So I figured you could probably use a little break from cookies (don't worry there's more cookies to come) but today's dessert is the ever so sophisticated cheesecake. Since it's the holiday season it's not just any cheesecake but Eggnog Cheesecake. Fancy, I know.
Every holiday season I look forward to Eggnog, It's one of those signs that the holiday season is upon us when you start to see eggnog hit the shelves. Do you guys like eggnog? I feel like it's one of those things people either love it and go crazy when it's available or they totally hate it.
This cheesecake has a dense & creamy eggnog center sitting deliciously on top of a gingersnap cookie crust.
Eggnog Cheesecake + Gingersnap Cookie Crust = Slice of Holiday Dessert Heaven
This is actually the first cheesecake I've ever attempted and was pleasantly surprised with the results. Cheesecake is the type of dessert that is sophisticated in taste and construction. But it's really not as hard as people think. You just have to take your time and use some extra tips & tricks to help get you to cheesecake success!
Tips & Tricks for making cheesecake:
Room Temperature Cream Cheese - use cream cheese that has softened or is room temperature. Before making this cheesecake, I took the blocks of cream cheese out of the refrigerator, unwrapped them and let them sit in a bowl for an hour before I started to make the recipe.
Be Careful with Your Batter - when your ready to make your cheesecake filling, one thing you don't want is lumps in your batter ?. I suggest beating the cream cheese by itself for a few minutes before you add the sugar. Once you add the sugar, flour & eggnog you'll continue to mix the batter thoroughly until the lumps are gone BUT, be careful not to over mix the batter. Mix the batter until it is smooth, but once it reaches a smooth consistency, stop mixing.
Aluminum Foil & Hot Water Bath - Before you even make the crust or prepare your cheesecake batter, prep your spring-form pan. Make sure you thoroughly grease the bottom & sides with baking spray, you can even line the bottom with parchment paper if you wish. Then you'll want to wrap the bottom have of it in aluminum foil; covering the bottom of the pan and working it way half-way up the sides of the spring-form pan. We're wrapping the pan because the cheesecake is going to sit in a hot water bath while it bakes, helping to keep moisture in while it bakes. When you're ready to bake the cheesecake place the spring-form in a bigger baking dish, place it on the oven rack and fill it with an inch of hot water.
Turn off the Oven, Open the Door - Once your cheesecake is done baking it may look slightly jiggly in the center, this is totally fine! Turn your oven off and leave the oven door open just enough to lot the hot air out, but not completely wide open. Cracks in cheesecakes usually happen because of quick temperature changes, so we want to start to cool the cheesecake slowly. Leave your cheesecake in the oven for an hour after you've turned the oven off.
You'll want to let the cheesecake set in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight. I highly suggest covering the spring form pan with plastic wrap and placing it in the freezer to serve a few days later. When ready to serve run a kitchen knife under hot water to cut into smooth, clean slices. You can add fun garnishes like whipped cream, Christmas colored sprinkles, or a dusting of nutmeg.
- 1 cup gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup eggnog
- 2 eggs
- 2 tablespoons rum I used Rum extract
- 1 pinch ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a spring-form pan with cooking spray and wrap the bottom and sides with aluminum foil.
- In a bowl combine gingersnap cookie crumbs, sugar & melted butter. Mix all three ingredients together and pour into the spring-form pan. Press crumbs into the bottom and along the sides to form a crust. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes and then allow to cool.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees
- Make the cheesecake filling; in a large bowl beat cream cheese on on medium-high speed for a minute or two. Add in sugar & flour and mix until combined. Add in eggnog, then eggs, rum extract & nutmeg and continue to mix on medium speed until batter reaches a smooth consistency, do not over mix the batter. Pour batter into the spring-form pan, place pan inside another baking dish and place on oven rack and add hot water. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 degrees.
- After 10 minutes reduce oven temperature to 250 degrees and bake cheesecake for 45 minutes. Once cheesecake is done (center will be jiggly) turn off the oven and slightly open the oven door to let the hot air out, leave cheesecake in the oven for 1 more hour.
- Take cheesecake out of oven and let it come to room temperature. Cover the spring-form pan in plastic wrap and let it set in the refrigerator for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight.