So you probably know that I kind of had a lot of gingerbread on my hands recently.
You know, because some crazy person in my family decided to make this ginormous gingerbread house. Did I mention how good the gingerbread is on its own? Well, it is. It’s my favorite recipe for gingerbread, but…….we had a lot, which is why I started using it as crumbs in all kinds of things like crusts.
Gingerbread lasts way longer than your average cookie but it won’t last forever and I don’t think my brothers will want another piece of gingerbread roof until at least June.
Pictured above are the remains of my poor demolished gingerbread house. Don’t feel too bad. It lived a long life and at least it is still serving a good purpose. I know that I can’t be the only one having this problem right now, anyone? Okay, maybe I am, but there might be a day that you have a giant gingerbread house that needs used and if not you can still make this recipe using store-bought gingerbread men or really any cookie crumbs. Graham crackers always work.
Okay, not to brag or anything, but this cheesecake is pretty darn delicious in its own right. I put not only one, but the scrapings from 2 vanilla beans. Vanilla beans and Christmas just go together so well.
As if all that wasn’t enough, I decided to add a salted caramel layer. Omg you guys, you seriously cannot skip this. It’s so good!
This may be a little over the top, but hey, it’s almost Christmas. I have to channel my childish excitement (and overall freaking out about how much there is to do) into something.
Most sane people don’t put their holiday hiper-ness into desserts like I do. Tell me, what’s your holiday-excitement creative outlet?
- 2 cups gingerbread (or graham cracker) cookie crumbs
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
- 20 ounces(2 1/2 8oz packages) cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 vanilla beans
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup half & half
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- course sea salt for topping
- Melt butter in a medium glass bowl and mix in cookie crumbs and sugar. Press into the bottom and about halfway up the sides of a sprinform cake pan. Set aside while you make filling.
- For the cheesecake layer, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and beat cream cheese until very smooth with no lumps. Add sugar and sour cream and beat together with cream cheese. Beat in eggs one at a time until batter is silky smooth. Scrape the "caviar" from the insides of your vanilla beans into bowl and stir it into the batter with a pinch of salt. Pour into prepared crumb crust and bake for 40- 50 minutes until the center doesn't, or just barely, jiggles when nudged. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about one hour before placing in the fridge to chill.
- For the caramel, Combine all ingredients except vanilla in a medium saucepan over medium low heat and stir gently for 6 - 8 minutes or until it begins to thicken up. When thick, stir in vanilla and continue cooking for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool off for about 5 minutes. Pour over cheesecake and sprinkle with sea salt. Chill in refrigerator for at least 6 hours before serving.