Friday, September 23, 2011

Biscoff Cookie Cheesecake Squares

I love the internet. I mean, I can't even tell you the percentage of my recipes that are products of late nights on the internet. We all have our guilty pleasures, and one of mine is staying up late searching out the perfect recipe. Maybe it's online... maybe it's in a magazine... maybe it's in my head. Ok, it's never in my head because I'm dependent on instructions. Anyway, I found these cheesecakes at Tasty Kitchen over a year ago, and I knew I'd eventually get around to trying them. Eventually came when my friends Nathan and Julie invited me to watch football at their place. I used them for their big screen to watch Alabama beat Penn State, and they used me for cheesecake. Everyone came out a winner. Oh, and Roll Tide!

How about an opinion on the actual recipe? Well, have you seen the picture? Do I really need to say more? These are awesome, and they're pretty simple to put together. They're very rich, so you don't need to cut them in large bars. A 9 x 13 pan makes a lot of small bars, so plan on taking them to more than one event. Otherwise, you'll do what I did and end up with tons of them in your fridge begging to be eaten. That, my friend, is a problem.

Biscoff Cookie Cheesecake Squares

1-½ cup Crushed Biscoff Cookies (about 27 Cookies)*
3 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar
6 Tablespoons Melted Butter

1 cup Sugar
3 packages Cream Cheese (8 Oz Size)
2 Tablespoons Flour
3 whole Eggs
8 ounces, weight Sour Cream
1 Tablespoon Vanilla

Chocolate Ganache:
8 ounces, fluid Heavy Whipping Cream
¼ cups Butter
8 ounces, weight Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
¼ cups Confectioner's Sugar

In case you don't read through things before getting started, let me tell you at the beginning: These bars must refrigerate overnight.

Mix cookies and sugar together. Add butter and stir until combined.
Press mixture into a 13 X 9 pan.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the sugar, cream cheese, and flour with an electric mixer on medium until light and fluffy. On medium-low speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing well with each addition. Add sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.

Pour on prepared crust and bake for about 45 minutes.
Remove and cool. Prepare ganache.

Heat cream and butter on stove until just before boiling. Remove from stove and pour the mixture over the top of the chocolate. Stir until completely combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and beat with a wire whisk until combined and smooth. Pour over cooled cheesecake.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Cut into bars and serve.
Makes about 30-50 bars, depending on size.

Recipes can sometimes seem intimidating until you stop, think about what you're doing, and dive in. Case in point: Biscoff cookies. Some people will look at this recipe and immediately decide to skip it because it doesn't call for graham cracker crumbs. You know why it calls for these particular cookies? Because they're amazing, and their crumbs combined with brown sugar and butter will change your life, especially when you add cheesecake and chocolate ganache on top. That's right... don't skip this recipe. Here's the rundown of what I'm using: 1-Cup Prep Bowls, 2-Cup Prep Bowls, Pinch Bowls, Measuring Spoon Set, Adjustable Measuring Spoon, Measuring Cup Set, Small Batter Bowl, Measure-All Cup, Manual Food Processor, Double-Strength Madagascar Vanilla, and a Cutting Board. Yes, I feel like I'm on the Food Network, but that's just a perk of being a Pampered Chef consultant.

I chopped the cookies in the Manual Food Processor, which was easy, easy, easy. After throwing them in a Stainless Mixing Bowl with brown sugar and butter, mixing them with the Mini Mix 'n Scraper, the best crust recipe ever is born. Want a great tip on melting the butter? The Glass Prep Bowls go in the oven, so just let it melt while you get out the rest of the ingredients. It'll be ready by the time you have your cookies chopped. The crust goes in the Rectangular Baker, and this is where things get kind of crazy. (The good kind of crazy.)

It's time for me to introduce you to my sexy Sunbeam Mixmaster. That's right... a stand mixer from the 1950s. My grandmother received this as a Christmas gift from the church my granddaddy pastored, and she used it for years. When the ceramic bowls got too heavy for her to use, she gave it to my mom. Now it's in my kitchen, and it's still rocking things out at twelve different speeds. You'll see more of this in posts to come... trust me. See the Measure-All Cup full of sour cream? This thing is indispensable when it comes to measuring all that gross, sticky stuff you don't want to touch. It also prevents you from wasting about a teaspoon every time you add an ingredient because nothing will be stuck to the walls of a measuring cup.

As the cheesecake layer rests to cool on a Stackable Cooling Rack, I'll get started on the chocolate ganache. I know, as if fab cheesecakes with a Biscoff crust aren't enough... Ok, so chocolate chips are in a Stainless Mixing Bowl, powdered sugar is in a Measuring Cup, and cream is in an Easy Read Measuring Cup. The Cutting Board is keeping my work surface clean, and the 1.5-Qt. Saucepan from the Executive Cookware Collection is ready to do this thing. The Skinny Scraper is perfect for cooking in this pan because it won't melt, and it's easy to get around the corners. It's also perfect for spreading the ganache over the cheesecake layer.

Let's just be quiet for a minute while taking this in.

Ok, I'm ready to keep talking. Note: These must refrigerate overnight. There's no getting around that rule with cheesecake, at least not if you want it to be the best it can be. I'm using the Mini-Serving Spatula to get these out of the Rectangular Baker, and I'm learning really quickly to get that beveled edge under the crust. See where I ripped a couple up when I first started dipping? It's kind of obvious, so I might as well admit it.

These cheesecakes are good. I mean, they're really good. The recipe is straightforward, the presentation is beautiful, and the taste is out of this world. Football, friends, and cheesecake... does it get any better?

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