Saturday, February 1, 2014

Cranberry Swirl Cheesecake Squares

9 Servings
Recipe from
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

These are quite yummy and would be a perfect make-ahead treat for any holiday where a bit of red is called for.  They are best eaten with a fork because they are quite gooey.  They are just a bit sweet with a nice tang from the cranberries.

Cranberry Sauce:
¾ cup fresh cranberries
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon fresh orange zest

3 oz. gingersnap crumbs
1 oz. pecans, crushed (I used a mixture of nuts; almonds, macadamia, cashews and pecans.)
1 ½ Tablespoons light butter, melted (I used unsalted organic butter.)

8 oz. 1/3 less fat cream cheese (I used regular cream cheese.)
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt (Chobani) (I used a mixture of nonfat Greek yogurt and sour cream because I was trying to clean out my fridge J)
2 large egg whites
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice (I just used 2 Tablespoons of juice from the orange I zested for this recipe.)
1 Tablespoon flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and position a rack in the middle of the oven. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides. (Do not skip this step because it’ll make the bars much easier to remove from the pan.)
Begin by preparing the cranberry sauce.  Combine the cranberries, sugar, water, and orange zest in a small saucepan.  Cook together until the cranberries begin to burst and the mixture turns syrupy, about 6-7 minutes.  Remove from the heat; allow it to cool as you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Combine the gingersnap crumbs, crushed nuts, and light butter in a small bowl.  Stir together to moisten the crumbs, and then pour into the prepared baking pan.  Spread in an even layer, using the bottom of a drinking glass or measuring cup to help ensure that the crust is even. (It will be a thin crust.)
In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla extract with an electric mixer until smooth.  Add in the Greek yogurt, egg whites, citrus juice, and flour, mixing until just combined.  Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan, over the crust, and smooth with a spatula.
Add the cooled cranberry mixture to a food processor, and puree until smooth.  If the mixture is too thick, add ½ Tablespoon water.  Use a spoon to drop the cranberry sauce over the cheesecake, and then swirl the cranberry sauce with a butter knife.
Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes.  Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature, and place in the fridge for several hours to get well chilled.  Once chilled, cut into squares and serve.

Nutritional Information for 1 Cheesecake Square: Calories: 197 • Fat: 10 g • Protein: 6 g • Carb: 22 g • Fiber: 1 g • Sugar: 14 g • Sodium: 101 mg • Cholesterol: 0 mg

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