Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

This is a divine cheesecake!  It has just a hint of pumpkin and spice mixed into the super soft white chocolate cream cheese filling, atop the gingersnap crust and drizzled with caramel.  Oh it is heaven in your mouth!

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Crust:1 3/4 C gingersnap crumbs (about 30 small cookies)
6T real butter, melted
3 T brown sugar
3/4 C ground pecans (optional)
20 kraft caramels and 1 tbl. milk

Filling:3 8oz blocks cream cheese softened
3/4 C canned pumpkin puree
6 oz melted white chocolate (that’s about 1 C white chocolate chips)
1 C sugar
3 eggs
2 t vanilla
1/4 t nutmeg
1 1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cloves
- 1 C whipping cream, beat with 1/2 tsp vanilla and 4 Tbs powdered sugar until medium peaks form.
- 1/3 C roughly chopped pecans, either toasted or caramelized
-  jarred caramel sauce for drizzling or melt some more caramels for drizzle

Preheat oven to 350. Using 2 large pieces of heavy duty foil, securely wrap the bottom and outside of your cheesecake pan. This will prevent leaks when using the water bath.
For Crust:
Use a food processor to crush gingersnaps. Then do pecans. Combine gingersnaps, pecans, brown sugar, and butter and stir well to combine. Press into a 9″ spring form pan. Evenly spread across the bottom of pan and up the sides about 1 inch.
Melt 20 caramels with 1 tablespoon milk in microwave and spread over crust.

For Filling:
To melt chocolate, 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 smooth. 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 (or steady blobs).
Pour mixture on top of the crust.
For water bath:
Place cheesecake pan inside of a larger pan with about an inch of water, I just used a large cookie sheet and it worked fine.
Bake for 60-75 minutes or until set. The center should be just a tad bit jiggly still. It will finish cooking while 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 spread sweetened whipped cream on top, drizzle caramel sauce over it, and sprinkle with pecans.


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