This Frosted Animal Cookie Cheesecake has frosted circus animal cookies in the crust and throughout the cheesecake! It’s thick, creamy, yummy and so fun!
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Line a 9-inch (23cm) springform pan with parchment paper in the bottom and grease the sides.
2. Combine the crust ingredients in a small bowl. Press the mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
3. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
4. Cover the outsides of the pan with aluminum foil (I also use a plastic crock pot liner – see method here) so that water from the water bath cannot get in. Set prepared pan aside.
5. Reduce oven to 300°F (148°C).
6. In a large mixer bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar and flour until well combined (Use low speed to keep less air from getting into the batter, which can cause cracks). Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
7. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract, mixing on low speed until well combined.
8. Add the eggs one at a time, beating slowly and scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
9. Stir in about 1 1/4 cups of chopped animal cookies. Stir just until mixed, so the colors from the sprinkles don’t mix into the batter too much.
10. Pour a small amount of batter into the bottom of the crust in an even layer, then add the remaining 3/4 cup of chopped animal cookies.
11. Pour the remaining cheesecake filling into crust, over the cookies, and spread into an even layer.
12. Place springform pan (covered with aluminum foil) inside another larger pan. Fill the larger pan with enough warm water to go about halfway up the sides of the springform pan. The water should not go above the top edge of the aluminum foil on the springform pan.
13. Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
14. Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes.
15. Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
16.Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
17. When the cheesecake is cool and firm, remove from the springform pan and set on a serving plate.
18. To make the white chocolate ganache. Put the white chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
19. Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If it doesn’t melt completely, microwave for 10-20 seconds, then whisk until smooth.
20. Color the ganache with a little pink gel coloring, if desired.
21. Pour the ganache onto the cheesecake and spread into an even layer.
22. To make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
23. Pipe dollops of the whipped cream on top of the white chocolate ganache.
24. Top the cheesecake with frosted animal cookies and some sprinkles, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Cheesecake is best for 3-4 days.
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