For the Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup granulated sugar
Then, for the Filling:
3 pkgs (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 ½ tsp. banana extract
And finally, for the Topping:
8 oz. container whipped topping
Fresh strawberries, stemmed and halved
DirectionsTo prepare crust, mix crumbs, butter and sugar together in a small mixing bowl. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. To prepare filling, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese, sugar and banana extract until well blended in a large mixing bowl.
Add eggs; mix well. Pour filling into prepared crust and bake @ 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until center is nearly set. Cool and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. To garnish, spread whipped topping over top of cheesecake. Use blueberries to create an area of stars in the corner of the cheesecake, then make rows of strawberries to create the stripes.
Cheesecake can be made up to 1 day ahead. Serves 12 to 18 people.