Thanksgiving Recap!

I need to apologize off the bat for not taking any pictures. I have a lot of excuses, but at the end of the day, I really just forgot. So in lieu of my own photos, here’s a list of the odds and ends I baked last week with links to the recipes:

Pumpkin Bread: First time trying this specific recipe. It turned out great! Perfect flavor and not too sweet (btw, I subbed the ginger for pumpkin pie spice so it was a pretty standard pumpkin flavor), plus I added walnuts for a little crunch! Not to brag, but my dad did say he preferred it over my mom’s cranberry nut bread. Just sayin…

Chocolate Cake: This is the traditional birthday cake recipe. We had a few birthdays to celebrate from the past few weeks so we turned the Wednesday dinner before Thanksgiving into a little birthday dinner. I probably make this recipe at least 4 times a year, I wonder why (you can do the math).

Ricotta Cookies: These are quickly becoming a family favorite. They are soft and vanilla, with a colorful icing. I’ll probably be making another batch in the next few weeks.

Double Chocolate Cheesecake Cookies: I pinned these a while ago from one of my favorite blogs. They were easy to make and very tasty. I was a little sloppy with the drizzle icing, but it tasted good!

Almond Biscotti: A standard for my holiday baking. They aren’t an ooey gooey crowd pleaser, but it’s the perfect evening snack with your tea when you have a big meal in the afternoon, or mid afternoon snack with your coffee during your holiday shopping.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars: These are a crowd pleaser every time, and are a must have during our family’s Thanksgiving. Easy and delicious!

Pumpkin Spice Rice Krispie Treats: I know I just made these a couple weeks ago, but my mom had some extra marshmallows that she wanted me to use up. So I made them again, and guess what, they were still delicious!

Gingersnaps: I made these for my mom to use in her molasses gingersnap ice cream. I know it sounds weird, but it’s awesome! These gingersnaps are the perfect flavor and texture, spicy and crunchy!

Energy Balls: I don’t think I’ve blogged about these yet but I’ve made them a few times. They’re a quick no-bake snack that is pretty healthy. I make a bunch and stick them in the freezer, and they mysteriously disappear rather rapidly in my house…

Pumpkin Cheesecake: I’ve made this before in individual ramekins, but this was the first time in 9 inch cake form. It turned out great with the exception of the crust. I tried to sub gingersnap crumbs for graham cracker crumbs in the crust recipe, and it turned out a little too tough. I think the gingersnap crumbs were too fine, so when I packed them down they turned into a very solid crust. Other than that though, it was the perfect dessert for our New York Post-Thanksgiving Chanukah latke fest!

This list is not counting the savory things I made fore the main event! At the end of the week I didn’t understand why I was so tired, but after writing out this list, I sort of get it.

What did you bake this Thanksgiving?

Time for Pumpkin!

I’m sad to put aside the berries of summer, but what could be better than pumpkin in the fall!  Apples and pumpkin are definitely my two favorite fall flavor profiles.  Since my mom tends to own the apple pie concept in my family, so I’m more likely to go the pumpkin direction when I bake in the fall.

I was recently invited to a dinner party and I, of course, offered to bring dessert.  Initially I actually wanted to make a berry crumble, but I thought to myself: get over it Sadie the berry season is over this year (*tear*).  Then I reconsidered and thought I might as well get on the pumpkin train so I could start practicing potential recipes for Thanksgiving.  It was a good choice.

I decided to try out a pumpkin spice cheesecake, and I have these awesome Temptations individual ramekins, so it turned into individual pumpkin cheesecakes. Sometimes cheesecake is really dense but this one was nicely and fluffy, it’s a really good version.

Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Yields one 9 inch cake (even though I made individual portions)

Cake recipe adapted from Annie’s Eats but I used Paula’s crust

Ingredients- Filling

  • 1 1/3 cups (10 1/3 oz.) sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
  • 3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Crust

  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted salted butter

Garnish

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • splash vanilla extract
  • sugar to taste
  • pecan halves

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 325.
  2. Combine crust ingredients so they are well mixed.  Pat crust into bottom on 9 inch spring form pan that has been greased.  Bake crust for 15 minutes and set aside to cool.
  3. Combine dry ingredients: sugar, spices, and salt.  Set aside.  Heat some water up in a tea kettle for later.
  4. Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese until fluffy.  Add in pumpkin puree and vanilla, mix.  Add in 3 eggs, mix, then 2 eggs, mix.  Finally add heavy cream and mix.  Make sure to scrape the sides of the bowl between additions, so it is well mixed.
  5. Add one third of the dry ingredients add at a time, mixing between additions.
  6. Place the spring form pan with the crust in the middle of a cookie sheet.  Pour the batter into the pan and place in the oven.  Pour the hot water from the tea kettle into the cookie sheet (not in the cake).  The water bath will help the baking process.
  7. Bake at 325 for 90 minutes (adjust baking time if you use a different size pan).
  8. Allow to cool for a couple hours before refrigerating.
  9. For garnish I whipped up some heavy cream with my electric mixer, and I added in some vanilla and sugar.  Then I used the pecan halves to decorate.