Exactly one year ago, I started this blog on a whim.
I never thought it would last a month, let alone make it to where it is now.
In those 366 days (it’s a leap year…. I’m not being weird haha. Official first post was June 29, 2011!), I have:
Lived in my first apartment, worked at Hershey Medical Center, gone skydiving, flown by myself for the first time (first across the country, and then across the Atlantic), seen Taylor Swift in concert (hello idol), gone on a cross country road trip, worked in a neuroscience research lab, lived in Dublin for five months, traveled to 15 cities in 8 countries with too many incredible experiences to name, taken my Optometry Admissions Test, gotten a little bit closer to my dream of becoming a doctor…
And all the while, I’ve kept up with this little blog of mine, which since then has surpassed anything I could have ever imagined.
To my wonderful readers, I can’t thank you enough. My blog has grown profoundly alongside me for the past year, and it would not have been possible without your support. My baking keeps getting better and better and my photography has improved (I’d like to think), my readership stats surprise me every day, and I am so thankful that you all think this silly little thing is worth any of your time.
Most importantly, I adore baking more than ever, and that’s about the only thing that hasn’t changed since its inception. Now that I’ve discovered that I love blogging about it, too, the two have become inextricable, and I can’t imagine one without the other. If just one person takes a minute to read what I have to say (or even just to admire my pictures), I won’t stop.
So to celebrate this insane year gone by, I baked a cake crazy enough to match.
Well, this cheesecake isn’t the most radical thing I’ve ever seen, but I’d say it packs some pizzazz as far as cheesecakes go.
Here’s to many more cakes, cookies, brownies, and other delicious things to accompany the adventures to come.
I can’t wait to see where life takes me next.
Chocolate Oreo Layered Cheesecake
for the Oreo cookie crust:
24 Oreo cookies
1/4 cup (half stick) butter
for the filling:
3 8-ounce packages regular cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips, melted and cooled
8 Oreos, broken into chunks
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Light spray a 9″ springform pan with cooking spray.
2. Finely crush 24 Oreo cookies and mix with 1/4 cup melted butter. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
3. Prepare a water bath while the crust cools. Heat a kettle or pan of water to a soft boil. Have a larger baking dish or roasting pan ready to set the springform pan inside of. Once the crust is cooled, wrap the springform pan with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap the foil up around the outside of the pan.
In a large bowl, beat the 3 packages of cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar with mixer until blended.
Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well. Whisk in the salt and flour until smooth.
Add eggs one at a time, beating after each until blended.
Divide batter in half. Stir melted chocolate into one portion; pour over the cooled crust and spread evenly. Stir crushed Oreos into the remaining batter and carefully pour over the first cheesecake layer.
Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 400F. Then reduce heat to 300 and bake for 70 minutes. Top should be just about set but center of cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved.
Run a knife or small metal spatula around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 15 minutes. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes.
Cover loosely; refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.