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Kathy's Recipes

Kathy's Special Cheesecake*

*with variations

Cherry Cheesecake

VANILLA CHEESECAKE:

Cheesecake filling for 8 Inch Springform Pan or regular pie pan:

2 Eight ounce packages of Cream Cheese
1/2 C. Sugar
2 Eggs
1 TBS. REAL Vanilla Extract

Cheesecake filling for 9 Inch Springform Pan:

3 Eight ounce packages of Cream Cheese
3/4 C. Sugar
3 Eggs
1-1/2 TBS. REAL Vanilla Extract

Crust:
1 Packet of Graham Crackers
1/4 C. Sugar
3 TBS. Melted butter or margerine

Directions for all versions:

Pulverize graham crackers into crumbs in food processor (or in a plastic bag with a rolling pin) and place in an 8" springform cheesecake pan. Stir in sugar and then melted butter. Stir until thoroughly mixed and then gently press into bottom and partway up sides of pan.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In large mixing bowl add all the cheesecake filling ingredients and mix with a mixer until creamy and smooth. After it's thoroughly mixed, give the batter about one more minute with the mixer to make sure it's creamy and nice.

Pour into cheesecake pan and bake for 35 minutes or until the center looks set and SMALL cracks start to appear around the edges.

Remove from oven and cool for about 1/2 an hour before putting it in the refrigerator to cool completely.

Variations:

CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE:

Add 1/3 C. Cocoa powder and 1/4 C. additional sugar to the cheesecake batter. This is even better with chocolate graham cracker crust.

Optional: 10 minutes before baking is completed, top this one with one 8 oz. carton of sour cream, sweetened with 1/4 C. sugar and 1 tsp. REAL vanilla extract. After cooling thoroughly, sprinkle the top with either 1-2 TBS. of chocolate graham cracker crumbs or chocolate shavings.

-or-

CHOCOLATE CHIP CHEESECAKE:

Add 1/2 C. Mini Chocolate chips into the batter. This one is better with chocolate graham crackers, but these decisions are those of the baker -- you can make it how YOU want it!

TOPPINGS: Use 1 can of cherry pie filling and pick out the cherries with a teaspoon and arrange the cherries with a small amount of the glaze on your cooled cheesecake. Never just dump it out on the cheesecake -- you will have too much syrupy stuff and it will be too messy.

-or-

Use 1 can of Blueberry Filling and again, pick out the berries and simply put berries with small amounts of the glaze.

Peanut Butter Polka Dot Brownies

To really dress up your brownies, try this! Make your batter however you prefer (a mix is okay if that's your method, or use your favorite recipe) and then instead of putting in nuts or chips or whatever, open up a bag of Reece's Bites. If you haven't tried these, I recommend them just for eating as they are yummy in their own right. They're like mini Reece's cups the size and shape of malted milk balls.

Put your brownie batter in the pan and scatter Reece's Bites all over the top of the batter, about 1/2 an inch apart. Bake as usual, but take them out about 3-5 min. earlier than you might have otherwise. What you will find after baking is that a lot of the chocolate from the candies has melted and risen to the top and spread itself out. Not as much as icing, but noticeable nonetheless. There will be little dents in the top but otherwise, you will not see the candy. It is very important to let the brownies cool completely before you try to cut them. Once cooled, cut and serve. You will find lovely little polka dots of peanut butter all through your brownies which are simply delicious!

Yummy Ice Cream Pie

Crust:
1 Pack of regular or chocolate Graham Crackers
1/4 C. Sugar
3 Tbs. Butter (melted

-or-

Prepared Graham Cracker Crust

1/2 Gallon of ice cream
1 can or jar of ice cream topping
1 Pint of Whipped Cream
Garnishes of your choice (Maraschino cherries, small candies, mini Oreos, nuts or fruits)

First, you need a graham cracker crust -- regular or chocolate your preference! You can buy them already made or you can make your own with just a pack of graham crackers (crush in a blender, food processor or put in a zip lock bag and smash them with a rolling pin!), 1/4 C sugar and 3 TBS melted butter or margerine stirred together with a fork and gently pressed into a pie pan).

Spread a thin layer of ice cream topping in the bottom of the crust and freeze till firm.

Let your 1/2 gallon of ice cream start to melt so that it's just soupy around the edges, not thawed clear out. At that point, put it into a large mixing bowl and stir it up. It should be spreadable at this point. Spread it into the pie crust and return it to the freezer and let it get very hard.

Top with more of your ice cream topping, whipped cream and whatever garnishes you chose.

Some great combinations:

* Chocolate crumb crust, fudge topping, Cookies N Cream ice cream, more fudge topping, whipped cream and Mini Oreos;

* Chocolate crumb crust, fudge topping, Peanut Butter ice cream, more fudge topping, whipped cream and Mini Reeses cups or Reeses pieces;

* Chocolate crumb crust, fudge topping, chocolate, vanilla, mint or coffee ice cream, more fudge topping, whipped cream and M&Ms or Chocolate chips;

* Chocolate crumb crust, fudge topping, vanilla ice cream, more fudge topping, whipped cream and snow caps;

* Regular graham cracker crust, strawberry topping, vanilla or strawberry ice cream, more strawberry topping, whipped cream and strawberries;

* Chocolate crumb crust, fudge topping, Cherry Cordial ice cream, more fudge topping, whipped cream and maraschino cherries;

* Regular graham cracker crust, raspberry topping, vanilla ice cream or peach ice cream, fudge topping, whipped cream and raspberries;

* Regular graham cracker crust, pineapple topping, vanilla ice cream or pineapple sherbet, more pineapple topping, whipped cream and pineapple pieces;

* Chocolate crumb crust, caramel topping, chocolate ice cream, caramel and fudge toppings, whipped cream and Rollo candies sprinkle this one with pecans for a turtle sundae pie;

You can also combine ice cream flavors if you have time to first add the bottom layer and freeze hard before adding the second flavor this would also give you the chance to add more topping into the center.

Be sure to serve your ice cream pie straight from the freezer and dont forget that if you REALLY want to impress your guests, you can drizzle a little of whichever syrup you used on the dessert plates!

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