Last week we talked about the evolution of holiday desserts—and what better way to switch it up than to take a familiar pie and turn it into a cheesecake? I did just that last year with this delicious pumpkin cheesecake.

Here are two more cheesecake recipes from A Taste of Home that are sure to be the hit of your holiday meal.

Cranberry Cheesecake

Cranberries are almost always part of the Thanksgiving feast, and with this recipe you can feature them at dessert time as well.

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker or shortbread cookie crumbs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Topping

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Filling

  • 32 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 5 large eggs, lightly beaten

Directions

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Place a greased 8-inch springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18-inch square). Wrap foil securely around pan. Place on a baking sheet.
  2. In a small bowl, mix cracker crumbs and butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 6 minutes.
  3. Cool on a wire rack.

Topping

  1. While crust is cooking, combine cranberries, sugar, and water in a large saucepan.
  2. Cook, uncovered, over medium heat until berries pop, about 12-15 minutes.
  3. Add lemon juice.
  4. Press cranberry mixture through a food mill into a small bowl. Discard pulp and seeds. Set aside.

Filling

  1. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low speed just until blended. Pour into prepared crust pan.
  2. Spoon ¼ cup topping over filling. Cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
  3. Place springform pan in a larger pan. Add 1 inch of hot water to larger pan.
  4. Bake 55-65 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Removes springform pan from water bath. Remove foil.
  5. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour longer.
  6. Pour remaining topping over cheesecake. Refrigerate cheesecake overnight, covering when completely cooled.
  7. Remove from pan.

Pecan Caramel Cheesecake

This cheesecake is a twist on pecan pie—and a lot easier to make than the one above!

Ingredients

  • 1 sheet refrigerated pie pastry
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 jar (12 ¼ ounces) fat-free caramel ice cream topping
  • Additional fat-free caramel ice cream topping, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Line a 9 inch deep dish pie plate with pastry. Trim and flute edges.
  3. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, 1 egg, and vanilla until smooth.
  4. Spread into pastry shell.
  5. Sprinkle with pecans.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk remaining eggs. Gradually whisk in caramel topping until blended.
  7. Pour slowly over pecans.
  8. Bake 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned (loosely cover edges with foil after 20 minutes if pie browns too quickly).
  9. Cool on a wire rack for 1 hour. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight before slicing.

If desired, garnish with additional caramel ice cream topping.

Try to keep meals simple enough that you have the time and energy to enjoy family and friends during the holidays.