Graham Cracker Swirl Cheesecake

Every year, my work sends us home with a free turkey for Thanksgiving. We already have plans for Thanksgiving day and the two of us can’t hope to finish twelve pounds of poultry together, so we decided to throw a spur-of-the-moment dinner party. 

Okay, it wasn’t just the turkey, we also were given some beautiful dishes by my husband’s grandmother and I was dying to set a gorgeous table. How amazing are these silver salt and pepper shakers?

We invited my family over for a Thanksgiving warm-up round. I made a garlicky proscuitto-kale dish: 

Plus a salad with blue cheese, chopped green apple, toasted walnuts, and craisins, and a sausage-celery stuffing. I also roasted half of a gorgeous farmer’s market pumpkin and mini yellow dutch potatoes, which I topped with crumbled feta and parsley. 

Did I mention that I made a turkey, too? And homemade cranberry-orange sauce? All of that, just to avoid wasting a turkey! To top off our Thanksgiving dinner, I made a delicious graham cracker cheesecake. 

I tried Williams-Sonoma’s graham cracker butter in the store and it reminded me of Biscoff or the Trader Joe’s classic Speculoos. I still had several boxes of graham crackers lying around the house after the failed wedding s’mores bar, so I figured I had plenty of room for error. Luckily (or not, depending on how fond you are of graham crackers), this recipe worked out just perfectly the first time! 

The graham cracker butter is fantastic on its own. It would be perfect to keep as a spread for fruit (I’m thinking bananas) and for dipping pretzels. It’s also great swirled into this cheesecake recipe. 

Graham Cracker Swirl Cheesecake

Makes 1 cheesecake; 8-10 servings

For the Graham Cracker Butter, you will need: 
  • 2 sleeves graham crackers (~13 whole graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. each cloves, cardamom, valencia orange peel, and salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 

For the cheesecake, you will need:

  • 2 packages cream cheese, room temperate (8 ounces each)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon 
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup reserved graham cracker butter

Graham cracker butter method: 

  • Prepare a food processor with multipurpose blade. 
  • Add graham crackers first. Gradually incorporate remaining ingredients until coarse and gritty paste forms. 
  • The butter may be kept in the kitchen for up to a week. 
Cheesecake method: 
  • Preheat oven to 350. Spray pie dish or springform pan lightly with nonstick spray.
  • Firmly press approximately 1/3 of graham cracker butter into bottom of dish to form the crust. 
  • In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir thoroughly until cream cheese appears “whipped” in appearance. 
  • Mix in sugars, cinnamon, flour and salt. Continue blending until smooth. 
  • Add chocolate chips and graham cracker butter last. 
  • Pour into prepared pie crust and bake for 1 hour, until firm in the center. 
  • After the cheesecake is cooked, turn off heat. Let cheesecake cool in the oven for an hour before refrigerating. 

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