Christmas Recipes: Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

With many of my close friends and relatives being either lactose intolerant or vegan, it’s always an exciting challenge to find ways to turn classic, milk-based recipes into something everyone can enjoy. Topping the list of requests is the infamous cheesecake, whose name proudly declares its thoroughly dairy-ed nature. But, thanks to modern food science, even the mighty cheesecake can be made dairy free (and in many cases, completely vegan)! So this year, I thought I’d try an exciting adaptation of the classic cheesecake that I found at The Craving Chronicles which features a perfectly seasonal cranberry jelly!

Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

 

Sweet, tart cranberry jelly: a perfect winter preserve!

Sweet, tart cranberry jelly: a perfect winter preserve!

Ingredients for Jelly

  • 1 pound of fresh, whole cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of lemon juice

Ingredients for Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups ground graham crackers
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients for Cheesecake

  • 16 ounces of cream cheese (Tofutti’s “Better than Cream Cheese” is a wonderfully dairy-free option)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. For the jelly: Combine the cranberries, sugar, and apple cider in a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat. When the cranberries start to crack and break down, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Pour through a fine strainer and squeeze out as much liquid from the berries as possible. Store in the refrigerator overnight or until set.
  2. For the crust:  Line an 8 x 8 baking pan with a double-layer of aluminum foil (leave a sizeable overhang to make removing the cheesecake easier) and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a medium bowl until well blended. Press the mixture into the lined 8 x 8 baking pan, and place in the freezer until needed.
  3. Preheat your oven to 325 F / 160 C.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese for 1 – 2 minutes, or until light and creamy. Add eggs and sugar and mix until combined. Slowly mix in the vanilla and salt.
  5. Pour the cheesecake mixture into your chilled crust, and bake for 40 – 45 minutes, or until the edges are set and brown (the center will still jiggle some). Refrigerate finished cheesecake for 4 hours or up to 2 days.
  6. About one hour before serving, heat the cranberry jelly for 20 – 30 seconds in the microwave and stir to make pourable. Spread evenly over the chilled cheesecake and return to the refrigerator for one hour.
  7. To serve, lift the cheesecake out of the pan by the foil, cut into bite-sized bars (or serve whole), and enjoy!

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Categories: Baking, Dessert, Winter Recipes | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Christmas Recipes: Cranberry Cheesecake Bites

  1. MaggieMay

    This looks deliciously wonderful!

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