Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving at home & Pumpkin Cheesecake =)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you follow me on Instagram, you know that Graham and I drove back to North Carolina with our fur kids in tow. We didn't leave until about 3:00, didn't make it to our families homes until about 5:00am. It was a long day. But our animals are cute enough to make up for it. =)

We also celebrated Hermione's first birthday. We bought her a little cake, a hat, and even adorable petit fours for her puppy friends at Canine Cafe. Ridiculously cute. And the prices were pretty good. The little cake, hat & puppy party favors was $25. And yes, I know there are better things to spend $25 on, but my sweet girl only turns one once. And since we were having dinner with some friends and the dogs were all together to play, I figured what the hell =)

But, the holidays were really nice. Everyone was on their best behavior and got along well, and we had two great meals. And I just want to stop and say how lucky we are that both of our parents are mature & realize that we have to accommodate both sides and don't fight over where we spend the holidays, or make us choose. The more I listen to people complain about their in-laws, the luckier I realize I am.

Anyways. I know the desire for all things pumpkin is pretty much over, but if you get an urge, try this cheesecake. It was absolutely delicious and was a total hit with everyone who had a piece. I really like the gradient look it has when I mixed the pumpkin heavy batter with the spiced batter.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Gingersnap Crust
  • 2 cups of gingersnap crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter (1 stick)

Cheesecake Filling
  • 4 8-ounce packages of softened cream cheese
  • 1 & 1/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of pure pumpkin puree (i.e. Libby’s)
  • 2 tablespoon of cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of nutmeg

For the crust:
  1. Wrap the bottom & sides of pan SECURELY in aluminum foil.
  2. In a small bowl toss together gingersnap crumbs and butter.
  3. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of 9-inch spring form pan. Chill in freezer while preparing filling.

For the Filling
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy.
  2. Add 1 & 1/3 cups sugar, cornstarch and vanilla. Beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just combined after each addition. Add in the cinnamon & nutmeg.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the pumpkin puree with two cups of the cheesecake batter. Set aside. 
  4. Pour the spiced cheesecake batter into the pan. Top with the pumpkin heavy batter. Swirl it together to help mix the two layers & create a gradient effect.
  5. Set cheesecake in a large roasting pan, and then pour hot water into the empty space. Once the cheesecake is in the water bath, the water should come up about one inch up the side.
  6. Bake the cheesecake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Then crack the oven a bit (a couple of inches) & cook for 15 more minutes. When finished, let cool in the oven for about 25 minutes. Take out of the oven and cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes and then transfer to the refrigerator.
  7. The cheesecake needs to refrigerate for at least 4 hours, but over night is preferable.

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