My family is pretty typical with our Thanksgiving traditions. We always get together and have turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole and the whole nine yards. This year I had a great idea! For dessert, suggested we try a 'build your own cheesecake bar.'

Usually we do homemade pumpkin or apple pie. That's fun and all, but I want to spice things up a bit! I come from a family of cheesecake lovers and I just found the most amazing cheesecake recipe ever! I thought I'd share it with you in case you and your family would like to do something similar!

This recipe makes a plain vanilla cheesecake. The idea here is to dress it up how you like. You could make a pumpkin cheesecake, apple topping cheesecake, etc.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup plus 2/3 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 8oz packages of cream cheese

Steps

In a medium size mixing bowl add your graham cracker crumbs, confectioners sugar and melted butter. Set aside.

Next, in another medium size bowl add in your eggs, cream cheese, granulated sugar and vanilla extract. If you have a Kitchen Aide mixer, use it.

Next, take your crust and press it into a pie pan. Add in the cheese cake filling.

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Once the oven is preheated, bake your cheesecake for about an hour. My oven sometimes takes and hour and 15 minutes. The top will be a nice gold color when the cheesecake is done. Make sure it's cooked all the way through before you take it out of the oven.

If you're going the whole 'build your own' cheesecake route, her are some suggested toppings!

  • Turtle cheesecake: melted caramel, chocolate, pecans
  • Strawberry: fresh strawberries and whipped cream
  • Peanut butter: Peanut butter cups, peanut butter whipped cream and chocolate drizzle
  • Oreo: Oreo cookie crust with Oreo crushed cookie on top and whipped cream
  • Chocolate: Chocolate whipped cream with chocolate drizzle and chocolate shavings

Happy Thanksgiving...and happy eating!

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