Eggnog Cheesecake

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Ingredients

  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 1 cgraham cracker crumbs
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 5 TB unsalted butter melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 2 lbs. (4 pkgs) cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 TB cognac brandy or dark rum
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Let them cool. Leave the oven at 350°.
  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine the toasted pecans, graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar and process to grind finely. Add the melted butter and process until the crumbs begin to stick together.
  3. Press the crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9" springform pan. Wrap aluminum foil outside the pan and bake for about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  5. In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Using an electric mixer, beat until well blended then add the cognac or rum, vanilla and nutmeg.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Pour into the cooled crust. Bake until the center 2" still quiver slightly when the pan is shaken, about 1 hour.
  7. Transfer to a rack and cool. Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate overnight or for up to 3 days.
  8. Run a knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake, remove the foil and release the pan sides. Decorate the top of the cake with powdered sugar or with a ring of whipped cream sprinkled with nutmeg.
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