Every Christmas my family gets together at my grandmother’s house for a fun-filled evening of good food, good people, and good fellowship. It is a great time of the year, when the spirit of giving fills the air, along with the smells of our favorite holiday foods. We tend to do a sort of potluck style meal, where everyone is supposed to bring their favorite festive dish. Most people focus on side dishes, and easy casseroles, I try to provide something that is as memorable as it is good. This past year I made a snicker-doodle cheesecake, and I have to say, I think this may be my new favorite fall/winter dessert. Hopefully you will get a chance to make it, and you will enjoy it as much as my family and I have!
This is not a recipe that you can just throw together quickly. It takes lots of time for preparation, cooking, and cooling. Failing to take your time, and rushing through this recipe could cost you the outcome of a great cheesecake. So, plan ahead, take your time, and enjoy.
Step 1: Step 1: Ingredients
The first, and one of the most important steps in any dish I make, is that I go over my ingredient lists, and make sure that I have the proper quantities of each of them. If not, I make a list and head to the grocery store. There is nothing worse than getting halfway done mixing ingredients, having the oven preheated, and then realizing that I don’t have everything that need. Just a simple 5-minute (or less, depending on the recipe) check can save you a rather upsetting experience.
To make the snicker-doodle cheesecake, you will need the following ingredients and items.
1 – 9 inch springform pan
1 – Stand mixer (or a large mixing bowl)
1 – Medium mixing bowl
1 – Set of measuring cups and spoons
1 – Silicon spatula
1 – Fork
1 – Cooling rack
1 – Small zip lock bag/small resealable container
1 – Cup of cinnamon graham cracker crumbs
2 ½ – Tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 ½ – Tablespoons sugar
1 – Stick of butter (do not soften this, this will be for greasing the pan)
2 ½ – Pounds of cream cheese
1 ½ – Cups of sugar
½ – Teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 – Tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1 – Teaspoon of corn starch
7 – Large eggs
½ – Cup sour cream
3 – Teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3 – Tablespoons of sugar
Step 2: Step 2: Preparation
Once you have all your ingredients at home, and you are ready to start your preparation, take the eggs, cream cheese, sour cream, and butter (not the full stick of butter) out of the refrigerator and let them sit out until they reach room temperature. I normally leave them out on the stove for about an hour, then turn them over, and let them go for another 30 minutes. This is how you soften your butter and cream cheese. This also gives your eggs and sour cream to be at the same temperature as everything else, so that they blend together better.
Once the wait is over, and all ingredients have reached room temperature, I like to go ahead and crack my eggs in a bowl. I do this as a precaution, as to not drop any shell in a dish. Go ahead and crack 5 of the 7 eggs into a bowl, and set them aside. With the other 2 eggs, you will need to separate the whites from the yolks. Put the 2 yolks into the bowl with the other eggs, and discard the whites.
Step 3: Step 3: the Crust
Once you are ready to start combining ingredients, go ahead and turn the oven on 375°F, and let it preheat.
The first ingredients we will mix together are the 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs, the 2 ½ tablespoons of butter, and the 1 ½ tablespoon sugar. Combine these ingredients in the medium bowl, and use the fork to mix it all together. I try to maintain a crushing/stirring motion (I crush down through the middle of the mixture with the back of the fork, and then stir through while bringing the fork back up) At first it will clump up, but after a few minutes, it will even out.
Once the crust ingredients are thoroughly mixed together, use the stick of butter to grease the bottom of the pan, and put the butter back in the refrigerator. Now pour the crust mixture into the pan and press it down tight and evenly into the bottom.
Bake the crust until it is golden brown, which should take 8 – 10 minutes. Afterward, take the pan out of the oven and set aside to cool.
Step 4: Step 4: the Cake
Your oven is already on, but now needs to be increased to 500°F. Do so, and let it go ahead and preheat while you mix the cake ingredients.
In your stand mixer bowl, or large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla, and beat them until they have a creamy consistency. Without turning off the mixer, add in the flour and corn starch, and then slowly add in the eggs, 1 at a time. I normally just pour them from the bowl without any issues, but occasionally, 2 will get by. If this happens, don’t worry, just give an extra little bit of mixing time before adding the next one. After all the eggs are in, add in the sour cream, and let the mixer run until everything is smoothed together nicely. At this point, I normally take the mixer bowl off, and scrape the bottom, sides, and beater, and finish it off with a little hand mixing with a fork, just to make sure that I have incorporated all the ingredients.
Once everything is mixed together, and the pan/crust is cooled down, get the butter back out of the refrigerator, and grease down the sides of the pan (from the rim, all the way down to the top of the crust). Now pour in the cake mix, and use the spatula to get as much of the mix as possible out of the bowl. Place the pan back in the oven and set a timer for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes at 500°F, reduce the oven temperature to 200°F, and let cook for 1 hour longer.
After the cooking time is up, carefully remove the cake from the oven (without trying to remove it from the pan), and place it on the cooling rack. Let the cake cool to room temperature, which usually takes a few hours. Once at room temperature, put the cake (pan and all) in the refrigerator, and let it cool overnight.
Step 5: Step 5:The Topping
Put the sugar and cinnamon in the zip lock bag/small resealable container, and mix it well. Once the cake has cooled overnight, take it out of the refrigerator, and remove the band from the pan, while leaving the bottom of the pan for the cake to sit on. Sprinkle the topping over the cake, applying as much as you prefer. Be careful with how much you use, because some cinnamon is stronger than others, and it would not be good to overpower the cake with it. Keep the rest of the topping in the bag, and anyone can apply more to their slice of the cake, if they prefer.
Step 6: Step 6: Slicing the Cake
Normally, I hear people say that you are supposed to soak your slicing knife in hot water, and make one cut at a time, re-soaking the blade after each cut. I, personally, have never had any luck with this method, and I quickly lose patience with it. This is when I get out a regular slicing knife, and slice the pieces that I want. It is a little messy, and causes rough edges, but it does not alter the taste of the cake, and to me that is the most important part.