For my daughter's 22nd birthday this past weekend, she requested that I make Hawaiian Cheesecake. Her oldest sister had made it for us as a dessert a few months ago and it was a recipe we cheesecake lovers knew we wanted again. If you've never made a cheesecake before this is an easy one. There's no pre-baking the crust and everything goes together easily.
We adapted this one from the Better Homes and Gardens website but I have seen similar recipes for this cheesecake on other sites too.
1 1/3 cups finely crushed vanilla wafers
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped toasted macadamia nuts (I couldn't find these so I used pecans, but you use what you like or eliminate the nuts altogether)
1/3 cup butter
2 (8-oz) packagages cream cheese, softened (don't skip this step-it must be soft or it won't cream together properly)
1 8-oz tub cream cheese with pineapple
1 cup sugar
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons coconut
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For the crust, crush the vanilla wafers and 1/2 cup nuts, if using. Combine the cookie crumbs, nuts, and coconut together. Melt the butter and combine with the mixture. Press onto the bottom and 1 inch up the sides of an ungreased 9-inch sprinform pan. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheeses until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until smooth. Add the eggs and egg yolk until just combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon juice. Pour into the crust-lined pan. Place in a shallow baking pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the center appears almost set when gently shaken.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Take a thin-bladed knife and loosen the crust around the sides of the pan and cool for 30 mintues more. Remove the springform pan sides and cool for another hour. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
To serve, sprinkle with toasted coconut. Makes 12 servings. We like to serve our cheesecakes with whipped cream, too.