Midday Fix: Natalie Slater makes peanut butter coconut cheesecake

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Natalie Slater

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Bake and Destroy: Good Food for Bad Vegans

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Peanut Butter Coconut cheesecake

Crust:
1 cup finely ground graham crackers
1/4 cup finely crushed Chick-O-Stick candies
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 Tablespoon soy milk
1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling:
1/2 cup whole, raw cashews (soaked in water until very soft, 2-8 hours)
1 (12 oz) package silken tofu, drained
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons light brown sugar
1 Tablespoon coconut oil, room temperature
2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
crushed Chick-O-Sticks for topping, optional

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350F and spray a 9 1/2” springform pan with cooking spray. In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, crushed Chick-O-Stick and salt. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons oil, mixing well to moisten the crumbs. Add more oil gradually if needed. Add the soy milk, then press the dough into the bottom of the pan. Bake 8-10 minutes until firm, and set aside to cool. Leave the oven on. Drain the cashews and place in a food processor along with the tofu, sugar, brown sugar, coconut oil, cornstarch, lemon juice, vanilla extract, coconut extract and salt. Blend until smooth – there should be no chunks of cashew.  Add the peanut butter and coconut and pulse to combine – this time there will be lumps of peanuts, and that’s OK.  Pour filling into prepared crust, top with chopped peanuts (add a sprinkling of crushed Chick-O-Stick, if desired) and bake on top rack for 45-50 minutes, until the sides are golden and the top is puffy. To prevent a cracked surface, place a baking sheet on the lower rack, topped with an ovenproof dish containing 2 cups of hot water.  Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool it on a rack for 30 minutes, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before slicing.

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