Let’s face it: I’m not Irish in the least bit. I’m pretty much as Scandinavian as they come. But…that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll wear my green come Saturday. Most years I try to do something food-related for St. Patty’s day, and this year is no different. Recently, Adam and I had our friends Ryan and Tera over a few days before the 17th. They are known for loving cheesecake, so it was a no-brainer to serve it as our dessert. So I made Sensational Irish Cream Cheesecake - although it’s not green, it does pack an "Irish" flavor!
Begin by combining all of the crust ingredients. Just a heads up - when the recipe says "chocolate wafer cookies," for some reason my mind went to those famous chocolate and cream sandwich cookies we all love - but that isn’t what you want to use in this crust. These aren’t a normal purchase for me, so I actually had to ask someone at the store where I’d find them. Chocolate wafer cookies come in a yellow box like this and are in the cookie aisle.
I made quick work of crushing the cookies by running them through my food processor.
Mix the butter and cookie crumbs together.
Place the crumbs into a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan.
Press the butter/cookie crumb mixture onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of the pan. I’ve found the easiest way to do this is to use the bottom and side of a dry measuring cup - it pretty much does the work for you!
See how nice and uniform it looks?
Now, combine the sugar and cream cheese in a large bowl.
Beat the sugar and cream cheese until it is creamy.
Continue beating, adding 1 egg at a time…
…until it is well mixed. Make sure not to overbeat it - overbeating can add too much air to the batter, changing the texture of the finished cheesecake.
Now it’s time to make this cheesecake "Irish," by adding Irish cream. If you don’t want to use the liqueur, or if you want to make it more kid-friendly, it’s easy. Just substitute 1/4 cup half & half or milk, 2 tablespoons cooled coffee and 1 teaspoon almond extract for the liqueur. I went right in between 1/3 and 1/2 cup of Irish cream, but if you make the substitute, you will end up with exactly 1/3 cup.
Stir in the Irish cream (or coffee/half & half mixture).
Next, stir together ½ cup of the chocolate chips and the flour in a small bowl.
Adding the flour to the chocolate chips will help them stay suspended in the cheesecake, so they don’t all fall to the bottom.
Gently stir the chocolate chips into the cream cheese mixture…
…until they are incorporated into the batter evenly.
Pour the batter into the crust…
…and sprinkle the remaining ½ cup of mini chips over the top.
Bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is set, and is firm to the touch. The surface might be slightly cracked, but that’s okay- that is what whipped cream is for - to cover up any imperfections! Let it cool for 10 minutes.
Loosen the sides by running a knife around the edge of the pan, and then refrigerate for at least 3 hours, or until it’s time to serve.
Feel free to garnish the cheesecake with whipped cream and chocolate curls. We were in such a hurry to eat dessert, that we skipped the toppings.
Garnished or not, our dinner guests loved the cheesecake. I think it’s safe to say this is a great way to pay homage to the Irish! How do you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? If you’re looking for a new "Irish" dessert, give Sensational Irish Cream Cheesecake a try. Make sure to come back and let me know how it turned out for you!
Looking for a main dish idea for St. Patty’s day? Come back in a few days when Liz will share a warming stew recipe.
Mallory is a Product Specialist in the Test Kitchens at Land O'Lakes and writes for our Recipe Buzz® Blog.