I love cheesecake. Not that fluffy french nonsense… or that no-bake stuff… but rich, dense, delicious, cheesecake. I had never made cheesecake before, because I didn’t have a spring-form pan. I thought by the time I invested in the pan, plus the ingredients, I’d have a pretty expensive cheesecake on my hands. On Christmas Eve, a beautifully wrapped package was presented to me by my parents. Inside were all of the little things that I needed for my kitchen, but wasn’t prepared to purchase for myself. They got me a bundt pan, a Paula Deen pie board, and a set of 3 spring-form pans. I knew I was going to have to make a cheesecake before the end of the year.
But, baking cheesecake is a daunting task. There are many recipes out there, so where do you start? I thought about trying a recipe from one of my favorite blogs, but she bakes her cheesecake in a water bath, and I don’t even have a pan large enough for a water bath. So, that was not going to work for me. So, I thought Kraft (the makers of Philadelphia Cream Cheese) would definitely have a recipe on their website. Bingo! Their recipe could not be simpler! I would have loved to try a complicated cheesecake recipe, but I thought, why not get the basics down first?
This recipe was a success for me. Out of the four people I presented with a slice, not one complained. One of those people claimed to not even care for cheesecake, but liked it. This recipe doesn’t make a super dense cheesecake, but I still enjoyed it. It’s creamy, and it melts in your mouth. Plus, it is so easy! No water bath, no complicated ingredients, and my cheesecake didn’t even crack. Cracks don’t really matter to me though, and to quote Frank Barron from Everybody Loves Raymond, “The stomach knows not ugly.” P.S. I actually screwed up on this a little one. I used an 11 inch spring-form instead of the 9, because I assumed the largest in my set of 3 pans was the 9-inch. I didn’t adjust the cooking time at all, and it came out just fine.
- 1-1/2 cups HONEY MAID Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
- 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
HEAT oven to 325°F.
MIX graham crumbs, 3 Tbsp. sugar and butter; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
BAKE 55 min. or until center is almost set. Loosen cake from rim of pan; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate 4 hours.
*Note: Reduce oven temperature to 300°F if using a dark nonstick springform pan.