- 2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- ½ cup sour cream
Graham Cracker Crust:
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup melted butter
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the crust ingredients in a medium bowl, and then press the mixture into the bottom of a springform pan. Wrap the outside of the pan with foil to prevent any of the butter from seeping out.
Bake the crust for 12 minutes. Remove it from the oven and decrease the temperature to 300°F.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Beat the mixture on medium speed until it is smooth, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs, beating until each egg is incorporated before adding the next. Mix in the vanilla and sour cream. Do not overmix.
Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and place the springform pan into a large roasting pan. Pour warm water into the roasting pan until the water is about half way up the springform pan. This is called a “warm water bath.”
Bake the cheesecake for about 1 hour, until the cheesecake is firm but still has a wobble to it.
Cool the cheesecake completely at room temperature and then place it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight before serving.
To serve, remove the sides of the pan and cut the cheesecake into slices.
Pumpkin – Omit the sour cream. Add a 15 ounce can of pumpkin and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
Amaretto – Omit the sour cream. Add a ¼ cup of Di Saronno amaretto liquor, 1 teaspoon of almond extract and a ¼ cup of flour.
Eggnog – Add a ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and 2 teaspoons of rum extract
Mocha – Mix in 4 ounces of melted and cooled bittersweet Ghiradelli chocolate, 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder and 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
Gingersnap – Add a ½ cup of molasses, 1½ teaspoons of ginger, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, a ½ teaspoon of nutmeg and a ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves.
Oreo – 24 crushed Oreos and ¼ cup melted butter
Nilla Wafer – 2 cups of crushed Nilla Wafers, a ¼ cup of sugar and a ½ cup of melted butter
Gingersnap – 2 cups of crushed gingersnaps and a ½ cup of melted butter
Pretzel – 1¼ cups of crushed pretzels, ¾ cup of graham cracker crumbs, a ¼ cup of sugar, a pinch of salt and a ½ cup of melted butter