Friday, March 11, 2011

Cheesecake: Fresh & Fool-Proof


What a *glorious* day to make my easy and hassle-free CHEESECAAAAAKE!! Mmmmmmm!! What better way to gain a few extra pounds!! Eeerrr... Okay, perhaps that is not the best way to promote this recipe... More for me in the end, right?!?! Mbuahahahaa!! Oh... wait... I meant more cheesecake, not more pounds. Okay... maybe I'll share... That way you guys can get fat with me. 

I will start by saying that I *LOVE* cheesecake but I *hate* the uncertainty that baked cheesecakes come with. You never know how it will turn out until it's finished!! PLUS, they crack and tough 'skins' form on top of it and sometimes it's mushy in the middle and not dense and rich and it totally ruins your day and wastes ingredients!! Whew!! Don't get me wrong, when I go to restaurants or pastry shops or cafes- I don't hesitate in purchasing one and enjoying it til the last crumb!! I would attempt to perfect the art of cheesecake-making, were I not broke all the time... HEY!! Ingredients are expensive!! Especially in Italy!! Humph!! Try $7 for less than 8oz of cream cheese!! Yeah, for real!! I don't joke about the exaggerated prices the Italians put on basic, delicious ingredients that I cannot live without!! We are not even going to mention the fact that I can't get my hands on crisco. This has ruined my cookie and tortilla-making life. Humph!! 

Okay, so, before I reveal my easy, scrumptious, stress-free recipe for no-bake-fresh-fool-proof-cheesecake- I'll have you know that there are several variations that you could do easily using the same filling (minus the lemon juice). This just so happens to be a fresh, tangy twist on a classic. I used pulverized (crushed/pureed/crumbled- whatever) lemon cookies for the crust. No baking involved whatsoever. You could substitute the lemon cookies for oreos and get a delicious, decadent oreo cheesecake!! Just replace the lemon cookies with oreos in the recipe below for both the crust and topping (photo at the bottom of the page).

Without further ado and no more guilding the lillie... I give you the ONE, the ONLY Foooooooool Proooooof Cheeeeeeeesecaaaaaaake!!! ((waaaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa waaaaaaaa *crowds cheering* waaaaaaaaa waaaaaaaaaa)) 

  • 16 ounces, weight Lemon Flavored Cookies
  • ½ cups Butter Or Margarine Melted
  • 16 ounces, weight Cream Cheese
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 3 cups Whipped Cream
  • 1 cup Strawberries, Sliced (OPTIONAL)

*Note: I use sweetened whipping cream and whip it myself at home instead of store-bought or canned whipped cream. I, personally, prefer the taste and the texture. You could use store bought if you prefer. Also, you can decorate this cheesecake any way you like. I just so happen to like fresh strawberries with this, but it would definitely be delicious with chocolate or caramel or strawberry syrup… Possibilities are endless!
1. Crush the lemon cookies to get approximately 2 1/2 cups worth. Mix in melted butter and mold into a pie/cake dish (make sure you get some edges, too). Add more or less if needed, depending on the size of pan you use. Place in the freezer while making the filling (or for about 20 minutes).
2. With a hand-held mixer, cream the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice together. Add in the whipped cream and beat for about 3 minutes.
3. With a plastic spatula or spoon, spread the mix into the pie crust. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices if desired. Refrigerate for a minimum of 45 minutes before serving. Enjoy!