The Cheesecake Lady

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It’s a dessert many people drool over but are too intimidated to make for themselves: the decadent, but finicky, cheesecake.

Donna Kelly makes it look easy. Just call her “The Cheesecake Lady.” (Some people actually do!)

It’s a title she has earned after not only perfecting the art of the standard cheesecake, but also learning how to make 70 different types of recipes/flavors.
You crave it? She will create it.

It all started 15 years ago when her boss at Charley’s Restaurant needed a dessert for the weekend. She knew how to make some sweet stuff but didn’t consider herself an expert. She made a carrot cake—and it was a hit. That opened the door to her experimenting with more restaurant-worthy desserts, including cheesecake.

“People are scared to make cheesecake. They go, ‘I couldn’t ever do that’,” Donna says. “It just takes a little patience… and practice too.”

Donna says first, don’t “beat it to death.” Aside from the first three minutes of mixing, only beat the cheesecake batter when you have to as you add ingredients. Overbeating will result in a dry and cracked cheesecake, she says. Putting the cheesecake in a water bath (see tip on next page) also helps reduce cracks. She also suggests freezing your crust to get a “nice, tender” end result.

So stop fretting, pull out your mixer and follow Donna’s recipe. You might not be “The Cheesecake Lady” but you can still wow your friends and family with one of her fabulous creations.

Blueberry White Chocolate Cheesecake

Crust Ingredients:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter

Cheesecake ingredients:
3 8-oz. portions of cream cheese at
room temperature
3 eggs at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup of white chocolate chips melted
1/2 cup of fresh blueberries
1/3 can of blueberry pie filling

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch Spring Form pan and line with parchment paper.

Combine crust ingredients and press into bottom of cheesecake pan. Put in freezer for at least 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium-high speed for 3 minutes. Add eggs at low to medium speed one at a time, beating after each addition. Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Slowly beat in melted chocolate.

Line outside of pan with two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil.

Pour half of batter over frozen crust. Dot with fresh blueberries. Slowly pour remaining batter over blueberries. Spoon dollops of pie filling over batter. With a sharp knife gently swirl filling through batter.

Put cheesecake in roasting pan or large cake pan and add hot water (at least an inch). Bake 65 to 75 min. Center will jiggle slightly. Turn off oven and open door slightly. Remove after oven has cooled. Chill for 4 to 6 hours or overnight.


Butterscotch Cheesecake

Crust ingredients:
1 1/2 cups of chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs
2 tbsp. melted butter

Cheesecake ingredients:
3 8-oz. portions of cream cheese at room temperature
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup butterscotch chips melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch Spring Form pan and line bottom with parchment paper. Combine crust ingredients and press into bottom of pan and freeze for at least 15 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl combine cream cheese and sugar and beat for 3 minutes on medium-high speed. At low to medium speed, add eggs one at a time and beat after each addition. Beat in sour cream and vanilla. Add melted butterscotch slowly and mix in thoroughly at low speed.

Line cheesecake pan with two layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. Pour batter over frozen crust. Place in roasting pan or large cake pan. Fill with hot water, about 1-inch deep. Bake 60 to 65 minutes. Center will jiggle slightly. Turn off oven, crack oven door and let cool. Chill 4 to 6 hours or overnight.

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