The best cheesecake in the whole wide world…

In honor of Turkey day I decided to post a recipe for those of you who want a delicious dessert but aren’t enamored with the traditional thanksgiving sweets.

When I was 16 I was given a lovely Christmas gift from Mrs. C, the mother of the boy I was dating. It was a pretty pink cookbook full of blank recipe pages. It was a very nice gesture despite the fact that, at the time, I couldn’t cook to save my life. In fact, I hadn’t gone near the stove since I was 8 when I nearly burned the house down trying to make breakfast in bed for my parents. The smell of burned eggs still haunts me to this day.

The relationship with the boy ended, I went off to college and the cookbook went into a big box that was not opened until I got my first post-college apartment.  After a few years on a steady diet of ramen noodles and fast food I decided it was time to learn how to cook. I started out slowly but managed to accumulate some recipes that I wanted to keep. I said to myself  “Self, you need a cookbook.”  I remembered my pretty pink cookbook and unearthed it from the long forgotten box. I opened it up and was surprised to find I had overlooked a recipe written down in the dessert section of the book. Mrs. C  had not only given me the cookbook but she  took the time to write down her recipe for cheesecake. My mind suddenly flashed back to her kitchen and the creamiest, dreamiest cheesecake I had ever had. 

Being a beginner cook, I decided to save this recipe for a time when I had a little more experience under my belt.  Flash forward 15 years when I attempted to make this amazing dessert. I say ‘attempted’ because I managed to fail miserably. My cheesecake turned out lumpy and gross and I felt sorry for the friend that I served it to (God Bless her, she ate every bite). It was more like a punishment than the creamy and dreamy cheesecake I remembered. I later realized that the mistake I made was not letting the cream cheese get to room temperature before beating it into the mix. We were literally biting into raw chunks of cream cheese. This is fine if you’re eating a bagel….NOT while diving into a cheesecake at 2 a.m. (ahem, a story for another time). I haven’t made it since but I thought the recipe was too good not to share.

Mrs. C’s Cheesecake

For the crust:

16 graham crackers rolled finely

1 stick melted butter

1/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar

Mix and place 1/2 on the bottom of a 9″ springform pan

For the filling:

2 lbs. softened cream cheese (room temperature)

pinch of salt

4 beaten eggs

Beat very well until smooth (5-7 minutes). Pour over graham cracker crust and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove it from the oven.

For the topping:

1 pt. (16 oz) sour cream

1 tbsp. vanilla

4 tbsp. sugar

Mix and gently smooth on top of cake. Sprinkle remaining graham cracker crust on top of sour cream mixture. Bake 10 minutes more. Cool in the pan overnight in the refrigerator. Try not to gobble it up for breakfast the next morning.

I will make this cheesecake recipe again eventually. I vow to master it! First I need to find my long-lost springform pan…maybe Santa will bring me a new one! In the interim, I hope one of you out there makes it and brings me a slice! 

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone ( no matter what dessert you choose).


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