When it comes to eggnog, it appears most people either love it or hate it. I happen to love eggnog and sometimes feel it’s a shame it’s only available once a year. When this time of year rolls around, I go seeking out all the different versions of eggnog that I can find, including pumpkin spice, cinnamon vanilla, light dairy, and soy milk. (I’ve even tried a coconut milk version, and that is about the only version of eggnog I do not like). Given the seasonality of it, I am always eager to try recipes that use eggnog. I found a cheesecake bar recipe last year in Fresh Style magazine that I saved to try this year. I ended up making this recipe for my hairdresser friend, Eva, for whom I made the Anthropologie inspired owl and oak leaf wreath. I actually don’t know if she likes eggnog, but I decided to take a chance and make these bars for her. Well, as it turns out, you really don’t taste the eggnog after the bars are baked. Instead, the eggnog gives the bars a very soft and smooth texture, so if this is the way you like your cheesecake, this is the recipe for you, even if you don’t like eggnog :0)
EGGNOG CHEESECAKE BARS
(Recipe adapted from the Winter 2013 issue of Fresh Style magazine)
1-1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar (You could use light brown if that’s what you have).
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 x 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup prepared eggnog
1 tsp vanilla extract
1) Preheat oven to 350 F.
2) Grease and line a 13 x 9 inch baking pan with parchment paper.
3) In a medium bowl, combine flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter pieces until mixture is crumbly with pea-sized crumbs. Press mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is partially set, about 10 to 15 minutes.
4) In another bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until combined and creamy. Be careful not to overbeat the mixture, as that may create cracks in your cheesecake.
5) Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
6) Add eggnog and vanilla extract, beating to combine.
7) Pour and spread filling over prepared crust.
8) Bake until the filling is just set, about 30 to 35 minutes. (The original recipe said to bake for 20 to 25 minutes, but I found that with my oven, the bars needed to bake longer). The filling should jiggle slightly when the pan is shaken. As the cheesecake cools, it will firm up a bit.
9) After the cheesecake has cooled completely, refrigerate it for at least 2 hours before cutting and serving. The filling will firm up even more after it sits in the fridge.
Yield: About 2 dozen
Do you like eggnog? Have you tried all the different versions of it? Which one is your favorite? Please share in the comments.