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Valentine’s Day for Rookies {recipe}

For this month’s column, we asked Chef Jeff to give us a “rookie” recipe for a Valentine’s Day dessert that can be made for sweethearts throughout the Fox Cities. He assures us that, “All of my recipes are always mine… and they don’t always work the first time!”

Chef Jeff’s Plain Cheesecake

Crust:
5 1/2 oz. (1 pack) graham cracker crumbs
4 oz. (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1/4 c. white granulated sugar

Filling:
3 lbs. cream cheese or neufchatel
1 1/2 c. white granulated sugar
2 Tbsp pure vanilla
6 large, fresh eggs

Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter or margarine & the sugar in a mixing bowl. Pat the mixture into the bottom of a 10” spring-form pan.

Blend the cream cheese with the sugar & vanilla until smooth. Slowly add the eggs, being careful to not aerate excessively. Pour the filling on top of the graham cracker crumb crust.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 250 degrees & bake for an additional 2 hours. Turn off the oven but do not remove the cheesecake. Allow the cheesecake to cool in the diminishing temperature of the oven (about 2–4 hours).

Refrigerate for approximately 12 hours before serving.

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