Last weekend, under the shade of the elm tree in my backyard, we enjoyed a long-awaited crawfish boil with warm spring sunshine beaming down on us and cool spring breezes blowing.
I say “long-awaited” because it’s been in the works for over a year.
We tried to make it happen during last crawfish season, but schedules never meshed, calendars never coordinated and the crawfish boil never happened.
My friend, Leslie, and I said we were not going to let another crawfish season go by without celebrating.
Celebrate, we did. Ran into a few kinks with the propane heat source, but a little ingenuity goes a long way when you’re hungry and there are 30 pounds of crawfish ready to be eaten.
Speaking of hungry, Leslie baked and brought a S’mores Cheesecake, which didn’t make it until dessert. In fact, we all had our dessert BEFORE dinner, and it was so delicious that I can’t stop thinking about it.
Leslie and I love all things s’mores, so this dessert definitely needed to be what was happening at our crawfish boil.
The cheesecake part was creamy, but not too dense. Even though the flavor was rich, you could definitely manage a second piece (after dinner, this time).
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbs butter, melted
3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
1 cup marshmallows
4 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
3/4 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch
2 tsp vanilla extract
10 oz hot fudge topping, warmed
2 cups marshmallows
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Grease a 9-inch springform pan with Crisco, butter or vegetable oil (use something other than nonstick cooking spray). Place the springform pan inside a larger roasting pan with deep edges, like a 9 x 13 baking pan.
Mix the graham cracker crumbs with melted butter, vanilla and brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until well-combined and forms small pea-sized “pebbles.”
Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan, including about 1 inch up the sides of the pan.
Sprinkle mini chocolate chips and marshmallows over the bottom of the crust.
Using an electric mixture, beat cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add the cornstarch and sugar; mix until well-combined. Add the eggs and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Then, beat in the sour cream, vanilla and heavy cream.
Pour the cheesecake batter over the top of the chocolate and marshmallows; tap the sides of the springform pan gently until evenly spread. Pour water into the roasting pan until it reaches about half the depth of the springform pan. (If you’re worried about water compromising the springform pan, wrap the bottom with aluminum foil before adding the water to the roasting pan.)
Bake for 90 minutes. Do not open the oven door during the baking process.
Turn off the oven and crack oven door. Let cheesecake rest for 10 minutes in the oven before removing it.
Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes; carefully remove the outer portion of the springform pan.
Chill for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
Preheat broiler to high heat.
Spread warm hot fudge over the top of the chilled cheesecake, and spread the marshmallows across the top.
Place cheesecake under the broiler for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Remove immediately when the marshmallows are golden.
Cool cheesecake completely; cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Nutritional Information: Calories Per Serving: 720, Calories from Fat: 346, Fat: 38 g, Trans Fat: 0 g (23 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 138 mg, Sodium: 394 mg, Potassium: 186 mg, Carbohydrates: 86.6 g, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 56 g, Protein: 9 g.
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