Monday, May 5, 2014

Easy No-Bake Turtle Cheesecake

On Sunday I was trying to think of a dessert to bring to a poker night at a friend's  house. It needed to be something I could throw together between church and 5pm. At first cheesecake was entirely off the table, but then I thought up an idea.

This is really fantastic in so many ways....first, it's really fast (none of that horrible water-bath in the oven nonsense), second, it doesn't get a chance to burn, sink, or curdle because it's not baked, and third, it's not made with Cool Whip!!!

It set really well even though it's not baked. It's softer than a cooked cheesecake, firmer than a pudding, but super rich and smooth. It will hold its shape when cut--making life so much easier for those of us who are really bad at cutting cakes and pies.

Overall, this is the best and yummiest no-bake I have ever made. Enjoy.

Ingredients for Crust:

-1 sleeve of graham crackers (9 crackers)
-1 cup of pecans
-1.5 sticks of butter (11 tbsp.)

In a food processor, blend up the cracker and pecans until finely ground. Melt the butter in the microwave and add to the crumbs. Pulse until fully combined.

Pour into a pie dish (this was easiest for me; you can also try a spring-form pan and remove the outer edge to serve), and press the crumbs all around and up the sides so it's all smooth and even. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Ingredients for Filling:

-2 8 oz. packages of cream cheese (not low-fat!!!), at room temperature
-1 14 oz. can of condensed milk (also not low-fat...come on guys, dessert is meant to be like this)
-zest of one lemon
-1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice
-1 1/2 tsp. caramel flavoring
-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Beat the cream cheese until smooth with an electric mixer. Slowly drizzle in the condensed milk and beat until fully combined, scraping down the sides. Add in the lemon zest and juice, then the flavorings. Pour into the graham cracker crust and refrigerate for at least 1.5 hours. Then, sprinkle more pecans on the top, along with some chocolate chips, and a cross-hatched drizzle of chocolate syrup and caramel syrup (I didn't have any this time).


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