Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

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

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes

Ingredients

Gingersnap Crust
1 c gingersnap crumbs
¼ c sugar
⅛ tsp salt
3 Tbs butter, melted
Cheesecake
9 oz. cream cheese (1 ½ blocks)
¾ c sugar
1 ½ Tbs flour
2 eggs
½ tsp vanilla
1 c pumpkin puree
1 egg yolk
½ tsp cinnamon
dash each of ginger, allspice, and nutmeg
1/8 tsp fresh lemon zest

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Mix the lemon zest into the remaining white cream cheese mixture.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.)
http://kokocooks.com/2012/11/mini-pumpkin-cheesecakes/

Read More:

Share

Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls


What it is about pumpkin? There are plenty of foods that only come around for a short period of the year. Cranberries, artichokes, figs….People don’t start putting those things in every. single. dish. possible. The thing is, I’m the exact same way. I recently tweeted that I (proudly) went through three cans of pumpkin in two days. For me, pumpkin food signifies fall, my favorite season of all.


I’ve had this recipe bookmarked since I saw it in January. I wasn’t in the mood for pumpkin then, but I sure am now! Branny made a vegan version, but I decided to make this using dairy products. The filling is extra creamy and smooth. Next time I may add some toasted walnuts for a little crunch.

 

adapted from Branny Boils Over

Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls

Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls

Ingredients

6 lasagna noodles
Pumpkin filling
15 oz solid packed pumpkin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Cheese filling
15 oz. carton of part-skim ricotta cheese
2 Tbs chopped fresh sage
½ tsp salt
Bechamel Sauce
2 c. whole milk
2 T butter
2 T flour
1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg
1 tsp fresh lemon zest
Garnish
¼ c fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil on a stove. Drop in lasagna noodles and simmer until pliable, 9-10 minutes. Place noodles to cool over the lip of a large mixing bowl, draping one portion of the noodle on the outside of the bowl and one on the inside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the ingredients of the pumpkin filling. In a separate bowl, combine the ingredients of the cheese filling.
  3. In a sauce pan, melt butter. Add flour and cook combination a few minutes until golden. Whisk in milk and bring to a simmer. Cook 7-8 minutes until thickened. Add nutmeg and lemon zest, and set aside.
  4. Assemble rolls by laying noodles out and spreading pumpkin mixture along the length of the noodle, leaving the end of the pasta furthest from you bare. Dollop ricotta mixture down the pumpkin layer, then gently smooth over the pumpkin. Roll lasagna ending with the bare noodle end, and place seamside down in a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Pour sauce over lasagna rolls.
  5. Bake in a 350* preheated oven, covered, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the lasagna rolls. Bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/10/pumpkin-lasagna-rolls/

 

Read More:

Share

Pumpkin Doughnuts


I’ll tell you a secret about musicians….we are suckers for free food. I think it hearkens back to our college days when we played gigs in exchange for food. It was how we got people for our own performances. “Can you play in this recital for me? I can’t pay you, but I’ll make you cookies/cupcakes/dinner!”


This is why I was happy when Hubs agreed to play a 5-week concert series for school kids – two morning performances with a short break in between. Perfect time for a mid-morning snack! I’ve been baking goodies for the musicians. By far, these pumpkin doughnuts have been the most popular.


This is one of the fastest recipes I’ve posted since making the food. I have seen these doughnuts on not one, not two, but three of my favorite blogs. I decided to go straight to the original source for the recipe. The dough was extremely sticky, so I had to use more flour than usual. Next time, I may knead a little bit of flour into the dough before cutting them.


I saved some of the doughnut holes for myself and family. They were so addictive, I ate six of them before I realized it.


adapted from Bon Appetit magazine
October 2004

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Pumpkin Doughnuts

Ingredients

Doughnuts
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ easpoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ c buttermilk
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
Canola oil (for deep-frying)
Spiced Sugar
1 c sugar
4 tsp cinnamon
3 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Whisk first 8 ingredients in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until blended (mixture will be grainy). Beat in egg, then yolks and vanilla. Gradually beat in buttermilk; beat in pumpkin in 4 additions. Using rubber spatula, fold in dry ingredients in 4 additions, blending gently after each addition. Cover with plastic; chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  2. Combine the ingredients for the spiced sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  3. Sprinkle 2 rimmed baking sheets lightly with flour. Press out ½ of dough on a well floured surface to 1/2- to 2/3-inch thickness. Using a round cutter, cut out dough rounds. Arrange on sheets. Repeat with remaining dough. Gather dough scraps. Press out dough and cut out more dough rounds until all dough is used.
  4. Using a small round cutter, cut out center of each dough round to make doughnuts and doughnut holes.
  5. Line a few wire racks with paper towels. Pour oil into large deep skillet to depth of 1 1/2 inches. Attach deep-fry thermometer and heat oil to 370°F to 380°F. Fry doughnut holes in batches until golden brown, turning once about 1-2 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain. Fry doughnuts in batches, keeping enough space for the doughnuts to move around, until golden brown, adjusting heat to maintain temperature, about 1 minute per side. Using slotted spoon, transfer doughnuts to paper towels to drain. While the doughnuts are still slightly warm, toss them in the spiced sugar. Let cool before serving.
http://kokocooks.com/2011/10/pumpkin-doughnuts/

 

Read More:

Share

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

 


 
Happy Thanksgiving! We are hosting a feast at our house this year. It will be my first time cooking a complete turkey. We are making appetizers, the bird, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, and dessert. Guests are contributing the rest of the dinner. I’m sure we will have loads of great food and company.

This is my absolute favorite cheesecake. I eagerly wait all year until it is the right season to eat it. I have made it every year for the past eight years. I love the gingersnap crust; it is just different enough, and it complements the pumpkin flavor. This year, I brought it to our extremely late night rehearsal for Candlelight. Hopefully it helped people stay awake. I realize that everyone has probably made (and eaten) their Thanksgiving desserts already, but this cheesecake is a winner for anytime during the holiday season.


Adapted from Marbled Pumpkin Cheesecake
Gourmet, November 1999

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake

Ingredients

Crust
2 c finely ground gingersnap cookies
6 Tbs unsalted butter, melted
¼ c sugar
¼ tsp salt
Cheesecake
20 oz (2 ½ 8-oz packages) cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
2 Tbs flour
3 large eggs
½ tsp vanilla
2 large egg yolks
¾ tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1 c pumpkin puree

Instructions

  1. For the crust: Mix all ingredients together. Press onto the sides and bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan in an even, thin layer. Set aside.
  2. For the cheesecake: Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  3. Beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and flour with an electric mixer. Add the 3 eggs, one at a time, beating between additions and scraping down the bowl. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, beat the 2 egg yolks, spices, and pumpkin until smooth. Add about 1 ½ c of cream cheese mixture to the pumpkin mixture and stir until combined.
  4. Place springform pan in a rimmed baking pan. Pour ¾ of the pumpkin filling into the crust. Pour the plain filling over it. Drizzle the remaining pumpkin filling over the surface and swirl to make a marbled pattern. Place springform pan on a rimmed baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 300˚F. Bake another 50 minutes. Do not open the oven door to check on the cheesecake while it bakes. After the hour, turn the oven off and leave the oven door cracked open for 20 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack. When cool, remove the sides of the pan and serve.
http://kokocooks.com/2010/11/pumpkin-swirl-cheesecake/

 

Read More:

Share

Pumpkin Mousse Parfait

 

I was in the mood for another pumpkin treat – something light. I decided on a mousse, and then found Ina Garten’s recipe for a pumpkin mousse parfait.
 
This is a deceptively light dessert – the mousse is very airy, but all the heavy cream in both layers make this very rich. I could only eat a few layers at a time. I even lessened the amount of cream from the original recipe, as well as reducing the amount of orange zest. The crunchy gingersnaps countered the smooth parfait layers nicely.
The recipe also makes a ton of mousse. I recommend halving it unless you are making dessert for a crowd.

 
From The Barefoot Contessa at Home
By Ina Garten
As seen on foodnetwork.com

Pumpkin Mousse Parfait

Pumpkin Mousse Parfait

Ingredients

¼ c dark rum
1 packet (2 tsp) unflavored gelatin powder
1 15-oz can pumpkin
½ c granulated sugar
½ c light brown sugar, lightly packed
3 large eggs
1 tsp orange zest
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp kosher salt
1 c cold heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Other
Sweetened whipped cream
Chopped ginger cookies

Instructions

  1. Place the rum in a heat proof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for 10 minutes for the gelatin to soften.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, the sugars, egg yolks, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
  3. Set the bowl of gelatin over a pan of simmering water and cook until the gelatin is clear. Immediately whisk the hot gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture. In a medium bowl, whip the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.
  4. To assemble, spoon some of the pumpkin mixture into parfait glasses. Add a layer of whipped cream, followed by some chopped cookies. Repeat layers, ending with a pumpkin layer. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 4 hours or overnight. To serve, decorate with whipped cream and cookies.
http://kokocooks.com/2009/11/pumpkin-mousse-parfait/

 

Read More:

Share

Soup In A Pumpkin

Part two of my pumpkin phase…soup baked in a pumpkin.

Ruth Reichl, editor-in-chief of soon-to-be-defunct Gourmet magazine, was recently interviewed on NPR’s “Fresh Air.” Terry Gross asked Reichl what some of her favorite cold weather foods were, and Reichl described making a soup in a pumpkin almost exactly like this one. Gross was skeptical about the soup, but I knew what Reichl was talking about.


Back in college, I briefly lived with two girls who I did not get along with. It seems like everyone goes through it – you are friends with someone, decide to be roomates, and find out that you are not at all compatible to share an apartment. They never wanted to eat anything that I made, including this soup. Granted, once the soup comes out of the gourd, it is not all that attractive. But it is difficult to resist its bubbly cheesiness and savory aroma.

I had written down this recipe long before I started blogging and crediting recipe ownership. I wish I could remember where I had found this recipe.

I included a picture of the pumpkin with the bottle of wine, to give you an idea of the size of a 6 lb pumpkin.


Soup In A Pumpkin
Source unknown

2 c fresh breadcrumbs
2 c minced onion
4 oz butter
A 5-6 lb pumpkin
1 c coarsely grated swiss cheese
½ c dry white wine
1 ½ qt chicken stock
½ tsp dried sage, or 2 tsp fresh chopped sage
1 c heavy cream
Handful of chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread crumbs on a baking sheet. Dry crumbs in the oven, about 10 minutes. Slowly cook onions in butter over medium heat until tender but not browned. Stir breadcrumbs into onions, and cook for 3 minutes. Heat chicken stock in a separate pan until simmering.

Increase oven temp to 400 degrees. Cut a neat hole out of the top of the pumpkin. Scrape out the insides. Rub inner walls of the pumpkin with butter. Turn the breadcrumb mixture into the pumpkin. Stir in the swiss cheese and white wine. Pour hot chicken stock in the cavity and fill to within 2 inches of the top. Season with salt, pepper, and sage. Place pumpkin in a baking dish. Bake pumpkin for 1 ½ hours, until the pumpkin has softened. Just before serving, gently stir in the heavy cream and chopped parsley. Ladle soup into hot bowls or mugs, scraping off some flesh from the inside of the pumpkin as you go.

Read More:

Share