Monday, November 24, 2008

Sarah's Gingerbread Cheesecake

To be honest, y'all, I just tweaked a "regular" cheesecake recipe to suit my craving for gingerbread. So, instead of a graham cracker crust, I subbed out gingerbread cookie crumbs (I suppose you can be extremely Martha Stewart-y and make your gingerbread cookies from scratch - I used Keebler gingerbread cookies that I bought in the store. Pepperidge farm makes some too). I added a bit of extra seasoning to the filling in addition to just vanilla.

2 cups gingerbread cookie crumbs (I used slightly more than 2 cups because I squashed too many)
1/3 cup melted butter

3 pkgs cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 c sugar
Nutmeg and ginger (to taste - I sprinkled some in until I found a nice flavor I liked but wasn't overwhelming -- you could probably use Pumpkin pie spice instead - as it has ginger and nutmeg in it)
3 eggs

What To Do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Mix crumbs and butter and press firmly into bottom of 9x13 pan (You could also use a 9" springform pan - and just up the cooking time by about 25 minutes. I have horrible luck with Springform though - I always crack my cheesecake that way).

Beat Cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, nutmeg and ginger with electric mixer on medium speed until blended. Then taste it. That's the fun part. If you need more spices - add more, if not, then....

Add eggs and mix just until blended (over blending puts too much air in your cheesecake. Not good).

Pour over crust.

Bake 30 minutes or until center is almost set. (Again, if you go the springform route, bake time is about 55 minutes usually).

Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

Pumpkin Turtle Pie

Found this recipe in a coupon flyer and have adapted it to a low-cal version. Gave it to the family and it's been voted in for Thanksgiving this year. It is rich, but very good.

1-8 0z container of fat free cool whip-divided
1/4 c + 2 TBS of sugar free caramel topping
1/2 c + 2 TBS of halved pecans
1 premade graham cracker pie crust
1 c canned pumpkin
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 small packages of instant vanilla pudding
1 c fat free milk

In pie crust, pour 1/4 c of caramel topping onto crust. Spread across the bottom of the pie crust. Sprinkle 1/2 c of pecans on top of caramel topping.

In a bowl combine 1 c pumpkin, 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg, 1 tsp of ground cinnamon, 2 small packages of instant vanilla pudding, and 1 c fat free milk with wire whisk. Slowly fold in 1/2 of the fat free cool whip.

Place in pie crust, and refrigerate for 1 hour.

After chilling for 1 hour remove from fridge, spread remainder of fat free cool whip on top of pumpkin mixture. Drizzle remaining 2 Tbs of sugar free caramel topping across the top. Sprinkle remaining 2 Tbs of pecan halves across the top.


1 pie = 10 servings