05 March 2011

Trouble With Some Cheesecake....

So I tried my first hand at making homemade cheesecake the other day. Never done this before. I've always just made them from the box. *Smiles* But I got in the mail last week the King Arthur Flour's the baker's catalogue, and it had a recipe for vanilla bean cheesecake bars. So yummy looking! So I decided to try it.

It's a pretty easy recipe to follow. However, it's not good to make your first homemade cheesecake at the same time... that you're trying to listen to a late night conference call. Doesn't work very well. I ended up putting one teaspoon of lemon zest in the cheesecake, instead of 1/2 a teaspoon. I put the cheesecake in for 34 mins., but it was still very wobbly in the middle of the cheesecake. So I ended up putting it in there for 6 mins. more. Then 6 more mins. Then a few more. Then my husband had to watch it cause I got pulled away. And well... we cooked it a little too long. Well, I think we did since it doesn't look like the picture.

So some advice for everyone. Please do not over cook your cheesecake. Watch your cheesecake, and don't listen to calls at the same time you're making your first cheesecake.

Oh well, it did taste really good! That's all that matters. Enjoy everyone!

Vanilla Bean Cheesecake Bars
(from King Arthur Flour)

Yield: 16 servings.

- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, about 8 whole crackers
- 4 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 5 tablespoons melted butter

- 16 ounces (2 large packages) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup heavy cream or sour cream
- 3 large eggs
- 2 to 3 teaspoons Vanilla Crush or vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon peel, optional
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional

1) Preheat the oven to 375°F.
2) To make the crust: Stir together the crumbs, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and melted butter.
3) Press into the bottom and about 1/2" inch up the sides of an 8" x 8" square pan.

4) Freeze for 15 minutes if using a metal pan (not necessary if using ceramic or glass). Note: this is to prevent the edges of the crust from slumping. If you're not worried about slumping (and in our testing, it only happened some of the time), you can skip this step.
5) Bake the crust for 8 to 10 minutes, until set; the color won't change much.
6) Remove the crust from the oven and cool for a few minutes while you lower the oven temperature to 325°F.

7) To make the batter: Mix the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth.

8) Add the cream, eggs, vanilla, lemon zest, and lemon juice; mix until combined, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix.
9) Spoon the batter into the crust.

10) Bake the bars for 30 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set but still soft in the center. An instant-read thermometer, inserted into the filling about 1" in from the edge, will read about 180°F.

11) Remove the bars from the oven, and cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
12) Just before serving, top with fresh berries, fruit pie filling, or whipped cream.

Images from Me; Recipe from King Arthur Flour

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