Thursday, September 16, 2010

Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake.

Caramel Pumpkin Gingersnap Cheesecake.
Pumpkin Gingersnap Caramel Cheesecake. Gingersnap Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake. 

It doesn't matter how you say it.....this is some dang good dessert. 

I found this drool-inducing gem on The Pioneer Woman's  website. Let me tell you.....this lady makes some dangerous stuff. I've had to about triple my workout routine since I discovered her. No joke. 

Anyways, my lovely friend Jill came over to help me do some baking for a party she was throwing for some friends of ours. Jill is fabulous. She's my workout so I can have another slice of cheesecake buddy. My spend all day Saturday eating pizza and watching tv shows buddy. My go out an dance like a crazy person buddy. 
Basically just the best kind there is!

Jill and I have put ourselves on a rigorous workout schedule because:

1. It's healthy. and,
2. I can't stop eating desserts. 

Okay, Jill doesn't necessarily struggle with the second one. 

But I promise this dessert is worth the hours you'll spend on the stairmaster after you've devoured it. Trust me. 

Here's what you'll need:

Gingersnaps, pecans, butter, brown sugar, salt, cream cheese, sugar, pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, eggs, heavy cream, and caramel topping

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. 

Throw about 2/3 of a box of gingersnap in the food processor (I used a 1 lb. box). Feel free to munch on a few. I did. 

Give it a quick few pulses until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add in 1/2 cup of pecans, 2 Tbsp. pecans, and a dash of salt. Pulse until combined. 

Melt 6 Tbsp. butter and add it to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse until it's combined all the way through. 

Find a springform pan and dump in your crumb mixture. Press it into the bottom and up the sides. Once that's done, place it into a freezer while you make the filling. That will give it time to set. 

Place four bricks of cream cheese into a stand mixer bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of sugar and mix well. 

Add in 1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree along with your spices: 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. allspice, and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. Mix well.

Now we're going to add in 4 eggs. Make sure you add them in one at a time, mixing well between each one. 

To finish off the filling, we're going to add in two Tbsp. of heavy cream. Deliciousness. 

Take out your crust from the freezer. 

Now gently pour in the filling. Run a spatula over the top to make sure it's nice and smooth.

Now pop it in the oven (350 degrees) for about an hour and 15 minutes. When you take it out it still won't be entirely set. That's okay. 

Let it cool on the counter for about 30 minutes. 

Then....this is my favorite part.....take your jar of caramel sauce and pour it right over the top. I would use about half the jar. Take a spatula and gently smooth it until it covers the whole top. 

Then take any extra pecans and just sprinkle them over the caramel. Oh. My. Goodness.

Stick it in the fridge and let it set for about 4 hours, or even overnight. When you are ready to serve, remove the rim of the springform pan and slice.

Feel free to drizzle more caramel and pecans over the top. 



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Salted White Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

It's fall in Rochester. And although fall just happens to be one of my absolute favorite seasons, I've been putting off acknowledging it's arrival.

See, when fall comes, so does the end of vacation, the beginning of crazy season (aka: work) and the necessity of the "Big Switch".

The "Big Switch" is when I clear out my entire closet of spring/summer stuff and replace it with fall/winter apparel. Since I love shopping almost as much as I love pretty much takes all day.

This was on my big "to - do" list today. the spirit of clinging to a vanishing vacation, I made these instead. I ran across this recipe at Smitten Kitchen, a blog that I frequently drool over. Since I'm a huge fan of the sweet/salty combo I couldn't wait to try these! And I'm glad I did. Sometimes, procrastination pays off.

Here's what you'll need:

Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, butter, sugar, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, rolled oats, white chocolate, coarse sea salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease or line two cookie sheets.

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup of flour, 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.

In a large mixing bowl, add 14 Tablespoons of butter (approx. 1 3/4 sticks), 1 cup of sugar, and 1/4 cup of packed brown sugar. Mix together until thoroughly combined.

Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the butter mixture. Mix well.

Take 6 oz. of good white chocolate and chop it up. (I used Ghiradelli bars, which are 4 oz. each, so it was approximately 1 full bar and 2 squares).

Mmmm.....chocolate. You just know these'll be good.

Add your dry ingredients to the butter and egg mixture and combine. Then add in 2 1/2 cups of rolled oats and the white chocolate and mix.

Roll approx. 2 Tbsp. of dough into a ball and place onto cookie sheets. ( cookie sheets are in pretty bad shape. The result of a not so successful Christmas cookie experiment). When you've filled your cookie sheets, lightly press down on each ball, so they are slightly flattened.

Top with a few flakes of sea salt. (Don't use too much!)

Then bake for about 13-16 min., or until golden brown.