Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Adventures in Cheesecake Making

Tuesday night involved two main goals:
-Get in a run
-Make cheesecake

I also had to pack for Hilton Head, but the other two items on my list were the priorities.

This plan was almost foiled by the fact that upon leaving work it was already dark and very rainy outside.  I debated about giving myself a night off, but I'm taking this marathon training seriously, and I felt like even if I didn't get in a lot of mileage, I should do some running.

I got home and got geared up to run.  I don't really have good running rain gear, but dug up this old windbreaker I've had since high school that was in storage.


Out I went for a couple loops in the neighborhood.  I didn't bring my Garmin or music because of the rain.  It actually wasn't too bad.  I'll estimate I got in 2-3 miles.  I was pretty proud of myself for getting out there and doing it.  There was definitely a point in time when I would have allowed myself to skip the run in favor of a snuggle under a blanket on the couch.   I am now hardcore!

Here I am looking a little wetter than before.
(Clyde also snuck into the auto timed shot!)


After a shower, I was pretty famished and threw together this random dinner.
An individual thin crust cheese pizza topped with a veggie burger and some sauteed spinach on the side.


Kinda weird, but not bad!

Then it was time to do something I've never done before (drum roll please):  Make a cheesecake!
Oddly enough, I've baked tons of cakes, pies, cookies, etc, but cheesecake had alluded me til now.

I researched a couple different recipes, and settled on a combo of a couple different ones (that's how I roll).

I watched Willowbird baking's awesome cheesecake tutorial, which gave me the basic idea of what I needed to do.  I really wanted to make a pumpkin cheesecake though, since this is for Thanksgiving, so I also searched for another recipe to help me figure out the best filling.  

I went with the queen of dessert's recipe: Paula Deen's Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Now, you know I can't ever just do a recipe exactly as it is, right?  The first thing I wanted to change was the crust.  I'm really not a huge fan of graham cracker crust on cheesecake.  I mean, it's ok, but it can be kind of over powering and stale tasting sometimes.  After watching Julie's tutorial, I felt pretty confident that I could use something different for my crust and still get good results.  What goes good with pumpkin cheesecake? 


Oh yes, I did.  I made a crust out of Pecan Sandies cookies.  Yessssssss.


I used Julie's awesome "glass technique" to form the cookies/butter into the crust in my spring form pan.


Then I just followed Paula's filling directions, pretty much exactly as they were, except I substituted yogurt for sour cream and used a little less sugar (it called for a 1 1/2 cups, I probably used about 1 cup).

I don't have a really big baking dish, so for the water bath part, I used a cookie sheet with water and wrapped the foil around the spring form pan, as suggested.


I baked it in a 350 degree oven for about an hour and 15 minutes.  I took it out and checked it at an hour but the middle seemed underdone.

And voila...


Mmmmmm.....


I won't get to taste it til tomorrow at my parents' house, but it looks (and smells) delicious!  I'm hoping it's awesome.  Keep you posted!

8 comments:

Joanna said...

if it tastes as good as it looks...yum!

Runblondie26 said...

Aside from tasting great, your baked goods always turn out so pretty. You have the magic touch.

I've wanted to bake my own cheesecake forever. I got a nice springfirm pan at my wedding shower (like 5 years ago) but I can't find it in our mess of moving boxes. I refuse to buy another because I know it's there. That shortbread cookie crust is convincing me to get over my silly stubbornness. I need to make that!

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Aw, hurray!! It looks amazing!! Can't wait to hear how it tastes!!

Cailin said...

Looks amazing!

runnerstrials.com said...

Congrats on taking on a new baking adventure :)

And yay for running in the rain. I love running in the rain. Since I always want it to be over, I usually run way faster than planned so it's a great workout.

Have an awesome turkey day!

Britt said...

The cheesecake looks and sounds fabulous! Awesome idea on the crust.

Running in the rain at night.... props to you for getting out the door, that is the hardest part. Once you are out there it is not that bad, but leaving a nice warm dry house is so hard!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monique said...

I've always wanted to make a cheesecake!! But my bf doesn't like it :( so I'd be eating it all by myself. I don't see anything wrong with that really...

Liz said...

Making cheesecake scares me, but this looks so good!
And running in the rain definitely makes you hard core.

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