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Hello Walkway Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Apple Cider Drizzle

By Libby Hugo & Cassi Mendiola

Our “Hello Walkway Vanilla Bean Cheesecake” is a rich and creamy holiday treat. It is no ordinary cheesecake; our version has been enhanced with a tinge of vanilla bean flavor from real vanilla beans, as well as a drizzle of smooth brown sugar cider. It is the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving feast. This dessert was inspired by the completion of construction on the Hello Walkway. In the 1920s, it was requested by the president of the University of Idaho that the students and faculty alike greet everyone they pass with a “Hello” as they make their way up and down the welcoming tree-lined pathway stretched to and from the Administration building. This tradition gives visitors a very favorable impression of the friendliness of the campus, and friendliness is very much a part of Vandal spirit.

  • Yield: one 10-inch cheesecake 
  • Oven: 300°F Bake: ~1hr, 20min 



  • 1 (18oz) package Oreo Golden Original Sandwich Cookies 
  • ¼ cup melted butter 


  • 2 lb cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 ½ cup white sugar 
  • 5 eggs 
  • 3 vanilla beans, split lengthwise & seeds scraped 
  • 2 T. pure vanilla extract 
  • ½ cup sour cream 
  • ½ cup heavy cream 


  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 
  • 1 cup apple cider 
  • 1/4 cup raisins 
  • dash nutmeg 


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F & lightly butter a 10-inch springform pan.
  2. Place the sandwich cookies into a plastic bag & crush with a rolling pin. Pour the crumbs into a bowl & drizzle with melted butter; stir to combine. Press the crumb mixture firmly into the bottom & up the sides of the springform pan. Set aside.
  3. Place the softened cream cheese & sugar into a mixing bowl & beat for about 3 minutes on medium speed until the mixture is smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, incorporating each egg before adding the next one. Add the scraped seeds of 3 vanilla beans, the vanilla extract, sour cream, & heavy cream & beat on medium-high speed for approximately 1 minute until the mixture is blended & smooth.
  4. Pour the mixture into the cookie crumb crust, leaving about 2 inches of space from the top of the pan for the cake to expand as it bakes.
  5. Place a baking dish onto the bottom rack of the preheated oven & fill it halfway with boiling water (this helps to keep the cheesecake from cracking). Place the cheesecake onto the middle rack above the pan of water & bake until a small knife inserted into the middle of the cheesecake comes out clean, approximately 1 hour & 20 minutes.
  6. Turn the oven off & let the cheesecake cool down inside the oven for 1 hour. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap, then aluminum foil, & refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
  7. Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-low heat.
  8. In a bowl combine the brown sugar & flour, blending well.
  9. Gradually stir the brown sugar mixture into the butter. Add the cider to the saucepan.
  10. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add the nutmeg.

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University of Idaho
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Moscow, ID 83844-3302

Phone: 208-885-2072