Kids in the kitchen

I love it when friends ask me to play in their kitchens! My good friend Amie said her son would like to surprise his theater group with cheesecake. My mom taught me years ago how to bake the perfect cheesecake! I know a lot of people find it difficult but it truly is one of those things that the more you do it the easier it gets! I swear the hardest part is to remember to take the cream cheese out of the refrigerator a few hours beforehand so it has time to come to room temperature!

Aidan was very hands on and made the perfect graham cracker crust! It took him a little bit to get the crumbs as fine as I like them but he did great! He cracked the eggs without dropping any of the shells in the bowl and he was super patient and waited to for my approval before adding each egg. I think this is where most amateurs mess up. They rush beating in the eggs. It's very important that you add one egg at a time and get it mixed in throughly before adding the next.

He didn't remember to get a group picture or one of the cake but his mom remembered to snap a picture of the two of us in her kitchen.

Kiki's Favorite Cheesecake

For the filling:
5 packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
5 eggs (room temperature)
1 cup of sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoons of vanilla extract
Graham cracker crust
2 cups graham crackers, crushed fine
2 tablespoons sugar
1 stick of butter, melted

First preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Using a large plastic bag (or a food processor) add 2 sleeves of graham crackers and crush with a rolling pin. Add the crumbs to a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of sugar. Add the melted butter and combine. Using a springform pan add the buttered crumbs and press firmly so the crust covers the bottom and comes up the side about an inch. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl add the cream cheese and the sugar. Mix using an electric mixer until combined and then add the vanilla. Add the egg one at a time making sure you blend the mix after each egg until there is no longer yellow yolk showing. After the eggs are all mixed in add the heavy cream and blend slowly for 30 seconds.

Pour the cheesecake mix over the crust and add to a sheet pan. Place the pan in the oven and gently pour about a 1/2 pitcher of water or so until the water comes up half way up the springform pan. This gives the cake a 'water bath' and helps to cook the cake evenly.

Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes (until the middle does not jiggle). Let the cake come to room temperature before putting it in the refrigerator to chill. I suggest baking it a day ahead of time so it has time to get nice and cold!

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