Caramel Crunch Cheesecake

The last of the recipes I made from the Orville Redenbacher cookbook (after the cherry coffee cake and the chicken pot pie) requires Orville Redenbacher caramel corn. It’s kind of hard to find except at WalMart (whose site will tell you if it’s in stock near you), and there are no WalMarts in DC, so I asked my mom to grab some of the caramel corn at a WalMart near her and hold on to it until I visited. The box comes with two packages of popcorn and two packs of caramel. Once you’ve popped the popcorn, you put it back in the microwave with the caramel on top and nuke it again, then stir it all together. Somehow the popcorn doesn’t burn during the second cook, and it comes out quite tasty.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 bag popped Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Caramel Microwave Popping Corn, unpopped kernels discarded
  • 3/4cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sour cream

To make the crust, finely crush all but 1 ½ cups of the prepared popcorn in a food processor, setting aside that remaining bit of popcorn for later.

Stir the crushed popcorn together with the remaining crust ingredients until evenly mixed. The book only called for a teaspoon of cinnamon, but I don’t think you’d even be able to taste that. The tablespoon was good.

Press the crust mixture into the bottom and an inch up the sides of a 10” spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees.

Meanwhile, blend together all the filling ingredients except the sour cream until smooth, starting at low speed on your blender to avoid a mess. Fold in the sour cream until blended, then spoon the filling into the crust.

Forgot to take a picture until pretty late in the game...

Bake 60 minutes, still at 350. Don’t expect the cake to be firm now, that’s not how cheesecakes work. Turn off the oven and crack the door open. (A wooden spoon handle makes a suitable door-jam.) Leave the cake to cool completely in the oven, about 1 ½ hours.

Lightly crush the remaining popcorn, then sprinkle it over the top of the cheesecake. Mom crushed it with a meat tenderizer, but that mainly seemed to just flatten the popcorn? Crumbling by hand, a handful at a time, may be more effective.

Loosely cover, and refrigerate overnight.

This was a really nice cheesecake. I really liked the crust, and the filling was smooth and tasty like you want in a cheesecake. I would definitely make this again. As you can probably see, we lined the bottom of the pan with foil, since sometimes that makes it easier to remove a cheesecake. Not this time – I’d avoid that step.

Caramel Crunch Cheesecake

Adapted from Orville Redenbacher’s Popcorn Cookbook.

Crust:

  • 1 bag popped Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Caramel Microwave Popping Corn, unpopped kernels discarded
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Filling:

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 ¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups sour cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Measure out 1 ½ cups of the prepared popcorn and set aside. Crush remaining popcorn finely in a food processor. Combine the crushed popcorn with remaining crust ingredients, mixing until moistened. Press the crust into the bottom and an inch up the sides of a 10” spring-form. Bake 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all filling ingredients except sour cream and beat n low speed until smooth. Fold in the sour cream until just blended, then pour filling into the baked crust. Bake 60 minutes, then turn off oven and crack door open. Let cool in the oven until completely cool, about 1 ½ hours.

Lightly crush the reserved popcorn, and sprinkle over the top of the cake. Loosely cover, then chill the cake in the refrigerator overnight.

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About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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