Serious Eats: Recipes

Spirited Cooking: Orangecello Chocolate Cheesecake Squares

[Photo: Caroline Ford]

If you were so lucky this past holiday season, someone gave you a lovely glass bottle with a charming bow tied around its neck, filled with the vibrant hue of homemade orangecello, or Arancello, as the Italians would say. Or perhaps you were that crafty, DIY gift-giver, winning the adoration of your friends and family for doling out homemade booze. Either way, you likely made a cocktail or two with the sweet liqueur and are now pondering other destinations for that bottle in your fridge. I have a solution. Actually, if you are not one of the lucky people with orangecello already at your fingertips, I suggest scurrying down to the liquor store just so you can bake this treat.

These Orangecello Chocolate Cheesecake Squares are a decadent incarnation of those shiny, foil-wrapped chocolate orange balls. The liqueur offers just enough punch of orange to keep your taste buds on alert, without overwhelming the tangy cream cheese.

This isn't a dense cheesecake bomb; whole-milk ricotta keeps this dessert light and fluffy. Two layers of chocolate serve as bookends to the creamy filling: there's a glaze of rich, melt-in-your-mouth orange-infused dark chocolate to start and crumbly chocolate crust to finish.

About the Author: Caroline Ford is a food stylist, food writer, and recipe developer in Portland, Oregon. In this column she'll be sharing recipes that feature a wide variety of spirits and liquors (plus beer and wine.)

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