The Friendly Double Layer Cheesecake

Two words that are equally attractive separate or together are cheese and cake. There isn’t enough time left in the day to discuss them individually so let’s consider them united. Cheesecake is more of an occasional affair. I won’t waste your time listing the heavenly merits of this pie (it really is a pie) because I’m sure you know all about it. I will, however, point out the dangers.

Radical amounts of cream cheese consumed without caution or restraint can have the effect of illegal substance abuse; reckless joy cut short by sudden overdose coma. We’ve all experienced this to some degree—eyes bulged, paralyzed with fork in hand, unable to even look at the second slice requested in a moment of transient, sugar-and-fat induced ecstasy. So for the safety and health of you and your loved ones make cheesecake at your own risk, preferably at lengthy intervals.

Now that I’ve gotten the legal disclaimers out of the way, let’s get to it. Most won’t even entertain the idea of making cheesecake out of trepidation. It seems to have a stigma born of a false reputation for difficulty. Many recipes casually mention springform pan as a Phillips is mentioned in Ikea instructions. Name dropping intermediate level baking devices is like an ambush attack on the beginner baker’s self esteem. This recipe is not hard; it is nearly fool proof and quite fast. You don’t need a springform pan. In fact, you don’t need a pan at all.

This should be called Any Layer Cheesecake because it can be pumpkin or chocolate or dulce de leche or whatever suits your mood.

Double Layer Cheesecake

½ cup sugar

3 pkgs. cream cheese softened

3 eggs

¼ cup sour cream (optional)

¾ cup of Dulce De Leche (next to the condensed milk in baking aisle), OR ½ cup pumpkin pie filling OR 3 squares BAKER’S Semi-Sweet Chocolate, melted & cooled

2 tsp. vanilla

2 pre-made graham cracker crusts or oreo crusts for chocolate version

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Heatoven to 350ºF.

2. Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each, then beat on medium for about 3 minutes, add sour cream and vanilla, blend until smooth.

3. Fill the crusts halfway.

4. Add dulce de leche (or chocolate or pumpkin) to the batter remaining in the bowl. Blend until incorporated.

5. Pour flavored batter on top of first layer. Don’t fill it too the brim—it will puff up a bit when it bakes.

6. Bake 50 min or until center is almost set. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Serve with whipped cream and drizzled dulce de leche/cinnamon sprinkled on top/chocolate shavings and astonish your friends with a layered cheesecake that looks fancy.

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