My holiday baking this year was pretty limited to my “Wine-Drinking, Tree-Trimming Party” and a hilarious afternoon decorating holiday cookies. My baking time was spent out with friends and obsessively online shopping. Fun!
But as you recall, I was pretty excited to find this little gem at my grocery store and was itching to use it. Thankfully, my friends having a holiday party this weekend gave me a perfect opportunity to get baking.
Gingerbread Kaluha Cheesecake with Eggnog Flair!
Adapted from this recipe
2 cups gingersnaps, ground into crumbs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons brown sugar
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Gingerbread Kaluha
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon rum extract (optional)
2 tablespoons eggnog
1/4 cup crushed gingersnaps
Heat oven to 300°F.
Cut out a circle of parchment paper to fit into the bottom of the springform pan.
Combine all crust ingredients in medium bowl. Press into bottom and halfway up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Wrap outside of pan with tin foil. Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Blend cream cheese, brown sugar and white sugar with a hand mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs one at a time until just combined.
Add all remaining filling ingredients; blend, but do not overwhip.
Pour into crust (its ok if this is 3/4 of the way up the pan, our cake won’t rise that much).
Place in oven on center rack.
Rather than a traditional water bath; I used the following method.
Fill a 9×11 pan with water; and place the pan on the rack beneath the cheesecake.
It should create the desired effect of keeping the cheesecake moist so it won’t crack.
Bake 1 hour 25 minutes until top is dry to the touch.
Center should jiggle, but not ripple as if it was all liquid.
Turn off oven. Open door slightly and let cheescake cool in oven for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack, remove tin foil and cool until completely cold.
Refrigerate overnight, uncovered or lightly covered with wax paper.
With a pastry brush or back of a spoon, paint the top of the cheesecake with the eggnog. Gently tap gingersnap crumbs in place over the entire top.
You could of course serve with a dark chocolate sauce or a whipped cream/egg nog topping as well. Feast! Serves 16.
Note: Don’t fear the cheesecake. This recipe is easy-peasy, its just about time and patience. I recommend making it when you’re doing other things at home. Start to finish (including prep, oven and rack cooling) it took me four hours. In that time, I did 3 loads of laundry, finished a report for work and watched two episodes of Friends, so, see, multi-tasking.