This is one of my favorite cheesecake recipes - I like the various variations:
Makes 12 slices
Prep: 30 minutes
Chill: 4 hours
Bake: 35 minutes
Cool: 2 hours
Stand: 2 hours
1-1/2 cups finely crushed graham crackers
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 375F. For crust, in a medium bowl stir together crushed graham crackers and the 1/3 cup sugar. Stir in melted butter. Press the crumb mixture onto bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan; Place the crust-lined springform pan on a double layer of 18x12-inch heavy-duty aluminum foil. Bring edges of foil up and mold around sides of pan to form a watertight seal.
2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, the 1 cup sugar, the flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in milk until smooth. Stir in eggs. Pour into crust-lined pan. Place in a roasting pan and pour enough hot water around pan to reach halfway up the sides. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes for the 8-inch pan (35 to 40 minutes for the 9-inch pan) or until edges of cake are set but center jiggles a bit when pan is gently shaken. Turn oven off and let cheesecake sit in oven for 1 hour.
3. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the crust from sides of pan; cool for 30 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
4. Mint and Chip Cheesecake: Prepare as directed above, except substitute chocolate-flavor graham crackers for the regular graham crackers in the crust. For the filling, add 1/4 teaspoon mint flavoring with the vanilla and substitute 1/4 cup green creme de menthe liqueur for the milk. After stirring in the eggs, stir in 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate pieces. Bake and cool as directed. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. If desired, just before serving, drizzle slices with purchased fudge sauce.
5. Honey-Nut Cheesecake: Before serving, top chilled cheesecake with 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds and if desired, 1/2 cup fresh raspberries. Drizzle with 1/4 cup honey. Slice and serve cheesecake as directed.
6. Turtle Cheesecake: Before serving, drizzle individual slices with 1/2 to 1 tablespoon each of purchased caramel ice cream topping and chocolate-flavored syrup. Sprinkle each slice with about 1 tablespoon chopped dry-roasted peanuts.
7. Chocolate Bar Cheesecake: Before serving, top chilled cheesecake with 1 cup of one or more flavors of chopped chocolate candy bars, such as chocolate-covered peanut butter cups, chocolate-covered English toffee, chocolate-covered nougat bars, milk chocolate, and/or dark chocolate. If desired, drizzle each slice with purchased butterscotch, caramel, mocha chocolate, or chocolate fudge sauce.
8. Fruit-topped Cheesecake: In a 1--quart saucepan heat 1/3 cup of Orange marmalade or desired flavor fruit preserves just until spoonable. Top cheesecake with 1 to 2 cups fresh fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, halved sweet cherries, or sliced strawberries or peaches; drizzle with heated preserves.