I really do love Fall, it might be my favorite season. Now that I live in Florida, I miss getting to see all the Aspens change color and the mountains change into beautiful reds and golds. In Florida, we do get some “fall” weather where it gets nice and cool and the air feels crisp – but it doesn’t seem to come until later in October (rather than late August or early September). Anyways, besides all the colors of Fall (and Halloween of course!), my normal food “favorites” lend themselves very well to the Fall food choices.
- Favorite Pie: Apple, preferably with a crumble on top
- Favorite Spice/Flavoring: Cinnamon
- Favorite Ice Cream: Cinnamon – preferably on top of a piece of apple pie
- Favorite Ice cream topping: Caramel
- Favorite Cake: Spice Cake with cream cheese frosting (although pumpkin cake is a close second)
So when I started to see all these show up at Walmart, I got VERY excited.
While I have been trying to eat healthier, I do miss baking. Those who have known me for a while know that I used to bake ALL THE TIME in college. I made cakes for everyone’s birthdays, pies, pastries, anything I could think of basically. But after college, when there weren’t a bunch of Alpha Phi’s around willing to eat my tasty creations, I stopped making them. I want to have a piece of my delicious homemade cake – but not the ENTIRE cake, LOL. But I have so many yummy looking desserts pinned on Pinterest that I decided I should try to make one a month. This month, I picked this little treat (click the pic to see the original recipe):
Now this is a pretty risky choice. I really like Pecan Pie but I’ve only made it one time before (years ago in college) and it never properly set. Plus the only cheesecake I’ve made is a thin cheesecake for chocolate covered cheesecake squares. But why not go crazy and make something new and fun right?
First up was the crust which was just Vanilla Wafers, butter and brown sugar. My Blendtec was perfect for turning the wafers into crumbs in seconds. By the way, as a kid I always thought Vanilla Wafers were such a boring icky cookie but I haven’t had them in years and let me tell ya’…they’re addicting.
Next was the pecan pie filling. Here’s the part I was worried about, I was really hoping that I didn’t screw anything up and that it would set properly.
Last but not least, my Kitchen Aid helped me beat the cream cheese and other ingredients into a nice smooth mixture which I poured on top of the pecan pie filling and crust, and baked.
I used dark brown sugar in the cheesecake instead of light brown so it made it come out a little darker but it should still taste good. It actually looks more “Fall” like. For anyone wondering – I decided NOT to bake it in a waterbath. The last time I used my springform pan for brownies (to make an ice cream cake), some of the brownie batter leaked out of my pan, even though I had wrapped the bottom with foil, so I was afraid if I put it in a water bath the water would go in the pan and make the crust soggy. I figured if the cheesecake cracked on top, I could just cover it in caramel, heehee. I baked it for an hour at 325 and then it still didn’t seem done so I turned off the oven and left it in there another 20mins.
See the part that looks like I scooped a bit out of it? Well I decided to let it cool on a cooling rack on the counter until it was ready to be put in the fridge and the stupid cat got up on the counter and licked part of it (which I had to cut out) – I swear I could kill that cat. Anyways, since it needed to be refrigerated overnight anyways, I decided to make some ice cream with my mixer and ice cream maker to go with it. Can you guess what flavor I picked? Shockingly, I’ve had my mixer for almost a year and I’ve never made Cinnamon ice cream! Holy cow did it come out good – I used to be so upset when ColdStone and Marble Slab stopped carrying cinnamon ice cream but what I made came out so much better than what they used to serve! This could be REALLY bad for my diet, LOL.
The next day, the cheesecake was ready to be removed from the springform pan (oh, I forgot to tell you that right after I took it out of the oven I ran a plastic knife around the edge to help keep it from cracking as it cooled). It might not be the prettiest but I'm so proud that it didn't crack!! The pecan pie part set perfectly. In fact, I probably simmered it a tiny bit too long, it's a bit chewy. But paired with the cinnamon ice cream, this might be my new favorite dessert, yum!!!
I ended up taking most of this to work so that I didn't eat the whole thing. Not only did my coworkers devour it - they asked if I'd make another one to bring to our company chili cook off the next day. So i brought another one and it went even faster than the first! Definitely recommend this recipe!