Saturday, January 7, 2012

Swirled Pumpkin and Caramel Cheesecake

This is one of my go-to desserts for Thanksgiving, but it's great anytime of the year.

1-1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

4 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
1-2/3 cups sugar
15 oz can pure pumpkin
9 tbsp whipping cream, divided
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
4 large eggs
4 tbsp caramel sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Finely grind crushed cookies and sugar in processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom and up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Transfer 3/4 cup mixture to small bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate to use for topping. Add pumpkin, 4 tbsp whipping cream, ground cinnamon, and ground allspice to mixture in large bowl and beat until well combined. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Bake until cheesecake puffs, top browns, and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about an hour 15 minutes. Transfer cheesecake to rack and cool 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheesecake. Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

Bring remaining 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add remaining 5 tbsp whipping cream to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine. Press down firmly on edges of cheesecake to even thickness. Pour cream cheese mixture over cheesecake, spreading evenly. Spoon caramel sauce in lines over cream cheese mixture. Using tip of knife, swirl caramel sauce into cream cheese mixture. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

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