I realize anything with that long of a title falls into two categories … .1. It’s freakin’ awful or 2. It HAS to be delicious. So this last weekend I graduated from college (balloons let off and streamers flying) but it also happened to fall on the same weekend as the Cuming County Fair in West Point, NE….which is the location of the unofficial annual ‘Redding Family Reunion”.
After several days of pondering what to bring (it’s always a struggle….it’s an hour+ away and so to try to keep things cold or hot is always an interesting challenge)..I decided on meatballs and some sort of bars. I feel sometimes like I’ve shot myself in the foot by so much ‘posting’ of foodie stuff online. I feel a ton of pressure to always bring stuff that’s ‘mouf-epic’. You would think I would take the smart road and try out stuff and only bring the best…but OH CONTRARE…!! For whatever reason I usually bring new stuff that I’ve never tried before….crossing my fingers that it doesn’t blow up in my face. Part of the problem is I’m flying solo….I don’t have people to cook for in general…so it’s not till an event or catering gig that I can try stuff….I can’t test out a whole PAN of something by myself…unless I want the butt of an elephant.
Anyways…so I’m not a big cookie dough fan…but I am a cheesecake fan. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner…count me in. Thank goodness I don’t indulge that often…or I would have that elephant butt. I saw a picture of this recipe I believe on the pioneerwoman blog…that or browneyedbaker… (both great) and decided that it looked so amazing and just had to be attempted! (That and it can be served at room temperature after an initial chill…so I didn’t have to worry a bout packing ice for the trip)
The cookie dough ‘batter’ was really the easiest thing about this recipe…good thing I’ve never been a big fan… or I’d be throwing that together as a midnight snack by the spoonfulls on a regular basis! The recipe came in three seperate parts. It’s not difficult…but you will dirty a lot of dishes, and you do have to set the time out for it. The crust is just graham crackers and butter: I didn’t have parchment paper with me at the time….or I would have used that instead of tin foil (using a the paper or foil allows you to remove it from the pan to cool. This way it doesn’t bake for any longer inside the hot pan….and it’s just easier setting it on a cooling rack in the fridge or freezer).
Press down the crust in an 8×8 or my case a 9×9 square pan and bake for 6 minutes. In hindsight…I probably would have gone 7 min, you want it to be firm. Then you throw your creamcheese, sugar, egg, and vanilla mixture together, and spread it over the crust. The cookie dough topping is just brown sugar, a little flour, vanilla, butter, and chocolate chips. You work it with your hands till it combines and then crumble it over the top of the cheesecake mixture and lightly press it in. Also…after the fact, I would have used less of the cookie dough mixture…it was a little overpowering.
All said and done, throw it in the oven at 325 for about 25-30 minutes. Pull it out, remove it from the pan to a cooling rack for a few minutes..and since I was in a time crunch, I threw my cooling rack in the freezer to let it harden up quicker. They were super tastey…but really sweet! I love dessert, but I found myself dusting a little of the excess cookie dough off the top to get more cream cheese… and you don’t have to worry about eating the whole pan unless you have a serious sweet tooth problem… one square will probably do you right up! (ok…let’s not kid ourselves, maybe two)Definitely keeping this recipe…but also plan to make a few calculation changes to even it out the creamcheese and cookie dough more proportionally.
I still have yet to make an entire classic New York style Cheesecake…I’m afraid…that I wont’ share. Isn’t there like 275-350 calories in a piece of cheesecake???…and that doesn’t even count the chocolate ganache, caramel, and nuts I’d top it with turtle style… Like I need a whole cheesecake. (but I do).