I was once a Girl Scout and remember going door to door to sell cookies. I was a shy little thing (my friends are at once amazed and dumbfounded) and it was very hard for me to go up to the doors of complete strangers asking if they wanted to buy some cookies. Anyway, I always try and get some extra Samoa cookies because, well, they seem to disappear rapidly in this household. This year, I decided I wanted to make something with them and that something was Samoa Cheesecake: creamy, caramelly, chocolately, coconutty goodness. The office peeps enjoyed it that is for sure.
Adapted from recipe by Laura DiFabio
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cupbrown sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
Melt butter in microwave. Add brown sugar and graham cracker crumbs and combine. Press into a 9" springform pan that has been sprayed well with PAM. Wrap the pan in 2 layers of heavy duty foil and then bake the crust in 375-degree oven 15 minutes. Cool at least 15 minutes.
3 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese (room temperature)
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 box Girl Scout Samoa cookies, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 C sour cream
1/3 C purchased caramel sauce
Combine while cake is baking and set aside at room temperature.
1 1/2 C flaked coconut, toasted
1/4 cup hot fudge sauce, warmed
Blend cream cheese in KitchenAid mixer until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add condensed milk and continue to mix, scraping bowl occasionally, until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping bowl after each one is added. Stir in vanilla extract. Pour about 1/3 of the batter into cooled crust. Sprinkle 1/2 of the chopped cookies evenly over batter. Pour next 1/3 of batter and top with the rest of the chopped cookies. Pour remaining batter on top and try to spread over most of the cookies. It doesn't matter if all the pieces are covered by the batter, since the topping will hide any visible cookie pieces. Place springform pan in a larger pan with high sides, and pour in very hot water until it reaches almost 1/2 way up the sides of the springform.
Bake at 350 degrees about 75 minutes or until top is lightly brown and center is set. Remove from oven. Carefully spread topping on cheesecake and cover evenly with toasted coconut. Return to oven and bake 15 minutes more. Turn off oven and let cheesecake sit in hot oven another 40 minutes. Remove and drizzle with warm hot fudge in concentric circles over the top of the cheesecake.
Place in refrigerator and chill at least 8 hours or overnight.