Maple Walnut Cheesecake

I saw this recipe in the Mixing Bowl magazine recently, and it looked so good I just had to try it. In winter time, as it is here in the Northeast, one of the familiar things you think of is maple syrup. It looks every bit as good as it looks in the picture in the magazine. My picture’s no where near as good, but I’ll just have to make it again to get it right!

Maple Walnut Cheesecake

Maple Walnut Cheesecake

Maple Walnut Cheesecake

Crust:
16 pecan shortbread cookies (I used Pecan Sandies)
5 Tbsp butter, melted
4 Tbsp sugar

Filling:
3 – (8 oz. pkg) Cream Cheese
3/4 c. sugar
3 – egg whites
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp maple extract
1/3 c. real maple syrup
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350° F. Crush the cookies in a Ziploc bag with a rolling pin or in a processor until finely crushed. In a medium bowl mix the crumbs with melted butter and sugar. I wrap the exterior of my spring form pan in foil, so if anything drips it goes in to the foil instead of the oven. Press the crumb mixture in to the bottom of a 9″ non stick spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

For filling, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add egg whites one at a time, until combined. Beat in the salt, vanilla and real maple syrup until blended. With a spatula, fold in walnuts.

Pour cream cheese filling to pan lined with crust. Bake for approx 40-45 minutes or until a 2-1/2″ area around the outside edge appears set  when gently shaken.

Cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges to loosen. Cool for another 30 minutes more. Remove outer ring from spring form pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours. Drizzle top with some maple syrup and walnut halves for decoration.

I adjusted the original recipe and added a little more cookies, butter and sugar for the crust. My crust did not appear as thick as the one in the picture using the original recipe. I also added a little maple extract as when I tasted the mixture before baking it seemed like it needed a hint more maple.

The Verdict:
Unbelievable! This cheesecake has just the right amount of maple flavor IMO. The crust is exceptional.

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