I know y’all know this already, but I’ll go ahead and say it again.
Y’all have the best big sister in the whole world.
Early on, she read you stories and played with you. Loved you, helped me care for you. Even changed some diapers. She has laughed with you, included you. Made late-night candy runs with you. Looked out for you. Made a world of memories with you.
It is a blessing indeed to have a sister who is both sibling and friend.
Even though she’s across the pond, as they say, we are celebrating her birthday with a snickers cheesecake today.
If you want to make one some day, here is how you do it:
Place five 8-oz. packages cream cheese on the counter a couple hours before you plan to start cooking. The cream cheese needs to soften before you make the cheesecake. I use the Neuftachel cheese, which has 1/3 less fat than the regular cream cheese. Tastes great. Helps cholesterol numbers. One day that may matter to you.
You’ll need a pan like this. It is called a springform pan. The latch unfastens to make the sides come away from the bottom of the pan after the cheesecake cooks and chills.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
You need 1 and 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs. This equaled one package of crackers for the brand I used.
I use our mini food processor, which means I put in a few crackers at a time until I have enough crumbs.
You can put all of them in at once if you have a full-sized food processor. If you have neither, you can do it the old-fashioned way. Just put the crackers in a bag, seal the bag, and use a rolling pin or the bottom of a glass to beat the crackers into crumbs.
Add 1/4 cup sugar to the crumbs.
Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a separate bowl.
Add it to the crumbs and sugar.
Stir well until it looks like this.
Pour this mixture into the springform pan.
Press evenly to cover the bottom of the pan.
Unwrap the 5 softened cream cheeses and place in mixing bowl.
Add 1 and 1/4 cup sugar,
5 eggs, (I suppose I should have only photographed the number of eggs you will use. Only 5, please. I don’t know what will happen if you put a dozen eggs in a cheesecake, but I don’t think it will be good.)
and 2 tsp. vanilla extract. (Sorry. Forgot the vanilla photo.)
Mix on low until ingredients begin to blend.
Turn off mixer and scrape sides of bowl with a spatula.
Then resume mixing on low until ingredients are fully blended.
Mix as little as possible with still getting it mixed. Too much air whipped in there can cause the top of your cake to crack.
Next you will need 3 Snickers™ candy bars.
Chop the candy bars on a cutting board.
All that gooey yumminess means you’ll need to do a good bit of chopping . The chunks want to stick together, so keep at it until you have lots of little pieces.
Add them to the cake mixture and turn mixer to low just until stirred.
Pour batter onto crust in springform pan.
Place filled pan in 450-degree oven for 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
Bake 50-60 minutes or until firm around the edges and just slightly soft in the middle.
This baking time is for a 9-inch springform pan. If you use a larger one, the cake will not be as tall and will need a shorter cooking time.
This one started getting quite golden on top, so I placed some foil over the pan loosely during the last 20 minutes of baking.
Gently remove from oven.
In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup sour cream (I use reduced fat),
1/4 cup brown sugar,
and 1 tsp. vanilla extract.
Stir until well mixed. You may or may not notice that my spoon is turned backwards. Brown sugar is sometimes lumpy, and I was mashing out the lumps.
Gently spread on top of cheesecake as evenly as you can.
Return to 350-degree oven and bake 10 minutes.
Remove from oven.
Use a plastic knife to go around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake from the side. This, too, helps avoid excessive cracking on top.
The heat will most likely melt your knife, but I think the plastic ones don’t stick to the cheesecake like metal ones do.
(Note: I was in a hurry today to get Lee to the orthodontist, and I mistakenly ran the knife around the edge before putting on the sour cream topping. Usually, I do this step after baking the cake with the topping on it. Our cake developed a couple cracks this time. I’m not sure if the timing of loosening it from the edges caused this or not, but I usually don’t have as large a crack as this one does. Not sure . . . but stick to loosening with the plastic knife after you bake the sour cream topping just in case.)
Let set 10 minutes.
Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, making sure it completely touches the entire surface of the cheesecake.
Place in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours to set.
Gently remove the plastic wrap.
Run a knife around the edge of the pan again. It can be a metal knife this time, since it is cool.
Undo the latch on the outside of the pan and extend the edge to its full size.
Carefully lift the edge and remove from the pan.
Cheesecake slices look best when they are smooth and sleek. That is difficult to achieve, however.
I have heard that pressing dental floss into the cheesecake, making sure to cut through the crust, is one way to solve this problem. I need to try this, but my current floss is mint-flavored, and I think this would be a conflict.
I use a knife that has been dipped in hot water and then wiped dry. Be sure to dip and wipe for every cut. The heated blade will prevent the cheesecake from sticking to it.
Both hot fudge and caramel sauces make nice garnishes.
Say a prayer for your sister today, and thank God for giving you such a great one.
I love you,