Monday, October 7, 2013

Sophia's Cheesecake

This became my favorite go-to dessert almost instantaneously - it was that good! Making it for a get-together or event is always a gamble as you can never be entirely sure how much of the resulting yummy goodness will actually make it out of the kitchen! (If only that were just a joke!) Disclaimer: Don't expect to bring any leftovers home if you do take it to a function. (You've been warned!) Unless, of course, you are friends with people who don't like food, in which case you shouldn't be wasting this on them in the first place!
Sts. Sophia, Faith, Hope, and Love

Sophia's "cheesecake" (cheesecake bars really) is excellent for fattening up those loved ones in your life needing a bit of meat on their bones and can be highly useful in bartering and/or hostage situations. I have also found it to be an excellent thank you gift for overworked clergy and a good treat for the little people in my life. As well as an excellent treat for myself. Have I mentioned that I really like this recipe?

The original recipe was for sopapilla cheesecake, but I've rechristened my adaptation in honor of the many, many, many Sophias I know - you seriously would not believe how many Sophias, Sonyas, Sophies, Sofiyas, and Sofichkas have been in my life over the years! (Plus if you say "sopapilla cheesecake" as fast as you can it basically comes out sounding like "Sophia's cheesecake" anyways.) A life of the original Sophia - St. Sophia - and her daughters can be found here.

Sophia's Cheesecake

1/2 cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter
2 packages of Pillsbury seamless sheet dough
1 package of cream cheese (8-ounce)
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of almond extract (optional)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg

1) Lord, bless!
2) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
3) Prepare a 9 x 13-inch baking dish by thoroughly rubbing the bottom and sides with the butter. (You should still have plenty of butter leftover afterwards - if you don't, then you've been too thorough!)
4) Soften the cream cheese by leaving it out for a while or zapping it sparingly in the microwave and then beat it together with 3/4 cup of sugar and the vanilla and almond extracts until the mixture is smooth.
5) Unroll one roll of sheet dough and stretch it to cover the bottom of the baking dish. Spread the cream cheese mixture over the sheet dough and then cover it with the second roll of dough.
6) Melt the butter and brush it onto the top dough sheet - be sure to use all the butter!
7) Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon and nutmeg and then evenly sprinkle it over the top of the "cheesecake."
8) Bake for 20 to 30 minutes - the sheet dough should puff up somewhat and turn a golden brown color.
9) Remove the pan from the oven and run a knife along the sides to separate the cheesecake from the dish.
10) After the cheesecake has cooled cut it into squares and enjoy!

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