Monday, February 27, 2012

Maple Caramel "Beavertail" Cheesecake

Even though this recipe was meant to make you think of Winterlude, it all began at Costco. 

Last year, during a trip to Costco, I overheard a woman telling a friend about her plan to make a "Beavertail" cheesecake. Now, I'm not really the type to just walk up and start talking to strangers but I was so intrigued by this cheesecake that I had to go up and ask this woman what she was talking about. She shared the recipe with me (cream cheese and crescent roll dough) and I filed it away in my head to make sometime in the future. Fast forward to a more recent shopping trip where I came across a tub of Quebec maple caramel in the cooler at Costco. It just seemed natural to combine the maple with the Beavertail.

For those of you not from Canada, I guess I should explain what a Beavertail is. You're probably wondering what this crazy Canuck is talking about. Beavertails are flat pieces of whole wheat dough, in the shape of a beaver's tail, that are deep fried and covered in a variety of toppings. They're available all over Canada but I think the most famous locations are the shacks in Ottawa that are put out on the Rideau Canal skateway every winter. They're especially popular during Winterlude, our big winter festival. Even President Obama had one when he visited Ottawa! My favorite, and what I would assume to be the most popular, is pretty basic and covered in butter then topped with cinnamon sugar and a squeeze of lemon juice.

The Canal during Winterlude

My intent had been to make these during Winterlude but it wrapped up last weekend and I missed my window. Regardless, here is my ode to winter in Ottawa.

Winterlude Cheesecakes
cheesecake base adapted from Kraft Canada
makes 12
  • one 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 packages Pillsbury hot dog rolls or crescent rolls
  • 1 tub maple caramel
Heat the oven to 350F while you prepare the "crust".

Unroll the prepared dough and sprinkle with 1/4 cup of the sugar mixed with the cinnamon. Roll with a rolling pin or rub the mixture into the dough to get as much of the sugar to stick as you can. Place one square of dough into each well of a 12 cup muffin tin with the sugared side on facing up. 

With a stand or hand mixer soften up the cream cheese. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and a pinch of cinnamon. Mix until combined. Add the egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Divide the cream cheese mixture between the 12 cups. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes until the dough is golden and the middle is just set. 

The pre-baking addition of the caramel was a bit messy
While the cheesecakes are cooling, top each with about one teaspoon of maple caramel. Let the cheesecakes cool at room temperature and then refrigerate until you're ready to serve. 

No one else has tried these yet but I'm pretty happy with how these turned out. When I made them, I put the caramel on top before baking and it just turned into a bit of a sticky mess and I needed to add some more caramel on top after they cooled. Still delicious but I'm recommending you wait until after they're baked and top them with the caramel at the end.I think it would make them a lot easier to handle and get out of the pan.  

Is there are food you only indulge in during a certain event or time of the year like Beavertails at Winterlude?

1 comment:

  1. I didn't know what a beavertail was until I moved to Ottawa...and now there's a Queues de Castors shop going in not to far from me here in Montreal.


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