I always try to create a showstopper for Christmas dinner. This was last year's.
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- add 1-1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs
- add 1/4 cup butter, melted
- add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- add 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened
- add 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
- add 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
- add 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- add 1 cup sour cream
- add 1/2 cup buttermilk
- add 2 tsp vanilla extract
- add 1 tsp white vinegar
- add 2 (1 oz) bottles red coloring
- add 1 (3 oz) package cream cheese, softened
- add 1/4 cup butter, softened
- add 2 cups powdered sugar
- add 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. Press mixture into bottom of a 9" springform pan.
- Beat 3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese and 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium speed about a minute. Add eggs and next 6 ingredients, mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.
- Bake at 325 for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 300, and bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.
- Beat 1 (3 oz) package cream cheese and 1/4 cup butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth, gradually add powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Remove sides of springform pan. Your cheesecake is now fully finished and presentable, but if you want to wow everyone, keep going, and make the holly wreath and bow decorations:
- Holly Leaves
- 1 (14 oz) package green candy melts
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup.
- Microwave candy melts in a glass bowl at MEDIUM, stirring once, 1 minute or until melted Stir in corn syrup. Place in a zip lock bag; seal and let stand 8 hours.
- Knead 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Turn out on a surface dusted with powdered sugar. Roll to 1/16" thickness. Cut with 1" and 2" holly leaf shaped cutters. Score leaves with a knife to get that vein look. Or...my personal trick is t take a silk leaf roughly the size of the ones you are cutting and press the back side of it onto the candy. Place leaves on wax paper and let stand a couple of hours So the leaves aren't all totally flat, wad up little pieces of tinfoil or wax paper and drape some of the leaves over them.
- Candy Bow
- 1 (14 oz) package red candy melts
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup.
- Proceed as with the leaves.
- Cut into strips using a fluted pastry cutter. Shape into a bow. Use little bits of the red candy to make tiny little balls to be the holly berries.