Pumpkin Praline Cheesecake
30 gingersnaps, broken in large chunks (about 2+ cups)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
5 large eggs
1 can (15 oz.) canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon vanilla
White Cream Cheese Icing:
6 ounces good quality white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons cream or half-and-half
2 cups pecan halves
Preheat oven to 300ºF. Place gingersnaps in bowl of food processor fitted with metal blade and pulse until coarsely ground. In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté pecans in butter until toasted and golden brown. Add pecans and butter to food processor. Add the brown sugar to the food processor and pulse a few times to blend ingredients. Press mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling.
Place the cream cheese, brown sugar and white sugar in a large bowl and beat until smooth. Add pumpkin, spices and vanilla to bowl and mix to combine. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until
incorporated. Pour into prepared crust and bake 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool at room temperature. Refrigerate overnight before serving or icing with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing.
White Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing: Beat cream cheese until smooth in a food processor or mixing bowl. Melt chocolate in a metal bowl over a pot of simmering water. Remove bowl from pot and wipe bottom dry. Stir with a rubber spatula until all chocolate is melted. Set aside for a few minutes to cool slightly. Beat the melted chocolate into the whipped cream cheese and spread over top and sides of the cheesecake.
Praline Pecans: Melt butter in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cream and bring to a boil. Add pecans, stirring well until well coated in butter mixture. Spread on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper to cool. Use to garnish Praline Pumpkin Cheesecake or toss into salads or serve with cocktails.