I’d like to thank ALDI for today’s discussion about Christmas Baking. The holidays are the perfect time to bake up a storm, but they also take the life out of you. What recipes will you prepare this year and where will you buy the ingredients? I am all about lavishly living life out loud, and I live to spend time with my family, so a ton of the time in the kitchen is a definite NO during this season. The truth of the season is a bit more jaded, as it requires more food to the table, more people inbound and entertaining in abundance. My recipe drawer spoils me with its lavish options and I choose those that not only prepare easy, but in the end offer a bit of appeal to the eye, because who wants to eat something that looks basic during the holidays? A simple way to add color to many recipes is through the use of tasty vanilla morsels and ALDI offers those in green and red this fine season, taking any basic cookie or cake to the next level with a POP of color and of course the taste isn’t bad either(lol). I am so tempted when I travel through the ALDI aisles by so many of the treats, you can see what I chose to bake this season. The ALDI baking products make baking fun, easy and memorable, but they won’t take the happy out of your holiday.
The products are budget friendly, easy to prepare and turn out each and every time when you follow their perfectly created directions. Here’s one of my favorite treats that I make only during the holidays, as the special ingredients are at ALDI and only in stores at the very end of November and December, so grab them before they are gone! Lavishly live baking out loud with a Vanilla Cheesecake with an Almond Spekulatius Spiced Crust.
ALDI Christmas Cheesecake
Here is what you will need to make this recipe:
1 Bag of Baker’s corner Holiday Morsels Solid Red & Green 10 Oz(you will use 3/4 bag in the mix and 1/4 bag on the top)
1 Tsp of Stonemill Essentials Pure Vanilla Extract
3 packages 8 oz Fit & Active Neufchatel Cheese (softened so you can cream it)
3 Large Eggs(from ALDI Dairy:)
1 Cup Sugar
Mix these items all together.
See below illustration for how to on the crust.
1 1/2 Cup of Almond Spekulatius Spiced cookies, ground up or crushed (it takes whole package less 6 cookies)
1/3 C of COUNTRYSIDE Creamery Butter
3 TBSP of Sugar.
Preheat oven to 325 Degrees Fahrenheit, mix the crumbs, 3 Tbsp of Sugar and butter, then press into a springform pan.
Mix the filling: Beat the cream cheese, then add the sugar, vanilla, and eggs, one by one. Once mixed, fold in by hand the vanilla morsels. Pour mixture onto crust and add, the extra morsels(reserved batch). Bake for 55 minutes or until the center is almost set. Allow to cool completely, at least 4 hours before attempting to remove from pan.
MY Personal How To
First Make The Crust, then the filling. Once you make crust, place the filling in, no need to pre-bake crust. Once the filling is added to the crust, I then use the remaining vanilla flavored morsels(red and green) and drop them across the top of the filling.
My personal notes on this recipe.
First make the crust, I never bake it ahead, I simply melt the butter, and then add the crumbs. It does take almost ALL of the cookies to make the crust( I used a Ninja Food Processor to mill mine and they are light when I am done).
I make sure my cream cheese is room temperature, because it makes it easier to cream, and I do not leave lumps, I am a bit finicky when I cook this, so I use a fork to make sure it is all meshed properly if I even see one bump, but you may like a few lumps, as this is all personal preference.
If you like almond flavor, add a tsp of Almond flavoring to the mix and you will certainly find that this will add to the taste, in this recipe rendition I did not add any flavor.
The red and green vanilla morsels simply need hand-stirred in, not mixed with the mixer. You can also always add sugar crystals to the top if you want a glisten to the top of the cake.
Finally, we never serve this the same day that we bake it, I find that this Cheesecake serves up best with about 24-36 hours of refrigeration, it just kind of ‘cures’ it if you will allow me to use that term. The end result if baked properly will be cheesecake that does not stick to the pan, and that stays together. If you want to know if your cheesecake is ready, simply make sure that the toothpick comes out of the center clean, if your cake has begun cracking in the center while baking it may in fact be too dry and over-baked already.
This recipe is one I use over and over and I simply change the crust ingredients and the filling ingredients. I have baked at least 45 cheesecakes with this recipe and each time the results are the same. The ALDI ingredients are important not only because they keep the cost down, but the flavor up! The ALDI baking products provide a consistent texture, which I have come to rely on. Lavishly live your holiday out loud with baking products from ALDI and test out this easy to make, luxurious, sumptuous cheesecake.