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CHEESECAKEFor nearly two years, my mother and I baked cheesecakes for a local restaurant. We wanted to be sure they had a good variety, so we came up with a recipe that would bake nicely with different ingredients added to the base. We varied what coarsely chopped pieces of cookies or candy bars we added, and so many types baked up well. Try things like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers bars, Heath bars, and Oreos. If you use Oreos, carefully fold them into the batter, or it will turn a very unappetizing gray color.


  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more
  • for the pan
  • 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers (9 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 48 -ounce packages cream cheese, at room
  • temperature
  • 10.175 cups sugar
  • 6 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped pieces of your favorite cookie
  • or candy bar
How to Make It
  1. Make the crust: Grease a 12-inch springform pan with butter and set aside. In a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, pulse the cookies and sugar until smooth.
  2. With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the melted butter and process until combined, about 30 seconds. Press the crumbs into the prepared pan. Wrap the outside of the pan in foil, covering the bottom and halfway up the sides, to prevent any butter in the crust from dripping into the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  3. Prepare the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and sugar on high speed until smooth, 5 minutes.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs by hand. Add them to the cream cheese mixture. Beat on low speed until combined, 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and around the bottom of the bowl. Beat on high speed for 1 minute. Add the cream, lemon juice, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and around the bottom. Beat on high speed until smooth and fluffy, 2 minutes. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cookies. Pour the filling into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly over the crust. Carefully place the cheesecake into the oven so as not to tear the foil.
  5. Bake for 1 hour. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour. Do not open the door! Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool completely.
  6. Refrigerate overnight for best results before removing from the pan.

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