When this photo of Lee was taken, we were visiting our dear family in KY.
Your cousin Hannah, then three years old, leaned over to Lee and said in her precious little-girl voice, “Baby Wee! Are you suh-pwised about something?!”
Those big blue eyes have been taking in the world from that day to this.
With a ball in your hand and a song in your heart, you have a very special place in our family, Lee. You are much loved, and we celebrate you today with a chocolate chip cheesecake.
Here is how to make one:
Set four packages of cream cheese (I use the reduced fat cream cheese) on the counter a couple hours before you want to make the cheesecake so that it will soften.
When you’re ready to cook, you’ll start with the crust.
Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in the microwave.
Put one package of chocolate graham crackers into a plastic bag and seal.
Since our food processor is broken, I went old school and crushed the graham crackers with a rolling pin. Go at them until only crumbs remain. You will have about 1 and 1/2 cups crumbs.
Measure 1/4 cup sugar.
Mix the butter, crumbs, and sugar together.
The butter often wants to clump. Just turn your spoon over and mash out the chunks until you have a crumbly mixture.
Pour into a springform pan.
Press firmly against bottom of pan with your hand.
Place the four softened cream cheeses into a mixing bowl.
Add 1 cup sugar,
and 1 tsp. vanilla.
Mix until blended.
You’ll need to stop the mixer after a bit and scrape the beater and the sides of the pan with a spatula.
Then measure 1 and 1/4 cups mini chocolate chips.
Stir in to cream cheese mixture.
Pour over the chocolate crust you made earlier.
Bake 10 minutes at 450 degrees.
With cake still in the oven, decrease the temperature to 350 degrees.
Bake 45 minutes more or until cake is barely golden and not overly jiggly in the center. (I realize that “not overly jiggly” is somewhat vague. If you’re not sure, call me, and I’ll come over and make one with you so that I can show you how “not overly jiggly” looks.)
Let cool a few minutes on a wire rack while you make the topping.
Measure 1 cup sour cream. (I use light, and it tastes great. I try to work on those high cholesterol genes whenever I can.)
Add 1/4 cup sugar and
1 tsp. vanilla.
Stir well until it looks like this.
Pour gently onto cake and
spread until evenly coated.
Return to 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.
Place cake on wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.
Cover with plastic wrap, making sure the wrap makes contact with the entire surface of the cake.
Place in refrigerator for at least eight hours.
Carefully remove the plastic wrap.
Use a knife to cut along the edge of the cake.
Then unlatch the side of the springform pan and gently raise side of the cake pan.
I mentioned in the Snicker’s cheesecake post that I had heard of using dental floss to cut a cheesecake. Well, I’ve tried it since then, and it didn’t work for me. The floss wouldn’t go through the crust.
So, I’m sticking with a hot knife. Just run the blade under hot water. Wipe dry. Slice.
Hot water. Dry the knife. Slice.
Repeat until you’ve sliced enough cheesecake to celebrate someone special.
Happy birthday, Lee!
I love y’all,