October 19, 2012

It's a good thing our November issue is on newsstands today. Without it, you wouldn't be able to bake the best pumpkin cheesecake we've ever made. Developed by our Test Kitchen Dessert Goddess Deb Wise, this Pumpkin-Hazelnut Cheesecake will have you rethinking your traditional pumpkin pie this Thanksgiving. Make it, and you'll wish each day was National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day. (Speaking from a personal perspective here, I don't really like pumpkin pie. But this cheesecake has a special place in my heart.) Click here for the recipe, or get it below.

Pumpkin-Hazelnut CheesecakeHands-own time: 50 min.Total time: 9 hr. 55 min.Sometimes hazelnut flour is sold as meal. If you find toasted nut flour (or meal), skip step 2.

IngredientsCake:2.25 ounces hazelnut flour (about 1/2 cup)1/2 cup sugar2 tablespoons canola oil2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature2 large egg whites1 tablespoon Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)1.5 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1/3 cup)1/4 teaspoon baking powderDash of saltBaking spray with flour

Cheesecake:1 1/2 cups 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese3/4 cup sugar1 teaspoon vanilla extract1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground allspice1/4 teaspoon salt2 large eggs2 large egg yolks1 cup unsweetened pumpkin

Brittle:2 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted and chopped1/3 cup sugar1/2 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed

Preparation1. Preheat oven to 350°.2. To prepare cake, sprinkle hazelnut flour evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until the color of peanut butter, stirring once. Cool.3. Combine 1/2 cup sugar, oil, and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add egg whites; beat until well blended. Add liqueur; beat 1 minute.4. Weigh or lightly spoon all-purpose flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine hazelnut flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, and dash of salt in a bowl. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture. Beat at low speed 1 minute. Spoon batter evenly into a 9-inch springform pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.5. Reduce oven temperature to 300°.6. To prepare cheesecake, place cream cheese and ricotta cheese in a large bowl. Beat with a mixer at medium-high speed until smooth (about 3 minutes). Add 3/4 cup sugar and next 6 ingredients (through egg yolks); beat at low speed until smooth. Add pumpkin; stir gently until combined. Pour cheesecake batter over top of cooled cake. Bake at 300° for 1 hour or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven. Run a knife around outside edge. Cool on a wire rack. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight.7. To prepare brittle, cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Draw a 14 x 2-inch area on paper; sprinkle nuts inside marked space. Place 1/3 cup sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, and cook until sugar dissolves, stirring gently as needed to dissolve sugar evenly (about 2 minutes). Continue cooking 1 minute or until golden (do not stir). Drizzle caramelized sugar over nuts. Let stand 10 minutes or until firm; break into 14 pieces. Slice cheesecake into 14 slices; top each serving with about 1 1/2 teaspoons whipped topping and 1 piece brittle.

SERVES 14CALORIES 284; FAT 14.6g (sat 5.3g, mono 6.5g, poly 1.6g); PROTEIN 6.4g; CARB 31.9g; FIBER 1.3g; CHOL 77mg; IRON 1 mg; SODIUM 175 mg; CALC 79 mg

Nutrition Note: If you substitute an equivalent amount of whipped cream for the whipped topping to garnish, you will add 10 calories, 1.6g fat, and 1g sat fat to each serving.

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