I loved Mother's Frosted Circus Animals as a kid, so I had to put them into a cheesecake with my kid, Kai! Recently he's shown an interest in helping Mommy bake cheesecake, so I thought it would be really fun to do some Mother-Son baking with my little helper.
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Here's the full recipe (courtesy of Life, Love & Sugar) :
2 1/4 cups frosted animal cookie crumbs
2 tbsp salted butter, melted
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups chopped frosted animal cookies, divided
1 cap full of pink sugar pearls and 1 cap full of white sugar pearls (I used Great Value Mini Sugar Pearls)
WHITE CHOCOLATE GANACHE
6 oz white chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
Pink gel icing color
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream, cold
4 tbsp powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C).
Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.
Reduce oven to 300°F (148°C)
Bake for 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Turn off heat and leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 30 minutes
Crack oven door and leave the cheesecake in the oven for about 30 minutes
Remove cheesecake from oven and chill until firm, 5-6 hours or overnight.
TOPPING THE CHEESECAKE
Microwave the heavy whipping cream until it just begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth. If it doesn’t melt completely, microwave for 10-20 seconds, then whisk until smooth.
Pour the ganache onto the cheesecake and spread into an even layer
Make the whipped cream, add the heavy whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl. Whip on high speed until stiff peaks form.
Pipe dollops of the whipped cream on top of the white chocolate ganache.
Top the cheesecake with frosted animal cookies and some sprinkles, if desired.