sugared cranberry cheesecake



only TWO more sleeps.

i am going to keep this one short because the house is full of family & there is no time to be spent on the computer! we have so many christmas movies to catch up on as we rock the matching santa pajama bottoms. now as you know, every single year i make a cheesecake for christmas day. it is an annual thing because it is not often that a celebration calls for a fancy ass cheesecake! three years ago i made a red velvet cheesecake, two years ago i made an apple pie cheesecake, last year i made this salted caramel cheesecake & this year THIS sugared cranberry cheesecake! something about sugared cranberries just look so pretty & festive. now i am already thinking about next year's... gingerbread, egg nog, chai?!?! can it be christmas every month?

hope everyone has an amazing weekend & gets spoiled by santa! xo


for the sugared cranberries

  • 1/2 cup + 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 cups fresh cranberries (not frozen)

for the graham crust

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 pinch of salt

for the filling

  • 4 packages of full fat plain cream cheese (8 oz each)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg


for the sugared cranberries

  • in a sauce pot add the 1/2 cup sugar & water. heat until the sugar dissolves.
  • stir in the cranberries, toss to coat & remove from heat.
  • strain & toss in the remaining white sugar.
  • set aside until you are ready to decorate the cheesecake.

for the graham cracker crust

  • in a large mixing bowl toss graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter & salt.
  • firmly press into a 9-inch spring form pan with a 1-inch crust.
  • set aside while you prepare the filling.

for the filling

  • preheat oven to 475 degrees. in a mixer with the paddle attachment beat sugar, cream cheese & flour.
  • add the eggs/egg yolks one at a time. scrape the bowl after every addition to ensure no clumps!
  • once mixture is silky smooth add the vanilla, cinnamon & nutmeg. pour into the crust lined spring form pan.
  • bake at 475 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the top puffs. if the top begins to brown too quickly, lower the temperature.
  • once the top has puffed, lower the temperature to 250 degrees & bake for an additional 45 minutes or until the cake appears firm. turn off the oven & let the cake sit for 15 minutes. remove from oven & let cool to room temperature before refrigerating over night.
  • top with sugared cranberries.

gingerbread + dark chocolate cookies


this year i have decided to come up with some not so traditional holiday cookies! don't get me wrong, i have already made batches of sugar cookies & gingerbread men this month but why not mix it up a bit? it is time to experiment with the flavours of gingerbread & pair it with equally delicious ingredients (wait till you see the macadamia cookies i made for crate & barrel next). this recipe makes for the perfect freeze & bake chocolate chip style cookies. while they would of course work well for a cookie exchange party, you are probably not going to want to give these away! instead, whip up a batch to pop in your freezer & bake a few at a time as you cozy up by the fire & watch your favourite holiday movie.

this is something justin & i do year round when we make mixed up versions of chocolate chip cookies. not that we couldn't eat the whole batch at once, more so that we shouldn't. plus, who doesn't want cookies warm from the oven everytime? nothing is better then slightly melted chocolate with a gooey centre. because i make these in small batches, i typically use my toaster oven instead of having to pre-heat the big oven. KitchenAid was kind enough to send me a brand new one to test out (my current KitchenAid one was pushing 10 years old). they baked up so perfectly in it! better then my gas oven to be honest, i am still getting used to going full gas & not convection. the KitchenAid toaster oven also heats up quickly, so you will have your cookies in no time! it is also perfect for the holiday season when your oven is full of a giant turkey. you can bake or heat up your favourite side dishes in the oven too. i think my mom will be borrowing this from me this year.

anyways, this is my mix up on a gingerbread cookie! it is a mash up between my favourite classic gingerbread & my favourite chocolate chip cookie. trust me when i say these are better. the dark chocolate compliments the ginger spicers so perfectly & the pecans add a touch of crunch. if you are not a fan of nuts in your baked goods, feel free to leave it out & add a bit more dark chocolate OR even some candied ginger! so many possibilities with these.


  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar (i use sugar in the raw)
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup whole pecans, roughly chopped


  • in a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg & cloves. set aside.
  • in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, brown sugar & turbinado sugar until fluffy.
  • add in the molasses, egg & vanilla extract until combined.
  • slowly add in the dry ingredients until incorporated.
  • fold in the dark chocolate chips & pecans.
  • roll into desired size balls, place in freezer bag & bake when ready.
  • to bake, pre-heat oven to 375 degrees & bake for 8-10 minutes or until the edges lightly brown.

note: if you are skipping the freezer step, place cookie balls on a baking tray & pop in the freezer for 10 minutes while you preheat the oven. this ensures the cookies will not spread together & the chocolate chips hold their shape.