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Friday, December 17, 2010

Chew on This | Eggnog Cheesecake

Eggnog Cheesecake!  A holiday twist indeed.

Even if you're not too keen for eggnog, you must not deny yourself the chance to taste this creamy concoction.  It screams holidays, don't you think? 

I first made this cheesecake when I was living on my own in Pennsylvania.  I was young and just learning to cook outside of the cookbook box.  And I was doing anything I could to lure my friends and family to visit me - often.  This cheesecake helped my cause!

You'll need lots of cream cheese and eggnog.  And a delicious crust.  This crust is not a graham cracker crust.  No, no, no.  It's a ginger snap crust!  Yummy twisted goodness!

Mix ginger snap crumbs with melted butter and dump into our spring form pan.  I use a measuring cup to level the bottom of the crust and to push the crumbs up the side of the pan.  Put it in the oven, at 325℉ to set up.

Next, mix the luscious cream cheese, egg nog, spices (nutmeg and cinnamon) and other ingredients together.

Pour your creamy eggnog mixture into the slightly cooled crust.  Make sure to wrap foil around the base of the spring form pan - this is in preparation for the water bath.  

The water bath - it's pretty important when baking a cheesecake.  It keeps cracks from forming on the top of your cake.  So, I took one of my roasting pans and placed the foil wrapped cheesecake pan inside.  Then, very carefully, I poured water into my roasting pan to reach half way up the side of the cheesecake pan.  And now - into the oven.

Check it out!  Dusted with ground nutmeg and cinnamon, this eggnog cheesecake will have you whistling a holiday tune!  And will probably lure to your home more friends and family then you ever knew you had.  Enjoy the company!


Here's the recipe:

Egg Nog Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 325℉

1 1/2 cups ginger snap cookie crumbs
3 T butter, melted

Combine cookie crumbs and melted butter.  Dump mixture into a prepared, 9", foil wrapped, spring form pan.  Press buttery crumbs into a level layer on the bottom of pan and up the sides of pan.  I used a measuring cup to this (see picture above).  Place into oven for 12-15 minutes to set the crust.  When done, remove from oven and set aside to cool.  

Turn your oven up to 425℉.

3 eight ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup egg nog
3 T rum (or rum flavored extract)
1/2 t nutmeg (or more, to your taste)
1/4 t cinnamon
3 T flour

While crust is cooling, make your yummy filling.  
In a bowl mix together cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.  Add your eggs, one at a time, mixing batter in between each addition.  Now add your rum, nutmeg and flour.  Pour your filling into the cooled crust.  

To keep the cheese cake from cracking while baking - bake in a water bath.  Do this by placing your foil wrapped, spring form pan into a larger baking dish.  Fill baking dish with tap water until the water level reaches about half way up the side of the spring form pan.  Place into the 425℉ oven for 15 minutes.  

After 15 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 250℉ and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes.  

Center of cheesecake will still be slightly wiggly when done.  Let cool slightly and then place in the refrigerator to completely set.  Sprinkle the top of the cheesecake with some ground nutmeg and cinnamon and serve.  Delicious!

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