I was asked by someone today at lunch whether I had baked any pies lately. Without hesitation I said, “Actually, I’ve been baking cheesecakes throughout the holidays.” It’s true. I’ve baked a Classic Black Tie Cheesecake, a Cinnamon Pecan variation, and I even managed to bake mini citrus cheesecakes topped off with jam. I also baked a pumpkin cheesecake with a ginger molasses crust at a Thanksgiving party we hosted. When I set the pumpkin cheesecake out it literally disappeared in five minutes, and there were many people kicking themselves for not grabbing a slice right away. At Thanksgiving with our family I served mini sweet potato cheesecakes topped with homemade caramel and a pecan instead of the traditional pumpkin or sweet potato pie.
This Christmas I will be making this Bananas Foster Cheesecake. It is a vanilla cheesecake with a gingersnap crust as its base, and is one of my all-time favorite desserts to serve friends and family because of the wonderful brown sugar sauce. The sauce is infused with cinnamon and rum and poured generously over the top along with sliced ripe bananas. These distinct unique flavors and textures harmoniously collide for a memorable bite that is savored slowly and enjoyed thoroughly.
The last few weeks I’ve been sharing easy holiday entertaining tips and other cheesecake recipes to help you enjoy the holidays with confidence and ease. Made with Kraft Philadelphia Cream Cheese, this last recipe for Bananas Foster Cheesecake is the perfect finale in my cheesecake series to help you close out this year in a memorable fashion. Whether for Christmas or for your New Year’s Eve celebration, this indulgent cheesecake makes any gathering merrier.
Lastly, I know many of you are in the final stretch of getting ready for Christmas. For my final entertaining tip, I recommend keeping things simple. I always have several white table cloths on hand and treat them as blank canvases. White tablecloths are easy to accessorize with fresh greenery, ornaments, candles, and other decorative items. Not only are these tablecloths practical, they can be used all year round.
To inspire you with more #CheesecakeCheer goodness, I invite you to check out this beautiful interactive holiday room video I filmed in NYC making the Black Tie Cheesecake I recently featured here on Savory Sweet Life along with these beautiful Cranberry Candle Centerpieces I posted last week with step-by-step photo instructions. It might just give you the visual inspiration you need to make this year’s holidays magical and memorable. Of course, you can always visit Philadelphia Cream Cheese’s CheesecakeCheer.com site for many more cheesecake recipes to help make your holiday dessert table extra special.
This cheesecake recipe was sponsored by sponsored by Philadelphia Cream Cheese/Kraft Foods
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- ½ cup butter, divided
- 24 gingersnap cookies, finely crushed (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. sugar, divided
- 4 pkg. (8 oz. each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp. dark rum
- ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 large bananas, divided
- Heat oven to 325ºF.
- Melt 3 Tbsp. butter and mix with cookie crumbs and sugar; press onto bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
- Mix cream cheese with remaining sugar and vanilla until well combined. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Pour over crust.
- Bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 min. or until center is almost set. Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim. Refrigerate cheesecake 4 hours.
- Cook remaining butter, dark brown sugar, rum and cinnamon in small saucepan on low heat 10 min. or until butter is melted and sauce is thickened; cool 10 min., stirring occasionally. Slice remaining bananas just before serving cheesecake; arrange on cheesecake. Drizzle with sauce.
- How to Ripen Bananas:
- Bananas ripen best at room temperature. To quickly ripen bananas, place the fruit in a brown paper bag and close the bag tightly. The fruit gives off a gas as it ripens. Containing the gas in the closed bag will hasten the ripening process.