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Spiderweb Pumpkin Cheesecake

This spiced cheesecake makes an appearance on my Halloween table every year. Folks get a kick out of the candy web and chocolate spiders. — Bev Kotowich, Winnepeg, Manitoba
  • Total Time
    Prep: 35 min. Bake: 1 hour + chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-3/4 cups chocolate wafer crumbs (about 28 wafers)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • TOPPING:
  • 2 cups sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • SPIDERWEB GARNISH:
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

Directions

  • Combine wafer crumbs and butter; press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 10-in. springform pan. Set aside. In a bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Whisk in pumpkin, cornstarch, vanilla and pumpkin pie spice just until blended. Pour into crust. Place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 60-65 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
  • Combine topping ingredients; spread over filling. Bake at 350° for 6 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan; set aside.
  • For spiderwebs, draw twelve 3x2-in. half circles on a sheet of parchment. Place another sheet over top; tape both securely to work surface. In a saucepan, bring the sugar, cream of tartar and water to a boil over medium heat. Boil, without stirring, until mixture turns a light amber color and candy thermometer reads 350°. Immediately remove from the heat and stir. Cool, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes or until hot sugar mixture falls off a metal spoon in a fine thread.
  • Using a spoon or meat fork, carefully drizzle syrup, tracing over the outlines to form spiderwebs; reheat syrup if needed. Cool completely. Place melted chocolate in a resealable plastic bag; cut a small hole in a corner of bag. Pipe 1-in. spiders onto parchment or foil; cool completely. With remaining melted chocolate, pipe 2 or 3 dots on each web; attach spiders.
  • Remove sides of springform pan. Cut cheesecake; place a web on top of each slice and remaining spiders on the side. Refrigerate leftovers.
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