Browsing articles tagged with " cake"

Pumpkin Almond Cheesecake

Pumpkin Almond Cheesecake
Finally, a pumpkin recipe. I mean it is almost December and I have yet to post a recipe with pumpkin in it- what blasphemy! I squeezed this one in just in the nick of time. December’s only a few days away which for me means Christmas decorations, holiday parties, homemade gifts, and best of all – baking projects, lots of baking projects. Most years I have a pretty ambitious list of holiday treats that I want to make, and most years I don’t even come close to making them all. Except for that one year when I made five different kinds of cookies in one day…never again! This year my list falls somewhere between completely manageable and a bit over- the-top. I have yet to decide exactly what I will be making, but I thought I would share with you a few of my ideas.

A couple years ago I made chocolate bark and it quickly became one of my favorite holiday confections. This year I stumbled across a recipe for Mint Chocolate Chip Bark that has my name all over it- hard to imagine that I’ll make it though the season without making this one.

Gingersnap Raspberry Sandwiches are a perennial favorite that combine the snappy ginger flavor of the holidays with the sweet summeriness of raspberries.

Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods are simple and fun to make. I have made these before, but this year I am totally inspired by Sabrina’s creative approach.

I am so intrigued by this recipe for Candied Grapefruit Zest. It’s just the kind of treat that I would love if someone gave it to me… but I can’t decide if my friends and relatives will feel the same or think that a jar of grapefruit peels covered in sugar is just plain weird. Hmmm..I’ll have to give this one some thought.Pumpkin Almond Cheesecake
Chances are that in the coming weeks I will add more to this list, and of course anything I make I will share here with you, but for now it’s still November and I need to tell you about this awesome pumpkin cheesecake. Cheesecake is not usually my first choice when it comes to dessert. Often times I find it a bit too dense and rich for my liking. This one fits neither of those descriptions though.The cake is comprised of a thin layer of almond cake with a light and fluffy cheesecake baked right on top. This combination not only cuts down on the overly rich flavor that cheesecake often has, but it also adds a subtle almond flavor that combines oh so perfectly with the pumpkin.

Pumpkin purèeSpeaking of pumpkin- I did use fresh pumpkin in this recipe. It called for canned pumpkin as most recipes usually do, but I had a beautiful sugar pumpkin that had been sitting of my kitchen counter since sometime in October so it seemed like a shame not to use it. There’s a definite advantage to using canned pumpkin. First of all, it takes far less time to open a can of pumpkin than it does to roast one yourself. Second, pumpkin can be a bit stringy and if you want that same smooth texture as the canned version you are probably going to have to go through a few different steps of mashing and purèeing . Or you could just do what I did and simply mash it a few times with a potato masher – not worrying about achieving that perfect smooth texture. After all, it is fresh pumpkin and it deserves to retain a bit of its character. The end result was probably a bit lumpier than it would have been with canned pumpkin, and the batter was studded with bright orange bits of pumpkin, but when I served it at Thanksgiving not a single person complained (or even noticed). So canned or fresh, take your pick. But watch out for the canned version that has “pumpkin pie spice” already mixed in. Chances are this will mess with the flavor of the cake and you’re better off adding you own spices to a can of straight pumpkin. If the almond cake and pumpkin cheesecake aren’t enough to convince you that this recipe is one you will make again and again, the almond brittle will surely put you over the top. I am pretty much a sucker for anything with almonds in it and when you combine them with sugar and butter, oh man keep me away! This brittle is deceptively easy to make and even easier to eat right off the pan. Luckily we ended up with some extra pieces that were quickly devoured. Next time I am making two trays just so we can have lots of extra. Uh oh…I think I just came up with another holiday baking idea. Almond brittle recipe search here I come!Almond Brittle

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