Tag Archives: cheesecake

Key lime cheesecake

The perfect bite.

How you know a cheesecake is good in one bite:

  1. The flavor is so pungent that your mouth starts salivating uncontrollably.
  2. The creaminess melts in your mouth like ice cream.
  3. It is so rich that you become full way too soon.

This dessert was one of the first things I learned to cook in college, and now it occurs to me that it’s kind of a weird recipe. Is cornstarch a normal ingredient for cheesecake? I don’t know, but it’s still delicious. I love tart citrus flavors mixed with the rich sweetness of cream cheese. And the gingernap crust is a natural compliment of flavors.

I made this for our Superbowl supper, but it’s probably more appropriate in summertime, when you can find real key limes. I, of course, just used fresh limes. Please don’t use bottled lime juice!

Key Lime Cheesecake

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 c. ginger snap crumbs or graham cracker crumbs, or a combination of both (grind in food processor)
  • 6 T unsalted butter, melted
  • 24 oz. cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 c. white sugar
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 T grated lime zest (one lime)
  • 2/3 c. lime juice (about 6 limes)

Heat oven to 350.

Combine cookie crumbs and butter, press into bottom of springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then set aside. Cover bottom of pan with tin foil and place in roasting pan or large baking dish (for the water bath).

Lower oven to 300.

In a large bowl, beat with electric mixer the cream cheese, sugar, lime peel and cornstarch until smooth and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, until just smooth. Add key lime juice with mixer on low, finish mixing by hand. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Pour hot water around the cheesecake, coming halfway up the sides. Place the whole thing in the oven and bake for 60-65 minutes, until just set (still a little jiggly in the middle). Turn off the oven, open it a crack and leave cheesecake in for another 30 min. This will prevent it from cracking…

Look, ma, no cracking!

Remove to the fridge to chill overnight. Slice with a warmed knife and serve!

Enjoy, friends! xoxo

p.s. Stay tuned for more Superbowl treats!

Eggnog cheesecake bars

I live with someone who is obsessed with eggnog. He buys a new carton nearly every time he goes to the grocery store and we currently have two different brands in the fridge. He pours himself a small glass and then shaves over some fresh nutmeg. Now that is a labor of eggnog love!

So when I saw Martha Stewart’s eggnog cheesecake recipe in her holiday issue, I knew that I had to make it. We both are lovers of cheesecake, and I knew this recipe would be wonderful with the brandy and fresh nutmeg mixed in.

This was a wildly successful recipe that I’m so happy to add to my holiday baking list. I cut the squares into bite-sized pieces so I could serve them at a party. One party-goer said she wanted to stand under the mistletoe with it.

Ingredients:

cooking spray

12 graham crackers, finely ground (1.5 c.)

3/4 c. plus 3 T sugar

4 T unsalted butter, melted

1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 egg yolk

3/4 c. good eggnog (we used the Fresh Market brand)

1 T plus 1 1/2 tsp. flour

1 T plus 1 tsp brandy

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg, plus more for garnish

1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350.

Coat a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, stir together graham crackers, 3 T sugar, melted butter. Press into bottom of the pan. Bake until crust is just brown around edges, 12-15 min. Let cool.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese on med. until fluffy, 2 min. Add remaining 3/4 c. sugar, eggs, yolk, eggnog, flour, brandy, vanilla, nutmeg and salt. Beat until smooth. Pour filling over crust.

Set the dish in a roasting pan and add enough hot water to come halfway up the sides of the dish. Bake until set, 40-45 min. Remove baking dish to a wire rack to cool 30 min. Refrigerate at least three hours or overnight.

Cut into bars and grate fresh nutmeg over the tops to serve. These keep for five days in the fridge…but I promise they won’t last long. A fool-proof recipe!

Please enjoy, I know that I am! Xoxo

Marbled pumpkin cheesecake

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Taking a bite into this silken wonder, I am transported to a cozy kitchen with a turkey roasting in the oven, cranberry sauce bubbling on the stove and fresh rolls steaming on the counter.

The roasted nuttiness of the pecan-gingersnap crust, the bite of cream cheese and the wonderful smell of spiced pumpkin – These are the things that make this recipe my favorite in the Pumpkin Challenge. Here we are at #5 – a recipe I’ve had for years and that people seem to LOVE.

And I must say, the swirled top does give it a rather professional look…

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Here’s the recipe:

1.5 c. crushed gingersnap cookies

1/2 c. chopped pecans

1/3 c. butter, melted

16 oz. cream cheese, room temp.

3/4 c. sugar, divided

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 c. canned pumpkin (I used the whole can)

3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

Method:

Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl, mix cookies, pecans and butter. Press into a 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, use and electric mixer to combine cream cheese, 1/2 c. sugar and vanilla. Add eggs in one at a time, beating well after each. Set aside 1 c. of mixture. Blend in 1/4 c. sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg. Spread pumpkin batter into the crust. Drop plain batter in spoonfuls. With a knife, swirl the two around to create a marbled effect.

Bake the cheesecake for 55 minutes, or until the custard is set (just barely wiggles in the center). Run a knife around the edge of the pan and let it cool before removing rim. Chill at least 4 hours before serving.

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Yum Yum Yum. I used 1/3 less fat cream cheese on this, but whatever floats your boat. Enjoy, friends! xoxo