Sugar Cookie Cheesecake
By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime
Once again it is time for #BakingBloggers and my choice of recipe for the month is a delicious and beautiful Sugar Cookie Cheesecake.
I had seen a picture of something like this somewhere and was totally enamored. It was the confetti nature of the sprinkles that did it. My daughter always loved sprinkles in everything, so it give me a warm feeling to make this.
I admit I had been contemplating a Unicorn Cheesecake, with all the lovely colors as well (that make me think of Spring), but I might save that one for a cupcake.
Making a cheesecake can be an occasion for pulling your hair out in the kitchen if you don’t know a few tips. But once you do, it is actually quite easy.
First, make sure your ingredients are room temperature. Cold cheese is lumpy cheese and it will look like the cat threw up on the carpet. So pull the cheese, sour cream and eggs out and let those warm up to room temperature before you start mixing.
For the crust, I used one full pack of cheapy brand-x sugar cookies. There aren’t too many name brands of sugar cookies anymore- I thought Pepperidge Farms had one, but if they did, it’s gone now. You might think about making your own cookies, but it’s really best to just buy them so they are nice and horribly dry and crunchy. (Well, to be true, it is for a crust and not for the cookie jar). Plus the best part is they only cost one dollar.
I smashed them in a ziplock with a wooden mallet. Just not hard enough to put holes in the bag- although it has happened in the past. Not sure if I was being wild or the bags were poorly made. Probably both? But I got lots of nice crumbs- 2-1/2 cups to be exact.
Solving Kitchen Problems One Step at a Time
The thing about the parchment paper? Well, you want a pan that doesn’t leak. And if you are lucky enough to have one of those, do yourself a favor and go buy a Lotto ticket too, because you have been gifted with the rare. Truthfully, most pans leak as a rule. Go ahead, set one in the sink and fill it with water. I bet it will be half empty in less than a minute.
And for beginning cooks, this can almost wipe out your brain wondering what to do.
So take the pan apart, put the parchment over, push it back in making sure the pan bottom is in the ridged area, and clip it shut. Then trim the parchment. And there is the thing that will NOT keep your pan from leaking. (giggling) But you won’t have to cut and try to fit a round of parchment liner in there. It should save you about ten minutes of fidgeting with the paper.
I try not to be mercurial with a description, but I want to show you what I mean about the parchment. Once you cover the bottom plate and shove it in there and snap it together, the parchment evenly covers the bottom, goes outside through the crack where you can trim it. It’s a brilliant idea I have seen others do. Add it to your arsenal.
Okay, so we are back to the leaky pan.
Well, spray the inside of the pan well with nonstick. This won’t help you either.
Then press in the crumbs, smooshing them down firmly across the bottom and sides, imagining all the batter leaking out and will the crust hold it in? I doubt it. Maybe you will get lucky, but then again, maybe you just like cleaning the oven. Oh heck no.
You will mix up your batter, maybe thinking about all of it, and pour it in there. And for good measure and angry retaliation against that pan, bang it on the counter a few times while you watch little bubbles pop up. But no, that won’t keep it from leaking, but it does make for a nice smooth cheesecake without air holes in it. We’re not baking French bread here, right? Bang that pan! because you’re angry about the leaking it’s going to do and then…
Put it in the cake pan, which should be one that most closely nests them together, and put that inside of a roasting pan because this is medieval armor, like good Sir Galahad…pop the whole thing onto the oven rack (You did remember to preheat right? I hate it when I forget…Did I tell you about the time I was baking a Bundt and thought I forgot but no. My oven wasn’t working. And while you might think it to be a relief that I remembered, it made me curse worse than before…)
Push the cake pan to the side of the roaster and gently pour in very hot tap water as far up the side of the cake pan without overflowing, but still being able to move it without splashing water- keep the cake pan and springform interiors dry!)
The water bath is going to help the cheesecake bake nicely. And the water is NOT getting past the cake pan. And thankfully, the batter shouldn’t get past the crust. Although the water would have gotten in otherwise. Truthfully, you might have very small leakage into the cake pan when it is done- I have a teensy bit of butter ooze from the crust, but no problemo.
This Bakes a Loooong Time, Doesn’t It?
You might think the cake bakes a very long time, and it does. I think it bakes longer because of all the pans in there. But the slow bake is good for it. You want to bake it until it is just a little jiggly in the center, but not sloshy in most of it. When it is done, turn off the oven, and leave a wooden spoon to hold the door ajar, and just leave it there in the water bath and all for one hour. Go read a magazine.
And that is the most important part of the bake because…it needs to cool down slowly. You cannot simply pull it out and head to the fridge with it. This is the origin of cracked cakes. Sudden changes in temperatures—because cooling causes it to shrink just a bit. And if it shrinks fast on the outside, and not on the inside, then…ssssspppppppllllliiiiiiitttttttt. Like a demon earthquake hit.
Real World Situations?
The same thing happens to roads and we call them potholes. Please do not make a pothole cake. But if you do, just like with pumpkin pie, which need to cool slow for the same reasons, cover the crack with something like whipped cream or if you are particularly lucky, it will be where you can slice a piece.
Once it is out it will take another 45-60 minutes to cool off fully. Then wrap it and refrigerate. You might be finished working on it, but it is going to be a bit mushy until it chills and sets up which takes lots of hours. I’d say 6 minimum or overnight is good.
A trick from my old restaurant days is to cut the cake with a clean knife. Keep a glass of cold water nearby to rinse the knife off. And sort of cheese clinging to the knife tries to tear up the next slice, and you need it to look pretty. With nice razor sharp edges.
This feeds an army, so don’t forget to refrigerate the extras, and yes, this can be frozen, including in slices with waxed paper between, and easily thawed later.
Join me later in the week when I share some other recipes:
Vietnamese Banh Xeo
Chicken Alfredo Casserole
Fish en Papillote with Ginger and Mirin
Yat Ka Mein Soup
Have a wonderful Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, and Lunar New Year. Geez, it’s a busy week! Did I miss anything? Have a good one-
Sugar Cookie Cheesecake
- parchment paper
- nonstick cooking spray
- 9-inch springform pan
- 10-inch cake pan or pan protector
- roasting pan
- 12 ounces sugar cookies
- 6 tablespoons butter (melted)
- 2 pounds cream cheese (at room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1/2 cup cookie sprinkles or jimmies
- 1 tablespoon each jimmies and coarse sugar
- Preheat the oven to 325°F.
- Crush the cookies into crumbs and toss with melted butter until crumbs are evenly moistened.
- Separate the top and bottom of the springform and place a sheet of parchment over the base. Push the base back up inside so the edges of parchment come through the pan, and trim outside edges with scissors. Inside, the parchment should be pressed down and going out through the crack. Spray the interior of the pan generously with nonstick.
- Pour the crumbs into the pan and press them even on the bottom and sides.
- Place the room temperature cheese in an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Add the sugar and mix a few times until smooth.
- Add the sour cream, and vanilla, mixing in.
- Add the flour and run until smooth.
- Add the eggs one at a time (I put them all in a cereal bowl and tip them in one at a time), mixing until blended, but try not to overmix. Just until smooth.
- Fold in the jimmies with a spatula.
- Pour the batter into the pan. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to remove bubbles from the batter.
- Place the springform pan inside the cake pan or pan protector and the cake pan/pan protector inside a roasting pan.
- Place the roasting pan into the oven and as it sits on the rack, fill the roasting pan with a hot water bath, keeping the water OUT of the cake pan and springform, as high as you can comfortably get it.
- Sprinkle the tablespoon each of coarse sugar and jimmies on the top.
- Slide it in there and shut the door, and bake for 2 hours 30 minutes to 2 hours and 45 minutes, until the center is a little jiggly but not excessively. Turn the oven off, prop the door open a tiny bit with a wooden spoon and leave it alone for one hour.
- After that, pull it out, remove the springform to a wire rack to finish cooling. Do not unclip it at this point.
- When the cheesecake is room temperature, cover the pan with cling wrap and refrigerate for at least six hours or overnight to set up and chill.
- After that, run a thin knife between the crust and sides, then unclip the springform.
- Place a plate on the top of the cheesecake and invert. Remove the bottom of the springforn as well as the parchment liner.
- Put the plate back and invert again.
- Slice as desired, 8-10 pieces, using a thin sharp knife, rinsing off any cheese after each cut (which helps get a smooth cut).
- Refrigerate unused portions.
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