This holiday season, step up your cheesecake game with Goat Cheese Cheesecake with Tahini Shortbread Crust! Same delicious cheesecake with the subtle goat cheese flavor. I topped mine with a ruby-red cranberry vanilla topping. (note: allow for time to chill overnight before serving)
In your food processor fitted with the blade attachment, add in 8 cookies and process until they are fine crumbs -- you will need 2 cups total.
Add the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the sugar, butter and a pinch of salt.
Place the crumbs into a buttered 9-inch springform pan and press them into the bottom and up the sides. Set off to the side.
FOR THE GOAT CHEESE CHEESECAKE:
Preheat your oven to 350° and position your oven rack in the lower third (or lowest position if your oven is small) of your oven.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese and goat cheese until creamy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl before adding in the sour cream. Beat until combined.
Next add each egg, one at a time and mixing well after each egg. Then add in the sugar and vanilla and mix until combine.
Place the cheesecake pan onto a rimmed sheet pan.Pour the cheesecake filling into the crust and slide it onto the bottom rack or lower third of your oven and bake for 55 to 60 minutes. Some butter may escape the pan (since these are buttery shortbread cookies) so it's good to have a sheet pan underneath your cheesecake as it bakes.
If the cheesecake starts to brown, go ahead and tent with aluminum foil.
Remove and cool before refrigerating over night.
FOR THE VANILLA CRANBERRY SAUCE:
Place the cranberries, sugar, cornstarch and water into a 10-inch skillet. Heat on medium and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cool completely before storing in an air-tight container. Can be made 2 to 3 days in advance.
Add a portion of the vanilla cranberry sauce in the center of the cheesecake. Cut and serve with more of the sauce on the side.
The goat cheese cheese cake was lovingly and slightly adapted from Anne Burrell. The crust and topping is by yours truly.