Rich, homemade cheesecake sweetened with a decorative ring of hearts.
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1 1/3 cups crushed chocolate wafer cookies
1/4 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar
4 large Land O Lakes® Eggs, separated
1/2 cup Land O Lakes® Butter, softened
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling
3 tablespoons kirsch or orange juice, if desired
Heat oven to 325°F. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with aluminum foil. Lightly grease inside of pan.
Combine all crust ingredients in bowl. Press onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.
Place egg whites into bowl. Beat at high speed, scraping bowl often, until soft peaks form. Set aside.
Combine 1/2 cup butter, cream cheese and egg yolks into bowl. Beat at medium speed, scraping bowl often, until creamy. Add all remaining filling ingredients except egg whites. Continue beating, scraping bowl often, until well mixed. Gently stir in beaten egg whites.
Spoon filling into crust. Place cheesecake onto center rack of oven. Place pan of warm water on rack below cheesecake to prevent cracking. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is set and firm to the touch. Cool 15 minutes.
Loosen sides of cheesecake from pan by running knife around inside of pan. Cool completely. (Cheesecake center will dip slightly upon cooling.)
Combine sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in bowl; mix well. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Spoon out 2 to 3 tablespoons cherry sauce from pie filling; drop by teaspoonfuls onto sour cream topping. Carefully pull knife or spatula through cherry sauce to form hearts. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hours.
Stir together remaining pie filling and kirsch in bowl; spoon over cheesecake at serving time. Store refrigerated.
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