Pumpkin Cheesecake Deluxe

3/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
32 gingersnap cookies, coarsely crushed
3 tablespoons brown sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted

3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1-1/2 cups canned pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
4 eggs, lightly beaten
Sweetened whipped cream, optional
Pecan brittle, optional

Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil; securely wrap foil around pan. Place pecans in a food processor; cover and process until ground. Add the gingersnaps, brown sugar and butter; cover and pulse until blended. Press onto the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of prepared pan; set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the pumpkin, cream, syrup, vanilla and spices. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Pour into crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan.

Bake at 325° for 60-70 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove pan from water bath. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Chill overnight. Remove sides of pan.
Garnish with whipped cream and pecan brittle if desired. Yield: 12 servings.

Recipe found here: Pumpkin Cheesecake Deluxe


Spiderweb Candy

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon shortening
1/3 cup flaked coconut, coarsely chopped

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt chips; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. Transfer to a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in corner of bag and set aside.

In another small microwave-safe bowl, melt white chocolate and shortening; stir until smooth. Stir in coconut. Spoon 2 tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper-lined baking sheets; spread into a 4-in. circle. Repeat four times.

Using reserved melted semisweet chocolate, pipe thin concentric circles an 1/8 in. apart on top of each candy. Beginning with the center circle, gently pull a toothpick through circles toward outer edges. Wipe toothpick clean. Repeat to complete web pattern. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until set. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 5 candies.

Recipe found here: Spiderweb Candy


Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes

1 package chocolate cake mix (regular size)
1-1/3 cups water
1/2 cup canola oil
3 eggs
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
1 can (16 ounces) vanilla frosting
Chocolate curls, optional

In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs; beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

Spoon batter by 1/4 cupfuls into paper-lined muffin cups. Place a rounded teaspoonful of pie filling in the center of each cupcake. Set remaining pie filling aside.

Bake at 350° for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool completely.

Frost cupcakes; top each with one cherry from pie filling. Refrigerate remaining pie filling for another use. Garnish with chocolate curls if desired. Yield: 2 dozen.

Recipe found here: Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes


Pepperoni Penne Carbonara

3 cups uncooked penne pasta
2 cups chopped sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil)
3 cups boiling water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup chopped pepperoni
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, soak tomatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes; drain well.
In a large skillet, saute tomatoes in butter for 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.

Stir in the pepperoni, cheese, cream, basil, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until heated through. Drain pasta; toss with sauce. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe found here: Pepperoni Penne Carbonara


Indian Baked Chicken

1 pound small red potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (about 1-1/2 pounds)
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) chicken broth
1 can (6 ounces) tomato paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper

Place the potatoes, carrots and onion in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish; add chicken. In a small bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and pour over top.

Cover and bake at 400° for 1 to 1-1/4 hours or until a meat thermometer inserted into chicken reads 180° and vegetables are tender. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe found here: Indian Baked Chicken


Slow-Cooked Savory Cheese Soup

3 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth
1 small onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cold water
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed and softened
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
1 can (12 ounces) beer, optional
Optional Toppings: croutons, popcorn, crumbled cooked bacon, sliced green onions

In a 3-qt. slow cooker, combine the first eight ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.

Combine flour and water until smooth; stir into soup. Cover and cook on high 30 minutes longer or until soup is thickened.

Stir in cream cheese and cheddar cheese until blended. Stir in beer if desired. Cover and cook on low until heated through. Serve with desired toppings. Yield: 6-8 servings.

Recipe found here: Slow-Cooked Savory Cheese Soup


Ladyfinger Trifle

2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 cups heavy whipping cream, whipped
1 package (3 ounces) ladyfingers
1 can (21 ounces) dark cherry pie filling or filling of your choice

In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Fold in whipped cream.

Split ladyfingers; arrange on the bottom and around the edge of a 2-qt. serving bowl (about 8-in. diameter). Pour cream cheese mixture into bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, spoon pie filling over cream cheese mixture. Yield: 8-10 servings.

Recipe found here: Ladyfinger Trifle

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