Cinnamon Ginger Cookie Cheesecake

Cinnamon Ginger Cookie Cheesecake Recipe by Roaming Rosie

This past year for Thanksgiving, I created this Cinnamon Ginger Cookie Cheesecake.

It’s smooth and creamy and full of autumn flavors.  A perfect ending to the day.

I played around with some other recipes that are out there, and was happy with the way this one came out.  I utilized advice about how to make a cheesecake without cracking, and this one turned out nice and smooth.

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I love these Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thins.  I also used them in my Ginger Cookie Truffles.

I also used pure Madagascar vanilla extract and a stronger cinnamon.  I picked up the  Korintje Cinnamon and the vanilla at Whole Foods.

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By finely crushing up the two 5.25 ounce boxes of cookies, I got just over the 2 cups of crumbs that I used for the crust.

You could use a different cookie here, if you have another favorite, or if you can’t find these in your local store.  (I picked up the cookies at Walmart.)

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After mixing the cookie crumbs and butter together well, you’ll want to smoosh them into the bottom of your springform pan.  Grease the pan first, with either butter or a non-stick cooking spray.

A cup with a flat bottom can be used to press the crumbs down firmly.

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For the cheesecake batter, once you’ve mixed together the cream cheese and sugar, and then blended in the eggs, you will mix in the sour cream, vanilla, and the mixture of flour and cinnamon.

The brown powder you see there is not just cinnamon, it’s the cinnamon mixed into the flour.

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Then pour the whoooooole thing into the pan.

Wrap the bottom of the pan in tin foil, just to make sure no water from the water bath gets into the pan.

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You don’t need a water bath, strictly speaking, but it’s a really really good idea.

Just put the cheesecake pan in a larger pan and fill that pan with an inch or so of water.

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After baking for an hour, turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in it with the door closed for an hour.

Then pop open the oven door a little and let it sit in there for another hour.  Once that hour is up, take the cheesecake out of the water bath, trace a knife around it to loosen the edges (above pic), and move it to the counter to let it cool fully.  Then refrigerate it overnight before serving.

Now, this all sounds like a great time investment.  It kind of is, except that all these steps are really easy.  You could, theoretically, skip some of them … but the cheesecake might crack or not set right.  So I suggest taking the time to do it.  It’s totally worth it!

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Oh and there is one of my Turkey Gingerbread Cookies.  Those were super delicious too.  ;)

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Cinnamon Ginger Cookie Cheesecake

Ingredients:

2 cups crumbs from ginger cookies or ginger snap cookies, finely crushed
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp.) butter, melted
4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) and set the rack in the lower middle of the oven.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan.

In a medium bowl, combine the cookie crumbs and melted butter.  Press into the bottom of the pan.  Use a flat-bottomed glass to help press it down.  In a small bowl, combine the flour and cinnamon.

In a large bowl, use a mixer to blend the cream cheese and sugar until creamy.  Mix in the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time.  Then mix in the sour cream, vanilla, and flour mixture.  Pour into prepared crust.  Wrap the bottom of the pan with foil (to help keep out the water from the water bath), and place the cheesecake pan in a larger baking pan.  Fill the larger pan with an inch or two of water.

Bake in preheated oven for one hour.  Turn off the oven but let the cheesecake stay in the oven with the door closed for another hour.  Crack the door open and let it sit in the oven for one more hour.  Then, remove the cheesecake from the water bath and run a knife along the inside of the pan to loosen the edges.  Let it sit on a cooling rack on the counter until completely cool.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Refrigerate overnight before serving for best results.

[Note:  I used Anna’s Ginger Swedish Thins for the crust, but any type of crispy ginger cookie should work.  I ground up two 5.25 oz. packages which made a little over the 2 cups of crumbs I needed.  Also, using the water bath and allowing the cheesecake to sit in the oven with the door open helps to make sure it will not crack.  These steps are not completely necessary, but I highly recommend them.]

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Click here to print out the free PDF of the recipe:

Cinnamon Ginger Cookie Cheesecake

Happy Baking!

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Marta Big & Small: Book Review

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I recently picked up Marta Big & Small, written by Jen Arena and illustrated by Angela Dominguez, and I just had to share it.

This bilingual book is wonderful not only for the understated yet adorable illustrations, but also because of the lyrical flow to the text.

As we follow Marta through the story, she is compared to various animals, so we are practicing opposites.  The comparisons are made in both English and Spanish, but in a way that sounds poetic as opposed to a school lesson.

For example, “To an elephant, Marta is pequeña.  Small, very small.”

This makes it fun to read while also being educational.  And my kids love to ask me how to say things in Spanish, so to have these words presented like this is something I can really appreciate.

There is also a spread where we learn the Spanish words for the animals.  For example, Marta is “fast like el caballo.”

I am also completely enchanted by the female-positive message at the end.  She is called “clever, very clever, like una niña.”  This is a fantastic way to end the tale that includes her outsmarting a snake who though she looked “sabrosa” or “tasty.”

Plus, we get another spread which lists the words in the book with the Spanish and English words side by side, as a glossary.

Fun to read and educational!  Can’t beat that.

Happy Reading!

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Turkey Gingerbread Cookies

Turkey Gingerbread Cookies

I hope everyone had a yummy Thanksgiving last week!

These Gingerbread Turkeys were one of the treats I made this year.

Just like my Autumn Leaves Mini Gingerbread Cookies, these use the recipe from my Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies.  Because I love these cookies.  So, there’s pretty much no way to make too many of these.

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Last year I made turkeys from sugar cookies (Iced Turkey Cutout Sugar Cookies), but I was in the mood for gingerbread.

Again.

I may have made a lot of gingerbread this year.  ;)

This time, though, unlike last year, I had a regular turkey-shaped cookie cutter.  It made the job a whole lot easier.

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The cookies spread just a tad, but the turkey shape is still recognizable.

Then I made four colors of royal icing:  brown, red, yellow, and orange.

I used brown food coloring instead of cocoa powder to make the brown for two reasons:  I didn’t want the chocolate flavor and it was much easier to make one batch of icing and add four colors than to make two batches, one chocolate and one regular.

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As you can see from the above photos, I outlines the turkey body first, then colored in the tail and face.

It takes a few minutes to draw the patterns on, but it looks SO cute when it’s done.

And here they are all packaged up to share:

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Here is my post with the gingerbread recipe:

Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies

And when you go to make the icing, make a double batch, separate it out into four bowls and dye them brown, orange, red, and yellow.  You’ll need more brown than any other color.

Then fill a plastic baggy with each color, snip off a small corner, and squeeze the colors onto each cookie like I did in the photos.  I did brown (body), then orange (tail feathers), red (tail feathers and wattle), and finally yellow (feathers and beak).

Happy Baking!

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Mini Gingerbread Cookies: Autumn Leaves

Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies Recipe by Roaming Rosie

It’s Fall!  So I made my Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies, but instead of tiny Christmas shapes, I made autumn leaves.

Mostly because I love these flavors alllllll season long.  Not just in December.

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Look at all the yumminess!

Cinnamon, ginger, molasses…. this is a good lookin’ list.

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It’s starting to come together now.

I love showing all the flavors that combine to make these cookies so special.

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I used the smallest of the nesting cookie cutters from the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Cookie Cutter Set.

Which, incidentally, I also used to make my Fall French Toast.

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So many cookies!

My kids helped me make these.  They loved cutting them all out.

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My girls also helped me to decorate them.  We dipped them into the icing, which is quicker than spreading it on.

(Make sure to click on the recipe link to see the full directions.)

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Yum!

I used regular chocolate sprinkles for some, but to get the yellow and orange combination, I had to pick the ghosts out of the Wilton Halloween Ghost Mix Sprinkles.

It’s amazingly difficult to find sprinkles in Thanksgiving/Autumn colors in the stores.  But the Ghost Mix is pretty easy to find around October.

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So once again, here is the recipe:

Mini Soft Iced Gingerbread Cookies

Happy Baking!

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Recipe

These Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins are incredibly moist and flavorful.

A combination of pumpkin puree and virgin coconut oil, blended with a healthy helping of cinnamon, give these muffins a layered dimension of flavor in every bite.

And, really, these mini muffins can function as one giant bite apiece, but I suggest savoring them.

Especially with coffee.

I’ve been wanting to create a pumpkin muffin recipe for a while, and I wanted to incorporate coconut oil.  I’m really glad I did, because I feel that the coconut oil was what pushed these over the edge of awesomeness and made them totally irresistible.

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Above are of some of the ingredients.

The cream cheese goes towards the cheesecake filling that is used to top these muffins with a deep swirl of melt-in-your-mouth smoothness.

I used more cinnamon that I find is called for in similar recipes.  I like to taste my spices.

But there’s no nutmeg.  I know people often put it in pumpkin recipes, but I do NOT eat nutmeg.  It’s too strong and, at least for me, it distracts from the other flavors.  I find that cinnamon is a wonderful compliment for pumpkin, but if you really, really love nutmeg, then you can toss in a smidgen.  If you must.  But it’s unnecessary.  (Don’t do it.)

Plus, you can use vegetable oil if you don’t have coconut oil handy, but the coconut oil adds so much flavor that it’s worth the effort to pick some up if you don’t already have it on hand.  Like I said, it’s the turning point for intense flavor and moisture.

Virgin or extra virgin coconut oil will have a stronger coconut taste and aroma, so that’s the best to use.

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And you do lose some health benefits by melting the oil (which is solid at room temperature) in the microwave, but when I’m baking while heating something for dinner after working a full day… I take shortcuts.  Didn’t feel like washing a saucepan.

Just make sure if you melt the oil in the microwave, that you do it on 50% and for no longer than necessary.  About 30 seconds at a time.

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Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon with a fork or whisk until the colors are completely combined and the cinnamon is evenly distributed.

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Mix together the sugars and wet ingredients.

I just used a fork.  (Shortcuts means not pulling out the mixer.)

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This time, I actually blended the sugars and pumpkin first, then added the oil and eggs, but you could throw all of it together at the same time, too.

As long as it’s all well blended.

Then you’ll gradually add in the flour mixture.  Do not overmix it, though.  It should be smooth, but if you beat it too much the muffins may be tough.

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Here are the filling ingredients.

Again:  just mixed it with a fork.

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I had considered layering the pumpkin mix, then cream cheese mix, and then more pumpkin, but I’m glad I decided against it.  This method was easier and, as long as you swirl it, the cream cheese mixture still makes it into the center of the muffin.

Fill the mini cupcake liners about 3/4 full with pumpkin batter, then dollop about a teaspoon of the cream cheese mix on top.

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Next, you’ll swirl a toothpick through the muffins, which will drag the cheesecake portion over the top and mix it into the center, too.

Don’t over do it.  You’ll want some large chunks of cheesecake, so don’t swirl it to the point of thinning it out so much you can barely see the cream cheese any more.

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Doesn’t that look AMAZING???

And they taste even better.

You can eat them right out of the oven, but I prefer them at room temperature.  They should be stored in the refrigerator, because of the cream cheese, but can be left our for a while without spoiling.  (I ate a few of the ones I’d brought into work and left out in the break room all afternoon, before putting them back in the fridge at the end of the day.  They were fine.)

I suggest serving them at room temperature, but they’re also good cold right out of the fridge.

I haven’t tried freezing them.  They were gone in a few days!  ;)

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Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1/2 cup melted coconut oil, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Cheesecake filling:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C).  Prepare mini muffin pans with 5 dozen mini cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, mix flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt with a whisk or fork.  In a large bowl, use a mixer or a fork to cream together pumpkin, granulated and brown sugar, eggs, oil, and vanilla.  Gradually incorporate the flour into the pumpkin mixture until batter is smooth.  Do not overmix.

Make the cheesecake filling by creaming together the cream cheese, sugar, egg yolk, and vanilla extract.

Fill each cupcake liner 3/4 full with pumpkin batter.  Top each with approximately a teaspoon of cheesecake filling.  Combine by gently swirling a toothpick through the batter.

Bake for 14 to 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let sit in pan for two minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Store covered in the refrigerator.  Serve at room temperature.

[Note:  I use virgin coconut oil because it has wonderful taste and aroma of coconut that compliments the muffins, but you can substitute vegetable oil if you need to.]

Here is the free printable PDF:

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecake Muffins Recipe

Happy Baking!

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Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

These Graveyard Brownie Cupcakes are SO MUCH FUN to make (and eat!) and very, very rich.

If you’re a chocolate lover, then you need to try these!

To make them a little less decadent, you could make regular cupcakes in place of the brownie base, and even try a milder flavor like yellow cake dyed orange.

But I was in need of some heavy-duty chocolate.  This hit the spot.

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The first thing I did was make some of my Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Pumpkins with my girls.  We made them the day before.

Then we melted some white candy melts to make the chocolate bones using this skeleton mold from Wilton.

We crushed up a handful of Oreo cookies in a plastic bag for our graveyard “dirt,” and we baked up some box brownies according to the package directions.

I’d thought about making the brownies in a big pan to construct a large graveyard scene, but then switched to the cupcake idea.

I was going to use regular cupcake lines and write RIP in icing on some Milano cookies for the gravestones, but then I found these cute graveyard cupcake liners that come with their own paper gravestones on toothpicks.  I happened upon them at Walmart, but there are similar products online and at other stores, too.

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We let the brownies cool completely, then iced them with chocolate icing.

We pressed in the graveyard picks and some pumpkins and bones into the icing, before sprinkling over a little of the Oreo dirt.  (If you sprinkle the cookie crumbs first, the chocolate pieces won’t stick into the icing.)

Then we savored the festively decedent chocolate culinary celebrations.

I recommend you share them, and not attempt to eat 18 thick piles of chocolate all by yourself.  Because:  wow.  ;)

Graveyard Brownie Halloween Cupcakes

Happy Halloween Baking!

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Spider Web Peppermint Patties

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I am enchanted by these Spider Web Peppermint Patties!

Seriously easy and super cute Halloween treats are my favorite.  Like my Vampire Donuts or Oreo Ghosts or Jack O’ Lantern Cinnamon Buns.

And these are in that vein.  (Is that a Halloween pun??)

Candy plus icing, and done.

I used peppermint extract to flavor the icing, which was nice with the peppermint candy, but you could also use vanilla.

Spider Web Halloween Peppermint Patties

I made icing with a scoop of powdered sugar, a sprinkle of meringue powder, a dash of peppermint extract, and a splash of water.

(You can see the actual recipe on my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies, but here I used peppermint extract instead of almond.)

I put the icing in a baggy, snipped off the end, and drew the webs with the icing on top of the York Peppermint Patties.  I drew an asterisk, then made a swishy circle in the shape of a spider web.

I lost the plastic spider-shaped rings I thought I had, which would have looked cute in the photos, but the candy still looked good.  And the kids were super happy!

Happy Halloween Snacking!

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