December 26- Featured Recipes 26 Dec 11

VANILLA CHEESECAKE

  • Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 prebaked Ginger Graham Cracker Crust
  • 1 cup sour cream

First, Make the Ginger Graham Cracker Crust. Preheat oven to 325° F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth, about 1 minute. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add 1 cup of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of the vanilla and mix until well combined.

Pour the batter into the crust and bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and the remaining sugar and vanilla. Pour the mixture over the cheesecake, spreading it to the edge. Bake 5 minutes.

Cool and refrigerate overnight before serving.

 

CRUSHED PEPPERMINT CHEESECAKE

- from Sunset Magazine

  • 12 ounces creme-filled chocolate sandwich cookies, such as Oreos, broken into pieces
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy

Place cookies in a heavy zip-lock plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin. Pour into a buttered 9-inch round springform pan and pour melted butter over crumbs; mix to coat, then press evenly over bottom and about 1/2 inch up sides of pan. Bake in a 300° oven until crust is slightly darker and looks a bit dry, about 10 minutes (leave oven on).

Meanwhile, in a bowl, with a mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Beat in sour cream. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend after each addition. Beat in flour, vanilla, peppermint extract, and salt until smooth. Pour cream cheese mixture into pan over baked crust.

Bake until edges are just golden and center jiggles slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. Run a knife around edge of pan rim. Place pan on a wire rack and cool cheesecake completely in pan. Cover and chill until cold, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.

Run a knife around rim again, then release rim. If any liquid has pooled on surface of cheesecake, blot dry gently with a paper towel.

Decorate top of cake with crushed peppermint candy, pressing it in gently with your hands.

 

HOME-MADE IRISH CREAM

- from Kristin Guerrette

First, mix 2 pasteurized eggs, 1 T of Hershey’s chocolate syrup, and 1 can of sweetened condensed milk in a blender.

Then add in 1-1/3 or more cups of Whiskey, 1 cup of Coffee Mate, 1 cup of Coffee Mate Irish Cream, 1 heaping teaspoon instant coffee, ½ t Almond Extract, ¼ t vanilla extract, and ¼ t. coconut extract. (You can use any or all of those last 3 ingredients.)

This makes 1.1 liters. Bottle it in glass containers and refrigerate; let it age for 2 or more days.