Red Velvet Cheesecake (December)

Submitted Fri, 12/13/2013 - 4:42pm by Web Guy

RED VELVET CHEESECAKE

1 ½ Cups Chocolate Graham Cracker Crumbs
¼ Cup Butter
1 Tablespoon Granulated Sugar
3 (8 ounce) Packages Cream Cheese, softened
1½ Cups Granulated Sugar
4 Large Eggs, slightly beaten
3 Tablespoons Unsweetened Cocoa
1 Cup Sour Cream 
½ Cup Whole Buttermilk
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract 
1 Teaspoon Distilled White Vinegar
2 (1-ounce) Bottles Red Food Coloring
1 (3 ounce) Package Cream Cheese, softened
¼ Cup Butter, softened
2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Garnish: Fresh Mint Sprigs

STIR together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
BEAT 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 ½ cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
BAKE at 325 degrees for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300 degrees, and bake for 1 and ½ hours or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven for 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
BEAT 1 (3-ounce) package cream cheese and ¼ cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth; gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.