Maple syrup and hazelnuts add a festive flavor to this rich and creamy cheesecake that's sure to win raves at your holiday table, says Paula Marchesi of Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania.
- 2/3 cup reduced-fat cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (about 4 whole crackers)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) reduced-fat cream cheese
- 1 package (8 ounces) fat-free cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts, toasted, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- In a small bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press onto bottom of a 9-in. springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325°; for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add the cornstarch, honey, syrup and salt, beating just until combined. Add egg whites; beat on low speed just until blended (batter will be very thick).
- Spoon half of the batter over crust; smooth top. Toss 1/4 cup hazelnuts with cinnamon; sprinkle over batter. Spoon remaining batter over nuts; smooth top. Place pan on a baking sheet.
- Bake at 325° for 50-55 minutes or until the center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Sprinkle with remaining hazelnuts. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Maple Honey Cheesecake in Light & Tasty December/January 2003, p52
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