I have been dating someone I've known since I was 9 years old. His name is Shawn. Shawn is incredibly understanding about my situation and is very sensitive to the fact that I carry a lot of baggage associated with becoming a widow. He's awesome and I appreciate what he does, even though I don't know why he does it. So, when he asks me to cook or bake something for him I usually say yes, even if it's something I've never made before. Such was the case yesterday.
We were having a conversation about pumpkin pie and I said I like pumpkin cheesecake in a gingersnap crust. He asked me to make one and I told him that I've never made a baked cheesecake and didn't know how, to which he replied "Google it!" So I did.
This is the recipe I found at www.kraftfoods.com. I baked it last night and it was awesome! He was impressed. I tweaked it slightly and put the changes at the end. If you have never made a baked cheesecake give this one a whirl. It's fairly simple.
Philadelphia 3 Step Pumpkin cheesecake
2-8 oz. pkg. PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Dash ground cloves
Dash ground nutmeg
1 HONEY MAID Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.) ( I made my own- see note)
1 cup thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, vanilla and spices in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; beat just until blended.
POUR into crust.
BAKE 40 min. or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight. Top with whipped topping just before serving.
I made my own graham cracker crust using cinnamon graham crackers, butter, sugar and ground (dried) ginger to make it taste more like a ginger snap. I put it in the bottom only of a springform pan.
I left out the nutmeg just because I didn't have any.
I used slightly more pumpkin because I didn't get out a measuring cup. It was probably closer to 1 cup but it didn't hurt the final product.
I sprinkled cinnamon on top of the cheeseckae before baking it becuase it jsut looked pretty.
I placed a pan of water on the bottom shelf of the oven to help keep the top of the cheesecake from cracking. It worked well.