Citrus-White Chocolate-Cranberry Cheesecake… In a Jar!

Two things that I own in embarrassingly large quantities:
1. cookbooks
2. canning jars of all shapes and sizes
3. flour (wait, that’s for another post)
4. LL Bean boat & tote bags (ok, this is getting ridiculous.)

And though I’m a ruthless clutter-killer in many ways, there are moments when my hoarding tendencies coincide in the perfect Venn diagram of interest and usefulness. I’ve had Shaina Olmanson’s cookbook, Desserts in Jars: 50 Sweet Treats that Shine, on my bookshelf since July. But it took me until last week, prompted by a big old basement project that forced me to relocate alllllll my canning supplies and jars from their cluttered sublevel shelving, to finally try a recipe from the 50 irresistible recipes featured and photographed in the book.

desserts in jars
Though you may want to judge Desserts in Jars by its cover—adorably spiral-bound so it lays flat while you’re flipping through and messing it up with chocolate, butter, and flour—the breadth of the recipes inside will redefine what you can serve in a jar. From pains au chocolate and pull-apart cinnamon bread to mini peach bourbon pies, panna cotta, and even ice cream cakes, Shaina covers the full spectrum of desserts with explanatory instructions appreciated by both novice and experienced bakers.

buddhas hand
Oh, and there’s cheesecake in a jar. The original recipe pairs orange zest with white chocolate in the cheesecake layer, but I happened to snag a Buddha’s Hand on my last trip to the market and wanted to take advantage of its intensely fragrant flavor. The Buddha’s Hand is a curious citrus fruit, composed only of zest and white pith, but with none of the typical bitterness that comes with a citrus rind. Because there’s no juice inside the creepy-cool fruit, cooks often chop or zest the fruit for infused liquor, salads and vinaigrettes, and desserts.

Really, any citrus will work splendidly here, mixing it up with the tart, jewel-toned fresh cranberry sauce topping the creamy cheesecake and brown sugared graham crust. (When made with crushed homemade graham crackers, the crust layer takes on a whole new dimension—but you’ll have to wait for my cookbook for that recipe.)

cranberry white chocolate cheesecake
In addition to the usual suspects of Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and local independent bookstores, I’m super envious that Desserts in Jars is also on shelves in my home away from home, Target (seriously, I was at Target three times this week. Is there a 12-step program for Bullseye co-dependence?)

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  1. says

    I just love Shaina’s book! I haven’t tried this recipe yet (too distracted by the flourless chocolate cake, ha!) but it’s definitely on my list!