Thursday, April 10, 2014

A Knoxville Legend, Revealed: The Truth About Thunder Road


This month marks the 60th anniversary of the notorious Thunder Road crash on Kingston Pike in Knoxville, for which the famous ballad by Robert Mitchum was named. It also marks the passing of Edward "Eddie" Harvey, a former racecar driver and whiskey car mechanic, who died on Monday, April 7th, 2014, at age 91. 

I had the privilege of interviewing Eddie in 2008, when I was in journalism school, for an assignment about Thunder Road. Nearly six years and hundreds of interviews later, he remains one of the most interesting people I've ever encountered. The story he contributed to is below; I will be posting the full contents of my interview with him later. 

John Fitzgerald and his buddies coasted on their bicycles into the parking lot of Mr. Galyon's service station, like many mornings, in search of a Moon Pie or a knee-high soda. But this morning, April 1, 1954, was different. A cluster of unmarked cars and suited men, their faces red and their bodies flitting nervously from car to car, hemmed the normally desolate country store.

Suddenly embarrassed by his bicycle, the sixteen-year-old quipped to his friends that the official-looking man, tall and pot-bellied, sipping on a Grapette soda, should have bought an RC Cola instead. He sobered, however, when he heard the men whispering about Thunder Road. That cool spring morning, John and his friends had inadvertently stumbled upon a federal operation to capture a notorious Kentucky moonshiner known only as "Tweedle-o-twill." 
Let me tell the story, I can tell it all | About the mountain boy who ran illegal alcohol | His daddy made the whiskey, son, he drove the load | When his engine roared, they called the highway Thunder Road
"Thunder Road" was the code name assigned to the undercover federal operation to nab moonshiners, but to locals like John, its meaning was no secret. In the Appalachian foothills, Thunder Road was a term coined to identify the nighttime route from Harlan, Kentucky, to Knoxville, Tennessee, traveled by illegal whiskey haulers. The source of many a southern legend, it was this route that spawned Robert Mitchum's 1958 Hollywood hit Thunder Road and his song "The Ballad of Thunder Road." But to the men who traveled the route, it was much more than legend. It was the road to freedom from economic despair.

Early 17th-century European immigrants to the United States brought their knowledge of distilling with them, and in the hills of the Appalachians, where freshwater and farmland were plentiful, moonshining proved to be a profitable venture. Isolated mountaineers fashioned makeshift stills to convert their crops to whiskey to trade at market. Eventually, moonshine spoke as loudly as cash, and so the moonshine culture was born. 
On the first of April, nineteen fifty-four | A federal man sent word he'd better make his run no more | He said two hundred agents were coverin' the state | Whichever road he tried to take, they'd get him sure as fate
In the early morning hours, just down the pike from Galyon's, Tweedle-o-twill, the son of an elusive mountain moonshiner, was racing against time. As the sun peaked through the trees, he rocketed down the highway, sweeping across the last leg of his journey down Route 33 from Kentucky through Maynardville and into Bearden. His misty green 1950 Ford was loaded with 'shine, likely concealed by nothing more than a blanket, and daylight was dangerous.

Once outside of Knoxville, he had the choice of an old truck route, today known as Papermill Road, or the public highway, Kingston Pike. The two roads converged past the crest of Bearden Hill, creating a stretch of highway with no through-roads, where the federal agents planned to surround the illustrious whiskey hauler. 

But at a rate as high as $40 a run, little could stop a determined driver like Tweedle-o-twill.

"Farmers were compelled to find money somewhere," Alex Gabbard, author of Return to Thunder Road, said. "There was no place to get cash money except whiskey. So you had makers and watchers and haulers and moonshiners and bootleggers. This moonshine culture was an early form of sharing the wealth."

Economic necessity drove Ed Harvey, 86, owner of Eddie's Auto Shop on Broadway, to enter the moonshining underworld. Somewhat of a local legend for his appearances on the Real LeRoy Mercer tapes and Johnny Knoxville's MTV show Jackass, Harvey first earned his larger-than-life reputation as a whiskey car mechanic. 

Growing up, he watched his grandfather manufacture whiskey at his four-story Union County distillery, when alcohol was legal in neighboring Kentucky, but still banned in Tennessee under Prohibition in the 1930s. Although Harvey's grandfather had a license to produce and sell whiskey to the U.S. government, he also had another source of under-the-table income. 

"I asked Grandpa, 'How come you so rich? You got three buggies and six horses.' He said, 'The wagons come at night,'" Harvey recalled. "They'd come in there from Kentucky every night, stuffed with cases and cases of whiskey. I told him I was going to be rich that way."

In Harvey's teenage years, when hard times hit after his father left, aiding moonshiners seemed an obvious choice. 

"One of the biggest reasons they all did it was these were poor people," Jaymie Frederick, Harvey's niece, said. "Ed's mother would take her children to work at Kay's Ice Cream and throw ice cream out the window so they would have food. You did what you had to do."
Sometimes into Asheville, sometimes Memphis town | The revenoors chased him, but they couldn't run him down | Each time they thought they had him, his engine would explode | He'd go by like they were standin' still on Thunder Road
Around the bend from Kingston Pike's Mount Vernon Motel, today occupied by World Futon, the federal agents devise a makeshift roadblock, two cars nudged nose-to-nose across the two-lane highway. They parked their fleet of vehicles in the cedar-lined driveway of a roadside farm and waited. But as Tweedle-o-twill raced toward them at 90 miles an hour, it became apparent that he had no intention of stopping. He flew off the road, crashing over fences and infant trees, evading the roadblock and barreling past the agents unhampered.

High-speed hot rods were as critical to moonshiners as the half-gallon jars of whiskey they hauled. Closely intertwined southern traditions fueled by fast cars and competition, whiskey driving and stock car racing went hand-in-hand. Whiskey drivers competed both on and off the racetrack, and mechanics like Harvey battled to build the best whiskey car. They removed the back seat from the carsHarvey preferred 1940 Fordsto make space for the loads, but the real magic happened under the hood.

"We'd change the motor in them, put a big, high-speed motor in. That's what makes 'em go, go, go," Harvey said. "We had racecars. They'd get away from anybody."

Anybody, meaning the law.

And there was thunder, thunder over Thunder Road | Thunder was his engine, and white lightnin' was his load | There was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil's thirst | They law they swore they'd get him, but the devil got him first
On rare occasions, the police managed to corner whiskey drivers and seize their cars, keeping some for themselves and selling the rest at auction. 

"I'd buy them all back at the courthouse in Knoxville," Harvey said, laughing. "I got to where I'd go down there and buy them, and they'd say, 'You can't have no more cars. They're back on the damn road in a week.'"

Raised in the harsh hills of Appalachia, moonshiners were resilient by nature, determined to keep their stills operating and their cars running. But it wasn't without risk. Moonshining was a serious gamble, its offenders subject to federal charges of conspiracy, operating an unregistered still, brewing unregistered whiskey, and trafficking an illegal good.

"If you got caught, they'd give you time in the workhouse, or they'd put you in the Big House," Harvey said. "You'd stay there for maybe a year."

But with the federal tax on whiskey at $9.50 a gallon in 1950, when a six-gallon case sold for $5 or $6, profit-seeking moonshiners willingly took their operations underground.
Roarin' out of Harlan, revvin' up his mill | He shot the gap at Cumberland, and screamed by Maynardville | With T-men on his taillights, roadblocks up ahead | The mountain boy took roads that even angels feared to tread
After clearing the first roadblock, Tweedle-o-twill roared down Kingston Pike, unaware that a second roadblock, a row of cars, bumper to bumper, was aligned at the intersection of Morrell Road and Kingston Pike. John and his friends watched from a nearby farmhouse, located on the present-day site of West Town Mall.

"As he came back on Kingston Pike, he's got an uphill, right-hand turn. This turn, Dead Man's Curve, is what's called an off-camber turn," Gabbard explained. "This was a notorious turn."

Rocketing around the bend, he lost control, sending the car into a dirt bank bordering what is today the parking lot of Bearden's Cat Music. The high-speed collision whipped up a cloud of red clay dust visible from the second roadblock. As the federal agents raced to the scene, John pedaled down Kingston Pike to catch a glimpse of the accident that would become legendary. 

In writing Return to Thunder Road, Gabbard encountered a number of people claiming to have been witnesses of the famed crash, others identifying Tweedle-o-twill as a distant relative. While ultimately finding John Fitzgerald's account to be most historically accurate, Gabbard didn't write off the others as entirely false. 

In the Thunder Road days, two-lane highways spidered across the southern countryside, roughly constructed with insubstantial macadam, their paths determined by the lay of the land and farmers' willingness to sell their property. Accidents among moonshiners, traveling by night and often dodging the law, were inevitable.

And after the Thunder Road film popularized the accident, southerners laid claim to the legend, and it became something of a storytelling tradition. As the Thunder Road tale passed through generations, its tellers adapted the account to include their friends and family and came to regard each story of a local moonshiner's run-in with the law as "the" Thunder Road.

In fact, Harvey has a Thunder Road story of his own, regarded by his wife Barbara as the "true Thunder Road."

"Rufe Gunter, he drove a race car I made, was coming from Newport to Knoxville. Somebody had ratted on him," said Harvey. "When Rufe found out, he bought an old car, an old Studebaker, and loaded it down. He thought the law wouldn't know him."

But as Rufe neared Knoxville, just outside the city limits at Swann Bridge on Highway 70, the police began tailing him, determined to catch the Newport outlaw.

"They couldn't catch Rufe," Barbara Harvey said. "It became a vendetta."

He swerved and struck a tree stump, propelling his car, loaded with as many as 20 cases of whiskey, into the Holston River.

"The law never did stop," said Harvey. "I went up there, and I found him hanging on a limb in the creek, drowned."

For Harvey, Rufe's death signaled the time to abandon his moonshining days. "When Rufe got drowned up there, I quit. I didn't fool with it no more," he said.

Son, his daddy told him, make this run your last | The tank is filled with hundred-proof, you're all tuned up and gassed | Now, don't take any chances, if you can't get through | I'd rather have you back again than all that mountain dew
In an interview with Gabbard, John, now deceased, recalled his boyhood amazement at the crash site of Tweedle-o-twill. "That bank looked like a bulldozer blade had cut into it," John told him. "He hit straight on with such an impact that it buckled the frame of his car."

As the car launched through the fence of a roadside utilities substation, its trunk sprung open, shattered jars of whiskey seeping their contents amidst the electrical equipment. John watched as the substation burst into flames, the smell of whiskey strong and biting.

It was the distinct smell of cooking whiskey mash that lured police dogs to the moonshine stills dotting the mountain landscape, tucked away in rocky crags or between grassy knolls.

"They stayed till somebody ratted on them," Harvey said.

The illegal brewing process started with mash, a substance consisting of liquefied fruit or grain mill and warm water, eventually to be mixed with yeast and covered for several days to ferment. After fermentation, the still was placed over a fire, bringing the alcohol to a boil and pushing the vapor through copper tubing submerged in a cold water bath. The alcohol vapor condensed into a water whiskey, called singlings, and was heated again to yield a crystal clear liquid. Some called it 'splode; others called it mountain dew. Most just knew it as 'shine.
Blazing right through Knoxville, out on Kingston Pike | Then right outside of Bearden, there they made the fatal strike | He left the road at 90; that's all there is to say | The devil got that moonshine and the mountain boy that day
John gazed at the motionless, bloodied form of Tweedle-o-twill lying next to the crushed car. Thrown upon impact, the small-framed, twenty-something man was crumpled on the pavement, his body resting humbly in the fetal position. His hair was dark and cut in the typical 1950s fashion, and the sleeves of his light-colored shirt were stylishly rolled.

The officials tried to shoo John, but too entranced to leave, he just stepped onto his father's field that bordered the scene.

"I remember looking at the driver and thinking, 'What a waste,'" John told Gabbard. "He have his life for a trunk of whiskey." 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The 850-Calorie Cake That's TOTALLY Worth It


I once had a friend who spent half her free time researching clever ways to cut calories in desserts: applesauce instead of oil, chickpeas instead of flour, prune puree in lieu of butter. Sorry, but I want REAL dessert when I indulge. Not some sugar-free, fat-free substitute that forces you to pretend you're satisfied. I'd rather eat the calorie-packed real deal and walk away totally thrilled with my decision. 

Which is why I had no problem eating this lemon cake at the Steelhead Diner in Seattle (the photo above is my replication of it):



The restaurant, near Pike's Place, is known for its seafood, which meant the desserts were pretty much the only thing on the menu I could eat. (I don't eat any kind of fish or shellfish.) I can't say I was disappointed, because I'd been craving a tangy lemon dessert for days. I was pleased the moment by waitress set my plate down in front of me: The presentation alone was impeccable. 

This layered lemon creation may look tiny, but it was so loaded down with rich ingredientsmascarpone cream, lemon curd, white chocolate shavingsthat it undoubtedly packed a meal's worth of calories. And it was incredible. I initially intended to share it with my dining companions, but that didn't happen, obviously. 


I was so blown away that I had to try to recreate it at home. I found an old Epicurious recipe with the core elements: homemade lemon curd, a lemon-infused mascarpone layer, and 850 calories per serving. Mmm.

The recipe is for a standard layer cake, but I wanted to mimic the Steelhead Diner Lemon Cake down to the last detail. So I baked the cake batter in a muffin tin, creating cute little cake discs, perfect for stacking. 


This is a very laborious dessert to make. But the mascarpone filling and lemon curd are totally worth the effortthey taste exactly like the diner's versions. The cake's texture kind of came out funky, a little bit tough, although still chewy. But I think I just either over-mixed it or overcooked it. So proceed with caution! 

Lemon Cake with Lemon Curd and Mascarpone
Adapted from Epicurious

What You Need

Cake
6 large eggs, separated
14 Tbsp sugar
1 3/4 cups sifted cake flour (sifted, then measured)
1/4 tsp salt

Syrup
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup boiling water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Lemon Curd
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
3 large eggs
3 large egg yolks
1/2 stick chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

Filling and Frosting
2 cups chilled heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar
3 containers (8 oz. each) chilled mascarpone cheese
White chocolate shavings

Put It All Together

1. Position rack in the center of your oven, and preheat to 350° F. 

2. Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and 7 Tbsp sugar, until the mixture is very thick, about 4 minutes. Then in a separate bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 7 Tbsp sugar to the whites, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff and glossy. Fold half of the egg whites into the yolk mixture, then stir in half of the flour and 1/4 tsp salt.  Fold in the remaining whites, followed by the remaining flour. Mix until just combined. 

3. Coat a muffin tin with cooking spray, then spoon about 1.5 Tbsp of batter into each cup. (You'll probably need two muffin tins.) Bake 8-10 minutes. Cool in pan on rack, then run a knife around the edge of each cake disc to loosen them. 

2. Prepare the lemon curd: Whisk the sugar, lemon juice, eggs, and egg yolks in a medium metal bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water. Whisk constantly until thickened and a candy thermometer reads 160° F. Remove bowl from water, then add the butter, whisking until melted. Transfer 1 cup of the curd to a small bowl, and reserve the remaining curd for the filling. Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of each curd. Chill overnight. (I just chilled mine for a few hours, and it was totally fine, FYI.) 

3. Make the syrup: Place sugar in a small metal bowl. Add 1/2 cup boiling water; stir to dissolve sugar. Stir in lemon juice.

4. Prepare the filling and frosting: Beat the whipping cream and sugar in a large bowl until peaks form. Add the mascarpone to the lemon curd you reserved for the filling. Whisk until blended, then fold the whipped cream into the lemon-mascarpone mixture. 

5. Prepare for serving: Spread a spoonful of the lemon-mascarpone mixture in the center of a dessert plate, forming a circle just larger than one of your cake discs. Place a cake disc on top of the filling, with the flat side facing up. Use a pastry brush to spread syrup over the surface of the cake, then spoon on a layer of lemon curd, followed by a layer of the lemon-mascarpone filling. Repeat with a second cake disc. Sprinkle white chocolate shavings on top and on the plate. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Weird New Bathroom Design Trend

HookedonHouses.net
Double sinks are expected. Low-flow toilets? Practically the norm. But joining these standard master bathroom features is a weird new trend: eliminating the bathtub. In a new Houzz survey, 43 percent of homeowners say they're doing away with the tub altogether. 

I'm kind of shocked: What about bubble baths? Relaxing after a rough day? Wanting to sit down to shave your legs? 

But, according to Martha Fondren, a homebuilding expert, "The emphasis on the giant garden tub is no longer there. Now the emphasis is on, 'What can I do with my shower?' People want a spa experience in the shower." The Houzz survey backs this up: 45 percent of young homeowners want to install rain-style showerheads, 35 percent want a handheld showerhead, and 24 percent want multiple showerheads. 

I agree that garden tubs are a bit of a design faux pas: They're often oddly shaped, surrounded by unattractive tile, and are tough to maintain. (On my recent trip to Israel, I accidentally hit the jets in the hotel tub, and awful-smelling water came spewing out.) But rather than ditching the bathtub entirely, I'd prefer a return to the freestanding tub (ideally, the clawfoot style), a classic option a third of homeowners would consider, according to the Houzz survey.

Want to kick your jacuzzi to the curb? Here are a few tub-free bathrooms I admittedly dig:







Friday, February 28, 2014

How to Make "Orange is the New Black" Prison Cheesecake


The hit Netflix series Orange is the New Black is based on a true story: an upper-class white girl, Piper, goes to prison on 10-year-old drug charges. There's lots of fighting, gratuitous nudity, and even a transvestite inmate. But the producers didn't include something the book emphasized: prison cheesecake. 

Apparently, inmates often fill their hours by concocting microwave creations, relying entirely on ingredients from the prison commissary or those smuggled in by the kitchen staff. Piper specialized in cheesecake, and lucky for us (maybe), she included the recipe in her book.

So being the cheesecake fan that I am, I had to make it.

What You Need

Here are the instructions, excerpted from the book by Piper Kerman:


  1. Prepare a crust of crushed graham crackers* mixed with four pats of margarine stolen from the dining hall. Bake it in a Tupperware bowl for about a minute in the microwave, and allow it to cool and harden.
  2. Take one full round of Laughing Cow cheese, smash with a fork, and mix a cup of vanilla pudding until smooth. Gradually mix in one whole container of Cremora**, even though it seems gross. Beat viciously until smooth. Add lemon juice from the squeeze bottle until the mixture starts to stiffen. Note: This will use most of the plastic lemon.
  3. Pour into the bowl atop the crust, and put on ice in your bunkie's cleaning bucket to chill until ready to eat.
*I used one cup of graham cracker crumbs. This made for a crumbly crust, so I'd suggest using 3/4 cup. 
**This proved to be the most difficult ingredient to track down. I finally found it at Wal-Mart. Since it's non-dairy, it's not in the refrigerated section; it was down the coffee aisle, hidden on the bottom shelf, at my store. Cremora comes in different size containers: I'm guessing prison doesn't have the jumbo size, so I used about two-thirds of the 22-ounce bottle.



The resulting mixture was surprisingly smooth, although I did cheat and use my KitchenAid. It wasn't entirely cheesecake-like, though. More like marshmallow creme, but not quite as sweet. To be perfectly honest, it kind of grossed me out, probably because I knew it was primarily coffee creamer. That said, if I was in prison, it would be a welcome treat. (And my husband thought it was halfway decent.) 

My verdict: Save this for your Orange is the New Black viewing party. Otherwise, it will sit untouched in your fridge. It's been in mine for a week. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Bargain Hunter's Guide to Goodwill


I've been shopping at Goodwill since elementary school. I bought my first pair of dress-up cowboy boots at Goodwill (which I still wear, by the way) around age 5. That was in the early 90s, way before people began nodding with appreciation when I told them, "I bought this at the thrift store." (They were more likely to feel sorry for me, in my sparkly Goodwill vests.) And it was definitely before there were songs glorifying thrift shopping. 

As a child, I hunted for Barbies and Beanie Babies. As a teen, I shifted my search to anything bearing the Abercrombie label. Now, it's housewares and designer clothing. I have learned a few success strategies along the way...

1. Know your Goodwill employees

There are three types of Goodwill employees: 1) Teenagers who are there only because they need a job (or perhaps got in trouble) 2) The power trippers, who wield the pricing gun like a weapon 3) The people who truly love what they do. The power trippers are the ones to avoid. Overpricing is their M.O., and store policy is their law. If an item doesn't have a price, you should approach either the teen or the passionate employee. 

A few months back, I found an adorable Madeline doll I wanted to buy for my niece. It didn't have a sticker. The power trippers would have told me no sticker means no sale (or named some ridiculously high amount). But a teenage boy at the desk sold it to me for a quarter.

2. Look for $_.99 stickers
If the price ends in .99, it means the item is salvage, purchased in bulk from a store like Target. Goodwill buys pallets of salvage for a set price, without knowing what's inside. Usually, it's from Target, although I suspect one Goodwill in my area buys from Forever 21.

Sometimes the items are slightly damaged. I found, for example, a mercury glass lamp from Target that was slightly rusted on the bottom. Other times, salvage goods are just clearance items that never sold. (At the end of a holiday season, I often see Target decorations at Goodwill.) And finally, if you hit the jackpot, you'll find items that simply have damaged packaging. I once found a perfectly intact lampshade that was still for sale at Target. A few months ago, I bought a Target starburst mirror with a damaged box for $12.99. 

Not every Goodwill sells Target salvage. So before you drive all over town, give your local stores a call. The employees will be able to tell you if they receive surplus shipments. 


3. Time your visits.
My Goodwill usually restocks in the evening. That means I find the best stuff around 8 p.m. Others load up the shelves in the A.M. (My mom says her best finds happen at 9 a.m., when the store first opens.) Figure out when your store's staff does most of their work, then swing by around that time to secure the best stuff. 

4. Hit more than one location
Don't give up if your local Goodwill is subpar. Inventory varies from location to location, so take a trip across town to scout a better thrift shop. Some stores focus more on furniture, others on clothes. Some carry Target salvage, others don't. My general rules: Goodwill's in wealthier areas are best, and the longer the store has been open, the better the selection. (In the words of my mother, "It takes 'em a while to get junked up.")

5. Find the right brands
Goodwill employees recognize moderately expensive brands, like Banana Republic of Express, and super high-end brands, like Prada. They mark both up. (I've seen stretched-out, faded Polo shirts for ten bucks. Ridiculous.) The in-between, less recognizable brands, like Free People or French Connection, are the bargain hunter's sweet spot. Because employees don't recognizes the names, these garments are often cheap. I once found a brand new Nanette Lepore blazer for $8.

6. Check the garment return rack. 
Outside the Goodwill dressing room you'll find a garment return rack, inevitably loaded down with designer goods. Somebody has already rifled through the aisles of clothing for you, and pulled out the most stylish stuff to try on. (And lucky for you, it didn't fit her.) 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

20 Decorating Trends from the 1990s We Should All Forget



Growing up, my family's kitchen was the epitome of 1990s chic: a hunter-green sponge- painted border, goose contact paper lining the drawers, linoleum flooring. It's a look that should remain only in my memory, along with these 20 trends that should be banished for good: 


1. Wallpaper borders






2. Oak kitchen cabinets




3. Brass light fixtures




4. Oddly shaped Whirlpool tubs



5. Overstuffed sofas



6. Ivy-themed kitchens 




7. Obnoxious beds-in-a-bag





8. ANYTHING in hunter green (bonus points for an accent wall!)





9. Elaborate faux finishes and sponge painting




10. Pouf valances




11. The stuffed animal "pet net"





12. Hollywood vanity lighting




13. Inflatable furniture





14. Silk flower arrangements




15. Giant wooden decks (the more tiers the better!)





16. Celestial motif





17. Super-vaulted entryways with THIS chandelier





18. Dusty rose carpeting





19. Track lighting


20. Plaid sofa slipcovers



Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cookie Dough Oreo Cheesecake



Cookie Dough Oreos are officially on supermarket shelves. Of course, I promptly snatched up a package at Target, dug in the second I got home...and was kind of disappointed. 

They ARE better than most of the limited-time Oreos I've had in the past (I always buy them, but rarely like them). But they still don't really taste like cookie dough. As my sister put it, they have "a fake/manufactured cookie dough taste." Let's just say there's no risk of me digging the creme filling out by the spoonful.

In my opinion, any kind of Oreo, even the original ones, is best incorporated into a baked good. So I decided to whip up a Cookie Dough Oreo Cheesecake. Can you really ever go wrong with cheesecake? I think not. 



I was not disappointed.

I crushed up several Cookie Dough Oreos for the crust, then chopped up the rest and stirred them into the cheesecake batter. To make up for the Oreos' lacking flavor, I layered some actual cookie dough between the crust and the cheesecake. This was not a mistake.





What You Need

24 Cookie Dough Oreos, divided
2 Tbsp butter, melted
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature 
1 jar (7 ounces) marshmallow creme
1 egg
1 package pre-made chocolate chip cookie dough (I used Toll House Chocolate Chip Lovers)

Put It All Together

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Coat a springform pan with cooking spray. 
  3. Crush 14 Oreos in a food processor, until finely ground. Mix with the melted butter, and firmly pack into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Press the cookie dough into a half-inch thick layer on top of the crust. (I used about three-fourths of the dough in the package.) 
  5. Beat the cream cheese and marshmallow creme until smooth. Add the egg, and mix well. Chop up the remaining Oreos, and stir into the cream cheese mixture. 
  6. Pour the mixture over the cookie dough, then bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Allow to cool completely, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.