I’m going in deep here for a second, so y’all bear with me. Have you ever thought about how we, as humans, strive for perfection to the extent that we make things infinitely more complicated? It’s like our desire to be perfect negates any practical consideration. We’re always told that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But how often do we actually take that direct path?
I think sometimes that we’re afraid of simple – we’re afraid it might make us look unintelligent or unskilled.
Sometimes we even give certain parts of our lives their own language, you know … to make things complicated. When was the last time you went into Starbucks and ordered black coffee? No, it was a venti, skinny, caramel, macchiato, whatever. See? Complicated.
Now, on my best day, I try to be the opposite. I want things to be simple. I need things to be easy. My dad always taught me the K.I.S.S. principle – Keep it simple, stupid. In fact, when I was writing my book, I went back at the last minute and removed the word sauté from nearly every recipe that had it in the instructions. To sauté something literally means to cook it quickly in a little fat. To cook it. So rather than say sauté (which I think might intimidate an inexperienced home cook), I just simply wrote “cook.” See? Easy.
This cheesecake is the perfect example of something that is simple, that can be made infinitely more complicated. Google a recipe for cheesecake and you’re sure to find methods that call for you to cook it in a water bath to keep it from browning or tell you that you’ve got to stand on your head while reciting the alphabet backwards for the last 14 minutes of the cook time to keep it from cracking. Ugh. Complicated. I’m here to tell you, this is not one of those recipes.
Yes, this cheesecake will brown – on the edges AND the top. So what. And it will probably crack in the middle too. But guess what? It will taste just the same. Yep, sure will. And if you don’t like the way it looks, drizzle it with some chocolate syrup and add a dollop of whipped cream – heck, even a dollop of Cool Whip. Yes, I said Cool Whip. This is seriously the easiest cheesecake. It’s perfect for when you need something uncomplicated.
To make it, start by putting about half of the Oreos into a zip-top bag. Seal it and give those babies a good crushing – really take out your frustrations.
Next, combine those crushed Oreos in a small bowl with the melted butter. Mix well.
Dump that mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch spring-form pan that you’ve sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Press them out evenly to form the crust.
Next, combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. Mix it really well. Add in the eggs and mix well.
Take the remaining Oreos and break them up into big chunks. Add most of them to the cheesecake batter, but reserve some for the top.
Mix them in.
Pour the cheesecake batter on the crust and spread it evenly. Make sure to tap the pan on the counter a few times to get out any air bubbles.
Top with the few reserved broken Oreo pieces. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the middle is almost completely set — but not all the way set. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool on the counter before refrigerating it overnight for it to firm up. If you’re incredibly impatient (and who isn’t when there’s an Oreo Cheesecake in your fridge) 3 to 4 hours will probably be enough.
Once chilled, slice and serve. Add a drizzle of chocolate syrup and dollop of whipped cream if you like. It sure makes it look pretty.
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Easiest Oreo Cheesecake
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
- 1 (14.3-ounce) package Oreos, divided
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Lightly spray a 9-inch spring-form pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place about half of the Oreos (about 18) in a gallon size zip-top bag.
- Crush the cookies using a rolling pin.
- Pour the crushed Oreos into a small bowl and mix with the melted butter.
- Pour the mixture evenly into the bottom of the spring-form pan and press firmly to create a crust.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a bowl and hand mixer) combine the softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until well-combined.
- Add the eggs and mix well.
- Roughly break up the remaining cookies and add them to the mixture, reserving some to sprinkle on top.
- Gently fold the cookies in and pour the batter onto the crust.
- Lightly tap the pan on the counter to get out any air bubbles.
- Sprinkle with the remaining Oreos.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the center in almost completely set.
- Cool and then refrigerate overnight to allow the cheesecake to firm up before serving (or at least 3 hours for those impatient folks).
- Drizzle with chocolate syrup and add a dollop of whipped cream, if desired.