Saturday, November 23, 2013

Layered pumpkin cheesecake

Pumpkin pie is one of those things I feel I have to serve at holiday meals, but a little goes a long way.  If I have one piece between November 15th and New Years, I am set for the season, and whenever I make it, it never gets finished. Having had my seasonal piece at my school's Thanksgiving lunch last week, I decided to try something different this year.

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
Combine sugar and crumbs, gradually mix in butter.  Press into bottom and up sides of springform pan; bake at 325 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Cool.

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 packets cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 4 teaspoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  • 2 eggs
Mix pumpkin, brown sugar and spices, set aside. Soften cream cheese in microwave, then beat in sugar, sour cream, sugar, vanilla and flour until smooth. Add eggs and beat just until well-blended. Divide batter in half, pour one half into cooled crust. Mix pumpkin mixture into remaining batter, pour over first layer.  Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes or until mostly set but still a bit jiggly in center. Cool, then refrigerate overnight.

Sweet potato casserole

My adaptation of the Southern Living classic, with less butter, maple syrup and orange juice instead of the sugar and milk and no pecans. I also bake the potatoes in the oven instead of boiling...  more carmelizaed potato sweetness!
  • 6 medium sweet potatoes*
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed, if possible)
Scrub potatoes, rub skins with oil and prick with fork.  Bake  at 400 degrees for about an hour, or until soft.  Cool; skins will loosen and peel off easily. Mash in a large mixing bowl.
Beat eggs and stir into potatoes.  Add syrup, vanilla and orange juice and mash until smooth.  Pour into greased casserole dish.

Topping: (if you family doesn't insist on marshmallows)
Cut 2 tablespoons butter into 2 tablespoons flour until crumbly; mix with 1/3 cup brown sugar. Sprinkle over top.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

*"Medium" must have meant something much smaller than today's typical sweet potato when this recipe was written.  Usually I need no more than 3-4 of today's size potatoes, and that's with saving a cup for muffins.

Sweet Potato Muffins

Holidays are approaching, which means it's beta carotene season in Doc Thelma's Kitchen.  First up is a new muffin recipe for me.  I am making sweet potatoes in preparation for Thanksgiving and, as usual, overestimated the number of potatoes needed.  This in a nice way to use an extra cup or two.
  • 1 cup mashed baked sweet potato
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1.5 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper cups.  In my tins, this recipe makes about 18. Beat together briefly eggs, sour cream, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Add sweet potatoes and blend. Mix dry ingredients and spices, add to bowl and stir just until combined. Fill cups 3/4's full; bake 15-20 minutes. Remove and cool.

Glaze (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon melted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix all ingredients until smooth, drizzle over cooled muffins.