Countdown Cheesecake

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Preparation time: 20 minutes plus chilling
Cooking time: 10 minutes plus cooling

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 8-10 servings


•1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 24 squares)
•3 tablespoons sugar
•1/3 cup butter, melted

•2 cartons (8 ounces each) spreadable strawberry cream cheese
•1/2 cup sugar
•1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed
•1-1/2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
•Red decorating gel
•1 fresh strawberry, halved


•In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto the bottom and 1 in up the sides of a greased 9-in. springform pan. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; cool.
• In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in the whipped topping. Gently spread a third of the filling over crust. Arrange strawberries on top. Spoon remaining filling over berries; smooth top. Refrigerate overnight.
• With decorating gel, pipe numerals and the minute and hour hands for a clock dial on the cheesecake. Place strawberry halves at the tips of the clock hands. Yield: 8-10 servings.


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