Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

The bad news is, I’ve been on hiatus for a couple weeks and haven’t been able to blog about any of the delicious things I’ve been eating and making.

The good news is, I’m back. Not only that, I’m back with a bang. A Limoncello Cheesecake kinda bang. Oh yea.

You might have noticed, if you’re a Cooking State regular, that I like to shake up the classics. Hardly ever do I make a recipe without some sort of twist or variation involved. If it’s chocolate mousse, I make it orange-chocolate-cayenne mousse. If it’s banana bread, I add in raisins and cinnamon. These aren’t extraordinary inventions on my part, they’ve undoubtedly been made before, but they do make a recipe much more than ordinary.

Cheesecake is a classic, and it’s delicious, but Limoncello cheesecake with a biscotti crust is divine. It’s thick, creamy, and has a good dose of lemony liquor – how bad can that be?

Warning: The following recipe is decadently addicting. Make only with extreme caution and a mind free of calorie-conscientiousness.

 Limoncello Cheesecake Squares

Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces purchased biscotti
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 (12-ounce) container fresh whole milk ricotta, drained, at room temperature
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup limoncello liqueur
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 9 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. I actually used graham crackers this time because I didn’t like the biscotti I found at the store, but I’ve made this recipe Giada’s way before and they’re both good.

Yes I ground my own grahams. I’m old-school like your grandmother!

Add the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.

Blend the ricotta in a clean food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Blend in the limoncello, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. Add the eggs 1 at a time, and pulse just until blended.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the baking pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan.

Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour (the cake will become firm when it is cold).

Transfer the cake to a rack; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into squares and serve.

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