We all have kitchen mishaps.
Many of my friends and co-workers assume that I don't make mistakes in the kitchen and that everything always turns out well. They think everything I make tastes great and I don't burn things or screw up recipes. Well they are wrong and this cheesecake has a story to vouch it. First I would like to say that in the end this cheesecake was pretty amazing, it was not easy getting there.
I found this recipe on the Kraft Foods Website and thought it would be a good dessert to make for Valentine's day. I decided to make this recipe the night before Valentine's Day and it came together really easily. I considered baking it in a water bath to keep it from cracking (Note: the last cheesecake I made looked liked it was in a earthquake it had so many cracks and craters!), but since the recipe did not mention anything about it I decided not to use a water bath. I had the cheesecake in the oven for about 10 minutes when my boyfriend said he smelled something burning. I looked in the oven and the cheesecake was fine and I did not smell smoke so I brushed it off. Another 10 minutes goes by and I am smelling smoke too. I check the oven and the cheesecake is leaking all over the bottom of the oven causing the smoke. Naturally, both of our two smoke detectors go off.
Normally this would not be that big of a deal, but I live in an apartment building in Washington DC. My smoke detector is linked to the building so if it goes off for too long it will set off the fire alarm for the entire building. I shut off the oven, my boyfriend and I open all the windows (it was only 20 degrees out) and we each take a towel and start fanning the air in front of the smoke detectors. We get the alarms to stop going off, I wait for the oven to cool, and then I begin cleaning the drippings from the bottom of the oven. I really wanted to finish the cheesecake for Valentine's Day after all. I thought I had smartened up so this time I put a cookie sheet on the rack below the cheesecake. The cheesecake is in the oven for about another ten minutes and what do you know, the smoke detectors are going off again and we had to go through the entire de-smoking process again! In an effort to save the cheesecake, I did not open the oven door after I turned it off and just left the cheesecake in the oven for a couple hours and hoped it would finish cooking. Luckily the cheesecake survived (the crust was a little soft in the center) and we were still able to enjoy it the following night, but now you know I am not perfect in the kitchen. Also, if you make this recipe, put the cheesecake pan right ontop of a cookie sheet.
Oreo Peanut Butter Cheesecake
modified from Kraftfoods.com
Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely crush 16 of the cookies. Coarsely chop remaining 14 cookies; set aside.
Mix finely crushed cookies and butter. Press firmly onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add sour cream and peanut butter; mix well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended. Gently stir in chopped cookies. Pour over crust.
Baked 50 to 60 minutes or until center is almost set (I reccomend placing the cheesecake pan on a cookie sheet). Run knife or metal spatula around side of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing side of pan. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.