Warning: the making of this product on Thanksgiving will convince your relatives you’ve transferred to culinary school. 

I hate to admit it, but I love pumpkin. I’m not talking about the PSLs and pumpkin scented candles, but some good old-fashioned, home-made pumpkin pie has always been a staple on my Thanksgiving plate.

                                                      pumpkin pie

So a few years ago, my mom found this recipe for Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake and told me to try and make it for our Thanksgiving dessert table. I gave the recipe a once over and thought: No. way. I barely bake as it is. This will take way too long, and I’ll be the laughing stalk of the family! But I gave it my best shot anyway.

And like most things we’re scared of trying, it wasn’t bad at all. Once I had all my ingredients together, it was, well, easy as pie. 

And by the time dessert came around, I was nervous as to what everyone would think. “Try my pie,” I whispered to everyone walking up towards the dessert bar. And to my surprise, within 10 minutes the whole thing was gone.

“This is delicious!” “What is it!?” “Is there more?” Common phrases heard from my family and friends. Oh, yeah: Thanksgiving success in the books. 

                                                             pumpkin pie

So here it is: my (family’s) award-winning Pumpkin Pie Toffee Cheesecake

Time: 30 minute prep, 2 hours baking,+ overnight cooling in fridge.* plan accordingly for the time needed to set in fridge overnight!   

When to eat it: Dessert, Thanksgiving dinner

Sh*t You Need:

2 cups cinnamon graham cracker crumbs (32 squares)
½ cup butter or margarine, melted
2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
5 eggs
1 bag (8 oz) toffee bits
1 can (15 oz) pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix) 
3/4 cup whipping cream
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 container (8 oz) frozen whipped topping, thawed

The Recipe: 

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Spray 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. (Definitely splurge for the springform pan so you can just pop your pie right out when it’s done).

2. To make the graham cracker crust, first mix crumbs and butter in small bowl. Press in bottom of pan. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes.

3. In large bowl, beat cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and the vanilla with electric mixer on high speed until smooth. Beat in 2 of the eggs. Stir in 1 cup of the toffee bits. Spread it over the crust.

4. In another large bowl, mix the pumpkin, whipping cream, 2/3 cup sugar, the cinnamon, salt and remaining 3 eggs just until blended. Carefully spoon over the cheesecake layer.

5. Bake for 2 hours or until edge of cheesecake is set at least 2 inches from edge the of pan but the center still jiggles slightly when moved.

6. Turn oven off; open oven door at least 4 inches. Leave cheesecake in oven 30 minutes. (This is an important step - don’t skip this part!)

7. Run spatula around edge of pan. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight* (yes, overnight. Make on Thanksgiving Eve!) The next day, run the spatula around the edge of pan again and remove the side of the pan. Pipe whipped topping around edges of cheesecake and sprinkle with remaining toffee bits.

*Note: when you remove the pie from the fridge and set it out, some condensation will form on the top. That is normal, but don’t add the whipped cream/toffee bits until right before dessert time to avoid the whipped cream melting.

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About The Author

Kyndall is in her 5th year at Florida State University obtaining two degrees in Dietetics and Exercise Science. When she isn't in class or studying, she can be found in the athletics department where she is a Sports Nutrition intern working with the FSU football team (#gonoles). In the rare event of some free time she enjoys binge watching netflix, taking naps w her puppy, and a good cup of cold brew coffee.

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