I made this for Thanksgiving, but it could easily make an appearance at Christmas time as well! It turned out very well...it tasted good and looked really pretty! Often, my cheesecakes crack on top, but this one was almost picture perfect! Too bad I don't have an actual good picture of it...that's what happens when I have a hundred things going on at once.
When your crust has cooled to room temperature, make the filling. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. (If you left your oven on, don’t forgot to drop the heat. The cheesecake itself bakes at 25 degrees cooler than the crust.) Put the cream cheese in the bowl of your mixer. Beat it to break it up. Add the brown sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. Toss in the eggs. Beat well to incorporate the eggs. The mixture will be a thick, soupy light brown, kind of like melted chocolate ice cream. Toss in the pumpkin. And the
cognac vanilla. Beat to combine. The filling will be thick and creamy. Toss in the flour and pumpkin pie spice. Beat gently to combine.
Pour the filling into your cooled crust. Pour it just until it fills the crust. Depending on how high up the sides of the pan your crust comes, you may wind up with a little extra filling. I had enough filling to fill a small store-bought graham cracker crust. So I made that for my Grandma! Pop the pan into your pre-heated 325-degree oven. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, until it *looks* set (i.e. firm and opaque) but the center jiggles a little when you move the pan.
Turn the heat off, crack the oven door about 4 or 5 inches. Leave the cheesecake in there (with the door cracked open) for an additional 3o minutes. Yank the cheesecake out of the oven when that last 30 minutes is up. Then, cool it in the pan on a rack for another 30 minutes. Then, pop in the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight before serving.
**Verdict - YUM! You could really taste the brown sugar and the chocolate shortbread was a different twist. It would also be awesome with a gingerbread crust! We also had cinnamon cool whip for the top, but it didn't really need it. I liked how the recipe was written with very explicit instructions and she let you know what to expect (colors and consistencies). For an inexperienced cook like myself, it was very helpful! Check out the original recipe post for step by step pics.
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