It was bound to happen. I jumped aboard the pumpkin train! I did manage to hold out until mid October. Things get a little crazy this time of year on food blogs with an abundance of recipes containing pumpkin and pumpkin spices. But I truly do love this time of year, and the smells and tastes associated with it. And these pumpkin cheesecakes are truly delicious. So here’s my obligatory fall pumpkin submission. Enjoy!
One of the great things about these mini cheesecakes is that they are significantly easier than making a big cheesecake. They are also easier to serve. No water bath, no wrapping your spring-form in foil so it doesn’t leak or let water in, no worried anticipation when you take the spring-form off wondering if it’s going to remain beautiful, no cracked top or slicing pieces for guests. Just mix, fill, bake, chill and enjoy. Guests serve themselves little cheesecake cupcakes, there’s less clean up and everyone is happy.
I really like the chocolate Oreo crust, but you could stick with graham crackers or use gingersnaps for some extra fall spice. Another variation would be to make these all pumpkin and add about 3/4 to 1 cup of pumpkin to the filling. Keep the spices the same.
This filling is going to make more than enough for a dozen cheesecakes by about 2 or 3, with more pumpkin than plain filling. I suggest either adding a couple extra Oreos and a tad more butter initially and baking up a few more cheesecakes OR put an entire whole Oreo in the extra baking cups and fill those with the remaining filling. Bake these after you bake the full tin and keep an eye on them, they will probably bake up a little quicker. Or you could do as this lazy woman does and just toss the extra. I’m sorry if wasting food appalls you. I typically don’t do it. But I had a crying baby on my hands and needed to finish as soon as possible!
These would make a great addition to a fall dessert table, the orange and black qualify them for Halloween and they would also be perfect for Thanksgiving. Since they have to be chilled you can make them ahead of time, up to but not more than 48 hours. After the initial chilling make sure to cover them if they will be kept more than a day in the fridge.
2 packages cream cheese, room temperature (full or low fat)
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons sour cream
2 eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Place cupcake liners in cupcake tin and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Crush Oreos (either in a food processor or in a plastic bag using a rolling pin and some muscle) to fine crumbs.
Combine Oreo crumbs with butter and mix to combine evenly.
Divide crumb mixture equally between muffin cups (about 2 rounded teaspoons per cup).
Press down firmly and bake for about 6 minutes. Make filling while these bake.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and sour cream together until fully combined. Add in eggs, vanilla and salt, then beat well. Scrape the bowl and beat for another 30 seconds or so.
Remove a little less than half (about 1 1/4 cups) of this mixture to another bowl. Add in the pumpkin and spices and mix well.
On top of each cooked crust spoon one spoonful of plain and one spoonful of pumpkin filling. Repeat with another spoonful of each, pumpkin on top of plain and plain on top of pumpkin, then swirl them together without mixing too much.
Repeat with the rest of the cups. Each cup should be almost full, but you will probably have a little more filling left over. See above for how to deal with the excess.
Reduce oven to 325°F and bake for 20 minutes, then increase oven to 350°F and bake 5 minutes more. When the centers of the cheesecakes jiggle just a bit when you shake the pan they’re done. If they seem really jiggly, bake a few minutes more. Remove from the oven, let cool for 30 minutes, then transfer entire pan to the fridge for a few hours. Serve up!
When I saw this recipe I thought that there was no possible way that this dessert could turn out poorly. Oreos, butter, heavy cream, sugar, cream cheese, and chocolate…no possible way. I was right. This thing is dang good.
In fact, the only problem I encountered in making this cheesecake is that my pan wasn’t deep enough to add the sour cream layer on top of the cheesecake, and without this layer the cheesecake had a visibly cracked top. But that issue was hidden by the chocolate ganache layer.
In the past I have been known to cut corners in the time department. I have very little patience. I don’t allow things to set up or chill completely, usually because I have not given myself enough time to complete the dessert. I gave myself plenty of time for this cheesecake, and my planning and patience paid off. The cake cut nicely and had a terrific creamy texture. So, give the cake the time is deserves to set in the oven, chill in the fridge overnight, and chill with the chocolate layer as well.
This recipe is from allrecipes.com. Here is the link to the recipe. I left out the sour cream layer completely, but other than that I did not make any changes. You will need one package of Oreos…unless you plan to snack on them along the way. I crushed them in the food processor, which is tons easier than banging them in a plastic bag that inevitably breaks and creates quite a mess.
Cheesecake alone is decadent, but this one is especially so thanks to the Oreo crust, the layer of Oreo in the middle and the lovely chocolate top. This was a hit at the Christmas party I took it to. You will not be sorry if you take the time to make this! Enjoy. (more…)
Summer is coming, and summer calls for light, refreshing summer-y desserts. These lemon blueberry cheesecake bars blend the perfect amount of sweetness, tartness, richness, creaminess and crunchiness.
You could probably use any berry with good results. I love the combination of lemon and blueberry, so these are my kind of dessert bar. They are very sturdy, so they would travel well. Bring them on your next picnic! Enjoy.
Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars
1 cup blueberries, chopped
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup old fashioned oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup butter
Cream Cheese Filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Lightly grease the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan. Set aside.
In a small saucepan combine blueberry filling ingredients; stir until corn starch is dissolved. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, combine all crumb mixture ingredients except butter; mix well. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture firmly in bottom of prepared baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl mix together the cream cheese filling ingredients with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended; pour into baked crust.
Spoon blueberry filling over cream cheese filling, lightly swirl with knife.
Sprinkle reserved crumb mixture over filling.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely, then chill. Cut into bars.
A few weeks ago I caught the end of Oprah while on the treadmill at the gym. Her guests were the contestants of the 2010 Pillsbury Bake-Off, and at the end of the show they revealed the winner of the $1,000,000 grand prize. This was the winning recipe, Mini Ice Cream Cookie Cups.
These little treats look delicious! And I know they must taste good as well. How could they not? The ingredients have no option but to create perfect sugary wonder! Sugar cookie dough made into cups, dipped in chocolate and nuts, a spoonful of fruit jam in the bottom, topped with ice cream and fresh raspberries on top. My problem with this is that it won $1,000,000 dollars. They are somewhat creative I guess, but very little of this recipe is homemade or imaginative.
Were there no better recipes than this in the contest? Seriously? Who judges this contest? A 10 year old who just LOVES ice cream sundaes? Am I being harsh?
I got on the Pillsbury website and decided to go on a mission to look at other recipes that were contenders in the 2010 Bake Off. These brownies were among the finalists, and while they do use a brownie mix, there is more to these brownies than just a dressed up mix topped with ice cream. On top of the brownie layer is spread a layer of sweet cream cheese and peanut butter goodness. To finish things off, a layer of melted chocolate is spread over the brownies and then sprinkled with toffee pieces.
Without having made the cookie cups, I can’t say for sure that these are better or more worthy of the prize, but they are very tasty. Enjoy in small portions with a glass of milk because they are rich and quite chocolate-y.
Peanut Butter Cheesecake Toffee Brownies
Courtesy of Pamela Shank
1 box (19.5 oz) Brownie Mix
½ cup Vegetable Oil
¼ cup water
1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can (14 oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk
½ cup Peanut Butter
1 bag (8 oz) toffee bits
1 cup milk chocolate chips
3 tablespoons whipping cream
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Lightly spray 13×9-inch pan with cooking spray.
2. In medium bowl, stir brownie mix, oil, water and eggs 50 strokes with spoon until smooth. Spread batter in pan; set aside.
3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese with electric mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Add milk and peanut butter; beat until smooth. Stir in 1 cup of the toffee bits. Spoon mixture over batter; spread evenly.
4. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until cheesecake layer is set and edges are light golden brown. Cool on cooling rack 30 minutes. Refrigerate 40 minutes.
5. In small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and cream uncovered on High 40 to 60 seconds or until chips are melted; stir until smooth. Spread over cheesecake layer. Sprinkle with remaining toffee bits. Cool completely, about 1 hour. For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 6 rows. Store covered in refrigerator.
This recipe is from Fine Cooking. I love Fine Cooking. The website has great recipes, but the magazine is so worth having. The articles are interesting, the recipes have never disappointed me, the photos are beautiful, and they always include fun home and kitchen finds that I end up pining after. The only complaint I have is that I only get an issue once every 2 months. Here is the link to the recipe.
Cheesecake can be so incredibly delicious. It can also be totally overdone. For example, there is a cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory that mixes together cheesecake and pieces of carrot cake, slathers the top in cream cheese icing and tops it all off with candied almonds. No, thanks Cheesecake Factory!
I like my cheesecake pure and unadulterated. Buttery graham cracker crust filled with luscious creamy filling. No chocolate, no caramel, no fake fruity sauces, just cheesecake. I don’t mind fresh berries sitting on the side of the plate with a sprig of mint, but don’t mess with my cheesecake. Keep it simple.
This cheesecake is very good. The graham cracker crust is just right, not too thick and not too thin. The filling is incredibly creamy. The sour cream and lemon add a great tangy-ness and it isn’t overly sweet. I might have under-baked it a bit. The very center of the cake was on the verge of gooey, but turned out to be OK. I blame this on the recipe, though. After the cake bakes for 45 minutes, you turn off the oven and let it sit for an hour without opening the oven. So, I didn’t have a chance to check on it! It wasn’t my fault!
Overall, very tasty cheesecake and something I will make again. Next time I will bake it for 50-55 minutes. Other than that there are no changes that I would make. Enjoy!