Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

Well, it's finally happened. I won first place in my company holiday bake-off. I did enter two desserts (the other entry was the Pumpkin Chocolate Cake I posted yesterday), but the Chocolate Chip Cheesecake with a chocolate ganache glaze took the cake (so to speak)! My mom couldn't believe the Pumpkin cake didn't win, but she might be a little biased (but it was de-licious).

It's a very rich, chocolaty cheesecake, and it would be the star of your dessert table this holiday season.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake
Serves 12

9 whole sheets chocolate graham crackers, crushed (equal to 2 cups)
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unpacked light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 cup mini semisweet chocolate chips
4 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup regular semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F. In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press the crumb mixture on the bottom and about 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined, about 1 minute. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Fold in the mini chocolate chips. Pour the batter over the crust in the pan. Set the batter-filled pan on a baking sheet.

Fill a 13- x 9-inch pan with cool water, about halfway to the top. Place the water-filled pan on the bottom rack in the oven. Place the baking sheet with the batter-filled pan on the middle rack in the oven. Bake the cheesecake until almost set in the center, about 1 hour 10 minutes.

Turn off the oven, and leave the oven door slightly ajar. Let the cheesecake stand in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from oven and run a knife around the edges. Let cheesecake cool at room temperature on a wire rack for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, place the regular chocolate chips in a small, microwave-safe bowl. Add the cream. Microwave on HIGH at 30-second intervals, stirring after each, until smooth.

Unclasp the pan side and remove. Spread the chocolate ganache topping over the top of the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake in the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.

(If you're counting pts, each serving is 12.)


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