Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Strawberry Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with a Lemon Cookie Crust

Three years ago, I was blessed with a daughter and my life has increasingly become filled with all things pink and girly! Because of my connection with my daughter, Alaina, I was inspired to host a Mother~Daughter brunch at our lovely Bella Cucina. It was a fun time with some of the mommies who are dear to my heart, their daughters and even some of their moms too! When planning it, I wanted to come up with something special to give all of the ladies coming but just couldn't pin point exactly what that would be. In the cookie aisle, while gazing at my favorite "Back To Nature" California Lemon cookie, it came to me! Wouldn't these make the best crust for a cheesecake! This cheesecake was a hit and made an already precious lunch with our little ladies even more of "girl's day out"!

Strawberry Sauce Ingredients:
3cups of strawberries
2/3 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of water
1/2 lemom
2 TBSPs of cornstarch

Add strawberries, sugar, water and the juice of half the lemon to a small saucepan. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add cornstarch and boil for a few minutes. Smooth in a blender. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Prepare a 9 inch springform pan
Lemon Crust Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of ground lemon cookies
1/2 stick of butter
Zest of one lemon

Stir ingredients together and press pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees
Cheesecake Ingredients:
4~ 8oz packages of cream cheese at room temperature
1 3/4 cups of sugar
4 eggs
pinch of salt
2 TBSP of flour
1 pod of vanilla seeds (or just use 2 tsp of vanilla)

Whip cream cheese on high for 5 minutes. Stop and scrape down the sides and whip for 5 more minutes. This is to make the cream cheese light and airy. Combine all other ingredients in. Scrape down sides and stir. Pour onto the crust. Top with half of strawberry sauce and swirl with a knife or toothpick. Bake at 325 degrees for 65 minutes. Open oven door, don't move the cheesecake, for 15 minutes. Refigerate overnight. Serve with the remaining strawberry sauce drizzled. Enjoy!

*When cutting cheesecake, wipe the knife with a warm wet towel between slices* 

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