Aunt Connie’s Amazing New York Style Cheesecake

I know this isn't a cookie...but what a finale, huh? You must make this cheesecake. I had a fun time making a cookie each day in December and hope you enjoyed some of the recipes...
printable recipe

I used to baby sit my cousins for my Aunt Connie when I was in my early twenties. I remember this cheesecake sitting in her fridge and I could not believe my eyes! I would help myself to a large slice each time she had it made, and had to get the recipe from her. I’ve made it one hundred times, and each time it was a hit with all my friends and family. It is quite the show-stopper because of it’s size and taste…It is easy and simply gourmet!

The Crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs. (I always have some already pre-crushed in a zip-lock bag and in my freezer, just in case I need a graham cracker crust in a hurry.)
3 tbsp. Sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
Combine the crackers and sugar. Pour over the melted butter and using a fork incorporate until the mixture is moistened. Press firmly into the bottom of your spring-form pan and bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes until golden brown. Let cool while preparing cheesecake batter.
But here is a tip that I've always done. I never like the prebaked crust because it was too hard. You have to use a knife to get through it. Not so with this not prebake the crust! Just put it together, press in the pan and it is ready for it's batter. The crust turns out so perfect, not too hard, not too soft. Trust's fantastic.

5, 8oz. pkg. Of cream cheese softened
1 ¾ cup sugar
3 tbs. Flour
¼ tsp. vanilla
5 large eggs
2 egg-yolks
¼ cup heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese and sugar. Add the flour, vanilla, cream, and eggs one at a time, mixing until combined, smooth and creamy.
Pour into cooled crust and bake 10-minutes at 450-degrees. DO NOT FORGET THIS: next, turn oven temperature down to 250-degrees and cook for a remainder of 1-hour. (Cooking at a high temperature longer than 10-minutes will indeed dry this cake out. Trust me on this.)
Once done, let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate over night to chill. Cracking may occur and is okay, the only way to prevent this is by baking it in a water bath. I have done this method and found that it is not worth the effort, unless you are planning on not using a topping.

Topping variations:

Strawberry topping:
1 pint of strawberries

In a medium saucepan, put washed fruit in with ½ cup sugar (depending on the sweetness factor of your strawberries.) Stir until dissolved and has a thick and rich consistency, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool to room temperature and pour onto your chilled cheesecake.

Turtle topping:
Crushed pecans
Chocolate syrup
Mini chocolate chips

I do this topping on individual slices and is amazing! I drizzle the chocolate syrup and caramel (you find premade in the grocery store), then comes the crushed pecans, and finally the mini chocolate chips. Feel free to really express the gourmet chef in you here, as you can make delicious drizzles all over the place.

Cherry topping:

This is the one that I remember my Aunt Connie using on her cheesecake and is so delicious. I like to use this topping in the winter when the fresh berries are not at their best. It is simply a can of cherry filling to make pies that you find in your baking isle in your supermarket. Just open the can and pour on top the whole cheesecake. It’s beautiful, and hides any imperfections you may have in you cake.

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