Merry Christmas, readers! I hope you all are reading this in the company of family and friends. I hope you're reading this in warm homes and with full bellies. Most of all readers, I hope you're reading this and thinking about what a wonderful year you've had.
I am so happy to be celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas morning with M's father, stepmother, and family members. They are such welcoming and loving people. From the very first time I met them, I could tell they were just wonderful. When M and I left that first meeting, they hugged me. I am so blessed to know I'll call them my in-laws one day.
M's stepmother and her family are from New Mexico and they celebrate Christmas Eve with a candlelight church service and a big family dinner of posole and tamales. This year, I'm bring a dessert and I wanted to make sure it would be one to impress. I took inspiration from another New Mexican treat--sopaipillas. Cinnamon sugar, Mexican vanilla, and honey meet cheesecake. Que delicioso!
an "Apple a Day" original
For the crust:
12 honey graham crackers, processed into crumbs
1 TBSP vanilla sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 TBSP butter, melted
For the cheesecake:
3 (8-oz.) bricks cream cheese
1 c. sour cream
1 c. vanilla sugar
1 TBSP Mexican vanilla extract
1/3 c. honey
1/4 c. cinnamon sugar mixture
For the garnish:
honey, for drizzling
confectioner's sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap a springform pan with foil. (This will prevent water from the water bath getting into the pan.)
2. Combine all ingredients for the crust and press into a springform pan, going halfway up the sides. bake for ten minutes. Allow to cool.
3. While crust is cooling, beat cream cheese and sour cream until well combined. Add vanilla sugar and beat on medium speed until creamy, about three minutes.
4. Add in eggs, one at a time, and beat until thoroughly combined.
5. Add Mexican vanilla, honey, and cinnamon to cream cheese mixture. Pour over cooled crust.
6. Place springform pan in a water bath and bake for approximately one hour.
7. After one hour, remove cheesecake from the oven. (The center will still be jiggly and the outer edges of the cheesecake will be pulling slightly away from the sides of the pan.) Sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture evenly over the top of the cheesecake.
8. Turn oven to broil and place cheesecake back in the oven. Watch carefully and pull the cheesecake from the oven as soon as the cinnamon sugar has caramelized. Place on a wire rack and allow to cool, uncovered, for three hours then cover and place in the refrigerator for at least three hours before serving.
9. To serve, cut into 12-16 pieces. Place each slice on a plate, then drizzle with honey and sprinkle with powdered sugar, if desired.