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December 26, 2013
Cooking with Joni
Serve BLT Cheesecakes at Your New Year's Bash
by Joni Hilton

Editor’s Note: Christmas is so yesterday! It’s time to think about the New Year, and what you’re going to feed your New Year’s Eve guests. Joni Hilton has an easy suggestion for you. As usual, it’s a prizewinner.

Surprise — cheesecake can be savory instead of sweet.  You're going to love this!  Taste of Home magazine recently sponsored a cheesecake contest, and this won first place! I got the idea from all the wonderful, savory cheesecakes out there (crab is my favorite).  

Yes, we've all enjoyed cheesecake as a dessert forever, but they can be a savory appetizer as well.  It's like a big, soft, killer-delicious cheese wheel, loaded with yummy herbs and rich creaminess that you slice and spread on a cracker.  This one features bacon, lettuce and tomato — an American favorite!\.

Here's what you'll need:

1 & 1/2 Cups bread crumbs (I used Italian flavored)
1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese from a chilled tub
6 Tablespoons melted butter

4 (8 oz.) pkgs. cream cheese softened
4 eggs
1/2 Cup whipping cream
1 & 1/2 Cups cooked crumbled bacon
1 Cup sun dried tomatoes chopped
1 Cup grated Gruyere cheese (or your favorite cheese)
2 green onions minced
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
12 Boston lettuce leaves


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix bread crumbs, Parmesan and butter; press onto bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy, then beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in cream, bacon, tomatoes, grated cheese, onions and pepper. Pour over crust and bake on a baking sheet for 90 minutes. Cool, then chill. Run a knife around inside of pan, then remove sides. Place chilled slices on a lettuce leaf to serve. (Or top it with lettuce and tomato, as the photo shows)  Serve with crackers or slices of bruschetta.   Yield: serves 12 

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