Friday, November 18, 2011
Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake
I know that we are knee-deep in 'fall' when I pull out my recipe for this amazing cheesecake. My sweetheart's birthday is in November - and this is the 'go-to' recipe to celebrate that special day! This year it was made by Millie while we were visiting family in Utah. I made it again this week for my co-workers. I've learned something with this cheesecake - you HAVE to use REAL cream cheese - no low-fat, no fat-free! It's just not worth it to try to save a few calories on this heavenly dessert.
1 1/2 cups thin chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
(about 30 cookies)
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin
4 8 oz pkgs cream cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted*
2 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 cup caramel topping
*to toast pecans, sprinkle in ungreased heavy skillet. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently until pecans begin to brown, then stirring constantly until light brown.
1) Heat oven to 300. Wrap foil around outside of bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan to prevent drips. Spray bottom and 1 inch up side of pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press crumb mixture on bottom and 1 inch up side of pan. Bake crust 8-10 minutes or until set. Cool at room temperature 5 minutes. Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until completely cooled.
2) Meanwhile, in another small bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin; set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour filling over crust.
3) Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set but center still juggles slightly when moved. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes.
4) Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
5) Just before serving, sprinkle pecans over top of cheesecake. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and oil uncovered on high 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Drizzle chocolate over pecans.
6) To serve, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake; carefully remove side of pan. Drizzle caramel topping over each serving. Store covered in refrigerator.
High Altitude Directions > Before preheating oven, place pan of water on oven rack below rack cheesecake will be baked on. In step 3, bake 1 hour 20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes. Do not run knife around edge of pan until after cheesecake has cooled 30 minutes.
Here's a close-up of the chocolate and yummy caramel drizzled over the cheesecake.
What dessert or food do you make for special occasions?