Pastry Chef Amanda's Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Ingredients for the Crust:
3c. Gingersnap cookies, crushed
¼ c Sugar, granulated
3T Butter, melted

Ingredients for the Filling:
1# Cream Cheese, softened
½ c Sugar, granulated
1 Egg, whole
1 Vanilla Bean, split*
1t Vanilla Extract

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Prepare a 9” or 10” spring form pan by spraying with pan release and/or parchment paper. For the crust, crush the gingersnaps in either a food processor or with rolling pin. Combine with sugar and melted butter and pat mixture into the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Bake the crust in oven for 10 minutes. For the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar together and mix in egg until combined. Add vanilla beans and extract then place filling in prepared pan. Bake for approximately 1 hour until the edge is a light gold color and cake is baked through. Allow the cheesecake to cool for several hours before releasing from the pan.

*Using a small knife, split the vanilla pod in half, length wise. Using the back of the knife, scrape out the beans from both halves. Put the beans in the mix and discard the vanilla pod**. If you'd like to extend the life of your vanilla pod, simply place it in a jar of granulated sugar and then you can use this sugar to add vanilla flavor to baked goods or hot beverages.

 
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