Baked Cookies+Creme Cheesecake—Prototype 3:
I wanted a natural sandwich cookie product that tasted like those oh-so-famous Oreos. For this prototype, I gave the Newman's Own brand—Newman-O's (original)—a try.
Repeat Prototype 2, but upon adding the crushed cookies, make sure that they are only folded into the batter. Keep that blender, mixer, or whatever food processor is used, shut off at this point! Then transfer all this to the pan.

Cookies+Creme Cheesecake—Prototype 3

What a difference the fold-only approach makes! However, the Newman's seemed to taste just like Joe-Joe's (which, I suspected, may have been Newman-O's themselves, packaged under the Trader Joe's label, until I realized many weeks later—through nutrition and ingredient label comparisons—that there were considerable differences).

I brought this to the Italian Community Center in Beverly, to which Lesa's dart team transferred—in early 2012—after a number of years of being based out of the Sports Page. The cheesecake fared well at the ICC. However, Steve commented about this one—and other cheesecakes that I have previously made—being too dry (nevertheless, he still loved this cheesecake). But this did not surprise me, considering the fact that this was a relatively low-fat recipe (and the already dry cookies would only absorb more moisture out of the batter). Laurie (Lesa's cousin), while feeling that the crust was fine, provided some suggestions for the batter:

1) Add lemon zest (to me, that would be lemon "peel"), about 1/4 teaspoon.
2) Add a "splash" (about 1/8 teaspoon) of lime juice.
3) Use Hydrox cookies.
4) Replace at least some of the cottage cheese with cream cheese (about 6 ounces).
She furthermore suggested using stevia, one of the newest sweeteners on the market, a natural sugar substitute with hardly any calories.

I felt reserved about some of her suggestions—the probability of artificial ingredients in Hydrox cookies, the relatively high-fat characteristic of cream cheese and—in my experience—the insufficiently sweet taste of stevia. Furthermore, based upon some Internet research, it seemed that Kellogg's (home of the Bran Buds from the All-Bran line!), the owner of Keebler/Sunshine Biscuits, which in turn had put out Hydrox in the past, retired this cookie (it was reportedly brought back for a limited time around 2008). Neither was there hope for "Droxies", a updated replacement for Hydrox.

Anyway, I felt that it was time to give another natural/organic brand of chocolate sandwich cookies a try, this one being Nature's Promise. I conducted a taste test between this one and genuine, Nabisco Oreos. What was the outcome (this happened to be on a "Friday the 13th" BTW)? I could
not really detect a difference in taste...I have finally found my desirable kind of cookies—classic Oreo-style taste, all-natural ingredients (this product was even "organic"—that was a bonus)!

Now for those of you interested in these particular cookies, you may or may not have to seek out yet another alternative. It depends on where you buy your groceries. I was fortunate enough to obtain this product,
Nature's Promise Organic Chocolate Cookies with Vanilla Cream, from a Stop & Shop supermarket in my area. If you do not live in Stop & Shop territory, but still have access to another grocery chain owned by Ahold USA (corporate parent not only of Stop & Shop, but also Giant of Carlisle, PA, Giant of Landover, MD, and Martin's), there's a good chance that you can pick up these same cookies, given that Nature's Promise is Ahold's private natural/organic brand. Best wishes ("good luck" as some say)!

So I made another instance of Prototype 3, but this time I used Nature's Promise. This cheesecake got devoured very quickly at a Living Hope Church meal (although there wasn't much of a selection of other desserts on this particular occasion). I became concerned, however, about the dryness in regard to the cookies.

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