Monday, April 13, 2009


the goods:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
12 graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt

2 and 1/2 pounds (5 bars) cream cheese, room temperature
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make crust: Butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a food processor, pulse graham crackers until fine crumbs form; add melted butter, sugar, and salt, and pulse to combine.

Press crumb mixture into bottom and about 1 inch up side of pan. Bake until set, 12 to 15 minutes; let cool on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Set a kettle of water to boil. Make filling: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down sides of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in lemon zest and juice, and salt. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.

Wrap bottom half of pan in foil. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in filling; place in a roasting pan. Pour in boiling water to come halfway up side of springform.

Bake until just set in center, about 1 and 1/2 hours. If it starts to brown on top or crack, turn down your oven to 300 degrees. Remove pan from water; let cool completely. Cover; chill overnight before serving.

Place a paper towel and an upside-down plate on top of cheesecake to absorb any moisture it accumulates while it chills.

Monday, April 6, 2009

peanut butter - chocolate chunk cookies

the goods:

1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces semisweet chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, whisk together flour and baking soda; set aside. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat peanut butter, butter, and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture, beating just until combined.

Stir in chocolate chunks.

Drop dough by heaping tablespoons, 1 inch apart, onto a baking sheet.

Bake until golden, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.