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Irish Coffee Cheesecake

ingredients

makes 12 to 16 servings
22 crisp oatmeal cookies
3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
4 eggs
3 tablespoons coffee liqueur or milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons instant espresso coffee powder
1/3 cup Irish whiskey or milk
1 teaspoon instant espresso coffee powder
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 1/2 cups whipping cream
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
chocolate coffee beans or mocha beans

method

1. For crust, lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

2. In a food processor bowl, process cookies until finely crushed (should have 2 cups crumbs). Add butter, the 1 tablespoon brown sugar and the cinnamon; process until mixture is combined. (Or crush cookies in a plastic bag with a rolling pin. In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs with the 1 tablespoon brown sugar and the cinnamon. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture is well mixed.)

3. Press the crust mixture onto the bottom and 1-1/2 inches up the side of the prepared pan. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 8 minutes or until firm. Cool completely on a wire rack.

4. For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and the 1 cup brown sugar with electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs all at once and beat on low speed until just combined.

5. Stir in liqueur or milk and vanilla extract. Dissolve the 2 tablespoons espresso coffee powder in Irish whiskey or milk. Add to cream cheese mixture; stir until just combined. Pour into cooled crust.

6. Bake in a 350 degree F oven about 50 minutes or until center appears nearly set when you shake it. Remove from oven. Cool 15 minutes. Loosen crust from side of pan. Cool 30 minutes more; remove side of pan. Cool 1 hour. Cover and chill at least 6 hours.

7. For topping, dissolve the 1 teaspoon espresso coffee powder and the 1 teaspoon granulated sugar in the 1 tablespoon whipping cream. In a medium bowl, beat the 1-1/2 cups whipping cream with the 2 tablespoons granulated sugar until stiff peaks form (peaks stand straight). Fold in espresso mixture. Spread on top of chilled cheesecake. Garnish with chocolate coffee beans. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.

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