Savory Appetizer -- Blue Cheese, Bacon & Onion Cheesecake

     Created by The Culinary Center of Kansas City, this is one of their "best" recipes. On CCKC's blog and in  their cookbook, “Best Recipes", they state, "This recipe blow’s ‘em away every time. It is rich and sinful and guests can’t get enough of it. We serve it often at catered special events and have received so many requests for this dish that we now offer the recipe for your own collection. They freeze well, too! You can’t go wrong with this one."
     The recipe is made in a large (10") springform pan so it feeds a crowd. However, once you cut into a large cheesecake, it immediately begins to have a somewhat "messy" appearance. When I was catering, I purchased small springform pans and would divide the mixture among four 4.5" pans. That way, as guests finish one cheesecake, a fresh one can be exchanged. 
     And, for small dinner parties, I simply cut the recipe in fourth and fill one small springform pan.
     Serving: Provide crackers and a spreader and let guests dive in. Or, I've also cut it into wedges, plated it (with a few crackers) and served it at the table as a first course.

Blue Cheese, Bacon & Onion Cheesecake     Makes 20 to 25 servings. 
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 pounds cream cheese, softened
4 eggs
1/2 cup cream
1/2 pound bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 onion, diced & sautéed in 2 tablespoons butter
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 to 4 drops hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions (green onions), for garnish, or use chopped chives

1.  Preheat oven to 325°. 
2.  For the crusts, combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and melted butter.  Press into the bottom of a 10” springform pan.
I use the bottom of a glass to press the crumbs into the pan.
3.  For the filling — In a large bowl thoroughly mix cream cheese, eggs and cream. Stir in bacon, onion, blue cheese, salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce. Scrape into springform pan.  (I set the springform pan on a flat pan in case of leakage.)
Cheesecake is ready to go into the oven.
4.   Bake 45 to 60 minutes (40 to 45 minutes for small pans), until puffed and golden. Turn oven off and allow cheesecake to sit in oven until cool.  
5.   Refrigerate overnight (or for several hours) before removing from pan.  
When cheesecake has cooled, release the lock on the side of the pan.
Use a metal spatula to detach the cheesecake from the bottom of the pan.
6.  Serve at room temperature, garnished with the scallions. 

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