This dessert requires pretty much no back story at all. Just. Try. It.

But since I can’t help myself…

Cheesecake is a tricky little thing to master, which is exactly why I’ve shied away from creating my own recipe in the past. Even though I’ve been dreaming of a Nutella laced cheesecake for months, I couldn’t muster the courage to test it out, terrified of a colossal disaster.

Fast forward to last week, I finally decided that it was time and swallowed any hesitations that I had, said a little prayer and just went with it.  I was positive it would take me at least a couple of tries and a few dollars down the drain before I’d have something edible for others to try and even more importantly, love. Well, suffice it to say, I was totally wrong. What came out of the oven (after 24 hours of chilling) was a heavenly delicious cheesecake- totally worth sharing.

This is a cheesecake for those that don’t really like cheesecake; it’s not overly rich but has just enough of a chocolate and hazelnut flavor to make you weak in the knees. Held together by a Biscoff cookie crust, a crumbly and sweet European cookie-what more could you ask for? Like I said before, just try it. Don’t ask questions.

You can find Biscoff cookies in pretty much any grocery store; they’re usually found in the gourmet foods area. In my grocery store it’s where the produce and deli is located but yours may be different.

If you haven’t heard of Biscoff cookies, man are you missing out. Said to be Europe’s most popular cookie, it has everything you want in a cookie. Sweet but not too sweet, crumbly but holds its shape, and just darn right tasty. The perfect vessel for creamy cheesecake filling but it’s also perfect nibbled on its own with a nice hot cup of coffee.

Nutella Cheesecake with Biscoff Cookie Crust

8.8 ounces Biscoff cookies
½ cup sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
5 tablespoons butter, melted

3 8oz cream cheese packages, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup Nutella
4 eggs, room temperature
½ tsp vanilla
Pinch of salt

Chopped toasted hazelnuts for garnish

Crust: Place cookies in the bottom of a food processor, pulse until completely crushed. Add cocoa, pulse until combined. Add melted butter, pulse until combined. Mixture should stick together. Grease a 9” spring form pan with butter. Dump Biscoff mixture in the middle. Press the crust in the bottom of the pan and half way up the sides. Bake at 325 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until crust is set. Cool completely.

Filling: Combine softened cream cheese and sugar in a stand mixer until smooth and creamy about five minutes. Add Nutella. Mix until combined. Add eggs one a time, making sure each egg is completely incorporated before adding the next. Add vanilla and a pinch of salt. Mix until incorporated. Pour into prepared crust. You can bake the cheesecake one of two ways. The first is to bake in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water in the roasting pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1hr-1 hr 15min or until sides are completely set and middle has a slight jiggle. The second option (what I did because I could not find my large roasting pan) is to bake on the middle rack and place a roasting pan with boiling water on the rack below. Bake at 350 degrees for 1hr-1hr 15min or until sides are completely set and middle has a slight jiggle. Both of these methods prevent cracking in the middle of the cheesecake. Cool cheesecake on wire rack. Wrap in plastic and chill overnight before serving. Garnish with toasted chopped hazelnuts.

*If your cheesecake cracks, don’t worry! It will still taste just as good.

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