I had an old recipe for pumpkin cheesecake that used a pre made graham cracker crumb pie tin (I told you it was old!) I did some experimenting and I came up with this easy and much tastier alternative: fresh graham cracker crumbs , butter and macadamia nuts. I added my latest favorite ingredient – Torani Caramel Sauce – and the results are amazing!
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
Torani Caramel Sauce (find it here: http://www.webstaurantstore.com)
fresh whipped cream
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Melt butter in microwave, then stir in graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar and macadamia nuts. Mix well, then then press firmly on bottom and 2 inches up sides of 9 inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes, set on wire rack to cool.
In large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, at low speed until incorporated thoroughly . Add pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg to the mixture and stir gently until well blended. Spread batter over graham cracker crust. Bake in preheated oven 35-40 minutes, or until center of cake is almost set. Allow to cool on wire rack, then refrigerate a minimum of 4 hours (overnight is even better.) Serve each slice with a drizzle of caramel and a dollop of whipped cream .