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Pumpkin Cheesecake with Mocha Top and Bottom

(Family Features)- Crisp autumn days and cool fall nights usher in a season of anticipation and preparation as the holidays approach. First up: Thanksgiving. For this all-star feast, many intrepid cooks work for weeks, planning the very best... the perfect golden roast turkey, savory homemade stuffing, creamy gravy, mounds of fluffy mashed potatoes. Every family has their favorite dishes-and no Thanksgiving is complete without them.

While no one would dare suggest tampering with tradition, why not consider a few novel additions? Side dishes and desserts offer excellent opportunities to break out of the mold and offer up something refreshingly different. Try introducing a creative, new casserole, or another incarnation of a family favorite. (If your family can't do without the traditional log of cranberry relish, right out of the can, simply add another option for more adventurous palates, such as a "salsa," made of fresh cranberries, minced ginger and orange zest.)

The same goes for dessert. Let someone else bring the standard pumpkin pie, while you wow the crowd with a rich and creamy mocha-pumpkin cheesecake. This sinfully delicious concoction combines the goodness of organic butter, cream cheese and eggs with the rich flavors of coffee, chocolate and pumpkin-and is surprisingly simple to prepare.

Who knows? This year's departure from tradition just might become next year's must-have-and a new Thanksgiving tradition.

To add more tasty organic recipes to your holiday repertoire, visit www.organicvalley.coop.

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Mocha Top and Bottom

Description
This sinfully delicious concoction combines the goodness of organic butter, cream cheese and eggs with the rich flavors of coffee, chocolate and pumpkin-and is surprisingly simple to prepare.

Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons Organic Valley Butter, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups finely crushed chocolate graham crackers
  • 3 tablespoons finely ground coffee beans
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) Organic Valley Neufchatel or Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 5 large Organic Valley Eggs
  • 2 cups cooked pumpkin puree or 1 can (16 ounces) solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 4 tablespoons hot strong coffee
  • chocolate-covered coffee beans or chocolate-covered raisins

Preparation
    1. For crust: Heat oven to 350°F. Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter; combine with crushed grahams and ground coffee. Press into bottom and partially up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 10 minutes.
    2. For filling: Use electric beaters at medium speed to cream Neufchatel or cream cheese for 3 to 4 minutes. Gradually beat in sugar and continue beating 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Beat in pumpkin and vanilla.
    3. For cheesecake: Pour filling into crust. Bake until instant thermometer inserted in center reads 160 degrees, 70 to 75 minutes. Cool cheesecake to room temperature, then chill it thoroughly.
    4. For glaze: Melt chocolate and remaining 2 tablespoons butter in double boiler, or a bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Remove from heat; whisk lightly, then whisk in hot coffee. Cool 10 minutes. Press top of cheesecake to even out the surface and "mend" any cracks. Spread chocolate glaze over cheesecake. Decorate with chocolate-covered coffee beans or raisins. Chill to set topping.

Serves
Makes 16 servings

SOURCE: Organic Valley



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