Monday, January 3, 2011

Butterscotch Pecan Cheesecake

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

aluminum foil
1 pan large enough to hold the cheesecake pan
hot water

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.

Sour Cream~

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.

Pecan Topping~

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!


  1. This looks like an amazing recipe, Krista. I love the idea of the Butterscotch Schnapps...didn't realize schnapps doesn't have that high of an alcohol content. I love sour cream, too, so can't wait to try this one! Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. :)

  2. What a wonderful recipe this is. You can never go wrong with a good cheesecake. The family is going to love this. Better start the grocery list now. Thanks Krista.

  3. This looks just lovely, Krista - a real jewel. Thanks!

  4. Great recipe,i have given to a Chef friend in my village in France.He loved it.

  5. Isn't this beautiful? And the platter of cookies, too. How SWEET of you to share all your goodies with friends.

    Happy new year to you. And I hope THE DIVA COOKS A GOOSE is selling like, um, hotcakes! (More sweets!)

    Good reading to all.


  6. This looks so wonderful!! I've never flambed a cheesecake either, but will give it a shot with your recipe.

  7. Oh, Krista!! What a SPECTACULAR start to the New Year!! Love it all, especially your ingenuity with the Butterscotch Schnapps.

    ~ Cleo
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  8. Elizabeth, don't tell anyone, but Butterscotch Schnapps is mighty tasty all by itself! It doesn't overpower the cheesecake flavor, which is nice, but it does give it just a hint of flavor.

    Babs, I'm very happy to say that everyone loved the cheesecake. It's just so creamy and rich. I hope your family likes it!

    ~ Krista

  9. Laineshots, it is a jewel. A cheesecake recipe that I'll probably play with some more because it's so good.

    Ian, I'm so flattered!

    Thanks, Avery. Maybe I should have made hotcakes!

    ~ Krista

  10. Harbingerdc, the flambe part was easier than I expected. Just don't use too much alcohol. A splash is really all you need for a little drama.

    Cleo, we were drinking champagne, but it would go verrry well with a cup of coffee!

    ~ Krista

  11. Krista - oh no! I planned to drop a few pounds in 2011, but I'm not going to be able to with temptations like this! Looks wonderful and I love the idea of using butterscotch schnapps. What a great recipe! And a little cheesecake never hurt anyone, right?

  12. Julie, this is very important. Contrary to popular belief, new year diets don't begin on the first. They begin on January 15th, so that we have time to eat the leftovers without guilt. You have almost two weeks to bake and enjoy cheesecake!

    ~ Krista

  13. That is a dessert that sounds like it is completely worth the calories.

  14. Holy Moly! What a start to the year. This is amazing, Krista, and gorgeous too!

  15. Lil, it is! It is!

    Thanks, MJ! It came out of the cheesecake pan so nicely. I'm sure I'll be baking this again, maybe trying out other flavors.

    ~ Krista

  16. HEY KRISTA... just finished Diva cooks a Goose, and loved it. I ended up making the salmon baked egg dish and really loved that! Going to do that for my post tomorrow. As you know, Jackie and I had a different type of Christmas, her in the hospital up until just a couple days before. We both read your book over the last two weeks and it really lifted our spirits. An outstanding holiday theme book (did need a goose recipe though).

    Your cheesecake looks amazing

  17. Dave, I'm sorry, I did not realize that Jackie was ill. I'm glad she made it home for Christmas, and I hope she's on the mend or all well again already! I'm so glad that The Diva Cooks Goose lifted your spirits. Hope it gave you a laugh or two as well.

    I'm so excited that you like the salmon baked egg recipe! It was very popular with all my taste testers, except for the one who hates salmon.

    Give my best to Jackie!

    ~ Krista

  18. My husband's birthday is coming up, and he is going to LOVE this cheesecake. I usually spend forever trying to find the perfect birthday treat, but you made it easy this year!

  19. Wendy, what great timing! I hope he loves it as much as we did.

    ~ Krista