Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This was wonderful! I was too impatient to let it cool before taking a bite because it smelled so good. I even ate a piece for breakfast. Oops!
For the gingersnap crust:
1/4 lb. gingersnaps (about 20 small cookies)
1/3 cup pecan halves (I omitted)
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 lb. cream cheese, at room temperature (2 8 oz. blocks in case you are as bad with conversions as I am!)
3 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree

For the topping: (I omitted the topping)
1/2 cup pecan halves
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
2 Tbs. granulated sugar

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan. To make the crust, in a food processor, combine the gingersnaps and pecans and process until crumbly. Add the brown sugar and melted butter and pulse for a few seconds to blend. Transfer the crumb mixture to the prepared pan. Use your fingers to pat the mixture into the bottom and evenly all the way up the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the brown sugar mixture, beating until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the pumpkin puree, beating until smooth. Using the rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the chilled crust and smooth the top. Bake the cheesecake until set or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
To make the topping, set aside 10 pecan halves and coarsely chop the rest. In a small fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add all of the pecans, sprinkle with the granulated sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts and the nuts are toasted and caramel coated. Transfer the nut mixture to a plate and let cool completely, then store in an airtight container. Just before serving, sprinkle the chopped pecans over the cheesecake and arrange the halves evenly around the perimeter. Serves 10 to 12.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma, Thanksgiving Entertaining, by Lou Seibert Pappas (Simon & Schuster, 2005 ). Given to me by Addie and Kelsey from my Cooking Board

Friday, September 12, 2008

Easy Kool-Aid Pie

This is perhaps the easiest dessert I have ever made. It is delicious! I have tried using the Kool-Aid Lemonade and I love it! a slice of this pie is only 2 pts. on the Weight Watcher's diet.

1 pack of Kool-Aid
1 can light sweetened condensed milk
1 small container of light Cool Whip
1 graham cracker pie crust
Mix Kool-Aid, condensed milk and Cool Whip. Pour in pie crust. Chill or freeze.
-compliments of Nick's grandmother

Use orange Kool-Aid and mix in a can of drained mandarin oranges.
-idea given by Veniceforever on my cooking board

Use Strawberry Kool-Aid and mix in frozen strawberries