Wow, we had a wonderful Christmas dinner on Christmas Eve. We invited our best friends over and had an intimate dinner. I even set the table – something I never do! It was great. The food was great. The company was awesome. For dessert I tried something new – two recipes I found on Pinterest – and they couldn’t have turned out more perfectly. Served together with a nice big dollop of whipped cream, my friend Jonny said he normally hates cheesecake, but he loved it, and was amazed I’d made the ice cream myself! Both were much easier than a lot of Christmas desserts I’ve made in the past, and I will definitely make them both again!
Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs – about 1.5 sleeves, crunched up fine in the food processor
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 4 packages (8 oz each)cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup (8 oz)pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- Heat oven to 300°F.
- Line a 13x9x2 inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edge. (I tip I got from Martha Stewart is to use little binder clips to clip it down over the edges. It worked great.
- In a medium size bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter.
- With your fingers press the crust on the bottom of the prepared pan. Set aside while making the filling.
- I used my KitchenAid mixer for this, but you could do it with a regular hand mixer. In mixing bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar. Beat on low speed until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, just until blended.
- Spoon half of the mixture over the crust and spread evenly.
- To the remaining cream cheese mixture add the pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Stir until smooth – wire whisk works well for this.
- Gently and evenly spoon the pumpkin mix over the cheese mixture in the pan.
- Bake the cheesecake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until just set. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar allowing the cheesecake to slowly cool down for about 1 hour or so.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours before cutting into bars. (I made it two days ahead and kept it in the fridge.
Original recipe at: http://atreatsaffair.com/pumpkin-cheesecake-bars-recipe/
No Churn Pumpkin Ice Cream
- 8 oz heavy whipping cream
- 14 oz sweetened condensed milk
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
Whip very cold whipping cream in a chilled bowl until peaks form.
Add sweetened condensed milk while still mixing, then add remaining ingredients and combine.
Pour into a freezable container, cover, and freeze until solid. 4 hours or overnight. Take out of freezer 10 minutes before trying to scoop, or 30 seconds in the microwave works too.
Original Recipe: http://colormemeg.com/2014/11/no-churn-easy-pumpkin-pie-ice-cream.html
I also placed a bowl of mandarin orange pieces topped with the seeds from a pomegranate on the table during dessert, and it was gobbled up. To me, mandarins and pomegranates are Christmas. Growing up, it was the only time we got these special fruits, because they were so expensive. Remembering my mom a lot today.