Eat your heart out, Cheesecake Factory. For those of you who don't know, cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts. Being a sweet tooth and all, I'm never very picky, but I can have preferences, can't I?
Mark's mom makes me cheesecakes for various special occasions. The most memorable was when she made THREE cheesecakes for my wedding shower. It was pretty low key, but there was so much damn food it was a little crazy. That included the pumpkin cheesecake which I remade over the weekend.
We went to Friendsgiving on Saturday, so I felt ambitious and decided to try my hand at cheesecake. Mark and I got a springform pan for our wedding, and hadn't used it yet, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. The cake was a bit more work than I was expecting, but the results were fabulous.
Maybe if you're stumped on what to bring to Thanksgiving dinner, maybe give this recipe a try. It's a great twist on the traditional pumpkin pie.
Recipe courtesy of my mother in law, Debbie
• 4 packages (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
• 1 can (15 oz) pure pumpkin
• 5 eggs
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 1/4 cup flour
• 2 teaspoons pumpkin spice
• 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
• 6 tablespoons butter, melted
• 1/3 cup sugar
Crush graham crackers until fine. Stir in sugar, and then butter, until formed. Press down into springform pan, and press edges up the pan and inch or so. Bake crust for 10 minutes at 300 degrees.
While crust is baking, assemble filling in two mixing containers. Mix together canned pumpkin, flour and pumpkin spice. Set aside. In mixing bowl, combine both sugars and cream cheese, and mix for a few minutes until smooth. Slowly add eggs, one by one, continuing to mix, and then add pumpkin mixture.
Once crust is removed from oven and cooled for at least 15 minutes, add filling to pan.
Bake for 70 to 90 minutes at 300 degrees. When finished, turn off oven and crack open oven door for another half hour. Remove cake from oven, loosen edges, and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from springform pan and voila! An amazing cheesecake that everyone is ready to devour. :)
Optional toppings include caramel, pecans, bittersweet chocolate drizzle, among others. Mark and I opted for sprinkling some almonds slices on top to keep it simple and give the cheesecake a little more texture.
And a little somebody definitely wanted in on the fun. This little guy attacks us whenever we're in the kitchen making food, particularly when it involves milk-based products. (Say, for example... cheesecake.) It can be a little annoying sometimes, but he's too adorable to get mad at for long. Here's one of Waldo's signature beg faces:
What are some of your favorite Thanksgiving/winter holiday desserts?