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For the crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • For the topping:
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

For the filling:

  • 1 lb regular cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/3 cups sour cream
  • 1 Tbs melted butter
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 3 Tbs Amaretto liqueur


Prepare the crust:
Preheat the oven to 325°F and position a rack in the lower portion. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter in a small bowl until well mixed. Transfer to a 9-inch springform pan and press firmly into an even layer in the bottom. Set aside.

Prepare the topping:
With the food processor knife crush almonds into coarse pieces. In a small bowl, toss the crushed almonds with the melted butter and sugar. Spread on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and place in the oven to toast lightly while you prepare the filling, about 7 or 8 minutes. Set aside.

Prepare the filling:
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and eggs until smooth. Add the sour cream, melted butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and Amaretto and blend until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Pour into the springform pan, place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes. The cake should appear set but still wiggle in the center if gently shaken from side to side.

When the cheesecake is done, shut off the oven, and leave the cake in the oven for about 30 minutes. Gradual temperature changes help prevent the top from cracking. Remove from the oven, sprinkle the topping evenly over the cake and place on a cooling rack for another 30 minutes. Transfer to the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours.

20 minutes
Makes 12 servings

For different toppings: Reserve a tablespoon of the graham cracker mixture for topping. You can also make an orange version ~ substitute orange extract for the almond and Grand Marnier (or Triple Sec) for the Amaretto. Top with some shaved dark chocolate or chocolate orange leaves.

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