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Tuxedo Cream Dessert (with GF variation)

If you need to make an impression but are completely intimidated by the idea of baking a real cheesecake, this recipe will stop the show. I've made it many times and love the silky smooth texture, the way it slices perfectly, the combination of vanilla and chocolate, the richness of the cream, and how versatile it is for decorating. Not to mention that it can be whipped up the day before and stays good for a really long time.

That is, if you haven't eaten already.

You'll need: Crust: 1 1/2 cups of crumbled Oreo cookies 3-4 Tablespoons melted butter Chocolate Layer: 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin 2 Tablespoons cold water 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips Vanilla Layer: 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin 2 Tablespoons cold water 1 2/3 cups heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Directions: Crust: Mix cookie crumbs and melted butter together. Pat into a 9" spring form pan. Set aside.
Chocolate Layer: In a small saucepan, bring cream to a simmer. In a separate small bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Add to warm cream and stir until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir chocolate chips into remaining warm cream until melted. Stir in gelatin mixture and remaining cream. Pour on top of crust. Cool in fridge for 45 minutes or until firm.
Vanilla Layer: In a small saucepan, bring cream and sugar to a simmer. In another bowl, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand for 1 minute. Stir into cream until gelatin is completely dissolved. Add vanilla. Carefully spoon over chocolate layer. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until firm.
After removing the sides of the spring form, you can garnish this beautiful dessert any way you like. In the picture shown above, I simply rubbed some more Oreo cookie crumbs onto the sides. Using several thin strips of waxed paper, I created a lattice stencil on the top of the dessert, sprinkled on some more crumbs, and carefully removed the strips of paper. Then I added a "haystack" of chopped chocolate covered peppermint sticks.
I've also served this with a fresh strawberry sauce made by pureeing strawberries and sugar in the blender for a fresher taste. Be creative-the possibilities are endless!

*GF Variation: Simply use Gluten-free cookie crumbs instead.