The winter months might not seem like the time for a coconut-y treat, but this recipe has been a Christmas staple at my parents’ house the last few years. My mother even refused to bake cookies last year, only these. Instead of exchanging a tray of thumbprint, chocolate chip, gingerbread, snickerdoodle cookies, she gave each of our neighbors a mini Almond Joy Cheesecake. It is a refreshing taste to and flavor this time of year, when other desserts start to become overdone.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
About 30 Oreo Cookies (or store brand, of course)
1/4 cup of sugar (granulated)
8 teaspoons of melted unsalted butter
16-18 Almond Joy candy bars (the snack sized ones) cut into small chunks
2 pounds of cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 cups of sugar (granulated)
4 eggs at room temperature
1 tablespoon of almond extract
1 large spring form pan (or several smaller ones)
A few large ziplock bags
A rolling pin
An extra pan
First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Then begin to assemble the crust. You’re going to line the bottom of a spring form pan with parchment paper (the kind or pan that opens up so the cheesecake can be removed very easily). This will help so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. You can make it fit by using the bottom of the pan as a template and tracing a circle on the paper to cut out and stick inside of the pan.
Next, place all of your oreo cookies in a ziplock and remove as much air as possible. Use a rolling pin over the bag to crumble the cookies. Do this until you have a fine powder. You can also use a food processor if you’d like.
Mix cookie crumbs with 1/4 cup sugar and 8 tablespoons of butter and stir well.
Then, place in pan and press evenly on the bottom and halfway up the sides.
Bake this crust for about ten minutes by itself in order to set.
First, beat your 2lbs of cream cheese and your 1 1/2 cups of sugar together in a large bowl or stand mixer until smooth.
Add 1 tablespoon of almond extract, and mix.
Then, add one egg at a time, using your mixer after each one.
Next, spread 1/3 of the filling in the pan over your crust.
Then, layer half of your almond joy candy bar pieces evenly over the filling. Add another 1/3rd of the filing, and repeat with The other half of the candy bar pieces. Put the final 1/3 of the batter on top.
Place your cheesecake in the middle rack of your oven. Place another pan with 1 inch of water on the lowest rack of your oven. This will help keep the cheesecake moist and not dry it out while it is in the oven. Bake for 70 minutes, or until the middle is set and the edges turn a golden brown color.
Chill the cheesecake completely and use a knife to loosen the edges from the pan before releasing the springs and transferring it to a serving plate.