Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Desserts

I just love this time of year! I absolutely love spending all day in the kitchen! Below are two of the desserts I am making this year for Thanksgiving. One is an old favorite, Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll, and the other a new recipe, Apple-of-Your-Eye Cheesecake (from the Taste of Home Most Requested Recipes Cookbook). I believe you need a little bit of pumpkin at Thanksgiving and since I don't care for pumpkin pie, I make this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll. I know some of you who have never made a rolled cake of any sort may be hesitant to make this, but it is really easy. The key is to not over bake your cake and to roll it up as soon as you get it out of the oven. If you do that, it will turn out perfect! I also believe there needs to be something apple at Thanksgiving. Just another one of those fall harvest fruits that needs to be represented. So this year I changed it up a little and instead of doing an apple pie I decided to try an apple cheesecake... the best of both worlds... 2 amazing desserts in one! Haven't tasted it yet, but it looks and smells amazing! Hope you have time to incorporate these 2 desserts into your Thanksgiving meal! Happy Thanksgiving!
This is only half of the roll. I cut it in half and froze the other half because with our small family of 4 I don't think we need that much dessert!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll

Powdered sugar
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt
3 Large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
6 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease 15x10 inch jelly roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour wax paper. Sprinkle towel with powdered sugar. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl. Beat eggs and sugar in large mixing bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts. Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack. Beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in small mixing bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Re-roll cake. Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. ( The roll can also be frozen and enjoyed later!) Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving!

Apple-of-Your-Eye Cheesecake

1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 16 squares)
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. finely chopped pecans
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ cup butter, melted

3 packages (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ tsp. vanilla extract

2 ½ cups chopped peeled apples
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
6 Tbsp. caramel ice cream topping, divided

Sweetened whipped cream
2 Tbsp. chopped pecans

In a bowl, combine the cracker crumbs, sugar, pecans and cinnamon; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of a lightly greased 9 inch springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Place pan on a wire rack (leave oven on).
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed until combined. Stir in vanilla. Pour over crust. Toss apples with lemon juice, sugar and cinnamon; spoon over filling. Return pan to baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edges of pan to loosen. Drizzle with 4 tablespoons caramel topping. Cool for 1 hour. Chill overnight.
Remove sides of pan. Just before serving, garnish with whipped cream. Drizzle with remaining caramel; Sprinkle with pecans. Enjoy!