My family, like many families, has traditions. Some I love, some I…well, don’t. However, my absolute favorite family tradition is a birthday tradition. On your birthday, you get to choose what you want to have for dinner and for dessert. I loved this tradition growing up because in a house full of girls, it was the one day where I got to make the decision and ALL had to agree to it. Because if you didn’t, you went hungry. My favorite dinner that my mom would make was homemade chicken pot pie with a homemade crust.
And for dessert, I ALWAYS asked for cheesecake. Unfortunately, my youngest sister’s birthday happens to be three days after mine, so we would rotate on who picked the dessert, as my mom didn’t want to make two back-to-back. I hated that growing up, but now as a parent, I get it.
The first time I made cheesecake was in college. I followed the recipe to a T and it took many hours to make. However, something went wrong because the water bath the cheesecake sat in leaked, (I even used aluminum foil to wrap it!) and my crust was all soggy with the biggest crack running across and deep down the center. It looked ugly and tasted bland and watery. It was 10 years before I made any type of cheesecake again.
This cheesecake, on the other hand, does not require a water bath. Yeah to not having a soggy crust! And it is moist, rich, and creamy. I sprinkled the top of the cheesecake with graham cracker crumbs, but you could add any type of fruit to the top if you like. Fresh or canned. Both would be delicious.
And if you read my last post, I did bring the half-eaten cheesecake to the work Christmas party. I held my head proud and acted all unashamed, even though I felt a tad embarrassed. One friend said, “Wow! This is amazing! So delicious and rich! Perfect.” So you have to make it. And eat some and then take the rest of it to share. And don’t feel ashamed. Enjoy! xoxo
New York Style Cheesecake
1 c graham cracker crumbs
2 ½ T unsalted butter, melted
1 ½ T sugar
24 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
¾ c sugar
¾ c sour cream, room temperature
2 t pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9-inch spring form pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar and mix with a rubber spatula until the butter is fully incorporated into the dry ingredients. Dump into the spring form pan and spread evenly across the whole bottom. Press gently with the back side of a rubber spatula.
In a mixing bowl with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and mix until combined. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula. Add sour cream and mix until fully combined. With the speed on low, mix eggs one at a time, only adding another egg once the previous egg is fully incorporated. With the rubber spatula, gently fold any remaining parts of the batter that may have stuck to the sides of the bowl.
Pour into the spring form pan and bake in the oven for 60 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden brown and when you gently shake the pan, the middle slightly giggles. Place on a cooling rack and cool completely. Then put in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. Serve with sprinkled graham cracker crumbs or fruit.