Part of Kari’s (right) holiday tradition is an appetizer feast with the whole family, including her sister Kelly (middle) and sister-in-law Kara (left).

"Every Christmas Eve," says Kari Wilson of Springfield, Missouri, "my husband Jay and I host a dinner with all of the trimmings for both his parents and mine--and anyone else who can make it."

Dinner is traditional with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and wild rice (a nod to her childhood in Minnesota) and cheesecake for dessert. "My mother-in-law Penny got me interested in making cheesecakes," she says. Kari’s scrumptious German Chocolate Cheesecake has all the richness deserving of a holiday dessert, but because it calls for a basic 9x13 pan, it is fairly simple to prepare.

After the big holiday feast, Kari gets back to cooking cozy meals for Jay and their three sons. "In the winter we like to spend time together inside by the fire watching movies."

German Chocolate Cheesecake

This recipe from Kari is rich, decadent and easy. What more could you want (well, low-cal would be nice)?

  • 1½ Cups graham cracker crumbs
  • ½ Cup chopped pecans
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • ⅓ Cup melted butter
  • 3 8 oz. pkgs. cream cheese (lighter Neufchâtel cheese works well)
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 4 oz. pkgs. sweet baking chocolate, melted
  • 3 eggs
    Coconut Pecan Topping:
  • 1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ⅓ Cup butter
  • 2 Cups flaked coconut
  • 1⅓ Cups chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350°. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, pecans, sugar and melted butter. Press into the bottom of an ungreased 9x13 pan. In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Gradually beat in the sweetened condensed milk until smooth. Add the chocolate, eggs and VANILLA and mix well. Pour over the crust. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes until the center is set and doesn’t jiggle. Let cool and then top with the Coconut Pecan Topping. To make the topping, combine the sweetened condensed milk and egg yolks in a heavy saucepan. Mix well and add the butter. Heat over medium-low until thick and bubbly, 8-10 minutes. Add the coconut, pecans and VANILLA and mix well. Let cool before topping the cheesecake. Chill for at least 6 hours before serving.

Prep. time: 30 minutes
Baking time: 40-50 minutes
Serves: 18-24

Nutritional Information: Servings 24;
Serving Size 1 piece (110g); Calories 420; Calories from fat 260; Total fat 28g; Cholesterol 110mg; Sodium 240mg; Carbohydrate 37g; Dietary Fiber 2g.

German Chocolate Cheesecake

Order the Spices for this Recipe:

Description Price Quantity
Single Strength Vanilla 4 oz. Bottle $13.99