Blackberry Mountain
 
Cheesecake is a delicious treat but I find that not many people attempt to make their own.  It really isn't too bad and this recipe is especially easy for the first timers.  The recipe originally came from Southern Living magazine but has been adjusted a bit.  Give it a try...if you like cheesecake and/or red velvet cake...you will be very happy that you did!

1 1/2 cups crushed Oreos
1/4 cup melted butter
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
4  large eggs lightly beaten
3  tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
1  cup sour cream
1/2  cup buttermilk
2  teaspoons vanilla extract
1  teaspoon white vinegar
1  bottle red food coloring

Preheat oven at 325 degrees.

Stir together Oreos and melted butter (add a little butter at a time—you may not need it all because of the Oreo cream).   Press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups sugar at medium-low speed for about 1 minute. Add eggs and next six ingredients (cocoa, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring), mixing on low speed just until combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes longer or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from pan. Turn the oven off and let the cheesecake sit in oven for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from the oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill for 8 hours.

Frosting:

1  (3-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4  cup  butter, softened
2  cups  powdered sugar
1  teaspoon  vanilla extract
Crushed Oreos (optional)

Beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed until smooth; slowly add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Sprinkle with a few crushed Oreos if you wish.  Remove sides of springform pan. 

 
 
Starting with a biscuit recipe seems appropriate.  This recipe comes from a friend of my parents.  He insists that Duke's mayonnaise is the way to go.  I have to agree.  The recipe yields only a half a dozen large biscuits so I typically double the batch.  


Ingredients:
2 cups self-rising flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Duke's Mayonnaise
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 to 1 cup buttermilk (or plain milk if you are out)

For top if you wish:
2 tablespoons melted butter


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees-- it seems hot but the quicker biscuits bake, the better.  

In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients (flour, salt) then add the butter and Mayonnaise and cut the butter into the mixture.  When all is mixed well add the milk slowly (you may not need it all so don't pour it all in right away) and mix together with your hands.  The dough should be worked as little as possible.  It will be a little sticky.  Flour your hands and shape biscuits into the size you wish.  Place the biscuits on a nonstick pan (touching if you wish for softer edges; not touching if you wish for crisper edges).  Bake for about 10 minutes but keep in mind...it depends on the size and shape of your biscuits.  Mine cook for 10-12 minutes but smaller will do fine with 8-10.  You will learn as you develop the recipe to meet your needs.