Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Cookie Crust

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Cookie Crust
Yields 16 Slices

Here's a perfect new way to end a fall or winter dinner. The spices, coupled with the gingersnap crust, balance the sweetness of this dessert.

What you need:
3 cups Gingersnap Cookie pieces (recipe to follow)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
1½ cups confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
½ cup sour cream
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1¼ teaspoons ground cinnamon
1¼ teaspoons ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
4 large eggs

What to do:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, pulse the cookie pieces in food processor 15 to 20 seconds, until coarse. Add the melted butter and pulse until just combined. In a 9 - inch spring - form pan, use your hands to press this mixture into the bottom and 1 - to 1 ½ - inches up the sides of the pan.

Bake 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and set it aside cool completely.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Add 1 inch water to a small baking pan and place it on the bottom rack of the oven to create steam.

To make the cheesecake filling, combine the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, and cream 2 to 3 minutes, until smooth. Add the sour cream and continue to mix until well combined. Add the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and mix until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well between additions. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

Bake 45 minutes, or until the cheesecake is set and jiggles slightly in the center when gently shaken. Re move from the oven and set aside to cool at room temperature for 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 6 hours, or overnight, before serving

Gingersnap Cookies
Yields about 30 cookies

If you use these for the Pumpkin Cheesecake crust, bake an extra 1 to 2 minutes for crispier cookies.

What you need:
1 cup plus 2 ½ tablespoons all - purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground c loves
1 teaspoon cinnamon, divided
6 tablespoons vegetable shortening
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
1 egg
2½ tablespoons molasses

What to do:
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, ginger, cloves, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.

In the b owl of a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the shortening on medium - high speed for 3 minutes, until soft and fluffy. Add ½ cup sugar and beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to medium - low and beat in the molasses and egg. Reduce the spee d to low, add half the dry ingredient mixture, and mix until just combined. Repeat the process, incorporating the remaining half of the dry ingredients, and mix the dough until the dry ingredients are just incorporated. The dough will be dense and stiff.

Turn out the cookie dough onto a clean, lightly floured work surface. Shape dough into 1 log, 1 ½ to 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at least one hour, or until dough is firm.

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sugar and the rem aining ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Position an oven rack in the top third of the oven, and another rack in the bottom third of the oven.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or silicone baking mats.

Remove the dough from the freezer and slice into ¼ - inch - thick discs. Dip one side of each cookie into the sugar and cinnamon mixture, and place them sugar - side - up, 1 inch apart on the bak ing sheets.

Place one baking sheet on the top oven rack and one sheet on the bottom rack. Bake for 11 to 13 minutes, switching the pans halfway through the baking process from the top rack to the bottom rack. A longer cooking time will produce crispier c ookies. Transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool

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