September is here and that means pumpkin-flavored everything is coming!
|I'm sure you've seen this floating around the Internet|
I got really into baking over the summer and I have a whole board on Pinterest full of recipes that I want to try. It’s really weird because I never used to like baking, but all of a sudden I do. A class discussion last week has made me think that maybe baking is my other medium (i.e. my way to get my creativity out when I’m not writing). Whether that’s true or not, however, does not change the fact that I’ve discovered a love for baking.
I mean, I’m waking up before the sun to make my brother pancakes/waffles/muffins, and it’s not just because I’m an awesome big sister!
A couple weeks ago I was nominated to bake the dessert for a dinner at my grandparents’ house. Mom told me to make something pumpkin-y because she’d bought canned pumpkin and needed pumpkin recipes to share on her blog. I decided I wanted to make pumpkin cheesecake because I had a ton of recipes on Pinterest for pumpkin cheesecake.
Cheesecake is amazing. I have a serious addiction to The Cheesecake Factory’s cheesecake. However, cheesecake is also extremely fattening and I was very concerned about using three blocks of cream cheese in a single recipe. So I decided to make up my own recipe by looking at a couple other recipes and changing up the ingredients a bit.
My recipe turned out so well that I am apparently supposed to make it for Thanksgiving dinner.
The crust is made of Oreos mixed with melted butter. Simple enough, but it tastes heavenly. I am way too lazy to clean our blender once it’s dirty, so I ended up mashing up the Oreos for the crust by hand. It took a while, but I was able to get them fine enough for a crust.
|Crush up an entire package of Oreos and mix with melted butter|
|Use as many of the Oreos as you can. I did not heed my own warning, so I|
used an entire container of Oreos, minus one.
Once the Oreos and butter were mixed, it was time to form the crust.
Next was the filling. Like I said, three blocks of cream cheese seemed way too much to me. I opted for one block of cream cheese, one block of reduced fat cream cheese (you know, the kind with the funny name that starts with an “n”) and Greek yogurt. If you’ve read my other recipe posts, you probably think that I have an obsession with Greek yogurt. The answer is yes, I have an obsession with Greek yogurt.
Once the cheeses and yogurt were mixed, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and sugar all went into the batter.
There was a moment of slight confusion when I was looking up recipes. I couldn't understand the difference between pumpkin puree and canned pumpkin. Apparently, there is no difference! My mother got a kick out of my confusion.
|This is canned pumpkin/pumpkin puree|
After all of the ingredients were blended, it was time to fill the Oreo shell.
This cheesecake was my very first cheesecake (besides some low-fat cheesecake bars I’d made a few months back). I had to google how to tell when it was done (because obviously the toothpick trick doesn’t work on cheesecakes). Google said that it needs to be liquidy in the center, but the entire thing was liquidy. It also said that cracking is a sign, so that’s what told me it was done!
It was beautiful. It was delicious. Eating it was like tasting a little piece of heaven. And honestly, although it was pretty time consuming, I will gladly make it again for Thanksgiving just so that I can taste it again!
1 package of Oreos
½ cup butter
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz reduced fat cream cheese
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
Crush up the Oreos however you prefer (I did mine the old fashioned way with a rolling pin and a bag). Melt the butter in a sauce pan and then stir into the crushed Oreos. Press mixture into bottom and sides of a spring form pan, then cool in freezer for about fifteen minutes. After cooling, bake the crust at 350 degrees for five minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
Beat cream cheeses and sugar until creamy, then add the eggs and beat until smooth. Add yogurt, pumpkin, vanilla, and spices and then beat until everything is combined and batter is smooth and creamy. Once the batter is ready, pour into the Oreo crust.
Bake cake at 350 degrees for forty-five minutes. It will still be liquidy and jiggle when you tap the sides of the pan, but that’s OK; this cheesecake is creamier than it is thick. Let cool and then place in refrigerator over night.