Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake

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Week of Thanksgiving Favorites!

Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays, as it’s all about family and – hello – food! I look forward to the feast all year long and wanted to share some of my favorite turkey day recipes with you this week.

Some are dishes that my family and I have been eating for 25+ years, while others are new recipes I just know you’ll love and want to incorporate into your menu this year.

I’ll be posting them over the next 5 days, and tonight I’m kicking things off with what is arguably the most important part of any Thanksgiving meal – dessert!

Pumpkin Pie is usually the dessert du jour on the big day, but this year I’m spicing things up with a gingery, thick and luscious Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake.

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I tasted this cheesecake at the Dole Healthy Bloggers Summit, and begged them for the recipe to include on my Thanksgiving menu this year. Creamy and pumpkin flavored to boot – it is incredible!

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It’s surprisingly simple to make too, and can be made a day or two in advance which is great for the hectic holiday. Start by processing gingersnap cookies into fine crumbs. You’ll need a cup and a half to form the gingery, spicy crust.

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Whir in a little butter, then press the mixture into the bottom of a non-stick sprayed spring form pan, which is basically a cake pan with removable sides.

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If you don’t have one of these babies, a pie plate might work. I think they’re fairly inexpensive though, and who doesn’t like to be able to say they own a spring form pan? Very chi-chi! ;)

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The bottom of a glass works great to get the crumbs into a nice, even layer.

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Next mix up the sweet, creamy, classic cheesecake batter with a pumpkin twist.

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Pour it into the pan and bake low and slow for one and a half hours. Resist the urge to peek inside the oven, mmkay? Droopy cheesecakes will just not do at Thanksgiving!

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Now, if you are a master baker your cheesecake probably won’t crack around the sides, but if you are not they probably will. But that is ok because nobody will be thinking about your cheesecake cracks after they take their first bite…

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Especially if it’s topped with whipped cream and gingersnap crumbles!

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Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake

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From the California Health & Longevity Institute

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups gingersnap crumbs
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
3-8oz packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese, room temperature
1-3/4 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 cup egg substitute
Cool whip, extra gingersnaps

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine gingersnap crumbs and melted butter in a food processor. Press the mixture into the bottom of a non-stick sprayed 9″ spring form pan.
  2. In an electric mixer or food processor, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add pumpkin, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and cloves, and beat until thoroughly combined. Slowly stream in egg substitute while the mixer is running.
  3. Pour mixture over the prepared crust and smooth the top.
  4. Place a casserole dish full of water on the bottom rack of the oven. Place the cheesecake on the center rack and bake for 1-1/2 hours or until center is set. Cool for one hour then place into the fridge for at least 4 hours.
  5. Before slicing, run a sharp knife around the edges of the pan, then remove the side from the base. Top with cool whip and crumbled gingersnap cookies.

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This cheesecake is like velvet. Dreamy, decadent and indulgent. So special and worthy of the holiday feast!

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Each bite melts in your mouth, and totally takes the (cheese)cake for star of Thanksgiving dinner. I really hope you’ll give this a try!

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In other news…

I was a woman about town this weekend! :)

Ben and I dragged our butts off the couch and out of the house Friday night (like, seriously shamed ourselves into doing something. It’s so difficult to get motivated when it gets dark so early!) for low-key dinner and drinks.

Saturday we got up early to hit a couple stores in search of the perfect quartz color. She likes rich, buttery shades like Palermo and Calabria, while he prefers dark, muddy tones like Devon and Edinburough. Both think each others’ choices look like a shade of cat fur.

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A trip to the North Pole Homemakers afterwards, to help my Mom pick out a new entertainment center, nearly made my eyeballs pop out of my head. The Christmas decorations and music playing throughout the store had me checking my phone to make sure it was really (only!) November 12th?!

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Finally, an impromptu shopping sesh at Found Things rounded out the afternoon. Found Things is an incredible antique/architectural/one of a kind finds store in the East Village. Think the best of garage sales, your Grandparent’s basement, architectural salvage yards and estate sales, all in one place. I could wander around the shop for hours.

Yesterday I found this massive, old, wooden, grate-type thing that I am obsessed with hanging above my fireplace. I have no idea what it is, but I’m enamored. Too bad it’s $120…blerg!

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Better start savin’! ;)

Have a great night!

~~~~~

What do you usually have for dessert on Thanksgiving?

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