New Castle News

Lugene Hudson

November 9, 2013

Culinary Conversation: Time to plan Thanksgiving meal



  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 38 ginger snaps, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 4 packages (8-ounce) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 eggs
  • 25 caramels
  • 1/4 cup milk

Heat oven to 315. Finely chop 1/4 nuts; place in medium bowl. Add ginger snap crumbs and butter; mix well. Press onto bottom of a 13x9-inch pan.

Beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl with mixer until blended. Add pumpkin, spice and vanilla; mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed after each, just until blended. Pour over crust.

Bake 45 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 4 hours.

Microwave caramels and milk in microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 1 1/2 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring every 30 seconds; spoon over individual servings of cheesecake. Sprinkle with remaining nuts. Serve with whipped cream.

Pumpkin Cupcakes With

Spiced Mascarpone Cream Filling

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream filling

  • 1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
  • Spiced Mascarpone Cream Filling:
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour 12, 2 1/2-inch muffin cups; set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves. In a large bowl, combine eggs, pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vegetable oil; whisk until smooth. Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture, one-third at a time, stirring just until combined after each addition. Stir in raisins and walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, filling each two-thirds full.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centers comes out clean. Cool in muffin cups on a wire rack for five minutes. Remove from muffin cups. Cool completely on wire rack.

When cupcakes are cool, split each one horizontally in half. Spread spiced mascarpone cream filling over bottom halves of cupcakes; place top halves of cupcakes on filling. Spread filling on tops of cupcakes; sprinkle with crystallized ginger.

(*Recipes have not been tested.)

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Lugene Hudson
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