Every year during the holidays, we deck our dining tables with elaborate and euphorically decadent treats. It seems that families will make and bake what is considered their traditional favorites, year after year. Growing up, we had the ever popular and expected turkey dinner with all the fixin’s that go with it. For snacks, desserts and treats, my mom always made copious pies and tarts of every flavor, cinnamon rolls, rich puddings, and cookies galore. We also had Mandarin oranges, nuts, and lots of Christmas candy.
Raising my family, I’ve broadened our Christmas menu somewhat over the years with various options, but I always seem to refer back to our time-honored favorites. This year, I’ve stepped into an unknown dessert pantry and have created a treat that no one can say no to, cheesecake. Seriously, who doesn’t love cheesecake? Eating it is easy, making it from scratch is intimidating. My newest book The Cheesecake Bible, has inspired and encouraged me to be brave and festively furnish my family with some new ambrosial choices.
The Cheesecake Bible is the yummiest cookbook I’ve ever opened. It’s filled with 200 heavenly and mouthwatering recipes that will be difficult to resist. I’ve always thought cheesecakes were time-consuming and a challenge to make, but this cookbook has proven me wrong. It includes tutelage and guidance on creating the perfect cheesecake every time. You’ll get tips about having the correct hand and decorating tools, pans, choosing quality ingredients, to baking, storing and freezing. The author has made the process foolproof, and my personal experience with this cookbook has been pleasant and totally enjoyable.
I had no idea there were so many different flavors of cheesecake, my eyes have been exposed to a whole new world of dainty delights. Perusing through the book, the kiddo’s pretty much had every recipe tagged for production. But, with a little coaxing and taste bud reminiscing, we narrowed it down to a select few, at least for now.
We are huge pumpkin fans, so the Maple Pumpkin Cheesecake was a must make, must have, and must eat recipe. I really appreciate how well laid out and clearly written the recipes are. All the ingredients can be picked up at your local grocery store, you don’t need to trek across the country looking for an unpronounceable item. Been there. I altered this recipe to fit the fickle and fussy members of our family, which just happens to include me as well. I used a vegan cream cheese that worked so well, that you would be hard-pressed to notice this little culinary amendment. The taste, sublime! It’s great on its own, or with a classic whipped cream topping.
Another favorite of ours is the Chocolate Espresso Swirl Cheesecake. My mom used to make coffee cake for us, it was one of our all-time favorite snacks. This full coffee flavored cheesecake recipe is like a richer version that my whole family, including my mom, totally love. The aroma of coffee permeating throughout the home is a scent that ignites fond flashbacks from my childhood. Hmm, hmm, good!
We altered this recipe as well to make it more festive. It calls for chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs, and we used mint chocolate cookie crumbs. We also got some candy canes and crushed them into tiny pieces and added about half a cup to the filling. After the cheesecake was set, we topped it with drizzled chocolate and crushed candy cane and added some raspberries for a color pop. It tasted so divine and my family has requested another order of this lavish dessert.
Switching our palates over to the other end of the flavor spectrum, I was so surprised to see an abundance of Savory Cheesecake recipes. This past weekend, we tried out the Taco Cheesecake and the Roasted Garlic Onion Cheesecake. These recipes add a whole new meaning to festive foods, they’re so versatile and can be partnered with any other dish. They were huge hits with my family and all our guests.
The last chapter is all about Holidays and Celebrations Cheesecakes that offer those classic and sentimental holiday flavors we long for throughout the year. Next on our list is the Eggnog Nutmeg Rum Cheesecake and the Black Forest Cheesecake.
Invoking and creating new family traditions and memories is what the holidays are all about. It’s the most delicious time of the year, and now I can’t imagine a holiday without scrumptious cheesecakes. The Cheesecake Bible is a culinary catch and ideal for my cookbook collection. It would also make a perfect gift. HaPpY HoLiDaYs!