This is my second month participating in The Secret Recipe Club held by Amanda from Amanda's Cooking. If you didn't see my post from last month, each month members are assigned a participating food blogger secret santa style. We choose a recipe from their blog to make (keeping it secret), and everyone reveals their recipe and blogger on the same date. It has been a great way to meet different bloggers, and I think it is fun to see what someone else will pick from my blog.
The blog that I had this month was Katie from Betcha Can't Eat Just One. She has a great list of recipes and even began adapting some of her recipes to make them healthier while she was pregnant earlier this year. I had a hard time choosing between a couple of her recipes, but in the end, I decided on her cinnabun cheesecake. I have been working hard over the past month to study for my board exams and finishing something like that calls for some celebration. This cheesecake was a great way to do it! I still want to try her black bean brownies, so be looking for those in the future.
The cheesecake came together beautifully. I actually made it while I was at my parent's, so I had my dad, our resident cheesecake chef, as help. We weren't able to find any cinnamon cookies at the store, so we swapped them for cinnamon graham crackers. It was a little meticulous to spread the batter over each layer of crumbled cookies, but it was worth it to have little bits of the cinnamon mixture throughout the cheesecake. Mine turned into layers throughout the slice, and I liked the way it looked throughout the cheesecake. The graham crackers seemed to work just fine. I was a little worried that they might be more prone to be soggy than a cookie, but I did not notice that at all.
My only complaint is that from the side the cake seemed to sink a little bit. It was a still quite warm when I moved it from the oven to the refrigerator, so I am guessing that is the reason. Other than the aesthetics (my fault completely), we really enjoyed this recipe. Thanks Katie! I really enjoyed your blog!
Adapted from Betcha Can't Eat Just One and A Passion for Baking
For the crust:
1-1/2 cups cinnamon graham crackers, crushed
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
3 pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup coarsely crumbled cinnamon graham crackers
1 tsp. cinnamon mixed with 1/4 cup sugar
Caramel sundae topping
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. For the crust, mix the cookies, butter, and sugar together in a bowl and press into the bottom of the pan.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat the cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar, and whipping cream until smooth. Stop to scrape the bowl with a spatula often. Mix 3-4 minutes until very smooth. Mix in the eggs, flour, and vanilla and continue to beat until smooth for another 3 minutes.
Pour about a third of the filling on top of the prepared crust. Layer a handful of the crushed graham crackers and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar mixture. Repeat with another layer of filling and crackers. You may have to spoon the filling over the crackers and spread it carefully to cover the previous layer. Top with the last 1/3 of the filling and a final topping of crackers and cinnamon-sugar.
Bake 45-55 minutes or until the cheesecake only jiggles slightly in the middle when shook (I had to bake ours closer to an hour. Just keep checking on it and add a few minutes at a time). Do not take the cheesecake out of the oven. Turn the oven off and crack the door slightly. Allow the cake to cool in this manner for 1 hour. Remove and allow to cool further to room temperature. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.