Things have been a little hectic around my household lately trying to get back in the routine of school and sports. It was nice to have the summer off from driving and waiting around in parking lots all over town while my son plays basketball. I think my son has finally started to recognize females as people worth talking to so that has been really fun to watch. He is officially a teenager and I am learning to navigate all the mood swings and drama that goes along with his new state of being.
I love this time of year when you start to fell a crispness in the air and the days start to grow shorter. As much as I love summer and the bounty of produce available I have a special fondness for the flavors of fall. Pumpkin, kale, sweet potatoes, and Brussels sprouts are all favorite foods and I love to experiment with them all. While it isn’t quite time to start cooking up stews and soups it is always the right time for a pumpkin dessert in my opinion. This is a super easy but impressive recipe that comes together really quickly. I added some roasted hazelnuts and brown butter to a standard graham cracker crust and sweetened the cheesecake mixture with maple syrup and lots of warm spices. You can have this ready in less than 30 minutes and it’s impressive enough for company.
I have some new projects and things brewing in the background that I can’t wait to share with you all! We are still finalizing a few things and I don’t want to jinx it but I can promise some big changes coming to the blog in the next few weeks! Enjoy the changing weather, spend some time with loved ones and take the time to treat yourself!
- For the crust:
- 7 graham crackers or 1 cup of your favorite graham cookie or gingersnaps
- ¼ cup roasted hazelnuts
- 3 tablespoons butter
- For the filling:
- 1 ½ cups heavy cream divided
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- a pinch of ground cloves
- In a food processor or high-speed blender crush the cookies and hazelnuts into fine crumbs. In a small skillet melt the butter over medium heat and then cook stirring occasionally until the butter starts to brown and smells nutty 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the butter to the cookie mixture and stir to combine. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the mixture for garnish and divide the remaining mixture evenly into six small serving containers pressing gently to form an even layer.
- Whip one cup of heavy cream in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment until stiff peaks form and set aside. In the same bowl that you whipped the cream in add the cream cheese, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, maple syrup, salt and spices and process until smooth. Gently fold the reserved cup of whipped cream in two separate additions.
- Clean the bowl of the stand mixer and whip the remaining ½ cup of the heavy cream and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup until stiff peaks form.
- Pipe the pumpkin mixture over the prepared cookie layer and then pipe or dollop the maple whipped cream over the top and sprinkle with the reserved crumbs.