Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustI finally hit my seasonal pumpkin kick. Who isn’t right? Pumpkin recipes are everywhere, some may want a break from it, but this is the season to really enjoy the freshest pumpkin flavors, and I’m definitely enjoying them right now.

Lately I’ve been in a cheesecake baking mood, maybe it’s because I haven’t made in quite some time, or perhaps it’s because once I found out that today is #National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day. So naturally I couldn’t get it out of my head and had to make this fall dessert.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustThis cheesecake is an ideal dessert for holiday entertaining, especially for those who may not be fans of traditional pumpkin pie. I’m sure they will find the pumpkin flavor baked into this cheesecake delicious, it’s subtle enough and balances perfectly with the other distinct flavors, like gingerbread. For an effortless entertaining season, this cheesecake freezes well, so make it ahead and avoid last-minute holiday baking stress. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustPumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustI couldn’t just make this cheesecake with a graham cracker crust either, I had to highlight the pumpkin flavor even more. The crust is made from a slab of baked homemade gingerbread, and it really highlights the seasonal and comforting flavors of fall. After making a pumpkin cheesecake with homemade gingerbread cookies, you’ll never want to use any other cookie crust. The gingerbread cookie crust was my favorite part of this cheesecake, it really is good. Of course, if you’re in a hurry, you could always substitute a crust made from store-bought gingersnaps, or maybe even snickerdoodles, for the homemade gingerbread crust.Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustPumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie Crust Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie Crust Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustPumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustTo create a festive Halloween design, I chose to pipe the top with a chocolate spiderweb. It’s a simple design that adds a fun touch for the holidays, and serves as the perfect guide for slicing!Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustMelt bittersweet chocolate, or your favorite, until the consistency is runny and pipeable. Fill a pastry bag/parchment paper cone, or piping tool with the chocolate and the smallest round tip. Pipe about 8 or 9 lines evenly spaced around the cheesecake. I like to start piping vertically down the center, then rotating 90* degrees to the right, and continuing until the entire cheesecake is divided.

Pipe curved lines around the perimeter of the cheesecake, connecting each section. Continue piping curved lines, spacing them closer together as you near the center, and creating a swirl. Pipe a large chocolate dot in the center. For easy chocolate spiders, pipe 3 small lines on both sides, leaving a small empty space in the middle. Then fill the middle with the chocolate to create the body. Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie Crust Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustPumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie CrustIf you’re hosting a little Halloween get together this year with friends, this is a sweet and chic way to bring some spooky details to your Halloween party!

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie Crust

Ingredients {Serves 10 to 12}

Gingerbread Cookie Crust
1/2 dough – Gingerbread Cookie {recipe here}
1/2 cup {1 stick} – Unsalted Butter {melted}
1/4 cup – Brown Sugar {packed}
Cheesecake Filling
3 {8 ounce packages} – Cream Cheese {softened}
1 cup – Pumpkin Puree {use an organic canned brand if you can}
1 cup – Pure Maple Sugar
1 tablespoon – Pumpkin Pie Spice {recipe here, or use 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice, pinch ground nutmeg and ground cloves}
1 1/2 teaspoons – Pure Vanilla Extract
3 large – Eggs
Chocolate Topping
1/2 cup – Bittersweet Chocolate

Recipe 

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.  Wrap the exterior of an 8 or 9-inch springform pan by lining bottom of the pan with foil {closing it in place} and spray or butter pan.  This will make removing your cheesecake from the pan easier.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the gingerbread cookie dough into a 13-by-10-inch rectangle {about 1/4 inch thick}. Brush off excess flour. Slide dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until firm and golden brown {about 14 minutes}. Cool completely on a wire rack. Break into large pieces, pulse in a food processor until finely ground until you have 3 cups of cookie crumbs.

Combine the butter, 1/4 cup sugar, and 2 cups cookie crumbs in a bowl, mix throughly.  Press mixture firmly and evenly into bottom of the buttered springform pan, going up along the sides one-third of the way up. Bake until set {about 10 minutes}.  Cool on a wire rack, while you make filling.

Reduce oven temperature to 325F degrees.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese and pumpkin puree, in a large bowl with a paddle attachment, on medium-high speed, until smooth, fluffy and there are no more lumps. Beat in the maple sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla until combined. Beat the eggs in, one at a time, low-speed just until combined.

Gently pour the filling into the slightly cooled crust, the shake a bit for an even top. Bake for 1 hour to 1 and half, until center appears nearly set when gently shaken.

Cool in springform pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then using a thin knife, loosen the crust from the side of the springform pan. Cool for another 30 minutes. Gently remove side of springform pan, and allow to cool for an hour. Cover well with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Once chilled, melt chocolate. Allow to cool for a few seconds, and then fill a pastry bag, snipping the end with a small hole. Pipe chocolate spiderweb following direction above. Serve chilled.


3 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingerbread Cookie Crust

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