Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

I’ve healthily lost 65 pounds in the past year, and as you can read here, it took and continues to take a lot of effort.  But things are different for me now, so I realize I deserve to strive for my best. It doesn’t mean I’m fanatic and only eat this or avoid that.  I’m gentle with myself.  I’m human, working hard and trying, so I refuse to deny myself the occasional indulgence.  I have to practice what I preach.

So here it is, a fattening, rich, sweet cheesecake – nothing artificial, no low-fat anything, just decadent cheesecake.  Well, it’s like cheesecake and chocolate chip cookies did it in an alley and this was their sinful little baby. The other night, I made chocolate chip and white chip macadamia cookies for my sexy mancrush (my boyfriend), and we left them in the oven a little too long.  They were edible, but crunchy as hell.  I ran them through the food processor, and those little reinvented crumbs inspired this recipe (I’m making the crust with those damn cookies).

i.n.g.r.e.d.i.e.n.t.s.

2 cups finely crushed crunchy chocolate chip cookies

2 tbsp. butter, room temperature

1/8 + 2/3 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs

3 8-oz. packages of cream cheese, room temperature

3 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup chocolate chips

d.i.r.e.c.t.i.o.n.s.

Incorporate the butter into the cookie crumbs by using a fork.  There shouldn’t be any ‘butter-lumps.’   Spray a spring-form pan and press the cookie mixture, forming an even crust.  Wrap the bottom with aluminum foil.  Bake at 350 F for about 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Melt 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips and spread a circle in the middle of the crust.  Prepare the cheesecake filling by first mixing the eggs, sugar, and vanilla on medium for a few minutes until fluffy-ish.  In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese until well-blended.  Add the eggs to the cream cheese and beat on medium until smooth and creamy (a few minutes). Add the remaining chocolate chips to the cream cheese mixture. Pour evenly over the crust. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes, then turn off oven and leave in oven for another 30-40 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.  Best served chilled for at least 5-6 hours (with whipped cream added before eating it, of course).  I didn’t eat this whole piece (I left some on my plate).  Just those several bites were enough.  Delizioso!

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