12 vanilla sandwich cookies, broken into pieces (i.e. Vienna fingers)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
1/2 cup whipping cream
3 ( 8 ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs
1 ( 12 ounce) bag fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup frozen cranberry juice cocktail, thawed
1/4 cup water
Crust: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Wrap outside of 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4 inch high sides with foil. Blend cookies, butter and sugar in processor until crumbs stick together. Press crumbs on bottom and halfway up side of prepared pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside.
Filling: Using tip of small sharp knife, scrape seed from vanilla beans into small saucepan; add beans. Add cream. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Set aside uncovered, and cool to room temperature. Discard beans. Blend cheese, sugar and slat in processor until very smooth, stopping often to scrape down sides of work bowl. Add vanilla cream mixture, blend. Add eggs; process 5 seconds. Transfer filling to crust. Bake cake until sides puff slightly and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Place uncovered hot cheesecake directly into refrigerator and chill 6 hours or overnight.
Topping: Stir all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil 3 minutes. Press mixture through sieve over large bowl. Spoon warm topping over cold cake. Spread evenly. Cool until topping is set, at least 2 hours.