This creamy cheesecake recipe is filled with vanilla, graham cracker, and toasted almond goodness. But of course (and for the purposes of this article) it wouldn't be complete without a healthy helping of liqueur. A few tablespoons of Amaretto di Saronno give this cheesecake some flavor.
Yields: 12 Servings
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed
1/2 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
1 lb regular cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1-1/3 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 tablespoons Amaretto di Saronno liqueur
1Prepare the crust:
2Preheat the oven to 325°F and position a rack in the lower portion. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl until well mixed. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan and press firmly into an even layer in the bottom. Set aside.
3Prepare the topping:
4Place the sliced almonds between two sheets of waxed paper and crush into small bits with a meat pounder or rolling pin. In a small bowl, toss the crushed almonds with the melted butter and sugar. Spread on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place in the oven to toast lightly while you prepare the filling, about 7 or 8 minutes. Set aside.
5Prepare the filling:
6In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the sour cream, melted butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and Amaretto and blend until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Pour into the springform pan, place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. The cake should appear set but still wiggle in the center if gently shaken from side to side.
7When the cheesecake is done, shut off the oven, open the door completely, and leave the cake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Gradual temperature changes help prevent the top from cracking. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake and place on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.