- Prepare Speculoos dough and place in refrigerator.
- Lightly oil 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan. Press plastic food wrap onto bottom and sides of pan and set aside.
- In a cold bowl whisk heavy cream to soft, mousse-like consistency. It is very important not to whip until it forms a peak. Set aside in refrigerator.
- In a small bowl combine gelatin with 5 tablespoons water and set aside.
- Select a saucepan and bowl which fit well together and where bowl does not hang over saucepan. Fill saucepan with one inch of water and bring to boil, turn to a low simmer. In a bowl whisk together egg yolks and water. Add sugar and whisk well. Place the bowl over simmering water and whisk constantly until yolk mixture reaches 165°F. Remove from heat as at this temperature egg yolks are safe to eat.
- Add gelatin mixture and whisk until dissolved.
- Add cream cheese and vanilla extract and whisk smooth and until all lumps are gone.
- Add soft whipped heavy cream and gently fold into above using a spatula.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan and place in refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Meanwhile roll Speculoos cookie dough as described in recipe. Cut star shapes and bake as described. Allow to cool.
- Using the same star cookie cutters, cut cheesecake to obtain as many stars as possible.
- Place cheesecake onto prebaked star cookies and stack into a tree form.
- Decorate with candies and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
IMPERIAL SUGAR INSIGHT
NOTE: To create the tree, choose star-shaped cookie cutters that scale down in size. We used 6 different sized cookie cutters. You can stack as many as 8 or as few as 4, depending on the size of cutter.
This recipe also works well with round, flower or hexagon shaped cookie cutters.