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You know how sometimes you just have a craving but can’t figure out what the craving is for?

You want something sweet yet salty?
Well, I had one of those cravings this weekend!
I didn’t want chocolate or caramel or peanut butter….

So, what to do- what to do…..

Experiment in the kitchen, that’s what!!!!

My husband and I are cheesecake fiends!  Our FAVORITE dessert spot is the Cheesecake Factory- unfortunately the closest one to us is like 40 minutes away- so I decided to make my own…… but with a twist, of course!

I wanted to work with what I had on hand in the kitchen- no grocery store runs at 8pm for me!

What I came up with turned out to be absolutely AMAZING!  It was the PERFECT combination of salty with sweet yumminess!!!!!

I know everyone knows about making cheesecake crusts with graham crackers, but, what about Ritz crackers?!

Oh yeah, Ritz crackers!!!!!  They add the perfect touch of salty to this yummy cheesecake!

The Crust:
45 Ritz crackers- crushed
3 TBS Sugar
1/2 TBS Ground Sea Salt
1 stick Salted Butter

Directions: Combine crushed Ritz crackers, sugar, and salt.  Add in melted butter.  Mix well!  Spray bottom of pie dish with non-stick cooking spray (I use the one specific for baking– it doesn’t leave a funky after taste).  Pat in crust mixture- tightly.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Let cool.

The Filling:
2 8oz Pkg Cream Cheese (room temp)
1 16oz container Sour Cream (reduced fat)
1 Cup Sugar
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Lemon Extract
3 Large Eggs

Make sure your cream cheese has softened to room temperature.  Use your mixer and blend on high for 1-2 minutes- until creamy, no lumps.  Add in sugar 1/3 cup at a time and blend together.  Add in eggs one at a time blending on low after each egg.  Add Vanilla, Lemon, and Sour Cream- blend for 1 minute max- everything should be well mixed but you don’t want a bunch of air bubbles.
Pour into you pie pan.

Place pie pan in a larger baking dish and fill 1/2 way up pie pan with boiling water- I just boil the water in the microwave on high for 3 minutes.

Bake at 325 for 45 minutes.  DO NOT OVER BAKE!  The cake will still be jiggly when it comes out.  Let it cool for about 30 minutes. Then put in fridge for 4 hours so it can finish setting.

Topping- Top with whatever you like!  For this one I made a gel topping consisting of 1 cup frozen strawberries mixed with 1 cup of sugar- then cook on stove top on low for about 5 minutes- until mixed well.  Spread over cheesecake- then placed fresh strawberries on top of that.


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Melissa Llado
Melissa is a busy mom trying to survive the preschool years. She loves a good Pinot Grigio and cuddling up on the couch for the latest super hero movie. Her kids enjoy getting in the kitchen and helping make a mess trying new recipes! Even though she's constantly creating new and delicious treats she usually winds up buying grocery store treats when it's time for her to take snacks for school-- at all of the teachers' dismay.
Melissa Llado
Melissa Llado

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