1 TBSP sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 C melted butter
3 8oz package cream cheese, softened
1 C sugar
2 TBSP flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 inches vanilla bean, seeds scraped (optional - but I love the extra flavor and the specks in the batter)
1/4 C milk
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. For crust, in a bowl combine crushed graham crackers, walnuts, the 1 tablespoon sugar, and, if desired, the cinnamon. Stir in melted butter. Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of an 8- or 9-inch springform pan; set aside.
2. For filling, in a large mixing bowl beat cream cheese, the 1 cup sugar, the flour, and vanilla with an electric mixer until combined. Beat in milk until smooth. Stir in eggs and vanilla bean.
3. Pour filling into crust-lined pan. Place the pan in a shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes for the 8-inch pan, 35 to 40 minutes for the 9-inch pan, or until a 2-1/2-inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken.
4. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the crust from sides of pan; cool for 30 minutes. Remove the sides of the pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving. Makes 12 slices.
To make mini cheesecakes follow the same recipe, except press about a tsp of crust mixture into the bottom of a foil muffin liner. Use an ice cream scoop to measure filling and fill each liner. Bake at 375 degrees for about 17 minutes. Cool following the same directions. Top with desired topping.