The in-laws were in town this weekend. I will write more about that in a few minutes, here, but for now...
The Perfect Cheesecake (any flavor)
2 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 8 or 9 inch graham cracker crust
Preheat oven to 350F.
Put cream cheese and sugar in a medium bowl. Mix with electric mixer on medium until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, blending just until well incorporated. Mix in vanilla and any other additions (see below). Pour into graham cracker crust. Bake in preheated oven for 30 - 35 minutes, or until middle of cake is set. Remove from oven, and let cool about 30 minutes on counter before covering and continuing to cool in the refrigerator. Refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.
*The joy of this cheesecake is you can add anything to it to make a different kind of cheesecake.
Add 1/4 cup for liquids
1/2 - 1 cup for solids
1/4 cup Amaretto, Bailey's, Kahlua
1/4 cup lemon juice, lime juice, key lime juice (+ 1-2 teaspoons zest)
1/4 cup jam or jelly, swirled in or stirred in
1/4 cup caramel or fudge, swirled in
3/4 cup whole cranberries
1 cup chocolate chips, whole or melted
1 cup pumpkin
1 cup chocolate chip cookie dough pieces
1 cup crushed oreos