If you are like me, you’re thinking oh geez – what can I make this week that I haven’t made for every single holiday before. We all get a little tired of pecan pie and, lets be honest, no one likes fruit cake. There must be something out there that is holiday appropriate and carries a bit more creativity. I think there is and I think it revolves entirely around cranberries.
For my vegetarian friends out there, you will appreciate that the cranberry cheesecake, cranberry brie, and cranberry margaritas are all vegetarian. I think all of these are a great fit for any fall or winter holiday. Or, really, any winter day. If you can get fresh cranberries, get them and get started! Side note – cranberries freeze well so you can use them year round. Don’t defrost them before using.
Cranberry mini cheesecakes (see below for my version. I was inspired by Hilah Cooking, but tweaked to include graham cracker crust, increased lemon, and updated the topping to include ginger ale)
- * All ingredients should be room temperature
- Graham cracker crust:
- 6 graham crackers
- ⅛ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 tablespoons butter (melted)
- ⅛ cup water
- 16 oz cream cheese
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 beaten eggs
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- ½ tsp grated lemon zest
- ½ tsp vanilla
- paper cup cake liners
- Cranberry ginger topping:
- 2 cups whole cranberries
- ¼ cup ginger ale
- 2 tbs ginger orange preserves
- 2 tbs sugar
- For the graham cracker crust: Break crackers and drop into food processor with the sugar. Continue until you have fine crumbs. Transfer the graham mix to a bowl, add melted butter and stir. The crumbs should clump together. Add water a tablespoon at a time until this happens. Set aside.
- For the cheesecakes: Preheat oven at 375F. Place paper cups in muffin tins and fill the bottom with 2 tsp of graham crust. With a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and slowly add sugar. Slowly add eggs, lemon, and vanilla. Pour batter into muffin cups, leaving space at the top for the cranberry filling. Bake 15-20 minutes and cool
- For topping: Mix all ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer until thickened - about 8 - 10 minutes.
- Top cooled cheesecakes with with topping and keep cool until ready to eat.