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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dress Up A No-Bake Cheesecake

No-bake cheesecake mixes are the greatest thing to happen to my tummy since sliced bread. Delicious, and a real time-saver. I always have to customize box mixes a little bit, so I dropped a few big spoonfuls of seedless blackberry preserves into a saucepan (or you can microwave for about 10 seconds) and got that cookin' while I was squishing my graham cracker crust into place. By the time I had the cheesecake filling mixed up, it was already heated through and had even condensed a little bit... nice! I poured all but about 1/2 cup of the filling into the crust, then drizzled the preserves over it. Spoon the rest of the filling on top, then cut through it with a knife to give it a nice swirl effect. Smooth it out, pop it in the fridge, and an hour later you've got an awesome swirl cheesecake.

Instead of blackberry preserves, try:
  • Different flavors preserves, jams, jellies... even a good syrup.
  • Chocolate Swirl: Mix cocoa powder with the cheesecake filling. Swirl with chocolate sauce.
  • Caramel Pecan Swirl: drizzle with caramel sauce, swirl with knife, and sprinkle with toasted pecans.
  • Caramel Apple: Pour some apple pie filling in crust, then top with cheesecake filling. Drizzle with caramel sauce.
  • Cherry: Top with cherry pie filling (sweeten to taste first, if necessary)
  • Stawberry: Thaw a package of frozen strawberries and top cheesecake with berries and syrup.
  • Turtle: Drizzle caramel sauce into crust, sprinkle with chopped pecans. Mix cocoa powder into cheesecake mix and pour into crust. Drizzle with fudge sauce and top with more pecans.
  • Chocolate Crunch: Pour Chocolate Magic Shell over cheesecake and swirl it through with a knife. Work fast and in small sections as Magic Shell hardens quickly.
  • Cookies & Cream: Crush a sleeve of Oreos or other sandwich cookies, either in a food processor or with a Ziploc bag and a rolling pin. Mix into the cheesecake filling before pouring into crust.
  • Mocha Swirl: mix 2 T. instant mocha cappuccino powder into cheesecake filling and pour into crust. Swirl with chocolate sauce and sprinkle with more mocha powder.
  • Candy Bar: Coarsely chop 4 candy bars in a food processor and mix into cheesecake filling. Try Heath, Butterfinger, Snickers, Reese's, Kit Kat, etc. If the pioneers at Dairy Queen are putting it in a blizzard, it'll most likely be delicious in cheesecake.
Be creative. What sounds good to you? Look around, see what you have. Don't settle for boring cheesecake... the possibilities are endless!

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