1 1/3 cups crushed shortbread cookies
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 pounds cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 to 3 drops orange oil* (optional)
2 to 3 drops lemon oil* (optional)
1/3 cup heavy (whipping) cream
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
Gold foil-covered chocolate Hanukah gelt (small coins), some halved
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Have a 10-inch springform pan ready.
For the crust: In a medium bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs, butter, sugar, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Pat the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
For the filling: In a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the cream cheese, sugar and flour. Reduce the speed to low and blend in the eggs, sweetened condensed milk, vanilla extract, orange and lemon oils (if using) and cream; mix well.
Scrape the batter onto the crumb crust. Cover the pan with foil, transfer to a baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Remove foil, reduce the heat to 325 degrees F and bake just until set, about 30 minutes.
For the topping: In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, vanilla extract and confectioners' sugar.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven, increasing the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Pour the topping over the cheesecake. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 8 minutes.
Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for at least 1 hour. Transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, at least 6 hours.
To serve, sprinkle the cheesecake with gold coins, standing the halved coins on end in the topping.
* Oils made from a variety of citrus fruits are available at some specialty markets.
Yield: 12 to 16 servings