Thursday, January 6, 2011

Grand Marnier Cheesecake for Katie's Birthday

Today is my daughter Katie's 33rd birthday.  Happy Birthday, Katie!  Between caring for two little boys (the youngest just eleven weeks old) and preparing to dig in to her legal career, she's beyond busy.  This girl (woman!) needs a party!  When I asked Katie what she would like for her birthday cake, she responded that she didn't want birthday cake at all, but would love to have a cheesecake for her special day.  She suggested a Grand Marnier cheesecake, since she had a small bottle from Christmas, still unopened.  Last night I made my favorite New York Cheesecake (based on the recipe on the back of the Keebler Graham Cracker Crumbs box, and tweaked with Grand Marnier) and it came out beautifully.  I look forward to celebrating Katie's birthday tonight with my little grandsons Henry and Peter (Hank and Pete!).  Here's the recipe in case you'd like to make it for your next special occasion!

Grand Marnier Cheesecake

Crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
4 oz. butter, melted

Filling:
4 8 oz. bricks of cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs at room temperature
1 cup sour cream (regular or light)
1/4 cup Grand Marnier

Cake pan filled with very hot water - place on lower rack of preheated oven.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In 9" -10" springform pan lightly sprayed with cooking spray, mix crumbs with sugar and melted butter until thoroughly combined.  Press firmly on bottom and 2/3 of the way up sides of pan.  Place in freezer while you mix up the filling.

In large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar.  Add vanilla and cornstarch and mix well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in sour cream.  Mix in Grand Marnier.

Pour filling into chilled crust, leaving about 1/2-inch space at top of pan (if you have extra batter, save it for a small cheesecake in a little pan or muffin cups).  Spread filling evenly to the sides of the pan.

Bake in middle rack of oven (over lower rack with pan of hot water) for 1 hour fifteen minutes.  Turn oven off and crack door for about an hour.  Remove from oven and cool completely.  Remove side of springform pan.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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