I never get to make cheesecake. I mean, I could. Except I'm the only one in my house who will eat it. Which means I'd have to eat the whole thing by myself. Which is really not a good idea. So when my friend Beth (aka Shortcake79 on The Nest) invited us all over to her house for dinner, I knew I would have someone to make a cheesecake for. See, neither of our husbands will eat cheesecake. So we decided that we'd have cheesecake and the guys (and the kids) would have chocolate chip cookies. I decided to look for a recipe for Pumpkin Cheesecake and I came across The Cheesecake Factory's recipe on RecipeZaar.com.
The recipe was incredibly easy. The part that took the longest was processing the cookies for the crust in my Magic Bullet. The recipe called for graham cracker crumbs. But I didn't have any, so I substituted Vanilla Wafer crumbs. The crust was delicious and I think the only thing I would do differently next time would be to add some cinnamon and nutmeg and prebake it a little longer. I meant to add spices to the crust this time, thanks to the advice of my wonderful friends on The Nest's WHat's COoking message board, but I forgot. I definitely recommend using the vanilla wafers for the crust. I don't think I'd like it as much with a graham cracker crust. Elly suggested Gingersnaps, which I think would be even better than the Vanilla Wafers, but I didn't have any. So I'll use them the next time Beth invites me over :-)
The Cheesecake Factory Pumpkin Cheesecake (source: recipezaar.com)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and 1 tbsp sugar in a medium bowl. Stir until the crumbs are coated with the butter. Do not over mix. You want it to be crumbly. Press into the bottom and up 2/3 of the sides of an 8" springform pan (I used a 9" pan because that's all I have). Put foil halfway up the outside of the pan. bake the crust for 5 minutes and set aside until you're ready to fill it.
In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Mix with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the pumpkin, eggs and spices and continue mixing until creamy. Pour the filling into the pan and bake for 60-70 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cake is at room temperature, place in refrigerator to chill. Once the cake is chilled, remove the pan sides and serve.