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I’ve neglected to post lately, not so much because I’m not “up to anything,” but because I don’t want to divulge any secrets until Christmas has passed.  For now, here’s something I don’t mind broadcasting.  This is a recipe I just discovered, tweaked a bit, and have determined should be in my regular rotation.  The basic recipe was on the cover of a Western Family brand graham cracker crust.  I read it through once and had committed it to memory.  That’s the kind of recipe I like– rich, delicious, and simple!

  • 12 oz. cream cheese–whipped until it’s fluffy
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk (or about 1 cup)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • graham cracker crust

Mix all together until smooth and pour into a graham cracker crust.  Bake at 300 degrees for about 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool and top as desired.

“As desired” conjured up drizzles and dollops and “visions of sugarplums”!  While I personally prefer berries, I needed a dessert for a “Twelve Days of Christmas” potluck at work, and I know most people tend towards the chocolate.

So here’s my variation which can be made in either a standard pie shell or as a very share-able sheet cake dessert:

Chocolate Cheesecake

  • 20 whole graham crackers (more or less)
  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup (or more as desired for the texture of the crust)
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 12 oz. cream cheese
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 can (or about 1 cup) of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

I made my own graham cracker crust by crushing crackers into fine crumbs and blending them well with light corn syrup, butter, and pressing it into a half sheet cake pan.

For the Cheesecake Filling:

Whip cream cheese until fluffy, then set aside.  Combine condensed milk and chocolate chips in a microwaveable bowl and heat just until the chips melt and you can stir it into a smooth chocolatey syrup.  Mix in with cream cheese, whip until smooth, then add eggs and vanilla, scraping the sides and bottom of the mixer well until it’s all incorporated.  Pour over crust and carefully level it, pushing it into the corners.  Bake at 300 degrees for about 15 minutes or until the center is firm to the touch.  (If you prefer to make this in the standard pie you’ll want to bake it a little longer than the original 30 minutes.)

Upon removal from the oven:  sprinkle with another 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, allow them to melt, then spread them into a thin layer. (This will be a slightly crunchy surprise between the chilled cheesecake and whipped topping.)  Cool completely.  Top with whipped topping and serve chilled.

*As a lesser expensive alternative to sweetened condensed milk (which I never just “have on hand” if I don’t have an occasion and a recipe in mind) you may be interested in several homemade versions you can find online.

Happy Baking and Sharing!

And Merry Christmas!

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