Appetizer: Holiday Cheesecake!

Holiday Appetizer: Cranberry Jalepeno Cheesecake

by Megan on November 15, 2010

One of my favorite appetizers is the Chevre Cheesecake. People usually think *sweet* when you say cheesecake, but that savory cheesecake uses goat cheese and is flavored with rosemary, but with a sweet biscotti crust. Paired with a glass of Chardonnay, it makes the perfect appetizer for the opening act of  a wine pairing dinner or for the holidays!

Easy Holiday Appetizer

I also love a nice pepper jelly over a block of cream cheese, so when I saw Cathy’s Cranberry Cheesecake Spread, I knew I was making it.  My way!

I added dried cranberries to my cheesecake and used a jar of Cranberry Jalapeno Pepper jelly. You swirl a few tablespoons of jam into the cheesecake batter and bake it up. Then you add more on top.  You can use your favorite pepper jelly, a cranberry chutney, or even  my Garlic Jelly.

Pepper Jelly Cheesecake Appetizer

I served mine with an assortment of buttery crackers.

The first cheesecake, I only used one egg and it tasted fine but I thought it was a little soft.

The second time I added two eggs, but I got carried away in our early Thanksgiving celebration that I forgot to take notice.

Guess I better make another one! ;)

savory cheesecake appetizer

During the holidays or anytime really, I like to dress things up! I want a pretty table as well as pretty food. This week’s Martha Monday project, selected by Karen,  was  Thanksgiving Tablescapes . Martha (or should I say her staff?) has many ideas that are quick and easy and oh so festive!

I did a potted mum in a pumpkin for an inexpensive centerpiece. I already had a pumpkin because I got it full of fresh flowers for my birthday (thanks again, Carolyn!!!). Now that Halloween is over, you can find these plastic pumpkins on the clearance rack for a good deal. Then,  just buy a potted mum and stick it inside. Add a holiday pick and you have a pretty centerpiece!

So pretty!

Holiday Mum Centerpiece

Contest Winner!

The winner of Michael Chairello’s new cookbook and the Panko bread crumbs is…

Lyndsey of The Tiny Skillet!!!

Congratulations Lyndsey. Send me your address and we’ll get that book to ya ASAP! Thanks to everyone who entered.

Cranberry Jalapeno Cheesecake

Adapted from My Own Sweet Thyme

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
  • 8 ounce package cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • Cranberry jalapeno jelly of any other pepper jelly
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Use 1 tablespoon butter to generously grease the bottom and sides of a 6-inch spring form pan. Add the graham cracker crumbs, tilting and tapping until the crumbs thoroughly cover the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the yogurt and egg, beating until combined. Add the sugar and vanilla. Continue mixing until smooth. Add dried cranberries. Pour filling mixture into the prepared pan.
  4. Randomly drop 1/3 cup of the pepper jelly on top of the cheesecake batter with a tablespoon.  Insert a butter knife  down into the batter, and swirl jelly into cheesecake, to achieve a marbled effect in the batter.
  5. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-34 minutes or until done. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.
  6. Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Press chopped nuts into sides of cheesecake. Right before serving, top the chilled cheesecake with more pepper jelly and garnish. Serve with crackers.
  7. Enjoy!
Print This Recipe Print This Recipe

Check out these cheesecakes appetizers from
Megan’s Cookin
My Own Sweet Thyme
Wives with Knives
We Are Not Martha
Confessions of a Bake-aholic

This post is linked to All Through The Year Cheer!

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{ 32 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Deborah November 16, 2010 at 8:36 am

I had already decided what I’m bringing on Thanksgiving, but now this is screaming at me to make it as an appetizer!!

2 Megan November 16, 2010 at 8:53 am

Hi Deborah,
All I can is, I have made this twice, and both times I came home with an empty plate! :)

3 Nutmeg Nanny November 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

Congrats to the winner :)

I love the idea of a savory cheesecake. I read a book once where the character opened a bakery and made tons of savory cheesecakes. I have always thought they would be fun to try.

I’m guessing this recipe would make everyone at the Christmas gathering happy :)

4 teresa November 16, 2010 at 10:14 am

oh wow, what a fun idea, this looks wonderful!

5 Renee (Kudos Kitchen) November 16, 2010 at 10:20 am

This recipe not only sounds delish, it’s so pretty too! Nicely done Megan! Savory and cheesecake are two of my favorite words :)

6 RJ Flamingo November 16, 2010 at 11:38 am

Stunning! Definitely trying this one!

7 Leana November 16, 2010 at 11:58 am

Looks good, can you tell where do the cranberries come in. I do not see it any of your steps. Thanks

8 stephchows November 16, 2010 at 1:51 pm

ooo i’m loving the spicy aspect of this!

9 Megan November 16, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Oops, thank you for catching that Leana. The cranberries get mixed into the batter. I fixed the recipe. Thanks again! :)

10 Barbara Bakes November 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm

It’s gorgeous. What a great presentation! I’m going to have to look for some Cranberry Jalapeno Pepper jelly. It sounds fabulous.

11 SMITH BITES November 16, 2010 at 7:17 pm

LOVE that this a savory cheesecake!!! and beautiful too – perfection!

12 HoneyB November 17, 2010 at 1:21 am

I love the festive look! I have never had a savory cheesecake, but I am pretty sure that I would enjoy this! The Cranberry Jalapeno Pepper Jelly sounds like it tops it off perfectly!

13 Barbara @ moderncomfortfood November 17, 2010 at 2:34 am

Wow, Megan! You’ve pulled it all together in this totally scrumptious looking appetizer. For years, my mom’s braunschweiger ball (sounds terrible, but is good) has been my go-to holiday appetizer. But I think I’m going to replace it with this. I can’t think of any appetizer I’d rather eat or serve to holiday guests than this lovely creation.

14 Katy November 17, 2010 at 3:07 am

Megan, this is beautiful! And if you made it, I KNOW it’s delicious. Looks like a jewel!

15 Elle November 17, 2010 at 5:59 am

I’ve always wanted to try a savory cheesecake. Maybe this year, finally–this one looks amazing!

16 Lana @ Never Enough Thyme November 17, 2010 at 6:15 am

Absolutely love this savory cheesecake. And the spicy pepper jelly would be a perfect compliment. Great job!

17 Faith November 17, 2010 at 7:34 am

Conrats to the winner..
Now let’s move on to the cheescake. It looks fantastic! I have to agree with Brandy. The mere idea of making a savory cheescake is cool. I love how you’ve docrated the cheesecake too. All the falvors and the colors make it a perefect cheescake. Great job.

18 Lisa November 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

That cheesecake is a work of art. You should put that onto your Christmas cards. I also love the idea of a savory cheesecake, especially one that’s got a little kick to it.

19 Gera@SweetsFoodsBlog November 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm

So dainty and delicious cheesecake! As you bet I like also the sweet version haha!



20 Cookie November 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm

I bet the sweet and spicy flavors are yummy together!

21 5 Star Foodie November 18, 2010 at 1:40 pm

It’s really pretty! I love the idea of cranberry jalapeno combo, and the savory cheesecake – perfect for the holidays!

22 Dana Zia November 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm

I can not tell you how much this appeals to me. Lovely combo and idea. The pictures are wonderful too!

23 deeba November 19, 2010 at 2:00 am

This is just amazing Megan…Wow!

24 Beth Luwandi November 19, 2010 at 6:44 am

you do such nice work! Every time I visit I think I should JUST make my spot a food blog. I have so much else going on there. But that’s me- scattered all over the place. I’ve thought I should get more focused after the weight loss and make choices. Is it food? health? parenting? But you are my inspiration for improving my food posts. You always have such rich ideas, gorgeous photos, and great community! Thank you for spurring me on to better things!

25 NoPotCoooking November 19, 2010 at 7:58 am

I totally love your holiday centerpiece and I HAVE To make cheesecake!

26 Megan November 19, 2010 at 8:10 am

Oh Beth, Thank you for your sweet words. It’s comments like this that make it all worth it. Thank you sweetie!

27 ingrid November 21, 2010 at 8:57 am

It not only sounds yummy, it’s gorgeous.

28 edii November 27, 2010 at 12:38 pm

wao…this cheesecake looks so delicious!…

29 kat November 30, 2010 at 7:27 am

That cheesecake looks so beautiful!

30 Lisa December 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm

So pretty! I really like what you’ve done with this recipe.

31 Kerry December 8, 2010 at 11:36 am

Do you think I can make this recipe in a 4″ spring form pan? I can’t seem to find a 6″ pan anywhere and I wanted to make it next week. Maybe I should use 75% of the recipe? Or just make the full recipe and use whatever it takes to fill the pan. Can’t wait to try it!

32 Megan December 8, 2010 at 3:00 pm

Sure you could us a smaller one. I almost did. I was going to put in as much batter as you think is thick enough and then make a cupcake size one or two! You could even freeze the small ones for a little snack at a later time. Just defrost and add jelly.

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