Saturday, November 26, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope that you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Our family had a terrific day down in Newport Beach with our extended family (all 38 of us!).  

I love these little monkeys!

The boys couldn't have had more fun.....although a fun day was pretty much guaranteed for them since there were 16 other kids to run around with (or do the trampoline with, which they did all day long).   Our sister-in-law did an amazing job with the tables, as usual, in spite of the fact that she had to move the tables inside because of the threat of rain (it ended up being a beautiful day).

My job this year, as usual, was to bring I brought a bunch!  This year I brought a Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake, an Apple Pie, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Fudge, Oatmeal Milky Way Brownies, Graham Cracker Toffee Bark, and Oreo Turkey Pops.

The Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake is another recipe that I've had in my arsenal for a number of years, courtesy of Martha Stewart.  It's a great dessert to make for something like Thanksgiving, since you don't need a large slice of is rich!  The only change I made this time around was in the crust.....instead of using graham cracker crumbs I used an equal amount of gingersnap crumbs.....just to give it an extra little zing.  I did notice that the flavor developed more when this got a chance to sit for a day or two, so it's a perfect make-ahead dessert!

Source: Martha Stewart

For crust:
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs (or gingersnap crumbs)
1/2 cup pecans (1 3/4 oz.), finely chopped
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For filling:
1 1/2 cups canned solid-pack pumpkin
3 large eggs
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature

For topping:
2 cups sour cream (20 oz.)
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon liqueur or bourbon (optional)

Garnish: Pecan halves

Make crust:
Invert bottom of a 9-inch springform pan (to create a flat bottom, which will make it easier to remove cake from pan), then lock on side and butter pan.

Stir together crumbs, pecans, sugars, and butter in a bowl until combined well.  Press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1/2 inch up side of pan, then chill crust 1 hour.

Make filling and bake cheesecake:
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350.

Whisk together pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, cream, vanilla, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl until combined.

Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt in a large bowl.  Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer at high speed until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes.  Reduce speed to medium, then add pumpkin mixture and beat until smooth.

Pour filling into crust, smoothing top, then put springform pan in a shallow baking pan (in case springform leaks).  Bake until center is just set, 50 to 60 minutes.  Transfer to a rack and cool 5 minutes.  Leave oven on.

Make topping:
Whisk together sour cream, sugar, and liqueur (if using) in a bowl, then spread on top of cheesecake and bake 5 minutes.

Cool cheesecake completely in pan on rack, about 3 hours.

Chill, covered, until cold, at least 4 hours.  Remove side of pan and bring to room temperature before serving.

Note: Baked cheesecake can be chilled, covered, up to 2 days.


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  1. This is a gorgeous looking cake!
    I'm sure it's delicious as it looks.

  2. So glad you had a great Thanksgiving celebration with the entire family. Beautiful pictures to remember the day too. This cake looks great and I like the updated crust. Thank you for participating at Joy of Desserts. :-) Enjoy your day.

  3. sounds like a fabulous celebrations! your pictures are lovely and this recipe sounds wonderful...on the list of holiday treats!!!! you take care and see you soon! your newest follower : )

  4. Oh that looks amazing, and you do need a big slice. Just eat is slowly so you don't have a sugar rush!

  5. Wow, that looks so good! I love a good pumpkin cheesecake. The top is so pretty with the pecans! Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday! :)

  6. Your Bourbon Pumpkin Cheesecake looks absolutely scrumptious and beautiful! Thanks for the great recipe! It is definitely going on my "must try" list and I'm your newest follower. Great blog!

  7. Absolutely beautiful. Speaking of Martha, I made her Triple Chocolate Cheesecake this past week (soooooooo good!). I hope you'll stop by for a visit to see my post about it.


  8. The Photo's of your family are great, your little guys are just precious. Your Cheesecake looks delicious! Hope you are having a great week end and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  9. I made this for Thanksgiving last year and it turned out great! Everyone loved it!