Cinnamon Toast Crunch: the bain of my existence this summer. I bought a huge box of it at Costco. Why? Because my son asked for it and I was feeling tired and defeated and the idea of him consuming sugar for breakfast for the next 3 months was slightly more appealing than dealing with a 2 year old's temper tantrum. My bad.
We took the giant box of cereal on our holidays where there would be 4 kids around to help tackle its contents. And tackle it they did. They had it for breakfast and would continuously fill containers with it for snacks throughout the day. I don't know how many I stepped on, as they were transported (and spilled) throughout the house. In fact, it got so bad that a policy was implemented that no one was to consume any sugary cereals after breakfast. The kids were devastated for a mere minute or two and then they focussed their attention on the fruit roll-ups. So fickle.
Despite my best efforts, we still managed to come home with some of this cereal and for some reason, I couldn't bring myself to just throw it away. It's a good thing too, because I took the last remaining 3 cups, threw it in the food processor, and added some melted butter. Alas, I had a delicious base for cheesecake! Much tastier than the run of the mill Graham Wafer crumb variety. Is it worth going out and purchasing a box in lieu of graham wafers? Hell yeah. Just hide the box from your kids. Trust me on that.
I decided to make 'ice cream' cheesecake. I remember my mom making something like that when I was a kid and I loved it. I didn't have a recipe, but hard could it be? I also dug through my cupboards and pulled out my mini cheesecake pan. I love that thing and feel guilty that it sits in the back of my cupboard, collecting dust. It was definitely time to liberate one of my favorite baking gadgets.
I started by whipping 8 ounces of cream cheese with a dash of vanilla, adding icing sugar until it was lightly sweetened, and then started adding vanilla ice cream until it tasted right. I used my stand mixer for the whole procedure and wound up with a decadent and creamy soft ice cream with just the right amount of tanginess from the cream cheese. I topped my Cinnamon Toast Crunch crust with this luscious mixture and popped it back in the freezer to harden slightly. Couldn't have been easier.
The variety of toppings is limited only by your imagination. Mine was confined to chocolate shavings. But that's just me. I trust that you can do better than that.
This is a great recipe for when you're in the mood for cheesecake but don't feel like waiting the hours required for a cheesecake to bake, cool and set. Super versatile - it can be made into a larger 13 x 9 inch cake, and could easily be flavored with any add-ins your pantry has to offer. There were slim pickings in my house - so I kept mine simple this round. But I see Skor bits in this recipe's near future.
Definitely give this one a try.
Recipe for Mini Vanilla Ice Cream Cheesecakes
(makes either 24 mini cakes or one 13x9 inch cake)
3 cups of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal
5 Tbsp. butter, melted
Process the cereal in food processor until they form fine crumbs. Add your melted butter and pulse until combined. Press into your cake pan(s).
8 ounces of cream cheese
4 Tbsp. icing sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 cups vanilla ice cream
Whip cream cheese, sugar and vanilla extract in a stand mixer until smooth. Add half the ice cream. Mix until smooth. Add other half of ice cream, stirring until smooth. Pour onto your prepared crust and freeze until firm.