Thanksgiving. We didn’t host it at our house, so instead of preparing a feast, I was just responsible for two deserts. We chose Carrot Cake for John’s parent’s house and Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake for John’s grandmother’s house. I didn’t remember to take a picture of either desert, so I borrowed from the internet, with acknowledgments.
Holiday Carrot Cake (Modified from – Family Circle, Nov. 29, 2009)
2.5 cups all-purpose flour 1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder 1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp salt 1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar 1.5 cups vegetable oil
4 eggs 2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups carrots 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1. Heat oven to 350. Coat two cake pans with cooking spray. Line bottoms with waxed paper, coat paper with spray.
2. In medium sized bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt. In large bowl, beat sugars, oil, eggs and vanilla on medium speed until blended. On low, beat in flour mixture until smooth. Stir in carrots and nuts. Divide batter evenly between pans.
3. Bake at 350 for 42-45 minutes, until inserted toothpick is clean. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes, Turn out and cool completely.
2 – 8ox packages cream cheese (at room temp) 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
1 tsp vanilla extract 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
walnuts for garnish
1. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until creamy. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar until smooth.
This cake was good, but a little bland. I would make it again, but I would add 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and 2 tsp of cinnamon to try to perk up the flavors.
Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake (Modified from – Better Homes and Gardens, Nov 2009)
2 – 15oz cans pumpkin 1.5 cups finely crushed gingersnaps
1/4 cup melted butter 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 -8oz packages cream cheese, softened 1 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 tsp cinnamon 5 eggs
1. Position oven racks, one above the other, bottom rack in lowest position. On bottom rack, place a 13x9x2-inch baking pan and pour in water to 1 inch depth. Heat oven to 350. To drain pumpkin, line a colander with paper towels, spoon in pumpkin, and set aside while preparing crust.
2. For crust, in bowl, stir together crushed gingersnaps, butter, and 1/4 cup brown sugar. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and about 1 inch up sides of spongiform pan. Bake 5 minutes, cool completely on rack.
3. For filling, add cream cheese and 1 1/4 cup brown sugar to food processor and blend until smooth. Pulse in pumpkin (discard the pumpkin liquid), flour, and spices until combined. Add 5 eggs, pulsing lightly after each one.
4. Pour filling into crust-lined pan, spreading to sides of pan. Place pan on oven rack, above water-filled pan. Bake 1 hour, or until filling appears set when gently shaken. Turn off oven; let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. (Top may crack as it cools).
5. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. With small, sharp knife, loosen crust from sides of pan; cool 30 minutes. Remove sides of pan and cool completely on rack. Cover and chill at least 4 hours before serving.
I didn’t get to try any of this since I ended up with the flu and didn’t get to go to John’s grandmother’s. However, I heard from a reliable source (my MIL), that this was really yummy. I did happen to try the filling that was left over in the bowl – I am not a pumpkin fan, but I was really enjoying the uncooked filling.