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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5 Responses to “White Chocolate Cranberry Cupcakes with White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Pistachio Cream Cheese Frosting (Art You Eat)”

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    1
    bensbaby116 — January 6, 2009 at 4:05 am

    These look great! I love cranberries too… I don’t love white chocolate by itself, but I think it would be great mixed in with all these other flavor!
    ~bensbaby116

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    2
    Joelen — January 6, 2009 at 3:48 pm

    What a great cupcake and that frosting sounds amazing!

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    3
    Elly — January 7, 2009 at 1:48 am

    These look delicious! I love everything in them!

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    CB — January 8, 2009 at 4:15 am

    LOL @ meaty. Not sure thats a good flavor for a cupcake unless you are making a meatloaf cupcake huh? Way to make it a couple times to get it perfect. I love white chocolate, cranberries and pistachios. I bet it was YUMTASTIC all together. 😉 I totally starred…
    /Clara

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    marenseven — November 25, 2009 at 5:50 am

    cranberries and white chocolate do compliment one another .. i make a muffin using the jordan marsh blueberry muffin recipe in which i substitute fresh or frozen cranberries for the blueberries and i add white chocolate morsels.

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