Good Eats!

Pumpkin Cheesecake & Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

With the help of Facebook, I’ve been able to reconnect with some of my friends from high school.  I’m about an hour away from my high school and several of these chicks are somewhat local as well.  We try to get together for lunch every few months just to catch up – those lunches usually end up lasting about three hours!  The other day, when discussing plans for the upcoming holiday meals, someone mentioned they wanted to try a pecan cheesecake recipe.  I have a fabulous caramel pecan cheesecake that I apparently never posted, so here it is – along with a new pumpkin cheesecake I tried for National Pumpkin Cheesecake day last month for work.  I love, love, love cheesecake and I’m always looking for new toppings and flavors and these are two of my favorites, especially in the fall/winter.  They’ve both been big hits at family dinners and potlucks.  Enjoy!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
Cheesecake:
  • 3 (8 ounce) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 1 and 1/2 cups pumpkin
  • 3 and 1/2 T all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ginger
  • 4 eggs, room temperature

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together. Pour melted butter over the crumbs and stir until moistened. Press the mixture in the bottom of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 8-9 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 325 F. In a large bowl, beat together the cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin, flour, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Break the eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Add the eggs to the cream cheese mixture and stir just until well combined. Don’t over beat the mixture, or the cheesecake may crack. Pour on top of the graham cracker crust.

Bake at 325 F for 1 hour. At the end of the hr, turn off the oven and leave the oven door shut for another hour and a half before opening the oven door. The long cooling period, will help minimize cracks. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool completely.

Source:  Chocolate with Grace

Caramel Pecan Cheesecake

Crust:

  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 3 Tbsp melted butter

Filling:

  • 20 caramels
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 16 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs

Crust:
Mix crumbs, sugar & butter; press into the bottom of a springform pan. Bake at 325 for ten minutes.

Filling:
Microwave caramels and milk in a small bowl on high for about two minutes or until smooth. Stir at least every minute. Mix in pecans and pour into crust. Refrigerate for about 10 minutes.

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium until well blended. Add eggs; mix until blended. Pour over caramel mixture.

Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate three hours or overnight. Garnish with pecan halves and drizzled melted caramels.

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