Saturday, June 10, 2023

Cheesecake for the holidays

Bailey Woodean
Bailey Woodean
I have been a freelance writer for more than 4 years, a mom for more than 2 years, and a wife for just under a year. I am currently a student in a cooking and catering program with the intention of expanding my knowledge of the culinary business. I then plan to take this knowledge to properly write about and critique restaurants and food. Writing to you from Niagara Falls, NY, thanks for joining me on the ride!
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Cheesecake with Pomegranate Sauce



  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for buttering the pan
  • 12 graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  • Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Pomegranate Sauce:

  • 2 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
  1. For the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap 3 layers of foil around the outside of a 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Butter the pan.
  2. Combine the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in a food processor and pulse until crumbly. Add the butter and pulse until moistened. Press the crumb mixture evenly onto the bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake just until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely.
  3. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  4. For the filling: In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy. Add the sugar and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream and mix until smooth, about 35 seconds. Pour the filling into the cooled crust.
  5. Set the cheesecake in a large baking pan. Add enough hot water to the baking pan to come 1 inch up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake until almost set (the center will move slightly when the pan is gently shaken) but not puffed, about 1 hour. Let cool at room temperature for 2 hours. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cooled, preferably overnight or for at least 6 hours.
  6. For the pomegranate sauce: Combine the pomegranate juice and sugar in a saucepan and cook over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Let cool. Add the pomegranate seeds and mix to combine.
  7. Pour the pomegranate sauce on top of the cooled cheesecake and serve.
Cheesecake for the holidays

Double-Chocolate Peppermint Cheesecake



  • 1 ½ cups chocolate wafer cookie crumbs (about 32 cookies)
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons sugar


  • 4 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated)
  • ⅓ cup whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons Gold Medal™ all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 eggs


  • ¾ cup whipping cream
  • 1 ½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 bag (12 oz) soft peppermint sticks, coarsely crushed


  • Store-bought peppermint bark
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Wrap outside bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil to prevent leaking. Spray inside bottom and side of pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix crust ingredients. Press firmly in bottom of pan. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Cool crust 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Gradually add condensed milk, beating just until blended. Add 1/3 cup whipping cream, the flour, and vanilla; beat just until blended. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended. Pour over crust.
  3. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until the edge of the cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from the edge of the pan but the center of the cheesecake still jiggles slightly when moved. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes. Run small metal spatula around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.
  4. Run a small metal spatula around the edge of the cheesecake; carefully remove foil and side of pan. Place cheesecake on serving plate. In a medium microwavable bowl, microwave 3/4 cup whipping cream on High 1 minute or until hot. Add chocolate chips; stir until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Pour ganache over cheesecake; smooth ganache with spatula. Let stand 10 minutes. Gently press crushed peppermint sticks into the side of the cheesecake. Cover; refrigerate any remaining cheesecake. Garnish with peppermint bark, if desired.

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