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TCP Kitchen

2019 Holiday Recipe Contest Winners

Featuring the very best from readers’ kitchens in the 15th annual Holiday Recipe Contest

This year, we not only celebrate Texas Co-op Power’s 75th anniversary but also the 15th year of our Holiday Recipe Contest. It all began when Anna Ginsberg won with her White Chocolate Ribbon Pumpkin Cake With Maple Glaze in 2005. Our contest was just starting out, but when Ginsberg won the Pillsbury Bake-Off just a few months later, we figured we knew how to pick a winner.

The winning recipes this year are no exception. The grand prizewinning cheesecake is extra special because homemade cookies make up the crust. The Best Sweet winner is an ice cream—yes, ice cream is holiday food in Texas—that tastes so much like Texas Sheet Cake you’ll do a double take. In the Best Savory category, tangy seafood enchiladas stole the show. And don’t miss the honorable mentions: bread pudding with a twist and a breakfast stunner to spice up a holiday morning.

Let these recipes inspire you to create your own new holiday favorite!

“I only delved into cheesecake making a few years ago but quickly became obsessed,” Perry says. “The spice cookies provide the crumby texture you get with a traditional graham crust but have all the flavor and essence of the holidays. I wanted to create a filling that would keep people coming back for more, which meant not too much one way or another. Velvety, but not too dense. Sweet, but not overpowering. This competition definitely has given me more confidence in my baking knowing that people outside of my inner circle enjoyed it as much as I did.”

Spiced Cookie Cheesecake With Caramel Sauce

Spiced Cookies
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups flour

Spiced Cookies, crumbled
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

2 eggs, separated
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2 tablespoons flour

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons butter, cubed
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1. Spiced Cookies: Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until fully incorporated. Add salt and all spices. Add egg and vanilla. Beat until ingredients are fully mixed together. Add flour 1/4 cup at a time until dough forms. Be sure not to overmix.

2. Wrap dough in plastic wrap and allow to chill about 3 hours or until dough is no longer tacky.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment. Form chilled cookie dough into approximately 1-inch balls. Bake 17–20 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove cookies from oven and let cool on a wire rack.

4. Crust: Line an 8-inch springform pan with parchment.

5. In a bowl, combine crumbled spiced cookies, brown sugar and salt. Stir in melted butter until crumbs are coated. Move crust mixture to springform pan and press into bottom and up sides. Set aside.

6. Filling: Preheat or lower oven to 325 degrees. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites on high until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

7. In a separate bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar. Add egg yolks one at a time. Beat on high until fully incorporated. Lower speed of mixer and add vanilla, salt, sour cream and flour. Mix until just incorporated. Fold beaten egg whites into batter. Add batter to springform pan. Wrap bottom of the pan and up the sides with aluminum foil.

8. Create a water bath by putting the springform pan into a roasting pan and adding about 1 inch of hot water to the outer pan. Bake 75 minutes or until center is slightly jiggly. Turn off oven and leave oven door open about 30 minutes to allow cheesecake to cool slowly. Remove from oven.

9. Once the cheesecake is fully cooled, cover springform pan with aluminum foil and allow cheesecake to chill in refrigerator overnight.

10. Caramel Sauce: Add sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk until sugar is fully melted. Remove from heat and add butter. Whisk until incorporated. Slowly add heavy whipping cream until fully incorporated. Let cool.

11. Remove cheesecake from springform pan. Drizzle cooled caramel sauce over top of cheesecake and serve.

Serves 12.