Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Cherry Almond Cheesecake

It's hot. Maybe it's because I come from a place where analyzing/predicting/complaining about the weather is expected and encouraged, but the heat is the number one thing I've talked about with strangers this week. And I've talked to a lot of strangers this week. What? I'm friendly/make questionable social decisions.

Feeling extra complain-y about something I can't control isn't new, but lately, I've been trying to edit my inner monologues and force some good, old fashioned positivity into my head-space. That's theoretically great. But... honestly, I feel like a rotisserie chicken at a second-rate grocery store that's been left unattended and I'm just stuck on a spit as it gets hotter and hotter because a deli worker went on their break and forgot about me. And, like, I'm simultaneously running errands.

Perhaps I'd be less obsessed if it wasn't technically, basically fall. The rest of the country gets to luxuriously settle into scarves and cold rain and excessive Nick Drake the words "crisp" and "autumnal" -- I don't even like pumpkin spice lattes, but I can appreciate the idea of them. The other night, I had a dream where I was wearing boots and walking on crunchy leaves. THAT WAS THE WHOLE DREAM. And I woke up feeling satisfied. Inappropriately satisfied. ...I'm also single.

Anyway, the point is, it was over 100 degrees last Sunday and there was no way my roommates were going to let me turn on the oven. So, I found a great icebox cheesecake recipe, did some modifying, and stuck that puppy in the freezer for 5 hours. For the first time in my life, I was jealous of a cheesecake. ...I'm also single.

Cherry Almond Cheesecake


7 graham crackers, crushed within an inch of their life
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup slivered almonds

8 oz. cream cheese (one package)
3/4 cup sugar
about 30 oz. of frozen cherries (for me, it was 2 1/2 bags from Target)
8 oz. thawed Cool Whip (one small container)
about 1/2 cup slivered almonds

Before you start, make sure the cream cheese is soft and the Cool Whip has had time to thaw in the fridge. You can also let the cherries thaw slightly.

No, those cherries aren't moldy. They're frozen!

Crush the graham crackers. You can do this with a food processor or using the Emily Schmidt Feel-Good No-Stress Method -- throw them in a plastic bag and really go to town with your fist. Don't break the bag. 
Melt the butter.
Add the 1/4 cup almonds to the graham cracker bits and slowly sprinkle the mixture into the melted butter. 
Cover the bottom of a springform pan with the crust mixture. Use a fork to press the crust so that it's even and covering the entire pan. Don't freak out if you think, This can't be a stable crust! Because you're going to freeze it and just calm down, okay?

Make it look exactly like this.

Chop 1 cup of the cherries into fourths (no need to be perfect) and set aside.

I'm so impressed I didn't straight-up eat these.

Blend the rest of the cherries in a blender or juicer. 
(If you don't have those things, consider waking up your roommate's boyfriend. Convince him that if he helps you find/operate your roommate's Ninja, he can have all the cherry almond cheesecake he wants.)

No blender? No juicer? No Ninja? Get creative. As long as you end up with cherry juice, no one gets to ask questions.
Using a hand mixer or your god-given muscle, combine the sugar and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl.
Add the cherry juice to the sugar/cream cheese, as well as the Cool Whip, 1/2 cup almonds, and chopped cherries. Mix well! ...Mix well and enjoy this fun texture (you'll know what I mean).

So... silky...

Pour the filling onto the crust. 

The hard part is almost over!
Attempt to secure cling-wrap on the top of the pan. 
Realize the cling-wrap doesn't stick to the pan. 
Keep trying.

Carefully put the cheesecake in the freezer for 5+ hours. 
Make sure your roommates know to be careful when opening the freezer for the next 5+ hours. 
 Cut and serve. 

Thanks for visual perfection, springform pan!
While technically cheesecake, the Cool Whip is definitely a present flavor, so keep that in mind if you hate Cool Whip. Also, feel free to sub fresh cherries for frozen -- to find out if it's cherry season, go to three grocery stores before realizing it must not be cherry season.
This cool treat is also delicious and pretty. I mean, it's just so pink, you know?! It almost made me forget that it's 100 degrees outside. Almost. Almost. 

Happy baking! 


  1. Good lord, this looks delicious. I want.

    Also, I haven't laughed as hard as a food-related blog post as I did reading this one. You make me so damn happy. Please never stop blogging.

  2. You are a genius. You know that, right?