Holiday Pumpkin Cheesecake

Two weeks ago, I wanted to dazzle my officemates with a fantastic holiday recipe at our Thanksgiving Luncheon. Unfortunately, I’m not a huge fan of pies. Crazy, I know. Because of my strange pie aversion, my first thought went straight to a cheesecake (they’re my favorite, what can I say?).

Not just any cheesecake though, a pumpkin cheese with a praline topping. I even made some glazed pecans to garnish the rim of the cheesecake just to spruce it up a bit.

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The result? YUM! My coworkers gobbled it all up. I was barely able to score a piece. A work of caution: this recipe is ridiculously sweet and oh so rich. But delicious, it’s absolutely 100% delicious.

Ingredients

For Cheesecake

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 4 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1  1/2 cups of canned pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon juice

For Praline Topping

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions

For Cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir together the first 4 ingredients in a bowl until well blended. Press mixture on bottom and 1 1/2 inches up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned
  2. In a standing mixer, beat the cream cheese and the next 2 ingredients at medium speed with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer until blended and smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour batter into prepared crust. The pan will be very full!
  3. Bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes or until almost set. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven, with door closed, 15 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven, and gently run a knife around outer edge of cheesecake to loosen from sides of pan. Do not remove sides of pan! Cool completely on a wire rack, roughly 1 hour. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours
  4. Remove sides and bottom of pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Prepare Praline Topping (see below); immediately pour slowly over top of cheesecakephoto 5

For Praline Topping

  1. Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil in a 1-qt. saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Boil, stirring occasionally, 1 minute; remove from heat. Gradually whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Let stand 5 minutes, whisking occasionally. Use immediately

photo 4

Once your praline topping has been spread on top of the cheesecake, I would recommend making some glazed pecans to garnish the edges. It makes the dessert even more sweet, but it’s totally worth it because the combination of flavors is fantastic!

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