Cranberry Glazed White Chocolate Cheesecake

Cooking With Rania - "Recipes for Thanksgiving"
KDKA Pittsburgh Today Live 11/16/2011

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Cranberry Glazed White Chocolate Cheesecake

5-1/2 ounces shortbread cookies
1/2 cup hazelnuts - toasted and husked
2 tablespoons unsalted butter - melted

8 oz white chocolate - finely chopped
24 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar
1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
4 large eggs

1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)
3 cups fresh cranberries (1 - 12 ounce package)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup water
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Crust: Preheat to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2-3/4 inch high sides. Finely grind shortbread cookies and toasted hazelnuts in processor. Add melted unsalted butter and process until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom of prepared pan. Bake until crust is golden, about 8 minutes. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.

Filling: In top of double boiler set over barely simmering water, stir white chocolate until melted. Remove pan from over water. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until blended and smooth. Add sour cream and Frangelico and beat until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Beat in melted white chocolate. Pour filling into prepared crust. Bake cake until top is golden and puffed and center is set, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool in pan on rack (cake will fall in center). Refrigerate until cold.

Topping: Dissolve 1 teaspsoon cornstarch in 1 tablespoon Frangelico in a small bowl and set aside. Combine 1 cup cranberries, 1 cup sugar and 3/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves and mixture boils, about 5 minutes. Add remaining 2 cups cranberries, grated lemon peel and cornstarch mixture. Simmer until cranberries just begin to pop and mixture thickens, about 5 minutes. Cool. Chill until mixture gels. Remove sides of pan from cake and transfer to platter - spread cranberry mixture atop cake and cut into wedges - passing reserved syrup separately.

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