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Vanilla Spice Pistachio Cheesecake

Prep time 21 mins
Cook time 1 hr, 30 mins
Other time 8 hrs, 10 mins
Yield 12 servings
Vanilla, cardamom, and white chocolate unite in this creamy holiday dessert.


  • 1/2 (10-oz.) package shortbread cookies (we tested with Lorna Doone)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 3/4 cups sour cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 5 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • Garnish: additional unsalted pistachio nuts

How to Make It

  1. Place first 3 ingredients in a food processor; process until finely ground. Stir in butter. Press cookie crumb mixture into bottom of an ungreased 9" springform pan. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, 1 1/4 cups sugar, and cardamom at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add 1 1/2 cups sour cream, flour, and vanilla bean paste; beat until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears. Pour batter into baked crust.

  3. Bake at 300° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until almost set. Immediately run a knife around edge of pan, releasing sides. Let cool on a wire rack 10 minutes.

  4. Meanwhile, place white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 1 minute or until chocolate is soft. Stir until smooth. Whisk in remaining 1 1/4 cups sour cream. Spread white chocolate mixture over warm cheesecake. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours. Remove sides of pan. Garnish cheesecake, if desired.

Christmas with Southern Living 2008