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Christmas Cheesecake
By Andrew Krause

This is a cheesecake that I have been making for over 20 years, if you follow the recipe to the tee you won't have any problem. It is colorful as well as the most luscious piece of pastry that you ever put in your mouth.

1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons butter or margarine melted
2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup sugar
8 ounces sour cream
2 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 cup in total, chopped candied cherries, red and green raisins, walnuts, candied pineapple
1/2 cup small chocolate chips

In a 5 quart mixing bowl place 2 pounds of cream cheese and 1 cup granulated sugar and mix on low speed until cream cheese is softened and smooth, place in bowl 8 ounces sour cream and continue mixing until well blended, at this time add 2 eggs, mix for 2 minutes then add 1 cup flour, and 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream, mix on second speed until your cheesecake batter is smooth and creamy.

At this time your cheesecake mixture should be fluffy like ice cream as it comes out of the ice cream machine. Add the candied fruit, raisins, walnuts, pineapple, chocolate chips, fold everything together.

Prepare your 10 inch x 2 inches spring form pan, in a large bowl place your graham cracker crumbs and 2 tablespoons sugar, and your melted butter or margarine, then with a wire whisk, whisk them together until well combined, brush onto the sides of your spring form pan a little softened butter so the crumbs have something to hold to, place the crumbs on the sides and bottom of the pan. Now you add slowly to the pan your cheesecake mix as not to disturb the crumbs too much, now you should have a full pan.

The total weight of the cheesecake with the crumbs on the sides should be 5 to 5-1/4 pounds if you have some batter leftover just chill it, put some whip cream on it and enjoy.

Preheat your oven to 275 degrees and not more, when your oven is hot place the cheesecake in it and bake for 55 minutes then shut off the oven and let it in there for 3 hours, at the end of this time you should have the most beautiful cheesecake you ever seen, let the cheesecake on the table for 1 1/2 hours then place it in the refrigerator for about 2-3 hours. Now remove it from the pan and enjoy.

Before serving sprinkle some red and green edible glitter that you can purchase at any store that has cake decorating supplies.

Andrew Krause is a Chef and Pastry Chef for over 30 years, and at present owns a Gourmet Bakery called The Cheese Confectioner. 

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