Semi-interesting story on how I came to make this. For the longest time I’ve been wanting to use some of the Girl Scout Shortbread cookies as a crust for a cheesecake. It’s never been at the top of my list for things to do but it’s been hanging there. New Year’s Eve seemed like a good time to give it a whirl and “get something off my plate” (no pun intended). But, what kind of cheesecake to make with the crust? Any cheesecake would work but for some reason the idea of a hazelnut cheesecake popped into my head. A quick search of the Internet found many recipes and I finally settled on this one, partly because I already had a bottle of Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur) and this would help us that up as well.
In short, this was good but disappointing. It sort of fell flat (not literally) and was rather plain. There was no noticeable hazelnut flavor, no real flavor at all. Now, it didn’t taste bad but I like my cheesecake to have some kind of flavor.
The crust did work well. I simply substituted a cup of crushed shortbread cookie for the chocolate wafers. This also turned out to be a very large cheesecake (tall) but if you think about it, there are four packages of cream cheese in it so there is a lot there.
Baking it was fine but I had to improvise with the water bath, putting it in a roasting pan to be able to put enough water in there. There isn’t anything wrong with a water bath but it adds to the complexity and you always run the risk of water seeping in the foil. I think I had a little bit get in but not enough to cause a problem.
Once it was all said and done, I decided I needed to do some kind of decorating (it looked rather plain and boring). I melted some unsweetened chocolate baking bars and coated hazelnut pieces and then used the rest to draw the lines, approximately in a way you could use the lines to cut a piece of the cheesecake. Proof is in the picture that I am not great at decorating. But, it seemed to be better than being plain.
Overall, no one complained about it but no one raved about it either. Give it a try if you like. Maybe you will have better luck than I did.