Flavors of eggnog, gingerbread and spices cheer on the season in this delicious cheesecake.
1. Crust: Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Combine ground gingersnaps and melted butter. Reserve 1/4 cup of the mixture. Press the remaining mixture into the bottom and partially up the sides of a 9-inch spring form pan. Bake 10 minutes. Set crust aside to cool (but leave the oven on).
2. Filling: Use electric beaters at medium speed to cream cheese for 4 minutes, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Gradually beat in sugar and flour and continue beating 3 minutes, scraping sides occasionally. Grate 1/2 of a whole nutmeg over surface of batter, add cloves and blend the spices into the mixture. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in egg nog, spiced rum and vanilla.
3. To bake: Gently pour filling into crust. Bake until cheesecake is lightly browned and instant thermometer inserted in center reads 160 degrees, 60 to 70 minutes. Turn off oven, open the door halfway and leave cheesecake inside until the oven has cooled off, 20-30 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to a cooling rack and run a thin-bladed knife around and inside its outer edges. (This will help prevent a crack from forming on the surface.) Cool cheesecake to room temperature. Sprinkle reserved gingersnaps over the cake. Chill cheesecake thoroughly before serving.
Copyright by Terese Allen