Very elegant, incredible cake! Worth the effort! I promise! 8) NOTE: You may add decorative roses, etc. with whipped topping, but pretty enough without it even!
- 12 vanilla cream-filled sandwich style cookies, broken into pieces (Vienna Fingers, 6 1/2 oz)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut to pieces, room temp
- 1⁄4 cup sugar
- 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
- 1⁄2 cup whipping cream
- 1 1⁄2 lbs cream cheese, room temp
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 4 large eggs
- 12 ounces fresh cranberries or 12 ounces frozen cranberries
- 3⁄4 cup sugar
- 1⁄2 cup frozen cranberry juice concentrate, thawed
- 1⁄4 cup water
- Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 350°.
- Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with foil.
- Blend cookies, butter and sugar in processor until crumbs clump together.
- Press on bottom and halfway up sides of pan. Bake crust 10 minutes; set aside.
- Begin filling with tip of small sharp knife. Scrape seeds from vanilla beans into small saucepan; add beans.
- Add cream, bring to simmer over medium heat; set aside uncovered and cool to room temperature discard beans.
- Blend the cheese, sugar and salt in food processor until very smooth. Stop often to scrape sides of bowl.
- Add vanilla cream and blend. Add eggs and process 5 seconds, scrape down sides of bowl, process just until blended.
- Pour filling into crust and bake until sides puff slightly and center is just set, about 50 minutes.
- Place uncovered hot cheesecake into refrigerator to chill thoroughly, at least 6 hours.
- For topping, stir all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves.
- Increase heat and boil 3 minutes. Press mixture through sieve set over large bowl, pressing firmly on solids.
- Spoon warm topping over chilled cheesecake, spreading evenly.
- Chill until topping is set, at least 2 hours.