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Makes about 18 (3-inch) individual cheesecakes, or 1 (9-inch) cheesecake

2 pounds cream cheese at room temperature

1¼ cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch

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1 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla

½ cup heavy whipping cream

½ cup crystallized ginger, dusted with a pinch cornstarch (to prevent pieces from lumping at the bottom of the cheesecake)

Gingersnap Cookie Crust (recipe below)

1. In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a standing mixer, combine cream cheese and sugar until well blended, pausing occasionally to scrape down the sides. Add cornstarch and continue mixing. Mix in sour cream until mixture is thoroughly blended, continuing to pause to scrape down the sides.

2. Combine eggs and vanilla in a small mixing bowl, then add egg mixture to cream cheese mixture and beat until well incorporated. Add heavy whipping cream and continue to mix and scrape down the sides until thoroughly mixed. Add crystallized ginger, stirring to distribute evenly in batter.

3. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 275 degrees for 1½ hours. Leave cheesecake in oven, popping door open slightly, until cheesecake is completely cooled. Refrigerate.

Gingersnap Cookie Crust

¾ cup shortening

1 cup sugar

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon baking soda

1 large egg

3 cup molasses

1 to 2 teaspoons ground ginger

3 cup flour (unbleached is best)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat together shortening, sugar, salt and baking soda. Beat in the egg, then molasses. Add ginger to flour, then mix it into egg/molasses mixture.

2. Drop dough using a teaspoon cookie scoop onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for about 8 to 11 minutes.

3. Cool, then crush into cookie crumbs and form cheesecake crust in a springform pan.

— Adapted by The Spokesman-Review from Gillian Speight of Spokane Cheesecakes

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