Alright my HOH peeps, this is my go-to, tried-and-true, let’s have cheesecake recipe. I don’t even remember when I came across it, but it has saved my butt more than once when I couldn’t come up with something to make for a party. Follow this recipe, and as long as you don’t have one of those finicky, pain-in-the-ass ovens, it should turn out just fine.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- 2 (8oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1 (8 or 9 inch) ready-made pie crust
Note: you can also add in a tbsp. of lemon juice if you want, but it’s not any less yummy without it
I recommend you soften the cream cheese in the microwave, 15 sec. at a time (don’t cheat and microwave it longer because just like chocolate you actually CAN burn cream cheese). You can tell it’s done when it’s creamy on the sides and soft in the middle, rather than a solid block still. (You can also give it a little stir and if your spoon can mix it up a bit without it being a pain, it will be that much easier when you blend in the other ingredients.)
Mix together in standing mixer or with hand mixer, cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Then add in eggs and mix again until smooth. (Mix should be smooth and creamy and easy to pour when done) Think a little runnier than pancake batter…mmmm pancakes hahaha 🙂
Pour filling into your pie crust and bake at 350º for 40min.
Let cool and then refrigerate for 3hrs. (There’s no rule that says you can’t eat it as soon as it cools, and it doesn’t desperately need to cool for 3 hrs; I just like to let it get nice and set up and it makes it easier to cut into sometimes if it’s nice and chilled).
You can garnish a cheesecake with just about anything. Caramel, hot fudge, cookies, fruit, stay away from sardines though, that’s just…ewww no.
If you don’t like the ready-made pie crusts, here’s an easy crust you can make using vanilla animal crackers. Don’t run away, you can do this, it’s not hard at all, I promise. 🙂
- 1 & 1/2 c. vanilla animal crackers crushed up small (you can put them in a ziploc baggie and crush them with a rolling pin)
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter, melted
Note: For a slight twist and for you chocolate lovers out there, you could make the crust with chocolate flavored animal crackers instead.
Mix together crust ingredients then when combined, press into 9″ pie tin. Don’t freak out if the crust doesn’t go all the way up the sides. Your main concern is covering the bottom completely and evenly. You don’t want to see any holes in the bottom, because it holds in your filling. Bake for 15min. (crust should be slightly hard when it comes out) I like to mix up my filling while it bakes. Let it cool to the touch (I’ve told you about this before, if you touch the pie tin quick with your finger and it’s hot, just wait. If it’s warm, you’re good to go) before you put your filling in.
Happy eating and remember, a cheesecake is much yummier with friends :).