Jeweled Cheesecake Recipe
2 1/4 C. gingersnap cookie crumbs
1/4 C. plus 2 T. butter or margarine, melted
2/3 C. whipping cream
1 lb. white chocolate, finely chopped
4 (8-oz.) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1 C. sugar
6 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
Candied Cranberries, optional, (recipe follows)
Pistachio Crunch, optional, (recipe follows)
Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter; stir well. Press crumb mixture into bottom and 1-inch up sides of a (10-inch) springform pan. Bake at 350° F. for 10 minutes. Let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300° F.
Bring whipping cream to a simmer in a saucepan. Remove from heat and pour over chocolate in a large bowl. Stir mixture with a rubber spatula until smooth. Let cool.
Beat cream cheese at high speed in an electric mixer until creamy. Add sugar; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Fold in chocolate mixture. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into prepared crust.
Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Remove sides of pan. If desired, decorate cheesecake with Candied Cranberries and Pistachio Crunch.
Makes 1 (10-inch) cheesecake.
2 1/2 C. sugar
1 C. hot water
3/4 C. cranberry-apple juice drink
3 1/2 C. fresh cranberries
Combine first 3 ingredients in a small nonaluminum saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and pour syrup mixture over cranberries in a medium-size heat-proof bowl. Place bowl on a steamer rack in a large Dutch oven over simmering water. Cover and steam 30 minutes. Remove bowl of cranberries. Let cool completely without stirring.
Cover bowl with cheesecloth; let stand at room temperature for 3 days, stirring occasionally. (Mixture will become thick.)
Transfer cranberries, using a slotted spoon, to a large mesh wire rack placed over a wax paper-lined jellyroll pan. Store cranberry syrup in a glass container in refrigerator for another use. Let fruit dry, uncovered, for 2 to 3 days, turning occasionally. Reserve 1/4 cup Candied Cranberries for use in Pistachio Crunch.
Makes 2 1/2 cups Candied Cranberries and 2 cups syrup.
Note: Candied Cranberries can be prepared and refrigerated up to 2 weeks ahead.
12 ozs. vanilla-flavored candy coating
1/3 C. chopped, toasted pistachio nuts
1/4 C. Candied Cranberries, chopped
Melt candy coating in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.
Stir in nuts and cranberries. Spread mixture in a thick layer (about 1/4-inch) on a wax paper-lined baking sheet. Let cool completely. Break into pieces or use Christmas tree cookie cutters to cut desired shapes.
Makes 1 pound.
-- "Christmas with Southern Living 1995,"
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