Sunday, November 6, 2011

Halloween Cheesecakes

I know that Halloween was nearly a week ago, but, for the past few years, my parents have hosted a Halloween party the Sunday after the holiday. I was asked to make a dessert this year. I wanted to find something I could make that would use some of the squash in my fridge, so when I found this recipe over on Recipe Shoebox, I knew it would be perfect! I can't get over how great these turned out.

Halloween Cheesecakes
Flying Witch

Yields 2+ cheesecakes

  • 2 ready made graham cracker crust
  • 4 8 oz packages of cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ c granulated sugar
  • ¼ c packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 small golden nugget squash
  • eggs
  • ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice (or ¼ tsp cinnamon, ⅛ tsp nutmeg, ½ of ⅛ tsp each of allspice and cardamom)
  • 1/2 c semi sweet chocolate chips, melted
  • Pictures of a flying witch or a howling wolf or whatever you'd like on the cheesecake

1. Pierce squash a few times with a fork. Soften in microwave for 45-60 secs. Cut in half; remove seeds. Place in a microwaveable dish; cover with plastic wrap. Cook for 9 minutes or until fork tender. Scoop squash into a food processor and blend until smooth. This should give you about 1 cup of purée.

2. While squash is cooking, cream the cream cheese and sugars together in a bowl until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and eggs . Mix until well blended. Reserve 1 cup of batter. Pour remaining evenly between two graham cracker crusts.

3. Add squash purée and pumpkin pie spice to the reserved batter. Mix well. Drop by spoonfuls onto the white batter. Gently swirl with a knife. I swirled in one direction to give the impression of a windy, stormy, scary, Halloween night. I had a LOT of leftover squash batter, so I put it in a small dish to bake a 3rd, smaller, no-crust cheesecake.

4. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 min or until the center is still barely jiggly or right before cracks start to appear. Remove and let cool on cooling rack.

5. While cheesecakes are baking, place pictures under wax paper. Put melted chocolate into a plastic baggie and snip off the corner. Pipe the chocolate over the pictures. I had some extra chocolate, so I hand drew a full moon, a spider web, a spider, and some bats/birds/whatever. Place on a cookie sheet and put in the freezer to harden.

6. Once cheesecakes have cooled, cut the wax paper around the chocolate pictures and place pictures on the cheesecake, wax paper side up. Leave waxed paper on and chill cakes in the fridge for 8+ hours or overnight. Gently pull off waxed paper.

Halloween Cheesecakes
Wolf Howling at Full Moon
Halloween Cheesecakes
Spider and Web

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