Thanksgiving is just a few days away! I’m still planning the menu. Here’s what I have so far: turkey, stuffing, and cranberries for sauce. Joey recently made a killer carrot soup, so we may have that in shooters for an appetizer. We need a few more side dishes, and a few desserts.
The week of Thanksgiving, many musicians in town are busy preparing for the Candlelight Processional show that’s held during the holidays at EPCOT. (Yet another reason that EPCOT is my favorite park at Disney.) For three nights, rehearsals take place in the wee hours of the morning to prepare for the performances.
As I’ve stated previously, musicians are suckers for free food. Especially sweets. Of a homemade variety. During these late night rehearsal, morale can be a bit low. Once 1:00 a.m. rolls around, the cold sets in (did I mentiont that rehearsals are outdoors?), and the energy lags. People huddle around the coffee and hot chocolate. What better way to boost morale than one of these bite-sized treats full of holiday cheer?
adapted from Gourmet, November 1999
- For the crust: combine gingersnap crumbs, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Drizzle in butter and mix well. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Set aside.
- For the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the vanilla.
- Pour about 1 c of the cream cheese mixture into a separate bowl. Add the pumpkin puree, egg yolk, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. Mix well.
- Mix the lemon zest into the remaining white cream cheese mixture.
- Pour half the cream cheese mixture over the gingersnap crust. Drizzle the pumpkin mixture over it. Drizzle the remaining cream cheese mixture on top of that. Swirl together with the edge of a butter knife to achieve a marble pattern.
- Place springform pan on top of a baking sheet. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°F, and bake another 35 minutes. Turn off the heat, open the oven door and let the cheesecake sit for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
- To form the mini cheesecakes: Remove the sides of the springform pan. Place cheesecake in the freezer for an hour. Remove from freezer, and dip a 1 ½ inch metal cutter (cookie cutter, biscuit cutter...) in warm water. Cut out rounds from the cheesecake. Dip the cutter periodically in the warm water to rinse it off. Use an offset spatula to help lift the cheesecake rounds off the base of the springform pan (if necessary.)