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This holiday dessert features tart cranberries combined with orange zest blended into a creamy, mouth-watering cheesecake all nestled between a cinnamon spiced Grape-Nuts oat crust. Your holidays just got Seriously Delicious!
So wow, Christmas is less than a week away, scary (but exciting), huh? Have I got one Seriously Delicious dessert for you today. Now you all know me, I’m a cereal girl. It’s versatile, great plain, in milk or as a ‘secret’ ingredient to desserts. I’m not typically a ‘sweet’ cereal kind of girl though as often I like to eat it plain as a snack versus as say breakfast. So when the amazing folks from Post® Cereal Brands were looking for a creative and delicious holiday recipe featuring Grape-Nuts I knew exactly what I wanted to make. See I love Grape-Nuts. It’s often my ‘secret’ ingredient in bar cookies or even streusel topping. It adds such a great flavor and texture without being overly sweet. See that’s one of the things I like about Post® Cereal Brands – they offer something for the whole family. From HoneyComb to Honey Bunches of Oats (fyi.. the Strawberry is my personal fav!) they’ve got you covered.
I’m not sure when the whole orange cranberry flavor combination came about but man I’m so happy that it did. There’s just something about the tartness of the cranberries paired with the bright citrus flavor that works so well. Where I live, cranberries are a seasonal thing that’s starts showing up around October and lasts through the end of January. I make sure to stock up at my local Walmart on these. They freeze beautifully and are great in so many dishes.
For the holidays we want decadent desserts – ones that are rich, creamy yes, sinful (in a good way). Ever since Thanksgiving and the fact that after a decade of attempts I FINALLY mastered the NY cheesecake Mr. Fantabulous wants nothing but that. Cheesecake for me is eh but when you flavor it up then I’m all in. I wanted to incorporate Grape-Nuts into an oaty crust and fill it with that luscious tart and citrus cheesecake that, when that first bite hits you, you immediately fall in love.
Oh yeah… that’s this recipe for sure! If you love the combination of orange and cranberry you are going to go nuts (Grape-Nuts that is) over this! *wink*
On one of my shopping trips to my local Super Walmart I picked up everything I needed. As I was grabbing some cereal I happened to notice the box and the awesome sweepstakes that Post has going on right now. Inside specially marked boxes of Post® Cereal Brands there is a code. Find that code for your chance to win movie tickets, speakers and more. Every code you enter is another chance to win $100,000! They want you to “Discover your inner SING star”. And when I happened to see that the movie contains a pig character, Rosita, that happens to yearns to let her inner diva shine I IMMEDIATELY fell in love!
So remember when you’re at Walmart, make sure you check your packaging and enter into the SING National Sweepstakes for a chance to win $100,000 or free movie tickets (that is after you purchase the cereal and get home). LOL
I checked out the trailer for this movie and it totally looks adorable. Even though it’s a cartoon it’s definitely up my alley! The premise is about a koala named Buster Moon that has one final chance to restore his theater to its former glory by producing the world’s greatest singing competition. Now a little tidbit about me – I’m a HUGE karaoke junkie! I mean we’re talking when I was single I was going out 3-4 nights a week to do it. And when we got married we set up a huge karaoke system in our downstairs. And when I say huge, we’re talking commercial stuff that rivals most professionals. Mr. Fantabulous is a musician so we had most of the equipment. I just sang. So when we’d have our parties the karaoke was blaring and laughter was abundance. Even if you couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket you still sang.
So okay back to this recipe – Grape-Nuts is the secret to the texture of this crust. The oats add that bit of chewiness while the cereal gives it that crunch and nutty flavor. True story – my Dad loved Grape-Nuts cereal and would eat a bowl it every day. I was about 5 when I asked my Dad what they were made of because they didn’t look like my round oats cereal. With a straight face he said “they take grapes and dry them up til they turn into hard little nuts.” But me, being me, said “But when grapes dry up I thought they turn to raisins?” Thinking quick he said “Well this after they are raisins. They take the raisins, bury them in the dirt for a year and then they become nuts. That’s why they are the color they are.”
annnnnnnnnnnd for YEARS I believe that. LOL
As you can see above the recipe is pretty simple. You don’t need your hand or stand mixer. Just grab a mixing spoon and mix away. One thing I comment on is once you’ve mixed the crust mixture together, remove the spoon and use your hands/fingers to really get in there. You want to make sure all pieces are coated with the butter and that if you pinch some together, it forms a clump.
While this was baking I was cleaning up my dishes and was belting out some of my old karaoke go-to songs/groups – 4 Non-Blondes, Pat Benetar, Hailstorm, Joan Jett, Journey and honestly whatever else I felt like it (yes there were some Christmas songs in the mix). What I didn’t know is that I had an audience. You see I didn’t hear Mr. Fantabulous come into the house and into the kitchen. Thank GOD the man did not have his cell phone with him otherwise I know he would have videoed me acting like a fool, shaking my butt with flour on my backside and soap suds up my arms.
I didn’t know he was there until I hit this note (so I was trying to do that one Mariah Carey Christmas song) and let’s just say it’s best if she sings it and I never, EVER do again… for as long as I live. OMG it was so bad that I even stopped and said “Wow that sucked!” Only what I didn’t expect to hear was a “yeah that was horrible” response from behind me. I jumped about 3 feet, turned around with eyes as big as silver dollars, jaw dropped to the floor and about 37 shades of red. He of course was standing there grinning from ear to ear laughing so hard.
So yeah don’t look for me on any singing competition anytime soon… or ever!
Finally the timer went off, a quick poke test and the bars were done. Now this is not one of those recipes you can make and slice right away. You need to plan for this. Honestly you need at least 12 hours if not overnight. If you don’t, the cheesecake won’t really set. You’ll end up with a really firm custard texture (like a flan) instead of that velvety creamy texture that we’ve all come to love known as cheesecake. The next day, when I was getting ready to do the photo shoot, I pulled this out of the fridge and took a thin blade along the inside of my pan between the parchment and the pan to help unmold it. Once it was loosened, I just lifted it out of the pan and set it on a cutting board.
The drizzle glaze was an add-on but it’s a must-do. It adds that last bit of sweetness the dish makes as it balances out the tart and citrus flavors. So as I’m shooting this the smell was so consuming. I mean it smelled DIVINE! And yes as I’d move a piece here or there I’d accidentally-on-purpose get some of that filling on my finger. OMG people!!! OHHHHHHHH MMmmmmmmmmmm GHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! Seriously make this!
As I was packing up my camera I had to then do the taste test. Twice *blush*. Wha? They were little pieces. So shush! And what’s also AWESOME about this dish is that it is ALL MINE! Mr. Fantabulous won’t eat it because it’s “not normal New York Cheesecake”. Yes he’s weird but he only likes that type and flavor and nothing else – no chocolate, no pumpkin (God I think he’d divorce me if I gave him pumpkin cheesecake), no pecan… nope. For him it’s the classic and nothing else. So this, yeah this is all for me!
So how do you take cereal beyond the breakfast bowl? For more recipe inspiration check out Post’s Social Channel!Print
- 1 cup ap flour
- 1 cup old fashioned oats
- 1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 7 Tbl unsalted, melted butter
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain)
- 6 ounces full fat cream cheese, room temp
- 1/3 cup plus 2 Tbl sugar
- 3 Tbl flour
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbl orange zest
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 3–4 Tbl heavy cream
- Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment leaving a 1” overhang; lightly spray.
- Preheat oven to 325F, rack in the middle.
- In a large bowl whisk together the dry crust ingredients. Pour in the melted butter and mix until all ingredients are wet and will hold a clump form.
- Press 2/3rds of the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan; press with the bottom of a glass or measuring cup to get it compact and even; set the remaining 1/3 off to the side.
- In another large bowl cream together the cream cheese, sugar, Greek yogurt and vanilla. Once incorporated add in the egg and mix to combine. Add in the flour and orange zest and mix just until incorporated.
- Add the cranberries to the cream cheese mixture and gently fold to coat.
- Pour the mixture on top of the crust and smooth out. With the remaining 1/3 crust mixture, drop pieces of it on top of the cheesecake. Don’t worry if it doesn’t cover it all, you want to see the cheesecake peek through.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes or until top is golden brown and the cheesecake mixture is slightly firm.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack in the pan. Once cooled, cover with plastic wrap and chill overnight.
- When ready to serve, lift the bars out of the pan using the parchment over hang and cut into 16 slices. Whisk together the drizzle til thick and then drizzle on.
- Store any leftovers covered loosely in the fridge.