DENVER — Cheesecake is easier than you think. Just make sure the cream cheese is at room temp before you start!
30 chocolate cookie wafers or 9 whole chocolate graham crackers, finely crushed
1 ½ tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Stir until the crumbs are moistened and press the mixture with your fingers into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 10-inch quiche dish. Bake 10 minutes, remove it from the oven, and cool completely.
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
3 eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
Place oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, and flour on medium speed just until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until they are incorporated, and stir in vanilla.
Pour all but ½ cup of the filling into the quiche dish and set it aside. Add melted chocolate to the reserved filling and stir until it is completely blended. Spoon 7 to 8 small dollops of the chocolate mixture onto the cheesecake and use a knife to gently swirl it through the filling, taking care not to touch the bottom crust.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes until the edge begins to brown, remove it from the oven, and cool 10 minutes. Return it to the oven and bake 5 minutes more until the center is set. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, set it aside to cool, then chill 1 hour. Cover and chill several hours or overnight.
Holiday Garnish: Decorate the outer perimeter of the cheesecake with swirls of whipped heavy cream and sprinkle each swirl with crushed candy cane.
Yield: 10 servings
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