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Sweet Holiday Traditions

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Lemony Cheesecake Bars
Cherry Swirled Cheesecake
Perfect Pumpkin Pie
Decadent Chocolate Truffles

(Family Features) - It's that magical holiday season again. And, as we all settle in for the shorter days and festive nights, we are often reminded of holidays past and traditions that are passed down from generation to generation. As we hear the familiar strains of a favorite tune or unpack the decorations that belonged to a well-loved grandparent, memories sweep over us.

And some of the best of those memories involve the delicious holiday treats that we all love. Here are some scrumptious recipes that capture the traditional spirit, as well as some new ideas for creating special holiday traditions of your own!

This Perfect Pumpkin Pie is a rich and creamy version that is a sure crowd-pleaser for your Thanksgiving feast. Bite into a Decadent Chocolate Truffle for a mouthwatering chocolate rush. These truffles are an elegant accompaniment to after-dinner coffee and make ideal gift-giving treasures. Decorate them as you please for a variety of different tastes and textures.

Cherry Swirled Cheesecake is the perfect centerpiece for your holiday buffet or potluck dinner. This red and white swirled dessert looks impressive but is quite easy to make - and it tastes delicious!

Nothing evokes holiday feelings like the smell of freshly baked cookies - try these Lemony Cheesecake Bars. The tangy lemon cheesecake filling and the graham cracker and pecan crust make for a delicious combination.

Lemony Cheesecake Bars

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 325°F. In medium mixing bowl, combine crumbs, pecans, sugar and melted margarine; mix well. Reserve 1/3 cup; press remaining mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan. Bake 6 minutes. Remove and cool on wire rack.
    2. Meanwhile, in large mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk. Add eggs; beat until just combined. Stir in lemon juice from concentrate. Carefully spoon mixture atop crust in pan. Spoon reserved crumb mixture to make diagonal stripes on top of cream cheese mixture or sprinkle to cover.
    3. Bake about 30 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack 1 hour. Store in refrigerator. Cut into bars to serve.

Preparation Time
25 minutes

Bake Time
35 minutes

Serves
Servings 24 bars

Cherry Swirled Cheesecake

Ingredients
  • 1 1/4 cups chocolate cookie crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter, melted
  • 1 (21-ounce) can cherry pie filling or topping
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange rind
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Combine crumbs, sugar and margarine; press firmly on bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
    2. In blender container, purée pie filling until smooth; add orange rind.
    3. In mixer bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add eggs, lemon juice from concentrate and vanilla; mix well.
    4. Pour half of batter into pan; top with 1/2 cup purée. Repeat layering. With knife, swirl purée into cream cheese mixture.
    5. Bake 50 to 55 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Chill. Serve with remaining purée. Refrigerate leftovers.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Bake Time
50-55 minutes

Serves
Servings 1 9-inch cheesecake

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin (2 cups)
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (9-inch) unbaked pie crust
  • Favorite Topping (recipes follow, optional)

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 425°F. With wire whisk or mixer, beat all ingredients except pie crust.
    2. Pour into prepared pie crust. Bake 15 minutes.
    3. Reduce oven heat to 350°F. Continue baking 35-40 minutes, or as directed with one Favorite Topping, or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store covered in refrigerator.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Bake Time
50-55 minutes

Serves
Servings 1 9-inch pie

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Favorite Toppings

Sour Cream Topping: In medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups sour cream, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. After pie has baked 30 minutes at 350°F, spread evenly over top; bake 10 minutes longer.

Streusel Topping: In medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar and 1/2 cup unsifted flour; cut in 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) cold butter or margarine until crumbly.

Stir in 1/4 cup chopped nuts. After pie has baked 30 minutes at 350°F, sprinkle evenly over top; bake 10 minutes longer.

Chocolate Glaze: In small saucepan over low heat, melt 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1 teaspoon solid shortening. Drizzle or spread over top of baked pie.

Decadent Chocolate Truffles

Ingredients
  • 3 cups (18 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 (14-ounce) can Eagle® Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk (NOT evaporated milk)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Coatings (optional): Finely chopped toasted nuts, flaked coconut, chocolate sprinkles, colored sprinkles, unsweetened cocoa powder, confectioners' sugar or colored sugars

Preparation
    1. In large saucepan, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour into medium-sized bowl. Cover and chill 2-3 hours or until firm.
    2. Shape into 1-inch balls; roll in any of the listed coatings.
    3. Chill 1 hour or until firm. Store tightly covered.

Preparation Time
20 minutes

Chill Time
3-4 hours

Serves
Servings 6 dozen 1-inch round candy truffles

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Tip: Place individual chocolate truffles into gold/silver foil candy wrappers and arrange on a tray for a decadent dessert tray. Or serve with a cup of after-dinner coffee as a "mini" chocolate treat.

Other Ideas: Truffles make a great homemade gift at the holidays. Say "thank you" to a friend or coworker with a nice box of truffles. Arrange several truffles in a pretty silver box or tin; decorate inside of box with colorful waxed paper. Wrap with bow. Reusable tins are a nice keepsake, too.

SOURCE: Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk


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