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Castle River Inn Almond Joy Cheesecake

Source: Castle River Inn, Wichita, Kansas

Serves 12-16.

Crust
9 ounces (about 20) Oreo cookies
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 pounds cream cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon almond extract
4 eggs, room temperature
5-8 Almond Joy candy bars, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Finely process cookies and place in 9-inch springform pan. Add sugar; stir. Add melted butter; stir. Press crust evenly on bottom and halfway up side of pan. Bake for about 10 minutes, until crust is set.

Beat cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add almond extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in candy bar pieces. Pour filling into crust and bake about 1 hour or until middle is set. Place a pan with 1 inch of water on lower rack in oven during baking. Chill cheesecake completely before removing from pan.

To remove cheesecake from pan, cut around cake with dull knife. Slide very large knife under crust and loosen all around before transferring to serving plate. Cut cheesecake with large knife, dipping the knife in hot water before each cut.

Variation: In the filling, substitute vanilla extract for almond extract, add 1/4 cup heavy cream and use 9 ounces of Oreo cookie pieces instead of candy bars.



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