Make your New Year's Eve party food festive and fun. Serve a savory Parmesan Artichoke Cheesecake Countdown Clock and Mini Time's Square Cheese Balls along with sweet Chocolate Pretzel Dip.
After baking and decorating lots of desserts for Christmas, I was ready to make a few savory dishes for New Year's and was excited when our friends invited us to their party and asked me to bring some fun New Year's Eve appetizers.
My friend specifically asked me to make a savory cheesecake. She had attempted to make one last year for the holidays, but it didn't turn out too good. It was dry and lacking in flavor.
So, I set out to develop a recipe to make a delicious savory cheesecake.
I started with my favorite cheesecake recipe as a base, eliminated the sugar, and combined it with my favorite Parmesan Artichoke dip recipe. I baked the savory cheesecake on a crispy Town House Sea Salt Pretzel Thin crust.
It was an absolutely perfect marriage of flavors. The Parmesan cheese is pronounced with hints of marinated artichokes throughout.
I kept the cheesecake thin so with each bite you'd get a nice crunch to go along with the rich creamy filling.
To make the cheesecake festive, I decorated it to look like a clock that's about to strike midnight.
I've used this countdown clock idea several times for New Year's to make a Skillet Pizza Dip Countdown Clock, Fried Won Ton Clocks, and even a sweet No-Bake Cheesecake Countdown Clock.
Making a clock face on a dessert or appetizer for New Year's Eve is super easy yet looks really impressive.
You can grab the printable recipe and see the step-by-step instructions to make the savory cheesecake at the bottom of the post. But, let's make a few quick and easy snacks first.
Mini Time's Square Cheese Balls
- To make these mini cheese balls, mix together:
- 4 ounces cream cheese
- 4 ounces garlic and herb Boursin cheese
- ¼ cup Parmesan cheese
- 4 ounces Italian blend shredded cheese.
- Scoop out a tablespoon of the cheese mixture, wrap it around a black stir stick and sprinkle on cracker crumbs.
- I crushed 10 Town House Sea Salt and Olive Oil Flatbread crisps to make my cracker crumbs.
To serve the cheese balls, I filled a silver box with Styrofoam covered with silver shreds and arranged the sticks at different heights.
Chocolate Pretzel Dip
Being my friend and I both love the combination of sweet and salty, I couldn't resist making some chocolate ganache to be served with some Town House Pretzel Thins for dipping.
- To make the chocolate ganache, heat ½ cup heavy whipping cream in a small saucepan set over medium heat until small bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan.
- Pour over a bowl filled with 6 ounces of very finely chopped chocolate.
- Let the bowl rest for a few minutes, then stir until melted and smooth.
- Pour the warm sauce into a martini glass and serve with Town House Sea Salt Pretzel Thins or pretzel twists.
Parmesan Artichoke Cheesecake Countdown Clock
Town House Sea Salt Pretzel Thins - These crispy pretzel-flavored crackers made a fantastic crust that tasted great and had a nice crunchy texture, but you can use any crackers you like.
butter - Use unsalted butter to blend with the crackers to make a savory crust.
Parmesan cheese - Being the Parmesan flavor is very pronounced in this cheesecake I highly recommend using Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese. You'll use some freshly grated cheese in both the crust and the cheesecake filling.
cream cheese - Use full-fat cream cheese for the best flavor. Be sure it's at room temperature before making the recipe. I set it out on the counter for at least two hours and up to 8 hours.
sour cream - Adds a nice tang to the cheesecake filling. Make sure it is not cold when you mix it into the cream cheese. I'd set it out on your counter about an hour before making the cheesecake.
roasted garlic cloves - Roasted garlic gives this cheesecake a nice garlic flavor without the harsh bite of garlic.
- To roast cloves of garlic, drizzle a little olive oil over the cloves and wrap a bunch in tin foil, then bake it in a 325-degree oven for 45-60 minutes until the cloves are golden brown.
egg and egg yolk - The egg should also be at room temperature, so set it on your counter at the same time you put the cream cheese out.
salt - Regular table salt will work fine to make this cheesecake taste savory.
marinated artichokes - You want the flavor of the marinated artichokes, so don't use cans of artichokes that are packed in water. Be sure to drain the artichokes well, but do not rinse off the marinade.
pepper - I tend to skip pepper because I don't like it, but if you do, be sure to add a pinch to the cheesecake filling.
8 inch round springform pan
non-stick baking spray
9-inch x 13-inch baking pan
black food coloring
coupler and #3 and #6 pastry tips
step 1 - prep your oven and pan
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray your springform pan with non-stick spray.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil.
step 2 - make the pretzel crust
- Pour the Town House Pretzel Thins in the bowl of a food processor.
- Pulse to fine crumbs.
- Add Parmesan Cheese and melted butter and pulse until it resembles wet sand.
- Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust starts to brown around the edge of the pan.
step 3 - make the savory cheesecake filling
- Cut two ounces of cream cheese off one block and reserve for later.
- Clean food processor bowl, and place remaining cream cheese inside.
- Pulse just until creamy and smooth.
- Add the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, egg, egg yolk, and salt.
- Pulse until well combined.
- Add artichokes, and pulse until chunky.
- Add more salt and pepper to taste.
step 4 - pour on filling then bake in a water bath
- Pour cheesecake filling over crust and spread into an even layer.
- Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in tin foil.
- Set in the 9x13 baking pan, set it in the hot oven, pour hot water into the baking pan, being careful to not spill any into the cheesecake.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Turn off the oven, open the oven door, and allow cheesecake to remain in the oven for 30 more minutes.
- Remove the cheesecake from the water bath and allow it to cool at room temperature for an hour.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to several days before decorating.
step 5 - decorate the countdown clock cheesecake
- Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and set it on a serving platter.
- Stir black food coloring into the reserved 2 ounces of cream cheese and put it in a pastry bag fitted with a #3 pastry tip.
- Pipe on "1" through "12" onto the round cheesecake in a clock sequence.
- Change the tips and put the #6 tip on the pastry bag.
- Pipe on the hands of the clock.
- Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
You can make this cheesecake ahead, and freeze it for up to 3 months. Just be sure to thaw it, then decorate it before your party.
Items used to make this project that are available on Amazon.com (commission earned for sales)
This savory cheesecake is filled with Parmesan Cheese and marinated artichokes. It's made on a crispy pretzel crust and is decorated to look like a countdown clock for a New Year's Eve party.
- 40 Town House Sea Salt Pretzel Thins
- ¼ cup butter
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmiggiano-Regiano Cheese)
- 16 ounces (2 blocks) cream cheese, softened and divided
- ½ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 6 cloves roasted garlic minced
- 1 whole egg (room temperature)
- 1 egg yolk (room temperature)
- ½ teaspoon salt, plus more, to taste
- 2 jars marinated artichokes (use two 12 ounce jars)
- pepper, to taste
- black food coloring
Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spray the springform pan with non-stick spray.
Bring a pot of water to a boil.
Pour the Town House Pretzel Thins in the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse to fine crumbs.
Add Parmesan Cheese and butter and pulse until it resembles wet sand.
Press crumb mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until the crust starts to brown around the edge of the pan.
Reserve 2 ounces of cream cheese for the decoration.
Place the remaining 14 ounces of cream cheese inside a clean food processor bowl.
Pulse just until creamy and smooth.
Add the sour cream, Parmesan cheese, roasted garlic, egg, egg yolk, and salt.
Pulse just until combined.
Add the artichokes, and pulse until chunky.
Add more salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the cheesecake filling over the crust and spread it into an even layer.
Wrap the bottom of the springform pan in tin foil.
Set the springform pan in the 9x13 baking pan, set it in the hot oven, pour hot water into the baking pan, being careful to not spill any into the cheesecake.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Turn off your oven, then open the oven door, and allow cheesecake to remain in the oven for 30 more minutes.
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and the water bath and set it on a cooling rack. Allow it to cool at room temperature for an hour. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to several days.
Remove from springform pan and set on a serving platter.
Stir black food coloring into the reserved 2 ounces of cream cheese and put it in a pastry bag fitted with a #3 pastry tip.
Pipe #1 through #12 onto the cheesecake forming a clock.
Change the tips and put the #6 tip on the pastry bag.
Pipe on the hands of the clock.
Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
- Serve the cheesecake on its own or with more crackers.
- You can make this cheesecake ahead and freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator, then decorate it before serving.
This New Year's Eve recipe was originally published on December 27, 2014.
More New Year's Eve Party Food
from Hungry Happenings
Fried Cheese Filled Won Ton Clocks
New Year Mediterranean Pinwheels
Black and White Cheesecake Clock
See all of my New Year's Eve Party food ideas, here.
- Mini Basketball Cheeseburgers - February 15, 2023
- Snowman Popcorn Bucket - December 24, 2022
- Peanut Butter Popcorn - December 20, 2022
Why is ground beef and taco seasoning listed in the ingredients for the savory cheesecake?
Oh, goodness. I switched my recipe cards and have been trying to make sure all the recipes transferred correctly but this one did not. Thanks for alerting me to this. I have it fixed now.
I'm learning to count on you for the most creative ideas! I love the flavor combination AND the clock! Happy New Year!
That is so nice to hear! I'm glad you are enjoying my recipes and ideas.
Festive and fancy! I love it! What a fun way to ring in the New Year! #client
Thanks, Samantha. Everyone really enjoyed these appetizers!
Delicious cheesecake. Beautiful idea. Merry Christmas! 🙂
Thanks, Ани, I am so excited to serve it on New Year's Eve. Merry Christmas to you too!
Tania@ MyKitchen Stories
What great festive cute ideas. You do think of the best things.
Labrando un Hogar
I love every detail..!
Thank you, Labrando:)
Your friend knew you were the right person to create something festive for New Years. I have those same plates and grab various shapes of them whenever I find them - they're so cool.
Countdown cheeseballs - a question. Were your cheeseballs just naturally cooperative about not sliding down on the stir sticks? I haven't made them but guess in hot, humid Fla. we automatically wonder about things like that. Guests will be devouring these so quick, though, they'll never make it to midnight!
Townhouse pretzel thins - like them also but never thought of breaking them into small pieces & using on a salad - good idea, especially for those who don't like rock hard croutons.
Your friend will be VERY happy when you waltz in with these New Years goodies.
Tavette - S. Fla.
I shared my pictures with my friend, and she is excited to have my appetizers at her party.
I keep it pretty cold in my house (68 degrees F) so that's probably why I had no trouble with the cheese balls sliding. Pop them in the refrigerator for a few hours and they should firm up. You could also put them in the freezer. They should thaw pretty quickly in a warm room being they are so small.
I don't like rock hard croutons in my salad either. The pretzel thins add the perfect crunch and a great flavor with my ranch dressing.
Happy New Year, Tavette!