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Cranberry Orange Cheesecake

I can't go to any Christmas gathering without this show-stopping dessert in tow. The combination of cranberries, chocolate and orange is a winner. —Laura Lufkin, Essex, Massachusetts
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 1 hour + chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 2/3 cup chocolate wafer crumbs
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cartons (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese
  • 1-1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange extract
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup chocolate ice cream topping, warmed
  • Sugared cranberries and orange slices, optional

Directions

  • Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  • Combine the pecans, wafer crumbs, butter and brown sugar. Press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of prepared pan. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, beat the cheeses, sugar, cornstarch, orange juice and extract until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour half of the batter over crust.
  • Place the cranberry sauce, cranberries and water in a food processor; cover and process until blended. Gently spread over batter in pan; top with remaining batter.
  • Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Bake at 325° for 60-70 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull.
  • Remove pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Just before serving, top with chocolate topping. If desired, garnish with sugared cranberries and orange slices.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 599 calories, 44g fat (22g saturated fat), 169mg cholesterol, 229mg sodium, 45g carbohydrate (36g sugars, 2g fiber), 9g protein.
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