Pumpkin Spice Latte (#PSL) Cheesecake

espresso_pumpkin

I make some variation of pumpkin cheesecake every year for Thanksgiving. This year, my friend suggested making a cheesecake version of a Starbuck’s Pumpkin Spice Latte. I loved the idea and headed straight to Pinterest. Of course, it had been done before (as all good ideas have) and the recipe I selected is from Sprinkle Bakes. This cheesecake was super easy to make, and turned out delicious!

Crust
Vanilla wafers
4 tbsp. butter melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Crush up vanilla wafers. I do this in a big ziplock bag using a random jar or bottle to smash the cookies. I cannot tell you how many vanilla wafers to use, because I just eyeball it. Just go crazy! Mix with the melted butter.  Press into the bottom (not up sides) of a 9-inch spring-form pan.  Bake 8-10 minutes.  Cool completely.

Filling:
2- 8oz. packages of cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar divided
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 cup of canned pumpkin
2  tsp. ground allspice
1 tbsp. ground cinnamon
3 tsp. espresso powder, or Starbucks VIA instant coffee (if you like to waste money on fancy instant coffee…I mean, for “authenticity.”)

Using an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, 1/2 cup of sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix until smooth. Mix eggs in one at a time, blending well after each addition.

Remove one cup of the mixture and transfer to another bowl.  Dissolve espresso powder in a very small amount of hot water and stir (just enough water so it dissolves and isn’t grainy). Add the espresso  to the 1 cup of filling and mix until batter is uniform in color.  Set aside.

Blend 1/4 cup of sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and allspice into the remaining filling.  Pour the pumpkin mixture on top of the crust in the spring-form pan.  Top pumpkin mixture with the 1 cup coffee filling mixture.

Bake for 55 minutes or until filling is set. The cheesecake will puff up in the middle a little bit as it bakes and then relax back down as it cools. I let it sit in an open, turned off oven for about 20ish minutes before taking it out. This helps it transition from temperatures and not crack on top. Run a knife around the edge of the pan for easy un-molding.  Allow the cheesecake to cool before removing rim of spring-form pan.  Chill until ready to serve.

You can get all fancy with the garnish–powdered sugar, dollops of whipped cream, cinnamon sticks–whatever screams “Pumpkin Spice Latte” to you! I was feeling a little lazy at this point on Thanksgiving, so I just sprinkled some powdered sugar on it and called it good.

cheesecake

Yield: 9″ cake, serves 8-10

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

slice of cheesecake

I apologize for not having a better photo of this. We ate it too fast for me to get any good photos. It was just that delicious.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Ingredients

Crust:
    • 1 1/2 cups crushed Oreo cookies (about 15 cookies)
Cheesecake:
    • 4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup sugar
    • 4 eggs
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
Chocolate Ganache:
    • 1/2 cup whipping cream
    • 1 cup milk chocolate chocolate chips
Garnish:
  • Reese Peanut Butter cups, optional

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Press crushed Oreo cookies into bottom of 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake 5-6 minutes or until set. Do not burn! Cool on wire rack while preparing cake. Reduce oven heat to 300 degrees.
  3. Beat softened cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy; add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Divide batter equally between two bowls.
  4. Melt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips; stir into one of the bowls of cheesecake batter; pour batter into crust prepared pan. Microwave peanut butter until soft, about 20-25 seconds; stir into other bowl of cheesecake batter and pour on top of the chocolate layer.
  5. Bake cheesecake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until center is almost set (not jiggly). Do not overbake. Don’t worry if there are a couple of cracks. They will come together when refrigerated and we’re covering it in chocolate anyway.
  6. Place pan on cooling rack; cool approximately 1 hour. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan and remove sides of pan. Place cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat for one minute or boiling. Pour chocolate chips into cream and let sit until soft. Stir until chips are melted and mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour chocolate over top and sides of cheesecake. You may want to place your cheesecake on a cookie sheet to catch the run off. Refrigerate overnight; cut optional Reese Peanut Butter cups into quarters and garnish top of cheesecake. Refrigerate leftovers.

NOM. NOM.

Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

A few weeks ago, I went home to visit my parents for their birthday. Yup, they have the same birthday – two years apart. It’s cute. They’re cute.

I told my dad I would make him cheesecake for his birthday and asked him what kind he wanted. His response was “ribbons of decadent caramel in a cheesecake platform.” Whatever that means, right? After some Googling, I selected the recipe below, and it was AMAZING. Although I was informed I didn’t make “decadent enough ribbons” of caramel. We had to drizzle some extra on top when we served it. So make sure you ribbon the caramel with a heavy hand!

caramel swirl cheesecake

Caramel Swirl Cheesecake

From Taste of Home

Prep: 40 min. Bake: 40 min. + chilling

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup flaked coconut, lightly toasted
  • FILLING:
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping

Directions

  • In a small bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla. Combine flour and coconut; gradually beat into creamed mixture.
  • Press into a lightly greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack.
  • For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and ricotta until blended. Add sugar and flour and mix well. Combine cream and vanilla; gradually beat into cream cheese mixture. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined.
  • Spread filling over crust. Drizzle with caramel topping; gently cut through filling with a knife to swirl.
  • Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 1-1/2 hours. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before serving. Yield: 12-15 servings.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

 

My boss told me she hated my guts yesterday. Normally, this would be a cause for concern, but she was walking down the hall carrying her second piece of cheesecake when she said it, so I knew it was actually a good thing.

These cheesecake bars turned out fantastic! I modified a recipe from a Cake Mix Cookies cookbook Erin gave me for my birthday. The original recipe is for Peanut Butter Cheesecake Bars. I changed the crust to be chocolate, subbed pumpkin for peanut butter, and added pumpkin pie spice. MMMMMM. It was great.

I found it a little difficult to cut through the crust in the pan, so I would suggest lining the pan with parchment paper with a slight overlap, so you can lift the bars out of the pan easily.

Pumpkin Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

1 package chocolate cake mix with pudding in the mix*

½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened, cut into small pieces

2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened

1 and ½ cup pumpkin

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

Melted chocolate (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Beat cake mix and butter in large bowl with electric mixer at medium speed until just crumbly. Reserve 1 cup of the mixture. Press remaining dough into ungreased 13×9 inch baking pan to form crust. Bake 10 minutes, cool in pan on wire rack.
  3. Beat cream cheese and pumpkin at medium speed until fluffy. Add pumpkin pie spice to taste. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl occasionally. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Spoon filling over cooled crust. Sprinkle over filling.
  4. Bake 45 minutes or until filling is just set and knife inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 30 minutes in pan on wire rack. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving. Drizzle with melted chocolate, if desired.

Makes about 2 dozen bars.

*You can also use yellow cake mix and throw a box of chocolate pudding in it.

Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecakes

Yeah, we fancy.

My friend had a dinner party this weekend and I offered to bring dessert. I opted for raspberry cheesecake with chocolate crust, and my go-to brownie recipe (always a crowd pleaser). We got a little fancy with our presentation, as you can see!

The following recipe makes enough for 24 muffin tin sized cheesecakes, or 1 regular cheesecake.

RASPBERRY CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1 (8 oz.) pkg. chocolate wafer cookies, crushed fine
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 tbsp. sugar
Dash of nutmeg

Cheesecake:
3 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 c. fresh or individual frozen raspberries

Garnish:
Raspberry syrup
Chocolate syrup
Fresh raspberries
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine crushed chocolate cookies (or chocolate graham crackers), melted butter, sugar, and nutmeg. Press into bottom of pan (or muffin tins). If you’re using muffin tins, I’ve found that the round back of a metal ice cream scoop is the ideal tool for gently pressing the crust into the tins – random, I know. Set aside.

In medium bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Add sugar and vanilla gradually. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Fold in raspberries. Fresh raspberries offer more of a flavor punch. Pour into chocolate crust. Bake for approximately 1 hour. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Serve drizzled with chocolate syrup and raspberry syrup, garnished with fresh raspberries. Enjoy the looks of awe from your friends.