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Lazarus Cheesecake

1 3/4 C. graham-cracker crumbs
1/3 C. butter, melted
1/4 C. sugar

3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 C. sugar
4 eggs
1 T. vanilla

1 1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Blend cracker crumbs, melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Press the crumbs onto the side and bottom of a well-greased, 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Mix the cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups sugar for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat the mixture for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oven to 300F.

Turn the cheese mixture into the prepared pan and bake 50 to 60 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Blend the sour cream, 1/4 cup sugar and the vanilla. Pour on top of the cooled cheesecake and return to the oven for 10 more minutes.

Add 2 ounces amaretto instead of vanilla to the filling. Decorate the topping with toasted sliced almonds.

Chocolate chip:
Add 6 ounces crushed chocolate chips or shaved Swiss chocolate to the filling. Decorate the topping with shaved chocolate or crushed chocolate chips.

Chocolate marble:
Remove 1 cup of the plain filling and add 2 ounces of Nestle Toll House Choco Bake. Pour onto the remaining filling and swirl lightly just before baking. No topping needed.

Yield: 1 10 inch cheesecake.

Note: 30 minutes is the correct time for beating this recipe.

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