For the cheesecake:
- 2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- Yellow and red food coloring
- Cooking spray, for the pan
- 1/2 cup sour cream
For the chips:
- 1 roll refrigerated pie dough
- All-purpose flour, for dusting
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 tablespoons sugar
For the salsa and garnishes:
- 8 red Swedish Fish (I used red licorice, cut diagonally)
- 1 cup low-sugar strawberry jam
- 3 strands green licorice twists (I used green gummy bears, diced)
- 6 black licorice dots (I couldn’t find dots so I cut black licorice to look like sliced olives)
- 3 tablespoons sour cream
- Yellow and red food coloring (To make the orange color I used 10 drops of yellow and 2 drops of red)
- 3 tablespoons chocolate-covered raisins
Make the cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese with a mixer until smooth. Add 2/3 cup sugar, the lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla; beat well. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Tint the batter orange with yellow and red food coloring.
Spray a 9-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Pour in the batter; bake at 350 degrees F until puffed and almost set, 25 to 30 minutes. Mix the sour cream and the remaining 1/4 cup sugar; spread over the hot cheesecake and bake 5 more minutes. Let cool, then chill 2 hours.
Make the chips: Unroll the pie dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out to flatten slightly. Brush the dough with the milk and sprinkle with the sugar. Cut the dough into 2 1/2-inch-wide strips.
Cut each strip into as many 2 1/2-inch triangles as possible. Place the triangles about 1 inch apart on 2 parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake in batches at 450 degrees F until lightly golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack and cool completely.
Make the salsa and garnishes: Cut the Swedish Fish into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with 2 tablespoons strawberry jam. For the chiles, cut the green licorice on the diagonal into 1/8-inch-thick slices.
For the olives, cut the black licorice dots into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Use a straw or pastry tip to remove a circle from the center of each round.
Tint the sour cream orange with yellow and red food coloring to look like melted cheese. Spoon the orange sour cream into a resealable plastic bag. Press out the excess air and seal.
Press the pie chips into the cheesecake. Add the black licorice, chocolate-covered raisins and some green licorice and jam-coated Swedish Fish.
Snip a small corner from the bag of orange sour cream and pipe a few dots on the cheesecake for the melted cheese. Serve with extra chips on the side, and make extra salsa by mixing leftover candies and jam.
*Please note: this is the exact recipe from foodnetwork.com. The bolded comments in this recipe is what I did different.