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Coffee, Cheesecake, Pie … One True Love

Pie. Cake. And coffee. They’ve always gone well together, and this make-ahead recipe beautifully highlights them all in the same dessert. It’s a perfect treat to make any time you want to excite your taste buds!

The pie crust couldn’t be simpler. Just mix together three ingredients and press them into the pan. You can choose the chocolate or traditional graham cracker version. The creamy filling shines with subtle coffee notes – both from brewed coffee mixed in with the cheese and from coffee ‘n’ chocolate swirled on top. Also, there’s no last-minute frosting, garnishing or fussing. Make this several days before serving so dessert is completely stress-free.

And here’s one more thing to love. The new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (released in Jan. 2016) talks about incorporating moderate daily coffee consumption – about 3-4, 8-oz. cups or up to 400 mg caffeine – into healthy eating patterns. So, go ahead and serve a hot cup along with dessert, too!

Coffee Cheesecake Pie

CoffeeCheesecake_VertCropCrust:
1 cup chocolate wafer crumbs (from about 20 wafers) or graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter, melted

Swirl:
¼ cup bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons strongly-brewed Community® coffee

Filling:
2 (8-ounce) packages Neufchatel cheese (lower fat than cream cheese), softened
½ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup strongly-brewed Community® coffee, cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Crust
Combine wafer crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar. Add butter and thoroughly mix. Place in 9-inch pie pan sprayed with vegetable cooking spray; evenly press up sides and over bottom. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Swirl
In small microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl, place chocolate chips and 2 tablespoons coffee. Heat coffee to a simmer in microwave; do not boil. Stir until completely smooth. Set aside to cool.

Filling
In large mixing bowl, beat Neufchatel cheese and ½ cup sugar until smooth. Add ⅓ cup coffee and vanilla; mix until combined and smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, mixing on low speed and scraping bowl after each until blended. Pour over reserved crust.

Drizzle reserved coffee mixture all over filling; gently swirl with a knife tip. Bake in middle of oven for 30-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Cut into 8 slices

Notes:

  • American Neufchatel cheese has about one-third less fat than regular cream cheese. Though you can use full fat cream cheese, this version lightens the dessert up a bit without sacrificing creamy, satisfying cheesecake texture.
  • To soften Neufchatel cheese, unwrap both packages and microwave on high power 30 seconds or until slightly soft. If it’s too cold, Neufchatel cheese won’t easily blend and small lumps will remain.
  • Crust short-cut: process wafers and sugar in food processor to make fine crumbs; add butter and process until well-mixed.
  • The pie pan will be quite full before baking so carefully place in oven.
  • You certainly can omit the coffee, chocolate swirl … but it adds mocha flavor and immense eye appeal.
  • Cracks in the cheesecake may occur. So? Simply consider them homemade beauty marks!
  • Check out “Dietary Guidelines Committee Gives Coffee Thumbs Up” for more information on coffee, diet and health.

Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.