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Thursday, November 13, 2014

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cookie Crust

- This delicious cheesecake recipe was born out of my dislike for pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving. I've been making it every year for about ten years now and it has become a much requested dish at the Thanksgiving dessert table.  I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as my family does!

Pumpkin Cheesecake 

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1 Cup gingersnap crumbs (about 20 small cookies)
1 Cup shortbread cookie crumbs (lorna doone)
6T real butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
1/2  C finely chopped pecans

24oz cream cheese (3- 8oz blocks)
1 Cup canned pumpkin puree
1 Cup white chocolate chips 

1 Cup sugar

3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp ginger
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves

optional topping:whipped cream, roughly chopped pecans, and caramel sauce (homemade is best.)

Preheat oven to 350. Using a couple large pieces of heavy duty foil, securely wrap the bottom and outside of your springform pan. This will prevent leaks while using the water bath.

Use a food processor to crush shortbread cookies, pecans and gingersnaps. Combine the cookie/nut mixture, brown sugar, and butter and  pulse several times to combine. Press into a 9″ spring form pan. Evenly spread across the bottom of pan and up the sides about 1 inch.

Melt the chocolate chips, place in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until smooth. Set aside.
With an electric mixer beat cream cheese and sugar until very smooth (no lumps.)  Add eggs, one at a time. Add pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.
With the mixer running, slowly add in white chocolate in a steady stream.
Pour filling mixture on top of the crust.

The Water Bath:
Place cheesecake pan inside of a larger pan. I use a roasting pan. The larger pan should be at least 2-3 inches in depth. Place in pre-heated oven. With a kettle or pitcher filled with hot water, very carefully pour water into the larger pan about halfway up the side of your cheesecake pan, or approximately 1 1/2 inches.
 Bake for 60-75 minutes or until set. The center should be just a little bit jiggly. It will finish cooking while it's cooling.
When it’s done, remove from oven and place on a rack until completely cool. Place in the fridge for at least 12 hours.  This is a very soft cheesecake so sufficient chilling is a must!

When ready to serve all it really needs is a dollop of sweetened whipped cream. 

If you want to go crazy spread with whipped cream, drizzle caramel sauce over it, and sprinkle with pecans!