Festive Cranberry Orange Cheesecake with a Pecan Chocolate Crust

So a couple of weeks ago, a cookbook came in the mail.  Thought it was strange because I didn’t order it. Enclosed was a note from the publisher saying that because they used one of my recipes in their cookbook they wanted to give me a copy.  I was thrilled!  This is the first recipe that has been published in a hardcover book.  I have had quite a few recipes in magazines–some of which I really should share with you soon–but this is the first cookbook.  The photo of the finished cheesecake from the book is underneath the recipe.

This is the book, Taste of Home Christmas 2009 and my recipe is on page 163.

I hope no one will think I am rushing things here but I am going to start giving you some holiday recipes for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  I know, I know, it’s not even Halloween yet but my mind is already working on holiday stuff.

*ps–for those of you wondering when a new Inspired Cooking episodes are going to air, we are taping a new show tomorrow and it should air next week.


1 cup pecans, lightly toasted

2/3 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 stick salted butter, melted


1 16 oz can whole berry cranberry sauce

1/2 cup orange flavored dried cranberries

2 tablespoons cold water

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

2 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature

1 1/4 cups sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons orange juice

1 teaspoon orange extract

4 large eggs, room temperature

12 tablespoons store bought gourmet dark chocolate sauce

Mint sprigs for plate

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Wrap a 9-inch non stick spring form pan with a few layers of heavy aluminum foil.

In a the bowl of a food processor, process the toasted pecans, cookie crumbs, brown sugar and melted butter until crumbs form. Press the crust into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake for 18 minutes.

Rinse the bowl and process the cranberry sauce, water and dried cranberries until smooth.

Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Stop occasionally to scrape down sides of bowl. Stir the cornstarch into the orange juice and pour mixture, along with orange extract, into the cheese mixture. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Pour half of the cheese mixture over the chocolate crust. Spoon 1/2 of the cranberry mixture over the batter. Swirl into cheese batter with a knife. Top with remaining batter. Spoon remaining cranberry mixture over cheese mixture and swirl again.

Place the foil wrapped cheesecake in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.

Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.

Move cheesecake to a cooling rack to cool completely and run knife around edges of the pan to loosen cake. Cut into 12 slices and garnish with 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce and one mint sprig. Enjoy!

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