A few weeks back while over the Easter break, I went to go visit my family in Kelowna. My Mom and I were out shopping and I saw something that I instantly went "Yesss please!!!". Hershey's Cookies 'N' Creme baking pieces, those were a game changer. When we got back to my parents we right away made cookies with them, and I decided a bag was coming home with me.
I have been deciding what I wanted to make with them, that's when a sweet friend of mine went to Montana and asked if I needed anything. I said the few little snacks I love and can't get here, but then she mentioned a 3 pound block of cream cheese for around 7$... of coarse I said yes! You guys that's equivalent to 6 - 8 ounce packages for 7$, just one up here is between 2.50$ (on sale) and 4$. After that I knew what I was going to make, and that was cheesecake!
Cookies and Cream Cheesecake
3 - 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup of white sugar
3/4 cup of sour cream
3 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon of cornstarch
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 - 9 ounce package of Hershey's Cookies 'N' Creme baking pieces
1 cup of chocolate cookie crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons of melted salted butter
1 1/2 tablespoons of white sugar
for the ganache:
8 ounces of heavy whipping cream
4 ounces of dark chocolate
4 ounces of milk chocolate
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 10 inch springform pan with butter or spray cooking oil. Set aside.
In a bowl add the cookie crumbs, melted butter, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Mix together until everything is wet and sand like. Press into the bottom of the springform pan and set aside.
In the bowl of your stand mixer add the cream cheese. Mix on a medium high to whip it for 2 minutes. Add the sugar and continue to mix for 3 to 4 minutes or until the sugar is mostly dissolved. Add the sour cream and mix in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add eggs one at a time on a low speed making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla and cornstarch and mix on a medium high for 2 minutes.
Remove the bowl from your stand mixer, by hand fold in the cookies and cream pieces. Pour the batter on top of the crust in the springform pan. Bang the pan on top of the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Wrap the outside of the pan tightly with tinfoil. Place into a larger deep pan and fill it up with water until it reaches half way up the side of the springform pan.
Bake in the oven for 60 to 90 minutes. You don't want it to brown, you want the edges of the cake to be puffy and the center just set, and reads 150F on an instant read thermometer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 2 hours on the countertop. Then over and place in the fridge over night or for 4 hours.
Once chilled time is done, run a decorating spatula along the edges of the cake and release the springform pan from the cake. Place the cake on top of a cooling rack with a baking sheet underneath.
Heat the heavy whipping cream up until hot, not boiling, but hot. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a metal bowl. Pour hot cream on top and let sit for 5 minutes. Slowly with a whisk or spoon, in the center of the bowl gently stir the melted chocolate and milk together. Let cool for 10 minutes.
Pour the cooled ganache over top of the whole cake. You can add some whipped cream swirls on top and some more cookies crumbs, really you can decorate it however you like.
Cut up and eat away!
I have only ever made a proper cheesecake I think once before this. I usually just make no bakes, but I really wanted to make a real bake one. So I did lot's of research on how to make sure the tops don't crack, and what makes it creamy and not dry. The key to a good cheesecake is to not over cook it. You don't ever want the top to be browning, that causes cracking and drying out. Adding a bit of cornstarch or flour into the batter also helps with the cracking. Adding one egg yolk brings a bit more creaminess to the batter as well.
When you cut into the cake, a great way to make sure not to make a mess and to have the perfect slice, is to heat the knife before hand and wipe the knife off in between each cut.
Use the highest fat and best quality ingredients you can, it makes all the difference in the world for creaminess and quality.
I am totally justifying eating this for breakfast. I has eggs and cheese, it counts right?
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