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Blood Red Marble Cheesecake Squares

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RECIPE


* Cranberry Topping
1 bag of cranberries
2 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of orange juice

Combine all ingredients in small sauce pan.
Simmer until cranberries fall apart and color is blood red (about 1 hour).
Strain to remove bitter cranberry skins.
Cool in refrigerator for at least an hour and preferably overnight.

 

*Crust
20 Oreo cookies
5 tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 350F
Combine ingredients in food processor.
Press evenly into bottom of 9 inch pan lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 8 minutes

 

*Filling
6 ounces of white chocolate
16 oz cream cheese (67g)
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp flour
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs

 

Melt white chocolate on very low simmer.
Combine cream cheese and sugar.
Mix until combined. 
Scrape down sides of bowl.
Add flour, lemon juice, vanilla. Mix until smooth.
Add eggs. Mix until smooth.
Add melted white chocolate. Stir to combine.  

Pour half the cheese mixture on top of crust.
Add a ½ cup of cranberry topping
Add the rest of cheese mixture.
Top with cranberry spotting. 
Use a skewer or thin knife to marble the top. 
Bake at 350 for 35 minutes.

Cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Cut into squares to serve.

 

Optional: While the cake is still warm, lightly sprinkle the top with red sanding sugar (sometimes called decorating sugar). This creates an extra sparkly/glittery sheen.


******

When I was a boy, my friends and I thought period blood was really gross. We giggled at the mention of maxi-pads. We chased each other around the locker-room with tampons—running, ducking, and hiding, as if one touch from a pre-packaged, unused, feminine product would be a toxic contaminant to our true masculine essences. It was blatant sexism. 
 

In reality, we knew nothing about menstruation. It was foreign, mysterious, and terrifying. 
The girls’ attitudes didn’t help to clear things up. They were always trying to be covert about their periods. Speaking in euphemisms. Whispering on the way to the ladies room. Patriarchal culture tells young women they should be embarrassed about their natural cycle. So, girls learn to hide it. They’re socialized to believe their bodies are repulsive for a few days each month. 

Television and print advertising routinely suggests that menstruation is a problem to be solved, an inconvenience to be dealt with quietly. Tampon packaging is hyperbolically discreet, implying that the products help to conceal an unmentionable secret. Think about the messages girls are receiving about their normal bodily functions. What do they learn about female reproductive anatomy? That it’s unacceptable. That there’s something inherently wrong with being a healthy woman. 
 

Obviously, it’s not okay. That’s why I developed this recipe. It’s designed to be a small subversive affront to misogynist hetero-patriarchy. 
 

Sure, cheesecake squares are objectively delicious. You can enjoy them any time you want. But I created Blood Red Marble Cheesecake Squares for only one reason: to normalize menstruation. Therefore, they’re best when served for dessert at a young woman’s Period Moon Party. 
 

A woman’s first menstrual cycle is technically called menarche, from the Greek men/μήν (month) and arkhe/ἀρχή (beginning). It’s a moment of pubescent transformation that should be celebrated. It should be a ritualized initiation into adulthood. But so many of my friends have told me stories about being lonely and confused the first time. They hid in the bathroom. They talked about it in hushed voices with their mothers or older sisters. It certainly wasn’t a normal family milestone. But it should’ve been. 
 

Feminist dads recognize that we live in a culture where dick jokes are always on TV, but most people are still too embarrassed to talk about menstruation. So, be a better father figure. Bake these cheesecake squares. Throw your daughter a party. 
 

You’ll find that abandoning the misogynistic status quo is delicious. 

Subscribe to the
Father Figure Cooking Show
with Jordan Shapiro

This episode is inspired by Naama Bloom and her epic Hello Flo: First Moon Party. 

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CREDITS

Co-Producer: Amanda Steinberg https://www.higheru.comVideo editor:  
Nick Bantas https://www.upwork.com/fl/nickbantas
Music: Funk Cooking Music by MOKKA [No Copyright Music] / Old Jeans: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-fB3duIZwA
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