The cheesecake was always one of those decadent desserts I used to think took a lot of skill to make. I have come to discover that it doesn’t and it’s really hard to mess one up. Unless you experience a mishap like I did.
A Cheesecake Disaster
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It was my daughter, Deidra’s 21st birthday. She was home from college and my mama was visiting from south Louisiana. Since their birthdays are one day apart they sometimes get to celebrate together and this was one of those special occasions. I had spent a good part of the day preparing a meal along with making a cheesecake per Deidra’s request.
Not much makes me happier than having our home full of friends and family. I enjoy every bit of hosting especially cooking their favorite dishes then sitting around the dining room table feasting and catching up with them. We visit for hours until we just have to get up and clean the kitchen before they rush off. This birthday celebration was much like that. At least that’s how I had planned it.
The time came to put the freshly decorated cheesecake with chocolate covered strawberries into the refrigerator. My mama was at the kitchen sink and I was at the opposite end of the kitchen. I headed toward the refrigerator with the glass cake stand in hand that held the cheesecake when all of a sudden I turned too quickly to open the refrigerator door. I could feel the cheesecake sliding off of the glass stand going the opposite direction I was intending it to go. Sadly it landed splat on the kitchen floor. I remembered hollering, “Mama!”, but it was too late. There was nothing that could save that birthday cheesecake. So we did the next best thing by grabbing spoons and eating what did not touch the floor. It was the least we could do to soothe the loss of a delicious, creamy, homemade birthday cheesecake.
The sweetest thing that evening was not the cheesecake, but when Deidra’s older brother, James, offered to run to the store and buy her whatever kind of cake she wanted. So sweet!
A Cheesecake To Give Thanks For
When the weather starts getting cooler, the days shorter and the leaves golden I start thinking of the foods that go along with the changing season. Of course, the pumpkin comes to mind and the taste of it soon follows. I like including it in different recipes because of its health benefits and how it adds moisture and texture to foods.
Of course, pumpkin is everywhere these days and after making a couple of those boxed pumpkin cheesecakes I decided to add some pumpkin to my own cheesecake recipe and jazz it up. I also changed the graham cracker crust to a gingersnap cookie crust and added a pecan streusel to the top. It is so good, easy to make, and much better than the boxed ones that I just have to share the recipe with you.
Mix cookie crumbs and butter together in a bowl and press into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan.
Cream the cream cheese in a large bowl with beaters until smooth.
Mix in sugar and one egg at a time making sure all ingredients are incorporated well.
Add pumpkin and mix just until mixture is blended.
Then stir in vanilla and pumpkin pie spice.
Pour onto crust in pan and place into hot oven.
Bake for 50-60 minutes.
Remove pan from oven.
Mix together sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract.
Top cheesecake with sour cream mixture.
Melt butter in a small bowl in the microwave oven.
Add cookie crumbs, brown sugar, and pecans to butter and stir to mix well.
Sprinkle streusel onto sour cream mixture on top of cheesecake.
Bake at 375 degrees for another 10- 15 minutes.
Let cheesecake cool for a couple of hours in the oven with the door cracked open.
Remove cake from oven and pass a knife between the side of the pan and the filling separating the cheesecake from the pan.
Remove sides of the springform pan and allow the cake to cool.
Refrigerate cake for 6-8 hours or overnight.
Slice into wedges and serve cold.
To make crumbs process cookies in a food processor or place cookies in a ziplock bag and crush them using a rolling pin.
You can use the bottom of a glass to help evenly spread crumbs in pan. Do not press too firmly. This helps to easily cut cake from pan.
Place filled springform pan on a foil lined cookie sheet for easy clean up in case pan leaks.
If you’ve never made a cheesecake before I hope you consider this one. There’s really no way to mess it up. Even if it doesn’t turn out as pretty as you’d like I’m sure it won’t hurt the taste of it. Unless you drop it on the floor then you may not get to eat as much of it. So be sure and handle with care. It’s well worth it!
“God says to give thanks in everything. That doesn’t mean you need to give thanks FOR everything. You don’t need to give thanks FOR that bad day. Or FOR that bad relationship. Or being passed over at work. Financial hardship. Whatever it is – you are not to give thanks FOR the difficulties, but rather IN the difficulties. That is a very important distinction, and one I think we often miss. Giving thanks IN everything shows a heart of faith that God is bigger than the difficulties and that He can use them, if you approach Him with the right heart and spirit, for your good and His glory.” –Tony Evans