Coconut White Chocolate Cheesecake

The grandkids are gone so I can put away the chicken nuggets, mac & cheese, frozen pizza and get back to sugar. Since we have been entertaining kids/grandkids and have tried to cook all their favs while they were in town, we tried to convince them that we were “giving up” healthy foods just for them, when in reality, the boxed mac & cheese was a delight as was the pizza that graced out table several nights during that time. While the kids feasted on frozen pizza, the adults indulged on gourmet pizzas from our favorite take-outs. But since they thought that we were giving up all our normal healthy foods, just for them, we think that we earned a couple of visits from them when we are in the nursing home. But now we get to go back to our normal way of eating. Chicken fried steak, chocolate cakes baked at 8 p.m. and cheesecakes that sometimes take the place of dinner.
After Randy took me to Nordstrom’s for my best dessert treat ever, white chocolate bread pudding, the crave to have more white chocolate desserts began to surface. Seeing this recipe in the Taste of Home April/May 2014, I knew that it would be the next big dessert I made.
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tables butter, melted
5 packages (8 oz ea) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups white chocolate baking chips, melted and cooled
3/4 cup coconut milk
2 teas coconut extract
1 teas vanilla
4 eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 cup flaked coconut, divided
Preheat oven to 325. Place a greased 9″ (3″ deep) spring form (cheesecake pan) on a double thickness of heavy duty foil. (about 18″ sq).
Wrap foil around pan.
In a bowl, mix crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan.
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Beat in cooled melted chips, coconut milk and extracts.
Add eggs; beat on low speed just until blended. Fold in 1/2 cup coconut. Pour over the crust. Place spring form pan in a larger baking pan. Add 1″ of hot water to larger pan.
Bake 60 min to 70 min or until center is just set and top appears dull.
Remove pan from larger pan. Cool on a wire rack for 10 min.
Loosen sides from pan with a knife; remove foil. Cool 1 hour longer.
Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
Remove rim from pan. Serve topped with toasted coconut*
To Toast Coconut: Bake at 350 on a jelly roll pan for 5-10 min, or until golden brown, stirring frequently.

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