Make a splash at your next cookout with this adorable beach-scene cheesecake. The no-bake filling is prepped the day before, leaving you plenty of time for the fun part: decorating the graham cracker beach with sea glass candy and floating teddy bears.
Combine the brown sugar and graham crackers in a food processor and process until finely ground. Remove 1/3 cup and set aside. Add the butter to the remaining mixture and pulse until well combined. Press into an even layer in the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan and place in the freezer.
Beat the cream in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form; set aside. Beat the cream cheese and confectioners' sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth, about 4 minutes. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and beat until well combined. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture using a spatula until well combined.
Spoon the cream cheese mixture into the pan on top of the crust. Smooth the top with a metal offset spatula and, using the back of a spoon, press some of the mixture up to create a wave that is about 1 inch tall and 3 inches long in the middle of one side of the cake. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours to fully set.
An hour before you are ready to serve the cake, put 1/2 cup of the blue drink in a heatproof measuring cup and sprinkle the gelatin over to let it bloom. Bring the remaining blue drink to a boil either in the microwave or on the stove, then stir it into the measuring cup until clear. Let cool completely to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
Gently press the nonpareils into the top of the wave. Pour half of the blue mixture into the pan and return to the refrigerator until set, about 10 minutes. Fill with the remaining blue mixture. Chill until set, about 10 minutes more.
Sprinkle the remaining graham cracker crumb mixture over a section of the blue to create a beach. Place one teddy bear cracker in each gummy peach ring and place them on the blue section. Cut a piece from the flat taffy candy strip, shape into a surfboard and cut a slit in the middle. Put a teddy bear into the slit so it is standing up and place at the base of the wave. Use the remaining piece of taffy to create a pool float and put a teddy bear on it nearby. Lay the candy tape pieces on the beach as towels and place one teddy bear on each. Insert a paper drink umbrella near them. Decorate the seashore with the blue and green candy (as sea glass), gummy starfish and beach ball.
For the clearest ocean blue, use pre-mixed blue drink (Kool-Aid), not the kind you mix at home from powder.
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