Coconut Macaroon Cheesecake

Coconut Macaroon Cheesecake

1-cup coconut, flaked, toasted
1/2 cup pecans, ground
2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
24 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2-cup sugar
1/2-teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3 eggs
1 egg white
1/2-teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3-cup sugar
2/3-cup coconut, flaked, toasted

In a small bowl, combine 1 cup toasted coconut, ground pecans and butter. Press onto bottom of 9″ spring-form pan. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat cream cheese with electric mixer on low speed; gradually add 1/2-cup sugar, 1/2-teaspoon vanilla, and almond extract. Beat until fluffy. Add 3 whole eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust-lined pan.

Bake 350° F. for 35 min. or until done.

Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl beat egg white and remaining vanilla with an electric mixer until soft peaks form (tips curl); gradually beat in the 1/3 cup sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in 2/3 cup toasted coconut.

Carefully spread atop partially baked cheesecake. Return to oven and bake 20 minutes more.

Cool on wire rack for 15 min. Loosen sides of cheesecake from pan. Cool 30 min. more; remove side of pan. Cool completely.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. To serve, garnish with strawberries and/or additional toasted coconut.

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