“Cheesecake for Dummies” Part II

IMG_9815           I’ve been having a lot of fun with cheesecakes since I wrote my last blog a couple of days ago.  Taste of Home ran a recipe for Aunt Somebody’s Butterscotch Cheesecake.  Of course, you can go to the magazine and check it out, but I came up with some really good little variations on that recipe.  For instance, what if you don’t have Vanilla wafers for a bottom crust?  OR, graham crackers!  Well did you know you can use just about any sweet cereal (about 2 cups crushed), add 1/3 stick melted butter, and voila!  There’s your crust!  Just put about a Tbs. in the bottom of each muffin cup.  If you don’t have sweet cereal, use it anyway (like cornflakes or Special K) , and add 1/4 cup sugar to it.  Or if you are REALLY adventurous, keep the crust savory–like with crushed pretzels.  Oh, the Possibilities!

BUTTERSCOTCH CHEESECAKES FOR DUMMIES

2 blocks cream cheese, softened (8 oz. each)

1/3 cup sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

Now here’s where the fun comes in:  Take one pkg Instant Butterscotch pudding and mix it into 3/4 cup whole milk.  Let set a few minutes, until it’s set, and now beat it into the cream cheese mixture, which you have beaten together till smooth.  Pour into muffin cups which have a little bottom “crust” (as described in the text above).  Bake about 18-20 minutes at 350.  When cool, put a dollop of prepared white frosting or whipped cream.  (I know it’s a sin, but I use frosting that is already in the can for this.  Now top with crushed toffee bits or nuts of your choice.  This will thrill a crowd……ask me how I know!

NOTE:  This recipe really got me thinking about all the variations you could make.  For instance, I am going to try Pistachio pudding next–it’s my favorite flavor.   For the garnish of the topping on this one, I would put crushed pistachio nuts.  And what if I liked lemon?  I’d use lemon pudding, and put a few crushed lemon drops on top–and I could always add some lemon zest in or on them.  Chocolate chip?  Strawberry?  Let me know if YOU try anything great!

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