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Friday, December 9, 2011

Cranberry-Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

 Our family has a tradition that every day-after-Thanksgiving we gather at my aunt & uncle's house for "Lefse Day."  They make lefse (a Norwegian flatbread) from leftover mashed potatoes and we all bring our leftover pies, and we eat turkey, stuffing and whatever else wraps in lefse and then eat a bunch of desserts.  It's a hard life. 

I took the opportunity to try two new dessert recipes, both of which were awesome, and both of which we obviously needed because we only had this many pies:
 Like I said, it's a hard life.  This year it was also like the christening of my aunt & uncle's amazing new kitchen renovation/addition that they need and deserve, as their ELEVEN kids are mostly adults and many now bringing two and three children in tow when they visit.  It's so fun to see all the next generation playing together.  While I sit and eat lots of pie.  And trade funny insults with my brother.  Who I am SO glad is back from England.  We also cooked up - and executed - a pretty good practical joke.  Which I cannot confess to on this public forum.  I digress.

One that I made is this chocolate-crusted, chocolate-cranberry-swirled round of creamy nirvana.  Definitely one of my favorite cheesecakes I've made.  I'm really into cranberries this season, too.  Oh, and did you see the cranberry cream pie in the pic above?  One of my cousins made it.  I was super flattered. 
 Cranberry-Chocolate Cheesecake (print recipe)
2 cups fresh cranberries, picked over
1 3/4 cups sugar, divided
2/3 cup cranberry or orange juice
1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate wafer cookies
3 T all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup butter, melted
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1.  Prepare cranberry sauce: In a medium saucepan, combine cranberries, 3/4 cup sugar, and cranberry or orange juice.  Cook and stir over medium-high heat until mixture comes to boiling; reduce heat.  Boil gently, uncovered, for 3 to 4 minutes or until cranberries pop, stirring occasionally.  Cool to room temperature.  (Makes 1 3/4 cups.)

2.  Preheat oven to 375.  For crust, in a medium bowl, combine crushed chocolate cookies and 1 T flour; stir in melted butter.  Press mixture evenly onto the bottom and 1 1/2 to 2 inches up the side of a 9-inch springform pan; set aside.

3.  For filling, in a large bowl, combine cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, vanilla and the remaining 2 T flour.  Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined.  Add eggs and milk; beat just until combined.  Divide filling in half.

4.  Stir 3/4 cup of the cranberry sauce into melted chocolate; stir chocolate mixture into half of the filling.  Pour chocolate filling into crust-lined pan, spreading evenly.  Spoon plain filling over chocolate filling; swirl gently to marble.

5.  Place springform pan in a shallow baking dish.  Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until a 2 1/2-inch area around the outside edge appears set when gently shaken.

6.  Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes.  Using a small knife, loosen crust from side of pan; cool for 30 minutes.  Remove side of pan; cool cheesecake completely on rack.  Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving.  Serve with remaining cranberry sauce.  Makes 12 servings.

Recipe from Better Homes & Gardens Holiday Baking magazine, December 2010


Greg and Michelle said...

Dear Kari,

As one of your cousins who was not there, but so wished I could have been (especially when I heard about the pie spread - oh how delicious it sounded!) would you please pretty please consider letting me in on the practical joke? Thanks for posting about lefse day - it is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving!

Disco Mom said...

Michelle - of course - I'll email it to you :)

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