To vary this delicious cheesecake, add cherries to the top, or swirl raspberry jam throughout before it’s baked. —Wendy Paffenroth, Pine Island, New York
- 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons maple flavoring
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1/8 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- Melted chocolate, optional
- Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Wrap foil securely around pan.
- In a small bowl, mix the cracker crumbs, walnuts and sugar; stir in butter. Press onto bottom and 1 in. up sides of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the maple flavoring, extract and lemon peel. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
- Remove rim from pan. If desired, drizzle cheesecake with melted chocolate. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Maple-Nut Cheesecake in Taste of Home February/March 2013
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