Sunday, January 2, 2011

Larger-than-Life Praline Cheesecake & More

We had lots of good food at my parents' house for Christmas! This cheesecake recipe was what I made for dessert and after the recipe, I included some other delicious recipes from other family memebers that we got to enjoy. I found the cheesecake recipe at Taste and Tell where Deborah is always posting the best recipes with beautiful photos. This praline topping is so good that I plan on making it and just eating it plain sometime. Oh, maybe that's breaking a resolution. Soooooo good!

Larger-than-Life Praline Cheesecake

2 c. crushed graham crackers
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c. sugar
1 T. ground cinnamon
Pumpkin Filling
3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/3 c. sugar
3 large eggs
1 t. vanilla extract
1 (15-oz.) can pure pumpkin
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. ground nutmeg
1/2 t. ground ginger
Praline Topping
1 c. pecans
1/2 c. firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 c. heavy whipping cream
1 T. unsalted butter
1 T. vanilla extract
1/4 t. salt

To make the crust: Line the bottom of a 9- or 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper and coat with cooking spray. In a large bowl, stir together the crushed graham crackers with the melted butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Preheat the oven to 350º.

To make the filling: Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl on medium-high speed about 1 minute, until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth, about 1 minute. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on medium-high for 20 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; beat on medium speed about 1 minute, until incorporated.

Pour the filling over the crust. Put the springform pan into a larger baking pan and set it on the center rack of the oven. Pour enough boiling water into the larger pan to reach halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake about 1 hour, until the filling is set and golden brown on top. Cool the cheesecake on a rack about 3o minutes, then chill for several hours or overnight. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan and set it on a serving plate.

To make the praline topping: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the pecans on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast them for 7 to 9 minutes, until golden brown and aromatic. Coarsely chop the nuts.

Stir together the brown sugar, cream, and butter in a saucepan set over medium heat. Boil the mixture for about 1 1/2 minutes, adjusting the heat to make sure it does not boil over. Do not stir. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla, salt, and pecans. Cool the topping at least 15 minutes before pouring over the top of the chilled cheesecake. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to serve. The cheesecake will keep, well wrapped, in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

My mom (who doesn't have a blog, but would have a cool one if she did) made an addictive cheeseball that we had with crackers. I didn't take a picture of it on Christmas, but I did at home the next day from the little container of it I took home. Sorry it is not a good photo.

Mix together one package softened cream cheese with one small can of slivered olives and one small can of jalapeños or green chilies. Put it in desired container and chill. Serve with crackers or whatever you like.

My sister Heather made this Squash Casserole. I wanted to try it, but it was even better than I thought it'd be! You can click on the link to her blog (her name) to get the recipe.
My sister-in-law Debbie made two delicious types of cookies. She doesn't have her own blog, but her husband, my brother Jared does and he posted the recipe there.
My sister Tiffany and her husband Adam live in Georgia so we didn't get to see them this Christmas, but I didn't want to leave her out. So click on her name to see food she made and recently posted on her blog, even though it's not a holiday recipe. 

My sister Sheri doesn't have a blog, but here are some cookies that she baked up for all of us. They are like a sugar cookie with sprinkles baked in. Pretty, huh?

Sprinkle Cookies
2½ c.  flour
1 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
1 c. unsalted butter, softened
1 c. sugar
2 lg. eggs
2 t. vanilla
½ c. multi-colored sprinkles

Preheat the oven to 375º. Combine the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt until just combined.

Place the sprinkles in a small bowl. Scoop up a heaping tablespoon of dough and roll it between your palms to form a ball. Roll the top half of each ball in the sprinkles. Place the balls, sprinkle side up, on an ungreased cookie sheet, leaving about 3 inches between cookies.

Bake the cookies until they are pale golden around the edges but still soft on top, about 10 minutes. Let them stand on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and remove to a wire rack to cool completely. Cookies will keep in an airtight container for 2-3 days.
Yield: 2 dozen

Good food and super people who I love!


  1. You sure know how to get my saliva flowing! Now that's all I'llthink of all day! Good thing I already did my grocery shopping or I'd be buying the stuff to make these....and that would be breaking one of MY resolutions!

  2. Oh my gracious sakes. It all looks so incredibly delish!! That pie is calling my name!

  3. Uh, wow. Those all look amazing! The holidays are SO great for eating decadent treats. I think my pants are glad I'm back on the sensible eating plan for the next 11 months!

    Thanks for swinging by my blog!
    Excited to follow all your adventures now, too

    The Survival Mama


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