43/52: Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wow — weekly post number 43. I can’t believe there are less than 10 weeks left in the year. Time flies! But, at least it is the best part of the year – holiday time! I look forward to this part of the year all… well, year! I enjoy spring and summer, but there is nothing like holiday baking! Fun, fun! Speaking of holiday baking, ever since I made my pumpkin cupcakes I have been craving more pumpkin goodies! We bought pumpkin spice coffee creamer at the store recently, but it didn’t subside my craving. I think the real reason why is because I’ve had my eye on this pumpkin cheesecake for weeks. Once I showed my husband the picture he agreed, we needed to try this recipe!

I am soo glad we did. It was delicious! The texture was so creamy, and the flavor reminded me of a wonderful cross between velvety cheesecake and pumpkin pie. Oh my. We only had one piece each at home, and then I packaged up a few pieces for my father and mother-in-law and the rest went to work with John. There is no way I could have the rest sitting around the house! The reviews at work and by my father-in-law were unanimous – delicious! My father-in-law even said it might be the best cheesecake he has ever had. 🙂

Unfortunately my pictures aren’t my best. We didn’t cut into the cheesecake until after dinner, which was a bad move on my part! Why? No natural light. 😦 It was already dark out. So rather than being patient and trying to find a good spot to photograph the cheesecake, I was impatient and ready to eat! Regardless, I think y’all get the point. Its delicious! Especially topped with just a little drizzle of caramel. 😉

Yumm!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 55 to 65 minutes

Ingredients:

For the crust:
2 c gingersnap cookie crumbs {about a 14-oz package of cookies}
2 T light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
6 T unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
32 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 c granulated sugar
1/2 c light brown sugar
2 cups {about a 15-oz can} canned pumpkin  {**I prefer Libbys}
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 T heavy cream
1 T vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Double-wrap the bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan with heavy-duty foil. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the springform pan. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

2. Bring a pot of water to a boil for a water bath.

3. Beat together the cream cheese and the sugars on medium speed until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, about 3 minutes. Add the pumpkin and mix on low until completely incorporated. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl between each addition. Add the heavy cream and vanilla and beat until well combined, about 1 minute. Add the cinnamon, ginger, salt, nutmeg, cloves and allspice and mix on low to incorporate.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles. Place the pan into a larger pan {a roasting pan is great for this} and pour the boiling water into the larger pan until it is about halfway up the springform pan. {**Note: I didn’t have a pan big enough for a water bath — if you don’t, get one! My perfectly baked cheesecake cracked when I took it out of the oven 😦 }

5. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, or until the edges are set, but the middle still jiggles a little. Keeping the oven door closed, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for 1 hour. After 1 hour, remove the cheesecake from the oven, carefully remove it from the water bath, remove the foil and place the cheesecake on a wire rack to cool completely, about an additional 2 hours. Once completely cool, refrigerate for at least 6 hours {preferably overnight}.

6. Cover any leftover cheesecake with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Wrapped, the cheesecake can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Source & Recipe: Brown Eyed Baker

Make me! This would be perfect for a Halloween or harvest celebration – or even for Thanksgiving. Either way, give it a try – it is so worth it!

41/52: Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

I am so excited to share my first autumn recipe with you all! I am welcoming autumn with open arms this year. I am so excited for fall flavors and colorful leaves. And my puppy’s first birthday! Yes – I’m that puppy parent… I am pretty sure you will be seeing a “birthday” post in the very near future. His birthday is October 22! Speaking of my little ball of hair, he was just oh so cute yesterday. I was photographing my cupcakes for this blog entry and my little dude was just being so cute, I couldn’t resist a mini photo shoot. He is such a good sport – he totally poses for me. 🙂

And then, once I was uploading the pictures, I couldn’t help but make a super cute collage with the photos, and then I couldn’t help setting it as my desktop.

See?! I told you. I am totally that puppy parent. Haha. On to the cupcakes!

I have been chomping at the bit to make my first fall recipe. But, life has been crazy and there hasn’t been much time for baking. The other night I didn’t really have any homework that was due the next day and my husband was craving something home-baked. My first thought?! These cupcakes. Oh my gosh. I made these last year and posted them on the blog I was working on at that time. And actually, as I think about it, this was the very first recipe I made in my Kitchenaid standup mixer. They were absolutely amazing last year and equally as amazing this year. I will *NEVER* search for another pumpkin cupcake recipe for as long as I live, that is how good this recipe is! And so simple! Love, love, love. Moist, slightly spicy and pumpkin-ey… perfection!

The only change I made was to the frosting, it was too thin and I wanted it just slightly sweeter.

Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes

Ingredients:

For the cupcakes:

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
4 large eggs

For the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3
½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Directions:

To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and salt.  Set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, blend together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and oil. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  With the mixture on low-speed, add the flour mixture in two additions, mixing just until incorporated.

Fill the cupcake liners about three-quarters full.  Bake until the cupcakes are golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.  Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let cool for 10 minutes, then remove the cupcakes from the pans and let cool completely.

To make the frosting, combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer.  Beat on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth. Frost cooled cupcakes as desired.

Source and Recipe: Annie’s Eats, originally Williams Sonoma, Frosting slightly adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

Seriously… try these. If I could figure out how to duplicate this recipe for any cupcake flavor I would do it, that is how moist and delicious these are! Plus, look at how cute they are. I love opening my fridge and seeing these cuties.