For Thanksgiving weekend, we had an awesome cabin trip to quiet area near Mt Rainier National Park. Sadly we couldn’t go inside the park since the roads were close.
We did two hikes, one 5 mile hike with a huge waterfall, and a 9 mile hike with a gorgeous lake. I’m very impressed with B since he carried Isabelle the entire two hikes (he needed to burn off the Thanksgiving calories anyway)
We had a great time as our friends joined us and we had a weekend of s’mores, board games, and hikes. I haven’t been exercising at all so after the hike, I was super sore. Luckily our cabin had a hot tub! This was new to us, as hot tubs are not a thing in the East coast cabins. It was perfect to relax my aching muscles.
We played some intense Settlers of Catan and a newly discovered game called Forbidden Island, eating lots of snacks and enjoying our fireplace. Nike came along too and was perfect.
I had made this Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake since I wanted a fall themed dessert for Thanksgiving and we ate it through the holiday weekend. This recipe is in collaboration with Taza Chocolate.
It’s a very easy cheesecake that’s a showstopper with the topping. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Turtle Cheesecake
CRUST 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs 6 Tbsp melted, unsalted butter 2 Tbsp sugar 2 tsp cinnamon
CHEESECAKE 2 8oz cream cheese packages, room temperature
1 cup Greek yogurt 1 cup packed brown sugar 1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin 3 large eggs 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour 1 Tbsp cinnamon
CRUST: Preheat Oven to 350˚F. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Add to your bowl of melted butter and stir in sugar and cinnamon until combined. Press crumbs into the bottom of your springform pan to form the crust (this makes one 9 inch cheesecake or one 6 inch cheesecake with two mini 3 inch cheesecakes) Bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temp.
CHEESECAKE: While crust is baking, make the cheesecake. Using a mixer, beat softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add in your canned pumpkin, eggs, flour, spices, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
Transfer filling into pre-baked crust. Use foil to wrap the bottom of the springform pan and set it on a tray half filled with water – a water bath helps the cheesecake bake evenly to reduce cracks forming while baking. Bake on the middle rack at 350˚F for 1 hour. Turn off heat, prop the oven door open and let cheesecake sit in the oven another 45 min. Then remove from the oven and let cool to room temp before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating.
TURTLE TOPPING: In a small bowl, melt the chocolate in 30 second increments until starting to melt. Stir in the heavy cream, then microwave in additional 30 second increments until melted. Add more heavy cream if needed to thin the chocolate. Drizzle the chocolate on top of your chilled cheesecake. Then drizzle the caramel and the chopped pecans. You can serve it immediately or chill it before serving. Enjoy!