This recipe comes to us from Donna Millheim.
1 small plastic zipper-style sandwich bag
small microwaveable glass or cup (for melting the butter)
¼ cup measure
1 teaspoon measure
1 tablespoon measure
9.5" round springform cake pan, 3" deep
3 quart mixing bowl
Butter knife (for cutting cream cheese)
Handheld electric mixer
Cookie sheet (or other flat sheet large enough to hold the springform pan in
the oven; I use a pizza pan)
Frosting spatula (for scraping sides of bowl and later for spreading
Knife or cake server for cutting cake
1/3 box of gluten-free soft chocolate cookies (7.25 ounce box; you can vary
from this slightly - I use Country Choice Certified Organic Double Fudge Brownie Cookies)
¼ cup butter (equal to half a stick of butter)
1 cup sugar
3 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
Sour Cream Topping Ingredients:
1 cup dairy sour cream (8 oz container)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
Make the Crust:
Preheat oven to 350F. Place all of the cookies into the zipper bag. Place the butter into a glass or cup and melt it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Pour the melted butter into the bag on top of the cookies (shut the bag) and scrunch the mixture (using one hand, outside the bag) until it is crumbly. Empty the mixture out of the bag and into the springform cake pan, then turn the bag inside out. Place your hand into the (now clean) inside of the bag, and use the knuckles of your hand (you are using the plastic bag as a type of glove to keep the mixture from sticking to your hand) to press the cookie mixture flat into an even layer in the bottom of the pan. Make sure you cannot see the pan through the cookie layer. You can go a little bit up the sides of the pan, but try not to go more than a fraction of an inch higher than the depth of the cookies. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool while you mix the cheesecake ingredients.
Mix The Cheesecake Ingredients:
Reduce the oven temperature to 300F. Cut the cream cheese into half-inch wide slices as you open the package, dropping them into the mixing bowl. After each package has been dropped, beat the cream cheese until it is fairly smooth. Once all three packages are smooth, gradually beat in the sugar (a quarter cup at a time) and then the cocoa (a little bit at a time, or it will form a chocolate-colored dust cloud) until fluffy. Add the vanilla and then beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Bake the Cake:
Place the springform pan onto the cookie/pie sheet. This is to contain any "weep" from the springform pan during baking. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the springform pan and place it immediately into the oven. Bake until center is firm, about 1 hour. The cake will fall slightly near the end of baking (and possibly crack); this is normal. Leave the cake in the springform pan for now.
Mix the sour cream topping ingredients together with a fork until well blended and uniform in color. Spread this on top of the cheesecake. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours but not longer than 48 hours (not that its going to last that long - yum!). Once youre ready to eat it, open the springform and remove it, but leave the cake in the pan. The springform should come away cleanly, as the mixture shrinks slightly during baking. You can put the springform back onto the pan if you need to transport the cake.