on rack below cheesecake in oven while baking, this will help prevent cheesecake from cracking.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes, until center is almost set.  Remove from oven and cool completely on cooling rack.

Icing Recipe:

1 lb. confectioners sugar

1 stick butter, softened

1/3 cup water

1/2 cup baking cocoa

1 can Duncan Hines cream cheese icing

Combine all ingredients at beat at medium speed with electric mixer (I use a standing mixer) for 5-7 minutes.

When all layers have cooled completely, put one layer of chocolate cake on the bottom.  Using a cake lifter, slide under cheesecake and transfer on top of bottom cake layer.  Then, put second layer of cake on top of cheesecake layer.  Cover with icing and store in refrigerator in airtight container.  Set for a minimum of 4 hours before serving.

Like this?  Try these!

Chocolate Cheesecake Cupcakes

Candy Bar Cheesecake Brownie

Mini Oreo Cheesecakes