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December 19, 2012

Eggnog Cheesecake: It's a holiday showstopper

Eggnog. It says holidays. Herewith, two recipes: one for real eggnog, with or without rum; and Egg Cheescake — the crust has cashews, and the filling, eggnog. Need I say more?

Several years ago I enjoyed visiting Country Club Plaza, one of Kansas City’s most festive places, at Christmas.

The lighting of the Plaza lights, a favorite tradition, is the official kickoff of the holiday season. The famous ceremony, which began as 16 lights hung over a doorway, now includes more than 80 miles of lights with 280,000 multi-colored bulbs outlining the buildings and towers of Country Club Plaza.

The first official Plaza Lighting ceremony was in 1930, and now draws thousands to the Plaza on Thanksgiving night. The streets are full of folks who come to celebrate at Kansas City’s favorite shopping and dining destination. The lights turn on every evening at 5 until Jan. 15.

After an afternoon of shopping and strolling at the Plaza, guests and shoppers can stop across the street at the Fairmont K.C. dining room and enjoy this very special holiday dessert.

I have saved the recipe from that visit and am happy to share it with you.

Eggnog Cheesecake

Serves 12

You will need a 10-inch springform pan

Ingredients

Crust:

1 cup very finely ground cashews

1 cup finely crushed graham crackers (14 squares)

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter, melted

Filling:

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

1 tablespoons rum (optional)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

3 eggs

11/2 cups dairy eggnog

Cashew brittle for garnish - optional

Crust: In a medium bowl, stir together the ground cashews, graham cracker crumbs and the 1/2 cup sugar. Drizzle melted butter over the cashew mixture. Toss until mixed well. Press the cashew mixture onto the bottom and about 11/2 inches up the sides of springform pan. Wrap outside of the springform pan securely with heavy foil. Set aside.

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