Happy New Year, everyone!
I hope your weekend was as much fun as mine. My house guests were delightful and were quite pleased to sample the selection of delicious cookies that won the Christmas cookie contest. I thought you might like an update to know which cookies froze well.
The bottom line -- everything froze well, except the Pecan Lace Sandwich Cookies. The ones that I froze without the filling were scrumptious straight from the freezer. However, when the pecan cookie came to room temperature, they became unpleasantly sticky. In addition, the filling had become grainy. They keep well in the refrigerator, but not in the freezer.
For a grand New Year's Eve dessert, I was determined to flambe a cheesecake. I'd never done that before, but it just sounded right for the occasion. I was very impressed with the recipe for Holly's Peach Flambe Cheesecake, so I tweaked and made a few changes, and the result was the creamiest melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake I think I've ever eaten.
Peaches are not in season where I live, and fruit topping seemed too summery, so I used Butterscotch Schnapps to flavor the cheesecake. I also happen to love cheesecakes with a sour cream layer on top, so I added that as well, and then topped it all with a brown sugar and pecan mixture.
You can use whatever liquor you like for the flambe, but be forewarned, liqueurs, like schnapps, don't have enough alcohol content to flame. I tried by testing a small amount poured into a glass. It's true. Use brandy or rum, or even bourbon.
There are several steps in making this, but don't be intimidated. It's all very easy.
Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake
1 1/2 cups honey graham crackers
6 tablespoons butter
Preheat oven to 325.
Crush the graham crackers in a bowl. (The easiest way is to simply squash them with a smaller bowl or glass until no chunky bits remain. Melt the butter (I microwave it for about 40 seconds), and mix with the crushed crackers. Press into the bottom of a nine inch cheesecake pan and bake eight minutes.
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons Butterscotch Schnapps
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 pan large enough to hold the cheesecake pan
Beat the sugar with the cream cheese and add the schnapps. Beat in one egg at a time. Pour the mixture into the cheesecake pan.
Wrap the bottom of the cheesecake pan with aluminum foil. Place the wrapped cheesecake pan inside the larger pan and pour in enough hot water to come up about 1/3 of the way on the cheesecake pan.
Bake 45 to 50 minutes. When the pan is gently wiggled, the center should be almost set.
1 1/3 cups sour cream (use the full fat version)
1/3 cup sugar
Mix the sour cream with the sugar. Pour over top of the cheesecake and bake 10 more minutes.
Remove from oven. Take out of water bath and remove the aluminum foul. Place on a cooling rack and let stand for one hour.
Approximately fifteen minutes after removing from oven, run a knife around the edge to loosen it. DO NOT REMOVE THE CHEESECAKE PAN yet.
After one hour of cooling, refrigerate, preferably overnight.
Make this shortly before serving.
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
In a small saucepan, melt the butter with the sugar until the grains of sugar have dissolved. Add the pecans. If you don't use it right away and it begins to harden, simply reheat and stir until it's a sauce consistency again.
Just before serving, remove the side portion of the cheesecake pan. Pour the pecan topping on top of the cheesecake and spread. Add a splash of brandy to the top and light with a match. The alcohol will burn off in a lovely display.
Serve and enjoy!
Serve and enjoy!