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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Pumpkin Biscoff Cheesecake

It's that time of year where anything pumpkin sounds wonderful to bake.  I always make pumpkin cheesecakes for Thanksgiving.  This year I wanted to experiment with a little Biscoff on the top.  The combination was heavenly!  If you have never had Biscoff you should rush right out and get some!  They sell it at my local Martin's supermarket.  If you live near a Trader Joe's they have their version of Biscoff called Cookie Butter.
Recipe adapted from America's Test Kitchen
1 1/2 Cups crushed graham crackers (can use gingersnap cookies, shortbread cookies or any variety)
1/4 Cup pecans (optional)
5 Tbsp melted butter
3 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
4 8-ounce packages of cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/3 Cups sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 Tbsp vanilla
1 Tbsp juice from a lemon
4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup Biscoff or cookie butter
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp (or more if desired) sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
For ingredients to incorporate smoothly, it is important that the cream cheese and eggs are room temperature.  I usually set them out on the counter first thing in the morning. 
Preheat oven to 325 degrees....slow and low for no cracks!
Pulse cookies or graham crackers in food processor along with pecans.  Add melted butter, spices, and sugar and pulse a few additional times.
Arrange two pieces of foil in a cross pattern as seen in this picture.  Spray a 9" Springform pan with cooking spray and then wrap the foil up the edges of the pan.

Pour crumbs into the bottom of the greased pan and bake at 325 for 14 minutes.  It will make your kitchen smell delish!

While the crust is baking prepare the filling.  Beat the cream cheese (which should be pretty soft by now) until smooth.  It is important to scrape down the sides every so often.  Add the sugar, spices, and salt.


 Mix in the pumpkin puree.  Scrape down the bowl and then add the vanilla and lemon juice.  Add eggs one at a time then scrape down the bowl again.  Finally mix in the 1/2 cup heavy cream.  Don't over mix because this can cause the cheesecake to crack.
Making the cheesecake in a water bath is simple and will about guarantee your cheesecake will be crack-free.  I set my springform pan into a large casserole pan.  Pour the batter gently over the crust.  It is o.k. if the crust is still warm.  The batter will almost come to the top of the pan.  Add hot tap water carefully to the pan.  The water should reach about half way up the springform pan. 
Bake at 325 for about 60-70 minutes.  Every oven is different.  Bake them until there is just a little jiggle left in the middle.  The cheesecake will continue to bake as it comes to a cool in the oven so don't over bake.  When there is just a small jiggle left, turn the oven off and open the door just a crack.  I let mine sit in the oven for at least an hour or two.  Then remove from the water bath.  Remove the foil.  You may notice some melted butter or some water that entered the foil.  It won't be a problem.
After the cheesecake has completely cooled, place in the refrigerator overnight.  The next day, melt 1/2 cup of the Biscoff in the microwave for approximately 30 seconds.  It doesn't take long.  Pour over cheesecake and tilt the pan to coat evenly.  Place  cheesecake in the freezer to help remove from the pan.
Let the cheesecake sit in the freezer for at least one hour.  To remove the outer ring, run a small knife around the edge and then release spring.  Run a large knife along the bottom to release from the bottom of the pan.
Chill the beaters and a glass measuring container in the fridge for about 15 minutes.  I use the glass measuring cup to mix directly in.  Add the whipping cream, cinnamon, vanilla, and sugar.  Mix at high speed until fluffy.  Place into a pastry bag with a tip of your choice and decorate as you wish. 
Be Thankful!