If you find yourself wanting to make a dessert for your family or a party and you want something a little different than the typical run of the mill party food, try out these delicious Limoncello Cheesecake Squares. Purchased almond biscotti is crumbled in a food processor to make a quick crust.
Limoncello liqueur is widely available for purchase these days, and a simple Google search will provide many homemade recipes if you are that daring. I, however, am not that daring.
Leftover Limoncello liqueur is so tasty when poured over ice, poured over vanilla ice cream, or blended in a milk shake.
Limoncello Cheesecake Squares
Makes 12-16 servings
Nonstick cooking spray
8 ounces purchased biscotti, either plain or almond (or any flavor that sounds good to you)
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
3 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1 (12-ounce) container fresh whole milk ricotta, drained, at room temperature
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup limoncello liqueur
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the bottom of a 9 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Finely grind the biscotti in a food processor. Add the melted butter and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest, and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.
2. Blend the ricotta in a clean food processor until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Blend in the limoncello, vanilla, and remaining 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. Add the eggs one at a time, and pulse just until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
3. Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the baking pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour (the cake will become firm when it is cold).
4. Transfer the cake to a rack; cool 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cut the cake into squares and serve.
Source: Giada De Laurentiis