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Living on the Frontlines

Ratner's Cheesecake

Here's another recipe from Toby! Thanks Toby......and I'll get the others posted soon!

Ratner's Cheesecake
and plain cookies

Ratner's was a Jewish dairy restaurant in the lower East Side of Manhattan. This recipe, from my disintegrating, no longer in print Ratner's cookbook, is the closest I've ever gotten to reproducing the rich, heavy cheesecake my mother made when I was a kid. It's worth the time it takes to prepare and every last calorie.

Dough
Can be prepared in advance. Makes enough for two cakes. Can be frozen or used to make cookies – see recipe below.

1 cup sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup shortening 1 teaspoon lemon extract
1 cup butter 2 eggs
3 cups sifted cake flour ½ teaspoon salt
2 cups all purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder

1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients with hands. Refrigerate 3 -4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Filling (for ½ the dough recipe)

1 lb. cream cheese (room temp)
3 tbsp. all purpose flour
1 lb. farmer cheese
4 eggs
1.3 cups sugar
6 tbsp. soft butter
1.5 cups sour cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Press enough dough into ungreased 9 x 13 x 2 inch (22.5 x 32.5 x 5 cm.) baking pan to form a thin layer over the bottom and sides.
3. Cream the butter and sugar, add cheeses and continue to cream.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix (slowly in mixer of by hand) till smooth.
4. Pour filling into pan and bake for around 1 hour.

For Cookies (about. 8 dozen, depending on shape and size)
2. Preheat oven to 375F
3. Roll dough out on floured surface to ¼ in. thickness. Cut. using cookie cutter or a glass.
4. Bake 10 - 12 minutes, until lightly browned. Cool on rack.


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