Tuesday, November 29, 2011

First Post + Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

My first blog post!  I'm excited to finally be starting (and hopefully maintaining) a blog of my own.  Thanksgiving has come and gone already!  I can hardly believe how fast the past few months have been flying by.  This year has been amazing, and I have so many things to be thankful for (which I'll save for my next post).

For Thanksgiving, I baked a pumpkin cheesecake from a recipe I found on The Girl Who Ate Everything (a great recipe blog!).  The cheesecake was well-liked by everyone, with the exception of my husband, who is crazy and doesn't like pumpkin.  The recipe is very simple and you don't need special baking pans or anything, so don't be intimidated just because it's a cheesecake!

I used fresh pumpkin puree the first time I baked this and I hate to say it, but it came out much better the second time, when I made it with canned pumpkin.  It was much more firm, unlike the fresh pumpkin version that came out mushy and watery, even though it was cooked an additional 20 minutes.

So, let's get started!

Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 (8 oz.) packages of cream cheese (softened)
  • 9 inch graham cracker crust
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp.vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin 

Now to get it ready for the oven:

Separated batters.
  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla.  Make sure to combine well before moving on to the next step.
  • Add your eggs, one at a time, blending well after each one.
  • Use a measuring cup, remove one cup of the batter, and spread it gently onto the graham cracker crust.
  • Going back to the mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon.  Mix well.
  • Gently pour the new pumpkin batter on top of the "plain cheesecake" batter already in the crust.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes.  The center should be almost set (not jiggly).
  • Let the cheesecake cool completely before covering it up to put in the fridge to chill overnight.
Baking in the oven!  Like my festive dish towels?  :)

I noticed a lot of recipes called for whipped cream to be added when it's served, but I skipped it and thought it was just as good.  Cool whip might have even been too much, since the cheesecake is fairly rich by itself.  Slice and serve for a perfect autumn treat!