Monday, November 30, 2009

Turtle Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ok, best pumpkin cheesecake EVER! If you're looking for a good recipe, this one is GREAT. It won a prize at my work's Chili Cookoff. :)

- 1 1/2 cup thin chocolate wafer cookie crumbs(about 30 cookies)
**I used chocolate graham crackers for this, it worked and was cheaper!
-1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
-1 can(15 oz) pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie mix!)
-4 packages(8 oz) cream cheese, softened
-1 cup packed brown sugar
-2/3 cup granulated sugar
-5 eggs

-1/2 cup chopped pecans
-2 oz bittersweet baking chocolate
**I used semi-sweet chocolate chips
-caramel topping
**I just bought the one you can put over ice cream

-heat oven to 300 degrees. Wrap foil around outside of bottom and side of 9-inch springform pan to avoid drips. Spray bottom and 1 inch up side of pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press crumb mixture on bottom and 1" up side of pan. Bake crust 8-10 minutes. Cool at room temperature for 5 minutes. Refrigerate about 5 minutes or until cooled off.

-Meanwhile, in another small bowl, mix flour, pumpkin pie spice, and pumpkin; set aside. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually beat in brown sugar and granulated sugar until smooth. On low speed, beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended. Gradually beat in pumpkin mixture until smooth. Pour filling over crust.
**This makes a very tall cheesecake. I didn't end up using every last drop of the filling, because I was nervous it would overflow. I would fill the pan up to about 1/4" below the rim.

-Bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes or until edge of cheesecake is set but center still jiggles slightly when moved. Run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake. Turn oven off; open oven door at lease 4 inches. Let cheesecake remain in oven 30 minutes.
**I would really monitor how it is baking, I left mine in the oven for 1 hour 25 minutes, and it was still a little too soft in the middle. But, my oven wasn't so great.

-Cool in pan on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.

-Just before serving. sprinkle pecans over top of cheesecake. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate and oil uncovered on high 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Drizzle chocolate over pecans.
**I pour the melted chocolate in a plastic sandwich bag, and with scissors cut a tip of a corner off. Then you can be creative with the way you drizzle it. I also, before this point, took it out of it's springform pan so the chocolate would drizzle over the sides - I think it looks better that way.

-To serve, run knife around edge of pan to loosen cheesecake; carefully remove side of pan. Drizzle caramel topping over top of cheesecake.

Enjoy!! :-)

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