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Brandy Alexander Cheesecake

By 10:08 AM ,

There are a few things I made over the holidays that I really wanted to share, but the craziness of my job prevented me from doing so until now. But trust me, the wait was worth it for this gem.

I had seen this recipe in the issue in the holiday (I think December) edition of Southern Living magazine and it was love at first sight. Okay, I exaggerate, but really. I love cheesecake and I love brandy alexanders (though I indulge in them very rarely). I knew I wanted to make it for our Christmas Eve dinner with my family.

A little time consuming, like most great cheesecakes are, but definitely worth it. Everyone loved it, even my younger brother and cousin devoured this. I will definitely add this to my permanent collection.

Brandy Alexander Cheesecake

1 (10-oz.) box chocolate-flavored bear-shaped graham crackers, crushed (about 2 1/4 cups)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sugar, divided
4 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
4 large eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons brandy, divided
4 tablespoons crème de cacao, divided*
1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
Garnishes: blackberries, currants, raspberries, strawberries (I used blackberries & blueberries)

1. Preheat oven to 325°. Stir together crushed graham crackers, butter, and 1 Tbsp. sugar. Press mixture on bottom and halfway up sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Freeze 10 minutes.

2. Beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and cornstarch at medium speed with an electric mixer 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating at low speed just until yellow disappears after each addition. Add 3 Tbsp. brandy and 3 Tbsp. crème de cacao, and beat just until blended. Pour into prepared crust.

3. Bake at 325° for 1 hour or just until center is almost set.

4. During last 2 minutes of baking, stir together sour cream and remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar, 1 Tbsp. brandy, and 1 Tbsp. crème de cacao.

5. Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Bake at 325° for 8 more minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; gently run a knife along outer edge of cheesecake, and cool completely in pan on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours). Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

6. Remove sides of springform pan, and place cheesecake on a serving plate. Garnish, if desired.

*Coffee liqueur may be substituted. We tested with Kahlúa.

Note: We tested with Nabisco Teddy Grahams chocolate graham snacks.

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