At work recently, we had a baking contest. I was talking about entering the contest, I mean, why not? Well, one of the respiratory therapists that I work with told me not to bother. One of the girls in respiratory always won. She only lost one time. I told him that was because I had never entered before. Guess who won? Here's the recipe, if you would care to try your hand at the winner!
1 1/2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
1 1/2 cups toasted pecans (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups canned solid pack pumpkin
9 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
4 large eggs
Purchased caramel sauce (several tablespoons full)
For crust: preheat oven to 350ºF. Finely grind ground cookies, pecans, and sugar in processor. Add melted butter and blend until combined. Press crust mixture onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides.
For filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light. Transfer 3/4 cup to small bowl; cover tightly and refrigerate to use for topping. Add pumpkin, 4 tablespoons whipping cream, cinnamon, and allspice to mixture in large bowl and beat until well combined Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined.
Pour filling into crust (filling will almost fill pan). Place springform pan on baking sheet. Bake until cheesecake puffs, top browns, and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken about 1 hour 15 minutes.
Remove cheesecake from oven and cool on rack for 10 minutes. Run small sharp knife around cake pan sides to loosen cheese cake. Do NOT release springform! Cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.
Bring reserved 3/4 cup cream cheese mixture to room temperature. Add remaining 5 tablespoons whipping cream to mixture and stir to combine. Press down edges of cheesecake firmly to even thickness. Pour cream cheese mixture over cheesecake, spreading evenly. Spoon caramel sauce in lines over cream cheese mixture. Using tip of knife, swirl caramel sauce into cream cheese mixture. Cover and refrigerate.
Release pan sides from cheesecake. Enjoy!