Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake - Two ways

In October, you need two things- pumpkin pie and pumpkin cheesecake. This is a classic recipe that I first made back in high school. The chocolate crumb crust and mini chocolate chips are a sweet, satisfying combination with the pumpkin cheesecake. 

this recipe is just to serve as a warning. When I first saw it I thought it was such a great idea because it uses brown sugar. What a great way to enhance the seasonal flavors of a pumpkin cheesecake. Wrong. Apparently, brown sugar in a cheesecake is impossible to dissolve/incorporate so my cheesecake ended up gritty. The flavor was great but the texture was like eating cheesecake on the beach.

The following recipe is excellent- an adapted version of Hershey’s with no chocolate, seen in the picture below.

Pumpkin Cheesecake:

¾ cup graham cracker crumbs

½ teaspoon cinnamon

3 tablespoons melted butter

4 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1-½  cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1-1/3 cup canned pumpkin  
4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ cup heavy cream
Make the crust by combining ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs and ½ teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter until combined. Press into the bottom of a 10 inch spring form pan and place in fridge until ready to fill. 

Turn oven temperature to 400°F.
Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour and pumpkin pie spice in large bowl until just blended. Add pumpkin and eggs; beat until just blended. Beat in vanilla and heavy cream until just blended; pour batter into prepared crust. Bake 10 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 250°F; continue baking 50 minutes or until almost set. The cheesecake should appear dry but not firm. Remove from oven and cool completely. Refrigerate about 5 hours before serving. With knife, loosen cake from side of pan. Top with whipped cream.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Lemon and Honey Cupcakes

One of your sweetest and dearest friends will email you this recipe. The way they pipe the frosting makes these look irresistible. What a wonderful flavor combination they turned out to be! Next time, use a fruitier honey. Burleson’s Clover Honey or the one shaped like a bear is not fruity enough. Try to use the best honey you can find. There is no sugar in this recipe but the frosting makes up for that.

The cake is what you’ll call a “mature cupcake” because it’s not too sweet, and could use a little improvement in the texture. It was crumbly and not as moist as I would like. But the frosting was amazing and brought the cake that needed sweetness. Double the cream cheese and use 2 ½ cups powdered sugar. And even after you use a microplane to zest the lemon for your frosting, please chop the zest so that it’s even finer because it’ll get stuck in your piping tip and cause you to cuss. You’ll spread some of that leftover frosting on a vanilla oreo and will find yourself in heaven.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Pumpkin Pie

October: official pumpkin pie month. You have to wait until the air starts to get slightly chilly outside and the leaves turn yellow. Only then can the pumpkin pie craving be fully satisfied. And only pumpkin pie. None of that sweet potato stuff. Can't forget about the best way to top it. Cool whip with alittle vanilla extract stirred in is an easy cheat but this recipe is already simple so make your own sweetened whipped cream! It's much more luscious and homey.

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