The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, a bathroom remodel project was started in my house. Between the trips to hardware store after hardware store and the technology issues I’ve been experiencing, I have not had time to finish posts that I’ve been working on. So here we are just over two weeks after Thanksgiving and I am posting two posts I thought would be posted each of the Saturdays immediately following Thanksgiving. What is that Steinbeck said about the best-laid plans of mice and men?
Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday; more than even Christmas. I’ve always loved its simplicity revolving around family and friends, food and football. It is the slower paced, more relaxing holiday that lacks the commercialism of modern Christmas.
In spite of my love for Thanksgiving or actually probably because of it, in recent years I have stressed over it. I have allowed others to interfere and determine how my holiday turns out. Even during years where the holiday has turned out enjoyable, I stress because with my other half’s family things can change on a whim.
This year, I promised myself that I wasn’t going to let others ruin my favorite holiday. I told my best friend and my sisters that I had made my peace with the situation, that I was going to be at Zen with the outcome whether I enjoyed the holiday I wanted or stayed home alone cooking my turkey and favorite sides. Ultimately, I decided I was going to Thanksgiving dinner at my sister Debbie’s house and stopping by my sister Judy’s for dessert (and making my own smaller Thanksgiving later that weekend).
I decided I would bring pumpkin cheesecake to both gatherings.
I used the Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake recipe that I had saved in my recipe box on allrecipes.com with some minor changes.
All the ingredients gathered on the work surface.
I decided as opposed to making a gingersnap crust, I would make a crust that blended a traditional graham cracker crust with the recipe’s gingersnap crust. The recipe calls for 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies. I used 1 1/2 cups each of crushed gingersnap cookies and crushed graham crackers for two pie crusts
Slowly add gingersnap cookies to the food processor bowl.
Pulverize the gingersnap cookies until finely crushed.
Set aside 3/4 cup crushed gingersnap cookies in each bowl.
Add broken pieces of graham crackers to the food processor bowl; pulverizing until finely crushed.
Add 3/4 cup crushed graham crackers to the crushed gingersnap cookies in each bowl.
Crush pecans in food processor (1/2 cup for each crust).
Melt butter in microwave (1/3 cup butter for each crust).
Mix crushed pecans, melted butter, crushed gingersnaps and crushed graham crackers together in a bowl.
Since I only had one 9 inch spring form pan, I decided to make one recipe into individual cheesecakes in muffin tins.
Press crust mixture into the bottom of the spring form pan and one inch up the sides of the pan.
Drop a scoop of crust mixture into each double lined muffin tin.
Press mixture onto the bottom of each cupcake liner.
Bake crust in a 350 degree preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Cream two 8-ounce packages of cream cheese until smooth for each cheesecake. I would change this two three packages of cream cheese (even in a 9 inch spring form pan the cheesecake was not high enough).
Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1 tsp. vanilla extract to cream cheese and mix until smooth.
Mix in three eggs one at a time, blending well after each egg is added. Set aside 1 cup of the mixture. Blend 1/4 cup sugar, 1 c. pumpkin, and spices into the remaining mixture. The original recipe calls for 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg. For one cheesecake, I doubled the cinnamon and nutmeg and for the other in addition to doubling the cinnamon and nutmeg, I also added 1/2 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice. Both were delicious; I used less spice for the house with younger children.
Spread the pumpkin flavored batter into the pan with the already prepared crust.
Drop the plain batter by spoonfuls onto the top of pumpkin batter.
Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect.
Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, I use a water bath. I’ve used both methods of a water bath (placing pan lined in foil directly into water bath and placing water bath pan on the rack beneath the spring form pan). I prefer the separate pan method.
Voila, the end result of the 9-inch cheese cake.
For the second cheese cake in the cupcake tins, I filled the double lined cupcake wells with a few spoonfuls of pumpkin batter; filling about approximately two- thirds of the cupcake well.
Drop a spoon of plain cheesecake batter onto of the pumpkin batter.
Swirl batter using a toothpick.
Place in preheated oven for about 20 minutes over hot water bath.
Platter of individual cheesecakes ready to be sent to my sister Judy’s house.
Yummy, I garnished with caramel sauce and whipped cream.