Oreo Nostalgia Cheesecake

When I was little, I was never really a cookie person.

I know, I know, kind of sacrilegious but that's the way it was. While people around me were munching on freshly milk-dunked chocolate chip, and marvelling over m&m stuffed morsels, I gravitated towards the salty and savoury snacks: pretzels, chips, cheese, all that good stuff.

Oreos, however, were something of a different story. I'm not sure what it was about them, but those little cream-filled sandwich cookies were my exception. I used to twist the top off, scrape the cream filling off with my teeth (I didn't like the way it felt on my tongue ... kind of like sweet sandpaper) and then dunk the empty halves into my milk. Sometimes, if I held them in the milk too long, they would break off and fall to the bottom of my glass, leaving me with a cookie-sludge milk shake which I would gladly drink up(milk moustache and all). After watching The Parent Trap, I even tried dunking my oreos in peanut butter, even though I didn't like peanut butter. I guess I wanted to be like Lindsay Lohan ... thank god that ship sailed pretty quickly. Not my cup of tea, but regardless, even at the time there was no denying that this was one versatile little cookie.

Fast forward about 15 years, you'll rarely find oreos in my cupboards these days but every now and again when I walk past them in the grocery store, I get a little wave of nostalgia. One day, during one such nostalgia trip, inspiration struck. A cookie-shaped lightbulb went off in my head. I shovelled packets of regular and mini-sized oreos into my cart and raced to the checkout, eager to get home because I had one thing and one thing only on my mind ... an oreo cheesecake.

*Yes, another cheesecake. I apologize to your waist-lines but I refuse to apologize for giving you another cheesecake recipe, especially one this good. If you're bothered, step away from your computer and come back next week when I post a bunch of health food recipes (hahahahaha. ha)*

This recipe really encapsulates the spirit of the oreo ... only it isn't vegan (did you know oreos were vegan? I was shocked). Oreo cookie crust, oreos baked into the cake, and oreos all around the top ensure you get that cookie crunch in every bite, and the creamy cheesecake satisfies in a way that finding the perfect parking spot or sleeping in on a rainy day never can. So what are you waiting for? Once this bite of nostalgia hits your taste buds you'll wonder why you waited so long.

Happy Baking!

For Cheesecake Crust:

1 1/2 cups oreo crumbs (about 22 cookies)

2 tablespoons melted butter

To crush cookies, place into a food processor and pulse until even sized crumbs. Combine crumbs with melted butter, and press into bottom and sides of 9" spring form pan. Wrap bottom of pan in tinfoil. Set aside.

For Filling:

32 oz. cream cheese (4 packages), room temperature

1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 large eggs, room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream
2/3 cup whipping cream (35%)
1/2 cup oreo pieces (chopped up by hand)

Preheat oven to 325 F. Place cream cheese in bowl of stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Add sugar and continue to mix. Add salt and vanilla and mix until just combined. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Add sour cream and whipping cream, and beat until just incorporated. Pour mixture into prepared spring form pan. Sprinkle oreo pieces evenly across the surface. Place springform into roasting pan, and pour in boiling water, until about half the spring form is covered. Bake until cake jiggles only slightly in the middle, approx. 1 1/2 hours. Once completely baked, turn off oven, open oven door ajar, and leave cake for another hour. This will help prevent it from cracking. Once finished, take cake out and let cool in fridge for 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

For Garnish (optional):

125 ml cold whipping cream

1 package mini oreos

Once cheesecake has completely cooled, place whipping cream into mixing bowl and, using whisk attachment, beat on high until medium stiff peaks form (do not overwhip, or you'll have butter). Place into piping bag or ziploc bag with snipped off corner. Pipe a border around the top of the cheesecake. Place mini oreos on top of whipping cream, bordering the cake.

*Note: place whipping cream onto cake only before serving. Something funny happens to whipped cream when it sits out in the fridge (and not funny haha)



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