If You Give a Cook a Condo

It’s vacation week for us, and we are in Colorado, escaping the 100+ degree heat of St. Louis. We are so lucky that Rich’s parents spend the summers in Colorado, and that they generously invite us to come and spend time with them (shameless suck-up so they will keep extending the invitation. Love you, Mom and Dad!)

Vacation doesn’t mean that I stop wanting to cook or bake. The first full day we were here, Rich’s mom asked me what we were having for dessert. She is the perfect foil for a baker – I pretty much have carte blanche in the kitchen, she will provide whatever ingredients I need and she usually washes any dishes I make, if Rich doesn’t get to them first. We do have to plan more here in Colorado, since they are at almost 10,000 feet and I am not used to cooking at high altitude. She has a couple of high altitude cookbooks that we use when we can’t adapt a tried-and-true recipe.

We ended up making vanilla sour cream cheesecake, out of a fundraising cookbook that supported the Breckenridge summer music festival. Of course I changed it a bit, as I usually do. We used cinnamon graham crackers for the crust, and cut the filling in half, since the recipe called for two pounds of cream cheese and there were only five of us eating it. It is vacation, but we didn’t want to go totally crazy.

The cheesecake turned out great, as cheesecakes almost always do. Yesterday we took a break from the kitchen, but I am already thinking about what we will bake for the Fourth of July.  Maybe brownies.

Vanilla Sour Cream Cheesecake
Adapted from “Entertaining! Summit Style”
By The Cook’s Life
Serves 8

 Crust:
1 package cinnamon graham crackers (8 full crackers)
6 tablespoons butter, melted

Filling:
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Crush graham crackers into crumbs with a food processor, blender, or put them in a plastic bag and bash on them with a wooden spoon or ladle. Mix with the melted butter and press into an 8-inch springform pan.

Bake the crust for 8-10 minutes, or until set. Set aside while you make the filling.

Beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in the sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time and mix well after each. Add the vanilla and sour cream and mix well. Pour into the pre-baked crust and smooth the top.

Bake for about 30 minutes, or until just the middle third of the filling jiggles when you shake the pan. Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool in the pan on a rack for several hours, until room temperature.

Store cooled cheesecake in the fridge. Remove from refrigerator about 30 minutes before serving to let the cheesecake come to room temperature for best flavor.

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