Sweet Potato Pumpkin Cheesecake w/ Gingersnap Crust

"Cheesecake Picnic Party" - David Russell Talbott

The time of year when you can actually use the excuse “It’s the holidays” in a court of law to cover your (ever-growing) ass as you gorge for 4 straight weeks is upon us once again.  And that means it was time for Mike to make dessert for the family meals.  Hell, if we’re going to eat way too much over the course of 8 hours, I may as well contribute something sweet.

Last year I spent weeks coming up with a Sweet Potato Pumpkin Pie recipe.  I was obsessed and couldn’t be stopped.  My coworkers were overjoyed because I brought in a half dozen pies as I used them for my guinea pigs.  This year, I wanted to make a cheesecake version of the pumpkin pie classic, and luckily I already had my recipe from 2008 to work with.  Using a basic cheesecake recipe from AllRecipes I performed some recipe mad science to come up with the final recipe below.

The original crust calls for Pecans, but I’ve always been a Walnut person myself.  I think in this situation it worked out for the better.  Of course, if you’re worried about nut allergies you can also just replace the 1/2 cup of nuts with more gingersnaps or even a 1/2 cup of Nilla Wafers.

And I can only hope you’re better at marbling, because mine appeared more like a storm system over the sands of Tatooine than it did a “marble” effect.  Tasted just as good though!

Gingersnap Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed gingersnap cookies
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a bowl, mix together the crushed gingersnap cookies, walnuts, and butter. Press into the bottom, and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9 inch springform pan. Bake crust 5-6 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.

Sweet Potato Pumpkin Cheesecake

Ingredients

  • 2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 heaping cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 heaping cup mashed sweet potatoes
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

In a medium bowl, mix together the cream cheese, the 1/2 cup white sugar, and vanilla until just smooth.  Mix in eggs one at a time, blending well after each.  Set aside 1 cup of the mixture.  Blend 1/4 cup brown sugar, pumpkin, sweet potato, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg into the remaining mixture.  Pour the pumpkin flavored batter into the crust, and drop the plain batter by teaspoonfuls onto the top.  Swirl with a knife to create a “marbled” effect.  Bake 55 minutes in the preheated oven, or until filling is set.  Run a knife around the edge of the pan.  Allow to cool before removing pan rim. Chill for at least 4-6 hours before serving.  It can also be stored in the freezer if not using the same day.

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