The Daley Question

Holiday cookie recipe sought

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Cookie recipe

Photo of Cynthia McKinley with her white chocolate chip cookies with dried cherries. (Chicago Tribune file photo)

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons orange zest

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling:

1/2 cup whipping cream

12 ounces white chocolate, chopped

2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened

6 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons each: cornstarch, vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream

3 eggs

1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. For crust, combine gingersnap crumbs, sugar, orange zest and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Pour melted butter over; mix well. Pat mixture into the bottom of a 13- by 9-inch baking pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Remove from oven; set aside to cool.

2. For cranberry swirl, combine the cranberries, orange juice, sugar, orange zest, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring, until cranberries pop and mixture begins to thicken, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Transfer mixture to a food processor or blender; puree until smooth. Strain into a mixing bowl. Cool to room temperature.

3. For the filling, place the cream in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat; heat to a boil. Remove from heat; stir in white chocolate. Stir until melted. Let cool. Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat until smooth. Add cornstarch, vanilla and salt; beat until well combined. Mix in sour cream. Beat in eggs one at a time. Fold in chocolate mixture.

4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Pour filling over crust; spread evenly. Drop cranberry mixture in dollops over filling. Draw swirls of cranberry mixture through filling with a knife.

5. Place a pan filled with water on the lower rack of the oven. Place cheesecake on middle rack. Bake until center of cheesecake is set, about 45 minutes. Turn off oven; let cheesecake sit 1 hour. Remove from oven. Let cool. Chill at least 2 hours before cutting into bars.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: wdaley@tribune.com. Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.

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