Cookies and Cream Cheesecake


this will undoubtedly be the first of many cheesecake recipes up on this blog. i don’t make them too often but when a special occasion like a birthday or a holiday comes around they are usually on the menu. there are certain people that i normally “treat” with a cheesecake as a birthday gift and this time it is my friend and co-worker, Katie. i sure hope she loves this cheesecake but i have a feeling she will.

cookies and cream cheesecake

cookies and cream cheesecake

when i try out a new recipe like this that i plan to give as a gift, i always make two of the item in question so that i can taste it and so if one comes out “prettier” than the other (which normally is the case) i can gift the more presentable of the two. so you can imagine i made a LOT of cheesecake batter a few days ago! it barely all fit in my stand mixer, to the point that when i had it turned on at the end, it threatened to slosh out the sides lol. i don’t recommend making a double batch at once like this unless you must as it is difficult to make sure you’ve fully incorporated the ingredients together along the way…. my spatula was nearly submerged, handle and all!

this cheesecake is meant to be a bit lighter than your traditional new york style cheesecake. and by that i don’t mean less calories (lol), just a bit lighter in texture. i wanted to emulate the experience of “cookies and cream” so i wanted to use heavy cream in the batter to accomplish this task and it worked out with flying colors, IMHO. there is also sour cream in the batter to give it a bit of a tang which i really enjoy in a cheesecake. crushed chocolate sandwich cookies are folded in at the end and suspend themselves in the batter to give a beautiful cross-section and texture to the final product. don’t crush them TOO fine, you do want some larger chunks in there.

oops. i cut this piece with the intent of taking a pic but i ate half of it before i remembered to do so... LOL

oops. i cut this piece with the intent of taking a pic but i ate half of it before i remembered to do so… LOL

of course there is a chocolate sandwich cookie crust for this one. as for decorations, you really don’t NEED anything on the top but i do so love to dress things up. i made a bittersweet chocolate ganache and striped this over the top. i then adorned the top edge with halved cookies and finally sprinkled a few more (finer) cookie crumbs over the whole thing.  i have included the crust, cheesecake and ganache recipes here so that you can make what i made but feel free to omit the fancy adornments if you prefer. it really does taste good enough all on it’s own 😀

this is adapted from a number of recipes i have used in the past and is my own “mash-up” of my favorite parts and techniques from each (one of the major contributors being “Cheesecake Factory Oreo Cheesecake” on Food.com although i changed quite a bit from this one so it’s not the same at all anymore lol)

cookie crust

cookie crust

Chocolate Sandwich Cookie Crust

ingredients:

  • 24 chocolate sandwich cookies (oreos or whatever brand you like)
  • 6 tbsp unsalted, melted butter
  • pinch of kosher salt

directions:

  • preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • pulse cookies in a food processor to make crumbs
  • add melted butter and continue to run machine until fully incorporated
  • dump into a greased spring-form pan
  • press evenly into the bottom and about halfway up the sides using your hand and/or a flat-bottomed glass
  • bake 5-8 minutes or until just set, it may not look quite down but take it out anyway
  • allow to cool while you prepare your filling and wrap the bottom with heavy duty aluminum foil (one piece going at least half way up the sides of the pan- this will prevent your crust from getting soggy in the water bath while the cheesecake bakes later on)
cookies and cream cheesecake!

cookies and cream cheesecake!

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake 

ingredients:

  • 6 oreos, coarsely chopped or crushed for the batter
  • 1 1/2 lbs cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 c heavy cream at room temperature
  • 3/4 c full-fat sour cream at room temperature
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 eggs at room temperature and beaten
  • 1 c superfine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp fine kosher or sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour

directions:

  • preheat oven to 275 degrees F
  • place a large cake pan or casserole dish filled about half-way up (about two inches or so) with hot water on the center shelf in the over- this is the water-bath in which you will bake the cheesecake in
  • IT IS VERY IMPORTANT ALL INGREDIENTS ARE AT ROOM TEMPERATURE!
  • don’t over-mix during any step (especially once eggs have been added) as you want to avoid incorporating too much air which may cause cracks in your cake as it bakes and cools
  • beat cream cheese until light and fluffy on low to medium speed in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment
  • add sugar gradually and continue beating until fully incorporated
  • add the heavy cream, mix to incorporate, scrape down the bowl
  • add the sour cream, mix to incorporate, scrape down the bowl
  • add in vanilla, mix to incorporate, scrape down the bowl
  • add beaten eggs gradually (about 1/4 at a time), allowing to fully incorporate before adding each subsequent addition. scrape down the bowl between additions
  • add the salt
  • add the flour, mix to incorporate, scrape down the bowl
  • turn off the mixer and mix in the crushed oreos
cheesecake batter

cheesecake batter

  • pour mixture into the prepared spring-form pan (over the crust) and smooth out the top
  • carefully place your cheesecake pan into the water-bath (you did remember to protect your crust by wrapping the pan in one solid sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil, right??)
  • bake for about 60 minutes without opening the oven door, or until the edges are just set and the middle is still a bit jiggly (check for this by turning on your oven light and looking inside; if you open the door you will let the steam out and compromise the temperature of the oven)
  • turn off the oven and allow to cool in the oven for one hour
  • remove from oven and run a thin knife between the cheesecake and the spring-form pan- this will prevent the cheesecake from sticking to the sides while it cools (which could also cause cracking)
mine did crack a bit. don't panic if yours does- it will still taste good! i filled in the crack with a piece from my "extra" cheesecake that i made. you really won't see a crack once the cake is decorated anyway!

mine did crack a bit. don’t panic if yours does- it will still taste good! i filled in the crack with a piece from my “extra” cheesecake that i made although you really won’t see a crack once the cake is decorated anyway!

  • allow to cool to room temperature
  • wrap tightly in plastic wrap (right in the pan) and refrigerate, at least overnight if not 24 hours
  • remove from spring-form pan carefully and decorate as desired. to store, refrigerate in a tightly sealed or wrapped container
bittersweet ganache

bittersweet ganache

Bittersweet Chocolate Ganache

this can be used while still hot as a topping for ice cream, etc or you can allow to fully cool and then whip up in a stand mixer to make ganache frosting! here, we let it slightly cool so that we can pipe or drizzle it onto the cheesecake. you could pour it right over the cheesecake and allow it to drip down the sides to give a full, beautiful coating to your cheesecake.

ingredients:

  • 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped, or chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream

directions:

  • pour heavy cream into a small saucepan and heat until simmering (don’t bring to a full boil or it could bubble out of the pan very quickly)
  • remove from heat and dump in chocolate
  • allow to sit about 5 minutes
  • stir with a spatula until incorporated and smooth. you could use a whisk but i recommend against it as you don’t really want to incorporate air into the ganache for this application
  • chill in the fridge for about 20 minutes
  • pour ganache into one corner of a zip-lock bag, using a large glass to hold the bag while you do so
easily fill a bag with ganache

easily fill a bag with ganache

  • snip the very tip of that corner off and drizzle the ganache in your desired fashion over the cheesecake
  • a tip for decorating: place your cake on it’s cake board or serving plate. place three strips of parchment, one at a diagonal under each edge of the cheesecake (not under the board- between the cake and the board), so that when you are done decorating, you can pull the parchment out and your cake board will be clean for presentation.
keep your cake board clean with parchment!

keep your cake board clean with parchment!

  • decorate with halved and/or crushed cookies immediately it you are using them- you want to do this while the ganache it still quite tacky
  • chill for a few hours to allow ganache to firm up more, if you can wait that long 🙂
mmm...

mmm…

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4 responses to “Cookies and Cream Cheesecake

  1. I’ll just bet you intended to take a photo first LOL. Can’t say I blame you for eating it first tho. And two at a time? Yeah, I believe you had to make the extra for “taste testing”.

    • lol. yea i couldn’t make one and give it away and never know what it tastes like! common now it’s cheesecake we’re talkin about here 🙂

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