Friday, October 1, 2010

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Make this dessert 1 or 2 days in advance, so that it’s at its best on the day you serve it!

Serves 10 to 12 (more when servings are cut small for your dessert party)
Preparation time: 20 minutes plus baking and refrigeration

18 to 20 gingersnap cookies
7 ounces hazelnuts, toasted (about 1 ½ cups)
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup butter (1 stick)

4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
¼ cup heavy cream
4 eggs
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the gingersnap cookies, hazelnuts and sugar in a food processor. Pulse until combined. Add the melted butter and pulse briefly.

Press the crumb mixture into the bottom, and up the sides about ½ inch, in a 10-inch diameter springform pan using the back of a fork.

With an electric mixture beat the cream cheese and sugar. Mix in the whipping cream and stir in the eggs one at a time. Pour half of the filling into a small bowl. Add the pumpkin and spices to the remaining filling and mix well.

Place the filling into the pan by alternating between plain and pumpkin batter. With a knife gently swirl together.

Bake for 60 to 75 minutes. The cheesecake will puff and may crack on the sides. The center does not have to be set. Cool the cake on a rack. Run a sharp knife around the side of the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night.

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