This cheesecake is a lot of fun to make. As you can see, I made it for Valentine's Day. But it would be great for Christmas, or ANY time of the year. I certainly wouldn't limit it to just the Holidays. The cookie crust, creamy rich filling with it's cream cheese frosting makes for a wonderful flavor combination. The water bath makes the cheesecake so moist and creamy, and it never comes out with a cracked top...like some cheesecakes do. Give it a try, I promise you won't be disappointed!
1Place a greased 9-inch Springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Securely wrap foil up and around pan. Important Hint: I use the extra large (wide) heavy duty foil. You want to make sure that there are no seams or creases in the foil where the water can seep through.
2In a small bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter, and sugar. The food processor works great for this. Press onto the bottom of springform pan and bake in 10-12 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in the sour cream, buttermilk, cocoa and vanilla. Add eggs; beat on low speed till combined. Stir in food coloring. Pour over crust and place in springform pan in a large baking pan. Add 1-inch of hot water to larger pan.
4Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes or until center is just set. Note: you may need to cook it up to 20 minutes longer. You don't want to over cook, but make sure that the center is set and just jiggles slightly.
5When done remove springform pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan.
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and vanilla; beat until smooth. Frost top of cheesecake. Refrigerate until serving time.
7Note: Another reason I like this recipe is that you can make this cheesecake the day before and then just whip up the frosting then next day and spread it on the cheesecake a couple hours before serving. Saves time. Enjoy!!