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  • Mary Kay

Christmas Gingerbread (2X Chocolate) Cheesecake


It smalls just like Christmas when I bake this one! My Christmas Gingerbread Cheesecake is a double chocolate surprise with a chocolate ganache topping and chocolate in the crust! The chocolate gingerbread crust brings it all together. Share it with your friends and family this year.


When I baked up my new Gingerbread Cheesecake recipe the entire house smelled just like Christmas! What with the cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, cloves and allspice, the delicious aroma took over the kitchen for the entire day. Every time I took the dogs out to play fetch and came back in, I was greeted with the cozy warm spices I had included in the cheesecake.(They love to play fetch outside a lot!) It turned out beautifully delicious. This is my own concoction, and I love the chocolate and gingerbread combination in this cheesecake.


The aroma in the house reminds me of the Christmas Auditorium Bakery at the large Dayton's/Macy's store in downtown Minneapolis. We used go there year after year as children with Mom and Dad to tour the brightly animated characters in the windows along Nicolet Avenue. It was beautiful at night, especially if it was snowing to add to the ambiance. Then we would visit the animated walk-through storyland in their 8th floor Auditorium. It was full of colorful animated characters, and every year they would feature a different children's story like Alice in Wonderland, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Gingerbread people, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, a Christmas Carol and many more. What a way to celebrate the Christmas holiday. At the end of the walk we were always lured into their bakery by the spicy smells where they had fresh gingerbread cookies, candy canes and hot chocolate. Even as as adults my sister and I would take our nieces and nephews there, along with Mom, of course. My husband and I would go on our own to take a leisurely stroll through the winter wonderland. Nice memories.

I made the crust on this cheesecake a little thicker than others that I've made. In fact, for the crust I used a combination of my Gram's chewy Molasses Cookies baked from her recipe which is also on my site, along with some crispy Bischoff cookies. It's a delicious combo. The chocolate in the crust ties everything together with the chocolate ganache that I melted and drizzled on the top of the cheesecake.


Prep your pan:

- I use a 9" springform pan with a non-stick surface for this baked cheesecake. Brush it lightly with butter inside on the bottom and more generously on the sides.

- Lay a round piece of parchment paper cut to fit on the bottom. Then lightly brush that with a little more butter. The butter under the parchment paper will keep it from sliding around while you are pressing the chocolate gingerbread crumb mixture in the bottom.

- Pull out 3 sheets of aluminum foil about 18" long. Place them on top of each other, slightly askew so they overlap and will block any water from entering the bottom of the pan while it's in the water bath. Even though the springform pan shuts pretty tightly you don't want any chance of the hot water from the bath leaking into the cheesecake.

- Pull the foil up the sides and press close to the outside of the pan. Roll or crumple the top edges, of the foil pieces that are sticking up, down so they don't flop into the pan while you're pouring the batter or during the baking process. Set the foil wrapped springform pan aside until you are ready to press the crust into it.

- Fill a separate pan that's a few inches bigger around than the 9" springform pan and high enough so you can fill that pan with water so the water is about 1" up the side of the springform pan. I like to use a large oven safe fry pan with high sides.

- About 20 minutes before the cheesecake goes into the oven, put the pan of water in the oven at 350-400F degrees and heat it until the water is hot. Be sure to turn the oven down to 325F degrees before you put the cheesecake in the oven to bake.


Preheat your oven to 325F degrees to bake the crust and then the crust with filling.


Chocolate Gingerbread Crust Ingredients:

1/2 C Bischoff cookies, pulverized

1 1/2 C Gram's molasses cookie crumbs, pulverized

2 T Cocoa, unsweetened

2 T Sugar

1/4 t Cinnamon, ground

1/4 t Nutmeg, ground

1/4 t Cloves, ground

1/4 t Ginger, ground

6 T Butter, melted


Gingerbread Filling Ingredients:

3 - 8 oz Cream cheese packages, room temperature

3/4 C Sugar

1 T Vanilla extract

1 T Coffee extract or espresso grounds (Optional)

1 t Cinnamon, ground

1/2 t Nutmeg, ground

1/4 t Cloves, ground

1/2 t Ginger, ground

3 Eggs, large and room temperature, lightly beaten.


Chocolate Pecan Topping:

4 oz Semi sweet chocolate chips

1/2 C Heavy Whipping Cream (unwhipped)

1/4 C Pecans or Almonds, rough chopped (optional)


Make the Crust:

- Melt the butter and set aside.

- Pulse all the other crust ingredients together into fine crumbs in a food processor. Of course, try your own molasses cookies for crumbs, or your favorite store bought cookies. The combination of the crispy Bischoff and the chewy molasses cookies and unsweetened cocoa make for a delicious crust. I have tried this recipe with graham crackers, but the crust is much too bland.

- Add the melted butter and stir until everything is well combined.

- Press into the bottom of the springform pan, bringing the crumbs up the sides about an inch. I find using a little child sized spatula works very well for pressing the crumbs into the pan. The handle is short enough to get right in there, and the little spatula end is just the right size for pressing the crumbs. (It's a spatula from a child's set of kitchen utensils I added to my kitchen when the nieces and nephews used to come and bake with me.)

- Bake the crust at 325F degrees for 10 minutes.

- Cool for about 20 minutes.

Make the Filling:

- Lightly beat the 3 eggs and set aside.

- Cream and beat the cream cheese with the sugar.

- Add the spices and vanilla extract and combine well. Add your coffee flavoring now if you choose to include it.

- Add the lightly beaten eggs and beat in just so they are well combined.

- Pour the filling on top of the baked and cooled crust.

- Make sure the water in the larger pan has been heated in the oven, and place the foil wrapped springform pan with the baked crust and raw filling into the water bath.

- Bake at 325F degrees for 50 -55 minutes. Check it at 50 minutes and if you think it's done, take it out. The filling should be set, just barely jiggling when you move the pan. If you think it needs more time, go ahead and put it back in the oven for another 5 minutes. It will have a matte appearance on the top when it's done.

- Let the cheesecake cool on a rack for one hour.

- Carefully slide an offset spatula around the entire inside of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. I don't use a knife because I don't want to damage the non-stick surface on my pan.

- Let the cake cool another 45 minutes.

- While the cheesecake is still in the springform pan, add the chocolate ganache by drizzling it all over the top, back and forth.

- Place the entire cheesecake (in the springform pan) into the refrigerator and let it set overnight or for at least 6 hours.

Make the Topping:

- Heat the heavy whipping cream in the microwave for 20-30 seconds, in 10 second intervals. Just bring it to a bubble. Do not boil it or it can curdle.

- Pour the semi sweet chocolate chips into the bowl and let it sit 4-5 minutes on the counter.

- Stir it with a fork or whisk until the ganache is very smooth and glossy.

- Drizzle on top of your cheesecake. Sprinkle with chopped pecans if you like.


Serve it up and share it with special Christmas friends and family! Add homemade whipping cream or ice cream. Yum!


Bake your own Memories!



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