Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all of our friends, family, and the in-between!

We are celebrating in Houston today with some good friends, food, movies, games, and even better company.

I thought I'd leave you all with this holiday cheesecake I made for today.

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup pecans, toasted and finely chopped
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

4 packages 8 oz Philadelphia Cream Cheese
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips

2 cups (16 oz) sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
Red and Green M and Ms
Red and Green Sprinkles

1. Place an ungreased 9 inch springform pan on double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Securely wrap foil around the pan.
2. In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, pecans (I did both in the food processor) and brown sugar, stir in butter.  Press onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of prepared pan.  Place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 5 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.
3. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs, beat on low speed just until combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour into crust.  Place in a larger baking pan; add 1-2 inches of boiled water to larger pan (puts the cheesecake in a water bath to prevent cracking, you can refill as needed).
4.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and twenty minutes, or until center is just set and top appears dull.  In a small bowl, combine sour cream and sugar until smooth; spoon over hot cheesecake and spread to cover.  Bake for 5 minutes longer or until topping is just set. After the cheesecake is done baking, leave it in the oven, turn the oven off, and crack open the oven door with a wooden spoon for one hour (also helps prevent cracking).
5. Remove springform pan from water bath.  Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen.  Refrigerate overnight.  Remove sides of can.  Garnish with candies and sprinkles.

Adapted from: Taste of Home

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