Cranberry Cheesecake Spread

I wanted to have a cheese based appetizer at our holiday party last weekend. Since I can’t eat brie, and I wanted to try something new, I went with this Cranberry Cheesecake Spread. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect from it. Even after I baked it, I wasn’t sure if it would go over well. I was worried it would be too sweet and dessert-like.

But let me tell you, this Cranberry Cheesecake Spread was the surprise hit of the evening. Everyone really enjoyed it and the plate was scraped clean early in the evening. The cheesecake itself had a beautifully smooth texture and the cranberry sauce on top provided a subtle scent of vanilla bean. The toasted pecans added a touch of texture to the whole experience.

I can definitely see myself making this again for get togethers because it came together in a snap. I made the cheesecake, cranberry sauce, and toasted the pecans a week in advance. Once the cheesecake was cool, I wrapped it in plastic wrap and foil and popped it into the freezer. I moved it to the fridge the morning of the party for it to defrost. The cranberry sauce and pecans sat in the fridge all week as well.

One Year Ago: Gingerbread Caramels and Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies
Two Years Ago: Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Three Years Ago: Butter Ball Cookies

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Cranberry Cheesecake Spread

Ingredients:

For the Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Relish
3 cups cranberries
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup bourbon
1 vanilla bean
2 jalapenos, whole or finely chopped

For the Cheesecake
1 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp graham cracker crumbs
8 oz package cream cheese
5 oz Greek yogurt
1 egg
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla

For Garnish
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted

Directions:

For the Bourbon Vanilla Cranberry Relish
Combine ingredients in a medium saucepan. While stirring, bring the mixture to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes, or until most of the cranberrries have burst.

Remove from heat to cool. If you left the jalapeno pepper whole, remove it now and discard. Retrieve the vanilla bean from the sauce and set aside. When the vanilla bean is cool enough to handle comfortably, split it in half and scrape the seeds into the sauce. Stir until the vanilla seeds are distributed throughout the sauce. Discard the remaining hull.

For the Cheesecake
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Use 1 Tablespoon butter to generously grease the bottom and sides of a 6-inch spring form pan. Add the graham cracker crumbs, tilting and tapping until the crumbs thoroughly cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the yogurt and egg, beating until well combined. Add the brown sugar and vanilla. Continue mixing until smooth.

Pour filling mixture into the prepared pan.

Randomly drop 1/3 cup of the cranberry sauce on top of the cheesecake batter with a tablespoon. Tap the pan on the counter top to settle the batter. Insert a butter knife straight down into the batter, not quite touching the bottom of the pan, and drag it back and forth at 1 to 2 inch intervals, front to back then side to side. Repeat as necessary to achieve a marbled effect in the batter.

Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until done.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Loosely cover and refrigerate until completely cooled, several hours or overnight.

To Assemble
To serve, top cheesecake with remaining cranberry relish and toasted pecans. Set on a platter with an assortment of crackers.

Recipe from My Own Sweet Thyme

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12 Responses to “Snickerdoodle Cheesecake Bars”

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    1
    Eva @ Eva Bakes — May 29, 2013 at 10:31 am

    What a great flavor combination! And now I’m officially hungry.

    • beantownbaker — May 29th, 2013 @ 11:45 am

      Ha – sorry to make you hungry! We all REALLY enjoyed these. I like snickerdoodles enough, but these were just awesome.

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    2
    Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes) — May 29, 2013 at 11:37 am

    These are so genius! I love snickerdoodles but combined with cheesecake, its even better!

    • beantownbaker — May 29th, 2013 @ 11:45 am

      You should definitely make these, they’re as delicious as they look!

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    3
    tracy {pale yellow} — May 29, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Love the “random” dollops of cookie on top. They look like mini cookies. Snickerdoodles are the best, I love the way you’ve made them shine in this cheesecake!

    • beantownbaker — May 29th, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

      Ha, I tried to make them random, but I pretty much failed at it 😉

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    4
    Sasha (The Procrastobaker) — May 30, 2013 at 3:43 am

    I havn’t baked anything sweet for a lonnnggg time now (been living in a campervan and now I have an oven once more been on a bread baking / savoury kick) but Ive been looking for THAT recipe to get me back into sweets. I think this is it! I tried snickerdoodles once and looovvedd them, yours look so so pretty, I cant wait!

    • beantownbaker — May 30th, 2013 @ 9:12 am

      I think this would be the perfect recipe to get you back into baking sweets!

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    5
    Nutmeg Nanny — June 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm

    This looks wonderful 🙂 I love snickerdoodles alone, so I imagine this cheesecake tastes heavenly!

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    Shannon — June 6, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    oh boy, you may have outdone yourself with this one 🙂 sounds like it was the perfect treat for your sister and her husband!!

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    Beth — July 14, 2013 at 7:31 am

    daughter came over last night and she lovveessss Snicker Doodle so I made this…she took the whole dish home…that is how much she enjoyed it…it tasted just like snickerdoodle ..I love your recipes…keep them coming…

    • beantownbaker — July 14th, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

      Thanks 🙂 So glad your daughter enjoyed them. My snickerdoodle loving sister sure enjoyed them as well…

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