Pecan Pie Cheesecake

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This Christmas I was determined to make something different for dessert.  I always do a cheesecake and something else as there are a few people who do not like cheesecake.  I racked my brains, searched my books, looked on the web and I was stumped.  There were so many things I liked but nothing that would please almost everyone.  I eventually decided to ask those attending dinner what they would like.  Everyone I asked responded with Cheesecake!  Okay, okay!  I certainly don’t mind making it, I just assumed people would be getting sick of it.  Apparently not.

Now to decide what flavour.  Suggestions were Turtle, Tuxedo, Plain, etc, all ones I had already made.  I like to try new things, then I can post about it, haha!  I headed to Pinterest, where I saw thousands of cheesecakes, but this one caught my eye.  Pecan.Pie.Cheesecake!

Photo from spicysouthernkitchen.com

Just look at that! Amazing!

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I eat with my eyes and as soon as I saw this I knew, this was the Christmas Cheesecake!  I had never made a Pecan Pie before, though it is on my bucket list, but figured I would give it a go.

Pecan Pie Cheesecake

Adapted from Spicy Southern Kitchen

Crust

1¾ cups vanilla-wafer crumbs**
¼ cup firmly packed brown sugar
⅓ cup butter, melted

**I used graham crumbs, not a fan of vanilla wafers

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Combine graham crumbs and brown sugar in a medium bowl. Stir melted butter in with a spatula.

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3. Press into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 9-inch Springform pan.

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4. Bake for 6 minutes and let cool.

Pecan filling

1 cup sugar
⅔ cup dark corn syrup
⅓ cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1½ cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Combine all Pecan-Filling ingredients in a medium saucepan. (I left out the nuts, and poured them over the crust, only because if I messed up with filling I didn’t want to waste the expensive pecans)

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2. Stir well and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens, about 8 to 10 minutes.

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4. Pour into prepared crust.

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At this point I am just about drooling, look at that!  Forget the cheesecake, lets cook this and eat it!

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Cheesecake filling

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 large eggs
⅔ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. (Seemed low to me, I went with340ºF)2. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese at medium speed until smooth and creamy

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2. Add brown sugar and flour and beat until fluffy.

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I love the colour the brown sugar produced.  I had never thought of using brown sugar.  There are a few other ones I think this would be a nice addition to

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3. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Use a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything mixes evenly.

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4. Add cream and vanilla and beat just to combine. Pour mixture over pecan filling. – I was worried pouring the cheesecake over the pecan filling would create a whole and not a layer, but the pecan layer had hardened up enough to hold it

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5. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour. Turn oven off but leave cheesecake in oven with door closed for 1 more hour. (I cooked mine in a water bath as I always do)

Perfection! No cracks!

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6. Remove cheesecake from oven and run a knife around the sides to make sure they are not sticking. Let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

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The next day I spruced it up a little, nothing exciting or over the top.  Placed a few pecans around the edges as a hint of what kind of Cheesecake it was.

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Dessert time!  Finally time to try it!  I am quite nervous before cutting it.  I had read some of the comments and some were undercooked and the filling poured out.  Others overcooked their pie filling and was hard as a rock.  It may look pretty but you just never know.

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It was perfect!  It didn’t ooze out nor did it turn to a rock.

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This cheesecake was perfection!  I will admit, I am my own worst critic.  I always pick apart my desserts thinking something could be better or should have done this different.  Not with this one! This was perfect.   The pictures do not do it justice.

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As I was serving it up, I could hear ‘mmmm’, ‘wow’, ‘OMG Erica!’ ‘Your BEST cheesecake ever!’. At this point I had not tried it yet, I always serve myself last.  When I made sure everyone had dessert (there was also an apple crisp for those cheesecake haters) I served myself up a big piece.  I had a piece and a half, Dad can’t have nuts so he just at the top part, I got his pecan crust.

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OH.MY.GOD!

With one bite, i think I went to heaven.  As soon as the fork hit my mouth angles started singing.  Quite literally, it was a ‘party in my mouth’.  I felt like Clark Grisswold from Christmas Vacation when he finally got his lights to work…

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I seriously had to pause for a moment to take it all in.

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The creamy top layer of cheesecake was so smooth and decadent. I really liked the almost caramel flavour that the brown sugar added to the plain cheesecake.

A few photos from the next day on white plates looks better

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The pecan pie layer was simply amazing!  It was sinfully sweet! I could have just pulled up a big bowl of it and been happy.  It was a perfect consistency.  It almost put me in mine of a perfect butter tart.  I am glad I went with the graham crumb crust, it went perfectly.

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The combination of the creamy cheesecake balanced out the sweetness of the pecan pie filling and it was absolutely delicious! Everyone love it! I was told several times that this was their new favourite. Already had requests for a repeat and a few want the recipe.

I’d say it was a success!  My only complaint is that there was not more left over! haha

Thanks you Christin from Spicy Southern Kitchen for such a wonderful dessert, it was the perfect ending to a wonderful Christmas Eve meal.

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Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

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Cheesecake, how I love thee.  I think cheesecake has become my new favourite thing to make, it’s so easy (though a bit time-consuming) and so delicious!  For our Christmas dessert I made yet another cheesecake.  This year I wanted to do something a little different, despite 3 request for the Turtle Cheesecake, I went with Chocolate Chip Cheesecake.

I have made some small changes (not noted, somethings just have to be a secret) over the years to make it just right for me, but I still basically follow the recipe I got way back when I started with the Daring Bakers.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake

I did not take pictures of the process (I know! Crazy isn’t it?) it was late and I was rushing.  I remembered just as I was adding the Chocolate chips!  Sorry!!

Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:

Crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake:
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
2 cups chocolate chips

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too – baker’s choice. Set crust aside.

3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

4. Add chocolate chips and stir

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5. Pour batter into prepared crust.

It was at this point I knew my vision of a beautiful chocolate chip cheesecake went completely out the window!!! The batter is so thin and runny every single chocolate chip disappeared – I envisioned them sitting on the Graham crust.  I carry on with hope, that they were just below the surface.

6. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

7. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

The next day, cooled and ready to finish.  I remove it from the spring form pan – not one chocolate chip to in sight.  Now I know they are all sitting on the crust.  Perhaps I change the name to a Chocolate Chip Layer Cheesecake?

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Chocolate Ganache

4 oz semi sweet chocolate
1 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 cup cream

Directions:

1. In a double boiler melt chocolate and corn syrup

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2. Stir until combine – I missed the photo of this step because I got MAD.  I thought the chocolate had seized on me and I did not have any extra!  I thought I was in for another melting the Easter Lindt bunnies as I did for my Turtle Tuxedo Cheesecake.

3. Add cream and stir – at this point I had nothing to lose so I just went with it.

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The chocolate Gods were with me, it survived!

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4. Spread on cheesecake and chill in the fridge

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Beautiful!

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And now we wait until Christmas Dinner Dessert….

Beautiful table setting at Mom and Dad’s

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Everyone enjoying the feast! It was delicious – Roast pork, roasted potatoes, veggie casserole, turnip puff, dressing, baked beans, coleslaw, apple sauce, gravy and rolls.

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Finally time for dessert!

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As suspected, all the chocolate chips sank to the bottom.  It was not how I envisioned it to look but, WOW was it tasty!  It was referred to as ‘sinfully delicious’.  It really didn’t taste sweet, even with 2 cups of chocolate chips.  It was a huge hit and I will be making this version again!

Classic Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

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Mmmmm, Cheesecake!  I have yet to meet one that I didn’t like.  This week I had the pleasure of baking with my cousin Amy.  We baked together, hmm let me think, like 7 years ago and made a bunch of Christmas treats.  Not many people I know, well only one other…Guest Baker Jen, like to bake so I was quite excited at the opportunity to bake with someone.

Amy wanted to make cheesecake, heck yes! I love cheesecake!  Usually when I make cheesecake I load it up with a bunch of chocolate, caramel, peanut butter and anything else I can add to make it ooey and gooey and ever so sinful!  As wonderful as those are Amy wanted to make Classic Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce.  A plain cheesecake, this is something I have never done, but was up for the challenge.  The cheesecake recipe I always use is from way back when I started The Daring Bakers, it was my first challenge, Abby’s Infamous Cheesecake.

Abbey’s Infamous Cheesecake:

Crust:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2. Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.

3. Mix together the crust ingredients. We like a lot of crust and like it to come up the sides of the cheesecake so we doubled the crust recipe

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4. Press into your preferred pan.

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5. Bake at 350 °C for approx 8 minutes, set aside to cool

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Cheesecake:
3 blocks of cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake

Directions:

1. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer and cream together until smooth.

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2. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg.

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3. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.

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4.  If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.

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**Forgot to take pictures of the last few steps….**

5. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface.

6. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan.

7. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done – this can be hard to judge, but you’re looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don’t want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won’t crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.

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A & E Raspberry Sauce

This was our own creation!  We had no idea what we were doing.  I suggested that we write down what we did as we went along, just in case it turned out well.  With all the additions, this was our final measures

1/2 cup water
14 oz fresh raspberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch

Directions:

1. Combine in a small sauce pan

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2. Heat on medium low and bring to a simmer

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3. Combine cornstarch with 3 tbsp of cold water and stir until all lumps are dissolved

4. Pour cornstarch into simmering sauce

5. Bring to a boil for 1 minute, stirring often

6. Allow to cool

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Now the hard part, waiting until the next day to eat it!!!  As it was still warm when Amy took it home I was not able to try it, this is what it looked like when it left, deconstructed if you will…

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And THIS is what it looked like when assembled

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The next day I was able to try it, WOW it was amazing!  The cheesecake was so creamy and had a slight tang to it, brought your taste buds to life.  The raspberry sauce was a success!  I’m glad we wrote it down because it was excellent!

With a review of “Absolutely the most delicious thing I have ever eaten” AK, I think we did ok! 🙂

This is why I love baking with others and baking things other people ask for, I get a chance to make things that I normally would not.  I am so glad I did, this cheesecake was amazing and I will be making a Classic Cheesecake again!

Along with the cheesecake we also made Banana Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing.  We used the recipe for my Banana Chocolate Chip Cake and a simple cream cheese icing

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I had a great time baking with Amy, and hope that it is not another 7 years before we do it again!

Thanks, Amy