Friday, July 18, 2014

Celebration Cheesecake!

by Sheila Connolly

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun! And clearly we here at Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen think cooking and sharing the results are fun, because we’ve been doing it for five years now.

To celebrate this milestone, this week and next we’re holding a contest: you can win one of five great MLK tote bags filled with copies of each of our books. All you need to do is to take a picture of one of our books in a fun setting—and there are five categories to choose from, and you can enter one photo in each! To enter, click HERE or go to our FaceBook page

But wait! There’s more! All this week each of us will be giving away one of our own books, and next week we’ll be giving away books from our blog alumnae. Just leave a comment on our post and tell us how you shared our contest or our anniversary news. You can enter each day, for each new post—that’s a total of twelve chances to win! Don’t forget to include your email address in your comment so we can find you.

I’m happy to offer a signed copy of the NYT bestselling Golden Malicious, the most recent Orchard Mystery (which just happens to take place during a hot summer).  Better read it soon: the next one in the series, Picked to Die, comes out this October! (If you already have this one, you can choose something else.)

So, readers, please spread the word about our MLK celebration, enter our contests, and continue to visit the blog and comment on our recipes.

Oh, right: I’m supposed to give you a new recipe today!

As you may have noticed this week, “celebrate” usually means dessert to us—and what a wonderful range we’ve found! Something for everyone—either seasonal fruit or chocolate. Or both, as in this recipe, which I shamelessly borrowed from a long-time friend (who also likes desserts!).

Raspberry Cheesecake


1-1/2 cups finely crushed Oreos
1/4 cup melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the bottom of a 9” spring-form pan.

Mix the two ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan.

Bake for seven minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and reduce the heat to 300 degrees.

Berry filling and topping:

1-1/4 cup sugar
3 Tblsp cornstarch
1-1/2 cups ripe raspberries (you may use frozen, 
   and you may combine berries or add cranberries)
¾ cup cran-raspberry juice

In a saucepan, mix the sugar and the cornstarch. Add the berries and juice and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens. Put through a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve or colander to remove any skins and seeds.

Cheesecake filling:

4 8-oz. packages of cream cheese (room temperature)
1 cup sugar (taste your berry mixture first—you can
   cut down the sugar if the berries are sweet)
4 eggs
½ cup heavy cream

Beat the cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, until just blended. Stir in the heavy cream.

Pour half of the filling mixture on top of the baked crust. Carefully spoon half of the sauce over the filling. CAREFULLY spoon the rest of the filling over the fruit mixture in the pan (oh, all right, if it gets mixed up, it’ll still taste good!).  Set aside the rest of the berry mixture.

Place a shallow pan half full of hot water on the lower oven rack (this is to humidify your oven). Put the cheesecake pan on a rack above this.

Bake for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours, until the edge of the cheesecake is set at least two inches from the edge of the pan. The center should still be jiggly.

Run a small metal spatula around the top edge of the pan to loosen the cheesecake and put it back in the oven. Turn the oven off and open the oven door a few inches. Let the cheesecake cool gradually in the oven, about half an hour (this should keep it from cracking).

Remove the pan from the oven and cool on a rack for another 30 minutes. Then place the cheesecake in the fridge and cool for at least six hours before serving (overnight is fine).

When you’re ready to serve, remove the outer ring of the spring-form pan, place the cheesecake on a serving plate, and spoon the remaining berry mixture over the top.

This week we’re also touching base with our alumnae, to see how they’ve kept busy since they “graduated”. Jennifer Stanley has more mystery series to her credit than I can count on one hand: the Hope Street Church Mysteries (under her own name), The Collectibles Mysteries (as J. B. Stanley), the Supper Club Mysteries (also as J. B. Stanley); and as Ellery Adams, the Books by the Bay Mysteries, the Charmed Pie Shoppe Mysteries, and the new Book Retreat Mysteries—the first book, Murder in the Mystery Suite, is coming out next month!

Here’s what Jennifer Stanley says about it:
“Murder in the Mystery Suite is set at a resort for book lovers and will feature daily afternoon teas in the Agatha Christie Tea Room, decadent meals in the Madame Bovary Dining Room, and sandwiches in the Kipling Cafe. As usual, I'll be doing my best to come up with tempting food descriptions (as well as a few dead bodies).”

Jenn would be happy if you contacted her at to
get her thoughts on MLK and tell her about your favorite recipe. Here’s hers:

“My favorite recipe is probably my charmed pecan chocolate bourbon pie because it's so easy to make and the recipe produces two pies, so there's one for you and one for a friend. The recipe reminds me of MLK because it's basically a group of friends sharing recipes with other friends.”

Please come celebrate with us and enter our contests! You can see the entries HERE at the bottom of the page. 


  1. I enjoy both your apple and Irish series. I'll have to choose something else because I already own all of these books. Maybe the next apple book?

  2. I told my boyfriend and sent a recipe to his mom. rachelkb at

  3. This is positively stunning. Well done. Yummy, too, I bet.
    As always, I've shared on Facebook.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

    1. Thanks, Libby! It does taste good. I was intrigued by the Oreo crust--when you really crumble the cookies up, the white stuff kind of disappears. And estimating half of the filling is a challenge, but that little surprise layer in the middle is fun.

    2. I was wondering about that, Sheila. I bet it makes a delicious bottom. This is my kind of cheesecake!


    3. Sheila, using a scale will help with the challenge of estimating 1/2.

  4. Man, that sounds good. But then again, I do love cheesecake. carstairs38 @ gmail

  5. I told my friend and sister. This is a delightful post and so enticing. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  6. I'm not much of a cheesecake eater but I do like raspberry

  7. Cheesecake is a treat that is rare but savored. I told my neighbor and cousin. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  8. I shared on Facebook, of course!


  9. Sheila, what a gorgeous cake. I would bet for those non-chocolate eaters (there were a few on my blog post Wednesday), they could switch out the chocolate cookie crust for something vanilla. Yum! So nice to catch up with Jenn Stanley. She's a lovely writer and just as prolific as you!!
    Happy 5th.
    Daryl / Avery

  10. I've told my sister about your blog, I have so much fun reading it and drooling over the recipes! Can't wait to read the new books coming out. Thanks!

  11. You guys are "killin' me", with these delicious recipes! I've shared with my daughter.

    I started reading Jennifer (J. B.) Stanley books, with the Collectible Mystery series.

    Hope to win Golden Malicous, Sheila!

    patucker54 at aol dot com

  12. Wow, great dessert! Would love to read Golden Malicious!

    littleone AT shaw DOT ca

  13. Looks tasty
    Told a friend

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  14. Yummmm........yummmmm.........................

  15. Oh, yum! Shared on FB.


  16. Raspberries AND cheesecake? How perfect!!! I shared on my Cozy Up With Kathy Facebook page.

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

  17. I told my mom who I just got to like cozy mysteries and now that is all she reads. The cheesecake looks yummy!!

  18. Love cheese cake.


  19. I will be trying that beautiful cheesecake!!! I am sharing with family and friends.

  20. Happy anniversary! I mentioned you on my blog, in a post about food in fiction.Now, to search your blog for a recipe with chocolate...