Baked Cookies+Creme Cheesecake—Prototype 5:
The quest was on to improve on the cookies. I came up with a new idea on how to soak them.

At this point, I made a major change for the batter, and—to some degree—for the crust as well. I replaced the cottage cheese with yogurt cheese for this cookies+creme prototype after having experimented beforehand with some plain cheesecakes (see
Baked Plain Cheesecake—Prototype 7 for more details). I also made some further adjustments, particularly in boosting the sugar. Among other things to be noted here: no milk (except to soak the cookies), lemon juice or arrowroot used.
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted
1 1/3 tablespoons cocoa powder
8 oz. yogurt cheese (half of it lowfat, the other half nonfat)
3/8 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2.2 oz. Bran Buds, ground up

2 tablespoons melted or softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
20 oz. yogurt cheese (half of it lowfat, the other half nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

Cookie Mixture:
16 chocolate sandwich cookies, broken preferably in halves (at least make a reasonable effort here)
1/2 cup skim milk

Fill a resealable ("Ziploc") sandwich or 1-quart bag with the 16 cookies and 1/2 cup skim milk. Seal this bag and shake it to distribute the milk and moisten the cookies. Refrigerate for a few hours. Then add this to the batter before baking.

Bake the cheesecake in a tub for about an hour at 300 degrees. Cool it down afterwards for about 90 minutes before refrigerating.

Cookies+Creme Cheesecake—Prototype 5

At first, the bagged, milk-soaking approach seemed like a great idea. But after a few hours of letting this sit in the refrigerator, the bag's contents turned to a chocolate "mush". Anyway, I tried to make the best of this outcome by distributing this "mush" throughout the cheesecake batter before baking.

I was also moved at this point to perform another comparison test between the Oreo and Nature's Promise brands, because the Oreo cookies on a previous try seemed to have absorbed some mint flavor due to being stored in a container which also had, from what I best recall, a package of chocolate-covered mints. In that earlier test, I reasoned that the two brands still had close enough tastes, apart from the mint interference. The more recent test would be a cleaner comparison.

I ended up concluding that as long as I thoroughly combined the chocolate cookie outsides and the inner cremes together, the tastes were hopefully close enough for me to be unable to tell the difference. In fact, with my eyes closed, I incorrectly guessed (likely the majority of times) which brand I was eating. However, in comparing the outer cookies, I felt that Nature's Promise's was a little sweeter. On the other hand, I felt that the Oreo's inside creme was a little sweeter than that of Nature's Promise. Perhaps with the right amount of sugar-shifting between the outer cookie and inner creme of one brand, its taste could indeed be very indistinguishable from the other brand's. My conclusion at this point: mix the cookie and creme together in each brand's case (at least inside the mouth), and the amount of overall sweetness hopefully evens out between Oreo and Nature's Promise.

I made this cheesecake for Lesa's friend Steve, in celebration of his 60th birthday. This prototype ended up faring nicely at the Italian Community Center in Beverly, where the occasion took place. The chocolate sandwich cookies, I felt, gave this recipe a really nice taste.

However, on the heels of Prototype 7 of my plain cheesecake—and my ongoing quest to improve the flavor of the plain batter, I felt that the batter of my latest cookies+creme prototype, apart from the cookies, still had that "ho-hum" tinge. Karen, among those at Steve's party, suggested cutting down on the flour (she also discussed with me some red velvet tips).

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